We will be continuing our course about the bhavachakra, which is a central symbol in all Asian philosophy, specifically in Buddhism. The bhavachakra course that we have been giving over the last few months has covered the basic meanings and structures of this ancient symbol, and today we are going to be talking about the three factors at the base of all religions and all mystical traditions, three factors that are symbolized in many different ways.
In the Buddhist tradition, the symbol of the bhavachakra (usually incorrectly referred to as the wheel of Samsara) has the root of its name bhava, which comes from the root Sanskrit syllable bhu, which means “to become.”means “wheel.” So, the bhavachakra is “the Wheel of Becoming.” As we have explained in the previous lectures, it is a wheel that symbolizes cycles in all of nature, and how matter and energy function in nature. This is neither good nor bad. It is simply the coming and going of all things. It is how nature works. So, those who look at this symbol merely as “the wheel of Samsara” or “wheel of suffering” as it is often referred to are only understanding it in a very superficial way. The reality is that the bhavachakra implies a profound understanding of how to reach liberation.
When we long for liberation from suffering, when we long for spiritual enlightenment,, awakening, we are longing “to become,” to experience bhava, something new. Bhava itself means “attitude, status of being,” it can mean a subjective becoming, and it can mean a state of mind. So, all of us right now have a particular bhava. It is our current state. In the Gnostic Tradition, we call that our level of being. Everyone has their own level of being. Our level of being is not defined by our intentions, or by what we believe in, or how we dress, or how much money we have, or who we know or do not know intellectually. Our level of being is determined precisely by the conditioning of our , and that is reflected in our behavior, not only our physical behavior, but the quality of our heart and the quality of our mind. Our own inner bhava is our level of being, and that is what this wheel symbolizes first and foremost: our own state of mind.
Our state of mind, our state of being, is our level of cognizance, of, relative to nature and to divinity. That is defined by our behavior, by the state of our thinking, the state of our feeling, and what is spontaneously occurring inside of us psychologically from moment to moment. That is a reflection of our level of being.
We explain it in that way because in this day in age there are many people who believe themselves to be good people, spiritual, many who even claim to be awakened or enlightened, who think they are very serious about their spirituality, and yet their minds rage with envy, anger, pride,.
No matter what claims we make about ourselves or what we believe about ourselves, they are irrelevant The truth of our level of being is in our psyche. It is what emerges in us spontaneously. That is our level of being. If we are sincere with ourselves, truly honest with ourselves, we will see, looking in our minds, that we are not buddhas. We are not masters. We are not angels. We are deeply afflicted with pride, envy, fear, uncertainty, anxiety, doubt, criticism, jealousy, but most especially. All of us are deeply afflicted by these poisons, so much so that like fish in water, we do not see what we swim within. Those poisons, being present in our mind stream, reveal the truth about our level of being. We are very low! A buddha, an angel, a master, does not have those qualities. A fully developed angel, master, or buddha—whatever you want to call them—does not have , anger, pride, envy, jealousy, fear, uncertainty, or doubt.
This is the measure that we need to apply to ourselves in order to understand truthfully, sincerely, honestly, where we stand in relation with divinity and nature. Without that type of sincerity, we will never be able to change positively for our benefit and the benefit of others. That is why this tool is so critically important.
In all levels of nature, it takes three forces to create. These three forces manifest in each level relative to that level. In the highest, they are:
The conditioning of our psyche modifies these three forces at our level. In other words, we turn our energies towards creating harm towards ourselves and others.
In the center of the wheel are depicted three animals that symbolize three forces that work in nature and in our psyche. They represent ignorance, craving, and aversion. This is how the root dynamic forces that create on every level from above to below become the axis of the wheel of our mind. That union of three things puts energy in motion and that is how the wheel turns in our psyche, because of these forces that are moving inside of us constantly.
There is a way to harness the three forces and direct them towards the benefit of ourselves and others. To do that requires a deep education in the path towards liberation, so that we have an accurate understanding. In synthesis, the path is composed of three factors. We have explained the three factors in many lectures and books; they are:
In the previous lecture, we described sacrifice in detail, what sacrifice really means as well as what it does not mean. In this lecture, we are going to talk about birth. (We are saving death for last because nobody likes to talk about that! Really, it is the best part, so we are saving death for the last lecture.)
Today, we are going to talk about spiritual birth. To begin that subject, we need to begin to understand something about birth. Birth is not a concept. To have a birth in any level of nature does not happen just because of an intention or because of an idea, or because of a wish. There are many people who want a child, but that wish is not enough. Just the same, there are many people who want to become (bhava) an angel, a buddha, a master, but the wish alone is not enough.
Difficult to obtain is the conception [birth] of a human being,
Difficult is the life of mortals,
Difficult is the hearing of the True Law [dharma],
Difficult is the birth of the Awakened [the buddha]. - Dhammapada 14:182
Birth is a function in nature that happens because of laws, because of how nature works. Spiritual birth is no exception. To be born spiritually does not happen because you read a book. It does not happen because you found a religion or because a teacher taught you something. Every great master taught very clearly that spiritual birth is an exact process, and that there are levels. The knowledge of that process has been protected. It has been hidden, because humanity has been too immature to use it wisely.
In today's lecture, we are going to talk about that hidden teaching, because the time has come for humanity to learn it. It is not easy to hear. It is painful because it contradicts much of what we would like to believe. It contradicts many comforting beliefs and traditions that we have held for hundreds and even thousands of years, because our ideas and our level of being do not correspond to the higher levels of being.
To reach a higher level of being, we have to stop being what we are. To become something new, we have to change. That change begins inside of us, psychologically, spiritually, and even physically.
To reach a higher level of being, we have to abandon everything that relates to our current level of being. To become [bhava] a buddha, we have to adopt the behaviors, thinking, feeling, of a buddha. To stop being an animal, we have to abandon the ways of the animal.
As I explained in the previous lecture, the three factors (birth, death, sacrifice) are completely intertwined as one. They are not separate. We separate them in lectures as a matter of convenience since we are all beginners and it is hard for us to really assimilate this type of knowledge because it is really deep. But the reality is you cannot separate death, birth, or sacrifice and expect to achieve anything.
Remember, the three forces united create change. If you have only two forces, then nothing will result. If you have one force, nothing will result. It takes three to create. That is why at the base of every religion we find a trinity of divine forces. Always, there must be three forces engaged. Thus, this is true psychologically and spiritually, here and now. These three forces are a way of harnessing and directing energy in ourselves psychologically, spiritually, and even physically.
To sacrifice is to give up personal will, self-will, desire, craving, and exchange it for the better good. To sacrifice is to give up something in order to serve others, to serve the betterment of one's self and others. In the process of sacrificing something of value to us, there is a death. An attachment can die, a craving can die, an element in us psychologically can die, like, pride, envy, fear. In the process of giving up something of value to us, in order to reach something higher, to perform an act of love or charity, an act of sacrifice, that element dies, and then something new is born, something higher. That is how these three factors intertwine They are one.
In the very beginning of every religion, this is learned as ethics. Ethics is the foundation of every true mystical tradition. Ethics are how to do what is good for oneself and others, and how to stop doing what is harmful to oneself and others. So those beginning stages are actions such as to not take intoxicants, to not steal, to not kill, to not lie, and to not misuse sexual energy. Those are the five basic vows that every beginner in Buddhism takes. We find those five reflected in every tradition in the world. In the Yogic traditions, they are in the stages of Raja Yoga as Yama and Niyama, the beginning levels of Patanjali’s yoga. They are also hidden in the ten commandments, just phrased differently.
When you learn ethics, you learn to sacrifice your desire for the sensation of being drunk so that you do not become afflicted with the addiction to that sensation; and then, being sober, you are better able to perform your responsibilities as a parent, as a husband, a wife, a son, or a daughter. The drunkard, the alcoholic, cannot be relied upon, and only brings strife and pain to a family or workplace. This is simple to understand. It is a sacrifice to renounce the desire, and the death of the addiction gives birth to a person who has more responsibility to themselves and to others. Simple, is it not? So we see three factors entwined one scene.
We find that this is true for every ethic. When you do not lie, sometimes you sacrifice your image. When you make a mistake and someone catches you, you want to lie out of pride to protect your image, but when you tell the truth, you sacrifice your pride. Is it not true? That pride is dying, and it is painful because then the pride is humiliated because you had made a mistake and done something that you should not have done, but born from that is something true. It is called ethics. It is called integrity. Honesty. This is true of every ethic.
We find in all the ancient religions the teaching about restraining sexual energy, about dealing with it in a very delicate and respectful way. Nowadays, nobody does this. This part of religion has been set aside because we love lustful, animal sexuality too much. We do not want to deal with that part.
If you study religion, you know that the beginners in all religions always had to enter into some form ofor preservation of sexual energy as they work towards the higher mysteries. Traditionally, in ancient times (for nowadays this knowledge has been forgotten by the mainstream religions) the beginners (monks and nuns) would isolate themselves from the opposite sex to work for a time without the temptation of sexuality, so they could learn to manage their sexual energy.
Then, gradually, once they achieved control of that force, and achieved the awakening of their— that is, they were awakened, not asleep like us, but with a mind that was stable, bright, and clear, and when they meditated, they had clairvoyance, they could investigate things in the internal worlds, both in the body and out of the body. Not like us, who are in spiritual darkness. They had to awaken first. Then, after awakening, those would be given the higher mysteries, and taught how to engage in sexual activity in order to reach the next level. So, there are three levels of spiritual work:
Unfortunately, many religious people thought they could skip the middle step (since it is difficult) and simply renounce sex in the beginning. That is why they never gave birth to anything inside. To give birth, sex is required. No one can be born without sex.
In each stage, there is sacrifice, death, and birth.
The single person sacrifices sexual engagement and experience of sexuality with others. There is death in that.suffers a lot, which is a good thing, because in the suffering of that and the denial of that , it may be cleansed and purified, and from that emerges , which is love. True love. Monks and nuns were in preparation to really love, not . Not be victims of animal sex. By the time they were prepared to enter a marriage, they could then meet their partner with love, not , but truly love them. So we see there sacrifice, death, and birth.
And then upon entering into the marriage, the couple had to maintain their vows and yet be married. This is a mystery that is hidden in the writings of Paul, who says exactly that: "they that have wives be as though they had none." [1 Corinthians 7]. So at this stage, the aspirant needs to be married, to be in love, to engage in the sexual act, but to continue to restrain the energy, and to not indulge in animal. In other words, to continue to avoid the , to continue to retain those forces. In that act, there is a sacrifice. The energy is restrained, the suffers, it dies, and from that death, love, , and beauty emerges. This is the secret teaching hidden in every religion. It is the nature of upright or .There is also a negative aspect as well, but we do not teach that here.
To enter those mysteries, we begin where we are now. We need to understand our own level of being and understand how we are working with these energies in ourselves: our sexual energy, emotional energy, and mental energy, We also need to analyze what we are becoming [bhava], because in each moment, we are transforming energy. The energy, forces, are flowing through us constantly. Everything we eat, drink, and breathe is a transformation of energy. So that Wheel of Becoming is ourselves, and what we are becoming is propelled by our behavior, spiritually, psychologically, and sexually.
Every action we perform physically, emotionally, mentally, creates. So if in our moment to moment existence, we are nourishing and protecting our anger, we are becoming that. It defines our level of being. We then irradiate anger, not beauty. And if in ourwe are nourishing, protecting, and feeding , that is our level of being, and we irradiate and we affect others with it, just as their affects us. That is our level. That is not an angel. That is a devil.
Let us be honest. Let us be honest and direct about where we are, where we stand, so that we can change.
One of the greatest lessons of the bhavachakra is that we can change. The wheel is constantly moving. Every action we perform propels our trajectory through space-time, and if we change for the better, we raise our level of being. It is not easy, but it can be done. This is the beginning of any sincere, genuine, spiritual, religious or mystical tradition. Right here: ethics, from moment to moment. Learning to observe yourself, learning to see how you behave, physically, emotionally, and mentally, and also learning to see what comes of our behavior.
In other words, one learns to not look for blame outside, to not seek and point at sources of suffering outside of ourselves, but to realize that we are creating our experience with each action we take. If we are suffering, it is our own level of being that produces it. If we are an angry type of person, if we are a proud type of person, we are putting ourselves in that circumstance for the pride to be fed, stimulated, and nourished, and that is what is making us suffer. That is what is making others suffer. We create it.
The very first line of probably the most important teaching of the Buddha Shakyamuni basically states that our lives are the result how we use our mind.
“All things have the nature of mind. Mind is the chief and takes the lead. If the mind is clear, whatever you do or say will bring happiness that will follow you like your shadow.
“All things have the nature of mind. Mind is the chief and takes the lead. If the mind is polluted, whatever you do or say leads to suffering that will follow you as a cart trails a horse.” - Dhammapada 1:1-2
We become according to our psychological state. We are what we are now because of how we have been thinking and behaving previously, so if our life is characterized by suffering of different types, it is because of our own behavior that we are in our situation. If we wish to change it, we must change our behavior. Naturally, the external aspect will change as well.
Our goal, obviously, is to escape suffering. The way we are now, we are really trapped in painful and repetitive cycles. This is one of the most surprising thing to many students to learn in the beginning, something that you don't necessarily learn intellectually, but as you truly start to practice, and , you start to realize that you day to day life is incredibly repetitive. Not only incredibly repetitive, but you are repeating the same types of suffering again and again. It is shocking and disturbing to see that. That is a characteristic of being asleep psychologically and spiritually, which we are. We are not awake.
I know everyone thinks that they are awake, but we are not talking about the sleep of the physical body. We are talking about the sleep of the. Our state of right now is extremely low. It is characterized by an utter lack of direction. Our is very hazy and dim. It is constantly distracted. You may notice that through the course of this lecture, you pick up only a sentence or two before you are distracted and thinking of something else. Perhaps I remind you of something and your mind wanders off for a moment and then you return your focus to me and do not know what I am talking about? That is because the is asleep. It may seem funny, but it is sad. We are asleep. Someone with an awakened does not have that experience. Someone who is awake is here and now and is not distracted. They perceive everything, not only outside, but most importantly, inside. Someone who is awake, even a beginner who is awakening, does not forget themselves, they remember that they are in the body, they know consciously that they are in the physical world, and also, someone who is awakened knows when they are out of the physical body. When the physical body is asleep, they know that the physical body is asleep, and they know that they are in the dream world. Yet, they do not dream. They are awake in that world, aware of being there.
If you want to know if you are awake or asleep, observe what happens to you through the day and night. If you lose cognizance of yourself for an instant, you are asleep. This is how rigorous it is to be awake. To be awake is to be Buddha. That is the meaning of the word. Buddha means “awakened.” It is to have thefully activated, present, here and now. No haziness, no dreaminess, no day dreaming, no distractions, no self-forgetting. When awakened, the is bright, clear, luminous, perceptive, present, here and now, never stopping, and it irradiates a quality of serenity and penetrating insight.
The term Buddha in Sanskrit means as a noun “awakened one, enlightened, sage, knowledge.” When used as an adjective, it can mean “intelligent, conscious, awake, or wise.” Every person in every religion wants that. They use other names, for instance, the Christians want to be “angels.” Many believe that they already are angels, even though Jesus never said this.
Every religion has their own names for this state or level of being, this bhava. The term Buddha is a very useful term to define this state, because it is non-physical. The term Buddha does not refer to a body or person. It is a state of being. Everybody nowadays on this planet thinks that Buddha was one man, just as everyone thinks thatwas one man, but these terms are not names. They are titles. They are descriptions. They are adjectives. is a term for a force in nature. Buddha is a term for a level of being, a bhava, a state of existence. Yet, even among Buddhas, there are levels and levels.
There is not one Buddha. Every human being who perfects herself becomes a Buddha. There are very few on this planet, but in the universe, there are an uncountable number of Buddhas.
I am emphasizing this because we need to clearly see what we are not, in order to understand what we must become. To become that, we have to not be what we are now, which means what we are now has to die. This is uncomfortable. What we are now, our name, our resentments, our attachments, our ambitions, all have to die. This includes spiritual ambitions. It states in a sacred scripture, “All ambition is punished by the Law of Nemesis (Karma).” This includes spiritual ambition, because spiritual ambition is rooted in pride. Our longing for divinity should not be based in pride, envy, jealousy, or fear. It should be rooted in the heart because of love.
In order to become a Buddha, we have to be born. A Buddha does not come out of nothing. A Buddha is also born like any other thing in nature. Any living creature in nature is born. A Buddha or angel is no exception. Let us observe how things are born in nature. Every insect, every animal, every human being, every living conscious entity, even plants, are born from sex, without any exception. Buddhas, angels, and gods are born out of sex, but not out of animal sex. Animal sexuality creates animals. To create an angel, a master, a Buddha, you need sexuality that corresponds to that level of being, not animal sexuality.
Those who engage in sexuality as an animal will have the level of being as an animal, and any result of that act will be animal, without any exception. That is how nature works. To create a Buddha, your sexuality has to be at that level. Aspiring to that. Purifying. Clean. No. This is a tall order. That is why there are not that many Buddhas here. Few are willing to do it. Few are willing to sacrifice their , for the to die so that the Buddha can be born. It can happen, because inside of us, we have the embryo of a Buddha.
In Sanskrit, this embryo is called "Tathagatagarbha" तथागतगर्भ. This word Tathagata is very difficult to translate to English because, like Hebrew, Sanskrit is multi-layered. "Thus gone one" is one way to translate it. Or "thus coming one" or "thus perfected one." Tathagata is a name of the Buddha Shakyamuni. If you read any Buddhist scriptures, the Buddha refers to himself as Tathagata. He refers to himself with this word that is really difficult to translate.
Tathagata refers to the beyond, from tatha, the Absolute. It means “such-ness, that-ness, the intrinsic essence of everything,” the, in Hebrew words. It is the shunyata, the foundational potentiality of all things, the Emptiness.
A fully developed Buddha is one that has fully understood, comprehended, and merged with that. We call them "paramarthasatyas,” those who have gone beyond to the absolute happiness. So, "tatha" refers to that such-ness.
Gata can mean “coming” or “going.” It is similar to the word ga-te in the famousof the prajnaparamita: gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha. Ga-te is usually interpreted as “gone.”
So this term Tathagata can mean "The one who has gone to thus-ness" or "The one who is coming from thus-ness" or "The one who is perfected" who has "become the Absolute."
An alternate rendering of this Tathagata can be "beyond coming and going." In other words, it can be a name for someone who has gotten off of the wheel of becoming, the repetitive wheel, the bhavachakra.
The third part of Tathagatagarbha is "garbha", which means “embryo, womb.” So you see, Tathagatagarbha translated means "the embryo" or the potential to be "one that goes beyond."
This being so difficult to translate, teach, and understand, in Asian traditions they simplified this and started calling it Buddhadatu, which means “Buddha nature.” So now in English they call it "Buddha Nature." Anyone who has studied Buddhism has heard of the Buddha nature, and they say, "Everybody has the Buddha nature." So now people say, "So if everyone has the Buddha Nature, that means that I am a Buddha." This shows you how quickly degenerated the teaching has become because of our lazy brains, because of our pride.
Having Buddha nature does not mean that we are a Buddha. It means that inside of us we have a seed. One cannot say that an apple seed is an apple. One cannot say that an apple seed is an apple tree. Yet, this is what people are saying now about the Buddha nature.
The seed of an apple tree cannot give you a fruit until the seed dies, and out of the death of the seed, the tree emerges, delicate, weak, and it is very vulnerable. The tree must grow for a long time, and have everything exactly right or it will die.
Out of all the apples that come from a tree, and the millions of seeds in all those apples, how many trees are finally born? How many of those trees are destroyed by nature, animals, human beings, until finally one fortunate tree produces fruit again? Mathematically, the emergence of a tree is a small miracle. How much more miraculous it is for a buddha to emerge!
We are subject to the same laws of nature. We are merely seeds. Inside of us is the potential for a buddha, an angel, a master. From us can come a Buddha, but only if the circumstances and conditions are correct, and the correct forces are applied to protect and nourish that seed so at the right moment, the seed can die, new birth can occur, and that new Buddha can emerge and grow.
We are subject to those laws, without any exception. Unfortunately humanity does not know the laws, rather, has ignored them, because all of the religions have the rules, but we ignore them because they contradict our desires. We prefer to nourish our desires than to nourish the seed of our inner Buddha.
Interestingly, the term "garbha" also means “fire.” It also means “child” or “conception.” So, we could translate Tathagatagarbha as “fire of one thus coming,” or “conception of one thus coming.”
The problem is, we are so blinded by our psyche that we don't understand how to nourish our seed. We reject the teachings of our traditional religions, so now everybody is seeking alternative religions. We are so hypnotized by our desires that we only seek religions that agree with our desires, or that will feed our fear or our. That is why humanity is flocking towards those new religions, ideas, and concepts that make us feel better about being degenerated. They give us an "insurance policy" to heaven. They say, "If you just say these words, and give us some money, you will go to heaven." Humanity loves that, but it is all lies. Nature does not work that way. God does not work that way. Divinity does not want our money. Divinity wants for us to merge with it, which means we have to become like it. Jesus said,
"Be ye perfect, as your father in heaven is perfect."
Who amongst the Christians is striving for perfection? They are not. They say, "I believe in Jesus, so I am freed," and they keep feeding their, anger, and pride, and they believe that they are going to go to heaven even when Jesus said,
"No murderer, no thief, no idolater, no fornicator will go to heaven" and all of them are worshiping the idols of their pride,, and envy and all of them are lying and killing each other with their language, their words, their speech, everything. We all do it.
The members of each religion consider themselves holy, and others unholy. Few Christians would accept that Jesus was talking to them when he said,
“Woe unto you, scribes [intellectuals] and Pharisees [fanatics], hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. [Thou] blind Pharisee [fanatic], cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.” - Matthew 23
The so-called Christians waged many wars, killed millions of people, tortured millions of innocent, all in the so-called “name of religion.” And yet, they consider themselves innocent. All of us are like this: we never see our own crimes.
Nevertheless, buried amidst the filth of our inner temple waits a seed that can be grown, but for that, we need radical change.
We need to change. In that process of change, we need help. The help is there. It is available. It can be had.
Firstly, in order to acquire spiritual birth, you need the will to do it. If someone does not have the will to do it, it will never happen.
Secondly, we need the instructions. If someone has the will but no instructions, they will go nowhere. History is filled with examples of people like that, particularly in the Asian and alchemical traditions. We hear stories of people who burned inside, crying and suffering, wanting the knowledge in order to be born again, who did everything they could, went to every teacher, traveled all over the world, suffered enormous hardships to find the secret and yet failing because of karma. Now, in these moments, the teachings are freely available, yet few want them. It is very ironic. Now that you have the access to the teachings, you simply need the will to do it.
The third thing you need are the circumstances. Anyone who is attending a class or hearing the lecture probably has the circumstances to do it, meaning you are not brain-dead. You have not been shot through the head and are in a vegetable state in the hospital. You are physically active to some degree. You have some capacity to listen, read, and understand. You can breathe and eat. Your heart functions. You have some cognizance. From such circumstances, you can change.
If you have the knowledge and the will, you can change, according to your circumstance, according to your level, according to your will. Now from that point, there will be many differences. What is going to make the most significant impact there amongst all of those factors is not the circumstances. Many people complain, "My circumstances are holding me back." or "My wife is making my life hell!" It is not your wife. It is not your husband. Or some people say, "My teacher is no good. He did not teach me how to meditate." Or, "My teacher did not teach me this or that." Those are excuses. The knowledge is available, now especially. Ten years ago, twenty years ago, it was more difficult, especially in English. Now, there is no excuse. The teachings are freely and easily available. So, if we have the circumstances and the teachings, what is the last factor there? Willpower.
The reason most people do not achieve anything spiritually, or they do not advance, is simply a question of will. The Gnostic schools are filled with students who have the circumstances and the teachings, but fail to change. They have long lists of complaints and excuses, but none stand up to analysis. What they lack is the will to change. They do not want to change.
Finally, if we have the three basic requirements, the main support we need to achieve it, once we start studying and practicing the teaching, the support and help that we get isn't from a physical school, although useful, it is not from a teacher, although it is useful, it isn't from spiritual friends, although that is useful, it is not from a husband or a wife, although that is useful, the main help comes from your inner divinity. Which, by the way, we all forget. None of us remember our. This is a characteristic of being asleep. None of us remember our inner Buddha, our inner father, from moment to moment. This is a characteristic of being asleep.
Someone who is awakened never forgets God, not for an instant. A person who is awake is in continual remembrance of their divinity. Not themselves, but their inner source. Their inner light. In the beginning of the work, it is most significant for the aspirant or the devotee to remember their inner. On a mere logical level, you can see why. When you are a child, in many cases, it is the mother who is more sympathetic. It is the mother who is more directly responsible for feeding the child, cleaning the child, protecting the child, or taking care of the child from moment to moment. The father, generally, is the one who is out working, hunting, providing, and protecting the family. The mother is the one doing the moment to moment dirty work with the baby. Spiritually, this is also true. Our inner is our guide. Our protector. Unfortunately, in the West, this aspect of spirituality has been cut out, hugely impacted by politics and dogma for thousands of years. In the East, it has not been forgotten.
In Sanskrit, there are thousands of names for the. One of the most important ones is Maya. This name Maya is extremely deep, yet spelled with only two letters. The implications of those two letters extend throughout the entirety of Hinduism and Buddhism. Every aspect. Every level. You can give levels and levels and levels of lectures about the term Maya, from the beginning level (Sutrayana) to the Mahayana, to the Tantrayana. In each of the levels of teaching, the meanings go deeper.
Importantly, in the past—we are talking four to five thousand years ago—Maya meant “art, wisdom, extraordinary or supernatural power.” It referred to a type of creative power that is far beyond the human level. It is a name of god as feminine. Maya is Goddess. Somehow, around the time of the Vedas emerging, which is hard to date specifically, but some where around four thousand years ago, the term gradually changed and adopted a new aspect in terms of the written literature, and the new aspect is what people talk about now, that Maya means, "illusion, unreality, deception, trick, sorcery, witchcraft,” etc.
So we find a duality in this term Maya, something positive and something negative. What is important to grasp here is that Maya is one thing. Maya is the Goddess. Maya is nature itself. When we think of nature, we think of plants, trees, birds, bees, and all of the physical things. That is not what we are talking about inwhen we talk about nature. When we talk about nature, we are talking about seven dimensions in nature, not just the physical one. The physical dimension is the most gross, the most dense, and it is also the least important, the most superficial.
Nature asis Prakriti. It is the root energy, the first emergence out of the womb of nature. It is where the primordial potentiality of all things, the Absolute, the , becomes something. So, that first bhava happens. That wheel turns for the first time. The bhavachakra is in motion, so the three forces, the trinity, merges two and creates. That two is father and mother: Shiva and Shakti, Ab and Ima, Yab and Yum. That is the God and Goddess of all things. The El and Eloah.
In their union, they are. The , which is Hebrew for "God / Goddess", created—in other words, bhava, becoming. That is all hidden in the first two chapters of Genesis. It is all hidden in the tantric scriptures. It is hidden in every religion. That first emergence is the ocean of life, and that ocean of life gets many names. In Hinduism, it is Maya. In the Bible, it is Schamayim. It may also be called Shekinah, which is the light or radiance of the . That light and radiance is the fire, the Hebrew letter in Schamayim, which is translated as "heavens" in the Bible, but it literally means, “fire water.”
Now, I want to point out an important correlation here. The Sanskrit word Maya, extraordinary or supernatural power, the Goddess, the, is the ocean of existence. The first letter of Maya is म, which means “water.” Similarly, the Hebrew letter (which also means water) appears twice in the word mayim, water, in order to represent two waters: one above and one below. In the Bible, the waters above are called Schamayim, which the word Mayim (water) with the letter (fire) at the beginning. The sexual union of God as Father and God as Mother is in the waters of life, the upper waters, and their love is that fire, which, conceived in her womb, produces the light of our Being: the fire ( ) descends, becoming Horus, the Buddha. In order for that Buddha to become fully awakened, he needs that same process to occur in the lower waters, which are in our sexual organs. He needs the fire in those waters to be fecundated, so he can emerge here in this level as well.
All of this is hidden in the word Tathagatagharba, the “fire-conception-child of one thus coming,” the embryo of the inner Buddha.
Maya, the, is the wheel itself. She is the body of nature.
When people hear about the, most think of a woman in a physical body who lives in some cloud-filled place very far away from here. That is not the . That is an idea that people have in their heads because they went to sunday school too much or read too many comic books. The is nature. The has no form. The is the very fabric of existence. Contemplate that.
Everything that you are, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, is her fabric. If you really meditate on that, really contemplate it, you would be ashamed that with this body that she gave you, you get angry, blame others, criticize, gossip, lie, steal, and fornicate. With her body, you commit all of the crimes you are not supposed to commit. Your physical body is her matter, her energy, her gift. The, the creator of everything, gave it to you to use, and what have you done with it? It is an astonishing thing to meditate on.
Now you can see why we have this duality in the name Maya. If theis the fabric of everything, she is also the fabric of Hell. She is also the fundamental ground of our , anger, and pride. Is it not so? That is why in Hinduism we find that the is symbolized as dual. She is Durga, Parvati, Shakti, Lakshmi, which are all names of the beautiful goddess. Yet, she is also Kali, “the black one.” She is also Proserpine, Hekate, the goddess of hell, the one who takes her children by the hand into the abyss to suffer and pay what they owe. She does this out of love, to purify her children, because they do not want to purify themselves.
Many worship that aspect of therelated to the hell realms, although many do not realize that is what they are doing. They perform sacrifices to her. They think that by appeasing her through committing crimes, they will gain benefit. They seek to expand desire on the earth, to incite others to indulge in animalism, , violence. They are mistaken. She does not work that way.
Theof the hell realms is the same of the heavens. She always works in harmony with her own laws. That is, she herself is the law of action and consequence: karma. She rewards us for our deeds. If we act in ways that help her children rise out of suffering, she ensures that we receive our due reward. Similarly, if we act in ways the cause her children to suffer, she ensures that we receive our compensation: lessons to show us that suffering is unpleasant, and that we should stop.
She is the wheel. She is the fabric of everything. We see everything according to the conditioning of our mind. If our mind is conditioned by anger,, pride, envy, we see everything through that veil.
In other words, as we produce actions through ourselves, we create our reality. As we indulge in our pride, anger,, and continually think in those ways, we see the world through our anger, pride, envy.
The one who suffers from envy feels that they deserve what others have. When they perceive the world, they always look at it in that way. They say, "She has what I want!" or, "He has what I want!" So, that person is not seeing reality. They are seeing through the filter of their desire. So, they are a victim of Maya as illusion. They are transforming energy and interacting with nature at that level. For them, the body of theis illusion. Or should I say for us, because we are all victims of that perception. That is not her fault. She is not doing that to us to punish us. We are doing it to ourselves.
This is a common, grave misunderstanding of people who study Hinduism and Buddhism, and they learn about Maya, and come to believe that theis evil and cruel, that she is surrounding us with illusion to mock us. That is not true. We are mocking ourselves. We are hurting the with our behavior. She suffers when she see us suffering. She loves us. Actually, she can help us, because she is also the mother of the Buddha.
When you study this type of philosophy, you see symbolized in many different myths this terrible situation of suffering that all of us are trapped within. The mythological heroes have to descend into the abyss in order to rise up as heroes, and that is our situation. We are trapped in illusion and deception that is self-created, but it is precisely in that deception and illusion that we can acquire the knowledge in order to emerge out, greater than before, like a phoenix rising out of the darkness. So, theis the one who makes all of this possible.
In the Buddhist tradition, this is symbolized in a very interesting way. The story of the life of the Buddha has many stages; one common interpretation or presentation of the story has twelve fundamental steps. I am not going to talk about all of them today, because that would take a long time, but I want to point out two important stages, the second and the third.
This image shows a queen resting at night; and in this particular painting, she has her head upright, but she is supposed to be asleep, and she is having a dream. In the dream, a white elephant comes from heaven and enters into her side, into her womb. This dream is a symbol of how the Buddha descends into the womb of his mother in order for him to be born.
There are some interesting details in the story. Firstly, she is a queen. This indicates that she is in a state of being that is higher than others.
Secondly, she is in the time of her monthly purification retreat, which means she is on her menstrual cycle. In Hindu tradition, when the wife is having her cycle, she lives apart from the husband. In other words, they do not have sexual relations during those days out of respect, because during the menstrual cycle, the woman is cleansing impurities out of the body. During this time that she had the dream and became pregnant. This indicates that the pregnancy was not caused by the “usual” method.
This story represents how the father, who is above, represented by the elephant, merges into thein order to extend itself into the world or enter into manifestation. The elephant here represents our , our inner Buddha, our . Or as the gospels say, "Our father who is in heaven." The Elephant represents the power of the Holy Spirit who creates through this union of God and Goddess. It is a union of ; that is, no , no . That is symbolized by her being in her menstrual cycle and being separated from her husband. It is an immaculate conception. Immaculate means to be perfectly clean. No spilling. As it says in Leviticus,
דַּבְּרוּ אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַאֲמַרְתֶּם אֲלֵהֶם אִישׁ אִישׁ כִּי יִהְיֶה זָב מִבְּשָׂרוֹ זוֹבוֹ טָמֵא הוּא׃
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man hath an ejaculation of out of his flesh, because of his ejaculation he is filthy. - Leviticus 15
“...you need to have no release or loss ofwhatsoever.” - 14th Dalai Lama
Our inner Buddha is born of an immaculate conception, like the impregnation of Mary, when Jesus was to be born, the Holy Spirit descended as a white dove, just like the white elephant of Buddhism. It is the same symbol.
The mother of the Buddha is called Maya. We find two different variations in Buddhism, Mahamaya and Mayadevi. They mean the same thing. Maha means “great.” Devi means “goddess.” So it means Great Maya or Maya Goddess.
Many Buddhists, like the Christians, interpret the scriptures literally, and believe that there was literally a woman named Maya who was literally a queen who literally gave birth to the Buddha and the Buddha was born purely and totally awakened. They do not understand that these are symbols, just like the tradition of Jesus. There are literal elements in these stories, such as how the the man we call the Buddha had a physical mother, but the story of his life is not directly literal to the actual physical circumstances. Here, we are interested in the real meaning, the reason the story was given to us, which is so that we can learn from it and apply it to our own spiritual birth.
In the next phase of the story, after ten lunar months she decides to go into the garden. Everybody knows about the garden of Eden in the Bible. Well, this story is not from the Bible. This story comes from India, and is older than the Bible. Mahamaya goes into the garden, pregnant, and suddenly she feels that the child is going to be born, so she reaches up and grabs hold of the branch of a tree. As she grabs the branch and steadies herself, suddenly the child spontaneously bursts from her side, the same way that he entered, and emerged like a ray of light, like a sun.
When that happened, all of the gods were astonished. They all came to observe this birth. Indra, who is the equivalent of the Greco-Roman Zeus-Jupiter, came to observe and to offer clothing to the newborn buddha. Indra represents the highest part of ourselves. Indra is the upper trinity (the three forces), and the clothing he offers are celestial garments, the wedding garments mentioned by Jesus, which represent the seven sheaths, koshas, bodies, thatneeds.
At that moment, the golden child took seven steps, and with each step, a lotus emerged. At the seventh step, he pointed to the sky and said, “I am the greatest in this world.”
Many buddhists, of course, believe that this is all literal and that it actually happened this way. The real meaning, though, is far more important and deep. This is not a literal story. It is a symbolic story that represents levels and stages of spiritual development that we ourselves need to attain. The Buddha here represents our inner Buddha, our Being; if we work accurately by ascending the seven steps, he can incarnate in us. The seven steps represent stages of spiritual birth; with each step a birth happens. With each step, a new body is born.
The seven steps: seven initiations to create seven bodies.
The Buddha, in us, is born through a series of seven steps, and upon reaching the seventh, he then can point back to the Absolute, and say, "I am." Just as Jesus taught, "I am." That "I am" is not the. It is not me, myself, the I. It is the , the , the absolute, the real Being. This story is not about you and me becoming Buddha, it is about our becoming a Buddha. This story shows how it happens.
The seven steps are a profound symbol found in traditions all over the world. One beautiful version is in an aprocryphal story of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
"And the child (Mary) grew strong day by day; and when she was six  months old, her mother set her on the ground to try whether she could stand, and she walked seven steps and came into her bosom; and she snatched her up, saying: "As the Lord my God liveth, thou shalt not walk on this earth until I bring thee into the temple of the Lord. And she made a sanctuary in her bed-chamber, and allowed nothing common or unclean to pass through her." - The Protevangelium of James
Now, we are going to talk about more specifically how we help to achieve this birth. I mentioned that the tree that thegrabbed the branch of a tree. Traditionally, this tree was said to be a ficus. Did you know that the tree that the Buddha meditated under is a ficus tree?
Did you know that in esotericism, it is said that the tree in the garden of Eden that Adam and eve ate of was a ficus?
Is it not interesting that Adam and Eve and the birth of the Buddha happened in a garden with a ficus tree? Do you believe that it was an accident that these stories are so similar? I do not think so.
The ficus tree is the family of the fig tree, which is a deep symbol related to feminine sexual forces that flow in all of nature, related to the. We have those forces in us. They are related to Ida, Havah, Eve.
As you know, in the story of Adam and Eve, Eve eats the fruit which causes Adam and Eve to be cast out of the garden. Again, that is not a literal story, it is symbolic. Our inner Eve (our sexual organs) is tempted by the serpent (, Mara), and then ate of the forbidden fruit ( ) and gave to Adam (the brain) to eat of it, which caused our to fall into deception, addiction, desire. That is why we are all in the wilderness suffering. In order to return to Eden, we have to restore the fallen serpent of Ida, the feminine sexual forces in us that are wrapped around our spinal column.
We need to return to that tree, and conquer Mara (), who uses his daughters to attempt to seduce us. That is how the Buddha becomes born in us. By learning to work with our sexual energy.
In the Bible, it says that theput in the garden the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Christians and Jews, of course, believe that these trees were actual physical trees, no matter how many of thousands of years ago that they believed it literally happened, they do not see that those trees are symbolic trees, not physical trees.
The Tree of Life represents our being, our bhava. The Tree of Life and the bhavachakra are the same thing, just shown in a different way. The Tree of Life we represent in the tradition ofhas the structure of ten spheres arranged as three triangles with one sphere below.
The Tree of Life represents the levels of being, both in nature, and in ourselves. It is organized by dimensions. The lowest dimensions are the bottom, the most refined at the top.
The Tree of Knowledge shares its roots with the Tree of Life. The Tree of Knowledge is, Da'ath, which is shown here just below the upper triangle.
The Tree of Knowledge is a mysterious sphere, hidden, secret, and protected. That is why in the Bible the angel protects the way with a flaming sword. That is why Jehovahsaid, "Thou shalt not eat of it" because to take anything from this tree implies a great responsibility. To work with the Tree of Knowledge, you have to know what you are doing. You see, the name of it is the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. That is how it is translated in English in the popular Bibles, but the Hebrew words do not say good and evil; the Hebrew words are "Tov ve Rah." Tov / tob means goodness. Goodness is a term that refers to our ( , ; Mercy, Goodness) Rah means impurity. Illusion. In the Bible it says that the is pollution, impure. So we see here that this is “the tree of the of and ,” two forms of sexuality: animal and divine. The symbol of Adam and Eve eating of the fruit is a symbol of humanity learning about the and becoming addicted to it. Because of that addiction, humanity lost their powers of being able to see god, talk to god, directly relate to god, and was cast out of Eden because of their own action. Adam and Eve left because of their behavior. They cast themselves out, and we are the consequence: people who have no direct knowledge of God. We have a lot of beliefs and a lot of theories, but we are asleep. To return to Eden, to acquire direct knowledge of God means that we have to rectify the mistake and fix what we broke. We have to abide by the laws of the garden, and the law states, "Thou shalt not eat of it."
That means, we need to know what the tree is, we need to respect the Tree of Knowledge, work with the Tree of Knowledge, and we must not abuse the fruit, which is sexual energy.
We are sexual beings. Sex is a part of life. Sex creates life, including spiritual life. By restoring our sexuality to it's previous state, we can then elevate ourselves to a higher state. First, we have to fix the mistake that we have made.
Interestingly, I want to point out that in Hebrew, the word for knowledge is, while in Sanskrit it is Bodhi, which has masculine and feminine forms: Bodha and Bodhi. Personally, I find that very interesting, that knowledge is both masculine and feminine, Adam and Eve. In other words, you need both.
So in the story of the Buddha, he was born unto a king and queen, grew up as a spoiled prince, had access to all of the riches of the world and indulged in it. He had all of the money, all of the power, all of the women, was an expert in everything, was handsome, skilled, and strong. He had everything that all of us want: good looks, money, fame, popularity, all of the princesses, he got married, he had children, but it stated that he then saw suffering. His parents tried to prevent him from seeing old age, death, and sickness, but fortunately, by the intervention of some other beings, he saw suffering, and was so moved with compassion that he decided to renounce all of the indulgences and pleasures of the world and he became a yogi.
He went to the forest; he renounced everything, he had only a robe and the bowl. He begged for his food. He had no money, nothing. He only meditated for many years. He became emaciated. He was at the point of death.
Let me pause the story for a moment and point out how much willpower that would take. How much will it would take to meditate that intensely, to have that much concern about suffering, because that is what motivated him. When he saw that he had all of the wealth, power, and glory, and then saw the suffering of others and that death was inevitable, he became overwhelmed and realized, "What is the point of having all of these material things, of being famous, popular, strong, handsome, or having sex, or children, or wives. What is the point if we are only going to get sick and die and then repeat it again over and over? Build up an attachment to all of these things that we have and then lose them. What is the point?” That is what moved him to renounce it all.
He then spent years in the jungle. It is not like going to the park here. We are talking about the jungle! Lions, tigers, bears, scorpions, and snakes, and yet, he did it. Symbolically, of course. There were literal events that happened, but we are talking about the symbolic importance of this. So we see two things here. We see that he had everything, and then he had nothing: two sides of a pendulum. One side is craving. All of the things that we want, wealth, popularity, good looks, we want all of the fame, we want others to envy and talk about us, to wish that they had what we have. He had all of that, but then he renounced it and went to the other side: aversion. He gave away everything, gave up everything, went to the jungle, and got to the brink of death because he was not eating. He was surviving on a single grain of rice a day. He became a skeleton with skin. That is how intensely he was meditating. All he did, all day and all night, was meditate.
Now, at this moment, he had an epiphany. He suddenly realized this duality that we can see so easily from our perspective here in the classroom, that he had everything and renounced it. These two extremes were too extreme. On one side he had too much, then on the other he had too little. In that moment, he realized his mistake. In that instant, at the brink of death, a woman appears, offering him a bowl of rice milk.
Having understood that his extreme avoidance of everything was harmful, he accepted the gift, and ate it. It is the first meal that he has had in years, and he was immediately and completely restored to health. Then, he set the bowl of rice milk in the river, and it flowed upstream against the current.
Buddhists love this story, but sadly most have no idea what it actually means. This story represents how we enter into spiritual birth. How do we know that? The woman's name is Sujata सुजात, which means, “good birth.”
Here, the Buddha represents our— the embryo of a Buddha—that is experiencing the coming and going of the Wheel of Becoming. We are experiencing from moment to moment, day to day, lifetime to lifetime, the extremes of karma. In one moment, we have everything, and in the next, it is taken away, and yet we continue to repeat the painful cycle, never comprehending it. You see, in the story, the Buddha comprehended it. That is what brought the third factor, the third force. He saw one extreme, he saw the other extreme, and then he saw the balance, the middle way. He realized and understood that they way to liberation is neither having too much, or too little. It is to be in the middle. In relation with birth, the middle way is to do as Paul advised, "To be married and be as though one is not," which is to engage in sexual union with our spouse, but not spill the sexual energy through the .
First, everyone experiences what it is like to indulge in sexuality, to be hypnotized by the. Then, when we see the suffering it brings, we learn how to renounce it, and enter into brahmacharya: . We learn to avoid the sexual act and control the sexual energy. Yet, these are two extremes. The middle way is represented by Sujata offering the rice milk.
This symbolic story represents how the initiate, the, has to work in order to achieve spiritual birth. It is psychological, emotional, spiritual, sexual. The story represents how the upright path is neither through indulging in sex the way he did with his palatial lifestyle and having lots of women and wives, nor renouncing sex by having no women and being celibate. Neither way leads to spiritual birth, liberation.
The way to full liberation is to be in the middle. That is why at that moment, at the brink of losing his existence appeared thein the form of his wife and his . She arrived to give him the answer: a bowl of rice milk. Now, I do not want to be crude, but it is obvious that rice milk looks like . Does it not? A milky fluid with life giving elements in it. This scene represents the wife and husband sharing the nourishment of the which is in the sexual energy; they do not waste it by indulging in it, but restrain it, and are nourished.
All life is created by sexual energy. Spiritual is also created with it, but one must know how to do it.
The Buddha put the bowl of rice milk into the river of life, and it went against the current. This means that even though he cooperated sexually with the woman, he did not spill the fluids, or waste them in anyway, but instead, transmuted them. Rather than allowing those forces to follow the mechanical flow out of the body, he directs them to flows back where they came from: up the spinal column and back to the Absolute.
Those who indulge in theare carried by the mechanical forces of nature (the waters). The mechanical flow originates suffering. It carries everything downwards into the lower worlds. To go against the current requires willpower: to go against the mechanical forces inside of us.
By transmuting the sexual energy, the forces of the—the fire in the water—can create the . In Hebrew, this is the letter (fire) and the Mayim (water), which forms the Schamayim (fiery water; i.e. heaven).
This story of the Buddha is the same essential symbol of Jesus and the woman at the well that we find in the book of John:
"...whosoever drinketh of the [living] water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
The woman saith unto him, "Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw."
Jesus saith unto her, "Go, call thy husband, and come hither." - John 4: Jesus at the Well
The answer to the life that we need is in the water, the rice milk, and it is found between husband and wife in immaculate sexuality. That is why in Buddhism, the highest mysteries always have this symbolism: Yab-Yum. Father-Mother. Shiva-Shakti. The union of masculine and feminine in, in purity, creates. This is divine sexuality. Angelic. Buddhic. Not animal. There is no here. There is no here. There is transmutation of energy. There is no indulgence in sensation. There is sensation, but one neither indulges in it, on one extreme, or avoids it at the other extreme. Instead, one experiences it, and transmutes it back to the divine. No animality.
This is why the Buddhists, the Christians, the Jews, in the ancient heart of all of their traditions, learned to renounce the, restrain the energy, and transform it, and to later, enter into marriage, and continue the same restraint.
A single person, harnessing that force, awakens. That is why in all the authentic schools in the past, at the beginning levels of spirituality, the people worked as singles in preparation. They would then awaken, and develop powers, but as singles, without sex. They were preparing themselves and awakening their . When they were prepared, when their teacher knew, firstly, that the student was awake, secondly that the student could handle it, the student would then be introduced to their spouse and be married. Marriage is a sacred act (sacrament). It is a religious function for the . That is why it is so shrouded in mysticism and beauty. It is not about money. It is about religion. It always has been, and it always will be. The two become one. They become , male-female joined. One flesh. That one flesh creates as the gods do if they know how to manage the energy. To restrain it, to purify it, to make it an offering to the divine. To sacrifice . is killed, and born from that is beauty, love.
That rice milk in Sanskrit is called Soma, and if you have ever studied the Vedas, you know that Soma is hugely important in ancient Indian culture and scripture. The Buddha Shakyamuni came to clarify the Vedas and other scriptures, not invalidate them, so Buddhists should know what they Vedas teach.
The word Soma means “extract, nectar, moon, wind, water, air, ether, rice water, rice gruel, heaven, and sky.” I have already told you that in the Bible, heaven is the Hebrew word "Schamayim," which is the "fire-water" of the, which is the upper Eden. It is . It is the superior levels of life and existence. So, when Sujata provides that to the Buddha, she is providing him access to the , the powers of the , the essence of the , which is hidden in our sexual energy.
The Schamayim of the Bible is also here in the Sanskrit Vedas:
“AGNI [fire] and Soma [sexual waters], mighty Pair, graciously hearken to my call,
Accept in friendly wise my hymn, and prosper him who offers gifts.
The man who honours you to-day, Agni and Soma, with this hymn,
Bestow on him heroic strength [willpower], increase of kine, and noble steeds.
The man who offers holy oil and burnt oblations unto you,
Agni and Soma, shall enjoy great strength [willpower], with offspring [spiritual birth], all his life.
Agni and Soma, famed is your prowess wherewith ye stole the kine, his food, from Paṇi [the ].
Ye caused the brood of Bṛsaya to perish; ye found the light, the single light for many.
Agni and Soma, joined in operation ye have set up the shining lights in heaven [hebrew: schamayim].” - Rig Veda
All of this symbolizes ancient secret teachings about sexual transmutation.
All life is made possible by a mother. All physical living things came from a mother. Spiritually, as well, this principle applies. The John 2: His First Miracle is Sexual. That is Soma.needs the forces to be at work in us in order for her to create a Buddha in us. Those forces are hidden in our sexual matter. The sexual matter, when it is transformed, when it is purified, becomes Soma. In the Bible, it is called the oil or water. The first miracle of Jesus is when he goes to a wedding and transmutes waer into wine. Read
Nowadays, when people study scriptures and mysticism, they interpret Soma to be a drug. The believe that Soma was a plant that people used to take to get high. That is because that is the level of mentality of people nowadays. They only think in things like that. They have no concept of the reality. The reality of Soma was hidden precisely because we have a mentality that only thinks in degeneration.
Soma is not a plant, or a drug, Soma is sexual energy. We are the plant. We are a Tree of Life, a seed that can grow if we know how to extract the juice. If you study Hinduism and the Vedas, specifically in the Rigveda, you find many prayers, scriptures, and beautiful songs about Soma, and Soma is always described as being created by pressing stones.
“THOU, Soma, hast a running stream, joyous, most strong at sacrifice:
Flow bounteously bestowing wealth.
Effused as cheerer of the men, flowing best gladdener, thou art
A Prince to Indra with thy juice.
Poured forth by pressing-stones, do thou with loud roar send us in a stream
Most excellent illustrious might.” - Rig Veda
Do you know where our stones are? The stones are the testicles and the ovaries. When you press the stones together, you extract the sexual energy if you are practicing. . If you are not, you waste it through the , through animal . If you extract it, you acquire the power for your to create in you.
It is also the power to conquer the, desire, , the mind. This is how the Buddha goes on to reach enlightenment: by means of what Sujata brings him.
“PRIESTS, offer to the Lord of all the people the milked-out stalk of Soma, radiant-coloured.
No wild-bull knows his drinking-place like Indra [Zeus-Jupiter, our ] who ever seeks him who hath pressed the Soma,
Thou dost desire to drink, each day that passes, the pleasant food which thou hast had aforetime,
O Indra, gratified in heart and spirit, drink eagerly the Soma set before thee [which we have transmuted and offered up to you].
Thou, newly-born, for strength didst drink the Soma; the Mother told thee of thy future greatness.
O Indra, thou hast filled mid-air's wide region, and given the Gods by battle room and freedom.
When thou hast urged the arrogant [egos] to combat, proud in their strength of arm, we [the husband and wife] will subdue them.
Or, Indra, when thou fightest girt by heroes, we [the husband and wife] in the glorious fray with thee will conquer [ourselves].” - Rig Veda
So, the Soma, transmuted sexual energy, gives spiritual strength, the life-giving power of spiritual birth, and also provides the fire to destroy impurities.
In the Rig Veda, it says,
"Oh Soma, these seven rivers flow as being thine to give command the streams of milk run forth to thee."
The milk that Sujata gives "flows through seven rivers."
Here, we see the Buddha sitting on a coiled serpent with seven serpents risen over his head. This is another symbol in Buddhism that you will not find explained because it has always been hidden and protected knowledge. The seven serpents represent the forces of theawakened and arisen in the seven bodies.
In the garden of Eden, a serpent tempts Adam and Eve. That serpent represents the power of nature, which is the's power, which is why Athena, has as her aide a serpent. Her antithesis is Medusa, who has many serpents on her head. Those are our defects, our egos. The hero has to behead Medusa, to kill the dragon, the devil and deliver the head to Athena, the .
That is, Medusa has to be sacrificed, and from that death, there is a birth. From the death of Medusa, theemerges greater, more beautiful, more glorious. That is why Athena wears the skin of Medusa. It sounds gross, but it is symbolic of how those forces are channelled in us in order to create the .
Those who work as a couple, who pass through the probationary levels of spiritual development, under the guidance of their Divine Mothers, and satisfying all of the requirements kept by divinity in order to protect us, can be granted entrance into degrees of. In other words, the word initiate means “to begin.” To be born.
The couple can enter into degrees of birth. There are seven primary degrees of importance. That is why those seven serpents are there above the Buddha. Each degree is a serpent because it is a burning fire that makes the sounds of a serpent when it burns. That sound is an energy that is vibrating in nature. It is the force and energy of the. It is her very creative power. She does not grant it lightly. She does not give it on a whim. She does not give it because you paid somebody money, she does not give it because you read a book. She gives it to her children who have proven they are worthy. They are responsible. They will use it wisely, and in her name, for her glory, for her work.
That fire is called Numbers twenty-one in the Bible). Two serpents. One fallen, and one divine. Two Divine Mothers. One fallen, one divine. It is the same force, polarized. Those who earn it can restore the to her glory. Killing Medusa, elevating Athena, raising the . First, in the physical body, second in the vital body, third in the astral body, fourth the mental, fifth the causal, the sixth and the seven are not fallen. The sixth and the seventh belong to our . They did not fall when we left Eden.. In Tibetan Buddhism it is called Candali. It is also called Tummo. In the West, it is called the Fire of the Pentecost, which emerged out of the heads of the apostles in the Book of Acts. It is also called Quetzalcoatl in the Aztec mysteries. That is a serpent of fire hidden in the book of numbers that Moses by the guidance of God, raised upon a staff, to heal those who are suffering the bites of the fallen serpents (
The seven serpents above the head of the Buddha are these seven lower sephirah on the Tree of Life. Now you notice that the image of Buddha sitting beneath the ficus tree, that is, the Tree of Knowledge. The Buddha sits below that tree. Here are the seven serpents below that tree. The Buddha is our . So you see, Buddhism, , Christianity, are all the same thing taught with different words.
This is how one is born again.
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water [sex] and of the [Holy] Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh [through common sex] is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit [through immaculate sexuality, as required in Leviticus 15] is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again [for everything that exists is born of sex, so must thebe. Remember Luke 21:19: "With patience shall ye possess thy ."]
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit [the results of sacred sex are not always visible physically].
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? [See what he should have known in our section on Judaism].
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
The mother, the womb, is not physical. It is our. She gives birth to us, spiritually, internally. That birth happens by a process that is long and slow, not easy, not given freely. It is earned. It happens in very slow steps.
Eachis a long process of being tested, purified, making great sacrifices, dying, and being born: the three factors in constant motion. The Wheel of Becoming is in constant motion, but raising one's level of being step by step.
Each serpent is a set of thirty-three stages that correspond to the vertebrae of our spinal column. That is the rod that Moses raised the serpent upon to heal the Israelites. That rod is your spine. That is why the lifespan of Jesus has thirty-three years. Those thirty-three degrees represent the stages of development, processes in which we are tested by ourto see if we are worthy to receive her power.
Each step is earned through the merits of our heart. What does the mother want from her child? The mother doesn't want her child to be a murderer, to be a liar, a thief, or a fornicator. A mother wants her child to be beautiful, radiant, happy... We are not happy... We are in misery. We only want money, sex, and power. Thedoes not reward that. She does not reward ambition, pride, or envy. She rewards humility, conscious love, happiness for others, altruism, generosity, diligence. She rewards us when we prove through our actions, physically, emotionally, mentally, that we deserve to have her blessing so that we can act with even more power for the greater good.
You see, the gift of thenot only gives us spiritual birth, but it give her a way to work in the world. It gives her a way to help her other children. The is her fabric, her force, her energy, her creative power: the power of the mother is to give life. She will not grant that to those who only want pain, death, destruction, who only want to take for themselves. She does not reward idolaters, adulterers, thieves, or murderers. When you go out and read books about the awakening of , they say “do this , and do that yoga, and pay this amount of money, and go out to a workshop and have sex with a bunch of people,” but they are lying. They will awaken energy within you, but the fallen aspect of the , the inverted energy which we call, Kundabuffer. It is the tail of Satan, the tail of the demon. You will awaken powers, you will awaken , you will develop the ability to be awake out of your body, you will develop , you will have power over others, but you will be a demon, awakened. You will be cursed. You will suffer...
Karma cannot be avoided. If you create pain, you will experience pain. The, to awaken a Buddha, demands that the causes of pain and suffering are removed from us. That means it is a slow process in which we must eliminate our . We must die to be born. We must sacrifice ourselves, psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally in order to be born again, new, clean, pure. Awakened. It does not come over night, it does not come in two weeks. Some people say, "If you come to our course, we will awaken your and you will have your astral body in six months!" They are liars. They cannot command the . She gives the . She creates the internal bodies; no one else. She gives it in accordance with our works, not our money, not which school we go to, not which master we claim to follow. She gives it according to our earning of it. She is very demanding, but she also loves us very much. If we achieve it, we will be born again as Buddhas, as someone who has gone beyond all coming and going, someone who is liberated from the wheel of Samsara and Nirvana: the Wheel of Becoming.
This final image shows a fully awakened Buddha in the pure lands. Of course, probably most Westerners would not experience the heavens as looking like China, but nevertheless, it represents something significant. Through the process of these three factors, we can create something new: a new level of being. We can become Buddhas. Fully awake. Free from suffering. From that place, we are then well prepared to help others do the same, but not until then.
Audience: When you talk about how the sixth and the seventh serpents were not fallen that even someone who takes the spiral path gets those serpents?
Instructor: That is right. The sixth and seventh serpents belong to; they relate to and ( and ), thus those aspects of never fell. That is in every creature, so that part of is always preserved.
A question submitted by a student: I was confused by what you said about the sixth and seventh serpents. Here's a quote from The Three Mountains, chapter XVII, the Fifth of Fire. is in dialogue with his :
Question: "Oh, Mother of mine! Have I already lifted the five serpents?"
Answer: "Yes, my son!"
Question: "I want you to help me raise the sixth and seventh serpents."
Answer: "You already have those raised."
In those instants, a perfect remembrance of myself emerged from within me.
Question: "Ah! I am an ancient Master. I was fallen. Now I remember."
Answer: "Yes my son, you are a Master."
The way I read that passage, it seemed to imply thatin particular did not have to raise the sixth and seventh serpents because he had raised them before, and they never fall. However, someone who was not previously a master would have to raise them during the course of their (i.e. not everyone has them raised).
Instructor: This is an interesting question, with an interesting answer.
Firstly, one has to remember that theis the power of the that provides a direct connection to Her. Where the abides, She abides. The is the child of the . He has Her power: the . His feminine also has the power of the . This is true in every being, at every level: and are always alight with . If there were no in or , there would be no or .
As you know, theis different. It can rise or fall. Obviously, a who rises (alighting the ) and then falls, loses the fire.
Let us consider what happens to awho has risen before, but then descends again willingly—not by falling (breaking the law) but descending to do the work again with the blessings of God. In such a case, how will that raise the serpents again, if they are not fallen? The fire is still risen, yet the has to begin again at the bottom. How is this possible? Clearly, it makes sense that in such a case, the remains arisen, yet the still must ascend the steps of each . Obviously, it will not be difficult. The fire will already be awakened. The merely has to pass the relevant ordeals, acquire the needed comprehension, and satisfy the various requirements.
Using this example, we can understand the sixth and seventh serpents. They never fall. Whether we are a beginner or a fallen Master, when reaching this level of the work there are steps that one must perform in relation to the sixth and seventh serpents, but their fire is not fallen.
Audience: You said that there were two definitions of Maya, and that there is the older one, and then the newer one of illusion. Would you say that the later one that we know is the Veil of Isis as opposed to the true Maya?
Instructor: That is right. So the relatively newer interpretation of Maya relates to that Veil of Isis, as illusion. In the Egyptian tradition it states that Isis says, "No mortal has ever lifted my veil," and that veil is precisely the veil of separateness that all of us exist within. Because we are mortal, meaning we exist in lunar bodies, not just the physical body, but the psychological body that we have, we belong to nature in that context. The, the lunar aspect, has provided us with lunar bodies. Not just the physical body, but the astral and mental bodies as well. That is our mortal body. It is subject to “becoming.” Because of that, we have this illusion that we are separate; that I am different than you, and that you are different from me, and things are different from me. That is an illusion. It is not real. Someone who awakens, that is one of the first things they begin to understand, and that is what is represented in the Tree of Life. In the higher levels, that illusion ceases to be present and you see the reality that everything is interrelated, interpenetrating, interdependent. That is what the outer ring of the wheel represents: interdependence.
The Veil of Isis is torn when one develops the, is no longer mortal, and at those levels, one is no longer subject to that veil, the Maya. One then sees the truth, reality. The reality is the Absolute. That is why we used the term in the previous lecture, Prajna. Prajna is penetrating wisdom, discriminating wisdom that sees through the veil. It tears it and sees the reality. That veil is the body, the matrix, or the fabric of nature, which is Maya, the . When you pierce that, you see the herself. Reality. That interdependence of all things and that absolute that sustains it. That is awakening. Intellectually, it does not make a lot of sense. It is a conscious thing. It is a cognizant experience that shows that the way we perceive is a dream. It is not real. You can only know that when you have woken up.
So one has to strive continually to change how one perceives and to meditate and meditate and meditate and meditate so that thebecomes strengthened. Stronger, and stronger, and stronger, until it has the capability to perceive without hesitation and without pause. It is the ability to sustain presence, to be continually here and now in constant observation without distraction. It gives you the ability to start to penetrate that, but it is only with the development of the , the serpents of the , that the power is fully focused.
What that means is that the singles the ones that don't develop the, can develop that power to a certain degree. They can develop insight into nature and how it functions, but the only way to fully break the Wheel of Becoming in one's self and become fully liberated is to develop the . To raise the seven serpents, create the solar bodies, and get off the wheel. It is a long process. When you study the philosophy of these traditions that analyze the nature of emptiness, you will see a great difference and you can see that part of that is the level of instruction and training that the writer of the scripture or the teacher of the scripture had.
Audience: How do we see the roots of thewhich reside in the fifth dimension?
Instructor: First of all, we have to understand that everything is multidimensional. What we are experiencing here and now, we call this the third dimension. Physicality. What we are experiencing here and now, is the collection of all of these other dimensions into this moment. Even though we cannot directly see the fifth dimension here, we can infer it. What we talk about as the fifth dimension is eternity, it is an existence that is beyond this third dimension, it is a level in which time functions in a different way, it has matter, it has energy, and we experience it when we are dreaming. Physically, we sometimes perceive and experience dreaming and we daydream. Probably everybody in this lecture daydreamed. I am not going to point at anybody specific, but during the lecture I did see some people spaced out. When you are spaced out, you are daydreaming. You are not here and now. You were tasting the fifth dimension. You were inferring it's existence. You may not call it that, you call it a daydream. You were dreaming about what you are going to eat as soon as I stopped talking. Whatever it was that you had in your mind to eat or drink or go to the bathroom, you were seeing those images and projecting those images. Those images are reflected into the brain, but where they emerge from is the fifth dimension. When you dream at night, you go there. Yourgoes there.
From the third dimensional point of view, that is part of why we learn to meditate. To suspend the physical senses, to shut them off, to close all the physical senses and to look within. Awake. Conscious, not dreaming, awake. To open up our inner eye. The same way you daydream, the same way you think about that beautiful lunch you are going to have, you do that with, but not about lunch. Then you are analyzing whatever it is that is bothering you or that you need to work on so if you experience something related with envy, you would visualize what happened with precision, what did you see, hear, say, what happened, what were the circumstances, what was that environment, you remember it, you project the image, you visualize it. That is the beginning of the . That is your access to the fifth dimension. As you develop that skill, it is no longer a matter of projecting the memory, projecting what happens, you then just relax, close your eyes, shut your senses down, concentrate, meditate, and then all of the sudden, those images come spontaneously, the same way it happens when you are asleep at night, but consciously. will be like that when you meditate properly. The images will come and you just sit, observe, and learn. That is how you access the fifth dimension. It is in that place that you can enter into the deepest roots of the and eliminate a lot of the problems. Now, going deeper, there are aspect related to the , hidden deep in the psyche that for you to fully work on them as a single person, you will not have the ability to transform enough energy to eliminate them. These are deep, crystallized, hardened, condensations in the mind. To destroy those things, you need a solar body. Not the lunar body that we have now, psychological body, but a solar one that can transform and direct much more energy. That is another reason why we need to raise the and create the , because to get at the roots of the and to fully eliminate it, we need that level of work.
Audience: At what point is the second birth?
Instructor: The second birth is a process. It is not one thing.
We can state that as soon as you begin transmutation, that is, as soon as you renounce the, you begin to transform your sexual energy, whether you are single or in a couple you begin the process of the second birth, at that instant, because you begin to conserve and protect the most sacred energy you have access too and no longer corrupt it with your desire. That initiates the process and if you do not do that, there will be no birth, so you can say that the beginning of transmutation is the beginning of your birth.
Birth itself is a series of. mean to begin. To initiate. It is a long process. I talked about seven fundamental , but there are more.
True spiritual birth, the real spiritual birth, is something else that I did not address today because we ran out of time. When we create the solar bodies and theis being awakened in us, that is a birth, but it is only setting the stage for when is born within us. That is only possible for those who enter into the path of the , the direct path. That happens only at the completion of the of , the fifth of major mysteries, and even that birth is a beginning, because that birth is the beginning of the full development of the , so the when it is fully developed, is the end of the second mountain related with the Nirmanakaya, the sephirah , with resurrection. With Resurrection, we die. We sacrifice everything including our body and we die. Then, we are born as a resurrected master. That is a complete spiritual birth.
Audience: How do we increase our will for spiritual birth?
Instructor: Study karma relentlessly Study cause and effect in yourself and in other people in the world. Study suffering everyday. Study how much people suffer and why. Do not blame others, the governments, corporations, or religions, but look at how each individual person, city, state, country, and continent create their own suffering because of their own idiosyncrasies. Study that in relation with yourself and see how you are doing it, too. Firstly, to understand how this law functions, secondly, so that we stop blaming everyone else, thirdly, so we see that the responsibility lies from within. From that, spontaneously will emerge enormous will to awaken. To stop creating suffering, and also to help others. The only way to achieve that help is to be born spiritually.
In addition, study death. It is inevitable. To keep repeating birth and death is exhausting, painful. It can be transcending through spiritual birth. One can leave the wheel.
Finally, study all of this in relation with all existing beings. When you comprehend how much pain and suffering is happening in each moment, you feel a spontaneous, sincere urgency to rise up and help others rise out of it, too. Compassion for others is the fuel that powers the.
Audience: Is their aor something we can use to call upon our to help us?
Instructor: Yes. Say, "Mother, please help me." As a child, you do not need to learn certain words to call for your mother's help, you simply call for her. The same thing is true spiritually. Your mother is never separate from you. Everything that you are, she is in that. She is in you, with you, of you, and you of her. Always. Meditate on her, talk to her, call upon her. Those who do not believe in her, do not believe in this, open your mind. Cast out that foolish notion that theis a physical-bodied person. She is not. She is the intelligence that gave rise to everything that exists. She is far beyond our puny concepts. She is the embodiment of all of the compassion and love in the universe. She is love of a level that we can scarcely understand. She is pure love. Call upon her.
If your mind is so focused or so in need, there is also ayou can use. It is a very famous , it is the second most popular in Tibetan Buddhism and I will say it so that you can learn it, study it, and use it. It is very powerful, it is,
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha
That is theof Tara, the . It is extremely powerful. It calls her immediately. She does not need that. You need that. She is the . She does not need . She knows everything that is going on with you in every moment for all eternity. The instant you feel the longing for her, she is there. She does not need you to call her. She is not like your physical mom. She is your real mother. Your . She is always aware of you even when you forget about her.
Audience: How often should we transmute our energy in order for our practice to bear fruit?
Instructor: Transmutation is a highly individual effort. Each of us has our own idiosyncrasy in how the energy flows through us, which is determined by our Karma, our age, and by our health. Truthfully, we should be in a constant process of transmutation. If you are really observing yourself, remembering yourself, you should constantly be transmuting energy. This is the basis of the transformation of impressions. That is a transmutation. The word transmutation means “to change thoroughly.” Everything that you see, hear, think, and feel should be a transmutation of something impure into something pure. You can transmute all day long, simply by maintaining the right bhava, state of mind. Transmutation does not strictly depend upon particular exercises, it depends on a state of being.
With that said, there are exercises that are more focused for transmutation for singles; we have exercises like runes and. For couples we have Sahaja Maithuna, . Couples should only practice sexual cooperation, at most, once per day. Most couples probably will not do that much. We have what is called a creative magnetic pause. This is a natural cycle of how the energy rises and falls like the waves in the ocean. Every couple will have their own rhythm according to their temperature, sexually speaking. Couples who run hot will have the sexual act more often. It could be once a day at the most. Couples who are warm, will be less often. It could be once a week. Couples who are cool, will be even less often. Once every two weeks or once every month. It depends, but it should be natural, not forced. It should be spontaneous, dictated by the heart. By love. By true emotional, spiritual, mental, and willful intimacy. Not because we have been told that we have to practice every day. If you do that, you will kill your marriage, and I can guarantee that, because I have witnessed it. I have observed instructors and students in relationships who assumed upon themselves that demand to practice every day. They ended in divorce, because they were breaking their own creative magnetic pause. They were going against their own spontaneous, natural energies. Respect yourself, respect your spouse, respect your , learn to work in harmony with nature.
Audience: What does an active imagination have to do with sexual energy and is it a door into the psyche?
Instructor: Imagination is the ability to see. We use our imagination when we daydream. When someone tells you, "I need you to go do this and that," you imagine it. So for example, the wife says, "Go to the store and get me this thing and this thing and this thing." The husband, in his mind has to see the pictures of each element he has to get or else he will not remember. That is imagination. In, we do the same thing. We actively imagine what we need to see.
If we have abused our sexual energy, depleted our sexual energy, our imagination will be very weak. Sexual energy is the very fundamental energy that feeds our imaginative ability. Imagination is the power of the pineal gland to project imagery. The pineal gland is in charge of the sexual organs. The pineal gland regulates the flow of the endocrine system. The pineal gland controls and is nourished by the sexual forces. When we have depleted our sexual energy, the pineal gland atrophies. It weakens. We no longer can see. This is partly why the beginners in religion had to learn: to retain the sexual energy so the pineal gland becomes very strong so they can see in . So they can awaken and develop the power to see into the astral world. This is part of the reason. So your imagination is directly connected to your sexual forces.
Those who restrain the sexual energy and transform it have a very powerful imagination and that is why we see amongst the greatest artists in history, they knew how to transmute their sexual energy. Wagner, Beethoven, Mozart, da Vinci, all of those great artists transmuted their sexual energy. They all knew this. Not all of them were perfect initiates, but they knew something of it.
If you want a good, strong imagination, transmute your energy.
Audience: What is the relationship between Samsara and Nature? Is there a Hierarchy?
Instructor: In the previous lectures, we explained that Samsara means “circling.” Samsara is a psychological state, not a place. It is a level of being. We are in Samsara because of our level of being. We are in nature as well because of our level of being but we do not have to be in Samsara. That is choice. If we change our level of being, if we change our perception and behavior, we can get out of Samsara. We can cut through the circling, which means to achieve Nirvana, which means “ending.” So the relationship between Samsara and Nirvana is that we put Samsara in motion through our attitude (bhava), and we escape it by changing our bhava.
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