The Gnostic tradition is rooted firmly in the most ancient form of knowledge that was presented to humanity throughout the ages. It is a form of knowledge that is unified. That is, Gnosis studies all aspects of life and living. We do not compartmentalize our approach to life, the way modern systems of education tend to do. In Gnosis we study simultaneously the four great pillars of knowledge:
These four pillars support the temple of wisdom, and allow us to have a comprehensive understanding of our place in the universe, and our place in relationship with God. This point of view allows us to have a comprehensive understanding of existence: what it means to be alive.
The most recent traditions followed by humanity — such as the tradition that has called itself “religion,” or the tradition that has called itself “science” — have proven very limited in their ability to provide us with lasting answers to “why we are alive” and other vexing questions. Those who have dedicated themselves to following one thread of knowledge while excluding others have inevitably found themselves lacking in critical areas of their understanding of life. Those who have dedicated themselves to religion while excluding science, art, and philosophy have restricted themselves from grasping the totality of life and what life means. Likewise, those that have followed the path of science while rejecting religion have also chosen to limit their understanding.
In the Gnostic tradition, we study all four pillars. In this way we can penetrate the mysteries inside and outside ourselves.
It is very important to bear in mind these four aspects of knowledge, because all of us have limitations in our own knowledge. We have come from different backgrounds, traditions, countries, and cultures, in which certain of the four aspects have not received their full due. We may have some education in science, but not in religion; we may have a great deal of education in religion, but none in science. We may know a lot about art, but nothing of science or philosophy. This needs to be rectified in order for us to understand what Gnosis actually is.
Gnosis is not something in a book, school, or lecture. Real Gnosis is in your heart, something that emerges from self-knowledge. This is the basic postulate of the Gnostic approach, the fundamental idea: all knowledge that exists within the universe also exists within us. This is why the Oracle at Delphi stated:
Or in Latin:
Homo, nosce te ipsum.
Which is generally stated now as,
“Human being, know yourself, and thus you will know the universe and the gods.”
Everything and every level of existence in nature are also inside of us, reflected like in a mirror. Our physical body reflects all the laws and structures of the cosmos. Our physical body is a microcosm — in other words, a mirror — that reflects all the laws that exist outside us.
By studying ourselves, we are also studying nature. This is how Gnosis is a science, not a belief. As a science, we seek to experiment, to experience, and see for ourselves; to know. That is really what Gnosis means: to know, to have knowledge, not just in the mind or intellect, not just a belief, not just a habit, or some behavior that we adopt, but to have experienced it, to have seen it, to know it, to verify it. That is Gnosis.
That method of verification, of knowing, is also something that is distinct and different from what we may have learned throughout our lives in school or church. The Gnostic method of knowing is not the method of knowing through concept, ideas, theories, or beliefs; rather, it is something cognizant, conscious.
As an example, all of us can take a moment and become aware of our physical body. We can reach with our consciousness and feel the body, and become seated and present inside our body. This is an experience of Gnosis. This is to become cognizant, to see, verify, know, in the present moment. This is not an intellectual exercise. It is an exercise of attention. In this way, you see, know, and experience. “Yes, I see, I taste, I feel, I experience what it is to be in a body.” That is Gnosis. That is only a seed; it is only a very small taste of what the consciousness can experience.
This body is a marvelous machine, a machine with enormous energy, many kinds of great complexity and great power, energy that can affect both the inside and outside worlds, energy about which we ignore. We may all agree; “yes, I experience thought,” and “yes, I have experienced what we call emotions,” and “yes, I have experienced what we call sensation,” but how many of us can discriminate and correctly identify them when they occur, as being what they really are? How many of us can clearly differentiate between a positive emotion and negative one? How many of us can control thought? I.e. can you stop thinking? Can you focus thought on one thing, for as long as you will?
To merely see the energy, to taste, feel, know the energy is there is only one thing, while to control it is another. So we can say, “yes, I have a physical body,” and “yes, I have a certain degree of control over it” but almost all of us — if honest — would have to agree that our control is very limited. We cannot control pain, sickness, hunger, thirst. We cannot control many of the processes that occur continually within our bodies, such as digestion, breathing, heart rate, metabolism, blood flow, the endocrine system. All of these processes are occurring constantly in our bodies, and yet we depend on this machine to be alive, to experience everything that we experience.
In some ways it seems a little bit contradictory that we proclaim ourselves to be masters of the universe, to be kings and queens over nature, and yet a simple headache can destroy our day. A slight edge of hunger can ruin our emotional state, making us grumpy and angry. A minor cut or irritation on the body can cause us to behave quite irrationally and lose complete control over our mind. A little physical discomfort or inconvenience can cause us to behave crazily. None of us can deny this; we have all experienced it.
This recognition of our actual level of being is the fundamental basis from which Gnosis begins. This basis reveals to us that we are not what we presume to be. We believe ourselves to be great beings, yet the evidence proves something quite contrary, that we are terribly weak and suffer from a great deal of ignorance about ourselves. This is why we study Gnostic teachings: to change that state. We are not studying mere theory; we are studying structures, laws — art, science, religion, philosophy — the four pillars that give us a fundamental basis from which we can change.
We can work on ourselves and fundamentally alter our situation. We can all agree on that. Our goal is change. None of us are content with the way things are, otherwise we would not be interested in this types of study. All of us have that dissatisfaction, a sense that things can be better.
It is likely that most of us have tried many techniques. We have tried art, science, religion, philosophy. We may have investigated many different religions or sciences, yet none have proved capable of remedying the problems we have. Not just our personal problems but our problems as a society, a planet, a culture, a race, within our families and communities. This is because, when isolated, those four pillars cannot act.
Science without religion is impotent. Science without religion is destructive. If you want proof, look at how much of our money is spent on science, and the simple fact that the vast majority of our scientific expenditure is on weapons. We like to think that our scientific expenditures are made on things like going to space, or medical research, solving global issues like pollution, warming, improvements to the food chain or healthcare. No, those expenditures are all quite insignificant statistically; the vast majority of our money spent on science is to advance the military. Worldwide, the greatest financial investments being made are towards violence. This is a statistical fact. That percentage has been increasing decade after decade. More and more money is being spent on weapons. That is our science. Our great “science” of this civilization is not cellphones, or computers: it is weapons. We do not like to admit this, but it is a fact.
“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” - Albert Einstein
What about religion? Religion without science is also impotent to change our fundamental problems. Religion without science becomes blind, stupid. I mean stupid in the sense of not having knowledge, of being ignorant, of believing things that are fundamentally untrue. We find this case especially now when science has penetrated some mysteries, and has revealed some things, but many who are attached to their religions steadfastly refuse to accept the insights of modern science. This is rampant among new age followers, who are becoming increasingly distant from reality.
What about art? Art without religion is idiocy. What do we call art nowadays? Our “modern art” - the greatest “creative expressions” of this era — are celebrations of violence and lust. Painting or sculpture are not a modern art, because almost no one cares about them today. To see modern art in action, we have to see the media through which ideas are communicated (because that is what art is: a means for communication). Our modern arts are cinema, television, photography, publishing, the internet, etc. Most of the creative expression or “art” on this planet nowadays celebrate killing, sarcasm, cruelty to others. Our “artists” are narcissists, ego maniacs, sociopaths, who love money, sex, and power. Where on this planet is new art that celebrates the divine; that celebrates the virtues of the spirit? What art is teaching us the values of the soul? What art is informed by the other pillars in order to lead us towards a higher level of being? That fact is, all modern art is seeking to drag us into lower levels of being: towards indulging more and more in violence, lust, envy, etc.
What about philosophy? It is the same; philosophy divorced from religion, science and art becomes nihilism or eternalism, these forms of philosophy that are devoid of reality. The modern philosophy (which can be seen in modern science, art, and religion) encourages living for pleasure, which results only in emotional and spiritual emptiness, and that divorce man and woman from their fundamental innate goodness. Nowadays, it is celebrated to be an atheist and a hedonist —even hateful, spiteful, and arrogant — but it is ridiculed to be spiritual or religious.
Therefore, it is necessary for us to study these four pillars in balance, to understand them in balance, and work with them inside of ourselves. When we harmonize them, we begin to acquire a unified knowledge of reality, which can then lead us towards a radical transformation.
Science traditionally has focused its study on matter and energy. We see that this is true, because the great revelations that science has brought during the last century or more have been related with modifications and manipulations of matter and energy. Everything that we enjoy as a development of science relates to these two phenomena: matter and energy.
On the other hand, traditional art, religion, and philosophy have always been concerned with consciousness, our inner spirit, who we truly are as a person. But unfortunately, in the last few centuries, art, philosophy, and religion have completely abandoned investigating the consciousness, and have only been concerned with matter and energy, totally forgetting qualities of spirit, qualities of mind.
The fact is that in our society today we have a great misunderstanding. We have come to believe that we are the body, and that is all. Our philosophies tell us there is no life after death, and our science tells us there is no life after death, and our religions say there is something they call “life,” but it is restricted by their beliefs. So you see, in their isolation from each other, all of these traditions have arrived at conclusions that conflict with fundamental laws of nature.
What does science say? Science and many of our art forms and philosophies say that when you die, that is the end; they say that “we only have one life to live,” so we might as well live it to the fullest and indulge ourselves in every manner of pleasure we can. This is the way of life especially in western culture: “live fast, die young.” Isn’t that the basis of western culture? “Gather up as much as you can, whether material goods or experiences, before you die, because when you are dead, it is all over, there is nothing else after death.” This is what our society believes, and yet this disagrees with the single most fundamental law described by modern science. The most basic fundamental law of physics disagrees with that, and yet science itself does not admit it; this is very odd.
The most fundamental law of physics is reflected in the first principle of thermodynamics (the law of conservation of energy); this is basic physics. If you have children, they are learning this in school. That law says everything that happens is based on transformations of energy. That law says that in a given system the total amount of energy remains the same. That law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be modified. Energy changes form but you cannot destroy it. If energy cannot be destroyed, what about the energy of your mind? What about the energy of your heart? What about the energy of your soul? Simple, it can not “cease to exist” in the manner supposed by our modern, flawed “philosophy.” Energy cannot die; it simply changes. This is a fundamental law of physics.
All of physics depends on this law of conservation of energy. This fundamental principle includes biology and all the physical sciences. We can also approach it from that aspect of physics called Invariance. It is also called the law of energy conservation or the law of symmetry. It has many names. The most important aspect of it to grasp is very simple: energy cannot be destroyed. So why are we afraid of death? We are afraid because we have ignorance of death, because we do not know what happens when our psychological energy undergoes that change.
We have a physical body. The physical body is matter. We can agree on that. All of us can touch and feel and sense the matter of the physical body. We can also agree that we have energy, a certain amount. Some days we feel less, some days we feel more. Some days we really need caffeine. Some days we really need a nap. Some days we feel highly energized. Sometimes we feel highly energized mentally. Sometimes we feel very drained and weak mentally. So there are different kinds of energy. In Gnosis, we study seven fundamental kinds of energy:
We can fundamentally agree that we have a physical body that is matter, and there is energy there, too. Let us go deeper than that; what is matter? There are all kinds of theories and concepts. We know the body has organs, many different components. We have heard about molecules and cells about different types of amino acids, proteins, and carbohydrates, all the elements we are supposed to eat or not eat. We have heard about atoms, but what is matter, fundamentally? Many people are still trying to understand this question, but we have the answer; it is quite simple. Matter is condensed energy. It is simple to state this verbally, but to comprehend it is quite something else. Of course, Einstein said this, yet the meaning has not been understood by humanity.
"It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing — a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind. Furthermore, the equation E = mc², in which energy is put equal to mass, multiplied by the square of the velocity of light, showed that very small amounts of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy and vice versa.” - Albert Einstein, Atomic Physics (1948)
What is condensed energy? If we were to use Sanskrit terms, we would use the term कर्म karma. Karma means cause and effect, action, deed, work; some say it means “destiny,” but that is not accurate. The word karma is derived from the root kṛ कृ, which means “to do, make, perform, accomplish, cause, effect, prepare, undertake.”
What is your body? It is the condensed energy of former actions.
On the most superficial level, it is the condensed energy from when your parents experienced a special union: the energy and matter of your father and the energy and matter of your mother united; that was a profound act with enormous consequences. Those consequences are your life. That single act was a doorway. Everything that you are did not emerge out of nothing. Everything that you are did not simply emerge from an egg and a sperm. They were simply vehicles, as our body is just a vehicle. It is condensed energy. What is that energy? Where does it come from? In that moment of conception, when the egg and sperm meet, they unite and merge, they become one. They open a door, a channel, into which your consciousness is placed. This is what science is missing.
Science has only looked at the superficial level of conception and birth, using the crude instruments they have, which are incapable of perceiving anything beyond the physical level of matter and energy. This is why science needs religion, philosophy, and art. This is because every cosmic form has matter, has energy, but is consciousness, which is not physical.
This understanding is very different from what most people think about science or religion nowadays. It has been demonstrated that the level of understanding of most people is several hundred years behind current science. That is, the mentality of most people has not caught up to what modern science has already shown. This is proven. Yet, even worse, the mentality of people is thousands of years out of touch with Gnosis, the real teaching, the real knowledge. For thousands of years Gnosis has been given in various ways, but very few have understood it. Most people simply do not have a level of understanding for Gnosis.
“The substantial content of this work is for a more advanced humanity, because the people of this barbarian epoch are not capable of understanding these things.” - Samael Aun Weor
To recap, we have a physical body which we know is physical matter. We know the physical body can only be active and used if it has energy. This is self-evident. If you remove the energy from the physical body, the body dies. On the other hand, we have seen bodies that have energy that are dead. I know some. I know people like that: bodies that walk around, that have energy, but spiritually, psychologically, ethically, they are dead: they have no conscience, they are dead; meaning, they will kill, steal, lie, hurt others, and enjoy it, and do not care. These are “the living dead.” We all know people like this; we have all seen them. In that type of person, the consciousness that should be enlivening them has become completely absorbed and trapped in harmful states of being. That is, their consciousness has become conditioned.
Every cosmic form, from the very smallest existing element up to the entire universe, has three aspects:
Matter is always modified or conditioned by where it is, what level of nature it is in; we can call those levels “dimensions.”
Look at our physical bodies. They are how they are because of where we are. Our bodies exist in a state of relativity. That is a very deep topic to understand. This means that the condition of our body, everything about it, is relative to its environment, both inside and outside. Our physical body can only function properly in a very precise balance of conditions. A slight change to those conditions will kill it. Even more important: the function of the body is also relative to the energy and consciousness within it. These are even more important than environmental factors.
Furthermore, there is a reciprocal balance between matter and energy; not only is the body influenced by its energy, the opposite is true: the energies in our body are conditioned by the body. If you lose a limb or an organ or have a sickness, your energy is conditioned by changes. If you become weakened or wounded, your energy changes, becomes conditioned. If you eat badly, your energy becomes conditioned. If your mind is filled with garbage, if your heart is filled with garbage, your energy becomes conditioned, limited. This is obvious, yet all of us continue to ignore it and do things we should not.
Consciousness is also conditioned by where it is; it is a relative state. Consciousness also has a reciprocal relationship with both matter and energy. Nevertheless, consciousness is the most profound aspect of the three, but to understand that we need to know what consciousness is.
We already have some vague ideas about matter and energy, but less so a definition of consciousness. How many people here can define consciousness? Nobody is forthcoming?
Consciousness is not easy to understand. It is the most subtle of the three.
If you do not know what consciousness is, you will never know what religion is or what spirituality means. Religion and spirituality have a sole purpose: to awaken consciousness, to make it alive, to develop it, to perfect it. That is why you are alive. We are not placed on this planet to indulge ourselves burying our noses in the filth of the earth. That is not why we are here, to live like pigs. We are here to master nature, to transcend it. This is why we have a body. That is why we have a planet. Unfortunately, we do not understand this. We are destroying the planet and our bodies. This is why we are suffering. We break the fundamental laws of nature, and we suffer as a consequence. That is not complicated. But, if we learn about consciousness, what it is, not outside ourselves, not as a theory, but right now in us, we can eliminate that suffering.
Look into yourself. Matter: we have identified it; we are in a physical body. Energy; we are awake and have energy to move, think, and breathe. Consciousness: you can perceive. That is consciousness: the ability to perceive. Yet, there are levels and levels of perception. Consciousness has an infinite capacity to perceive, but in us it is conditioned. That is why our perception is so limited.
Right now, all of us perceive through physical matter and energy, but perception itself is not matter or energy. It is beyond them, but you have to sense that. You have to be aware of it, not just for a moment, but continually. This is really what the word “mindfulness” means or watchfulness. The term we use in this tradition is self-observation. This is a state of active, watchful perception: to just watch, to be aware. It is not passive. It cannot be put on auto-pilot. It does not come by assumption or automatically. It is not an innate gift; we are not born with it. You have to develop it. Many spiritual groups claim that they are “awakened,” that they are “creatures of light and beauty,” yet they are filled with darkness and ugliness, vengefulness, jealousy, envy, fighting each other. That is not conscious.
Consciousness has many levels. That is why we study the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life of Kabbalah is the map or a glyph that represents the levels of consciousness. It also maps all the different levels of existence, from the universe to the smallest particle. Every level can be understood on this structure. We here exist in physical bodies with our energy and some degree of consciousness even though it is very small and weak. If we learn about that consciousness inside, we can begin to learn that the consciousness has infinite potential, both positive and negative.
It is possible to awaken the consciousness and develop power over matter and energy. The consciousness can change matter and energy. All of us must sense that, or believe it, or why else are we studying religion or spirituality? We sense and feel that there is a possibility inside to change, to find something better than just this mechanical existence of suffering and pain.
Be warned. There is a path of awakening consciousness, but like any path in life, you can go up the path or down. From where we are now, we cannot easily tell the difference between up and down; the path looks the same. Both directions use matter and energy harnessed by consciousness. Which way you go is not determined by your intentions or your goals; rather, it depends on what you do, on how you direct your matter and energy. This is what we need to understand.
All of us are directing ourselves through life using our consciousness to control our matter and energy. Unfortunately, we are not aware of how we do it; in fact, we are asleep. This is why all of our religions constantly affirm to us, “Awaken from this dream life, hypnotized by this dreamlike state, by sensations, pleasures, and pains. Awaken and see yourself.”
With our consciousness in its current state manipulating matter and energy, we are producing consequences, but we do not realize the consequences. This is a problem. This is why we need to study these laws.
This first principle of thermodynamics is extremely important. You cannot understand religion without this law of science. If you have studied religion and you have not studied science, be warned: you need to know this law. At least know this law. This is the most important scientific law, without question. You can ignore all the rest of science if you want, but memorize this law, the first law of thermodynamics: everything that happens is due to transformations of energy.
Why is this so important? We are studying religion and spirituality. We want to unite with God. We want to achieve yoga, religare, and unite with our Innermost, the divine. We want to become a Buddha or an angel or whatever we want to call it. We can, but to do it we must transform energy. This is a law of nature. God created nature. God does not break those laws. Many people talk about awakening the kundalini, awakening chakras, creating bodies, etc. yet they ignore this law.
Here is the second part of this law, and it is very important: no matter what happens, the total amount of energy stays the same.
That might shock some of you, especially when some spiritual traditions talk about “getting more energy.” They engage in certain exercises — vocalizsations, mantras, eating certain types of food and drinking special drinks — to increase their energy. You can get help and definitely modify energy with exercises, but this law of physics states: no matter what happens the total amount of energy is always the same.
On a universal level, in terms of the Mahamanvantara or cosmic day, this means that when the light unfolds from the Absolute (the Ain Soph unfolds the Ain Soph Aur) there is a certain quantity of energy that creates all manifestation. That quantity of energy never changes. Fundamentally, that is what this law means. In a universe, there is a fixed quantity of energy. That energy is converted into mass (bodies: planets, living creatures, etc.) but the quantity is fixed.
The law also applies to ourselves; we are the microcosm of the macrocosm. We are a reflection of the universe. When the ray of creation extends and our Monad, our ray, unfolds itself, there is a certain quantity of energy. That quantity does not change. Yet, the quality of energy can change. That is the difference: quality. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only alter form. Moreover, as the form changes, so does its conditioning.
We all talk about religions and spirituality “creating energy.” This is wrong. Nobody can creates energy. The Absolute, the Emptiness, the Voidness, the unmanifested, unfolds existence into energy and matter. In other words, what some call “God” creates it once, and then it is there to do with it what we will.
What this means is that when we are born, we have a given quantity of energy, a fixed quantity; that i’s it, that is all. Gurdjieff called this “Bobbin-Kandelnosts,” vital values, a certain quantity of energy that we are allowed to use. Obviously, some of us that are living by the great modern statement of “live fast, die young” are burning up that energy very quickly. However, if we conserve that energy and use it wisely, we can live much longer.
This all relates to an interesting myth that emerged during Assyrian or Babylonian times thousands of years ago about a goddess named Ishtar. Ishtar is the Assyrian or Babylonian equivalent of Venus or Isis. As we have in many other mythologies such as Isis, Osiris or the stories of Persephone or Pandora who we have mentioned recently, Ishtar descends into the underworld in pursuit of love, her husband. When she descends into the underworld, even though she is a goddess, she has to abide by the rules. This myth is very deep with many levels of meaning, but in relation to today’s discussion:
"To the land of no return, the land of darkness,
Ishtar, the daughter of Sin [the Moon god] directed her thought,
Directed her thought, Ishtar, the daughter of Sin,
To the house of shadows, the dwelling of Irkalla,
To the house without exit for him who enters therein,
To the road, whence there is no turning,
To the house without light for him who enters therein,
The place where dust is their nourishment, clay their food.'"
Most philosophers and scholars that have studied this scripture have assumed that this underworld is what Christians would call hell, but it is not. This world she is descending into is the physical matter, the physical body. Who else eats dust all the days of their lives but Adam and Eve who were expelled from Eden?
“And יהוה אלהים [Jehovah Elohim, the Inner Being] called unto Adam [the brain of the body], and said unto him, Where art thou?
“And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden [of my body], and I was afraid, because I was naked [without the Shekinah, which left due to fornication]; and I hid myself.
“And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree [of knowledge: sex], whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat [like an animal]?
“And the man [the brain] said, The woman [the sexual organs of the body] whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree [of sex], and I did eat [like an animal].
“And יהוה אלהים said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent [Lucifer, Luce-fer, the “bearer of light”: energy] beguiled me, and I did eat [like an animal].
“And יהוה אלהים said unto the serpent [the bearer of light, energy], Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed more than בהמה [animals; as a slave of instinctual desire], and above every חי [animal] of the field; upon thy belly [instinctually] shalt thou go, and עפר [dust, rubbish] shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman [sexual organs], and between thy זרע [semen] and her זרע [semen]; it shall bruise thy head [brain], and thou shalt bruise his heel.
“Unto the woman [sexual organs] he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband [the brain], and he shall rule over thee.
“And unto Adam [the brain] he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife [the sexual organs], and hast eaten of the tree [of sex], of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it [like an animal]: cursed is the ground [physical body] for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
“Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” - Genesis 3
So the myth of Ishtar represents archetypes in our consciousness that descend into the physical body.
The story continues:
Ishtar on arriving at the gate of the land of no return,
To the gatekeeper thus addressed herself:
"Gatekeeper, ho, open thy gate!
Open thy gate that I may enter!
If thou openest not the gate to let me enter,
I will break the door, I will wrench the lock,
I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors.
I will bring up the dead to eat the living.
And the dead will outnumber the living."
The gatekeeper opened his mouth and spoke,
Spoke to the lady Ishtar:
"Desist, O lady, do not destroy it.
I will go and announce thy name to my queen Ereshkigal."
The gatekeeper entered and spoke to Ereshkigal:
"Ho! here is thy sister, Ishtar ...
Hostility of the great powers ...
When Ereshkigal heard this,
As when one hews down a tamarisk she trembled,
As when one cuts a reed, she shook:
"What has moved her heart [seat of the intellect] what has stirred her liver [seat of the emotions]?
Ho there, does this one wish to dwell with me?
To eat clay as food, to drink dust as wine?
These are two goddesses are two aspects of the same archetype. We have talked in other lectures about how the Goddess has different forms. Pandora has positive and negative aspects. Isis, Kali, Durga, etc represent different facets of the same force. Persephone and Hekate are two faces of the same force, etc. The Divine Mother is the goddess above in heaven and the goddess below in hell. Really, she has many, many aspects, because she is the body of all of existence.
In the myth, the goddess who manages physical matter, who is Mother Nature, says, “The celestial goddess is coming here,” The Divine Mother in hell (Persephone, Hekate) says, “Let her in.”
Ishtar then has to pass through seven gates.
Enter, O lady, let Cuthah greet thee.
Let the palace of the land of no return rejoice at thy presence!
He bade her enter the first gate, which he opened wide, and took the large crown off her head:
"Why, O gatekeeper, dost thou remove the large crown off my head?"
"Enter, O lady, such are the decrees of Ereshkigal."
The second gate he bade her enter, opening it wide, and removed her earrings:
"Why, O gatekeeper, dost thou remove my earrings?"
"Enter, O lady, for such are the decrees of Ereshkigal."
The third gate he bade her enter, opened it wide, and removed her necklace:
"Why, O gatekeeper, dost thou remove my necklace? "
"Enter, O lady, for such are the decrees of Ereshkigal."
The fourth gate he bade her enter, opened it wide, and removed the ornaments of her breast:
"Why, O gatekeeper, dost thou remove the ornaments of my breast? "
"Enter, O lady, for such are the decrees of Ereshkigal."
The fifth gate he bade her enter, opened it wide, and removed the girdle of her body studded with birthstones.
"Why, O gatekeeper, dost thou remove the girdle of my body, studded with birth-stones?"
"Enter, O lady, for such are the decrees of Ereshkigal."
The sixth gate, he bade her enter, opened it wide, and removed the spangles off her hands and feet.
"Why, O gatekeeper, dost thou remove the spangles off my hands and feet?"
"Enter, O lady, for thus are the decrees of Ereiihkigal."
The seventh gate he bade her enter, opened it wide, and removed her loin-cloth.
"Why, O gatekeeper, dost thou remove my loin-cloth ?"
"Enter, O lady, for such are the decrees of Ereshkigal."
By the time she has passed through the seventh gate, she is completely exposed. Then she sees the Queen of the Underworld, and they fight.
“Now when Ishtar had gone down into the land of no return,
Ereshkigal saw her and was angered at her presence.
Ishtar, without reflection, threw herself at her [in a rage].”
This may sound like a typical myth, but it conceals a great truth: involution. In our cosmic development, when our inner star unfolds itself into manifestation, it has to descend and be modified by all the different levels of matter and energy through which it descends. The ray of creation descends from the logoic realms into the Atmic, Buddhic, Causal, Mental, Astral, Vital and Physical. Seven levels, seven dimensions, seven aspects of our psychology.
That spark is “stripped” because of karma, because that is the law. When that spark arrives as energy to activate a physical body, it is weak and powerless. It is small and exposed, and it is in conflict. When Ishtar arrives into that underworld, the Queen of the Underworld afflicts her with disease, sickness, illness and problems.
“Ereshkigal opened her mouth and spoke,
To Namtar, her messenger, she addressed herself:
"Go Namtar, imprison her in my palace.
Send against her sixty disease, to punish Ishtar.
Eye-disease against her eyes,
Disease of the side against her side,
Foot-disease against her foot,
Heart-disease against her heart,
Head-disease against her head,
Against her whole being, against her entire body."
After the lady Ishtar had gone down into the land of no return,
The bull did not mount the cow, the ass approached not the she-ass,
To the maid in the street, no man drew near
The man slept in his apartment,
The maid slept by herself.”
Ishtar, the light of the higher realms, becomes imprisoned, conditioned by matter and energy, because of cause and effect.
In other words, this story represents what the story of Adam and Eve explains: how through misuse of matter, energy, and consciousness, we have become conditioned. In both cases, the cause is implied throughout: it is sexual.
The situation of Ishtar represents the situation of our Innermost Divine. Our spirit is within us, afflicted with all the problems of our conditioned state, afflicted with the problems of having a physical body, afflicted with karma. This is what is “normal” here. It is somewhat abnormal in our case because our karma is so heavy. In other cosmic locations, this situation is not quite so dramatic. For us on planet earth, it is very dramatic and painful, because our karma is so strong.
We need to learn how to change this situation. The method is to take conscious control of our energy, to manage our matter and energy consciously. We need to learn about the kinds of energy we have. We need to experience them. We need to taste them. We need to manage them.
We talked about seven primary types of energy, yet that is not a comprehensive list. There are innumerable forms of energy, more than we can list. These seven concern our wellbeing. These are the forms of energy that we need to manage, that we need to modify, that we need to control and master spiritually or in relation with any type of religion.
The most obvious one is mechanical energy; the energy of the physical body or any energy in the physical world (the sephirah Malkuth). Many religious and spiritual people believe that through mechanical energy they can reach God. They listen to certain recordings, or play certain types of sounds in their homes, or connect themselves to machines, or perform certain types of exercises with the physical body (such as yoga, martial arts, etc) or visit particular places like holy fountains or temples to absorb energy in the physical world, believing that they will reach God. They do not succeed. In those places there could be a presence of God, there could be other energies active, but physical energy is not a vehicle to God. It is just physical energy.
Likewise, with vitality which is related with our vital body (the sephirah Yesod), there are many who believe that through vital energy we can reach God. They learn exercises such as pranayama, tantra, reiki, tai chi, many types of diverse practices that harness vital energy. Some of these techniques may be useful, but many are fake. They may have functionality according to their level, but those practices alone cannot awaken the consciousness. Even if you did ten million pranayamas today, you will not reach God.
Our emotional energy is the energy of our heart (the sephirah Hod). Feelings and beliefs, as sincere and beautiful as they may be, our devotion to God, our bhakti, cannot on its own unite us with God. No matter how much devotion we have for God, that in isolation will not unite us to God. No matter how much emotional love we have for humanity or love of God, that alone cannot take you through initiation, it cannot develop your soul. You may experience a divine sensation, but your fundamental situation will not be changed, because you remain conditioned by your karma, your ego, your mind.
Mental energy, related with our mental body (the sephirah Netzach), is thought, concept, theory, logic, reason. There are many that follow the path of the intellect, studiously memorizing scriptures, studying the laws and structures and the complex equations and algorithms that manage the functions of nature, but the intellect cannot take you to God, it cannot unite you with your inner spirit. The intellect an only compare. It is just a machine.
The energy of will, which is related with the sephirah Tiphereth and our heart, is pure willpower. It is will over the body, will over energy, will over emotion, will over mind, but even that is not sufficient to unite you with God.
Then we have six and seven: energy of consciousness and energy of spirit. Now we are getting somewhere.
Energy of consciousness is related with the sephirah Geburah, the Divine Soul, Buddhi. This can unite us with God.
The energy of our spirit: that is God. That is the energy of the sephirah Chesed: Atman, our inner Buddha, our inner father, the Monad.
All of us at some point in our lives have experienced mechanical energy and physical energy. We may have experienced vitality. You may have some experience during meditation when you felt your physical body sitting in one way but maybe energetically you felt you were sitting a different way or maybe you felt your arm fall asleep and you felt your arm was in a different position than your physical arm. Maybe you felt strong energy in your spine or in your head or in your heart that did not seem related with what was happening with you physically. These are forms of vital energy. Emotional energy we have all felt to some degree; strong love, strong anger, strong lust, resentment, joy, peace, discomfort, fear, anxiety. Mental energy we have all felt.
What about will? Not so much. Many of us would struggle to provide a meaningful definition. “Have I felt that? Do I know how to manage will?” You might, it depends. Have you tried to diet? Did you attempt to follow an exercise regime? How long did you stick with these and why did you stop? Will is harder for us to define, precisely because we do not have it. It is beyond thought and emotion, and yet emotion and thought can knock it out. Even mechanical energy can knock it out. We tell ourselves, “I will meditate every day now, starting today.” Two or three days later you are back in front of the TV watching the football games or the soap operas. Willpower is gone, easily.
If our will is so easily knocked out of the way, what about consciousness, which is even higher? We may have heard about self-remembering and self-observation, watchfulness and mindfulness, the necessity to be in the moment. We think that is a beautiful principle, so we say to ourselves, “I am going to live by that. I am going to be here and now from now on.” Then, in the next moment, we are off somewhere else, daydreaming, thinking about things, worrying about the future, remembering about the past, imagining what it will be like when we are spiritually advanced… Then we put the cat in the refrigerator and put the milk outside. We “fall asleep.” That is, we fail to be present, observing. Instead, we are psychologically distracted.
We manipulate and move our bodies without consciousness of doing it. If you think you do not, then start to pay attention to yourself from moment to moment, because you do forget yourself. We all do.
We set the body to a task, and our attention goes off somewhere else. Most of us can do our jobs without being present; we do our jobs while thinking about other things, not what we are doing in that moment. Most of us can drive a car without being aware of driving it. while driving, our attention is at home, at work, imagining a tv show or a memory. We can visit the store and buy groceries, surf the Internet; we can do one thing and think another. That is, we are not here and now, we are not integrated. We are dispersed, distracted, divided.
We are often feeling something altogether different from what we are doing. There is almost always a great disparity between what we are doing, thinking and feeling with no consciousness.
We are asleep, completely unaware of ourselves. This is why we study “the human machine.” We need to watch our minds, our thoughts; we need to watch our hearts, our feelings; we need to watch our bodies, sexually, instinctually and our motor skills and actions. This is not just once in a while, it is continual.
This is why we learn to meditate, to sharpen that skill, to learn more, to go deeper; to gain control over ourselves.
We do not have control over ourselves. The problem is that because we have lost control over our human machine, all the energy and consciousness of our Being is in the physical body and what is surging in us is all that energy which is conditioned, all that consciousness which is conditioned. Conditioned by what?
We like to think that we are awake and are spiritual people, that we are on the upright path. When we closely observe ourselves, when we are really sincere with ourselves, we see in our mind there is rampant pride, an abundance of jealousy, envy, competitiveness, vengefulness, spite, fear, resentment, lust. None of that belongs to God. None of it came from God. All of it came from us using our matter, energy, and consciousness in a harmful way, which produced the consequent ego. The ego is represented as the shadow of the Tree of Life. In the myth of Ishtar, the ego is represented by the state of Ishtar suffering naked in the underworld. It is Adam and Eve cast into the wilderness, and the whole rest of the Bible that happens because of that.
Personally, I find it astonishing that we, who believe in divinity and love divinity, have trapped that divinity in such a horrible state, and worse, we do not realize it, or care much, because we continue existing as we are now: filled with lust, pride, envy, etc. If we really contemplated how we make our inner Divinity suffer, we would be overwhelmed with regret. But we cannot face that fact. Instead, we fantasized that divinity is some white clad humanoid sitting on a cloud waiting for us to float up to it, even though none of the masters or scriptures said that was the case.
That fact is that life is as it is because of what we have done. Cause and effect has created this world, and our place in it. Because we have that karmic consequence in our psychology, we are trapped in a wheel of suffering. We call this “evolution and devolution.” We are cycling in repeated motion, not only from day to day, from week to week, but from life to life.
We all bemoan our state in life. “Why do I have to suffer like this? Why is my life like this, why can’t it be like so and so?” The reason is because of cause and effect: our karma, our mind, actions, and conditioning.
When we act in a distracted, asleep way, continually, day after day, we are feeding that cycle. Our consciousness conditioned in anger, pride, envy, acts with anger, resentment, and desire, and the consequence is more suffering.
Energy changes form, it cannot be destroyed.
In the same way that physics states this, you can see it in your life. Look and study the continuity of the experiences in your life. This is why we meditate: to start to pick out the threads of our life and to see that thread just keeps changing form, but it is the same thread. Through meditation we learn to see that this suffering I have with myself is the same suffering that happens again and again and again in my life, the suffering at my job, the suffering with my friends, the suffering at church. It is these threads in our life of karmic flow, karmic energy.
We have a fixed quantity of energy related to our ray. The majority of that energy is trapped in the ego, but the beauty of it is that when we understand ourselves, we gain mastery over ourselves. By knowing ourselves, comprehending ourselves, we liberate the trapped energy. We change it.
By observing and understanding anger, we gain comprehension of anger and thus anger loses power over us.
There is a methodology you can use to harness energy and pulverize our psychological conditioning, and to free the trapped energy, thereby restoring our rightful inheritance, the energy of the spirit, mind, and heart. That is liberation. It is to liberate ourselves from ourselves. This is what we call a revolution.
"...very small amounts of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy and vice versa.” - Albert Einstein, Atomic Physics (1948)
SO: your consciousness can learn how to do that: converting inferior matter (anger, lust, envy) into large amounts of energy, through which the consciousness within them is liberated.
This is how Ishtar is freed from the underworld, and how the prophets liberate the people of Israel (Isis-Ra-El) from slavery. The “people of IsRaEl” are trapped, and need to be liberated within us.
In synthesis, within us is the potential energy of a divine being, a buddha, master or angel, but it is trapped. All the energy that we should have free, that should create enlightenment, liberation and wisdom, all the virtues and beauties that would exist in a Master, Angel or Buddha, that should be in us, is now trapped in our infernal world, in our own abyss or hell. Once we start to liberate that piece by piece, we start to illuminate our tree. We start to free Ishtar, Persephone, Pandora, Helen. All of these symbols have the same meaning: the maiden or virgin, the goddess who is trapped by the dragon, the beast in the abyss, and the hero has to save her. We know these stories. The law of physics is the key.
If we want spiritual development, the only way to acquire it is by transforming our energy. It is not by obtaining anything from outside ourselves. No master, guru, teacher, school, movement or books can save us. We have to save ourselves.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” - John 14:6
When Jesus said ‘I am the way’, he was talking about Christ, which is energy. He was not talking about a man. He was talking about a force. When that energy is born, it can transform us, but that energy can only come into us when we are properly prepared.
That energy, Christ, is the same force or vibration as the ray like lightning that produces death. Jesus says, “I am the life.” Life and death are two parts of the same thing. If we received that ray or light as we are right now, we would be obliterated. We need to be prepared for the light. The preparation is to begin to free Ishtar, eliminate the ego, harness these forces and energy and begin to create the soul.
The soul is a very specific term. It is not something vague. It is not something that is open to interpretation. This word refers to a vehicle or vessel, or in other words, a transformer of energy. Our physical body is a transformer of energy. That is very obvious. We eat, we drink, we breathe. We take in impressions. We are constantly transforming energy. This is what sustains our lives. If we stopped these activities, we would die. The physical body can only transform a very narrow range of energy. We cannot eat stone. We can only eat, drink and breathe from a very narrow range of elements. Likewise, the soul is a transformer of spiritual energy, many kinds of energy, but we do not have it yet. That is why Jesus said
“With patience ye shall possess thy soul.” - Luke 21:19
Jesus never said we have a soul. He said we have to be born again; that is the create the soul.
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
"Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water [sex] and of the [Holy] Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
"That which is born of the flesh [through common sex] is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit [through immaculate sexuality, as required in Leviticus 15] is spirit.
"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again [for everything that exists is born of sex, so must the soul be.]" - John 3
The soul is the chariot of Ezekiel, the Merkabah, the Ark of Noah, the ark of Moses, the chariot of Apollo, the Chariot of Helios, the wings of Pegasus, the marvelous armaments that Aeneas receives from the goddess, the golden armor given to the warrior who will fight the dragon. That is the soul.
The soul is related to the development of all of the bodies of the Being, especially seven, related to the seven kinds of energy we are discussing:
The soul is a very specific creation related especially with the heart, mind, and will. They are transformers of energy. They are bodies, yet not physical. They are bodies in other levels.
When you dream, you use a body in that world, but it is not your physical body. That dream body is the emotional body. In the same way that we have a physical body, we also have an emotional body. Our emotional body is lunar. It is a gift from nature. It does not belong to us. Nature will take it back. When we dream, we use that body. When we are flying around in our dreams, acting out all our desires, suffering all our fears, we are in our lunar astral body. When we escape the physical body by using our exercises of dream yoga, astral projection, or meditation, we are in our lunar astral body. It is lunar, not solar. In order to create the solar emotional body, we have to follow a very precise science for transforming matter and energy related with Yesod, which is called tantra or alchemy. It has many names. That science is extremely specific. It involves harnessing the energy of the physical body, emotional body, mental body, and causal body.
I stated earlier that vital energy alone cannot unite us to God. It is a part of the puzzle. There are many people that practice transmutation exercises, tantra, alchemy, harnessing energy, with the idea that they are going to create the astral body, but they remain asleep. They continue behaving in the same foolish way that they have always behaved, competing with each other, fighting with each other, gossiping, blaming, attacking, envious and jealous, not controlling their energy. So, they harness their conditioned energy through their tantra exercises. In reality, they are harnessing their anger, envy and jealousy and attempting to create the astral body. What are they going to create? What will happen if you take your anger and try to make something from it? What will happen if you take your lust and try to make something from your lust? Can lust create beauty? Can anger create something that has anything to do with God? Never! They will become demons, that is all.
The elevation of the spirit and the elevation of the soul, the creation of the solar man within us can only happen when we are working with pure energy, free energy, conscious energy: energy that is not conditioned by anger, pride, fear, laziness, gluttony, all of these obstacles that we possess in abundance. This is a very difficult work.
Many people enter this tradition and others like it and imagine that the work will be easy. They think it is like baking bread, “All you have to do is mix the flour, the water, and the salt, and there it is: you have your soul.” Many nowadays guarantee that in two weeks you can have your astral body. They say, “Just give me $1000 and I’ll show you!” There are many claims and promises, and they are are all lies.
God respects the law. God is the law. The law is: ego belongs where ego belongs. No ego can enter heaven. Anger is modified energy and matter that belongs at its level. Jealousy, envy, fear, gluttony, pride, laziness are matter and energy that trap consciousness. This is why all of us that have studied religion and spirituality say “Why don’t I have any experiences with God? Why won’t God teach me face to face?” Isn’t the answer obvious? Who or what is talking? Is that our pride demanding that God descend to talk to us? Do we think God will answer our pride? Or then when we feel that we are such horrible people and have done so many bad things why won’t God talk to me? Isn’t that our shame, just another face of pride? The divine cannot mix with the ego, ever.
It is very difficult work to establish psychological equilibrium, to be conscious and cognizant of ourselves, to be unconditioned, present, active, and watchful: a master in your own house.
Everybody enters spirituality and religion and wants to be “a master.” There are many claiming to be “masters.” They have many beautiful titles, but watch them curse when they stub their toe and spit their anger at those who disagree with them. That is not mastery. Observe how they crave attention, and love to be loved. That is not mastery. That is vanity.
“The authentic master never boasts of being a master. The true master is unknown. He dresses like any ordinary citizen and goes around anonymous and unknown… An authentic guru does not go around boasting about it. The authentic guru is the Inner Christ. A true master goes around everywhere anonymously and unknown. He does not exhibit his deeds or powers, and is filled with modesty. A true master is before anything else an upright citizen. The authentic master is never an intellectual, since the intellect is an animal function of the human “I.” The true master is like a child, pure, holy, simple, and natural. The true master is the Inner Christ “that is the true Light, which lightens every man that comes into the world” [John 1:9].” - Samael Aun Weor
We need to learn about ourselves and master our house, clean it and purge it. Anytime we find the smallest speck of dust, a shadow of pride, the slightest scent of lust, we should not hesitate to see it, to watch it, to learn about it, to see how it works. “How did it get in here? Who let it in? How did I create this?”
Everything that we have inside, everything that we experience, taste, touch and feel is a product of our own hands. Thus, the true sincere devotee of any religion never blames anyone else but themselves knowing well the law of karma. Everything is transformations of energy. If we receive pain, it is because we created the cause. If we wish to stop receiving pain, we should remove the cause. Those causes are inside, not outside. The causes of suffering are in our hearts and minds.
In this psychological revolution, by cleaning out the lower parts of our mind, freeing our consciousness from its conditioning, the laws of nature naturally, inevitably elevate us. That is partly what that law of physics states. Remember, matter and energy cannot be destroyed, they can only change form. Our consciousness never dies, it changes forms. Right now, our consciousness is trapped in suffering. Our consciousness is trapped in ignorance. We are trapped in all sorts of beliefs and theories, politics, games, and foolishness, believing we are “this and that” when we are not. The hope is that learning about these facts and by seeing ourselves for what we are, we can free ourselves from that. Once freed, that consciousness can act in a positive way and create positive consequences and actions. Everything is in our hands.
Fundamentally, we need to begin by saving energy. We use many practices to assist this effort. The single most important is self-awareness.
It is good to learn about transmutation; we need that. It is good to learn about meditation and how to eliminate the ego; we need that. It is good to learn runic practices, pranayama, rejuvenation exercises, yogic exercise; there are thousands of exercises, vocalizations, mantras — we need them, they are all important, but if we do not remember ourselves, if we are not cognizant about ourselves, all of these practices are useless, and can in fact be dangerous.
This is why Samael Aun Weor said that there are many misguided people within the Gnostic movement who instead of becoming angels, are becoming demons, because they are not eliminating their ego, remembering themselves, and awakening consciousness. They are just doing lots of transmutation and practices, but are continuing as the same foolish people that they always were, and the result are demons. The problem is that they are worse than they were before, because they have more energy, but directed in a demonic way. They are harnessing more negative forces. That is the problem, and why we are very explicit about it.
Real religion is not an easy, feel-good path covered with flowers. Real religion is a difficult path, far from easy.
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life [Christ], and few there be that find it.” - Jesus, Matthew 7
Real religion does not come from a book or from believing something. It comes from a great internal battle with oneself, and none of us want to die as an ego, yet death is the way. Jesus on the cross, John with his head on the platter, Osiris dead, Belen dead, Quetzalcoatl dead, Odin dead. All the great gods show in their stories that we must die. The ego, our pride, our self-love, our self-esteem; everything about us that we think is us has to die. This is the great postulate in Gnosis: In order to ascend to a new level of being, everything about that old level of being has to cease.
Look at yourself. Do you see what you are now? All of it has to go. All that stays are your consciousness and your energy, but modified in a new way. This is the difference. That law of physics states that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be modified. Consciousness is energy of a very high level, greatly refined at its zenith. At its depths, it is the greatest darkness. If we want to raise our consciousness, we need to strip away everything about that level of consciousness that we want to escape. We cannot retain anything. This is the mirror image of the myth of Ishtar. That myth has many meanings, and there is another meaning hidden. Our inner Ishtar has become garbed again, but in the underworld. We have dressed our Ishtar as a prostitute. Our inner Ishtar is Jezebel, a great harlot in the Bible who has adorned herself with pride, envy, lust, gluttony etc. In order for us to return to our source, awakened, enlightened, purified, all of that has to be stripped away. Ishtar must return pure, garbed in the solar garments.
Audience: [Question partly inaudible but refers to Samael Aun Weor’s definition of Ishtar]
Instructor: Ishtar is an archetype, just as Venus and Isis are archetypes. They represent principles which apply at many levels. Today we are just addressing one aspect. Nevertheless, let us study:
“Mary Magdalene, as well as Salambo, Matres, Ishtar, Astarte, Aphrodite and Venus all represent the priestess-wife with whom we must practice Sexual Magic in order to awaken the Fire.” - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
So yes, Ishtar also has symbolism related to the priestess, as well as the Divine Soul.
Ishtar is an archetype: that means Ishtar is symbolic on many levels.
Instructor: Indeed, it is will that moves us out of conditioning, but unfortunately most of our will is conditioned. For example, it is very easy for us to have a large amount of willpower to pursue our desires, when we really want money, alcohol, drugs, sex, or whatever, we can use lots of willpower. When we want God, that willpower is not so strong. Most of our will is trapped in desires.
Will and consciousness are very closely related; they are qualities of soul. Consciousness is related with Geburah (Buddhi), and willpower related with Tiphereth (Manas). Tiphereth can also be defined as “human consciousness,” while Geburah is “divine consciousnss.” For us at our level, we cannot understand that because our conditioning is too strong. These have to be experienced in order to be understood.
We have to free our will from desires. When we find ourselves with a lot of will toward something, we need to analyze that motivation. “Why do I want this so much,” whatever it is; the spouse, the job, the lifestyle, the attention? Many of us have tremendous desire for attention, whether friendly and hostile.
If we free our will from desires, it can be used in other more positive activities.
Audience: Do we all have the same amount of energy?
Instructor: No. The amount of energy that is available to us depends upon the strength of our Monad, the level of being of our Monad. The amount of energy that a common person can move is very different from the amount of energy of a fallen bodhisattva. Both are fallen, but they have a very different impact. What that law states is that in a given system the amount of energy remains the same. This is a subtle thing, because the law of thermodynamics applies to a universe, which is a given system. Each of us is a closed system in relation with our spirit or ray, from the depth of Klipoth to the Ain Soph. That is one system with a given quantity of energy. That quantity is variable depending on the quality of the Monad. A common Monad will only have a given quantity of energy. A Monad that has reached realization before, that has a fully developed bodhisattva, will have a greater quantity of energy. If all human souls were taken to the same level and were all fallen, they would all have different quantities of energy that they could move.
Instructor: The quality and distribution of the energy is the whole key here. We have a given amount of energy everyday. We know that 97% of our consciousness is trapped in ego, so that most of our energy is unavailable to us. If we awaken consciousness from moment to moment, we can modify that percentage and use that free consciousness in the best possible way. That in itself changes the quality of the energy.
If we are asleep, we are totally mechanical. When we apply consciousness to that mechanical energy, it changes the quality, which also changes the effect. If you have a conversation with someone, and you are asleep, you can make a big mistake by agreeing to something actually opposed to your interests, or say something you did not mean to say. So, your energy was mechanical, and produced mechanical results. On the other hand, if we are conscious in that conversation, present, really attentive to what is being said, we can say something in a very impactful, meaningful, and useful way, because the quality of the energy has changed. Obviously, the consequences of that scenario would be much better.
Instructor: We use the word “demon” in a very specific way. Properly defined, a demon is any person who is divorced from their Innermost. A demon is a psychological entity like us who has been divorced from the spirit. That is a full fledged demon. That type of person is one that has no conscience. They can perform all manner of evils with no psychological discomfort. There are many like this on planet Earth. They have no remorse or regret for any of their actions.
Because we are asleep and are completely ignorant of our relationship with our Innermost, we call ourselves “demons.” Generally, since we still have remorse, and still have conscience, this shows that we still have a relationship with our Innermost, so we are not fully fledged demons in that sense, but we are on our way; we are very close to becoming demons.
In that sense, we can say that all of the energy trapped within the ego is demonic; it is energy that is not attached to God. All the energy we have trapped in anger is demonic energy that is divorced from God. God does not influence that. It is ego. 97% of our consciousness is trapped by ego, which is why the planet is the way it is.
Instructor: I am glad you asked that. Matter is not good or evil. Matter is simply matter. Likewise, energy is just energy; it is neither good nor evil. The same is true of the consciousness. It is just perception and the powers that accompany it, relative to its level.
The terms “good and evil” are relative, and poorly understood.
Matter, energy, and consciousness are vibrations that are modified by their level. They are neither good nor bad. What we call “evil” is something that is out of place, something harmful. Good is something in place, that is helpful. You can take a virtue like charity, and think that you are a charitable person, but if you give money to a drug addict, they will use it to buy more drugs, so that act of charity was not virtuous and could be defined as “evil.”
Matter, energy, and consciousness are modified relative to their place in nature. How we use matter and energy creates a consequence, and that is good or bad depending on the result. That is how we are measured by the law. We are not measured by what we meant to do but did not. We are measured by the results of our actions. Good and evil are not used in the court of heavenly justice. It is the outcome that is important, whether harmful or beneficial.
Audience: [Inaudible question about the ego.]
Instructor: The ego is a modification of matter, energy, and consciousness. Energy cannot be destroyed, meaning that the energy that is trapped in the matter of the ego needs to be liberated.
The matter of the ego is condensed energy. There are always energies processing in our three centers: intellect, feeling (emotion), and motor-instinctive-sexual. If the consciousness and energy that is processing in our matter is polarized negatively — meaning that we might become hypnotized by the impulse of lust in our three centers — we commit our energy to that fantasy or action, whereby our energy is creating a psychological consequence. It is like a photograph or an impression. That impression is fed by the energy that is flowing through the three centers. When that impression reaches a certain mass, it crystallizes and becomes a form in “hell,” what we call an ego, a formation of dense, low vibrating matter. This crystallization represents what was happening in the mind during its formation.
When we meditate and enter these realms, we are faced by these crystallizations. During meditation, when we see that ego for what it is, we have to destroy it, the matter or vessel. That matter is crystallized at that level, and does not belong here. It is trapping other energy. When we destroy it, energy is liberated, and returns to its rightful place, a great victory. We need to do that tens of thousands of times. This is how nature functions; everything that is born dies. We have this huge collection of aggregates, which in the Bible is called the “legion.”
“And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion; because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.” - Luke 8:30-33
When Jesus helps rid this unfortunate of all the devils, these devils enter the bodies of pigs and the pigs run into a lake, which is a symbol of Klipoth. The pigs represent our ego. We have to kill the pigs that are in us to free our chained spirit.
Audience: [An inaudible question about the two souls]
Instructor: This is a question about entropy, another huge subject, difficult to grasp which for those reasons was not on the agenda for today. Your question is connected with the second law of thermodynamics which is entropy, a measurement of energy. That second law is subservient to the first law, the law of invariance. In balance, what these two laws basically state is that energy always seeks equilibrium. Throughout the entirety of nature, energy will strive to achieve balance. During the last century, some people argued that entropy meant “order and disorder,” but that was incorrect. The correct definition is the measurement of energy and how it moves from one state to another state. It is a complicated subject that we will address in another lecture.
Audience: What practical techniques can help us to maintain attention on our inner being?
Instructor: It comes down to will, the will to do it, to remember.
They say in Buddhism that in order to be properly prepared we need an extended period of study during which you are training yourself to remember. That is why we encourage students to read the books of Samael Aun Weor, to study the lectures, scriptures, Bible, and undertake some practice everyday; meditation or mantras, whatever it is that you feel is useful and actually benefit from. This should not be something that you do mechanically because you feel you have to. We have to find things that really help us, because that will increase our enthusiasm to increase our effort, and the overall effort will grow and develop. Little by little, that effort exerts an influence on our consciousness, and we begin to realize the truths that all of the religions have been expressing, and the practical truths that can be discovered through our own effort. It is through this process that we gradually develop the power for continual self-remembrance. This requires willpower and is not easy. All of us go through periods when we forget ourselves. I regularly hear comments from students about how they attend a lecture during which their enthusiasm increases, but as soon as they are out of the door, it all goes away, and they do not remember themselves again until they arrive back for the next lecture two weeks later. As many times as we fail, if we keep bringing ourselves back, we are still doing it. Buddha said that if during meditation we forget and remember ourselves a thousand times, it is a good meditation. Keep trying, be present.
“…the process of awakening is slow, gradual, natural, without spectacular, sensational, emotional, and barbaric events. When the consciousness becomes completely awakened, it is not something sensational, or spectacular. It is simply a reality, as natural as a tree that grows slowly, unfolds and develops without sudden leaps or sensational events. Nature is Nature. The Gnostic student in the beginning says, “I am dreaming.” Later he exclaims, “I am in the Astral body, outside the physical body.” Later still, he obtains Samadhi, ecstasy, and enters the fields of paradise. In the beginning, the manifestations are sporadic, discontinuous, followed by long periods of unconsciousness. Much later, the igneous wings give us continuous uninterrupted awakened consciousness.” - Samael Aun Weor, The Perfect Matrimony
Audience: Is there energy that is beyond or more refined than a fully awakened being?
Instructor: Yes. That is because there are universes within universes, levels within levels. We study the Tree of Life, which shows us a microcosm of ourselves from the lowest level to the absolute, the abstract space, that which is without attributes, the uncreated light. It is a level of non-existence or light that has not yet become light. We talk about these levels outside and inside ourselves. There are many beings inhabiting these levels outside ourselves, because these levels represent the hells below and the heavens above. Throughout the heavens there are an infinite number of beings on many different levels. The stars in the sky are those beings. Yet, when the pinnacle of spiritual development is reached in this universe, that pinnacle is a doorway to another universe, another level that is so far beyond our conception that even Samael Aun Weor could not understand it. He wrote about this in Cosmic Teachings of a Lama and in Logos, Mantra and Theurgy, about beings entering into the Absolute to go into the beyond, another level of evolution. We don’t have to worry about finishing the work.
[The audience laughs.]
We more need to worry about getting started.
Audience: What can we do to improve our mental memory to become more awake?
Instructor: Firstly, being awake has nothing to do with mental energy. Being awake is consciousness. It is a conscious energy related with the energy of our consciousness; that can only awaken itself. Everybody in religion and spiritual groups including the Gnostic movement thinks in their own way that if they work with energy of will, emotional energy, mental energy, vitality or mechanical energy, if they work with one of those or a combination, that they will awaken consciousness, but that is wrong. Working with these energies can help, they are all a part of the whole, but they do not awaken consciousness. Consciousness awakens itself. If you are not awake, you can do all the practices of will that you want, meditating, practices related with your emotions and practices related with vitality, but because you are asleep, you will not awaken. Stated simply, if you work with meditation or mantras, do it consciously, then you will achieve something. If you do these practices and are continually distracted by the images in your mind, you are wasting your time. If you are attempting tantric transmutation but your mind is elsewhere, nothing will be achieved. All spiritual exercises or practices must be practiced consciously: that is, concentrate only on what you are doing. Be present, attentive, aware. If we are distracted, we need to analyze that and destroy that habit. Concentrate fully on the spiritual exercise. This is not easy, especially at the beginning, but the more you make the effort to be aware of yourself from moment to moment, all day long, everyday, the easier it becomes. It can take months and even years before it becomes something that is natural, but if we persist, it will become natural and effortless. Samael Aun Weor told us that eventually he reached the level where self-remembering was normal for him, but it took time and effort. In the beginning, we need to make much effort constantly, moment to moment.
“They asked the master Bokujo, “Do we have to dress and eat daily? How can we escape from this?”
“The master replied, “We eat, we get dressed.” “I do not comprehend,” said the disciple. “Then get dressed and eat,” said the master.
“This is precisely action free of the opposites: Do we eat, do we get dressed? Why make a problem of that? Why think about other things while we are eating and getting dressed?
“If you are eating, eat; if you are getting dressed, get dressed, and if you are walking on the street, walk, walk, walk, but do not think about anything else. Do only what you are doing. Do not run away from the facts; do not fill them with so many meanings, symbols, sermons and warnings. Live them without allegories. Live them with a receptive mind from moment to moment.” - Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
The energy of Christ — or as the Babylonians would say, Tammuz — is related with the seven gates or initiations, which are the creation of the soul. These are two sets of seven; the serpents of fire and the serpents of light. The serpents of fire are the creation of the soul, and the serpents of fire are where we perfect the soul. All of that is connected with the coming of Christ into our heart and soul.
Christ is a force or energy. We spoke about energy existing in a specific amount within a given system. Once we create a soul, the system changes, and its capacity to manage energy changes. When the soul resurrects, the capacity also changes. The changes in capacity are like comparing the energy of a match to the energy of a sun. When the law of physics states that the energy in a given system is a fixed quantity, it does not mean that system itself is a fixed quantity, it means the energy within is fixed. A capacitor is made to handle a certain amount of energy, but if we obtain a larger capacitor, we can handle a larger quantity of energy. That is what happens when we liberate our consciousness and create the soul. As Christ emerges within us, our capacity to manage light and energy increases.
“The countenance of Papsukal, the messenger [Hermes / Mercury] of the great gods, fell, his face was troubled.
In mourning garb he was clothed, in soiled garments clad.
Shamash [the sun god, Apollo, Christ] went to Sin [the Moon god], his father, weeping,
In the presence of Ea, the King, he went with flowing tears.
"Ishtar has descended into the earth [physicality] and has not come up [she is trapped, conditioned]. The bull does not mount the cow, the ass does not approach the she-ass.
The man does not approach the maid in the street,
The man sleeps in his apartment,
The maid sleeps by herself.” [In other words, the Second Birth, the creation of the soul, is not being performed].
Ea, in the wisdom of his heart, formed a being,
He formed Asu-shu-namir [the androgyne].
Go, Asu-shu-namir, to the land of no return direct thy face!
The seven gates of the land without return be opened before thee,
May Eresbkigal at sight of thee rejoice!
After her heart has been assuaged, her liver quieted,
Invoke against her the name of the great gods,
Raise thy head direct thy attention to the khalziku skin.
"Come, lady, let them give me the khalziku skin, that I may drink water out of it."
When Ereshkigal heard this, she struck her side, bit her finger,
Thou hast expressed a wish that can not be granted.
Go, Asu-sbu-iaamir, I curse thee with a great curse,
The sweepings of the gutters of the city be thy food,
The drains of the city be thy drink,
The shadow of the wall be thy abode,
The thresholds be thy dwelling-place;
Drunkard and sot strike thy cheek!” [Be persecuted as Christ, spit upon and tortured, as you ascend towards your cross]
Ereshkigal opened her mouth and spoke,
To Namtar, her messenger, she addressed herself.
"Go, Namtar, knock at the strong palace,
Strike the threshold of precious stones,
Bring out the Anunnaki, seat them on golden thrones.
Sprinkle Ishtar with the waters of life and take her out of my presence.
Namtar went, knocked at the strong palace,
Tapped on the threshold of precious stones.
He brought out the Anunnaki and placed them on golden thrones,
He sprinkled Ishtar with the waters of life and took hold of her.
Through the first gate he led her out and returned to her her loin-cloth.
Through the second gate he led her out and returned to her the spangles of her hands and feet
Through the third gate he led her out and returned to her the girdle of her body, studded with birth-stones.
Through the fourth gate he led her out and returned to her the ornaments of her breast.
Through the fifth gate he led her out and returned to her her necklace.
Through the sixth gate he led her out and returned her earrings.
Through the seventh gate he led her out and returned to her the large crown for her head.”