Today we will continue our description of the Bhavachakra, which is a very famous symbol in Asian mysticism, specifically in relation to the tradition of the Buddhists. In modern times, it is often called "The Wheel of Suffering" or "The Wheel of Samsara,” but as we have explained in the previous lecture, that name is inaccurate. Its actual name is Bhavachakra, which in Sanskrit means "The Wheel of Becoming.” Bhava means “becoming.”means “wheel.”
The Bhavachakra is symbolized as a great cosmic wheel in the grip of a terrifying being who looks somewhat demonic, but who actually represents forces in nature. This is not a demon, but actually a form or aspect of deity.
The Bhavachakra has been very misinterpreted and misunderstood, because people do not investigate the symbolic meanings of these traditions. In the previous lectures we discussed some of those symbols, so we can understand why it was taught and how it relates to us today. To remind you of some of those symbols, we need to understand that the Bhavachakra, the Wheel of Becoming, represents how nature functions. It can represent the kingdom of nature outside of us, symbolized as six realms that make up the bulk of the wheel. Those realms represent the realms of beings from the hell realms to the heavens and everything in between. All of that is depicted on the Bhavachakra, but that external, literal meaning is only relevant in relationship to our own level of being. In other words, to simply study the Bhavachakra as a map of the external world is a complete waste of time. That is not its purpose.
The teachings represented by the Bhavachakra were taught by the Buddha in order to give us a map of our own psyche, in order to represent for us why we suffer and how to change that. In other lectures we explain many of the fundamental structures of these teachings and how they apply to ourselves personally. Today, we are going to talk about liberation from suffering, and to understand that subject, we need to understand the lectures that we have already given in this course. We need to bear in mind that the Bhavachakra does not fundamentally and primarily relate to the external worlds, but fundamentally and primarily it applies to our own mind. Our own mind is the Wheel of Becoming; our mind is the Bhavachakra. We are in a state of suffering because of our mind.
In other words, when we look at the Bhavachakra, we should be looking at it as a mirror, not a lens towards the outside world. The chief value of the Bhavachakra is not as a tool to examine the state of other people's lives, but to examine our own.
In esotericism, we study the laws that manage existence, and how existence emerges from the emptiness. At the base of all things, there is a fundamental natural phenomenon we call the law of three. It is symbolized in every religion as a trinity or triune cooperation of forces. Everything that happens occurs because three forces are in activity. This is a simple idea, but is very sophisticated when in motion. Some simple examples:
We talk about these three forces as:
When we want something, that is Affirmation. The resistance to getting that thing is the Negation. When the Affirmation overcomes the Negation and we acquire the goal, that is Conciliation: the intended goal was reached. This is how all things happen, whether pleasant or unpleasant.
At the base of all things are found these three forces. Generally, students of esotericism study this in relation with positive things: creation, the spiritual path, psychology, etc. Yet, three forces are also behind destruction.
We explained in the previous lectures that the very core or center of this wheel, the axle that allows this great wheel to turn, is rooted in three symbolic animals: the pig, the snake, and the rooster. They represent ignorance, craving, and aversion. These are the universal three forces inverted. There are three forces behind everything, but unfortunately, in us the three forces have become inverted. Rather than creating love, creating harmony, creating love, when flowing through us our energies create destruction, suffering. The three forces in the universe that flow through us become refracted, twisted, and cause suffering. We are the generators of suffering. God, the divine, does not create suffering. The gods create laws. Suffering is the result of breaking those laws.
If our interest is in fulfilling a desire, such as, that is Affirmation; we Affirm the desire by thinking about it, planning how to satisfy it, seeking a way. When seeking, there are obstacles. Naturally, when a desire is strong, we instinctually find ways around or over the obstacles. Then, we acquire the object of our and satisfy the desire, that is Conciliation: yet, the result of all of this is the strengthening of that desire (because desire fed is desire strengthened), and the inevitable consequences of all the actions we performed along the way.
Our minds create suffering because of how energy, light, refracts through our flawed lens, the lens of our mind. So that is what the core, the axle of the wheel, represents: the three forces at the base of all things, that in us have become refracted, twisted, inverted.
Surrounding that circle in the middle is another wheel that shows energy or forces ascending on one side and energy and forces descending on the other side; all of that represents cause and effect. It represents how those three forces create, and how results emerge from that creation.
We are constantly creating, in every moment. With every breath, we are producing something. With every perception we receive, with every impression that we are transforming in our minds, we are creating. With every reaction that occurs in our heart, in our body, in our mind, we are creating. Meaning: cause and effect is always happening, even when it appears that nothing is happening.
At all times, cause and effect is happening. Again, this is inside of us: forces ascending and descending, a cycle. It is always happening in us, because of those forces in motion.
Around that second wheel, we find the six realms which symbolically represent:
Those realms reflect our psyche: levels of our mind.
All of us have levels of our own mind in the deepest regions of hell. All of us without exception have very demonic, very filthy elements in our psyche, because none of us are saints. None of us are angels. We all have the worst possible characteristics in our own mind. We may not be aware of it. They might not be active at this moment, but they are there.
We also have elements in our mind related with the hungry ghosts: very ravenous, psychological qualities that are never satisfied, lustful, angry, proud, envious, jealous, gluttonous, etc. These are very, very base level elements that simply want to consume, simply want to destroy, simply want to take.
We have animalistic elements that operate on the levels of animals, with no awareness, no reasoning, they are very instinctive, competitive, defensive, aggressive, etc. They just want to eat, sleep, and have sex. They just want to get along from day to day. They want to procreate. They want to nest. We also have elements that are somewhat human-like that can behave with altruism. That can behave “intelligently” to some degree. That can create good things, even just on a terrestrial level.
We then have elements related to the demigods, more pure elements such as love, the ability to sacrifice, the ability to help others. They are elements in ourselves that can give to others and create benefit. Here too, are forms of competitiveness and jealousy that are more subtle than the lower forms.
We also have elements in our psyche related to the gods, very beautiful, very elevated portions of ourthat are not trapped by all the other lower parts, but unfortunately for us we rarely contact these aspects of our psyche because most of it is so trapped and buried. Qualities related to the gods include generosity, kindness, the diligence to work for the benefit of others, dedication to divine things, etc. Nevertheless, any of these can still be egotistical, based in pride, vanity, etc.
So, these six realms are realms of potential experience through the course of our lives depending on our particular heritage, psychologically speaking. Our own psychological inheritance, in other words, according to what we did before, we are experiencing now, and that experience now is constantly fluctuating and changing in relation to these six realms in our own psyche.
If we are behaving poorly, decidedly and clearly selfish, envious, and angry, then the elements in our lives will reflect that, and we find that day to day, week to week, life becomes harder, more painful, more difficult, more confusing, darker. That is how these three aspects of the Bhavachakra are in motion within and around us. Because of ignorance, craving, and aversion we are putting in motion a cycle of cause and effect that is propelling us into a lower and lower levels from day to day. So, there is cycle being put in motion.
Similarly, if we are making the effort to only utilize our best qualities, to try to overcome our selfishness, anger, pride, jealousy, and to sincerely serve others, then we find that our life from day to day, from week to week, from moment to moment is propelled in another direction; we receive the benefits of our positive actions. Other, higher aspects of our psyche begin to become more common experience for us.
So, what we are pointing out are cycles and trajectories, how cause and effect propels us in our own wheel of becoming, and really, that is the synthesis of the lectures of this course that we have given before today. We need to keep that in mind, because we need to know where the trajectory of our life is headed, and we need to know how to guide it. Everything depends upon this; absolutely everything. If we do not have cognizance of how our moment to moment transformations of energy (in relation to the three forces) are putting in motion cause and effect and impacting our relation to the six realms in our psyche, then we do not know where we are going. Which means, we do not know where we are going. We do not have any idea. Which means, we are not in control. Which means, our life is a chaos. We are just victims of circumstances, which actually is the state of vast majority of beings on this planet, that includes the gods, the demigods, and the so-called humans.
As we have explained previously, all of the beings in all of the realms simply want to fulfill their own desires, to fulfill their own longings. Similarly, in relation with our own psyche, we have the same tendencies in our minds: the gods want to remain gods — by gods we mean (1) those who live that role in the world today, such as politicians, celebrities, etc and (2) our own egos who flourish when we have a “god” role in a given situation, such as at work, at home, etc. The demigods want to be gods (everyone envies those who “have more” or are “above”). The humans want to be demigods or gods. The animals just want to eat and to survive another day. The hungry ghosts want to feed their insatiable desires. The demons in hell want everyone else to suffer like them. All of us are in those levels here and now in this world, and also in our own psychological environment.
To escape this cycle is possible, but it requires an incredible revolution — not outside, not against our families, our co-workers, our governments, against our external religions. None of that means anything. Changing the exterior does not change what created it. The exterior circumstances exist because of causes inside of us. As many times as we change the exterior, nothing really changes, because the causes remain unchanged.
The revolution that has to occur is inside of us, against our own minds, our own way of doing things, our own way of thinking of seeing, feeling, acting. Ourhas to revolt against ourselves. This is the revolution. It is inside. Is it invisible to everyone else. It is something only we ourselves can see, engage in, and act upon. No one can help us; it has to be done by oneself.
That revolution is to take this wheel of becoming and turn it upon itself. It is a heroic act, and that is why in the great traditions the Mahayana and Tantrayana traditions those that accomplish it are called heroes; in Sanskrit, वीर vira [the root, in fact, of the English word virality]. Another word for it is. The word for in Tibetan is jangchub sempa, literally translated, means “hero of enlightenment,” and such a person is rare. Not everyone is heroic. So to accomplish that, there are two ways to escape the wheel.
“There are two ways to achieve liberation, two ways to liberate ourselves from this valley of Samsara. The first is to become Self-realized, transformed into a Mahatma or; the other, as simple elementals, without realization of the Inner Self.” - Samael Aun Weor
Let us clarify this statement so we can understand it without any vagueness.
To get off of the wheel is possible, but it is not possible so long as anything binds us to it. This is the first thing we have to clearly understand. We are enslaved by the wheel because we ourselves have produced that slavery. Our mind is the wheel. It is what binds our. The mind in its current state is our pride, envy, arrogance, gluttony, greed, etc. That is our own wheel of becoming. That is our “becoming,” and we are “becoming” right now. What we are now is what we have become. This is what we do not understand.
For centuries and centuries and centuries, we have been migrating from body to body — that has been a cycle of the wheel of becoming. This is what we have become: what we have right now. This is proof of how much we know about the wheel of becoming. This is proof of our ignorance.
What you are right now is a representation of thousands of years of living and dying. Was all of that worth it? To be what we are right now, to be trapped in suffering, in a body that is weak and impermanent? In a body that can be persecuted, easily sick, constantly afflicted with uncertainty, doubt, criticism, weakness, dissatisfaction, emptiness.
First, we need to be clear about our true state in order to change it. We are not anyone important. We are not anything important. We have acquire nothing lasting. We are like bubbles in a river. Yet, all of us sense it is possible for us to “become” something more, else we would not approach these studies. In addition, the great masters have affirmed we can become something more.
To accomplish something is what is outlined in this quote from. There are two ways off the wheel. There are two ways to “become something,” but they are very different from each other.
Everyone who comes into the spiritual path is convinced that they are the ones that will become a Mahatma or. I am telling you a secret, because I know that everyone thinks that of themselves, but so does everybody else. Yet listen: the truth is that only one in a million will do it. It is rare to become such a high being. You will be very fortunate if you manage to simply get off the wheel at all, just as a simple elemental.
A simple elemental is any creature that has come out of nature and has eliminated all of its impurity, that has just freed itself from its pride, animalism,. It has just become clean, but just clean enough to get off the wheel. That is just a simple elemental. There are buddhas like that, many uncountable numbers, from an uncountable number of worlds. They are very pure, very beautiful angels, but they are not Mahatmas; they are not Logoi. That level is only achieved by Bodhisattvas. These are two very different, very distinct levels of attainment.
An elemental Buddha is a very beautiful being, and radiates incredible purity, more than any of us could probably imagine. But a Mahatma, a, is a Sun. Compare the light of firefly or a candle to a Sun. That is the difference to these two. They are very distinct. Nevertheless, it is only possible to reach either state from the humanoid kingdom. We need our humanoid body in order to reach either of those levels.
In the previous lecture we explained four paths.
These four paths are related to the Wheel of Becoming.
The path of those that separate themselves is related to those elementals that simply reach enough purity, they purge enough karma and perform enough sacrifice for others that they achieve a vacation, a “break.” They can step out of the cycle and get a break, but it is not permanent . Many achieve that; many yogis, monks, nuns, priests, work hard during a lifetime, they perform a lot of good deeds, they work to change, and they become better people. After death, they get a break; they step out of the scenario for a while, and they get a break in a heavenly realm. But inevitably, they have to come back, because their psyche belongs to these realms. So, we can set that one aside for right now, because ultimately, it does not go anywhere.
The spiral path would be like those who step out for a while but they go a little further. They actually build some aspect of the; we call them solar bodies. These are psychological vehicles that have matter and energy but are not physical. The astral body, the mental body, and the causal body are related to fifth and sixth dimensions. These vessels are created through the work that these beings perform. They are created through transmuting. They are “the second birth” taught by Jesus, and taught by Osiris. Through the process of that creation, they create the , a degree of immortality. They become Buddhas, but not simple elemental Buddhas; they become Nirvanis, residents of higher degrees, more subtle realms of nature. They have more powers, more virtues. They are very beautiful beings, but they are still bound to the wheel by their minds. They become demigods and gods. Many of the so-called “gods” in mythologies are Buddhas of the spiral path. Many of the gods worshipped by humanity through all the ages of our history, and the saints and prophets, many of them are elemental Buddhas, Nirvanis, humans like us who walked the spiral path, who achieved a degree of development, and their Inner Beings became very resplendent and beautiful, and worshipped like gods. They are beautiful beings, but they are not perfect. That is why in all the mythologies we see battles between gods, battles of jealousy, envy, fights over territories, fights over who is the most beautiful. I know humans beings like to fight that way, but we are not that beautiful. The gods are beautiful, but not perfect.
Then we have the path of those who fail. That includes the vast majority of human beings. When we observe any tree in nature, any plant, it produces millions of seeds, but how many actually become a new plant? Very few. Most of the seeds are reabsorbed by nature. This planet is producing seeds. We are those seeds. Most of the seeds will die. It sounds harsh, but it is a fact. This is how nature works. Most of the seeds will not become anything. Some who have the will to do it can become something, but what they become depends on the intensity of their action. Most will fail. Most will be recycled.
Finally, we have the first path mentioned here: the direct path. This path is walked by very few. In Asian mysticism, it is called the path of the.
It is called the direct path because it goes straight through all things without wavering, straight to the point, without hesitating. You could say it is extreme. That is why it is called direct. It is direct. It does not waiver; it does not vacillate. It does not take its time. The other paths do. On any of the other paths, those that walk them take their time. They want to be comfortable. They want to do a little spiritual work, but also fulfill their desires along the way, and that is why they fail.
Those that take the direct path renounce everything. They renounce themselves. They renounce all pleasure. They renounce all comfort. They renounce acceptance, being loved, appreciated, admired. They renounce all terrestrial things, all material things. They might have them, they might not. They dedicate completely and one hundred percent to one thing, and that is to serve humanity. And so, such a being is very rare.
Bodhisattvas are beings like Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Padmasambhava, Milarepa, Krishna, Joan of Arc — great, great beings that are very hard for us to understand , because they are so high in development, so very far from our level of understanding. They are very hard for the other beings to comprehend, and that is why oftentimes we kill them. We persecute them. We crucify them. We torture them. We hate them, even though they come here because the love us and want to help us.
So, on the Tree of Life, we see all of the worlds represented in a symbolic way. We are all down here inin our psychical bodies. Below us, symbolically speaking, is the hell realms. We are all really demons, quite demonic, because of the nature of our psyches. Our psyches are constituted by pride, animal instincts, . So that aspect relates to the lowest levels of nature, very dense, very complicated, with a lot suffering because of karma, cause and effect.
Those that purify themselves, elementals and Nirvanis, gradually raise their level of being so that they reside in subtle levels, higher levels and they are not bound by as much suffering as we are. They achieve those levels through gradual processes, working little by little, lifetime by lifetime, depending on the idiosyncrasies of that particular being. The elementals are in the lowest levels here, and the Nirvanis, Elemental Buddhas, those that have some degree of the. Bodhisattvas are another matter.
The elemental Buddhas, Nirvanis, reside in the fifth and sixth dimensions, depending on their degree of attainment. They can take physical bodies from time to time and work in the physical world, but usually they try to remain in the heavens enjoying their powers and their status. The Bodhisattvas renounce all of that. They renounce terrestrial rewards and they renounce heavenly rewards. They want to return directly to the Absolute, the Emptiness, the. Why? This is particularly difficult for us to understand. This is because all we really know about is our desires, our egos. We cannot imagine not having them. We are like people who have lived in prison their whole lives, and when the doors opened, they are too scared to go out, because they do not know what is outside. They cannot conceive of anything outside of the cage, the prison. We are like that. We are too terrified to look outside, where it is light. We are too accustomed to the darkness of our mind.
Similarly, the Nirvanis, the elemental buddhas, are so accustomed to their own level of development that they do not comprehend anything beyond that. They do not understand the Emptiness, the Absolute, and they do not care to. They have no interest; they just want more power, they want to sustain themselves in the degree that they have acquired, and they want more followers. They want more people to worship them, follow them, and appreciate them.
The Bodhisattvas focus completely on purging themselves of all ties to everything, in every level of existence. They purge themselves of everything in order to become nothing, to become the Emptiness itself. It is stated in mysticism that “God searches the Nothingness in order to fill it.” This is what theseeks: to become nothing. The seeks to comprehend the nature of the Absolute, and then become it, to be its expression, to be its vessel. This is accomplished by walking that path. It sounds abstract; it sounds strange. It sounds hard to understand, and it is, but hopefully as we go through this lecture, it will make more sense to you.
Nagarjuna, who is a great Buddhist teacher from India, said in one of his treatises,
"Those who do not understand emptiness will fail to achieve liberation. Thus, ignorant beings wander helplessly in the prison of the six cyclic existences.”
This statement is quite profound, and is hard to fully grasp the meaning, because to understand it, you need to understand what liberation means, and what emptiness means.
We wrongly associate this word emptiness with “a lack of anything.” We think it means “a voidness of existence,” something that has nothing, that is nothing. But that is not what is really implied by the word emptiness. Emptiness is technical word. When you read a Buddhist scripture or a spiritual scripture, emptiness does not mean “a lack.” Ourwants “more” so we hear this concept of emptiness and we say, “Oh, I do not want that.” Notice that “I.” We want more: more bliss, more pleasure! That is what we want with our spirituality, if you are really sincere with yourself, you will see that. What we really want is more pleasure. That means we do not understand karma. We do not understand cause and effect, and how it functions in nature. We do not grasp that the more you indulge in pleasure, the more you spin the wheel towards pain. We do not grasp that. We need to learn that. In other words, in that spiritual desire, you can see how easy it would be to become attached to pleasures in the realms of the gods. Yet, that level is still bound “in the prison of the six cyclic existences.”
Emptiness is that which is beyond both pain and pleasure. Emptiness refers to very specific aspect of the Bhavachakra, which is quite technical and quite complicated, and we have not gone into in this course because when we talk about it, everyone falls asleep. It is called pratitiyasamutpada — even when I say just the word, people's eyes glaze over.
Pratitiyasamutpada is an ancient word from a Pali language that is very hard to translate into English. Translations include “dependent origination, interdependence.”
To understand the emptiness is to understand prakrityasumutpara, the interdependence of all things, the dependent origination of all things, which is the, the Absolute, the primordial archetype at the base of all things.
What this statement from Nagarjuna is saying is because we do not understand reality, which is the Absolute, we continually recycle through nature, whether we become gods or demons. We can rise to become gods, demigods, Nirvanic Buddhas, but they fall. The demons rise and become gods, and then they fall, too. Beings are migrating this way, up and down, around the wheel, continually, for aeons. What is the purpose? What do they gain from this? It seems absurd, and the reason is simply stated here. They do not grasp that behind the wheel is the very purpose of existence, which is the Absolute, the Emptiness, the. Only the Bodhisattvas can reach that level of understanding.
So think about this for a moment; imagine all of the beings all of the minerals, all of the plants, all the animals, all of the humanoids, not only on this planet, but on all the uncountable number of planets throughout all of existence — trillions and trillions and trillions of beings cycling through nature, being born and dying, again and again. And then also, the demons and the demigods and the gods, an incomprehensible number of living things bound to this wheel, clutching and clawing to get “a little more,” and when they get it, they may hold it briefly, then it is taken away. Down they go again. Really, look at that, because we are bound in that, whether we are in the level of a demon, a animal, a human being, a demigod. It is really the same. Whatever we have now will not last. Why? Because of emptiness, because of dependent origination, because of impermanence, because of the Absolute, because of how nature functions. But we do not understand it.
At the core of our wheel of becoming are those three forces. The most important one is ignorance, "avidya" in Sanskrit, which is a lack of knowing. We can also use the Greek term “agnostic." People use that term now to say, "I do not believe anything" but what they are really saying is, "I do not know anything. I am ignorant.” Agnostic literally means "a lack of knowledge.” It is really absurd to see people calling themselves agnostic; it is really like saying, “I am ignorant.” That is really what they are saying; it is sad. They are really displaying a profound lack of knowledge. It is sad, because that is why they suffer. To escape the prison of the six cycles of existence, we need knowledge of emptiness.
We need to comprehend the Absolute. That is why we always talk about it. That is why Masteralways talks about it. It is absurd to see his students avoid studying the Absolute, when understanding the Absolute is the vey root of liberation.
"Karmas, trouble, hindrances, and habitual psychological manifestations can only be killed by cultivatingand contemplating the Absolute.” - Milarepa, Guiding Instructions on the Bardo
Milarepa is a very great. He is most renowned in Tibet, partly because he was the first Tibetan to reach complete ; so, he is a hero amongst the people. What is most remarkable about him is that he stated out as black magician, killing people for revenge. He learned magic, , in order to get revenge, in order to kill, and he did it. Then he learned his lesson, and he learned about the kind of power that he had, and he repented and worked very rigorously for the remainder of his days in that body, and become a great . He told his disciples, his last teaching was simply this,
"Meditate! Everything that I have accomplished is from. "
Students do not like to hear that. We like to hear easy answers. The real path is not easy. We want everything given to us on plate with a spoon and fork.
He is pointing out here how to walk the path: cultivateand contemplate the Absolute. So we need to understand what these terms mean, because all of us, obviously, have a lot of troubles. We have many habitual psychological tendencies and many hindrances. The only way that we can really become liberated from them is a very deep comprehension.
To me, his statement is particularly interesting. It would be easy to read that and sort of walk away and say, "Yes, that's profound, okay,” and think that was all, but really he is giving a profound clue in this statement, and this is something I want to point out to you specifically about studying scripture. You cannot grasp scripture with your intellect. That is impossible. Scripture was not written for your intellect. When you read scripture, you have to read it with your, with your heart, and the best way is to just read a little bit and then meditate a lot. You will get a lot from that.
This sentence, in particular, offers very deep and profound teachings. This is like a precious gem, and inside of it is an incredible power, very beautiful, very profound, but to acquire it, you have to put it into practice; I am going to give you a little hint about that, and we are going to talk about it for the rest of the lecture.
The parts of this sentence are not accidental. There is very profound relationship in how this sentence has been structured, how this scripture is delivered. There is a very specific relationship there between the two elements of this statement: karma, troubles, and habitual psychologicalmanifestations, and and comprehending the Absolute. Study that relationship.
So he says we need to “cultivate.” Let us understand what that means.
is Sanskrit word. We have talked about it a lot. If you have studied Buddhism, you have heard it a lot. Loosely translated, means "awakening mind-heart.”
Bodhi means “perfect knowledge” or “wisdom,” but it does not mean wisdom like clever sayings or the smart advice that you get from your grandmother (although there might be wisdom in it). Bodhi specifically refers to cognizance, which is a kind of understanding, a comprehension, specifically related to the sephirothand . In another term, we can call it prajna.
In Sanskrit, prajna is the highest paramita [perfection; virtue] on thepath. The “wisdom that penetrates” has two syllables: pra and jna. Pra means “before, very, beyond,” and jna means “knowledge.” So — this wisdom, cognizance, understanding — is directly pointing at prajna, and prajna is this type of knowledge related with the sephirah on the Tree of Life. It is a type of knowledge at the heights, related with the world of , related with the Sambogakaya and Nirmanakaya of the trikaya. These are bodies of the Buddhas. These are very, very elevated levels of comprehension.
Chitta means “mind-heart,” not intellect. It means our psyche itself. It does not mean the intellect in the brain, and it does not not mean the emotional center in the heart. Chitta, “mind-heart,” refers to our astral and mental bodies. Our astral body is that part of ourthat reflects emotional understanding. The mental body reflects conceptual understanding. The emotional understanding of the astral body reflects into our emotional center related to the heart, while the conceptual understanding of the mental body reflects into the intellectual center in the brain. Nevertheless, one thing is the understanding itself, and another thing is the reflection of it in the centers.
All of us have lunar mental and astral bodies. We are just elementals from nature. Or our astral and mental bodies, our chitta, is at the level of animals. You do not have to believe me, simply watch your mind. Watch how much of your mind is animal in its attention, only concerned with eating, sleeping, going to bathroom, competing with others, and sex. That is pretty much it. Ninety percent of our thoughts are about eating, sleeping, going to bathroom, competing with others, and sex. Is it not true? Anybody deny it? We are animals. We need to change, and become human beings. To do that, we need a solar chitta: mind-heart. That is a psyche, a “,” that can convey more energy, and is more pure.
So,means “awakening mind-heart,” but that is attained in levels.
Commonly, the way that this is taught — and I want to point this out because this is a very profoundly related with the point of the lecture — the way most people hear aboutis in the foundational way, the way it is taught in the Sutrayana schools, which are commonly called Hinayana or Theravada (southern Buddhism). In these traditions, is taught as altruism or compassion, related to the longing to become a great being, a Buddha, in order to help other beings.
In Sutrayana,is taught as the altruistic intention to attain enlightenment for the benefit of suffering beings.
That is a very beautiful goal, and all religions share this intention, and all religions have their own ways of presenting the goal of spirituality. This type of goal is to express love, to care for others, to serve the poor, to help the sick, and the needy. All of those intentions are related to becoming pure and cultivating. But the very beginning level is called Sutrayana because its the most personal, most foundational way of understanding , which they call metta, compassion, love.
In the Mahayana, or the greater vehicle, the understanding ofbecomes deeper. At the level of the Mahayana teachings, is taught as not only compassion, the wish to help others, but a wish that is fueled by the understanding of the Absolute, which is founded upon the understanding of how karma relates to reality, that the cause and effect relationship does not have to be as it is.
In Mahayana:is taught as awareness (discriminative awareness; prajna) that perceives the Absolute (Sunyata, Emptiness).
Stated in another way, in the Sutrayana level, we see our suffering and we want to escape it, and we start to see the suffering of others and we want to help them escape it. And we start to understand that we are creating our own suffering, because of our pride, anger, etc., and we see that others are doing the same thing. We want to help them overcome that, to stop producing suffering. That is the Sutrayana level.
That comprehension of karma — not the intellectual idea but to actually see it in our lives and in the lives of others — is the beginning of starting to see the nature of the Emptiness. It is the beginning of comprehending, to see how all things move in relation to each other. Emptiness, the Absolute, is the space in which all things move, and everything is moving. Existence moves because of cause and effect. Starting to see that is a mark of the Mahayana understanding of. It is compassion, but it is a compassion based upon seeing how nature works, and understanding there is another way.
So, when someone really comprehends how cause and effect are based upon the Absolute, and is really understanding that in their experience of existence, to go further they are given the teaching of Tantrayana. At that level, they are taught whatreally means. The word also means sexual energy.
In Tantrayana,means the seminal fluids of the body. The Tibetan word for is byan-sems, which means both “enlightenment mind” and “ .”
The Tibetan the word formeans two things at the same time. It means the awakening mind, and it also means the sexual energy. It is the same word; that is not an accident. There is a reason for that.
Now let us understand that the word, awakened mind heart, means all of this and more. is energy, intelligence, light, matter, , all at the same time. is a way of seeing, acting, being, feeling. It is a way of being in touch with the divine. It is a way of comprehension. It is a light, and all of that emerges out of the Absolute.
Another word for, if you want a Greek word for it, is . It is the same thing. is a force in nature. It is most condensed and most powerful in our sexual energy. It is our power of creation, of becoming.
When we harness that energy spiritually, through our comprehension of the Absolute, we awakenvery rapidly. That is why Tantrayana has been so protected, because it is a doorway to so much power. Remember, power is an energy: it can create or destroy. If you give power to a demon, they will destroy.
So now, in this day and age, these teachings are being made open and available to everyone, and many demons are learning this. Many demons in the world are now learning to harness their sexual forces and use those energies, but they are not changing psychologically. They are not eliminating their pride, anger, and envy. They continue to nurse and protect and grasp onto the same habitual tendencies that they have always had, which means they are now getting much stronger, much more powerful, and they are awakeningas demons.
On the other hand, if we work seriously to understand whatreally means, and we work seriously to eliminate these tendencies from ourselves, liberation is the natural outcome.
So, about thisstated,
"Theis the awakened and developed superlative of . The emerges in the aspirant who sacrifices himself for his fellowmen, long before the Mercurial bodies have been created... It is necessary for the , which means the auric embryo, the awakened , to fall into the Illuminated Void [the Absolute].” - Samael Aun Weor
This statement fromis very deep, and I do not expect everyone here to grasp it for the brief time that we are studying here, but let me point out something very important. First of all, “ is the awakened and superlative of ,” the . Secondly, “ emerges long before the mercurial bodies have been created.” This is extremely significant.
Creating the solar bodies — the astral, mental, and causal bodies — is important. We have talked about this many times; It is discussed in all the books. It is discussed in all the lectures. The creation of those bodies is what helps us to raise our level of being which binds us in this level, and gives us the ability to transmit more light, but it has nothing to do, ultimately, with liberation. It sounds strange, doesn't it? Solar bodies have nothing to do with liberation? What am I talking about?
There are many, many beings in this universe with solar bodies. So what? They are still bound to the wheel of becoming. They are not liberated. They have the solar bodies, but they still have the. They could be demons. They could be human beings. They could be gods. Yet, they are still bound to the same cycle of recurrence, rising and falling, again and again. Even having solar bodies, what good is that doing them? So many schools nowadays focus intensely on the solar bodies, and quite foolishly, because the solar bodies do not liberate us from suffering. Comprehension does. Elimination of the does. Understanding the Absolute does.
states clearly here, "The emerges long before the mercurial bodies have been created.” How does it emerge? Through sacrifice for others, altruism, compassion, generosity, sacrifice. This word sacrifice is really critical, as well. You see here that “ emerges in the aspirant who sacrifices himself.” What does sacrifice mean? We have a very clear example in our tradition of sacrifice, one that is often overlooked. It is the story of Abraham. Abraham represents our .
“And it came to pass after these things, thatdid tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
“And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
“Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
“And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
“And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
“And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
“And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
“And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.” - Genesis 22
Can you imagine for a father to kill his son, the emotional impact, the pain? That scripture is there to point that out. That is the nature of sacrifice; it is painful. Sacrifice is to do what must be done, to follow the commandants of God, and to accept the pain.
Abraham represents our. Therefore, our is Isaac, who is on the altar to be sacrificed. Certainly, when we walk this path, we feel that we are being placed on the altar to be sacrificed.
Now, if you do not know the story he does not kill his son.
“And the messenger of יהוה called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
“And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” - Genesis 22
Who is the ram, the animal? It is our mind. That is what must die.
That path to liberation is about sacrificing ourselves. It is through that pain of renouncing our pleasure, renouncing our comforts, and seeking only to serve divinity and humanity that thebegins to emerge in us.
To combine all of this together,clearly defined is when we have learned to restrain our sexual forces, to transform them, to renounce animal desire, and to take all of our creative power — physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually — and dedicate it to the well-being of others, to help eliminate suffering, to serve what our wants us to do in that regard. And in that, our creative power does create. It creates the , it creates a new mind, a new way of seeing, a new way of being, a new way of acting, a new way of understanding. This is what creates the auric embryo. This is not a theory. This is not something vague. It is something that exists, yet is only known by those who are making it.
The auric embryo is light. Auric means “lights”; an embryo is something that is growing, a baby, a seed. We are that seed. The auric embryo is thechild, the , that emerges within us when we learn to behave this way. The auric embryo begins in the vital body, the sephirah , which is the Hebrew word for the “foundation.” This is the foundation of our temple; it is the stone upon which the entire structure needs to be based.
Now, if we walk one of these other paths, say we want to become a resident of “Nirvana,” we want to create the solar bodies, we can raise thein the physical and vital bodies and that would be great, and we would have light in those bodies. We can go on to create the astral, mental, and causal bodies, and we can become a buddha, an angel, and that's great. It is a beautiful path. Truly, those are beautiful beings. But none of that has anything to do with . The residents of Nirvana — great buddhas, saints, angels — are not required to have ; a few might have developed a little bit, but to really have developed is something found only in a , a walker of the direct path.
is a different kind of mind, a different kind of light. That auric embryo that emerges in the vital body is how the , , is setting the stage for the eventual emergence into the , to completely remove that from the wheel, and to incarnate into that as a . The is the beginning of that, the middle of that, and the ending of that. Stated simply is the aura of .
There are levels and levels and levels of. Jesus has incredible — stunning, astonishing, unbelievable . His power of sacrifice and his radiant light are incomprehensible, even to the gods. Even the gods, who live in those high realms, can scarcely look at Yeshua because of the radiance of his light, his . They simply cannot comprehend his . That is how serious this is.
So, in us, through sacrificing ourselves, through comprehending the Absolute, we start to develop, and it is based in the transmutation of sexual energy. You cannot escape that. You cannot create if you are expelling your sexual energy. It is impossible. The — — is the sexual force itself. The sexual energy is the creative power of God. That is why all religions require the restraint and control of that force. That is why Buddhists who follow the tantric paths in Buddhism take vows to restrain that energy and transform it, and they learn many techniques for that, relative to what school they follow. But nowadays, most Buddhists ignore the sexual aspect; they do not follow it. Therefore, they are not really developing . Without the containment and transformation of the sexual energy, it is impossible to develop , since is in itself the same force. How can you develop something that is being wasted? Impossible.
“With the dignity of vajra holder [a holy deity],
the vajra [phallus] with lotus enters the lotus [vagina].
With lingam [phallus] placed into the bhaga [vagina],
the yogi performs [the ] hum phat;
the [sexual energy] is not emitted [through ] .
“One's own secret-area five-pointed vajra [male sexual organ] marked with a lotus enters the consort's lotus [female sexual organ]. Within that state the yogi holds the dignity of being the vajra-holder main deity Kakalchakra, he utters the syllables hum phat, and dwells within the activity of [sexual] union arising from placing the father's lingum into the mother's bhaga. This brings the elemental[sexual energy] down to the tip of the jewel [sexual organs], where it is not to be emitted [through ] .” - Quoted from Ornament of Stainless Light, an Exposition of Kalachakra , by Khedrug Norsang Gyatso (15th century AD).
The only way to develop bodhicitta is to cultivate tig le, which is Tibetan word that means sexual energy, and the only way that can happen is to restrain that force. In other words, those who want to developmust renounce the . They must renounce animal desire.
Now, let us look at ourselves. We are not at the level of havingdeveloped yet, but we need to know what it is. You cannot create something unless you know what you intend to create. (Ok, you can create a child without knowing what you are doing; you can get pregnant, but you cannot create a or a buddha. You cannot create a master or unless you know what you are doing, so we need to look seriously at ourselves.)
The seventh Dalai Lama said,
"Samsara is one’s continuum of rebirth into the contaminated aggregates." - Seventh Dalai Lama
I have pointed this out in all the lectures of this series because it is so important. We forget this all the time. We are in samsara now, because that is the state of our psychology. Samsara means “circling,” and we are constantly repeating ourselves. The wheel of becoming is our very mind, and we are trapped in that because of our misperception. So, this “rebirth into the contaminated aggregates” refers to what we have now, what we are now.
Buddhism says there are five aggregates, skandhas, which means “a collection, a heap, an amalgamation,” and the example that we always give is concrete. To make concrete, to pour our sidewalks and streets, you mix together different things to create that. Concrete is an aggregate. We are like that, too, in different levels.
Our physical body is an aggregate of many things. It is called rupa, “form.” This aggregate is the physical body.
The physical body has the ability to perceive sensations; that is vedanā.
We perceive sensation through perception, through cognition, samjñā.
We are able to recognize between what we perceive because of mental formation, which is samskara.
We are able to discern those differences because of vijñāna.
We have given lectures about the skandas already. I am pointing this out to remind you, and also to point out that none of these are yourself. In spite of our mistaken perception of ourselves, we are not the body, we are not sensations, we are not perceptions, we are not mental formation, neither are we the discernment of them, but we always forget all of this. We think we are what we experience through the aggregates, but that is a misperception. It is ignorance (avidya). That is why we are suffering. We are continuing repeating ourselves in Samsara, repeating, circling, repeating again and again because we are very hypnotized by the skandhas, and our skandhas are contaminated with attachment, hostility, malice, ignorance, craving, aversion, pride, etc.
These five aggregates are symbolized on the Bhavachakra by the five skulls at the top. The five skulls are a crown that represent how the figure that is grasping the wheel has that power: he has power because of the five skandhas, the aggregates.
We give that power to Yama, the god of death, because we do not dominate consciously our own skandhas. We are not cognizant, aware, awake. We are very mechanical. We do not really perceive or observe the aggregates at all: we do not see the reality of any form or matter, any sensation, any perception, any mental formation. We are not really aware of any of it. Life and death are just “happening” to us. We take in enormous amounts of data continually, and we are constantly thinking and thinking and thinking, or feeling and feeling and feeling, without any comprehension, without really seeing what is going on. We never have the awareness that wonders, “Why am I seeing these things? Why am I feeling these things? How? How does it happen and then what happens after? What is the cause and effect relationship between matter, sensation, perception, mental formation and discernment? How does it all work?” We have no idea. That is why we are circling, repeating, repeating, repeating: because of ignorance.
When you seriously begin to observe yourself, you start to realize that everything you are thinking today, feeling today, is the same as yesterday. It is the same as yesterday, and the day before that, with only slight changes, slight modifications. We are always repeating the same habits physically, mentally, and emotionally.
So, observe that wheel circling in yourself, cycling again and again and again. That is why Padmasambhava said,
“Samsara, ‘circling,’ is to spin from one place to another. Nirvana is to have cut through this circling.” - Padmasambhava, The Cycle of Vital Points
So, we are the wheel, and that repetition is processing through our: through our intellect, heart, bodies, especially through or sexual organs, which is the root of all of our energy, constantly repeating. Never learning anything new, always seeking distraction, diversion. Why? What do we want to be diverted from, distracted from? Suffering? Things we think we cannot change? Things we think we already know?
This cycle is depicted here as a figure eight, but really, if you observe that, that figure eight is just a circle, twisted. Do you see that? It is twisted because it is continually spinning. That is the symbol of the infinite. Its center is the heart. Why is that? If I said, “Hey, you,” you say, "Who, me?" and you point to your heart. This is where the root of ourselves is most deeply connected. This is where ourcommunicates with us. This is where our communicates with us. This is where communicates with us: in the heart. This is where we feel the most pain. Really, as much physical pain as we can feel, as much mental torment as we can feel, the worst suffering we can ever feel is in the heart. There is no question about that. Conversely, the most beauty, the most joy, and the most incredible sensations we can feel are in the heart, not physically. Everyone is out searching for physical sensations or mental stimulations, but really, the greatest experiences we can ever have are in relation to the heart.
So, this image represents how we suffer, how through our misperceptions of external and internal things, we wrongly transform impressions. We misunderstand what we see and feel and think, and thus we act out of misunderstanding, and thus we create suffering. To cut through that is to begin to see this process in motion, in ourselves. We have to see the process and change it, and here is how you do that. The Dalai Lama said,
“...bodhisattvas are beings who, out of intense compassion, never shift their attention away from sentient beings; they are perpetually concerned for the welfare of all beings, and they dedicate themselves entirely to securing that welfare. ” - 14th Dalai Lama
If you want full and complete liberation from suffering — forever — this is how you do it: stop worrying about yourself. Stop feeding your desires. Stop feeding your pride. Stop listening to your envy, anger,. Begin to recognize that as much as you satisfy any given desire, it will never be satisfied, and will only seek more. Furthermore, every time you do feed a desire, it corrupts the rest of your life. You feel guilty; you feel shame. You feel darkness, heaviness, regret; other people reject you. You lose what good you did have, and things begin to descend. The cycle, your trajectory, goes down. Yet, if you embrace serving others, cultivating compassion for others and insight into reality, the Absolute, you spin that trajectory upwards. You cultivate . To repeat: that only happens with transmutation and with a psychological revolution.
So how do we do that? I know this is a lot of philosophical and somewhat technical information, but it is not complicated. It is actually very practical. It is not hard to do in terms of the steps. What makes it hard is to change. Really, changing is not easy. Changing ourselves is hard.
So, we begin here and now. Who are we? We have to observe ourselves. That is hard. We have to look at our, constantly watching and understanding how they work with each other in external things and with internal things. We have to understand how the three forces work through us, and move through our , our three nervous systems, intellect, emotion, and body. We start to see how they function, how thoughts process, what causes them, what sustains them, and what they result in. And the same thing with emotions and with physical actions.
There are four steps to achieve liberation; these steps were taught by Tsong Khapa, a reincarnation of the Buddha Shakyamuni. This is from the teachings of Lam-rim, which are considered to be the most important teachings of Buddhism after the Buddha.
We need to recognize our afflictions. We need to know what afflictions are. We do not even know that. We are the prisoners in the cage who only know the cage and have no idea what is outside the cage. We need to analyze our cage and recognize what is causing suffering for ourselves and others.
How do we define an affliction? Classically, in Buddhism an affliction is anything that disturbs the mindstream. It sounds very broad, because it is. So then we need to know what is the mindstream and what is it that disturbs it. Your continuity of, awake, here and now, , that is mindstream. It is called "stream" because it is always flowing. It is called mind because it is your chitta, here and now.
So if you are not here and now, then you are under the sway of an affliction, because your mindstream is not here and now. You are disturbed; you are distracted. You are thinking about work, that vacation you are going to take. You are thinking about that problem you are going to solve, or that emotional difficulty you are having, etc.
Yet, you can be here and now, aware of your body, paying attention, and still have an affliction. Firstly, you are here and now. Secondly, you notice, "I have some pain. I have some anxiety. I have some discomfort. I have some kind of conflict, intellectually, emotionally, physically.” All of those would be classified as afflictions.
Yet, afflictions are not limited to those we in our current state would call “unpleasant.” Remember: afflictions include anything that disturbs the mindstream away from its natural state. In other words, anything that causes us to forget our true nature. So, we enjoy pride, and feel great when we are envied by others, yet pride is an affliction. We enjoy attention, and crave it, yet when we get it and feel “ourselves” in attention from others, that is an affliction, because that “self” we are feeling is not real. It is an illusion.
To understand what is and is not an affliction, we have to meditate, and become experienced in accessing the natural state of being, theunrestrained, unconditioned. We call this state samadhi. Only in this way, with this experience, can anyone then understand what afflictions are.
In our tradition, we have broad categories for our afflictions. We call them pride, greed, envy,, anger, etc. These are very broad terms. They are not very specific. They are very broad. The reality is that we have tens of thousands of afflictions. They are all different, and everyone of us is different, with different afflictions. Moreover, all of them have so-called “positive, pleasant” faces, as well as “negative, unpleasant” ones.
In Buddhism, they talk about ten fundamental afflictions, but even those are not fully comprehensive. They are just ten generalized afflictions.
What we need to understand is that anything that impacts our cognizance of the present moment and causes us to misperceive reality is an affliction. So, looked at in that way, we can say that all of us pretty much have only experienced afflictions as far back as we can remember. This is because to experience the state of not having an affliction is to experience samadhi, ecstasy, bliss. This is a state in which theperceives as it should, with serenity, clarity, insight, and understanding, without any vagueness, but also accompanied with a great sense of peace and love. That is the natural state of our . It is a state of penetrating insight accompanied by love. In that state of , you can perceive the Absolute, the Emptiness. It sounds strange, but it is not a mystical thing. It is not something otherworldly or fantastical. The perception of reality is not something spectacular like you see on television. The perception of reality is the natural state of existence. The natural state of our is to see reality. Our current state is abnormal, fantastical, strange.
The Absolute is in everything. It is behind everything. It is inside of everything; everything is in it. The Absolute is nature of existence itself, and it is possible to perceive it at any level of being provided you can manage to take theout of its state of affliction long enough to see reality, but no one can do that you for you. You have to do it yourself. It is as if your want to take your skin off and look out. To learn to do that, we learn to meditate.
Realis not “spacing out.” It is not to become disassociated with reality. In fact, is a state of perception that sees reality.
is not a way of avoiding our problems; it is a way that we look into them, to see the causes of them, and to break those causes.
That is why the first step to liberation is to recognize afflictions. We must know what they are: they are the causes of suffering. If you cannot recognize the causes of your suffering, you cannot cure it. We have to recognize it in motion in ourselves, in our, all the time.
Then we need to see what allows these three things to happen. “Why is it that these afflictions emerge? How is that they are here with me? How is it that I am victimized by them? What is it that allows these three things to emerge? How did I create them?” Because you did; no one gave them to you. God certainly did not give them to you. You made them yourself.
Classically speaking, this step is super-important but easy to misunderstand. This second step is to perceive what allows them to arise. It would be easy to assume, "Well, my anger is arising because of my wife.” Listen: we already think that way, but that is not the meaning of this. What allows our afflictions to arise in us is our mistaken perceptions. We believe that the self we are feeling is real. We think that “me, myself,” with “my name” and “my face, my heritage, my beliefs, my memories, my training, my education, my background, my family, all of the books I've read, etc, etc, etc,” is “myself” and that is wrong. That is.
Self is study this course to learn about self and Atman]. Self is Buddha, , the Spirit, Abraham. That is Self. We do not see that; we do not see it because we are hypnotized by afflictions, skandhas, samskaras. We are hypnotized by our pride, fear, envy, etc. That is what allows our afflictions to arise, because we are continually in a state of hypnosis.[
Hypnos is the name of the Greek god of sleep.is the Greek word for knowledge. Hyp- is “a lack of knowledge due to sleep.” We are all in a state of hypnosis. We are not awake. We see the physical world and we think that is everything there is, and we see money, sex, and power, and think that is everything. We are wrong. That is why we suffer.
We need to see in ourselves how our misperception allows the afflictions to arise in us, and when they do arise, how we get hypnotized again. If someone says something harmful to us, we get annoyed. We get aggravated, angry, and we nurse it and feed it, and we say, “They are wrong! They should not have said that!" and we act against them in various ways; we keep the cycle going in ourselves over again and again. We build resentment, and that is why we suffer. You see, it is not complicated. We just need to look at ourselves, and we need to change how we see.
We need to see how afflictions arise. According to Tsong Kapa, this is quite a difficult step. It involves many things. He specifies six particular aspects of how they arise. It includes the basis of our psyche. For example, we are asleep. We know that from step one. We are mistakenly perceiving ourselves and mistakenly perceiving others. We believe that the sense of self that we feel is real and valid, and the person that hurt us is real and valid, and the words they said are real and valid, so therefore, we believe our anger is real and valid. That is all wrong. It is only valid because we believe it. That is the only reason. We do not see that we, ourselves, are what allowed all of that to arise. Because we believe it. We are hypnotized by anger, by pride.
“Certainly, the words of an insulter do not have any more value than that which the insulted person gives to them. Therefore, if the insulted person does not give any importance to them, I repeat, they remain like a check drawn against insufficient funds. By comprehending this, one transforms the impressions of those words. For instance, they are transformed into something different, into love, into compassion for the insulter. Naturally, this means transformation. Therefore, we need to be transforming impressions incessantly, not only the ones in the present, but also the ones of the past and of the future.” - The Revolution of the Dialectic,
So perceiving how afflictions arise is getting into the details, to look into the specifics in ourselves, in our mind, and in our environment also. We would not have felt that anger if that person had not criticized us; the anger was there inside of us, but took that scene for the anger to become visible. As we are now, hypnotized, when we feel that anger we react with hate towards the provoker. But through learning to work with, we learn to transform impressions. First, we see anger for what it is: an affliction. We do not let it hypnotize us. Next, realizing it has been a cause of suffering, we will feel grateful, because now, seeing it in ourselves, we can work to dissolve it, and be free of that suffering. We will feel grateful to the provoker: we will love them. We will cherish them, because they have helped us to make serious progress in our path towards purity. That is a sign that is emerging. That is a clear and definite sign that you are beginning to cultivate : when you feel love for the ones who hurt you. This is a mark of success (but do not feel proud, because then you'll go back down). Just recognize how this works, and look to recreate this scenario in your life. Don't force it. It will happen spontaneously when is real. When someone says something hurtful, you will feel pain because your pride is hurt, but if you transform the impression then you will spontaneously feel love for the person who said that. They really helped you. They showed you your anger. They showed you your pride. This is a simple thing, and it does not take effort. It only takes awareness. It only takes cognizance.
This is what in Tibetan is called lo jong: mind training.
Finally, to really seal it, we need to see the faults of the afflictions. We need to really see, to comprehend, to meditate on our afflictions, because right now we do not see the faults at all. Right now, all of us have enthroned our afflictions. We have put them in charge, and then we wonder why we suffer. We are suffering because we have put our own afflictions in charge of our lives. We have put our anger in charge, our, our jealousy, and our pride, mainly those. We need to meditate on their faults. Like this: Analyze pride. Do you feel anger? Why? Because your pride is hurt. Where will pride take you? Study cause and effect. Nature functions in very specific ways. When you analyze pride, you say, "Ok, if I feed continue to feed pride, where is it going to take me? Let us say I have another ten years to live. If I continue to build up my pride where is it going to take me? Ok, it might get me some money. It might get me respect. Then I am going to die, and then what? I will lose that social status and money. Then I am going to have this prideful baggage that is going to want even more in the next life.”
What about anger? “Well, if I keep feeling this anger, what does anger do? Anger isolates. The only thing anger can do is destroy. Anger cannot create anything. It cannot create peace. It cannot create understanding. It cannot create harmony; it can only create conflict, war, discord, separation.” Even if we intellectually know these things, we all have enormous anger, why? Do we all want peace? Do we all want to feel connectedness? We all want to feel love and we all want to love. Anger is the obstacle, not the anger of the others, but our own.
Knowing something intellectually does not result in change. We need to understand the faults of the afflictions. We need to comprehend them. For that, we must meditate on them.
So, we need to meditate on these faults. After we have observed our egos during the day, when we get home at night, and we meditate on what we experienced, and consider, "Yes, I see I have. Yes, I have pride. I have to meditate on that.” If you keep saying “Yes, I have . I see my . I have . I see this . etc.” this approach goes nowhere. What we need to do is analyze it, to imagine the event. “Ok, I see this , what does it create? What can it create? What can it give?” We all know what wants, and we have all had the experience of what provides. It gives certain experiences, certain sensations, but then what comes after that? Everything is connected. Everything is interdependent. Remember, the one who understand the Emptiness, pratityasamutpada, are the ones who reach liberation. So, we cannot look at afflictions like in isolation. We needs to see the in relation with everything else. Ok, so you have and you indulged in that, what did it create? Did it really make you feel good or did it make you feel bad? Did you feel like a good person after you indulged in that or did you feel guilty and remorseful? Did you have a better relationship with the person you engaged in or did the relationship get worse? Did you experience a greater expansion of your generosity, of your compassion, for you love of others, or did you experience an increasing desire, increasing , more anger, more fights, more strife, more craving? Analyze the whole picture. Look all of those cycles that I pointed out in the very beginning. How do these behaviors effect the trajectory of your moment to moment experience? Where are they going? Will pride take you to liberation? Will envy take you to liberation? Will ? Will hate? Then, go further: imagine what would have happened if you had instead acted with virtue; how would a buddha behave in that event? How would Jesus behave? What would have been the virtuous way to behave? This is the meaning of this step: to meditate on them, to comprehend them, and that is why we have this graphic. I am not going to spend time on that because we have already talked about that.
So, to synthesize this, we will look at a quote from.
"Succession does not exist for the Self-realized and Diamantine Spirit. Only the Eternal Present exists for Him. He lives from moment to moment. He has liberated Himself from the Twelve Nidanas." -
Nidanas are the steps of pratityasamutpada. The twelve nidanas are the outer ring of the Wheel of Becoming. Those twelve nidanas are the twelve stages of dependent origination. They map out how things function, and they state: "Because of this, that happens. Because of that, this happens." It is a chain that binds us to suffering. It is a chain that repeats. It is recurrence. Succession, repetition, the repeating of series, does not exist for the one who is liberated. In other words, Abraham,, , our Spirit is not bound by that. We are, but full development, full realization, full liberation is the merger of ourselves with That. Full realization is the level of in which there is no difference between us and That (the Absolute); to reach this level, the [afflictions] must be completely dissolved. Right now, we are bound on the wheel. When we liberate ourselves from the wheel we realize that we are the Self. This is the great teaching of Vedanta: we are the Self. Fundamentally, in our root it is true, but in practical reality, right now, we are not, because of our ignorance, because we are trapped in suffering.
For our Being, only the eternal present exists. He lives from moment to moment, and when we reach liberation, he will have liberated Himself from the twelve nidanas. Who accomplishes that? Who accomplishes liberatingfrom the twelve nidanas? Only a . No demon, no elemental, no Nirvani, no one on the spiral path can accomplish it. If you look all the way up in the corner of any graphic or painting of the Bhavachakra, we see a little path, a rainbow bridge, a bridge made out of light, and there are only a couple of beings walking on it. This is in comparison to all the beings that are trapped on the wheel. Those beings that are walking that path are walking the path, and they are walking that path up to the top. We see there the trinity: , , , which in Buddhism are called Dharmakaya, Sambokakaya, Nirmanakaya. That is the third mountain, the mountain of ascension. Again, that is a mountain only reached by the . Then, when they reach that level, they reach full and complete development, they become a liberated being, a resurrected Master, a full and complete , a , a Mahatma. Then what do they do? They do not stay up in heaven. They do not forget the world. They descend back to help others. When you look at the Bhavachakra, you see Bodhisattvas in the lower realms, even in hell, trying to help those beings understand the path. Thankfully, because without them, none of us would have this knowledge.
Instructor: When you look at the paintings, all of them are interpreted according to the tradition that the artists come from, so you always find little differences. In the graphic that we are using today, the painter just painted it that way, with the lowest realms the largest. If you look at this other one, the realms are all equal in size, so it is just a stylistic choice. These realms are depicted symbolically. Philosophically speaking, the sizes are really irrelevant, because when you really start to comprehend the nature of thepath and the specific meanings of Samsara and Nirvana and the six realms, there is no difference between them. That is why in some traditions, those six realms are painted exactly equal, because the does not see the realms as better or worse than one another. A should not treat a demon differently from a god, or a god differently from a demon, because both of them are trapped in suffering, and both of them need help, so from the point of view of the path, those six realms are the same. The creatures who are trapped in the six realms do not see it like that. Everyone thinks the realms of the gods is the best, but it is not. In some ways it is the worst.
Audience: You mentioned "Agnostics" in the lecture. Can you define the meaning of the word “Gnostic."
Instructor: Well, as I said in the lecture, a Gnostic is someone who has knowledge, not book knowledge, but experiential knowledge of what we are teaching here. An agnostic has no knowledge. Really, all of us who want to be Gnostic are still agnostic, because we still lack real knowledge. We might have memorized the teachings, butcomes from experience, not reading or listening. There are many people who claim to be Gnostic and are not, and there are many who claim to be agnostic and who really are that, and they do not realize it.
Audience: Were the teachings of Buddha and Jesus related to kabblah according to the time period of which they taught?
Instructor: Of course. Every genuine religion is, and so is every genuine science, art and philosophy. In order to understand what that means, we have to remember that does not belong to the Jews, in the same way that Buddhism does not belong to people from India, Thailand, Cambodia, or any other place. All religions emerged out of the Absolute, and were brought by Bodhisattvas with compassion in order to help suffering beings, and those Bodhisattvas bring the teaching in accordance with the idiosyncrasies of their own Being. They show the light of their Being — which has its own characteristics — and they modify that light and direct it to be best received by the ones receiving it. That means that the way Jesus taught was specific to those he taught, and the way Buddha taught was specific to those he taught; they both taught the same thing. Moreover, both taught in levels, since the students also had many levels. Some needed basics, while others needed deeper guidance.
There is only one light, but all of us are in ignorance and asleep, and since those two masters taught physically it has been over two thousand years, thus the light of their knowledge is not the same as what those Masters brought at that time, because that light has been written into books and been carried from mouth to ear for over two thousand years, and it has been changed and modified to fit our comforts. None of the religions on this planet are pure. None of them reflect the actual teachings given by their founding master. If you want the pure teachings, you have to awaken and go in the internal worlds to get it from the source; there, you will find Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Moses, teaching the same thing. There is only one light; they use their own words, their own stories, their own way of presenting it, but it is the same light. So,is just a word used to describe how that word is projected, but it is the same light.
Audience: Is the modern notion of "self-love" and loving ourselves in direct opposition to every ancient philosophy and religious tradition which teach selflessness and love for others?
Instructor: The answer is absolutely yes. The modern notion of self-love is one hundred percent egotistical. There is no question about that.
“Materialistic psychology (experimental psychology) is good for nothing. Proof of this is the fact that materialistic psychology has not been able to solve the mental problems that affect the country of the United States.” - The Revolution of the Dialectic,
To put it bluntly, popular psychology and philosophy are demonic; that is, they have no knowledge of how the psyche () relates to the divine. Whatever is divorced from the divine is demonic.
Modern psychology has no basis in scripture or the wisdom of masters. Instead, it is a string of unproven theories and stumblings in the dark, which — by their own admission — has not cured anyone.
Modern psychology has no basis in reality. Modern psychology excludes everything inconvenient from its point of view, and seeks only to make the suffering, the confused, dependent upon the psychologist, much as the guilty sinner depends upon the priest — and both pay their confessor for the privilege.
The demons love themselves very much, and that is what classifies them as demons. To merge with God, “you” have to get out of the way. God cannot come into a space that you have already filled up with yourself. That is why Bodhisattvas go straight to the Absolute to become nothing, to become empty, to open themselves up completely, to become a reflection, a transmitter of light, to not have any self and sense of self. It sounds scary to us, and it sounds contradictory, and it sound weird, because we feel like, “Oh, I won't be myself! I won't experience anything! I won't be me!” Yes, it is true, if you achieve that you will not be you; you will not suffer like you suffer. Instead, you will be pure, happy, a reflection of the divine, having the light of God, ecstasy, love, wisdom, understanding, insight. You will lose the animal, suffering, but you will gain a Solar, divine . That is totally different. So, the modern philosophy of self-love is poison for the .
Jesus taught very clearly,
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” - Matthew 16
That is very clear. You cannot love yourself and deny yourself at the same time.
He also said,
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” - Matthew 6
Mammon is worldliness, wealth, materialism, etc. You cannot be a slave of your self-interests and also serve God.
In the Sufi tradition, it is quite clearly presented in many ways, especially in the poetry of Rumi. He describes explicitly, repeatedly, that we have to be consumed by the fires of God, burnt up, completely obliterated, before we can know who we truly are.
“Knock, and He'll open the door
Vanish, and He'll make you shine like the sun
Fall, and He'll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, and He'll turn you into everything.” ― Rumi
So what we need is not self-love, but to follow the commandments:
"Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy Self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." - Matthew 22
Audience: Why does thewant us dead?
Instructor: I have never heard that one. For most people, the Observe your mind; when you are angry, violence is easy to start. If you dream that someone is shooting or killing you it can be because they are angry with you. They are talking against you. They are mad at you internally, and thus internally they are killing you. If that person nourishes that anger too much, or if their has a very fundamental flaw, say their is broken, that will express itself physically and kill. That happens when the is fractured or broken, or if the is completely absorbed in the ; there is no free anymore. Their can be fine, but they have zero free . They are, classically, a demon, and they will kill and enjoy it, and have no regret. But even people who have some free , if the is broken, that will take over, use the , and use the body, go and kill, and often then kill themselves.want to be very much alive and does not want to die. There are some people who have suicidal tendencies, and that is because of the demonic, maniacal nature of certain egos. In the infernal worlds, killing is an expression of emotion; in hell, demons kill, yet the murdered one does not really die. Physically, you cannot do that; here, you will die physically. The problem is that because of how degenerated the mind is becoming, we are bringing the hell realms up into the physical world, so more and more we are see the behaviors of the hell realms here, physically. That is why people are going around killing each other and killing themselves. Those are “demons” possessing people — whether actual demons or just their own egos possessing them. In the hell realms, egos do that as an expression of emotion, anger. What does anger want? Anger wants to hurt. Anger does not care. Anger wants to hurt, because it feels hurt. It wants others to feel what it feels. It says, "I feel like this. I want you to feel how I feel,” and it kills. This is why we dream about killing.
Instructor: How do we conquer defeatism? To conquer defeatism, we need to cultivate a sense of awareness about the affliction of defeatism. Defeatism is pride. When we feel “I cannot do this spiritual work, my karma is too heavy.” That is anof pride who does not want to die. If you are feeling defeatism, it is because your senses that you are going to kill it, and so if you listen to that , yes you will fall defeated. If you listen to it, you will be hypnotized by it and you will fail; that is your choice. But if you recognize that affliction, and you meditate on the faults of that affliction, you will see firstly that affliction is not you. You are not defeated. You are here and now. You have a physical body; you have a relative degree of health, and you have the teachings. What more do you need? That is why you need to practice from moment to moment, be awake, and be aware. Observe yourself, learn about your behaviors, change, and meditate. Some days we do badly, some days we do better.
Defeatism often arises for two reasons: one is envy. We are comparing ourselves to others. So right there you have another fault to look at; defeatism is one fault, envy the other. How did it arise? We have this idea, “Oh, everyone else is doing better than me.” That is such a lie! It is a lie theis telling us.
The other reason is simply a lack of comprehension about karma, the teaching, about oneself, and about the Absolute, the Emptiness. If you really study this teaching and put it into practice, defeatism will fall flat. If you really understand cause and effect, you will know —fully, deeply — that you can become liberated from suffering. Cause and effect ensure it. It only requires the proper causes to produce the effect you want.
Audience: Are there specific practices to deal with the level of hungry ghosts?
Instructor: I will answer that in relation to ourselves because we all have very strong egos related to the hungry ghosts. Hungry ghosts represent, symbolically, our egos of addiction. Egos that we all have that are ravenously consumed by desire. In classical Buddhism, the hungry ghost is represented as a being who is insatiably hungry or thirsty but has a very small mouth, so they are constantly running around to find food or water to satisfy their desire, but when they take that desire, it hurts them, even more than the craving. It burns them like fire. So they suffer with the longing, and they suffer with trying to feed the longing, and then they try to avoid that food or water, but they need it again. This is symbolic of addiction. Every single intellectual animal on this planet suffers from addiction, but each of us in our own ways, and most of us are not even aware of it.
Just as an incidental note, let me point out that even the materialistic psychologists of this era have statistically shown that around forty percent of adults suffer from obsessive compulsive behavior, which is a form of addiction. That is according to superficial methods of the materialistic psychologists, who know nothing about what we are teaching, and have no way to accurately survey the submerged levels of the mind of humanity. I would say that estimate is quite conservative.
When you observe humanity, you see that addiction is very widespread, and I am not talking about alcohol or drugs. The most profound addiction that we suffer from in this era is sex. We are profoundly addicted to the sensations of sexuality, and we are profoundly confused. People think that the physical indulgence is what they want, yet it is not. They want the emotional connection, but they cannot find it. What people really want is the emotional connection, love, but they have confused that with sexual sensations. People are constantly seeking the physical sensation because they do not realize it is the emotional sensation that they want. All of us simply want love. That is a spontaneous, natural part of any living thing, to want love and to love, but we have become so corrupted bythat we have confused that in thinking that it is about the physicality, and people needlessly pursue .
So, how do we deal with the hungry ghost in us? The answer is probably obvious to most of you: meditate. Comprehension is the only antidote. We need comprehension of the elements in us that are endlessly, insatiably hungry, thirsty, craving. We have to apply what we have talked about in the lecture today. We have to meditate. We have to see what causes the addictions to arise, and see their faults. We need to comprehend them; we need to understand them.
The main thing is to learn how to not repress nor indulge, but to comprehend. In other words, if your repressing something, you are avoiding seeing it. If you indulge in something, you are avoiding seeing it. You have to do neither. When something emerges in you, you have to look at it. Where did it come from? How does it come up? What supports it? What created it? What does it want? What nourishes it? What feeds it? Where does it go? Where does it lead? What will it take away from me?
You see, as we explained in many other lectures, the alcoholic knows alcohol is bad, but they do not have comprehension of it because they continue to drink. The person who comprehends the destructive nature of alcohol will never touch another drop. They may feel the craving, but they will not touch it, because they have comprehended it, and when their comprehension is full and complete, they will not even be tempted, ever. They would just as soon drink sewer water than alcohol. That is comprehension, and we need that with everything: with, pride, gluttony, greed, all of those elements that we are insatiably hungry for.
Speaker That's a good question. Should we observe or look at our sexual relationships as spiritual only because pleasure inevitably leads to pain? The nature of the Tao path which is, in its full and complete development, thepath, is a path that we do not become distracted by gain or loss, pleasure or pain; instead, we stay in the middle. The way the Gnostic should observe and relate to their sexual life is the same way they should observe and relate to eating a meal, drinking a glass of water, taking a walk. This means to not make such a big deal out of it. Do what needs to be done; be awake, and be aware. Perform the action that needs to be performed.
Oftentimes we fail to fully understand our sexuality and our different experiences of sexuality because our psychological relationship with it is so flawed. If we could learn to experience our sexual life in the same way we experience every other part of our life, we would be a lot more healthy, but people in this era made a big deal out of sex and turned it into something that it is not. We have turned it into entertainment. Sex is not for entertainment. Neither is violence. But, since we are worse than animals, we see our desires as entertainment.
So, should we look at sex as if it's just spiritual and forget about the pleasurable part? No, because that is repression and that is not the way. Sexuality is what it is. Do you experience pleasure in the sexual act? Ok. Do not become identified. Experience it, but be awake. It is also pleasurable to eat, to drink something we like, to smell fresh fruit, to feel a coo breeze. In every case, the experience is lovely, but is not lasting. We should neither indulge nor avoid them, but comprehend them for what they are: fleeting sensations. We should comprehend what is really happening there, rather than being fascinated by the sensations.
This should be the same way when you experience pain. Do not become identified. You experience pain? Ok, it is pain, it will not last. Just like the pleasure, pain sustains briefly, yet inevitably it passes away.
The reason we suffer is because we have attachment and avoidance, craving and aversion. If we are indifferent in the sense that we allow either side to move, we do not engage the wheel to spin more. This is “letting things be,” psychologically speaking. People in the West think “letting things be” is a kind of laziness or indifference. It is not. It is a type of awareness in the sense that we allow either side to emerge and we are simply cognizant and conscious of that. We do not engage the wheel to spin, to move. This is why in Asian philosophy there is so much focus upon letting things be. People in the West want to change perception through mental adjustment, and this is the fault. Mental adjustments are pointless. You cannot change reality by changing how your mind interprets it. The reality is what it is. We have to see it for what it is.
If you want to be liberated from suffering, you have to see reality for what it is. This includes sexuality; see it for what it is. When you engage in the sexual act, be awake, be aware. If you observe animalism in your behavior, observe it. Sometimes you need to stop that. If you see harmful action, stop. “Letting be” does not mean that you allow yourself to commit a crime or harm others. It does not mean that you allow harmful actions to keep going. We are talking about how you perceive.
Audience: Yeshua said to take the plank out of our own eye before we take the mote dust out of another's eye. Could you explain this?
Instructor: Yes, the Master Jesus in his explanation of taking out the plank from your eye before you take the dust mote out of the eye of another person is exactly what we are teaching. Our concern is about others, so the teaching of thepath, which is what Jesus taught, is fundamentally concerned with all beings, not just yourself. This teaching about talking about taking the plank out is focused on the people who were always focused on the fault of other people, and it was used to remind them that our own faults are worse. So, what you need to take away from that is this. In order to be able to help other people, we have to see ourselves very clearly, and see others very clearly, then we can help them. As we are now, we are just creating problems.
Audience: Why do some say that you have to make anfat, and you cannot kill the because it was given to us by the Creator. and the only way we can kill it is to fully experience it.
Instructor: Yes, this is a common teaching. This is a very common teaching because it is a teaching of demons. It is a demonic teaching. When we look at the nature of what we mean by the term, it is a Latin term that means "I". That "I" that we experience is false; it is a creation of desire. Our divinity did not make the “I,” we did. So when eliminating the , we are talking about eliminating the false self.
In the bible, the “I” is symbolized by Cain, who because of envy killed his brother Abel, a symbol of the. We need to restore Abel. We need to eliminate Cain to enter back into Eden. So this teaching about “living with the ” and “fattening the ,” yes, you can follow that if you want to be a demon and live in the infernal worlds as a demon with a lot of power. They can definitely teach you to do that. There is no question about it. But, I recommend against it. The problem with that teaching is that it completely ignores cause and effect. The Bible teaches very clearly:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” - Galations 6
If you analyze youryou will see that it sows pain. It sows discord, greed, gluttony, , avarice, anger. That is the . If you feed it and nourish it, and allow it to continue, you will create suffering, and you will bear the compensation for that. That is why the demons suffer in hell. So, make a choice; you can. You can fatten the , and that is called the path of those that fail.
Yet, if your goal is to unite with the divine, themust be eliminated. Look here to see where the divine dwells:
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; 'I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.'” - Isa 57:15
Audience: Is the need to escape cyclical existence universal or personal?
Instructor: When we look at the cosmogenesis as it is presented by the teachings, whether in the east or west, we understand that nature is put in motion because of cause and effect, and by extension, our experience of that is created by cause and effect. Every single one of us is experiencing the effects of our previous actions. If we want liberation, whether individually or universally, it is the same. We have to change our actions and produce new causes in order to produce new effects. So, in that context, the law is universal; it applies to everything that exists. So if any being from any world wants to become liberated, the path is the same. It is through performing superior forms of action. Now, as individuals, will our actions be different? Of course. Our karma is our own, specific to our own action. It is not like anyone else's. Our path will be different from everyone else, because our past actions have been different. That means, in order for us to change and come out of liberation, our actions will not be like any others. Nevertheless, the law is the same for both.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the impure, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
“But his delight is in the law of יהוה; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
“The impure are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
“Therefore the impure shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
“For יהוה knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the impure shall perish.” - Psalms 1
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