This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Beginning Self-Transformation, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
Everything we have explained in this course of Beginning Self-Transformation is preliminary. The most essential principle for transforming and elevating our psyche is the divine feminine.
All religions bear a profound respect and veneration of the divine feminine, the Divine Mother. It is really the Abrahamic traditions that have lost sight of this and have adulterated the significance of Her presence in the spiritual work. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam reject any femininity in divinity as an effort to distance themselves, to define themselves against the so-called “pagan” religions.
The reality is that God, the Being, is not entirely masculine, but feminine as well. This is a profound fact, which confounds and scandalizes religious fanatics, people who are accustomed to a patriarchal anthropomorphism, who fail to recognize that God, the Being, is not a person, but a force, an energy.
Divinity is an intelligence. Divinity is within nature, and more importantly within our consciousness, with distinct qualities, principles, characteristics that can really be qualified, classified, and defined as masculine and feminine, yet, not in accordance with modern societal mores, beliefs, ideologies.
The reality is that divinity has masculine and feminine polarities of expression. Yet these principles are not merely limited to just physical gender. They constitute archetypes, forces, blueprints for creation, the expression of the Spirit.
We can say that the divine masculine is projectivity. It is symbolized by the positive polarity of electric charge. It is force, magnetism, assertion, willpower. It is the energy that initiates, which commands, that organizes and even impregnates, engenders, disciplines, and forces.
On the other hand, the divine feminine is receptivity. It is the negative polarity of electric charge. It is the force of conception, gestation, of nurturing, the sustenance that develops a child, the development of youth under the auspices of maternity.
All religions, every ancient tradition teaches, that the world's animals, human beings, and the Gods are the consequence of sexual union: the harmonization of masculine and feminine. Every single cosmogony teaches this: how masculine divinity cannot create, cannot develop, cannot manifest without the help of the feminine divine. Therefore, it is really ignorant to reject the divine feminine because of theological, theosophical, or vain beliefs.
The divine feminine is a cosmological reality, which we the Gnostics experience, which we develop through our meditations.
A masculine God cannot create anything without the feminine goddess, just as a man cannot have a child without a woman. As above, so below. The Father, our innermost God, unfolds Himself into the Divine Mother. She is the derivative expression of our innermost Being. Through Her, He is able to create life and create it in abundance. Through Her, divinity is able to sustain worlds, awaken the soul. As Gnostics, we never forget the worship and respect, the veneration of the Divine Mother, the divine feminine. Because just as we have a physical mother to whom we owe life, likewise, we must show respect and profound adoration for our Divine Mother Kundalini if we wish to change, because She is the force that awakens us. She is the one who elevates the soul, who brings us to spirituality, who provides us with astral experiences, profound samadhis, conscious experiences in the Tree of Life, the superior worlds of the Kabbalah. She is the one responsible for us because She is the one who raises us from suffering. Without Her, we would be lost in this work.
She is the one who initiates, who develops, and who completes this work, especially in relation to the disintegration of the ego.
So, today we are going to elaborate on who She is and Her unique role in the work, in this Gnostic path of self-transformation.
Yet, to do that, we need to comprehend and understand the principles of sacred sexology.
The reality is that just as a man and a woman are needed to create a physical child, both sexual polarities, material and energetic, are needed to create the soul. This is stipulated throughout the Gnostic writings of Samael Aun Weor. It is simple. It is not elaborate. God creates both physical and spiritual life through sex, but that depends upon our intention, our mental state, our behavior—whether it is pure or degenerate, conscious or egotistical.
Sex creates. It engenders. It develops. These principles are within every religion: how man and woman, husband and wife, can use the creative sexual energy in order to give birth to their spirituality. That creative energy is the Divine Mother, and therefore, She creates in us when we know how to use the polarities of sex, male-female.
As above, so below. It is a law. It is the Dharma, the sacred knowledge of alchemy.
We can believe whatever we want. But if we wish to create a child, a man needs a woman and a woman needs a man. To create a solar awakened consciousness in its full capacity, to realize our full potential as a perfected divine being, an angel, a man needs a woman and a woman needs a man, through conscious love and sexual cooperation.
This is because birth is a sexual problem. It is not a belief. And therefore, the birth of the angel, the inner human being, the second birth cited by Jesus, is no exception. Through what is known as tantra, alchemical union, the harmony of masculine and feminine sexes, that energy, which is usually expelled through desire, for procreation, can be converted, can be conserved, sublimated, transmuted, transformed, so that the charged sexual forces of man and woman create a synthesis. This is the child of God, the Son of Man in Christianity, the Christ child or Egyptian Horus, son of Osiris and Isis, the golden child of medieval alchemists, the Platonic Logos, the Kundalini Shakti power of the great yogis of Sahaja Maithuna, the Shekinah of the Kabbalists, the Brazen Serpent of Moses, which is a metallurgic amalgamation of copper—a symbol of Venus, the woman—and the metal tin, the planet Jupiter, or the man.
Both polarities, physical genders, are needed to create physical and spiritual life. However, we need to clarify. Gender is not a construct. It is not a concept, a morality, and accepted code of expectations in society imposed by patriarchy, by institutions—something to be rejected or deconstructed by subversive logic. Gender is a material reality. It is based upon our generative organs and the secondary sexual characteristics they attribute to our personality and expression.
While our physical sex bears specific characteristics to our terrestrial personality, the divine principles of the Father and Mother are archetypical. They are abstract. They are profound states of being. There are correlations between both sexes, but they are not rigid. We can say that the Divine Father is wisdom, instruction, paternity. The Divine Mother is love, elevation, subsistence. In a perfect matrimony, the man embodies the principles of the Divine Father and the woman embodies the principles of the Divine Mother in body, speech, and mind.
So what is the purpose of transformation as we have been explaining throughout this course? We seek to realize the true self. Who is the Divine Father and the Divine Mother? They are within us. They are our true identity, our Being. But we can only reach them through the three factors we explained in the previous lecture on the revolution of the consciousness.
While the Divine Father and Divine Mother are distinct in us, this is not to say that they don't share or embody the same principles, that there are rigid correlations here or correspondences. It is not the say that the Father does not characterize love, or the Divine Mother, wisdom. Knowing the nature of divine masculine and divine feminine is a profound matter of experience in the consciousness—to go beyond our culture's conceptions of sex, humanity’s subjective perceptions about gender, about gender roles in society.
What matters in these studies is that we appreciate and work with our sexual energy, whether it is masculine or it is feminine. We do so through complementarity, to complement ourselves: a man for a woman and a woman for a man. But why?
If you look in this graphic, you see husband and wife holding hands and their sexual organs symbolized by two triangles. There are the ovaries of the woman and the testicles of the man, as well as the vagina of the woman and the phallus of the man. The sexual organs are a battery. It is the most profound form of energy we carry within. One gonad has a positive electric spiritual charge and another gonad has a negative receptive feminine charge. In order for electricity to flow, you need both a positive and a negative. This is the essence of tantra. For these energies to flow perfectly, masculine and feminine must reconcile. Notice that when you join these two triangles together, when the sexual organs of male-female join, you create the Star of David: the Seal of Solomon, the seal, the perfection of the solar man, a true master who has conquered the creative energies and has perfected him or herself.
The masculine and the feminine compliment. They help each other to arrive at a synthesis, to generate light of a spiritual conscious nature. So these principles are extremely beautiful. Ancient mythologies teach us very profound and beautiful truths, and to frame our discussion, we can find the principles and qualities of the Divine Father and the Divine Mother reflected in a beautiful poem by Victor Hugo. He is the author of Les Miserables, a very famous text, a humanist novel, relating to the French Revolution, and Samael Aun Weor quotes a poem of his in The Perfect Matrimony called “Man and Woman.” I will read it at length.
Man is the most elevated of creatures,
Woman the most sublime of ideals.
God made for man a throne; for woman an altar.
The throne exalts, the altar sanctifies.
Man is the brain,
Woman, the heart.
The brain creates light, the heart, love.
Light engenders, love resurrects.
Because of reason, Man is strong,
Because of tears, Woman is invincible.
Reason is convincing, tears, moving.
Man is capable of all heroism,
Woman of all martyrdom.
Heroism ennobles, martyrdom sublimates.
Man has supremacy,
Supremacy is strength, preference is the right.
Man is a genius,
Woman, an angel.
Genius is immeasurable, the angel indefinable. The aspiration of man is supreme glory. The aspiration of woman is extreme virtue.
Glory creates all that is great; virtue, all that is divine.
Man is a code,
Woman a gospel.
A code corrects; the gospel perfects.
To think is to have a worm in the brain, to dream is to have a halo on the brow.
Man is an ocean,
Woman a lake.
The ocean has the adorning pearl, the lake, dazzling poetry.
Man is the flying eagle,
Woman, the singing nightingale.
To fly is to conquer space. To sing is to conquer the soul.
Man is a temple,
Woman a shrine.
Before the temple we discover ourselves, before the shrine we kneel.
In short, man is found where earth finishes,
Woman where heaven begins.
—Victor Hugo, “Man and Woman”
We speak about both Divine father and Divine Mother together to preface our focus on the role of the divine feminine. She is essential to the birth of our soul, and that we would not have existence without our mother. The same goes for our spirituality.
The Divine Mother in Different Myths
The eternal feminine exists in every religion. Both aspects of our Being have been represented throughout every religious tradition, without exception.
The Divine Mother is represented by a sacred cow. But why? We nourish our body with the milk of a female cow. In the same manner, we nourish our consciousness with the milk of wisdom, virtue, creative energy, transmutation, and the remembrance of our Divine Mother's presence.
Even milk as a substance resembles semen. It is the seminal energy, which nourishes our infancy and helps us to become a spiritual man or woman. The Divine Mother's love is so pervasive and so vast, that she has been represented by the sacred cow of Hinduism, within the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian Taurine mysteries, and the life of Gautama Buddha Shakyamuni and Krishna, both cowherds.
In Islam, the longest surah of the Quran is Al-Baqarah, “the Cow,” a symbol of divinity's power to resurrect the soul, because in that scripture Prophet Muhammad relates the magical and power, the influence of a cow whose leg can resurrect the dead. That is a symbol of the power of the divine feminine who raises us from the death of our spirit to the heights of realization.
In Islam, the Qur’an is sung. The power of the Divine Mother Cow is in the verb and in sex: the stone or Kaaba of the Muslims. How we speak, as we stated in the lecture “The Spiritual Power of Sound,” determines how we spend energy, either for liberating the soul or enslaving it—whether we produce beneficial action or bring about our own damnation, our own suffering.
To spell “the cow” in Spanish is La Baca. Baca backwards is Kaba. All of this synthesizes through the Kabbalah, the mysticism of Judaism, which we have been exploring: the Tree of Life. We worship our divinity, the sacred cow, through working with our creative energy, which is represented by the blackened stone of the Kaaba.
We need to purify this stone to make it whitened, pure. We do this through eliminating the ego. So even in Islam, which in its exoteric form strictly denies any femininity in divinity, teaches an esoteric doctrine which is known and practiced secretly by the Sufis. Therefore, people who say that God is only masculine are really half atheist, because they reject the creative maternal feminine principle of divinity in themselves.
We have Isis above. We have Miriam, Mary, holding the Christ child. We have Athena, great matron and defender of the solar Greek heroes. And we have Durga, slayer of demons within Hinduism. These images represent a few of the infinite forms of our Divine Mother Kundalini, because She takes on any form to teach us something practical in ourselves. Every religion and culture has expressed that principle in different artwork, paintings, statues, architecture, and forms.
But why make these points? Why do we draw upon so many correlations in religion? We study all the mythologies and religions of the world out of love for Divine Mother. She is our own Being. She is the root of our most divine expression. She is the mediator for us between hell and heaven, the inferior worlds and the superior states of consciousness. She is the one responsible for elevating us out of suffering.
Athena rescued Odysseus in the great poem of Homer. The Virgin Mary raised the Christ child so that he could perform his mission. And Durga brought balance to humanity, restored the kingdoms of the Gods when slaying the buffalo demon within the Hindu mythologies. And Isis restores the dead Osiris, the divine principle the Father in us, to bring back together his parts, which were quartered and drawn by the demons Seth. These are beautiful symbols about how the Divine Mother integrates the psyche, how she liberates us and performs religion, reunion.
We have to learn to work with our Divine Mother, instant by instant, moment by moment. There is no progress without love for our Divine Mother, because She is the one who gives us strength, who gives us courage to face ourselves, to self-observe, and to not run away from what we see. She is compassion for all beings, even demons or people we do not like. She is virtue and all the most elevated qualities of the Soul and our Being.
She is the superior aspect of us, and sadly, despite this fact, many of us do not know Her or recognize Her presence. The reality is that we forget who She is whenever we identify with anger, with pride, with lust, gluttony, laziness, greed, envy, the ego. We have to learn to restrain the mind, as we are emphasizing again and again, because when we restrain our mind with intelligence, with remorse, with comprehension, our Divine Mother is present with us. We are remembering Her because She is perfection.
She is profound equanimity—deepens serenity—the resilience of virtue. She is virtuous action. She can only work through us when we establish an altar for Her in our heart.
So examine your heart. What do you find inside there? Observe it. Look at yourself. Not with physical eyes, but with the sense of imagination, of perception. What do you see? Do you see love of humanity there? Do you see selflessness? Do you see conscious love for one's spouse, for one's family, for one's enemies? Or are we filled with hatred, with wrath, with violence, with despair?
Many Gnostics write to us asking, “How do I experience my Divine Mother?” as if she is far away. The reality is that She is, to quote the Qur’an, “closer to you than your jugular vein” (50:16). She is within our psyche, but we do not recognize Her presence if we are not looking, if we are not awake, if we are not perceptive about what is going on externally and internally.
Some people think that to experience the Divine Mother is only through an astral experience, in some tremendous samadhi in the clouds. There is a reality to this. But more importantly, the Divine Mother appears to us in dreams, in different forms, to teach us something about our life, about our physical behavior. For an example of this, I will relate my own experience.
Very recently my wife and I went traveling out of the city of Chicago to go hiking. We wanted to get away from people and this situation with COVID-19. And we realized that we would have less exposure going out into nature than being in the city, so we arranged to travel a couple hours outside of Chicago, and in our trip we were driving to a Starbucks. There was a huge line of cars waiting to go to the drive-through, and I was driving and at that moment I had cut off a person who was in line, who was angry at me. And he said some things which were not pleasant.
That morning before we left our home, I had an astral experience in which I was driving my car in the dark. It was 4 a.m. in the astral plane and I was driving along a major road in the city of Chicago. Suddenly I stopped, intuitively, in the middle of the street, because there were no cars present, and I saw my physical mother in the dream approach the driver's side window and with a lot of love, she gestured for me to step out of the car and to let her take the wheel. I did. I went into the passenger seat, and then she drove the car and that was the end of the dream.
I knew when I woke up physically that this was something prophetic. Something would happen in relation with my Divine Mother. So physically, when we are in the Starbucks line and the person I cut off was angry and spoke negatively towards me, I suddenly felt egos of anger, self-esteem, pride and anger and violence emerge from my psyche. And I was really surprised, because I have been observing myself and I never knew that I had these defects in this situation. So my wife who was in the passenger side of the car said, “Let me take the wheel because I can see that this is getting dangerous for you.” So I got out of the car physically. She took the wheel and I sat in the passenger seat and started to breathe deeply, and pray to my Divine Mother. I was begging Her, “Please help me to comprehend this rage that is emerging in my psyche and is threatening to take over!”
I breathed very profoundly, inhaling, with all my capacity in my lungs, holding the breath for 10 seconds and exhaling for 10 seconds, and just introspecting in me, asking my Divine Mother “Help me to have serenity, to understand the culprits in my mind!” And suddenly, I gained comprehension, and I realized and remembered the dream I had that morning. My Divine Mother figuratively was driving my car, which is my three brains. By relaxing and praying, going into my mind, going into my heart, I was able to relax and let my Divine Mother take control of my psychological car. After my meditation, I comprehended a lot. I understood those defects that emerged, which I later prayed for annihilation.
This is a very beautiful teaching, very simple. I know we like to think of having experiences with our Divine Mother in the highest degrees of initiation, the highest sephiroth or spheres of the Tree of Life, but in reality, she comes down to us. She teaches us how to live so that we do not commit insanities, because I was really angry. I was really surprised by how angry I was and so I was begging my Being to help me control this animal and she gave me strength.
But of course, remembrance of our Divine Mother is a learned skill. We have to work very hard. We have to recite mantras. We have to breathe deeply. We have to do pranayamas, transmutation, energy exercises, whether in our mind or out loud, so we can feel Her presence; so we can recognize Her. We do so by observing from our pineal gland and our heart.
The pineal gland is the seat of perception within our brain. It is where our Essence sees from its energetic and conscious seat. It is the focal point of perception. We have to self-observe our three brains, looking into our intellect, our emotions, and our motor brain through this perspective, in a spiritual conscious way. But we must not only observe to see and gather data about the ego in the three brains, but we have to remember the presence of our Divine Mother within our pineal gland, within our heart: the seat of our soul. We also experience intuition, prescience, presentiment, premonitions in the heart: the altar and temple of the inner goddess Kundalini.
In the example I provided, I was observing from my pineal gland into my three brains to understand the thoughts, the feelings, and the will of anger, of self-esteem, of pride, of wrath. Because each ego has three brains. It has its own ways of thinking, feeling, and doing. I was looking at that in myself and praying, “Help me to separate from this Divine Mother! Help me to comprehend so You can eliminate!” And I immediately, intuitively felt Her presence: a beautiful quality of serenity, of strength.
She is a tremendous force. She does not use exertion of any kind. Instead, She opens the jaws of the beast with perfect equanimity, and equanimity is the most profound strength. So we have to feel Her in our mind and our heart. How can a child forget its mother? In the same way, we have to recognize Her presence, Her identity in us again and again. She is the voice of conscience. She is the voice of right action, such as in the experience I provided. I knew the right thing to do, but my mind was really trying to destroy my life, and I fought with my mind, and I would not have been able to relax if I did not have Her, my Divine Mother—and also, the Divine Mother of my wife, who expressed in that moment and saved me, helped me to rectify the situation.
So let your Divine Mother drive your car. Let her drive your soul, your Being—even if it means that you need to recollect yourself—whether you need to breathe deeply, do mantras, do prayer, walk out in nature. Take time to develop that stability of mind, to deepen your serenity. Because that is how you connect with Her, not through agitation, not through exertion, but through comprehension.
The Divine Mother and the Tree of Life
As we explained, the Tree of Life is a map of the consciousness. It is a map of the Being. From the most elevated spheres or סְפִירוֹת sephiroth, the plural Hebrew term for “emanations,” to the most dense and material at the bottom.
This is a distinct and clear map for meditation and our internal experiences, which can clarify our understanding of where we are at in our work and where we must go.
The sephiroth also reflect different expressions of the Divine Mother.
So as I stated, the Divine Mother is universal. She is formless. She is an energy, and yet She can manifest within the different spheres or sephiroth in order to help us. And Samael Aun Weor, the founder of the modern Gnostic tradition, provided five distinct unfoldments or expressions of Devi Kundalini that we need to understand and which we can relate to the Tree of Life.
At the top of the tree, above Kether, the Father, the Crown, you have the Absolute, which in Hebrew is אין Ain, אין סוף Ain Soph, אין סוף אוֹר Ain Soph Aur: the Nothing, the Limitless, and the Limitless Light.
In the Absolute, in Ain Soph, the Divine Mother is the Unmanifested Prakriti.
When the Divine Mother unfolds and expresses within the universe, within creation, we find that she manifests as Binah, intelligence, the Holy Spirit. She is the chaste Diana, Isis in Egypt, Tonantzin amongst the Aztecs, Maria, Miriam, Mary in Christianity, or better said, the mantra RAM-IO, a profound Mantra to invoke our Divine Mother Binah, intelligence. So these sephiroth are different qualities of consciousness. They are different modalities and expression of the divine.
We also have something very important in relation to the death of the ego, which can relate to the sphere of Geburah, Justice, the severity of God. This is the Divine Mother Death. The Divine Mother Death relates to the justice of the Being, who punishes the ego and annihilates it. She is represented as the terrible Hecate amongst the Greeks, Persephone, Coatlicue, Queen of the infernos and death, the terror of love and law. She is the terror of the ego and the love of divine law, of order, of equilibrium, of karma. So in our former lectures on Karma, we explained how the divine hierarchies are managed by divine beings, with intelligence, with love. Knowing that law and loving that law is how we gain balance, and the Divine Mother Death removes the impurities so that we can be balanced, harmonious beings, integrated beings.
We also have the special individual Mother Nature relating to Malkuth, the physical body, who is the originator and architect, the creator of our physical organism. Our body is an amalgamation of many elements. Mother Nature relates to our body as well as our environment and our body is dependent upon Mother Nature outside, but our internal Divine Mother Nature relates to our physicality, our body, which we need to sanctify.
And lastly, the Elemental Enchantress to whom we owe every vital impulse, every instinct, relating to Yesod, the sexual creative energy, the foundation of our spirituality
Let us explain each aspect of the Divine Mother in more depth.
The Unmanifested Prakriti (Ain Soph)
The Unmanifested Prakriti, the Ain Soph, is the nothing, the limitless. Prakriti signifies nature. Mula in Sanskrit indicates “root,” as in the “root of something,” such as phenomena, consciousness, experiences.
We find mula in our root chakra, Muladhara, which signifies the “root place,” the root chakra. We use the term Mulaprakriti to refer to the Ain Soph, the abstract absolute space, the root nature of our consciousness, which is cosmic and eternal, a profound form of space. The Divine Mother has no form, but that energy takes on form within the astral plane in order to teach us, the Essence, important things.
Samael Aun Weor also refers to the Divine Mother Prakriti as the Unmanifested Kundalini. This is understandable when we comprehend how the Divine Mother above and the heavenly cosmic space, the Mulaprakriti, is reflected in our Muladhara Chakra. So that cosmic space, that force, that energy, when it manifests into the universe, it becomes the Tree of Life, the different sephiroth, becoming more dense and material as it descends into different unfoldments or dimensions.
The Ain Soph is beyond any universe. It is within the abstract space, the cosmic consciousness, the selflessness of perfect Seity. The Divine Mother above, Mulaprakriti, is the same energy that descends and becomes the serpent in our Muladhara Chakra.
Even Ricard Wagner in his Ring Cycle [The Ring of the Nibelungen] which is an Opera tetralogy, depicts the Goddess Urda, the mysterious Ain Soph, or Devi Kundalini, with the same musical motif, the theme song, as the sword Nothung: the weapon of the great solar hero Sigmund, which is the Essence, the soul, who wields the Kundalini, the sword Nothung, in order to battle his enemy, Hunding, a symbol of the ego.
Nothung, no-tung, reminds us of “nothing,” the Nothing, the space, the Abstract Absolute Space: Ain Soph. And we have explained in other lectures and courses that the Ain Soph is a star, a supra atomic point, the synthesis of our real Being. It is a light that shines within that space with perfection. It is known as the Glorian, the origin of universes. So this Mulaprakriti, is the womb of the Nothing, which is not understandable to the intellect, but is comprehended through experience.
It is the origin of worlds, suns, galaxies, the infinites. All cosmic units are sustained, are born, are gestated, and they are destroyed and absorbed again throughout the great cosmic rhythms of activity and repose, known in Hinduism as Mahamanvantaras and Mahapralayas. These are “great” cosmic days and nights, respectively (for Maha signifies “great”): periods when universes emerged from the Ain Soph, and when it is time, those universes return back to the Nothing, to enter a period of absorption and repose.
This is the significance of many Qur’anic verses. "You came from Him and unto Him you shall return." Even the Arabic name Allah hides many mysteries. The syllable “Al” means “the,” the indefinite article. And “La” can mean “No,” negation. Allah traditionally represents or translates as “The God,” but literally is “The No,” the Nothing—that which is not related to anything in existence, because it is unmanifested. This is why in Islam there are no statues or figures representing Allah, because you cannot anthropomorphize space. You cannot characterize the divine feminine in Her most abstract reality.
The Unmanifested Divine Mother never enters the universe without taking form, so that we can comprehend and receive insight in our work. The universe emerges from her universality. She is absolute, cosmic, perfect. Her center is everywhere and Her periphery, Her circumference, is nowhere. She is the source that we aspire to. She is perfect liberty, a state of being that is so vast and expansive that it terrifies the ego.
And so “the Nothing,” “the No,” the Unmanifested Divine Mother is the complete negation of our self, because in that selflessness, one becomes the universe, the stars, the planets, the gods. It is cosmic, absolute, eternal. She is the starry heavens or Egyptian Nut in that respective mythology, who shelters the heroes and the gods, those masters of meditation who have perfected themselves.
Involution: The Descent of Divine Force
In the universe, when the light of divinity manifests and expresses, that unitary light of the Ain Soph, descends and particularizes, individualizes. The top trinity of the Tree of Life relates to the trinitarian unfoldment: an expression of the Being in the most rarefied and subtle levels. Our unique consciousness, our divine Being, is a perfect unity. Yet to create life, She expresses, or that light expresses as three principles, since the law of three is how everything is created.
These are forces, qualities, principles, archetypes. They are blueprints of any universe. They are not three people that constitute one anthropomorphic God. These three creative forces are known as Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in Christianity. Every religion reflects these principles but in different ways. It is one light that can express as three, so as to gestate worlds and human beings.
So going back to that description of the principles of sex, man is the affirming, positive force; woman is negating, receptive force. And together they provoke and promote the synthesis, reconciliation, which is the birth of the solar Christic consciousness.
That synthesis is בִּינָה Binah, the intelligence of God in Hebrew. So our particular, individual Divine Mother is the intelligence of divinity, because She is the synthesis of all universal wisdom, which governs creation in every level. She is the spouse of Shiva in Hinduism, known as Shakti. Or, Brahma and Sarasvati in Hinduism—or to define its equivalent in the Bible, you have Abraham and Sarah. Brahma-Abraham and Sarasvati-Sarah in the Bible. These are all symbols that reflect truths that we need to experience.
The reality is that in accordance with Gnostic Kabbalah, Binah is dual, because Binah is reflective of masculine and feminine principles. Because remember that when you have affirmation and negation, masculine-feminine, positive-negative, you produce the synthesis. And in the terms of having a child, the synthesis of a husband and wife, the child reflects the qualities and characteristics of its parents. So you find both principles there, but of course, manifested as a boy or a girl. But it takes the qualities of both male-female, father-mother, in order to create something beyond itself.
Binah, the synthesis is dual. It is masculine-feminine, Father-Mother. In Hebrew, it is known as אב Abba and אם אלהים Aima Elohim in Hebrew. The sacred name of God, of Binah, is יהוה אלהים Jehovah Elohim. אלהים Elohim is a synthetic word. אל El in Hebrew is God. אלה Eloah in Hebrew is Goddess. ים Iod-Mem or the letters “-im” is a masculine plural ending. אלהים Elohim truly signifies “Gods and Goddesses.”
Our particular, individual Divine Mother is Diana, the huntress, as we see in this image.
She is the Virgin Mary, Miriam or Mar-IO or Ram-IO, which is a powerful mantra, as I stated, of working with the divine feminine. מרים Miriam in Hebrew means to raise. She is the wife of the masculine aspect of the Holy Spirit, because the trinity is Father, Son, Holy Spirit—three forces as one light. We can receive profound instruction from our own intelligence, the Divine Mother in Binah. She takes on forms within the astral plane to teach us like in the example I provided.
The Divine Mother Death (Geburah)
But let us also talk about the Divine Mother Death relating to Geburah, the justice and severity of God.
This aspect of the Divine Mother is perhaps the most important. It is referenced constantly throughout the writings of Samael Aun Weor. Divine Mother Death is responsible for annihilating the ego. She is Kali, as we see here. She dances upon those couples who know how to harness the sexual fire of alchemy. Meaning: man and wife use their sexual energy, conserve it, and direct it towards the death of desire to liberate the soul.
So of course, this image is terrifying. She has a necklace of many heads, representative of all the egos she has slain in the initiate whom she stands upon. She is the power of the serpent Kundalini, which you find coiled around the left arm of the man whom she has conquered. Of course, that symbol relates to the left pillar of the Tree of Life or the serpent Ida, the energetic feminine current that rises from our sexual gonad up to our head, which is the contrast of pingala, the solar electric sexual serpent that rises from the other gonad to the brain within the vital body.
The Divine Mother Death, despite her fearsome appearance, should not be feared. She is the liberator of our soul. She pulverizes the ego. She extracts the Essence through successive profound comprehensions. So She only decapitates those ego we have fully comprehended in our meditations. If we are single, we can pray to her using the mantra KRIM, prolonged such as this:
We imagine those defects we have comprehended and that She decapitates them, impales them, disintegrates the egos we wish to remove. If we are married, we can have more force by which to annihilate those egos. But if we are single, we can still work with the Divine Mother Death.
So this is very beautiful topic because Kali, the Divine Mother Death, is the power of sex, that which creates the soul and destroys the ego. She is the slayer of demons. She is Athena, who in the Greek myth of The Odyssey helps Odysseus return home in order to battle the many suitors who have tried to take his wife Penelope. In the Greek myth, Odysseus invented the Trojan horse during the Trojan War, conquered the city, and when trying to return home, he was lost for 20 years. And so, many men thought he was dead and tried to marry his wife, who remained faithful to him: a symbol of the soul waiting for the reunion of Odysseus, the solar man, the initiate.
When he returns home finally, he finds that his whole island has been ransacked by suitors—all these figures and people trying to marry his wife and eat off his land. But Athena warns him saying, “You must disguise yourself and discover your enemies. You must find out who is your friend and who is your foe.” And so she disguised him with magic as a beggar that he, in this form, went around trying to investigate these people. Finally, in a great battle scene at the end, he reveals himself and with the help of Athena, with the help of Kali, kills all of those infidels.
This is not a literal history. It is a symbol of working against the ego. And so Odysseus conquered and returned to his home, but only with the help of the Divine Mother Death. So She is very important in the work and we could talk about more of the practices involved in working with this force, this liberatory energy.
Divine Mother Nature (Malkuth)
We have the Divine Mother Nature who is the creator, sustainer, and maintainer of our physicality. Divine Mother Nature helps us in jinn science, in magic, in theurgy, in the act of placing our physical body into the fourth dimension. This is jinn science.
She is the lever, Divine Mother Nature, or fulcrum of Archimedes who said, "Give me a lever of support and I will move the universe." So, jinn science, unlike astral projection, is when you, in a sleepy state, meditate upon your Divine Mother Nature, the originator of your physical body, so that she can take you in your physical body into the internal planes. So rather than leaving your body behind, you enter the fourth dimension, traveling in hyperspace.
This is the significance of many myths in different world traditions where monks, priests, prophets, masters, were seen flying, traveling through the air, passing through walls, appearing and disappearing, levitating. Every world tradition and religion teaches these symbols or these truths, which are not in fact a symbol, but how through tremendous discipline and work with the Divine Mother Nature, one could conquer the fourth dimension, enter those states.
The most memorable of them all that comes to mind, to my memory is the Prophet Muhammad, who was meditating at the stone of Kaaba, Mecca, in which he fell asleep and was taken with his physical body upon a mystical creature called Al-Buraq, which had the form or body of a donkey, the wings of a great bird, the tail of a peacock, and the face of a woman.
If you are familiar with the Egyptian sphinx, with the paws of a lion, the hooves of a bull, the wings of an eagle, and the face of a man, or a woman better said, you find that the Egyptian sphinx is paralleled in the ascension of Prophet Muhammad. And that is a symbol of Divine Mother Nature. She is the one who organizes the elements in our psyche and in our body. The fire of our heart, our emotions; the air of our thoughts; the waters of our sexuality; and the earth of our body.
This is a feat that we can accomplish in ourselves if we work with jinn science. And we have practices that we are going to relate in some resources we have available online.
Elemental Enchantress (Yesod)
We have the Elemental Enchantress relating to Yesod, our vital energies. She is known as the Eemental Instinctual Female Magi. She is our Divine Mother that works with Yesod. We can invoke Her and work with Her to perform sexual magic, which is alchemy, which is tantra, transmutation.
Samael Aun Weor mentioned in The Three Mountains how he saw his Elemental Enchantress in the form of a pygmy, the form of a fairy: a beautiful elemental soul. So all the elements have soul, including minerals, plants, animals, and the Divine Elemental Enchantress, our Divine Mother. This aspect of our Divine Mother works with the creatures of nature and She is the sexual force. She aids us in becoming elemental in nature: purified, simple. She also helps us to enter back into Eden. עֵדֶן Eden is a Hebrew word that means “bliss.” It is the state of the soul that we lost when we created desire, by disobeying the commandments of our Being.
This female magi helps us return to Eden, which we do so through alchemy, sexual knowledge, transmutation. She helps us with different forms of magic such as ceremonial magic, relating to the astral body, Hod on the Tree of Life, the emotions. She also helps us with elemental magic relating to Netzach, the mind, the souls of plants. And She helps us with sexual magic, Yesod.
Magic is the ability of the consciousness to exert will upon nature, to influence it. It doesn't mean that we pull rabbits out of hats. It means that we control all of the components of our psyche.
The elementals of nature, in relating to the plant kingdom, never left Eden. Those souls that enter the animal kingdom eventually lose Eden in themselves because of desire, the animal method of procreation. This is why in Gnosis we work with plants. We work with plant magic. We command the souls of plants to vibrate with our level of being and to elevate ourselves, but also to help humanity, because every plant in nature is a mechanism that can reflect divine force. All plants have their purposes. This is very well known in different forms of medicine: Ayurveda, holistic forms of treatments. But in Gnosis, we study plant magic, because it is extremely effective for influencing humanity in a conscious and beneficial way.
I invite you to reflect upon some of the resources we have available in order to learn to work with our Divine Mother. Pretty much all the books of Samael Aun Weor teach us how to work with Devi Kundalini. You can learn about jinn science, especially in The Yellow Book. But alchemy is covered extensively in The Perfect Matrimony, The Mystery of the Golden Flower.
At this point in time, I would like to invite you to ask questions.
Questions and Answers
Question: If we have had experiences when our Divine Mother will not see us in the astral plane, does that mean that we have too much lust?
Instructor: I think that might depend on the person, but in my experience when my Divine Mother has not been able to find me it is because I am too asleep. I had an experience, also a long time ago, in which my Divine Mother approached me with a radar in her hand, and She said with a lot of concern, pointing towards the screen, “I can't find you!” So usually in radar, you see a green line that goes around the circumference, the radius spins like a wheel, and there is a little blip that will appear when you find some kind of naval ship or aircraft or whatever. So my Divine Mother was showing me this symbol and saying, “I can't find you” because I wasn't being awake enough.
So obviously it could be in relation to lust, because obviously any ego puts us to sleep. But most especially if we give in to lust, desire, fornication. It could mean that we are very asleep, because we waste the energies that are going to awaken us.
Question: Is the word Devi relating to the word divine?
Instructor: Yes, there is that their connotation. Devi also relates to deva, goddess, such as the devas of nature, the great elemental queens who govern the plant kingdoms, all those divine intelligences of the physical and internal worlds.
Question: Is the Innermost, inner Being, both the Divine Mother and the Divine Father?
Instructor: In Kabbalah, strictly speaking, the Innermost, our Being, is the Divine Father, known as חֶסֶד Chesed in Hebrew. Chesed is the seventh sephirah from the bottom to the middle of the diagram. Chesed means “Mercy” and he is the spirit, the immortal spark of divinity in us. The Innermost is a child of the Divine Mother, Binah, the Holy Spirit. So in very intuitive logic, we can say that Osiris and Isis in Egyptian mythology represent Father-Mother within Binah, masculine-feminine, and their synthesis or child is Horus—Horus, the light, because in Hebrew אוֺר Aur means “light.” Horus is the gold of the spirit, because even in spanish, oros means “gold.” So the Spirit, Chesed, emerges from Binah, the Holy Spirit.
Question: Is it possible that our Divine Mother is guiding us, but we are unaware of it?
Instructor: Absolutely! I would say in reality that, in our work, She is with us all the time, but we just don't see Her. We are not aware of Her because we are not paying attention. The way that you figure that out is by awakening in meditation and also learning to remember that presence in yourself, moment by moment. Obviously astral experiences can help us to have more clarity, because then we recognize the same intuitive principle or feeling. That premonition we have in dreams is the exact reflection of our daily life. That is something that gives us faith. We start to see more and more that our Divine Mother is really with us all the time, but we are just stubborn. We don't recognize Her presence because we don't pay attention. In the example I provided of my Divine Mother getting in my car, you know, I didn't even realize what was happening, even when physically I got out of my car and got into the passenger seat. And hen immediately afterward, I understood the symbolism of that experience, and the same quality that I had in the dream related to what I was going through in that ordeal physically. That gave me a lot of inspiration, a lot of joy, even when my mind was terrible. So She is with us all the time, but we have to learn to recognize Her.
Question: Can you please elaborate on this prayer? “Be thou O Hadit, my secret, the Gnostic mystery of my Being, the central point of my connection, my heart itself, and bloom on my fertile lips made Verb!” Also, what is the significance and the best time to use this prayer?
Instructor: So who is Hadit? Hadit in Egyptian mythology can relate to the Holy Spirit, who is our “secret,” the thread, the intelligent intuitive guidance of our conscience, “the Gnostic mystery of our Being,” who is infinitely profound and “the central point of our connection.” So remember that when you are self-remembering and self-observing, you have to remember the connection of your spirit within your pineal gland and your heart. Self-remembrance is a thread that you have to hold on to. It is the thread of Ariadne in the Greek mysteries, when I believe Theseus went into the labyrinth to fight the Minotaur, and it was a vast labyrinth in the caves of that underground kingdom, so that he could find his way back because the thread would point to him where he came from. That central thread or point is our Divine Mother, because we have to remember the thread of our experiences: the continuity of our self-remembrance, our mindfulness, the state of self-remembrance and being moment by moment.
That is our heart. It is what gives us life, following our intuition, not our intellect, but our heart. In that way She can bloom our lips made fertile, made verb. To be fertile in lips is to be transmuting your sexual energy. Our speech is empowered by the sexual creative force, and She manifests in our words when we are intuitive, when we reflect on Her qualities in our daily life moment by moment. We can use this prayer anytime we meditate. It is especially wonderful in sexual alchemy when you remember the presence of your Divine Mother, when you approach the forge in which the Kundalini is tempered and awakened.
Question: When we take a spouse, are we unifying the divine and masculine energies in a way that affects or breaks the heart of the Divine Mother, when we realize that we are not in the right marriage? Are we affecting these divine forces?
Instructor: Obviously, adultery is a very painful thing, but also, being that we are asleep, we do make mistakes. Anytime we mix sexual energy with people of the opposite sex, we adulterate our consciousness and we weaken our conscience. So knowing who your partner should be or whom you should be with, the thing to remember is that we have to make good choices, to not get in those situations, to not jump into relationships without prudence, without testing our grounds.
But also, the thing to remember is that if one is in a committed relationship and one feels that doubt, that pain, or that sentiment or feeling that one is in a wrong relationship, one should really meditate profoundly, because any type of sexual connection is very serious, is very profound. It creates a type of signature in the astral plane, a type of marriage of forces which we can't ignore, which is eternal. I would say, anytime we disobey our Divine Mother, especially in sex, yes, we make Her suffer a lot. We have made our Divine Mother suffer tremendously by having so many partners and not waiting for the one person to work with in accordance with our karma or with the law. So that is a very delicate thing to discriminate and understand and it is always going to be very personal. While I can't give you a thorough answer in terms of who is the right partner for you, obviously, that is something you have to spend a lot of time reflecting on. So yes, we do affect our divine forces when we enter a sexual relationship without love, because love is what regenerates the soul, not lust.
Question: Why is Ram-IO such an important mantra? Especially in relation with masculine and feminine energies?
Instructor: Mary in Hebrew is Miriam. You spell Mary backwards, you have RAM-IO. RAM or the RAM, is a symbol of Christ: the sexual creative fire that anoints the initiates, which particularizes and develops the pure unity of the soul. Mar or mer in French means “sea,” the sea of IO, or the ram of IO, the child of the Divine Mother. RAM-IO is an important Mantra because it works with Christ, the solar energies, and with our waters. It transmutes, we could say, or invokes very high forces in us, because mar or mer is the sea from which the solar gods emerge. And IO, if you studied Greek mythology, has many representations as a beautiful feminine figure, whom I believe Zeus pursued out of desire and love. Many kabbalistic symbols there, which you can study on our websites, but in synthesis RAM-IO is important because it is a seed mantra: IO, that works with the Divine Mother.
Question: You said that our Divine Mother can manifest in other ways besides in our dreams. Does this mean that she can take form in other people from time to time when facing ordeals? Can you elaborate on that?
Instructor: The answer is yes. Samael Aun Weor mentioned many times and asks this question: How many times has your Divine Mother appeared unto you, O disciple, without you even knowing it, even physically? In the example I provided where I was in the car at Starbucks, my wife was expressing her Divine Mother and even my Divine Mother too, because She is universal, in order to guide me and say, “Let me take the wheel.” My Divine Mother and the Divine Mother of my wife was acting physically, so she became the vehicle of expression of that, so that I could face the ordeal and pass it, to comprehend it. She can take form in other people and manifests anywhere, everywhere, at any time, because she is universal. She is space, but she can appear and manifest in any human being that is either prepared or has enough space to reflect that principle.
Question: Is there any prayer to the Divine Mother that you prefer during sexual magic?
Instructor: Well, that is obviously going to be personal to each one of us. Obviously if you are practicing in alchemy, you and your partner—or if your spouse is not into Gnosis—that is something that you will have to gauge in yourself; but obviously, if both partners are practicing in alchemy, they should work and could work with other mantras that help with different functions, such as Kandil Bandil Rrrrr: the mantra to awaken the Kundalini. Or, IAO to transmute the sexual energy.
Or to annihilate the ego, Krim, to invoke the Divine Mother Death. So I invite you to experiment if you are married. Try the different mantras to see what helps you most at a given time, because different mantras have different purposes.
Question: Please discuss the origin of the reference to Mother Nature. And what is your perspective on why certain religions dismiss the significance of the Divine Mother and or cast blame like the Adam and Eve story?
Instructor: So, Mother Nature is the originator of our body. Even the word in Latin, mater, meaning mother, is the matter of our body. So the spirit, the divine masculine, impregnates matter in order to give birth to Christ; the pure virgin matter or mother who represents the body that is purified through transmutation, so as to give birth to a perfect soul, the Christ, the Son of Man. So these are symbols that represent different degrees and steps in the path of initiation, which you can read about in the course The Path of Initiation on gnosticteachings.org, but also what you can study in our course on Chicago Gnosis called The Secret Path of Initiation.
As for why religions dismiss the significance of the Divine Mother, it is because religions degenerate with time. And those who are in power were men. Therefore, those men decided to make religion reflect their tastes. So that is why many beautiful traditions, which are very rich and profound and even feminist, in a sense that the divine feminine is respected, those aspects of those traditions were gutted out, because it did not, or better said, it was a basis of interpretation for persecuting and discriminating against women, which is sad. But when you know Kabbalah, you don't get confused, and do not let any type of patriarchal narrative or dogmatic patriarchy influence our readings.
Question: Could you elaborate on the Kali Ma? Is this an aspect of Kali?
Instructor: Kali Ma, or better said Kali, is the goddess of death. And Kali is dual. In heaven above She is the Divine Mother Death who eliminates desire, the ego. But if we fornicate, if we adulterate, if we expel the creative energies, then that force of Kali produces the death the soul through Kali Ma, the queen of the infernos. She becomes the tail of the demons, the inverted serpent Kundabuffer.
So there are two ways to die: through initiation or through the second death. The ego must be eliminated either way. But if you wish to acquire development in our spirit, we work with the Divine Mother Death in the positive sense, removing the ego here and now in meditation, through alchemy, so that we can ascend the Tree of Life. But those people who don't want to eliminate the ego on their own, let themselves be swallowed by nature, meaning by hell, so that they are recycled and disintegrated by the devolving serpent Kali Ma, the inverted aspect of the Divine Mother Death in hell.
Question: What can we do to be good children to our Divine Mother? How do we take care of Her?
Instructor: We are a good child when we perform the three factors with fidelity. Comprehend the ego, eliminate it, act virtuously, and serve humanity. That is how we earn graces from our Divine Mother Kundalini, and we take care of Her when we are chaste. If we are not saving our sexual energy, we are abusing the Divine Mother, committing a crime. So take care of Her by conserving your sexual energy, transmuting it through many beautiful exercises such as pranayama, runes, sacred rites of rejuvenation, meditation. Take care of Her by working on your mind, eliminating desire.
Question: Is our personal Divine Mother or Father working in collaboration with other people's Divine Mothers and Fathers in order to put us in the situations we need for a development?
Instructor: The answer is yes. Obviously divinity is at a level that is omniscient. All of the divine beings of the Absolute in the Tree of Life, those who have already done the work in past lives, obviously those monads are developed and know how to work in an intelligent manner. But our Divine Father and Divine Mother, even at a level of a beginner, works with the law, works with karma, negotiates karma for us and works with other solar divinities in order to help us. So all of that is determined with intelligence, because Binah is the intelligence of all the divinities in the universe. So that universal intelligence is pervasive, is cosmic. So, that wisdom is universal, not particular, within in one person only, but is manifested in many masters.
Question: I have had experiences with my Divine Mother in lucid dreams. I have also had experiences in this three-dimensional world that reminded me of my Divine Mother. Can our personal Divine Mother work through others or precipitate in the three-dimensional world, or is this a different aspect of the Divine Mother?
Instructor: So yes, the Divine Mother, our individual Being, Binah, can work through other people. Like in that example of being in the car at Starbucks, my wife, like in the dream I had that morning, said “Let me take the wheel.” So my Divine Mother and her Divine Mother were working together to help me get out of a mess, to help me not make a mistake. So I am deeply indebted to my Being. And the Divine Mother can manifest physically in a material form. But that is usually performed through certain exercises of invocation and high magic which you can read about in Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic.
Question: Do these personal Divine Parents have their Divine Mother and Father?
Instructor: We can say that the Tree of Life describes the different hierarchies of being. Our inner Father is Chesed, the spirit, the Innermost In Kabbalah. His Divine Father and Mother is Binah, the Holy Spirit. And so, whether or not Binah has a father and mother, we could say in a very profound sense, yes, because the trinity of the top of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life emanates from the Ain Soph. Samael Aun Weor even mentions that the Ain Soph is Father and Mother, in profound synthesis. So there are levels of hierarchy of light, which is why the Qur’an states in Surah Al-Nur, "Light upon light!” Levels of Being—different unfoldments of one perfection.
Question: Can you speak about the secret path of the heart? How can someone who is highly intellectual begin to open their heart? Is it essential to return to childhood trauma? As a man, I find it difficult to cry sometimes and show emotion. What can I do to heal? Is crying necessary? I am often encouraged to by my loved ones. What are your thoughts?
Instructor: The secret path of the heart unfolds through sincerity. Usually with our intellect, we like to justify or repress our psychological state, to not look at the reality and the facts even if it is very traumatic. We know from counseling and trauma that early childhood trauma has an energetic impact, conditions the psyche. And because it is so painful to look at that event, the mind defends itself and represses or hides that experience within the subconsciousness. And I would say yes, in reality, to understand trauma and overcome it, one has to cry, because there is a tension in the psyche that is so painful and so enmeshed that it manipulates all of our actions in our conscious mind, usually without our awareness. But in order to really confront our defects and those traumas, we have to really be willing to break apart, whether it is from remorse, or whether from comprehension, because Samael Aun Weor mentions that in the work of the death of the ego and the work upon trauma, if we really understand our defects in depth, we will cry, because it is painful.
So it's necessary. We have a course on Chicago Gnosis that is going to elaborate more and more upon how to work practically with trauma. It is called Spiritual and Mental Health. We have one lecture up there already where you can learn from some professional as well as spiritual advice, about how to work practically with facing these types of conditions and the ways to heal. So there are many practices that explain how to do that.
Question: If we have an experience in nature particularly with animals, which aspect of the Divine Mother is that? Nature or Enchantress, or both?
Instructor: I would say both, because animals belong to nature, but really, animal nature is defined by instinct: the Elemental Enchantress. So it is important not to think of the Divine Mother as separate from these different aspects. They are really expressions and unfoldments of one light, our divine feminine nature. So there are different principles that manifest in different ways in accordance with the sephiroth and the internal bodies, but all of it interrelates and connects with each other.
Question: Are there specific practices or mantras that coincide with each vice? If so, can you list one routine for each one?
Instructor: I wouldn't say that we have separate mantras or practices necessarily for different defects. Really the best practice to comprehend and eliminate our vices is retrospection meditation. But there are exercises that help to gain enough stability and concentration and serenity by which to work effectively in retrospection. For example, if your heart is afflicted with anger, it is good to work with the mantra O, to saturate the heart with positive force. Or if we are afflicted with lust, we can transmit our sexual energy so that we have enough control and stability by which to approach lust in our mind. So I wouldn't say there's a practice for each of the seven vices, we could say, but you do find throughout the literature of Samael Aun Weor different practices to help treat anger. For example, like I related about the Starbucks experience: I was doing deep breathing to control my anger. That is something that the master gives in the book Introduction to Gnosis: the lessons he provides there, so that you can let anger subside so that you can work on the mind, which is what I was doing in that experience.
Question: If we experience the ordeal of Direne and failed, will this mistake cause our Divine Mother and Father to renounce us for the rest of this lifetime?
Instructor: That really depends. That depends upon the magnitude of the fault. How much energy is invested in lust. Obviously, if one fails the ordeal of Direne and commits adultery, obviously, there is going to be a lot to repair, if that can be repaired at all, in terms of a relational standpoint with one's spouse. Because if divinity asks you to work with one partner and we betray our spouse, obviously, there is going to be a lot of karma involved that it is going to be more difficult to unfold. Whether or not that will be forgiven is something particular to each case, because karma is very intricate and particular to each person. That is something that only your Divine Mother and Divine Father could show you from experience.
Question: I have had many experiences in my time on this path, often times when the experiences begin, my mind truly struggles to understand, how it is possible, or whether I am worthy to experience these things? What could be done to help this?
Instructor: Well, the solution is: reflect on your heart and your sincerity. Sincerity is the virtue that opens the door to experience. When we truly repent of our errors, not because we want to have samadhis or experiences out of craving and desire, but because we want to change our behavior, when we change our ethical behavior and conduct, we start to see results in our daily life. That is when we become worthy to receive very high initiations or experiences. It is something that has to be earned.
Now all of us without exception feel despair at times, where we feel the pain and realization that we are so afflicted with ego that we don't know what to do. And this is a trial and trauma of the soul, a great drama or path of difficulty every one of us has to face. All of us have our own cross to bear, but the reality is that there is forgiveness in the law and it is possible. But we have to really earn it, and that means suffering a lot to the extreme, if necessary. Because when we go through pain and hardship, and feel that this work may be beyond our reach, and we realize that if we don't change, that we are going to suffer more, then we work regardless of the result. We do it because of love, without attachment to the fruit of our deeds. It is when you act in this way, without expectation, and practice in this way without expectation, that is when we really start to receive help internally. We gain experiences. So it is possible.
Personally, from my past lives, I do not deserve to be helped. I have committed terrible crimes, and I remember them with lucidity. So it is painful, and I have had to really weep a lot and pray for my Divine Mother to help, because without Her we are lost. But it is precisely at that breaking point in which she enters as light, and we have to be willing to receive that intelligence, primarily by facing extreme hardship. We face and overcome defeatism by meditating on those egos that complain that say, “I can't do this work. I am not good enough. I'm not worthy.” Your Divine Mother knows best, so rely on Her judgment, not on doubt. Doubt is one thing. Despair and morbidity is one thing, but remorse is something else. So all doors are closed to the unworthy except the door of repentance, and we show repentance by our deeds, our actions.
Question: Can you speak about how to use the rune Yr and how that works with our Divine Mother when working in sexual alchemy?
Instructor: So the rune Yr is the opposite of the rune Man, and if you are familiar with the hippie symbol of peace, it is the rune Yr. The rune Man is upright and Man is a representation of the masculine sexual force. So when you join those two runes together, Yr and Man, you form the rune Hagal, and Hagal is a swastika, the cross in motion. And that cross in motion works profoundly when we are married, working in alchemy.
So, about different prayers you can do, mantras associated with the rune Yr. I believe you mentioned some of them: "Terrifying king of the sea, thou who has the keys of the floodgates of heaven and who does, can find the subterranean waters within the cavern of the earth. " There are some beautiful prayers that relate to different teachings, but in simple forms, you work with the rune Yr and Man together when you are working in alchemy, because man and woman together form the six pointed star, the cross in motion. We do it by considering the sexual force and circulating it through mantra.
Question: How is the mantra KRIM used for help with breaking down food? Does this transmute the sexual energy from the food?
Instructor: The mantra KRIM is the force of destruction. It breaks down elements to extract the synthesis. So in the same way that you break down food when you masticate, eat the food and break down the material so that you can extract its nutrients, the mantra KRIM also helps us to annihilate the ego. So it takes the sexual power and directs it towards the annihilation of the self.
Question: Hey, good evening. I wanted to ask you about that experience that you told us about at the Starbucks. And I understand like how you said, that you became aware of your anger, but I was kind of wondering, if you could or would share how or explain a little bit about how for you specifically, you had some comprehension? Because, a lot of times I am aware of a lot of things in myself, but I don't comprehend them and I don't understand, kind of, what it is to comprehend them. But I wish I could give you an example right now of what I mean, but I just was wondering if you could explain a little bit about how that felt to you, like to comprehend that moment?
Instructor: Great question. Comprehension is a spark. It is really a profound state of being in which we say, “Aha!” in the sense, like, “I finally see something I never saw before!” It is alert novelty. Comprehension is a type of energy that is like a lightning bolt. It shocks the consciousness, not in a detrimental way, but in an elevating way. When we comprehend an ego, we are liberated in the moment, because we see how that fault operates and conditions us. When you comprehend an ego, you are extracting the essence trapped in it, and then through prayer, the Divine Mother can eliminate it.
So in the example I gave you about being at Starbucks, what happened was that when my wife took the car, the wheel, when I got in the passenger seat, I suddenly understood in an instant, with a great shock, that I am going through exactly what I dreamed about this morning. And it was a really brilliant moment of lucidity, of clarity, and inspiration, because when we comprehend our dreams and how they relate to physical life, you feel inspired. So while I was struggling against my own mind to control it, I realized that I was being helped in this ordeal. And in that way, I felt enough peace and serenity to continue working on my mind in that instant because, you know, I knew that my Divine Mother was with me.
That is an understanding and a confidence you develop through alert novelty: being aware of the instant, but also paying attention to your dreams and reflecting on their meaning. And sometimes, the comprehension emerges without thinking about it. You do not plan it or expect it. It just suddenly comes to you when your mind is clear, when you are observing. When your imaginative screen of awareness, your intellect is at peace, you can reflect the insight in your superior intellectual center. It just comes to you. But we have to be receptive as an intellect and active as a consciousness as we explained in our former lecture, if that makes sense.
Question: Yeah, so comprehension doesn't necessarily mean that you understand why you are doing what you are doing. It's just more that you kind of are just very conscious of the moment and the choices and the ability to take control again or something like that? Or to make different choices? You know what I mean?
Instructor: Yes, there are levels of comprehension. So in that moment, I understood that I needed to get into the passenger seat and to meditate right there, so that I can go deeper and understand those egos that acted. So I knew in the moment that I had to continue being serene and then, when I was really concentrated, I understood four egos that I needed to eliminate. So, light upon light, level upon level, if that answers your question.
Audience: Yes. Thank you.
Instructor: You're welcome.
Question: Thank you for the lecture. I was wondering about... So I am looking at Deuteronomy 11. This is the part where Moses is recalling, asking the Israelites to recall everything that has happened as they go into the land of Canaan or into the new lands, and this happens many times. I am just going to use one verse. This happens many times throughout this whole section. “You must love the Lord your God and always obey his Commandments, decrees, regulations, and requirements to create regulations and commands.” When “you mentioned his requirements,” is this an interpretation of the Bible where “his” has been... that's not what the Hebrew meant, or is this referring to Chesed, which is a masculine aspect? Because of many “He” and “His” in this section.
Instructor: Yeah. I am not entirely familiar about the Hebrew in that passage, but if you go into the actual Hebrew transliteration, you will find more answers. You know, this is the value of knowing Kabbalah, so that when you look at the original Hebrew script, you can interpret what names of God are being used. So obviously, אל El in Hebrew is Chesed, the spirit, and there are degrees of expression of divinity, which are mapped out by the different Hebrew sacred names of God, which we study in our courses of Kabbalah. So if you are familiar with that you can go through those verses and see what name of God is being used. So every time you see God mentioned in English, you should look towards the original language to see what sacred name of divinity is really being referenced here, to get more clarity. If that make sense.
Audience: Here in a paragraph it's like "He" is mentioned like five, six times. In actuality this could be five different references that go beyond just the word "He."
Instructor: Yeah, that is why we have to know what the Hebrew is telling us, because that original script is going to give us the most depth of understanding. So you have to really meditate and judge what you are reading from the original.
Audience: Okay. Thank you.
Instructor: You're welcome.
The following transcription is from an audio lecture on Gnostic Meditation, a course originally delivered live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.
"One can hardly attain to this degree [of vigilance and comprehension of divinity] until one has emptied oneself through muhasabah, self-observation and inner accounting. The person who has taken account of what he has done in the past and improved his state in the present has attached himself to the path of the Truth. In this relationship with God Most High, he has learned how to keep a heedful heart. He has guarded his breaths for God [through pranayama] and turned his attention to God in all his states. So he knows that God is watchful over him—close to his heart, knowing his states, seeing his acts, hearing his words. Whoever is neglectful of all this is far from the beginning of contact—how far, then, from the realities of nearness to Him? " —Al Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
We’re continuing our course on the science of meditation, specifically outlined within the eightfold steps of yoga as described by Patanjali.
So far we have discussed Yama and Niyama, restraint and observances, as well as asana, posture. Yama, known as restraint or ethics, signifies “to yoke, harness, or control” the mind. Niyama means precepts, ethical discipline, trainings or observances by which the consciousness controls the mind and develops serenity. Stability of mind is achieved when we learn to stop performing harmful actions, which produce disturbances in the mind with all its negative consequences.
To have a body that is suitable for meditation, we must cease agitating the body, and to have a body that is receptive and pliant, suitable for our meditative discipline, we must cease agitating the mind. Our physicality manifests the conditions and influences of the mind, the psyche. If our mind is filled with desire, with egotism, with negativity, it will be impossible to learn meditation, since the body will be tense along with our intellectual and emotional centers.
To engage in fruitless activities, to commit theft, murder, acts of violence and anger within our consciousness, disturbs the mind and body. Hence the need for restraint of mind, to stop harmful mental, emotional, and physical actions.
Many people do not believe that they kill, but it is very true that when one is consumed by anger, by malice, one is killing one’s neighbor through the emotional center. Likewise, people may not steal physical things, but energy, attention, to feed one’s vanity. While many devotees believe that the different commandments of religions focus on outward behavior, such instructions more importantly relate to the consciousness, to psychological states of being, which we must work upon to achieve true change. Hence the need for precepts, codes of spiritual conduct that help to develop the virtues and positive qualities of the consciousness.
Ethics is developed by comprehending and working with the law of karma: cause and effect. Negative actions from the ego produce suffering, while positive actions from the consciousness produce equanimity.
It is impossible to meditate with a chaotic mind, and it is impossible to develop serenity if you are feeding your egos every moment of the day through identification. What does it mean to identify? It means that you, as a free consciousness, give your energy to whatever defect takes over the five centers of your human machine: intellect, emotions, movement, instincts, and sex. When anger emerges, you as a consciousness think and feel that you are that anger. You invest it with energy and power. You fortify and empower it by thinking and saying whatever that sense of “I” wants in a given moment, until another ego emerges in reaction to fluctuating external circumstances.
Feeding the ego produces pain, since the “I,” desire, is a condition, a conglomeration of shells, a state of suffering that traps our full conscious potential.
To restrain our mind from doing what it wants every second of the day is the work with ethics. It is knowing how to consciously work with the law of cause and effect. As we explained in the previous lecture on “Ethics, Karma, and Interdependence,” how you behave in body, speech, and mind determines the quality of your life. Disciplining the lower self, the ego, desires, or nafs within Sufism, is the definition of the spiritual path:
“The lower soul (nafs, which etymologically signifies ‘breath’) is always engaged in inspiring your imagination to pursue evil acts or thoughts, every moment striving to cast you down into the abyss of pride, hypocrisy, and egotism. Each moment thus demands that you overcome and repulse such evil thoughts and false conceptions, constantly regaining your faith afresh and reaffirming your belief, and never imagining yourself safe from the lower soul’s deceit even for a second.” —Lāhījī, Mafātīḥ
Nafs in Arabic means “breath, vitality, vigor, or soul.” The egos, nafs, or desires within us have trapped or conditioned our essence, our consciousness. Every ego, defect, or desire, traps the energy of the consciousness within states of suffering. Every naf, like anger, pride, fear, laziness, gluttony, etc., squanders the energies of the psyche in atomic explosions of hatred, lust, and desire.
Meditation begins when we learn how to stop wasting energy: mental, emotional, volitional, sexual. You enact the initial stages of ethical discipline when you, as a consciousness, are observing your mind, heart, and body, your egos, seeing them as something inferior and separate from your consciousness. The deeper part comes through transformation, when you consciously choose not to give your ego what it wants. It is essential to develop the sense of self-observation in a very clear and strong manner, to be able to separate from the “I” in all its tenebrous multiplicity, to see and watch our defects in action, and to not act upon their impulses no matter how strong.
Each ego is a false identity, a false sense of self, which has nothing to do with our spiritual nature. The “I” has nothing to do with the Being, as well as the unconditioned, free consciousness. Each ego or false sense of self has trapped our consciousness, and now it is our work to extract the consciousness trapped in those errors by comprehending our defects and eliminating them.
The nafs, lower selves, or different “I’s” within us are the infidels mentioned throughout the Qur’an, Islam, and Sufism.
"There are two types of warfare (jihad): outward and inward. The outer battle is against the infidel (kāfar, or black magicians in the astral and mental planes) while the inner war is waged aggressively against the lower soul (nafs). Warriors of the sword are threefold: the slayer who is rewarded, the battle-weary vouchsafed forgiveness of sins, and the martyr who is slain. Likewise, the warriors of the soul are threefold: one who exerts himself who belongs to the just and the pious (abrār), one who excels in struggle who sustains the spiritual hierarchy (awtād), and one who is victorious, who is numbered amongst the apostolic saints (abdāl). One who wages war against the unbelievers (fornicating black magicians, the infidels) obtains wealth, but one who wages war against the soul is enriched with the wealth of the heart… The Prophet called the war against the lower soul (nafs) the “greater war” because, while one may avoid conflict with an external foe, none is exempt from the struggle against, and combat with, the lower soul. Peace can be secured from all enemies through negotiation or conciliation, but if one attempts to negotiate and reconcile the [lower] soul, one is doomed to perdition." —Maybudī, Kashf al-asrār, IV 60
Samael Aun Weor wrote that we must be compassionate to all beings, even towards the sorcerers and demons of the black lodge, but merciless to our ego. If you ever give what your ego wants, you deepen your suffering. When you do not give your ego what it wants, you experience happiness. This is karma in action.
When you don’t give your anger what it wants by identifying yourself with its thoughts, desires, and impulses, you save energy; you become hermetically sealed. Remember that in any moment, a sense of self, a false identity emerges within your mind, heart, and body that wants to push you to think, feel and act a certain way. If you as a free consciousness are vigilant, watchful, you perceive these false, multifarious identities within you. The more you, as a consciousness, restrain the mind from acting in harmful ways, by learning to see the egos in action, the more psychic energy you save. Likewise, the less you identify with any ego or defect, the more energy you save, and the more serene your mind becomes.
Energy is essential for spiritual life. If you are wasting your energy through negative behaviors, thinking, and sentiments, you will never learn to meditate. But when you restrain the mind and follow the precepts of meditative discipline, you enter the doorway into genuine self-knowledge, because you have energy available to empower the consciousness and relax the body and mind.
Our asana, meditative posture, is based on how we fulfill Yama and Niyama, restraint of mind or ego, and observances. Swami Sivananda wrote that our asana should be like a mountain, immovable, firm. If your mind is restless and agitated from desire, your body will not be able to sit still. If you are constantly moving during your practice, then you are not practicing at all, because any physical movement agitates the mind and its energies, preventing you from going deep into the consciousness to receive the imagery of the internal worlds. And if you have no energy with which to meditate, you will fall asleep in your posture if you are too comfortable.
Your posture should help you relax, but to the point that you maintain conscious remembrance of what you are doing at all times. If your posture is too comfortable but your consciousness not alert enough, then laziness kicks in and you fall asleep, such as when you lie down to practice. This is not meditation, and this is why we recommend that students in the beginning practice sitting up, either in the Western style, in a chair, or on a meditation cushion in a half-lotus or full lotus, if your body is flexible enough. The point is that your posture should be relaxed and firm to the point that you are perfectly at ease and can remember what you are doing consciously, that you maintain your ability to focus and remain attentive. Your asana needs to be comfortable to the point that you can forget the body and work with the subtle energies of the mind and heart.
By fulfilling the restraints and observances of meditative discipline, and to aid in the relaxation of body and mind, we work with pranayama. By conserving our energies and transforming them, we harness the power of the soul with our breath, since the Arabic word nafs means “soul” as well as “breath,” and is modified into different types of expression in accordance with Kabbalah.
"Inspiration, nafas—literally “breath,” also “breathing space” or ample room—is the refreshment of hearts by the subtleties from the Unseen. A person who receives inspiration [from learning to aspire, or inspire, to inhale the vital breath through pranayama] is finer and clearer than a person who is open to mystical states [who is intuitive to a degree, but who does not practice this technique]. The person of the momentary inner experience is the beginning [meaning: the one who practices mindfulness, self-observation, and self-remembering], the inspired person is at the conclusion, and the person of [internal, psychological and spiritual states born from practice] is between the two. The states are means and inspirations are the end of progressive development. Moments belong to those who have hearts, states belong to those who possess spirit (ruh) [or Ruach], and inspirations belong to the people of inner being (sirr) [the Innermost Self / Atman]. The Sufis have said, 'The best act of worship is the count the breaths along with God Glorified and Exalted.'” —Al Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
This lecture will explain the purpose of pranayama, how to practice it, and how it is taught within the teachings of Sufism, the writings of Swami Sivananda, the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, and the doctrine of Samael Aun Weor.
Prana, Transmutation, and Brahmacharya
To control the mind, we work with its energies, which constitute different modifications of prana. Prana, in Sanskrit and hatha yoga, relates to the breath, to breathing, the air. Pranayama etymologically signifies, “to harness the wind” or “yoke” the life forces of the body.
Prana is much more profound than just breath. It is the force of “life, spirit, energy, and vitality” within air and our physical body. Prana is the life-force of divinity that we assimilate through our breathing, and which we find condensed and modified within the different elements of the cosmos and of nature.
"Prana is the sum total of all energy that is manifest in the universe. It is the sum total of all the forces in nature. It is the sum total of all latent forces and powers which are hidden in men [and women] and which lie everywhere around us. Heat, light, electricity, magnetism are the manifestations of prana. […] Whatever moves or works or has life is but an expression of manifestation of prana. The prana is related to mind [Hod / Netzach] and through mind to will [Tiphereth], and through will to the individual soul [Tiphereth / Geburah], and through this to the Supreme Being [Chesed / Atman in Kabbalah]. If you know how to control the little waves of prana working thorough your mind, then the secret of subjugating universal prana will be known to you." ―Swami Sivananda
Pranayama also is described within the gnostic tradition by the term transmutation, which is “The action of changing or the state of being changed into another form.”
Within our body is the most potent force of the universe, the sexual energy, the capacity to create life, which is found in a germinal state within the physical semen. This physical matter or semen can be used to create a physical child, but in spiritual sadhana, spiritual practice, we conserve the semen and transform this matter into energy, precisely through the exercise of controlling our breath, being fully concentrated, prayerful, and attentive, with the mind restrained.
As described in the book of Genesis, the spirit or breath of God hovered over the face of the waters. What spirit? The Ruach Elohim in Hebrew or ruh in Arabic, otherwise known as prana in Sanskrit, the divine forces that generate life. The prana, the energies of divinity, can be directed to yoke the sexual waters in our body, to transform that water into light. For as Genesis teaches us, “God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light.” That light is consciousness and comprehension in meditation.
The word trans is a prefix used with the meanings such as “across,” “beyond,” “through,” and “changing thoroughly.” Mutation comes from mutate, “to change or cause to change in form or nature.” Transmutation is the science of changing the sexual water into light, carrying it up within our spine to the brain, mutating that semen into energy. This is accomplished through yoking the vital winds, the energies of our breath, mind, body, heart, and semen.
Prana is not only in the air, but in all the elements of nature and our body, within the aerial nature of our thoughts, the fires of our emotions, and solidity of our physical earth or body, and most importantly within the waters of our sexual organs. Prana condenses into multiple forms of matter and energy, most importantly sexual, which we transmute from the physical, brute semen, to feed our consciousness with light.
It’s important to remember that it is impossible to develop the consciousness without energy, and that the most important form of energy is sexual. Sexual energy is prana, the “vitality, power, vigour, and life” that can awaken our full potential.
The word prana bears similar etymological meaning as the Arabic word for soul, nafs, which can be lower [egotistical] or higher [conscious] depending on our work. How we harness energy is determined by the quality of practicing pranayama.
It’s interesting that the term prana can signify the sexual organs, which demonstrates that to work with pranayama is to control the creative energy and use it for our spiritual development. This is why chastity is emphasized by Patanjali, the yogis, and all genuine practitioners of every spiritual tradition. Chasity means restraint and transmutation of the sexual energy, the prana. This science has been known by the term Brahmacharya in the East, which is a Sanskrit word composed from:
Everyone in these times want to know how to meditate, but when instructed to restrain and control the sexual energy, to restrain the lower selves, egos, nafs, or desires, they run away. This is sad, because without harnessing the vital winds, the sexual energy, without going against the grain of one’s habits, one cannot learn meditation. To feed desire, our egos, lust, through identification, produces suffering. By expelling the very energies that can give life, we hinder our spiritual life. Meditation is impossible for individuals who have no prana, no energy, in their body that can empower the consciousness.
"Brahmacharya literally means Achara or conduct that leads to the realization of Brahman or one’s own Self. It means the control of semen [the sexual matter within both men and women], the study of the Vedas (scriptures, as well as the sexual teachings of any religion) and contemplation on God. The technical meaning of Brahmacharya is self-restraint, particularly mastery of perfect control over the sexual organ or freedom from lust in thought, word and deed." —Swami Sivananda
The beginning of the path of meditation is to restrain the sexual energy, to not expel it in any form whatsoever. This energy must be conserved and transformed to give us spiritual life. Lustful people who ejaculate the sexual energy have no energy with which to calm the mind and learn meditation.
The scripture Siva Samhita describes seminal retention and transmutation as the basis of all meditative realization:
"Ejaculation of semen [orgasm] brings death, preserving it within brings life. Therefore, one should make sure to retain the semen within. One is born and dies through semen; in this there is no doubt. Knowing this, the Yogi must always preserve his semen. When the precious jewel of semen is mastered, anything on earth can be mastered. Through the grace of its preservation, one becomes as great as me [Shiva]. The use of semen determines the happiness or pain of all beings living in the world, who are deluded [by desire] and are subject to death and decay." —Siva Samhita
Feeding desire, lust, only agitates the mind and psyche, for as Padmasambhava explained to Lady Tsogyal:
"Lustful people do not enter the path of liberation."
This is of course the difficult thing, but fundamental to any progress.
"Junayd was asked: "What is union with God [religion, religare, Yoga]?" He replied: "To renounce passion [fornication: the animal orgasm]," for of all of the acts of devotion by which God's favor is sought none has greater value than resistance to passion, because it is easier for a man to destroy a mountain with his nails than to resist passion [fornication]." —Al-Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, Revelation of the Mystery
The next steps include controlling lust in the heart and mind, which is of course more difficult. Students must fight against adulterous and lustful tendencies, the desire to look at the opposite sex with desire. As Jesus taught:
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." —Matthew 5:27-28
"The most manifest attribute of the lower soul is lust (shahwat). Lust is a thing that is dispersed in different parts of the human body, and is served by the senses. Man is bound to guard all his members from it [particularly the sexual organs, to train the body not to fornicate], and he shall be questioned concerning the acts of each. The lust of the eye is sight, that of the ear is hearing, that of the nose is smell, that of the tongue is speech, that of the palate is taste, that of the body (jasad) is touch, and that of the mind is thought (andíshídan). It behoves the seeker of God to spend his whole life day and night, in ridding himself of these incitements to passion which show themselves through the senses [by correctly transforming impressions in meditation], and to pray God to make him such that this desire will be removed from his inward nature [through contemplation and comprehension in meditation], since whoever is afflicted with lust is veiled from all spiritual things." —Al-Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, Revelation of the Mystery
First we conserve the sexual energy, learn to transform it in our body. With further discipline we no longer entertain lustful thoughts and desires in the heart. Pranayama is especially important for controlling lust, because if the consciousness has no energy, it has no strength by which to work against the monsters of desire. Pranayama will help you to acquire energy by which you can comprehend and annihilate the ego. As described by the ancient teachings of Manu:
"Let the defects be burnt up by Pranayama." ―Manu
Students are therefore taught, within ethical discipline, not to fornicate, and why Buddha taught his disciples that one is no longer a disciple if they do not fulfill the observances and restraints of chastity. Pranayama and sexual purity, therefore are essential in the eightfold steps of meditation and yoga, since the subsequent principles of meditation are founded on this. Attempting to perform pranayama without fuel, without sexual energy present, is like trying to pump fuel from a gas station when there is none. No water, no fuel, no light. Yet by practicing sexual purity, one can enter very rapidly into the science of meditation.
“With the practice of Pranayama, the mind of the student is prepared for Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.” —Samael Aun Weor
Energy and the Kabbalistic Tree of Life
The nature of prana must be analyzed, by gnostic students, through the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life. This Tree of Life maps out for us the varying modalities and condensations of matter, consciousness, energy or prana, the Christic force, which is manifest throughout the entire cosmos, as Swami Sivananda and Samael Aun Weor have explained very well.
This map has ten spheres or Sephiroth, translated from Hebrew as “emanations,” which are organized into three trinities with a single sephirah or sphere at the bottom, named Malkuth, the physical body or kingdom.
Our body is a kingdom with many elements, forces and principles, that we must harness if we want to ascend this graphic, to perceive more refined and profound levels of consciousness, indicated by the higher spheres of this tree.
Don’t think about this glyph as something outside of you, but within. This image maps out states of perception, in more refined or gross levels, from the most subtle above to the most dense below. This has nothing to do with vertical space, in the true application of this graphic.
The Tree of Life emerges from the Abstract Absolute Space, the Unknowable Seity or Ain. From within the Ain, the Nothingness of cosmic, abstract space, is our own particular supra-divine star, the Ain Soph, the Limitless. And from the Ain Soph emerges the Ain Soph Aur, the Limitless Light, the Cosmic Khrestos or Christ.
This light manifests into the universe as the top trinity of this graphic. This undifferentiated light of the Ain Soph Aur is the Prana in its most rarified state, which, in order to be developed, needs to enter into the universe to create its diverse regions and forms, unfolding into more material states of matter, energy, and experience.
The top trinity is known as the Logoic triangle, the Christic forces of Kether, Chokmah, and Binah, or Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Christian terms. These three spheres are not people, but energies. This trinity is the power of creation, genesis, which are three aspects of one light or force; prana, in other words. Because this power is in a refined state, it is elevated, superior, rarified, yet for that power to develop, it must materialize, condense, descend to the lower regions of this tree, to be worked upon consciously.
Prana condenses into other forms of matter, energy and perception, represented by the Sephiroth below. To work with prana above, we must work with that energy below, within the lower aspects of our being. We can analyze the nature and modifications of prana in different ways, especially in accordance with the septenary constitution of the human being, which is:
7. Atman: the Innermost Being, our Inner Buddha or God [Chesed]
6. Buddhi: the consciousness, the Divine Soul [Geburah]
5. Superior Manas: the Human Soul, Willpower, Causal body [Tiphereth]
4. Inferior Manas: the mind, Mental body [Netzach]
3. Kama Rupa: the body of desires, the Astral body [Hod]
2. Linga-sarira: the Vital (Ethereal) body [Yesod]
1. Sthula-sarira: the physical body [Malkuth]
—Samael Aun Weor, Kundalini Yoga: The Mysteries of the Fire
Atman, Buddhi, and Superior Manas constitute the middle trinity, the Ethical triangle of the Tree of Life, relating to our genuine humanity and the spiritual principles of our inner divinity that guide us in the work. This trinity is the real Being or inner spirit [Chesed], divine soul [Geburah], and human soul [Tiphereth], the latter sometimes referred to superior manas, superior mind in Sanskrit.
Our consciousness is a fraction of the human soul, known as Tiphereth in Kabbalah. This middle sephirah in the very center of the Tree of Life is known by the term superior manas in Theosophy.
This term mind can be very vague in esoteric and spiritual circles. Superior manas, Tiphereth, is abstract, not concrete. It is our willpower. We know it’s there, but it is not materialized, visible. We can say that a person has tremendous will, because they have internal drive and a means of working, making a living, being disciplined in a specific type of endeavor, etc. Willpower is very real for us, but hard to pinpoint or concretize. It relates to a type of abstraction of the psyche, one relating to volition or will.
Our consciousness emanated from Atman-Buddhi-Manas, Chesed-Geburah-Tiphereth, and has entered the lower sephiroth: mind, heart, vitality, and physicality. This is in order to acquire knowledge and experience.
Our inner Being, spirit, Buddha, Atman, gives the consciousness intuitions and hunches, as well as inspiration to practice spirituality through learning to control the lower aspects of ourselves, the lower trinity in this glyph. Tiphereth, superior manas or willpower, must control the lower aspects of the psyche.
This is essential in pranayama, because to harness the prana, we must control our thoughts, feelings, and impulses, which are the vehicles of our ego.
The Inferior Manas is our mind [Netzach], which is more concrete. People have an easier time acknowledging thoughts than they do with comprehending will.
The Kama Rupa or desire / astral body [Hod] is the seat of emotions, which everybody acknowledges to a degree.
The Linga-sarira, or vital body [Yesod], is our vital energies that give life to our physicality. This vital body is the body of prana. It is the storehouse of all the prana that descends from the top trinity, descending through the Sephiroth and finally coalescing in our vital body, which exists in the fourth dimension. This vehicle sustains the chemical, biological, catabolic, metabolic, etheric, and vital processes of our physical body: the Sthula-sarira, Malkuth. Without the vital body and its circulation of prana throughout the physical body, we would not be alive.
These three lower spheres: Inferior Manas, Kama Rupa, and Linga-sarira, or Netzach, Hod, and Yesod, constitute the triangle of Priesthood. This triangle is the work with magic, from the Indo-European root word mag, meaning “priest” or “magician.”
Magic is not pulling rabbits out of hats, or impressing people with clever tricks. Magic is knowing how to consciously manipulate matter and energy, prana, within our tree of life, through willpower and visualization.
Pranayama is a form of magic, whereby we manipulate creative forces within our mind, heart, and body. To control the mind, with its racing, uncontrolled thoughts, the heart, with its surging emotions, and the impulses and instincts of the body, constitute the beginning of our meditative discipline. When you experience a calm mind through pranayama, you come to realize how magical this science really is, since it produces the serenity and clarity of the soul.
The prerequisites of meditation involve stilling the body, the vital energies, the heart, the mind, and our willpower, the lower five Sephiroth of the Kabbalah. Let us be very clear: stilling the mind is not meditation; it is the beginning. Genuine meditation is about receiving internal information about ourselves and the cosmos, the science of comprehension and understanding. This is an important distinction to make, because pranayama aids the practitioner in calming the psyche so that the waters of the mind can reflect internal principles.
See here the lower five spheres of the Tree of Life? These are all different aspects of our psyche, which need to be controlled and calmed through yoking prana. Mind is a form of prana. Emotions are a form of prana. And the sexual energy is condensed prana that serves as the foundation for meditation, since prana, the Linga-sarira or vital body, is the foundation of this graphic.
The mind or body of desires are controlled using vital energy, the vital body or Linga-sarira. Notice how this vital body, Linga-sarira or sphere of Yesod is the very center of the Tree of Life, as well as at its base or foundation. Yesod literally means “foundation.” Yesod is the basis of spiritual and physical life.
The word Lingam refers to the sexual organs, specifically the phallus, hence the strong correlation between prana or Linga-sarira and the sexual glands. The yoni in Hinduism symbolizes the uterus, and its union with the lingam represents the highest consubstantiation of divine love. Prana literally means “vital organs,” and refers to semen, since in certain rituals like the puja, the Hindus pour milk over the symbol of the Lingam-Yoni as an offering to divinity. That milk is semen, transmuted sexual energy, prana, which are found within the union of the lingam-yoni.
Our physical semen is condensed prana. It is vital energy in a material state. Through the science of pranayama, we yoke, transmute, and elevate the energies of sex, so that the body, mind, heart, and will become balanced and prepared for actual meditation.
While prana means “life,” yama means “restraint” or “death.” Yama is the deity of death in esoteric Buddhism. This is very interesting linguistically.
Samael Aun Weor wrote that if the seed does not die, the plant cannot be born. If you want to experience the entirety of the Tree of Life in meditation, you must give birth to that tree through the sexual seed. When the seed dies and is transmuted, it becomes a Tree of Life. This is well known by initiates in the science of alchemy or Da’ath.
Pranayama, therefore, helps to transform the seed, by destroying the matter, to convert it into energy. By this we do not mean that one can give birth to the entirety of the soul through pranayama. The solar bodies can only be created in a marriage. Instead, pranayama aids single practitioners in circulating the energies of sexuality, to a certain degree, to stabilize one’s concentration and mind in preparation for dhyana, meditation.
The mind must be united with its Divine Triad, together with the psychic extractions of the astral, vital and physical vehicles.
The inferior Manas together with the Kamas, Prana and Linga, reinforce the Divine Triad by means of fire. –Samael Aun Weor, Igneous Rose
We reinforce the powers of the Being by working with prana. The inferior manas or mind, the emotions or body of desires, and the prana or Linga-sarira, reinforce the middle Triad through the work with sexual fire. Mind, emotions, and sexuality help to support the principles above through pranayama. Atman-Buddhi-Manas are strengthened through yoking the fires of sexuality below, which are contained within the waters of genesis, the sexual matter.
People who do not work with the creative energies have a weak connection with their inner Being. People who fornicate lose their connection with divinity. However, this connection can be re-established the more we work with transmutation. This becomes evident through internal experiences in meditation.
While pranayama works with sparks of fire, the sexual fire must be harnessed or yoked in a matrimony to fully develop the creative energies.
All this work of transmutation is performed with willpower, our human soul, the superior manas or Tiphereth. Our will must exert itself to control the sexual energy through spiritual inspiration, emanating from Atman-Buddhi. Prana then produces a profound calming effect on the mind, heart, and body below.
Pranayama, interchanging nostril breathing, requires a form of effort or will to perform. It also involves imagining the circulation of forces in your body and mind. This is the superior manas or willpower in action, in combination with our capacities for perception and imagination, known as Geburah in Kabbalah, the sphere of Buddhi, the divine consciousness.
We must perceive what we are doing in every practice, especially Pranayama and sexual transmutation. As we are going to elaborate upon in our discussion of “Spiritual Insight,” the capacity to perceive is imagination, to see internal, psychic things, the movement of energies. Pranayama involves willpower to control the energies, through our breath, serenity, and composure. We also need perception of those forces inside. These are abilities that the practitioner develops gradually through consistent discipline.
Energy, Nadis, and the Nervous Systems
We have an image here of the nervous systems of the body, which become charged with vitality when we learn how to circulate those forces with our willpower and imagination. Hinduism refers to energetic channels in the vital depth, the etheric body of Yesod, as nadis. There exist millions of nadis in our vital body, which are intimately related with the chakras of our ultra-biology, the latter composed of the internal chemistry of forces and energies that interdependently flow through our physicality and internal vehicles.
A nadi is a line or current of vital energy, and when two nadis intersect, you form a vortex, a wheel of energy, a chakra. People believe there are only seven chakras, which is wrong, because wherever two nadis join, you form a vortex or wheel of forces. While there are seven main chakras connected with the spinal medulla, we really possess hundreds of thousands of chakras throughout our body, each with their own purpose, role, and influence.
The cerebrospinal, grand sympathetic, and other nervous systems are physical conduits for etheric energies. Therefore, the nadis of the internal bodies, the vital depth, correspond to the physical, vital, and fluidic matter that circulates in our body. The nervous systems function because of the gelatinous and delicate fluids of the nerves, and it is well known in physical science that most of our body is composed of water. When we learn to conserve the vital waters of our body, the seminal matter and its concomitant energies, we can transmute those waters into another substance, into cognizance, conscious energy, and light.
Remember that we stated that our sexual waters, our semen, is a gelatinous substance or condensed prana. Prana, in its unmodified form, is light. That light descends the Tree of Life and enters Yesod, materializing to form the entity of semen. Now the work we need to do is to transform or transmute the sexual substance into cognizance, fire, and light with the sacred breath. This light saturates the brain and nervous systems, flowing within and upward to the brain up the different energetic channels.
Because the brain and spine are surrounded by nerves, it follows logically that the nadis condense and unite in innumerable spaces throughout the vital body, which penetrates within the material brain, spine, and nervous systems. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the vital body is separate from your physical body, because the vital depth gives life to your physicality, and is a biological vehicle that penetrates and co-penetrates every atom of the physical body, like a mirror image. It is made of etheric matter in the fourth dimension, matter which is pliable, elastic, and fluidic, relating intimately with the health of your brain and nervous systems. Without the vital body, we would not be able to physically exist, since it is the fourth-dimensional aspect of your material, physical, third-dimensional body, since every atom of your etheric body penetrates every atom of your physical body, giving you life. The day your vital depth disconnects from the physical body is the day you die physically, since without ether, prana, we would not have life.
Prana and the etheric body have been well documented by the Kirlian camera, a device developed by a Russian scientist that photographs the vital aura of people, plants, and even minerals. All living things have prana, even supposedly inorganic matter like metals and earth. This type of science demonstrates how the vital body of any living thing is inseparable from its material, physical form.
The Tree of Life in our physical body is our spine, so while there is a macrocosmic implication to studying the universe, our spine is how we have physical and spiritual life, especially when we learn how to circulate prana in our secondary or sexual system, as described by Master Morya in his Dayspring of Youth.
The two main energetic channels we focus on with pranayama are Ida and Pingala, or the lunar and solar currents. By the term “lunar,” what we mean are feminine, negative, or receptive forces in the body, whether we are male or female, and by “solar,” we mean the masculine, positive, or projective forces of the body, whether we are male or female. These forces originate within our gonads, the testicles or ovaries. In the same manner that an electrical current has a positive, negative, and neutral current, our sexual system likewise has masculine, feminine, and neutral forces and nadis. Through controlling and directing prana, we circulate vital force through the nadis Ida and Pingala up the spine in the form of an eight, the caduceus of mercury with its two entwining serpents, a representation of the solar and lunar energetic currents. While Ida is feminine and Pingala is masculine, the spinal column is the neutral, grounding current by which masculine and feminine cohabit, unify, and reconcile. The energetic nadi of the spine is known as Sushumna nadi.
When we learn to harness the energies contained within our waters with our breathing, with pranayama, we can raise and circulate such vital forces from the gonads up the spine, through Ida and Pingala, to awaken sparks of a third force in the base of the spine through the Sushumna nadi. This third force is known in the East as Kundalini and the West as the fire of Pentecost.
As Samael Aun Weor indicated in his writings:
"The yogi/yogini works with the Great Breath or Cosmic Chrestos that is deposited within the Christonic semen when they are practicing Pranayama. Pranayama (a practice that consists of making profound inhalations of air, and retaining the inhaled air as much as possible, and afterwards exhaling the air until emptying the lungs), also teaches about the poles of the energy: one masculine pole located in the brain (cerebrospinal nervous system) and the feminine pole in the heart (grand sympathetic nervous system). Thus, as when we form two poles in the space through a magneto, we create new energies and these forcedly are giving birth to a third pole; likewise, we affirm that the third pole is Devi Kundalini, which, from the union of the solar and lunar atoms, is born within the Triveni, situated in the coccyx. These two polarities, masculine and feminine—from the Great Breath—prove the sexuality of Prana and Kundalini. Kundalini is absolutely sexual." —Samael Aun Weor, Kundalini Yoga: The Mysteries of the Fire
Kundalini and Pranayama
Pranayama is absolutely sexual, in the same manner that Kundalini is the sexual potency. By working with pranayama, single persons yoke their creative energies to a certain, limited degree, while prana is fully activated throughout the spine and nervous systems through sexual magic between man and woman, husband and wife, who are simultaneously working to eliminate their defects through profound comprehension in meditation.
The Kundalini is the sacred sexual fire of the Holy Spirit. Individuals can awaken sparks of Kundalini within the base of the coccyx up the spine through the exercise of pranayama. To fully awaken Kundalini, one needs to be working in a matrimony.
Let us be clear about the nature of the Kundalini. Kundalini is the power of the Divine Mother, the enlightenment of God. Many people believe that the Divine Mother, the Kundalini, is a mechanical force, one that can awaken randomly and cause numerous psychological and spiritual problems, such as rising in the wrong way, causing delusions or mental imbalances, etc. People who attribute these phenomena with Kundalini awakening ignore their own destructive habits, ignore the law of karma, cause and effect, because Devi Kundalini harms no one. What is sad is that such people ignore that the Divine Mother is the wisdom of the universe, the cosmos, which is structured and maintained by divine intelligence.
The Divine Mother does not harm Her child. People hurt themselves, not because of the Divine Mother Kundalini. Our inner goddess only rewards virtues, chastity, purity, and ethical discipline. People develop imbalances and psychological problems due to fornication, which the Divine Mother does not reward. She can only awaken within a couple that is meditating and comprehending the ego daily, working on their defects and praying for their elimination; She emerges within people who develop virtue. She awakens within a couple that not only conserves and transmutes the sexual energy, but who are following the precepts (Niyama) and ethical restraints (Yama) of religion. The Kundalini is very demanding, since She only rises within the spine of the couple in accordance with the merits and qualities of the heart. As Paul of Tarsus stated in Corinthians:
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." —1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Observe your mind. Are you not filled with desire, with fornication, the lustful eye that craves sexual satisfaction with many women, with many men? Are you truly free from the adulterous eye that wants to copulate with others constantly, even if it is just in your imagination or fantasies? Are you sure that your mind is pure and filled with virtues, rather than vices? Do you abstain from alcohol, thievery of stealing of other people’s ideas, energy, belongings, money? Are you sure that you do not extort others to do what you want, even under the guise of sanctity, kindness, and generosity? Are you positive that you have never betrayed anyone, including your inner divinity?
Be sure that if you are filled with these qualities, and even when you practice sexual magic, the Divine Mother will not reward you. She only rises within the spine of the couple who are meditating every day on the ego, those who are working to eliminate the “I” first through discovery of defects in self-observation, then their judgment in meditation, followed by their execution through prayer. This is the fundamental law of action and consequence.
People have a lot of theories about the Kundalini, but none of it is factual or based on evidence, observed facts in one’s daily life. We mention this because in relation to the teachings of pranayama, ethical discipline is the same: if you want to transmute your energies through pranayama, you must be ethical, practicing restraint (Yama) and following specific observances (Niyama). While many religions have a lot of explanations about virtues and vices, the best of it all is synthesized in one simple principle: do not give the ego what it wants. Deny thyself, bear up your alchemical cross of sacrifice, and follow the example of your Intimate Christ, your real Being within you.
You learn to control prana by controlling your mind, by not feeding your egos from moment to moment. By controlling prana in its diverse modifications, we control the mind and the vital flow of energies in our etheric body.
"Kundalini is intimately related with the Prana that circulates throughout the 72,000 nadis or Astral conduits that nourish the chakras. The chakras are connected with the mind. Yogi and yogini have to christify their mind. Prana is life, and it circulates throughout all of our organs. Prana circulates throughout all of our nadis and vital canals. All the 72,000 nadis of our organism have their fundamental base in the nadi Kanda. The nadi Kanda is situated between the sexual organs and the anus. The Kanda collects all of the sexual energy that circulates throughout the 72,000 canals of our organism. The sexual energy is Prana, life. […] …The nadis Ida and Pingala are found side to side of the spinal medulla. These nadis entwine around the spinal medulla in similar shape to the number eight. The heavenly path is inside the nadi Sushumna. The Kundalini ascends throughout the Brahmanadi. The Brahmanadi is found situated inside another very subtle canal that runs throughout the length of the spinal medulla and is known with the name of Chitra. The seven chakras known with the names of Muladhara, Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishudda, Ajna, and Sahasrara are over this nadi Chitra." —Samael Aun Weor, Kundalini Yoga: The Mysteries of the Fire
When the Kundalini awakens, it rises within the Sushumna canal within the spinal column and awakens the main chakras of the spine. Likewise, the 72,000 nadis or circuits of the astral body, as well as the vital body, circulate. 72,000 is a symbolic number, because there exist many more nadis. 72 reminds us of the 72 sacred names of God in Kabbalah. Likewise, making the kabbalistic addition of 7+2 makes 9, the number of Yesod of Kabbalah. The ninth sephirah from the top to the bottom of the Tree of Life relates to the vital / etheric body, the linga-sarira.
Given the sexual nature of prana, it is logical that single disciples possess limited capacities for elevating the creative energies, prana, or fires of sex. A single person can awaken sparks of Kundalini through pranayama, producing certain mystical experiences, whereas married couples can awaken their full potential.
It’s important to reflect on these things and to clarify some misconceptions regarding this subject. Swami Sivananda once wrote:
“No Samadhi is possible unless Kundalini is awakened.” —Swami Sivananda, The Science of Pranayama
Samadhi is conscious experience, in meditation, devoid of the “me,” “myself,” the ego. Many students have misinterpreted this statement of Sivananda to indicate that one cannot have any spiritual experiences without working in the perfect matrimony, which is not true. What Sivananda explained is that whether single or married, the fire of Kundalini produces ecstasy in different degrees.
Many practitioners of yoga have also mistakenly attributed their work with pranayama to the full awakening of the Kundalini, because such disciples have many intense, spiritual, conscious experiences resulting from their practice, which they do not know how to explain except that their Kundalini has fully awakened.
Having such experiences is valuable and necessary, but it is not the end goal, nor is it an indicator that one is finished in the work.
Single persons can awaken sparks of that fire, but the full manifestation of the Divine Mother is only developed amongst couples working in chastity, meditation, and selfless service for humanity.
Remember that a man has one sexual polarity dominant and a woman has the other sexual polarity dominant. If an individual wants to awaken the full potential forces of their respective sex, he or she needs a sexual compliment, the opposite sex, to awaken the reconciliating force. Man and woman, husband and wife, when sexually united and harnessing the creative energy, awaken a third power, the serpent Kundalini, which typically lies dormant in the base of the spine, in the Chakra Muladhara, coiled three and a half times and awaiting the moment of its awakening through the science of love.
This does not undervalue the work of pranayama, but puts it in context. Single disciples can work with pranayama, can maintain their chastity, through these breathing exercises. When disciples are married they can take their practice further, applying the same principles of Yama, Niyama, and Pranayama but with the tremendously added force of sexual union, which is known in the East as tantrism.
Single people can light a candle up their spine, but husband and wife can awaken the power of millions of suns. This is the literal difference. Single disciples must learn to prepare for a matrimony through pranayama, which is why in ancient schools of yoga, many masters would train their disciples in Brahmacharya before giving them the ultimate secret of sexual alchemy, tantrism, marital union. This was obviously done in secret to avoid scandals and the fears of sexually degenerate people.
Once disciples have demonstrated their sincerity, prudence, and dedication to their spiritual exercises, to pranayama, then the master would unveil the higher mysteries.
Breath, Mind, Chakras, and the Circulation of Prana
So why all this explanation about the creative energies in the context of this course of meditation? If you want to still the mind, naturally and without force, you must practice pranayama and transmutation. Your mind or mental states are determined by how you use energy. If you use energy to feed desire, then the mind becomes provoked, stimulated, and distracted. Harnessing prana helps to calm the mind, and prana is intimately related with your virya or virility. Virya simply means sexual potency, which is the root word for virile (to possess sexual potency and strength) and well as virtue, since the virtues of the soul are born through the intentional use and practice of pranayama.
"Prana, mind, and virya (sexual energy) are under one sambhanda [connection]. If you can control prana, then mind and virya and controlled by themselves. If you control the virya by remaining as an akhanda bramachari without emission of even a single drop of semen (sexual energy, whether male or female) for twelve years, then mind and prana are controlled by themselves." —Swami Sivananda, The Science of Pranayama
By controlling the breath with willpower, by consciously visualizing the circulation of energies, the prana circulates throughout our nervous systems, stimulating the chakras, in the same manner that electricity flows through a circuit. These energies stabilize the lake of the mind in preparation for meditation. As Swami Sivananda explains in The Science of Pranayama:
"Breath is external manifestation of Prana, the vital force. Breath like electricity, is gross Prana. Breath is Sthula, gross. Prana is Sukshma, subtle. By exercising control over this breathing you can control the subtle Prana inside. Control of Prana means control of mind. Mind cannot operate without the help of Prana. The vibrations of Prana only produce thoughts in the mind. It is Prana that moves the mind. It is Prana that sets the mind in motion. It is the Sukshma Prana or Psychic Prana that is intimately connected with the mind. This breath represents the important fly-wheel of an engine. Just as the other wheels stop when the driver stops the fly-wheel, so also other organs cease working, when the Yogi stops the breath. If you can control the fly-wheel, you can easily control the other wheels. Likewise, if you can control the external breath, you can easily control the inner vital force, Prana. The process by which the Prana is controlled by regulation of external breath, is termed Pranayama. Just as a goldsmith removes the impurities of gold by heating it in the hot furnace, by strongly blowing the blow-pipe, so also the Yogic student removes the impurities of the body and the Indriyas by blowing his lungs, i.e., by practising Pranayama. The chief aim of Pranayama is to unite the Prana with the Apana and take the united Pranapana slowly towards the head. The effect or fruit of Pranayama is Udghata or awakening of the sleeping Kundalini." ―Swami Sivananda, The Science of Pranayama
The energetic channels or nadis are typically filthy, blocked and closed in us, which is the source of many illnesses and conditions that make us suffer physically, sexually, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The circuitry of our vital body tends to be clogged with many negative psychic elements and riddled with impurities caused by unhealthy food, negative environmental influences, and most importantly, degenerated habits in the mind, heart, and body. Many students experience problems in controlling the sexual energy because the nadis are blocked and polluted. Such blockages stimulate the creative energies in a way that force them to flow from inside out, from within to outside the body, problems exemplified as nocturnal pollutions and unwilled seminal ejaculation during the sexual act. Many practitioners, when beginning sexual magic, have difficulty controlling the creative force. This is due to the poor circulation of vital energies.
As Swami Sivananda indicated, “Just as a goldsmith removes the impurities of gold by heating it in the hot furnace, by strongly blowing the blow-pipe, so also the Yogic student removes the impurities of the body and the Indriyas [the energetic roots of sensation] by blowing his lungs, i.e., by practising Pranayama.” As we explained, many practitioners in the ancient traditions of yoga would work with Pranayama for many years before working in a matrimony, precisely because to work with sexual magic, the practitioners should be firmly grounded and knowledgeable about how to transmute their energies as bachelors. It would be absurd for people who know nothing of transmuting their energies, practicing daily meditation, and working on the ego to begin sexual magic all at once. It is best if such persons learn pranayama in preparation for the greater mysteries of the fire, because pranayama helps to cleanse the impurities of the body and help the energy circulate properly. When the nadis are clean through the exercise of pranayama, the vital forces flow and rejuvenate the body and mind. In this manner, the sexual act is easier to take advantage of without risk of spilling the semen.
The word for wind in Sanskrit is Vayu. Vayu is a term for the element air in the body. Vayu apana relates to the bodily winds that help with the processes of excretion, urination, and menstruation, associated with the functions of the lower pelvis, the intestines, and the anus. Apana also relates to this part of the body, the energy associated with the abdomen, as well as the elimination of waste products from the body. Sivananda explained that with pranayama, we are uniting the prana from without with the apana within, mixing the vital energies in our breath with the vital energies of our coccyx and lower abdomen to slowly raise it to the mind. This process awakens sparks of the sleeping Kundalini.
We’ve included in this graphic an image of the main chakras of the body. Chakra literally means “wheel,” and the fly-wheels that Swami Sivananda references are the chakras. The chakras are vortexes of forces that flow by the power of prana, the vital breath or seminal energies. Chakras literally spin, like a water mill, when there is energy available, which is why Rumi, the great Sufi poet, stated:
"From the heart of the lovers, blood flows like a vast river. Our body is the windmill, and love, the water. Without water the mill cannot turn." —Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, Hidden Music
What waters make it possible for the chakras to spin? The sexual waters, the seminal energy. When yoked through pranayama, the chakras turn like a water mill, but if the seminal waters are ejaculated through lust, then the chakras remain dormant, asleep, incapacitated, without energy to circulate within them.
Prana, Christic energy, modifies into the tattvas, which are different condensations of this energy in the form of the main elements composing physical and spiritual nature. Through alternated breathing of our nostrils, we assimilate these modifications of energy in order to awaken consciousness.
"The respiration through the right nasal cavity is called Suria or Pingala. We cause through this respiration the ascension of the solar atoms from our seminal system.
"The respiration through the left nasal cavity is called Chandra or Ida. We cause through this respiration the ascension of the lunar atoms from our seminal system.
"We reinforce the Three Breaths of pure Akasha [the sacred sound and fires of Christ] with the exercises of Pranayama. These Three Breaths are combined with the solar and lunar atoms of our seminal system to awaken Devi Kundalini.
"Prana is the Vital Christ or Great Breath [the Ain Soph Aur]. That Vital Christ is modified into Akasha [the superior waters of Kabbalah and the fires of Da’ath], within which the Son, the First Begotten, the Purusha of every human being, is hidden.
"Akasha is modified into Ether, and the Ether is transformed into Tattvas. The Tattvas are the origin of fire, air, water, and earth. —Samael Aun Weor, Kundalini Yoga: The Mysteries of the Fire
These tattvas relate to the seven chakras in the following manner:
The four elements relate to our mind, heart, vitality, and body, or air, fire, water, and earth, respectively. Pranayama aids us in controlling the aerial nature of thought, the igneous powers of the heart, the aqueous nature of our vital energies, and the materiality of our earth, our physicality. While the four elements relate to our three brains and body in this way, the chakras have slightly different correlations as you see in this graphic.
Akasha is the primordial fire hidden within the cosmic space. Akasha is a force in nature that is divine, and can be designated by sound, light, and cognition. The power of the Akasha manifests in the throat, the Verb, through the alchemical knowledge of Da’ath.
Adi means light, relating to the prana, the Christic energy, which condenses and accumulates in the third eye chakra, Ajna, to develop spiritual insight, the subject of a future lecture. Samadhi tattva also relates to prana, since this is the power that grants omniscience and cosmic consciousness at the top of the head.
Conscious breathing, within Sufi schools, is synonymous with light, with illuminating the mind, the creation of the true human being. Regarding the intrinsic relationship of breath with light, Al-Qushayri wrote the following in his Risalah: Principles of Sufism:
"Abu-l-Hasan al-Nuri was asked, “What is the origin of spiritual insight in the one who has it?” He answered, “It comes from the saying of the Most High, ‘And I breathed into him (Adam) of My Spirit’ (15:29).
"If someone’s share of this light is more perfect, his vision is wiser and his judgment based on his insight is more truer. Do you not see how the breathing of the Spirit into Adam made it necessary for the angels to prostrate before him? For the Most High said, ‘I formed him and I breathed into him of My Spirit, so fall down before him in prostration’ (15:29).”
"…In this mention of the breathing of the Spirit [Abu-l Hasan al-Nuri] was aiming to correct those who say that souls are uncreated. The situation is not as it might occur to the hearts of the weak. That to which this breathing (and union and separation) are properly attributed is liable to influence and alteration, which are signs of the transitoriness of created things. Yet God Glorious and Exalted has chosen the believers for perceptions and lights through which they come to possess insight. In essence, these are forms of the knowledge of God. This is the import of the Prophet’s saying, “The believer sees by the light of God”—that is, by a knowledge and inner vision for which God Most High has specially chosen him and by means of which He has distinguished him from others like him. To call these kinds of knowledge and perceptions “lights” is not an innovation, and to describe that process as “breathing” is not reaching far afield. What is intended is one’s created nature." —Al Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
The sexual energy creates insight, spiritual life. We create the soul through the sexual energy, a power that can produce experiences of astral projection, awakening within dreams, feats of jinn science, clarified perception, developed intuition and comprehension of problems, detachment from egotistical desires and worldliness, egotism, hatred, lightness of body and mind, health, vigor, etc. These are the different “lights” implied within Sufi language.
Pranayama and Sexual Magic in the Upanishads
The sacred Hindu scriptures, the Upanishads, also teach all this in synthesis. We are going to provide a commentary for the chapter 2, verses 6 and 8-17 from the Śvetāśvataropaniṣad, to emphasize the points we’ve previously made and to show some of the traditional basis for which this practice is elaborated.
We’ve included an image of Christ’s crucifixion in relation to this topic, because the cross is the sexual union of husband and wife through the vertical, phallic beam and the horizontal, uterine beam. Through union of masculine and feminine forces, the ego dies through the fire of the Kundalini and gives birth to the resurrected soul.
"Where the fire is rubbed, where the wind is checked, where the soma flows over, there the mind is born." —Śvetāśvataropaniṣad
When husband and wife sexually unite, their private parts rub and produce erotic fire. When their breathing is in check, controlled, when the prana is harnessed consciously, the seminal energies are transmuted.
The word soma means many things, such as body or plant juice, the latter being traditionally used as Vedic offerings during rituals. Soma is sometimes referred to as the drink or nectar of immortality, an ambrosia or milk of the gods. This is none other than the prana, the seminal energies.
The bodies of the soul are created through the alchemical cross, when the soma is flowing within the nadis or Sushumna canal. Soma literally means body in Greek and can refer to the solar bodies of tantrism.
"If a wise man holds his body steady with its three parts (chest, neck, and head) even, turns his senses with the mind inward to enter the heart, he will then in the boat of brahman [om] cross all the fearful torrents." —Śvetāśvataropaniṣad
Rubbing the fire of sexuality applies more so to a matrimony, but can refer to how individual yogis, who practice pranayama, awaken sparks of that fire in their spine through profound concentration and deep, unwavering prayer. In the same manner that a couple controls the breath and transmutes the soma, the prana, a bachelor or bachelorette performs transmutation on their own.
Pranayama must be performed with the chest, neck, and head steady, in a good posture. You cannot circulate the prana appropriately if your body is not firm, stable, and relaxed, with your head even with your torso and your spine straight.
What are the fearful torrents we must cross through pranayama? The assaults of lust, which have polluted our nadis and sexual waters. The boat of brahman is the ark of the covenant, the ark of Noah that carries us above the waters of degeneration in the mind.
"Compressing his breathings let him, who has subdued all motions, breathe forth through the nose with gentle breath. Let the wise man successfully restrain his mind, that chariot yoked with vicious horses [senses]." —Śvetāśvataropaniṣad
The Upanishads refer to the mind, emotions, vitality, and physical body as horses which the real Self, Atman, the Inner Buddha or charioteer, must control. He does this through the reins, his divine and human souls, through willpower. The senses also relate to the lower Sephiroth as well as how our sensual, material consciousness apprehends life.
"Let him perform his exercises in a place which is level, pure, free from pebbles, fire, and filth, delightful by its sounds, its water, and bowers, not painful to the eye, and is full of shelters and caves." —Śvetāśvataropaniṣad
I have known people who want to begin meditation while living in a filthy and dirty home. This is very difficult. The tidiness of our home reflects what we psychologically carry within. Your home should be your temple where you sit to practice, to devote yourself to God, your Being. Our practices are amplified when we dedicate a special room for our exercises of pranayama and meditation, since the energies we attract help to produce serenity and peace in our home. Pranayama cleans the mind and nadis, so to live in squalor will hinder our spiritual work, because the environment affects our practice, and vice versa.
"When yoga is being performed, the forms which come first, producing apparitions in brahman, are those of misty smoke, sun, fire, wind, fire-flies, lightnings, and a crystal moon." —Śvetāśvataropaniṣad
Students go through many experiences when pranayama is consistently practiced, frequently, every day, for prolonged periods of time. Remember the Sufi scripture I just read, that breathing is synonymous with lights? Smoke can refer to the cloudiness of the mind, which students apprehend when they initiate pranayama. They receive experiences from the internal planes that their skies, the mind, is filled with darkness. This is a crucial step to make, because it shows us what work must be done, and that we must persist in our discipline.
Sun, fire, wind, fire-flies, lightnings, and crystal moons represent different forms of light or insights we achieve through working with the creative energy.
"When, as earth, water, light, heat, and space arise, the fivefold quality of yoga takes place, then there is no longer illness, old age, or pain for him who has obtained a body, produced by the fire of yoga." —Śvetāśvataropaniṣad
Remember the chakras, the four elements, and the tattvas? These become amplified through pranayama, which produce longevity, health, youth, and life. The fire of yoga can relate to Tummo Yoga or inner heat yoga in Tibetan, representative of the work with the Kundalini.
"The first results of yoga they call lightness, healthiness, steadiness, good complexion, an easy pronunciations, sweet odor, and slight excretions. As a metal disc [mirror], tarnished by dust, shines bright again after it has been cleaned, so is the one incarnate person fulfilled and free from grief, after he has seen the real nature of the self [Atman]." —Śvetāśvataropaniṣad
Is your mind dull, torpid, dark, hard to control or perceive? Work with pranayama. The mind and heart are a mirror that need to be polished and cleansed through prana. In the words of Prophet Muhammad:
"There is an organ in the body that, if it is righteous, ensures that the whole system will be righteous; and if it is corrupt, the whole body will become corrupt. This organ is the heart.
"There is a polish for everything that takes away rust; and the polish for the heart is dhikr, the remembrance of Allah." ―Prophet Muhammad, The Hadith
“Guard your breaths against God Most High,” state the Sufis. When the mirror is clean, it reflects the genuine image of Atman, the Self, our Innermost God, so that we are free from pain and sorrow. Pranayama will help you with this.
Practical Applications and Benefits
Learning to control our breath aids in the yoking of the vital forces, but while I mentioned to you that prana is in the air and in our semen, our physical breath is only a vehicle for the forces we seek to manipulate.
"Pranayama is not, as many think, concerned solely with the breath; breath indeed has very little to do with it. Breathing is only one of the many exercises through which we get to the real pranayama." ―Vivekananda, Raja Yoga
Circulating prana occurs through our willpower and imagination. Breathing is the vehicle through which we obtain the transmutation of our energies. While breath is a powerful and necessary component for our moment to moment existence, even more so are the faculties of perception, concentration, consciousness, attention, and prayer.
If you are performing pranayama but are not mindful of what you are doing, then you will not be successful. Pranayama involves working with each of the three brains of gnostic psychology, directing the energies consciously. “Wherever we direct attention, we expend creative energy” stated Samael Aun Weor. This is essential, since no practice is useful if we are not attentive of what we are doing.
Your mind, heart, and body must be relaxed and in control, which is not a state of rigidity, but calmness, composure, flexibility, and firmness. You must resolve to yourself to not needlessly move your body around during pranayama, nor let the mind wander to other things. You also must resolve to not let your heart distract you, but to devote yourself to profound prayer during your exercise. If you are thinking of other things while you are practicing, then you are not practicing. Likewise, if your heart is not at peace, if you are not praying to divinity to aid you, if your emotional center is filled with wrath, anger, or sentiment, ignoring the presence of divinity, you will find it very difficult to focus and have a good practice. Lastly, if your body can’t sit still, if it is agitated and nervous like an animal, constantly moving about, then you will not obtain stillness and the circulation of prana in your system, because the circulation of forces occurs when the waters of the body, heart, and mind are still.
Notice that when you cease throwing stones in a lake, the water gradually achieves stability and equilibrium; the surface becomes calm, whereby it can reflect the heavens above in a limpid, calm, and tranquil way. The same with pranayama and the mind. Your mind achieves stillness when you cease agitating it, by not feeding your desires. Pranayama also works to calm the mind when there is enough concentration and cognizance of what you are doing.
"And they have said, 'God created the hearts and made them mines of understanding of Him. After that He created the secret inner awarenesses and made them a place for declaring the Unity [which occurs once the multiplicity of egos are dead and the consciousness is unified in the Beloved, the Innermost]. Every breath that occurs without the guide of knowledge of God and the sign of Unity emerges from blind compulsion, and is a dead thing. The one to whom it belongs is accountable for it.'” —Al Qushayri, Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism
Here is how to perform a simple pranayama. Seated comfortably with your spine straight and neck and head relaxed, close your eyes and pray to your Divine Mother. Pray that she may help you transmute your energies to your mind and heart, to help you visualize and concentrate.
Imagine in your spine the two nadis Ida (Eve) and Pingala (Adam), connecting your gonads, testicles, or ovaries with your nostrils.
These nadis are polarized differently in men and women, as you can see in the following graphic.
• The lunar current, Ida (represented by Eve in the Bible), connects to the left nostril, characterized by lunar or silver atoms.
• The solar current, Pingala (represented by Adam in the Bible), connects to the right nostril, characterized by solar or bright, fiery yellow or golden atoms
In women this is reversed:
• The lunar current, Ida, Eve, connects to the right nostril
• The solar current, Pingala, Adam, connects to the left nostril
These polarities are switched in the different sexes because husband and wife, like positive and negative electrical currents, compliment and compensate for each other.
With your right hand, extend your forefinger and thumb while closing your other fingers into your palm. Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale air through your left nostril. Take in as much air as you can without forcing your lungs or straining yourself. Breath naturally and relaxed.
Now close your left nostril with your forefinger, still holding the right nostril closed with your thumb. Retain the air as long as possible, again without straining your breath. Imagine the energy or prana of the air ascending to the brain through the respective nadi you are breathing through, which connects your nostril with the coccyx and gonads.
After retaining the air as long as possible, remove your thumb from your right nostril and exhale slowly, imagining the prana descending through the nadis connecting your head to your heart, with one nadi on each side of your face leading down to your chest.
Close your left nostril with your forefinger and inhale through your right nostril. Repeat the process of raising the prana to the brain through your inhalation, raising the energies of that nostril and nadi to the head. Retain the breath as long as possible by closing both nostrils with thumb and forefinger. Finally, lift your forefinger from your left nostril and exhale, imagining the prana descending against to your heart through the two nadis connecting your head to your heart, which descend from the face, down the throat, to your chest.
This process constitutes one pranayama. Perform seven pranayamas total. You can do more in accordance with your needs.
Here is some more practical advice for performing pranayama at home by the Master Sivananda:
"Pranayama can also be performed as soon as you get up from bed and just before Japa [mantra recitation] and meditation. It will make your body light and you will enjoy the meditation. You must have a routine according to your convenience and time.
"Do not shake the body unnecessarily. By shaking the body often the mind also is disturbed. Do not scratch the body every now and then. The Asana should be steady and as firm as a rock when you do Pranayama, Japa and meditation.
"Do not perform the Pranayama till you are fatigued. There must be always joy and exhilaration of spirit during and after the practice. You should come out of the practice fully invigorated and refreshed. Do not bind yourself by too many rules (Niyamas).
"Do not take bath immediately after Pranayama is over. Take rest for half an hour. If you get perspiration during the practice, do not wipe it with a towel. Rub it with your hand. Do not expose the body to the chill draughts of air when you perspire.
"You should not expect the benefits after doing it for 2 or 3 minutes only for a day or two. At least you must have 15 minutes’ daily practice in the beginning regularly for days together. There will be no use if you jump from one exercise to another every day." ―Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga
When you perform pranayama, the important aspect of your breathing is retention. With inhalation, you want your lungs to take in a profound amount of air, in a relaxed and calm way, without forcing the lungs to expand beyond its limits. Your breathing should not be forced and loud, but silent and peaceful. I’ve known many people who make a lot of noise when performing pranayama, as if they were some kind of hydraulic engine. But nowhere in the teachings of yoga do we find any support for this tendency.
"Always inhale and exhale very slowly. Do not make any sound." —Swami Sivananda, The Science of Pranayama
“There should be no strain in any stage of Pranayama.” —Swami Sivananda, The Science of Pranayama
Pranayama is meant to relax the mind, heart, and body. Straining oneself is counterproductive and inhibits the free circulation of energy. With exhalation, your breathing should flow through your nostrils without noise. I know some people like to perform pranayama in a loud way, which is wrong. Breathing should be calm and natural, without force. There is more strength in relaxation than there is in bodily and mental exertion. This might seem counterintuitive for people in a culture that believe that one must conquer things with force. The opposite is most true for this practice: if you want to be effective in transmutation, tranquility and control is the key.
After your inhalations, you must retain the air as long as possible, again without forcing your lungs. Retention is the most important part of Pranayama, since this is how we internalize and accumulate energy within our etheric-physical laboratory in combination with willpower and imagination, visualization.
Your life is measured by how you control your breath, and breathing relates to how we modify and use sexual energy, the source of life.
"Regulation of breath is the stoppage of inhalation and exhalation." ―Patanjali
"Kumbhaka is retention of breath. Kumbhaka increases the period of life. It augments the inner spiritual force, vigour and vitality. If you retain the breath for one minute, this one minute is added to your span of life. Yogins by taking the breath to the Brahmarandhra at the top of the head and keeping it there, defeat the Lord of death, Yama, and conquer death. There should be no strain in any stage of Pranayama. Always inhale and exhale very slowly. Do not make any sound. A Yogi measures the span of his life not by the number of years but by the number of his breaths. Pranayama requires deep concentration and attention. Prana, mind, and virya (sexual energy) are under one sambhanda (connection). If you can control prana, then mind and virya and controlled by themselves. If you control the virya by remaining as an akhanda bramachari without emission of even a single drop of semen (sexual energy, whether male or female) for twelve years, then mind and prana are controlled by themselves. No Samadhi is possible unless Kundalini is awakened. The practice of Kumbhaka [breath retention] in Pranayama produces heat and thereby [sparks of] Kundalini [are] awakened and passes upwards along the Sushumna Nadi. The Yogic practitioner experiences various visions." —Swami Sivananda, The Science of Pranayama
To conclude, we will end with comments by Swami Sivananda, who expressed some of the benefits of pranayama. After having explained the technique, which we will practice together today at the end of this lecture, I will conclude with some explanations for why this is beneficial, since many students often write to us asking about some tangible, concrete results for working daily in this exercise.
"This body becomes lean, strong and healthy. Too much fat is reduced. There is lustre in the face. Eyes sparkle like diamonds. The practitioner becomes very handsome. Voice becomes sweet and melodious. The inner Anahata sounds are distinctly heard. The student is free from all sorts of diseases. He gets established in Brahmacharya. Semen gets firm and steady. The Jatharagni (gastric fire) is augmented. The student becomes so perfected in Brahmacharya that his mind will not be shaken even if a fairy tries to embrace him. Appetite becomes keen. Nadis are purified. Vikshepa is removed and the mind becomes one-pointed. Rajas and Tamas are destroyed. The mind is prepared for Dharana and Dhyana. The excretions become scanty. Steady practice arouses the inner spiritual force and brings in spiritual light, happiness and peace of mind. It makes him an Oordhvareto-Yogi. All psychic powers are obtained. Advanced students only will get all the benefits." ―Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Free public lectures, meditation classes, courses, articles, and lecture transcriptions.