This is a transcription of an audio lecture from Beginning Self-Transformation, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago:
All people on this planet, without exception, live in a profound state of suffering. While our politics, religions, spiritual movements, schools, employers, and institutions, all attempt to resolve this universal problem, none are successful, so long as our approach, our methodology, our psychology is flawed.
The tendency is to look towards external phenomena. We look for the causes of suffering outside. And yet despite our best efforts, our noblest intentions, we continue in pain.
We suffer in life because we do not get what we want. The world is a certain way and because our views conflict with reality, we suffer. Or we do get what we want, and then we suffer even more because we do not want to lose what we have earned, what we have received, what we have won, sometimes through great strife, hardship, struggle. Change is a profound cause of suffering. Stuck in our old ways, our mind, our emotions, our behaviors, they conflict with reality with the changing state of daily affairs.
We demand stability from life, and yet the social and the economic world is collapsing. The reality is that nothing is permanent, and why do we expect the world to have stability when we ourselves are filled with chaos? We have the illusion that life should always be what it should because we want it to be that way.
Remember that we mentioned previously, life is in a continual flux of change, of transformation, yet the majority of people, the majority of souls do not want to change, do not want to adapt. We want life to be as it always was, such as before this pandemic, and yet if we wish to conquer suffering, we must embrace transformation, with all the sacrifices, the challenges, the pain it involves.
We demand stability from the world, yet we ignore how we ourselves are an extension of society. The society is the individual and the individual is society. If we want stability in our life, we need stability inside. We always demand other people to change, and yet we tend to make no effort to work upon ourselves.
We ignore typically that if we want changes in this society we live in, we have to cease ignoring how we contribute to the problem: how we compound the suffering of humanity and ourselves. This ignorance is a fundamental basis or axis upon which cyclical, mechanical existence operates. In Buddhism this is known as Samsara: cycling, repeating again and again the same problems, the same dramas, the same tendencies and mistakes.
However, throughout this tragedy, we do not tend to question our own mind, to see if our psychological states are flawed, incorrect, insipient. And sadly, we do not really perceive how our own internal states affect people. We like to think we live in a bubble. We can think what we want, feel what we want, do what we want in the mind. And yet the mind is an energy. It is a form of matter, in different dimensions or gradations of existence, which we have explored in the Tree of Life. So, our mind has reality. If we are killing someone in our mind, that energy affects the person we are thinking about, and yet our society teaches us not to accept this principle, that we become what we think, and therefore our means are superficial.
We look to the externals. We do not look to the psychological causes of pain. We want to examine the world through imperfect means, through the lens of our theories, and we do not realize or recognize or want to see that our beliefs about the world have nothing to do with reality. This ignorance of cause and effect illustrates that we are asleep.
We are unconscious beings. We are machines. Robots. We do not realize how our mechanical repetitive behaviors create consequences, even if only in the mind. And even when the whole world tells us we are wrong, that we have a problem, we continue to persist in it. We stubbornly may reject it. We continue with our attachments because we are so hypnotized by a sense of self that is not real.
Therefore, there is no need to believe in causality. It is a given. We know this from studies of science, physics, etc. Causality is a truth. There is nothing in the universe that is not caused, neither is there a cause in the universe that does not have an effect. This is a fundamental axiom of science. And yet when we approach the principles of causality to our life, to the psychological realm of our thoughts, of our feelings, our will, we ignore, we choose to not see how our internal states produce effects, produce conflict.
The Definition and Reality of Karma
While this law of causality is known as karma in the East, within Buddhism and Hinduism, such a principle is also known very well in the West as the divine law of judgment.
However, like many adaptations in the West of Eastern doctrine, we have greatly misunderstood this truth. We conflate the law of karma as a law of vengeance, divine retribution, which is not true. People misconstrue the law of causality as some force that vindictively ensures that “you get what you deserve.” The universe, according to this view, punishes bad people and guarantees that no bad deed goes unpunished, when in reality karma, from Sanskrit कर्म karman, literally means “deed,” derived from कृ kri: “to do, make, cause, effect.”
This is the law of causality. Everything in the universe exists because of cause and effect. This, as I said, is a fundamental axiom of modern science, is governed by mathematics, laws, principles.
Our psychology is governed by laws, spiritual laws. Although we in our modern culture like to think that we are spiritual, the facts of our behavior demonstrate otherwise, because our deeds reflect the quality of our being. As Jesus said in the Gospels, “By their fruits you will know them.” By their actions, by their behavior.
Our actions produce the facts of our life. How we choose to behave determines where we go. In the first two lectures of this course we talked about the level of being and psychological rebellion. How we behave, even if only in the mind and the heart, produces consequences.
If we are at a meeting, perhaps before this pandemic, speaking to a coworker or a group of friends, it is easy to see and sense when someone is angry, even though there are no physical outward expressions of that sentiment. We can feel it. We can see it in a person. This sense has nothing to do with physical sight, with the senses. It is a psychological sense, which, through the medium of our physical body, we can feel the energy of a person even if those actions, that person’s thoughts, are completely unexpressed, externally.
This is why the Buddha taught “Mind precedes phenomena. We become what we think.” And therefore, we have to renounce this illusion that we can live inside of ourselves and think and do whatever we want, as if there was no law, there were no repercussions, because in the example that I provided, the friends and coworkers can become anxious and filled with dis-ease, discomfort, by this one person who has made such a profound, negative effect on the group.
Therefore, let us examine our mind. What is our level of being? What actions has led us to this present instant? What actions did we commit in the past that we reflected upon? What mistakes have we understood?
The reality is that we are trapped. We are in a cage. We are in profound hell, which, as we have related, is not necessarily a place externally. It is a psychological state of being, and yet we are not in hell because of some God, an anthropomorphic tyrant in the clouds who dispenses lightening to this poor ant hill of a humanity. That God, according to Nietzsche, does not exist, because it is true. That is an illusion that people have created to ignore their culpability, their mistakes. God does not throw humanity into the mud to suffer because we do not worship him. We are in the mud because we put ourselves there.
And divinity is the one who opens the door for those who sincerely wish to change, to escape, to leave the pit. These are people who feel remorse for their past actions. Again, this is not morbidity, pessimism, self-flagellation, self-deprecation, egos of depression, self-hatred, etc. Remorse is a quality of the soul that recognizes it is wrong and has committed wrong, has produced suffering for others. That is the voice of conscience. And remember the Tree of Life, the sphere of judgement, inner divine judgement of our soul, is Geburah, the consciousness of the law.
We have to orient the ship of our life in accordance with this star, this guidance, which is inside.
When we need divine help, aid, we receive experiences, inspirations, comprehensions. And this is what helps us to purify ourselves, to qualify our actions. This law of karma is essential for transformation, because nothing emerges from belief, thinking something is true, accepting a moral code, a dogma, a theory. The beauty of the soul, divine conscience, the sense of right and wrong, is born through conscious work, Tiphereth, the human soul, and voluntary suffering, in which we explained has to do with accepting “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” to quote Hamlet. Really, that outrageous fortune, the most difficult situations of life, are produced by ourselves―without exception―even if we do not remember how we produced that state.
This is why it is important in our Gnostic studies to remember our past lives, to remember what we did and why we are in the situation that we are in.
I remember many years ago, I was having a lot of issues in my work, physically, with my relationships to my family. And I was praying and suffering a lot and asking for help. I remember invoking in the astral plane the venerable Master Samael Aun Weor. And I spoke with him as he was showing me symbolic things, which are not relevant to this lecture. But he told me very clearly, “You need to remember your past lives!” And I was complaining, “But I do not remember.” And very severely, and with a lot of love, “It does not matter!” because the law is the law. Our ignorance of the law does not absolve us from the effects of our wrong actions. We have to become conscious of this law in ourselves if we want liberation.
It is not a theory. Many people believe in karma. They believe in past lives, but they do not have any knowledge of it from experience. And this is the demarcation between the Gnostics and the theorists. We have to work. We have to practice. We have to enact superior causes in our life of an ethical, spiritual manner. This is the code of conduct mentioned in any tradition, which means to embrace and embody the influences of the Being.
We have to confront our former actions, our mind stream, which is why Hamlet said, “to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them.” This is from Hamlet’s soliloquy in the play of Shakespeare, bearing his name. This is a symbolic text that teaches us “to be or not to be. That is the question.” Do we return to God or do we complain about our situation and waste energy and not comprehend the value of hardships, learning experiences?
Divine Justice is Conscious and Compassionate
Karma is not a blind law. it is not mechanical, like you do something wrong and then the universe punishes you out of a sense of resentment or pride. The symbol of justice with a blindfold and scales, a sword of justice in her right hand, reflects sacred law, arcana, principles in nature and the divine. Justice is impartial, not blind. Divinity wears a cloth around her eyes to show that justice does not look to your appearances, how you look to others, but evaluates your conscience, your soul, based on the measurement of good and bad, our actions, the scale of our heart and the mind.
This image finds its parallel within Egyptian mysticism with the lord Anubis, the hierarch of karma, the great reagent of the law in the tribunals of divine justice in the astral plane, in the mental plane, in the causal plane. He weighs the heart of the neophytes on a scale, and one side is the feather and one side is the heart. This means that the feather of the mind, the aerial nature of the mind, and the fires of the heart, the cardiac center, must be in equilibrium. This is how we enter the hierarchies of the divine beings. It is done through conscious, deliberate, intuitive work.
So again, justice is not blind. We are. This symbol shows us that divinity does not look towards superficialities, what we intended, what we think was righ,t how noble our aspirations were, and yet if the consequences were disastrous, if we killed somebody, if we made a mistake, if we failed in an ordeal, the law does not reward us based on intentionality. It is based on consequences, because the divine law is beyond intention. It is omniscience, and this is why justice wields a sword, because the divine hierarchies can admit us into the garden of Eden. The cherubim with the flaming sword can allow us to enter and climb the Tree of Life. Or that sword can be turned upon us.
Every temple in the astral plane is guarded by great beings who wield a sword, the Kundalini, the sacred fire. And they judge us and base their decisions of how they relate to us upon our own actions. I remember many times trying to enter certain temples and I was stopped by a guardian with a sword. They only admit those who have earned the right to receive that help.
Likewise, Anubis in the internal planes, when he officiates in his tribunals of karma, wears a jackal’s mask, a symbol of impartiality, showing us that divinity does not look or favor one person over another. Divinity treats all beings with equity, with dispassion, with clarity and judgment. There is no bias in that intelligence.
Karma is not mechanical. There are incredible intelligences that govern this law. Personally, I met Anubis many times. He is not a theory for me. I have invoked him and spoken with him. And he has taught me things about how to negotiate my path with wisdom. And honestly, when I have been before Anubis, I have been terrified, because he is truly a profound light. He is beyond good and evil. He is beyond our concepts of good and bad. And therefore, holds the scales of this world in his hands. He is the terror of love and law, because divinity is so terrifying in his presence. But also, the force of love, because it is so profound. It is ecstasy to be before these initiates because of how tremendous their development.
So, when I have had experiences with Anubis, I know that there is nothing I could hide, which is why in Galatians 6:7:
“Be not deceived God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” ―Galatians 6:7
It is sad that in our modern mentality, we think we can do whatever we want, and that there is no law. We think we can commit crimes even in the mind, but as I said, there are repercussions. So, you might think you can hide from the physical law. You possibly can, but from divinity you cannot.
I will relate a brief experience that makes me reflect a lot. Outside my apartment today, somebody was shot five or six times. There were two people. They fled into a car and my wife and I were calling the police, reporting what happened, that we saw a person was wounded on the street, shot randomly. And we could see the blood from this person as he laid there, and other people came to help with the ambulance and the police. And I was reflecting before this lecture how these two criminals, who shot the person and drove away, think they can escape the law. And I do not necessarily mean physical law. I mean divine law. It is sad that people think that they can murder, steal, rape, commit crime, and think that there is no consequence, because they only believe in the physical world.
If they knew the terrible reality of Anubis, I think that they might have a different course of life or action. So, we have to really reflect on these things. Eventually those two people who I saw outside our home will have to be brought before the law internally. And the reason why people commit crimes like this is that they are so disassociated from their own conscience. The voice of judgement, the inner law, is dead in them. The ego, the moon has eclipsed the sun. Astrologically speaking, Geburah can relate with Mars and the Sun in astrological Kabbalah. Therefore, that intelligence is dead in people like that, but regardless of whether we think we are not being judged or not being perceived, there is a law that extends beyond this world.
The Three Eternals
Which is why the Buddha taught that there are three eternal things in life: the law of karma, Nirvana, and space.
Causality is certain, and so is the cessation of karmic suffering, known as Nirvana.
The Buddha taught us Four Noble Truths. (1) In life there is suffering, (2) suffering has causes; (3) there exists the cessation of the causes of suffering, and lastly (4) a path of cessation, which is meditation.
Cessation, Nirvana, in Sanskrit means, “to end” or “cease” with pain, illusion, mistaken views―to experience the stillness and serenity when the ego is dead, when there is no “I.”
Lastly, we have the Divine Mother space, which has always existed, does exist, and is the matrix by which we obtain realization. Nirvana is not only a dimension or a place in nature. It is a reflection of our own consciousness.
When we obey superior, compassionate law, enacting positive deeds for humanity, benefiting others, then it is a natural consequence. The law of divinity owes you and not the other way around. Divinity pays us with experiences. They give us ecstasies, samadhis, satoris, conscious awakened experiences in the Tree of Life, which we realize through dream yoga.
When we cease the causes of suffering as in ego, we awaken to our true Buddha nature: the consciousness, the eternal spaciousness of divinity, the apprehension of emptiness of self and other.
The cosmic Divine Mother has no form. The Divine Mother is a principle we work with every day, and we will explain how to work with her in the forthcoming lectures. But she is our divine derivative of God, the feminine aspect of our Being. She is the mother of our soul, represented by innumerable female goddesses, female figures, in mythology. She takes form to guide us, to instruct us, to teach us in dreams, so as to live with rectitude and love.
Karma, Nirvana, and space interrelate. They constitute a fundamental reality for those who cease feeding the ego. It is important to understand karma, but we have to understand what Nirvana is, what liberation is, because to recognize the root of illusion, we have to see from the heights. This might seem a little difficult at our level, but Nirvana does not mean necessarily a heavenly place that we go on a vacation to. That is a reality, but Nirvana means “cessation,” to end the ego and to apprehend the real nature of our consciousness, which is spaciousness, mindfulness, awareness.
The Four Principles of Karma
Cessation of suffering is only achievable when we comprehend the four principles of karma. This is extensively discussed in Tsong Khapa’s Lam Rim Chen Mo: The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. He elaborated four principles that we will discuss.
The four fundamentals, the four dynamics of the reality of karma: (1) actions produce related consequences, (2) the consequences are greater than the actions, (3) you cannot receive the consequence without committing its corresponding action, (4) once an action is performed a consequence cannot be erased. We will discuss all four in detail.
1. Actions produce related consequences
Karma is certain. It is infallible. The law of gravity is recognizable and always applies within earth’s atmosphere. If you go off into space, gravity no longer has effect. These are certain laws. These are truths that are irrefutable.
This is a reflection of a greater law causality. While gravity pertains to planets, causality applies everywhere. All phenomena are interrelated. Nothing exists independently, intrinsically in and of itself. This is the essence of Buddhist doctrine: interdependence, dependent origination. All phenomena have causes and effects.
This is also understood in science, as we have explained. Spiritual sciences digress a little bit when they speak about the creation and destruction of worlds, planets, suns, universes. Hinduism and Buddhism especially articulate in their doctrine, their philosophy, their scriptures, how every cosmos has a birth life and regression and death. This is because causality balances the evolution and devolution of worlds with the purpose of maintaining harmony within all existing things.
While these philosophical principles are very profound, they remain a conjecture, an abstraction, an idea without any practical reality or purpose if we do not awaken and experience these things.
These concepts alone do not resolve the everyday problem of our life, which is suffering. And this is the problem with many groups, many movements, is that people are too fascinated with the philosophies, and while it is beautiful to know these profound truths, the best thing is to experience it. So, it is important to balance our study with our practice, in harmony. And causality, while it does apply to these very elevated spiritual realities, we only gain access to that knowledge by enacting the proper causes and conditions that lead to that awakening.
Causality is certain. Certain causes produce suffering and other causes develop realization, liberation, experience. Liberation, as I said, is a state of Being, but it requires that we fulfill specific behaviors, the actions for their fruition. This why every religion teaches ethics, not a belief system, a moral code to follow mechanically, to repeat a hundred Hail Marys and a hundred Pater Nosters, and then we are saved. We have to comprehend the truth through action, not blind mechanical recitation. It is performed through conscious work.
When we put our hand on a hot stove or on a fire, we feel pain, and then we learned through hard experience the consequences of heat and fire. While we may believe whatever we want about fire, it is difficult to deny the reality of this experience. So, while we have beliefs about life, it is our actions that really define us, that determine and show us what we believe, in truth, what we follow, what we aspire to.
But sadly, most people are very ignorant about how our actions produce suffering. An alcoholic knows that alcohol is destructive, and yet continues to drink, even when they lose their family, their job, their life. They do it because their desire, their ego, is so strong, that they destroy themselves, even when the facts are tumbling down and collapsing before their eyes.
The same with negative emotions. We give into our desires, our negativities without realizing how anger, how ego, produces such suffering. Humanity, however, worships anger, deifies it, puts it on a throne.
Anger is a profound state of pain, yet people worship this feeling, and they ignore the consequences, like punching a window. I know the movies like to glorify anger, where the hero beats up the villain and punches through a glass window and has no effect. This is a type of mythology that is very prominent in humanity and keeps people deluded and thinking that anger has no consequences for the hero. And of course, all of us are the hero. We are the masters of the day. This is how the ego thinks.
We feel that we are the most important being in the universe. This is the nature of pride, which goes hand in hand with anger. We believe many things, but we ignore the reality of anger. It is a profound misapprehension or understanding of karma. Anger is frustrated desire. It is a form of violence, even if not physical. We can perform acts of violence in our mind, even if we do not externalize anything. Just imagine a time perhaps in which maybe a person was criticized by their boss at work. They do not say anything externally. They say “Yes, thank you,” take feedback, but then in their dreams, they are murdering that person.
Our internal reality has more precedence than our external existence.
How we think is what we become. So, on a basic level, if we are angry, we will always be victims of violence, of angry situations. And it is easy to act with negative emotion. If someone approaches us with hatred, how do, we react? Usually it is with the mind, with anger, which is why Jesus said in the Book of Matthew:
“Whosoever lives by the sword dies by the sword.” ―Matthew 26:52
So, everybody suffers from violence, both the victim and the villain. This is why Samael Aun Weor states that negative emotions are more infectious than any virus or bacteria.
All religions teach us how anger must be restrained. We have to comprehend it. We have to annihilate it. And this is why Prophet Muhammad stated, “The strongest among you is he who controls his anger.”
When we comprehend a defect, we will never act on it. In fact, we will work on its elimination, because to continue with that psychological element is to live a flawed life, with the possibilities of that fault taking control when the conditions and the external circumstances are ripe. When the causes and conditions are ripe, when they are right, the ego manifests, yet when the ego is dead, even when the external situations arise, they do not provoke in us the same response.
A lot of people ask us: how do we know if we are dying to the ego? The reality is and the question is: do we react to the same situation in the same way? Or is all anger dead? Do we feel no retaliation? Do we feel compassion for our aggressor? Do we transform the situation? That is how we know. We respond to life with intelligence, with understanding.
2. The consequences are greater than the action.
The consequences are greater than the actions. This principle supersedes Newton’s third law of physics, which states every action has an equal and opposite reaction. But in reality, the reaction, the consequence, is greater than the cause.
A seed of a plant can become a tree, something beautiful and great. Likewise, our esoteric discipline can produce a buddha, an angel, a god. The effects are greater than the cause.
When you throw a stone into a pond, the water ripples within and throughout the lake, extends out from the center to the periphery.
We only look at the initial appearance of things. We do not really contemplate how our actions have real, profound, penetrating effect.
Our actions permeate everything. And this is being studied in quantum mechanics: how even our attention or observation of a study can make light particles change form into waves and vice versa. Likewise, our observation of light particles can influence them at a very subatomic level.
So, imagine with our actual deeds: we see the splash that we see in the water after throwing the stone. We look at the appearances of things, but we do not really contemplate how that sound might expand out into the surroundings, how our actions have real profound effect.
This analogy pertains to our spiritual life. Like the lake that is rippling, our actions can ripple through existence, extending beyond other parts of the world. The stone, when it enters the water, displaces and can alarm the creatures that live there, things that we do not see and yet the effect is there. The same thing with our internal life. This is only verifiable through observation, self-remembrance, mindfulness. So, this lake metaphor represents our internal and external life.
And while this principle is easy to see externally, we tend to remain very asleep to how this principle acts moment by moment, inside, internally. Our internal states produce reactions in the physical world. External events and internal states relate profoundly through interdependence. Our psychological states, according to Samael Aun Weor, when they are inappropriate in relation to the external event, can produce disgrace, no matter how small that action might be. And yet our psychological states when they are appropriately matched, we follow the voice of intuition and conscience. This is the voice of inner judgement. This is how we march upon the path of success, he says in The Revolution of the Dialectic, to paraphrase.
Actions become amplified. Certain situations, when their conditions are just right, our behaviors become magnified, larger. They reach more people. They influence more people. For example, you have a pedagogue or a public speaker, they may have a very powerful speech, and yet this would have no effect unless they were before an audience where the effects of those words would come to fruition. Likewise, certain actions cannot have any benefit if the surrounding conditions are not conducive or right.
People often complain that they do not see how they could make a difference in the world. This is an ignorance of the second principle of karma. I like a statement by the Dali Lama who said, “If you think you cannot make a difference, just imagine a mosquito in your bedroom when you are trying to sleep.” A little action can have a great effect, can motivate, can make others respond, such as in the non-violent political movement of the Dali Lama, through his spiritual teachings. Therefore, the seed can become a mighty tree to feed multiple generations.
The seed of compassion produces happiness in this life and in other lives, to the point that we could scarcely imagine. However, the seed of a hateful action can produce unimaginable suffering. So, the second principle of karma can work in our favor. When we understand that good deeds can be amplified for the benefit of self and other, when we intuitively learn to engage each moment, each situation, to know the right action, this is something that is very subtle and profound. That is the voice of conscience, which we can only develop more and more as we strengthen that connection through meditation, through work, with mantras, with energy, as we explained previously.
3. You cannot receive the consequence without committing its corresponding action.
When we understand that the seeds of egotism produce the tree of death, to use the Kabbalistic language, we avoid acting upon desire―at all costs.
You cannot receive the consequence without committing its corresponding action. If you wish to overcome hunger, you must eat. If you wish to be clean, you must bathe. If you wish to lose weight, you need to exercise, eat better.
Every action has its corresponding consequences. The same is with spiritual insight. You must put into motion the causes for its fruition. If we want to experience wisdom, astral experiences, jinn states, we have to work with these laws to practice the dharma, the teaching, through our exercises that we have so abundantly in our tradition.
Unfortunately, in our humanity, there is a tendency to want everything for free, to have without earning it. And this is a very serious obstacle for people in spiritual groups, because many people think that they can take a short cut to God. “We reap what we sow,” says Galatians.
Our current existence is the result of our previous ones, even the actions before our birth, when we were incarnated in other bodies. So, as I said reincarnation, return, is not a theory for those who have awakened internally. And as a belief system it does not really do much. People might be inspired to be, in a conventional sense, a good person in a Buddhist or Hindu school, and this is noble. But when you really comprehend, beyond just a belief, how your current actions produce suffering, for good or for ill, and that this magnifies our trajectory, the energy of our spiritual movement, our projection into space, through all of our activities in mind, heart, and body, we begin to really take ethical action seriously.
So, people who enter states of suffering are merely living the consequences of their former actions, even when they are asleep and blind to the causes they initiated. And sadly, people complain. We complain against karma, against justice. We think that in an egotistical sense, that this law is not fair, it is blind―but the reality is that we are blind, because we do not comprehend how even in the greatest crisis that we are responsible for our fate. We are asleep.
And in relation to that experience I related about Samael Aun Weor, when he appeared to me, it was very interesting. He was dressed in a giant suit of armor. He appeared as a warrior towering over me. When he came down from the sky when I invoked him in the astral plane, he was in a full suit of armor, with no helmet and he had a shield that went from the bottom of his feet towards his head. It was a tower shield, and he dropped it, and the earth shook with tremendous force. I remember feeling that awe and reverence before the majesty of God through the Martian influence. And I was so terrified I did not know what to say. He looked down at me and smiled and said, “Hi!” in English. I stood there trembling because, here is the God of War, the leader of our movement.
And he was showing me things, how even his eyes changed, as I was asking him questions that were not relevant to what he was teaching me. My mind was being deceptive. He could see everything inside of me. And therefore, his physical appearance was shifting, changing to reflect what he saw in me. He had a mask appear on his head where I could not see his eyes. I remember meditating on the experience later and realizing that he was showing me that I am being blinded by my ego. I was interpreting things according to my mind.
But of course, that symbol of him being in armor represented what I needed to do at that time, to really fulfill divine justice, to have the resilience and the patience and the forbearance to withstand the pain of the ordeals I was experiencing. But Samael Aun Weor was showing me that “You are blind. I am not the blind one.” And it’s really humbling because justice and karma is divine.
The law of balance is governed by intelligence, but we are the ones who are asleep. We live feeding our ego, our pride, lust, anger, fear, vanity, greed, envy. We do not comprehend that these egos create all of the pain of our life. We blame the external world. We do not really have any depth, if we are honest. And so, in relation to this law, Samael Aun Weor was teaching me that “You have to remember your past lives,” but you cannot see that in yourself if you do not work. And he was showing me in that experience too that I was being very lazy, and he pointed that out to me. And I feel very inspired by that experience, very humbled.
We cannot receive the consequences without committing its corresponding action. If you want to experience the heavens, you have to earn it. We have to work. In a simpler level, when angry people make other people angry, this habit and cycle repeats. It becomes a mechanical, petrified, stony thing. It is a concrete reality in a recurrence, a situation that brings people suffering.
However, if we, in that situation, we choose to respond with compassion, we do not feed into that negative current; we smile in a genuine way, with love, conscious love, comprehension, we demonstrate compassion and we can transform the situation. Someone smiles at you in a genuine, kind, compassionate way, we are likely to smile back. It is a basic law of behavior. Therefore, if we wish to change our circumstances, we must conquer suffering with upright action, with ethics, to be a warrior in battle against ourselves, to conquer ourselves with serenity and insight.
In relation to this law, there is some confusion amongst Gnostic groups, where they believe that couples who unite sexually, who mix their creative energies, who work in alchemy or who unite sexually with their partner, that they share or receive each other’s karma. This is a confusion of a verse from The Perfect Matrimony, in a section called adultery, where he explains how a woman, being the receptive force, when she sexually connects with different men, she accumulates the energies of that person. So, these multiple influences impregnate the woman, the energies of the female body, but also the internal bodies. And therefore, when a man connects sexually with her, he absorbs the atomic essences of those men, which creates problems.
But of course, this is an inevitable thing that people have to face today. Nobody is a saint, especially men. Both men and women have their faults. Nobody is innocent. Nobody is pure, so therefore we cannot judge anybody.
But Samael mentions how when a couple unites sexually, they exchange force. And therefore, all the accumulated essences of the other men are shared, but Samael did not say that people share karma. And here is the reason why.
If a man commits murder, does the wife go to jail?
If a woman steals from a grocery store, is the husband charged for theft?
What happens is that the couple magnetizes each other based on their connection and therefore these atomic essences of other men produces shared tendencies, egotistical qualities. The couple begins to share egos with each other, but also from their former sexual connections, which is why sexual union is very sacred. It is powerful. Therefore, we should not take it lightly.
But of course, all of us have betrayed the sexual mysteries. We have to work with where we are at, our level, with humility and love for divinity and these mysteries, so that we can transform ourselves.
4. Once an action is performed, the consequence cannot be erased.
Lastly, once an action is performed, the consequence cannot be erased. Many people like to believe that we can take back an action and be forgiven, that everything will be the same as before. But deep down, we understand that actions cannot be erased.
If a man murders someone with a gun, he cannot take back the bullet. If we spoke a word of hate, we cannot undo the words we uttered, but likewise when we enact genuine, compassionate, virtuous deeds, people do not forget our kindnesses, the sacrifices we make, the humility we show.
Consequences last. They are permanent. They never cease to exist. You cannot deny it. A child who suffered abuse and trauma is forever influenced and shaped by that event. While such people can heal with therapy and very deep works of meditation upon themselves, the effects of such a violent, disturbing, or traumatic energy in childhood cannot be erased.
In reality, people do not like to look at themselves, because in some moments in life, some very traumatic experiences are too painful. We have memories that become suppressed. We may like to go on about our day. We ignore that fight we had when we were younger, the violence or suffering of a breakup, an emotional trauma, and yet suppression of the memory continues to exist no matter how much we like to ignore it. This produces all sorts of conflict within relationships, just as terrible events cannot be erased or forgotten.
Likewise, conscious works and voluntary deeds of compassion can never be erased. This is incredible inspiration to change, to behave ethically. If we comprehend this principle in action, we have inspiration and empowerment of right action. When we understand that nothing we do can be taken back, we learn to fulfill upright thought, upright feeling, and upright action in our moment to moment being.
5. A superior law transcends an inferior law.
However, only the Being is perfect. Even the gods, the masters, the prophets, the Elohim, make mistakes. This is why, while consequences cannot be erased, that a superior law is necessary. That superior law is mercy.
This is well known within a Gnostic hermetic axiom. When an inferior law is transcended by a superior law, then the superior law washes away the inferior law.
Divinity is above the law and is forgiveness. Merciful, divine action can supersede any wrong, to pay, to cancel our debts.
Superior action is the basis of religion. When we examine the lives of the great masters of meditation, the prophets, the initiates, they were able to overcome terrible adversities through their forbearance, by following superior laws. While our actions cannot be erased, we can be redeemed.
Comes in my mind a story of Mahatma Gandhi. He performed a hunger strike because of violence and civil war in Pakistan, where Muslims and Hindus were killing each other. As a result, the fighting stopped, whereby people from both contending parties approached Gandhi and dropped their weapons. This is so vividly portrayed in the 1982 biographical film of his name―I highly recommend it.
A Hindu man approached, distraught, anguished, despairing, “I am going to hell for having killed a Muslim boy! The Muslims killed my son!” And this man was in such pain before Mahatma Gandhi, feeling his worthlessness and his terrible crime, but yet he had the inspiration and the conscience to repent. Gandhi told him very serenely, “I know a way out of hell. Find a boy whose parents had been killed. Raise him as your own, but be sure that he is Muslim, and that you raise him as one.” This cancels the debt, especially when we do the thing we feel we cannot do, out of sacrifice of our own pride, in humility, for the benefit of others.
Forgiveness of wrong actions exist. Redemption is a reality for those who work with the law of mercy, the law of Christ, the Christic energy, the Being. If you study the sacred arcana of The Eternal Tarot, this is Arcanum 11: Persuasion. We have a statement in Gnosis, “The lion of the law is fought with the scale.” And that image of the sacred tarot, Arcanum 11, which we have explained in our course the Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, the Divine Mother opens the jaws of a lion with gentleness, serenity, equanimity, insight―not violence, but the serenity of God, the calmness of God, the intuition of God.
The opposite is coercion. It is egotistical. We try to force another person to think, to feel, to do as we want. And as you look at history, we realize that coercion is the cause of violence: thinking that we can exert our will upon another. And this is what that man did in the example of Mahatma Gandhi. He thought he could redeem himself from the death of his son by killing other Muslims, coercing them, killing them. So, coercion is violence. It is revenge. It is retribution, but grace and mercy is of persuasion, a persuasive force.
Kindness is a much more crushing force than any anger. But we have to learn to experience that state, to cultivate it. The only way you are going to cultivate those types of experiences is by facing the worst, because no one can face the lion of the law and think they can conquer without hardship. We conquer through serenity, through dispassion, through equanimity. This grace and mercy is how we negotiate with divinity, so that we do not have to repeat suffering.
So, the man who asked Gandhi, “What do I do?” He realized that in order to negotiate his karma, he had to perform superior deeds, go the extra mile. And this is how we cancel our debts. We escape hell. This is how we understand Saint Paul’s explanation of the absolution, the abrogation of the law, to cancel the law, how we pay what we owe by receiving the grace of divinity, which comes in the form of intuitions in the moment, and through our meditations.
We will conclude with a statement from Prophet Muhammad in the oral tradition of Islam, the Hadith, which is quoted extensively in Al-Qushayri’s Al-Risalah: Principles of Sufism. He stated, “One who repents from sin is like one who has never sinned at all.”
Questions and Answers
Audience: Thanks for such a great lecture. It was very deep. I really appreciate it.
Instructor: You are welcome.
Question: I heard you say in a couple, the partners do not share karma. However, my question is, I know especially when doing the sexual act, partners, they be into each other’s energy. So I would like to know, if one of them is working hard spiritually to transform themselves, to transform him or herself, but the other one is, I mean, does not care, so in this case the one who is making effort to change his life or her life. Is the other one getting effected by the other one’s life anyway, because since time by time they are bathing in each other’s energy? Do not you think one will weigh somehow in the other one’s life?
Instructor: Great question. That is a concern that a lot of people raise. The reality is that while the couples magnetize and charge each other based upon their level of being, the important thing is that if we are working seriously in ourselves, we can work despite the fact if our partner does not practice Gnosis. It is good if they can. Obviously, there is a lot of energy involved in development, that is produced.
But I remember a story especially, your question raises for me an experience I learned about regarding a disciple of Samael Aun Weor. His inner name was Gargha Kuichines, or his earthly name Julio Medina. He was a disciple of Samael Aun Weor and very dedicated to the doctrine. He was married and his wife was totally against Gnosis. She was against him practicing. She did not like the teachings. She criticized her husband and all the while Julio Medina, at the time only said, “I love my wife. She is my queen and I am her slave. Therefore I will bear all things for her.” The important thing is that we love our partner. That is the atmosphere and the matrix, the conduit by which we develop the soul.
So Gargha Kuichines practiced for many years with his wife even when she did not. They connected and obviously there was a level of cooperation there and love. He eventually reached mastery. He reached the sphere of Tiphereth in Kabbalah, the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries. Eventually he took the spiral path, but his wife saw how much he had changed, so profoundly, that she realized the effects of this work and then she entered Gnosis. This is why Paul of Tarsus states in the New Testament, “How do you not know, believing husband, whether you shall save your unbelieving wife? Or how do you not know, believing wife, that you shall not save your unbelieving husband?”
What matters is that there is love, you know. That is the important thing. It does not have to be that one partner is Gnostic or not, or both are Gnostic. If you are really serious about your work―and I speak this in general to people, even if your partner does not practice Gnosis―what matters is your concentration and your energy your work. Obviously when a couple unites sexually, they are sharing a lot of force and there is an exchange there.
And if one’s partner is committing acts which are negative, which would be contrary to the teaching, obviously one has to transform it. Not easy. Very difficult. But the knowledge you can gain, a person can gain from that type of experience is invaluable. What matters is not whether one is Gnostic, but that there is love. That is the key. Love and desire are totally incompatible. The desire for a Gnostic partner is an obstacle. What matters is that there is real understanding: affinity in thought, feeling, and will. Hope that answers your question.
Audience: Yes, it does, thank you.
Instructor: You are welcome.
Question: Yes, thank you for answering my question. If you are working on an ego such as envy, for instance, and you see it rise in you as you are self-observing, what can you do in that moment in order to not create a karma, in just feeling that ego in the heart or in the mind?
Instructor: Good question. When that happens to me, I pray. I pray for help. You know any ego is like that. If you are really being attacked by an ego―it could be anger, envy, pride―you have to breathe deeply and really reflect. Ask your Divine Mother, “Help me to understand what this is.”
It is funny. Recently I was traveling with my wife out of town, trying to get away from the city. We went to go hiking away from people, so not exposed so much to what is going on [COVID-19]. And I remember the morning of that day, I had an astral experience where I was driving down a major street in Chicago. It was 4 am, in the dark. And I remember stopping in the middle of the street where there were no people. And my mother, my physical mother in the dream, stopped me and asked me to open up the car. She was outside. I pulled up to her and she knocked on my door. And I got out of the vehicle and she got into the driver’s seat, and I went into the passenger side. And I was really reflecting, “What does this mean?” when I woke up.
This was before I went traveling out of town. Later that day, we had a funny experience where there was a lot of traffic at a drive thru at a Starbucks. And I, you know, had cut off some guy who wanted to get his drink. The man got really angry, rolled down his window and was really unpleasant to me. And I was seeing so many egos of anger and rage, real disturbing things, that I did not like what I was seeing. And my partner, she said to me, “This is getting dangerous. Let me switch sides with you.” So, I got out of the car. She got into the driver’s seat, and then I sat down into the passenger’s seat, like the dream.
And I was begging my Divine Mother, “Help me to understand my anger in this moment!” because it was very strong. It wanted to retaliate and speak negatively to this guy. And I just breathed for ten seconds, inhaling, holding the breath for ten seconds, exhaling. And I was praying, “My Mother, help me to understand!” and just relaxing. And in that way, I started to see the egos that were provoked in that ordeal. So, my Divine Mother figuratively speaking got into the car, my mind, and was driving my car, was calming me. And in a state of equanimity, I was able to work later on in eliminating this.
Praying for help is the key. So, if you find yourself attacked by any ego, whether envy or anger, breath deep, relax, observe your three brains, and pray with your heart, “My God, help me to understand and to separate from this!” You know, in that example I was really begging and then after maybe ten, fifteen minutes of introspecting, I was calm again, you know. So a simple experience, and we like to think of astral experiences as being some kind of ecstatic thing, where we are flying in the clouds, but my Divine Mother and your Divine Mother comes to you to show you how to live your life daily. So that is a simple way. You know, breath, relax, introspect. Do not act. Do not externalize anything. Just reflect and pray in your heart and whatever words are natural to you. Hope that answers your question.
Audience: Thank you.
Instructor: You are welcome.
Question: The example you shared with us from the movie Gandhi represented a physical restitution. How does one make restitution for thoughts and words that you know cannot be brought back?
Instructor: Sure. There is a saying from Prophet Muhammad. He said in the Hadith, “I pray seventy times a day for my faults, for seventy faults that emerge.” You know, if you find that you are seeing all sorts of egos in yourself, the only real way to be free of those defects, that karma that is crystallized in those aggregates, is to comprehend them and to eliminate. So, we have to really strive for a long time to be completely rid of negative thinking, negative feeling, negative impulses.
But again, if you find yourself in the moment where you are seeing these thoughts are negative, the important thing is not to repress them or to be afraid that somehow “I am committing a sin,” because this could be a mechanical ego that thinks it is observing the three brains and doing the work. And we all develop this type of Gnostic aggregate, these faults, so to avoid punishment, so to speak. Suffering the consequences of our former actions in a very severe way, to be free of those negative impulses, is a long work.
And in the process of working on death of the ego, it is important that we learn to negotiate the law, learn to negotiate with the tribunals of justice. I would not say necessarily over small things like that, you know. But you know we face situations where big egos emerge that are very difficult. I know in the beginning we struggle with these churning of thoughts and negative sentiments. To be free of them, we have to comprehend their source and eliminate them in meditation. That is how we are forgiven before the law.
To reach forgiveness, we have to annihilate the ego related to those faults. So, if we committed murder in the past and we have that ego of violence in ourselves, to be free of that karma, to be punished, we have to eliminate that aggregate. And in that way when you eliminate the ego, no punishment is necessary. But of course, this brings up an interesting point, because some egos cannot be eliminated unless the karma is paid first. This relates to very ancient debts that we have to pay with a lot of patience. I hope that answers your question.
Audience: Thank you very much.
Instructor: You are welcome. Any other questions? Yes.
Question: Thanks for a good class. I have a short question right. So, in the Bible in several chapters and verses it states how the sins of the father can be met on the son. And after that times, you say God is a merciful God, and he would not transfer these transgressions from the father to the son. So, in terms of karma, which ones of these is true? Can the sins of the father be met on the son or not?
Instructor: That is in relation to a type of symbolism that is very profound. We know from the writings of Samael Aun Weor that there are forms of karma that are intergenerational. Some people have commonly called these family curses where some kind of bad luck seems to repeat for a certain family. This is very deep, because some people are born into the same families again and again, because of their actions, their karma.
So, I remember asking and speaking with Samael Aun Weor in the astral plane about my past lives. And he was telling me in that one experience, “You need to remember your past lives, so that you can understand your present life!” …with my family, because the ordeals that I was struggling with were related to my parents. So, this principle relates to your question, because a lot of times we live on we return into the same families that we have always lived in in past lives.
So often times those people in our families who are our children perhaps were our fathers or our mothers, etc. and vice versa. So, the sins of the father live on in the son, and the sins of the son live on in the father, so to speak, because of recurrence. We tend to gravitate back to the same families we lived with for centuries. This is why people in families can push our buttons, so to speak. They know our weaknesses. It is very ingrained. It is very mechanical. And so, karma lives on and repeats.
Samael Aun Weor mentions that we live on and continue through our descendants. We reincorporate into the bodies of our family members of further generations, so to speak. So, there is a lot of subtleties to that point. The sins of the father live on in the son, because of this dynamic. I am sure there are other meanings and representations and interpretations of this principle, but that is a basic one that I can offer.
Question: Quick question. If you are doing good deeds as part of your vocation, because you are in a helping field, can you gain karma through that, like good dharma through that, even though you are being paid a salary?
Instructor: Absolutely. Many jobs, things we do, are paid for not only physically, but also internally. So in a profession where you are helping people or serving the community, providing for a very special need, we get paid internally too. That is a form of sacrifice for humanity, especially when we work jobs that are very difficult. Jobs that not a lot of people would not take on. Those kinds of occupations are very noble. We also get paid not only through a paycheck, which is part of it. We get paid physically, so that we can take care of our needs, but also to help humanity if we can, in whatever way.
So yes, a lot of people in movements in humanity have served a greater purpose. For example, Mahatma Gandhi in his movement. Even Martin Luther King. Dr. King in the Civil Rights Movement performed a very necessary function. A lot of dharma for that, but of course, doing that occupation was very painful, challenging, as you can see from the examples of Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King being assassinated. Not saying that one has to go out on a job and risk their life, you know. It could involve that. But the important thing is that whatever job we have, we perform with ethics, with compassion, but of course, establishing healthy boundaries: knowing what to do, where to go, how to act, what to expect, and how to respond, and know how to set limits if it is too difficult. All those principles come into play. Hope that answers your question.
Audience: Yes, thank you so much.
Instructor: You are welcome. Any final questions?
So, I invite you to study some of the practices that we have available in relation to karma. I know a lot of you are familiar with the runes. The thing to remember is that if you are working with a particularly difficult situation in your life you can work with the Rune Not, which is a practice, we use to work with Anubis the hierarch of the law. And in that way whatever difficulties we have we can ask for credit from the law.
You can be suffering through a difficult circumstance, a challenge, an ordeal, and we do not know how to resolve it. We can ask for credit, because the law of karma, just as like a bank can offer credits, which of course, we have to pay back with good deeds. And the important thing is that we always pay back what we owe. So, if we ask for credit, for help, we can receive that assistance through the Rune Not, which we have available on gnosticteachings.org, but also in the book The Magic of the Runes. It is a way to negotiate with our particular circumstances. We do not have to suffer mechanically through our life.
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