In ourpractice today, we devoted ourselves to contemplating the vast extent of suffering. Truthfully, this is the central problem that humanity faces, yet also is ill-equipped to solve.
We all have good intentions. Universally, no matter which side of the political or religious spectrum we may feel ourselves to be on, we universally, in our hearts, have a sense of longing for others to be happy, for ourselves to be happy. This is normal. This is natural.
The problem is that we are not happy. There are no beings on this planet who are happy. In spite of what advertising tries to tell us, with all their pretty pictures of happy people (in the advertising, magazines, and t.v. shows), those are all lies. Those people were paid to project an image to sell you a product, to convince you that if you buy what they are selling you will be happy. They are lying. They are not happy. They just want money, fame, attention.
Happiness cannot be found in material possessions. Happiness cannot be found in social status, in the numbers of your bank account. It cannot be found even in having a child, a marriage, a big family, or a big house.
This is because happiness is not an external condition. Happiness is a psychological state. And as a psychological state, it is derived entirely from within.
Happiness is a state of. To experience happiness, one only needs to activate the free, unconditioned . That experience does not depend upon external conditions (wealth, possessions, beauty, youth), but only on our internal conditions.
What is the condition of your?
Suffering has many forms. When we visualize suffering and imagine suffering, it is very obvious to look towards physical suffering, such as the suffering of illness, pain, torture, warfare, theft, imprisonment, of being mistreated by society, family, government. Those are all horrible forms of suffering. But there are other levels and layers of suffering, such as emotional suffering, loneliness, despair, anxiety. Even stress is a kind of suffering. Anger is a kind of suffering, and so is. All of these forms of suffering occur within us psychologically. Their causes are found within us, and so is the antidote.
The solution to suffering is within us, not outside of us.
It is necessary for anyone who is serious about spirituality to study the problem of suffering everyday. This is not to become morbid or depressed, but instead to become intensely realistic, grounded in facts, and focused on solving the problem of suffering. Because, in case you did not know, there is a solution to suffering.
We have been raised, taught, and trained to steadfastly ignore the reality of suffering. Everything about our modern society seeks to deflect our attention away from the truth about pain, about suffering. Modern society only wants us to be good consumers, buyers of products, followers of politicians and celebrities. Modern society wants to keep us asleep, hypnotized.
Religions, in their ancient roots, all seek to direct our attention at the causes of suffering. This is why modern people are roundly rejecting religion, because they do not want to see the cause of suffering, because the cause is inside of us. We want to blame someone else for suffering. We want to blame the government, the corporations, other countries, other people. But all of that is lies. The true origin of suffering is within us, individually, psychologically. That is where we can solve the problem: not by changing other people, or by changing countries or governments, but by changing ourselves. That is the basis of real religion, of real spirituality, and the very purpose of learning: to learn to deal with the true causes of suffering and to change, to conquer the causes of suffering, become free of suffering, to become liberated. That is what liberation means: to become liberated from the repeated mistakes that cause suffering. That is how you find real happiness, true and genuine contentment, happiness, joy, and love that are not dependent on anything external.
Whether you are rich or poor, alone or surrounded by people, your happiness emerges from within your heart, spontaneously, because you are not producing the causes of suffering in your heart. Therefore, to find happiness, do not focus on your external circumstances, but your internal ones. Change your way of thinking and being, and you will change your experience of life. That is what real religion, yoga,, spirituality, mysticism should be about. We are going to talk about that today; the details of that; the specifics of that; how it works.
We are continuing our course about the evolution of sex. In the previous two lectures we talked about the current state of ourselves and this world, and also how this world got to be where it is. Today we are going to talk about where we are headed from the position that we are in.
There is a trajectory that is in motion individually and worldwide. Every action that we perform has an inevitable consequence. With each breath, we put energy into motion; with each movement, with each thought, with each emotion, we put energy into motion.
The psychological state that we nourish in ourselves from day-to-day establishes a trajectory in our life. That trajectory rarely remains level; meaning: staying in the same plane. Instead, the trajectory of our actions, physically and psychologically, tend to rise or fall, driven by the nature of the actions that are pushing that trajectory forward. Imagine that you have a ball and you throw it; the forces of nature act upon the movement of that ball when it departs your hand. But the primary force that determines its trajectory is precisely how you propel it; how much force, how much energy, and at what angle. From there, nature takes its course. Nature takes hold and the laws of nature determine where that ball will land. Similarly, the exact same types of physics are at work with us psychologically, in relation with our heart, mind,and body.
That trajectory has been determined by every action that we have ever performed throughout time, by everything we ever did and thought and said. When you throw the ball it does not matter where you intend to throw the ball. Intentions do not determine where the ball will land, that is determined by the physics of the movement of your body and the atmosphere through which the ball will pass. You may be intended to throw the ball to your friend, but if you are faced the wrong way, you won't throw it to your friend. It will go somewhere else. The same is true of our intentions in life. We may intend to help people. We may intend to be a good person. We may intend to be religious, but if our actions are driven by pride, anger, and, our intentions are completely irrelevant, because our actions are propelled in the wrong direction. Everyone believes they are doing good, but few truly are.
We need to study the physics of. To do so we use this symbol called the Tree of Life, which maps for us not only our psychological structure, but the structure that we mirror.
We mirror the structure of the universe, the structure of existence. Nature tends to reflect itself in its creations. We are no exception to that. This image shows us how from the unknowable Absolute - which is the abstract space or the emptiness of potentiality - emerges a light, an energy, an intelligence, that in religions is called by many names, but in itself is not matter, not spirit. You cannot even call it “god.” It is a primordial potentiality at the root of all existing things, but in itself is a state of non-being.
“It is the ONE LIFE, eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being; unconscious, yet absolute; unrealisable, yet the one self-existing reality; truly, "a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason." Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric parlance the "Great Breath,"* which is the perpetual motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present SPACE. That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the universal .” —Helena P. Blavatsky
“Bliss is the essential nature of man. The central fact of man's being is his inherent divinity. Man's essential nature is divine, the awareness of which he has lost because of his animal propensities and the veil of ignorance. Man, in his ignorance, identifies himself with the body, mind, Prana and the senses. Transcending these, he becomes one with Brahman or the Absolute who is pure bliss. Brahman or the Absolute is the fullest reality, the completest… The nearer one approaches the Truth, the happier one becomes. For, the essential nature of Truth is positive, absolute bliss. There is no bliss in the finite. Bliss is only in the Infinite. Eternal bliss can be had only from the eternal Self. To know the Self is to enjoy eternal bliss and everlasting peace. Self-realisation bestows eternal existence, absolute knowledge, and perennial bliss. None can be saved without Self-realisation. The quest for the Absolute should be undertaken even sacrificing the dearest object, even life, even courting all pain. Study philosophical books as much as you like, deliver lectures and lectures throughout your global tour, remain in a Himalayan cave for one hundred years, practise for fifty years, you cannot attain emancipation without the realisation of the oneness of the Self.” —Swami Sivananda
For now, we can imagine the Absolute as a kind of vast space or potentiality. In a sense we can say that it is uncreated light. It is the potential for there to be, but it is not yet. That is what we can call one law. It is an utter simplicity, an utter purity who's inherent nature is beyond conceptuality.
That light emerges as three, as the primordial trinity at the base of all religions. This is the law of three. Those three laws are symbolized in many ways throughout all of our different mystical and religious traditions. In Christianity they are well known as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Greek they are called the three Logoi, or, written about in the First Book of John in the Bible.
The three-in-one, triunity, or trinity are symbolized by the top triangle in the Tree of Life. They are a three-fold manifestation of one thing. They are the one law emerged as a three-faced or three-aspected presence. That is why religions use a trinity as their primordial symbol. Those three forces, in a simple sense, are:
These are the power of creation: the law of three. They are three faces of one light. It is subtle, and maybe to you this sounds very philosophical and not very practical, but it is extraordinarily practical, because this is the basis of everything.
To create anything you always need three forces. That is what we study: What are those three forces? How do we use them?
That law of three reflects itself throughout nature and unfolds all the levels of nature.
The law of three corresponds to the world of the, the Logoic World, which is a very high heaven, a very simple, very pure place. Thus, that world is ruled by those three laws. Things are simple, balanced. From there, emerge all the other levels of existence, thus they all rely upon that world.
When the ray of creation descends into a further crystallization, unfolding itself into another level of existence, the law of three creates a new realm: a world of six laws, which corresponds to the second triangle on the Tree of Life. It has six laws because of the three laws that made it plus the three laws above it.
These laws are not laws like "you must do this," and "you must do that." These are principles, aspects of creativity, interrelated layers of the law of three.
The ray of creation condenses further into another level in nature that we call the mental world, where there are twelve laws: a new three laws, plus the worlds that it exists within: the world above, which has six laws, which is in the environment of the three above that. So: 3 + 6 + 3 = 12.
Similarly, the mental world (12 laws) unfolds into an astral or emotional world (24 laws), which subsequently unfolds into a physical world (48 laws), which is where we abide.
We abide in this world in complete ignorance of the environment within which we come to be. The physical world only exists because the more subtle worlds that are already in existence. In religions, those more subtle worlds are called heavens, Nirvana. Why are they called heaven? Because they are simpler, lighter, freer. They are places where there is no, no pain, no suffering; they are simpler. Here in the world of 48 laws, the physical world, things are more complicated. Think of the 48 laws as conditions, because that is what they are. They are a structure of conditional nature, mechanical nature, that allows this world that we inhabit to function as it does. All of the incredible complexity, beauty, and terror of this world hangs in its delicate balance in dependence upon the 48 laws.
The 48 laws are nothing more than the complication of the one law into three, to six, to twelve, to twenty-four, and finally to forty-eight; not as written laws, but as a structure of creativity that has condensed into a very hardened form called physicality, the third dimension. That is where we live in our physical body.
As such, each of these levels of nature has a type of energy that corresponds to it. In the physical world we study the elements, the building blocks of physicality. We even have a beautiful map called the Table of the Elements, the Periodic Table that maps all of the beautiful structures at the base of all manifested physical things. What is the first element on that table? Hydrogen, the base element, the building block of what we call "life." In mysticism, we consider all elements as forms of hydrogen.
Physically speaking, the simplest form of physical matter and energy is hydrogen. From that simple element, everything else is made. And because it is physical, we call it Hydrogen-48, related to the 48 laws of the physical world. That is the building block (mystically speaking, spiritually speaking), of all physical things, including our body. It is what the body is made of in all of its beauty and all of its sophistication. Its root element is hydrogen. Everything that we eat, and drink, and breathe, and see, and hear, and taste, and touch, and take into the senses corresponds to Hydrogen-48.
The problem is that we have a psychological flaw that we created in the past. We call it "." At its base it is a kind of craving for pleasure. It is an addiction to sensation, and the desire, the craving, to repeat pleasant sensations and avoid painful ones. Pleasure and pain are just part of nature, and inherently there is nothing wrong with either. Any living creature experiences pleasure and pain. Any living creature inherently and naturally has a tendency towards pleasure and a tendency away from pain; that is normal. The problem in our kingdom, our specific kingdom, the humanoid kingdom, is that we now we are ruled by our craving for pleasure. Our every moment is driven by the craving for pleasure and the absolute terror of pain. We are hypnotized, even addicted, by these qualities, and —alongside a fundamental ignorance of our true nature — they are at the base of our suffering. Because of that, we have the tendency, in our interrelations with physical things, to respond with craving and aversion; always chasing pleasure and always avoiding pain, not realizing that puts energy in motion; energy that abides by laws of nature.
Nature has a law, a fundamental structure called invariance, which is studied in physics. In mysticism it is called karma. It simply means that for every cause there is an effect. Subsequently, nature always attempts to rebalance the imbalances that we produce. That is why it is called invariance. You can imagine this visually: when you drop something into a still body of water, and that object penetrates the water, it causes a disturbance. First the water descends, and then the surface rises high above its original level, and then it descends back again, and rises again, and sinks again, and rises again, until eventually it comes back to a state of stillness.
When we act on anger, we cause the same type of response within ourselves, and in nature around us. We produce an imbalance of pain; because anger is pain and only wants to create pain. The reverberation from anger not only affects the people around us but it bounces back to us. We make others suffer and we make ourselves suffer. We fail to see it.
Anger craves its pleasure, and the pleasure of anger is to make someone else suffer. That is all anger ever wants: it wants other people to suffer. We feel we were wronged, we were mistreated, and in our anger we want others to feel the pain that we feel. So we afflict that pain on them through our anger, through our words, actions, and thoughts. What we don't realize is that this reverberates right back at us again, amplified, worsened. Thus, acting on anger doesn't solve anything; instead, it makes everything worse. The same is true of all of the other defects that afflict us: pride, gluttony, greed,, envy. They all produce suffering.
That energy of the one law flows through nature and reaches us in our physicality, flowing through thein us. Because we are always acting from ignorance, craving, and aversion, guided by defects that we call , the energy is propelled downward into further complication. This happens because our our actions physically and psychologically. So that energy that was flowing in us as 48 laws is modified by our actions, and now begins to double, to 96 laws, then to 192, to 288, to 384...
Our actions produce complication, intensity, density, conditioning, as our defects become more and more intensified, more and more nourished. The more you build your pride, the more you build your, and your anger, and your envy, the more intensely the suffering accumulates in you. That results in what we call hell: the inferior worlds.
With each layer of complication, pain is added. As you move further down, life becomes more constricted, limited, conditioned, mechanical, painful.
Hell is simply the outcome of how that light that, projected through the prism of our actions, has become corrupted, infected, and thus resides in lower levels of nature that psychologically we call subconsciousness, unconsciousness, and religiously we call hell. It is our own mind that we carry around with us all the time that is always influencing us from the dark corners of our head and heart, which we don't see.
Always driven by the feelings of insecurity, and anger, and pain, and, and craving for things that we do not have, we act, motivated by submerged, invisible qualities and we create more suffering.
That is what is determining our trajectory as individuals and as an entire planet. That is why we see that the psychology of this world is sinking and getting worse, and worse, and worse, day after day. This world is becoming more and more intense, more and more conditioned.
The suffering is increasing, not because of God, but because of us. Not because of the Devil, but because of us.
The cause of suffering is us. Divinity did not create suffering. Divinity just created the laws of nature. We are the ones who act against those laws.
That is why everything on this planet is worsening. Because our our actions, humanity is descending into more complicated and painful circumstances.
"...they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." —Job 4:8
That is why hell exists: as a limit to evil. Hell is how nature stops us from becoming even worse. Hell is how nature recycles us so we can try again later. Hell is how nature purges theof its mistakes: the and karma. Hell does not last forever, it only lasts as long as it takes to clean the . However, it is very painful. Therefore, it is in our best interest to clean ourselves now so that we can avoid the mechanical, long, slow descent into hell.
Energy evolves and devolves.
Our physical bodies are at the top of the mechanical kingdom of nature. We have an incredible opportunity in these bodies, to take advantage of the enormous energy and complexity of these bodies to create something spectacular; but we do not do it.
The wheel of nature is limited by its conditioning. These kingdoms — the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms that we stand upon, that we depend upon, that we rose through — have a limit, and we are there. Everything in physical nature is designed to create humanoid physical bodies like ours. The minerals, the plants, and the animals all are involved in an enormous machine that gives rise to these human bodies that we have, that we inherit, that we are given for free from nature. We as aare placed in these bodies and given the opportunity to transcend mechanical nature.
That is why we are given the guidance of religions; something that is not given to the other kingdoms. We are given instructions of how to use this type of body in order to get off of this recycling system of nature. And if we fail to follow those instructions and create something new, then everything that we have received from nature is taken back; and that is how nature recycles everything that it provides. That is the cycle of birth and death; not only of individuals, but entire species, and civilizations, and planets, and worlds, and solar systems. They all arise and they all die.
We freely received these bodies from nature, not only the physical body but the psyche we have as well; we did not have to do anything to earn them. We call them “lunar bodies” because they are a gift from the Moon. We use the word "moon" here to symbolize the mechanical, repetitious tendency of nature in its form of creation. It is a beautiful aspect of nature, but very limited.
We receive the physical body, which is obvious, and the body that animates that body, which is the vital body; the energy of the physical body. We also receive what we experience as emotion and mind. On this graphic they are the four lower circles on the Tree of Life:(physicality), (the foundation), (emotional), (mental). These in us are gifts that we received from nature, and they are what allow us to function.
The physical body () we use for our physical life.
The vital body () gives it the energy to do so.
The astral () and mental bodies ( ) give us the ability to feel emotion and to think thoughts and reason.
Those four bodies are possessed by all of us and we did not do anything to acquire them; we just get born and we have them.
What inhabits those bodies is the, which is a spark of the next sphere up called . That is what we can call the or the Buddhadhatu, the Buddha-nature; the potential to become a Buddha. It is an embryo, a seed that must be grown. It is not developed.
In other words, when we came through the animal kingdom and rose into the humanoid kingdom, we received these bodies and came here into this humanoid kingdom with thewe had as animals. And that is why it is called in Hebrew, "nephesh," which means "animal ." And that is why in Latin it is called, "anima," which means " ." So that animal , or nephesh, is the undeveloped that we have in our lunar bodies: physical ( ), vital ( ), emotional ( ), mental ( ).
That spark has the potential to become a god, an angel, a buddha, a master, a deva; whatever you want to call it. It is a spark that belongs to the Absolute, that came all the way through the Tree of Life to inhabit a body, to cycle through nature, through countless millions of physical bodies; developing and growing and developing and evolving until eventually, through millions of years of development, it acquires a physical humanoid body like ours; such an incredibly rare and precious thing. That is why in Buddhism it is said that the chances of acquiring a human body are the same as a turtle in the middle of the ocean happening to rise up and pass its head through a little loop of thread. That is how rare and precious our physical body is; and here we have it.
Our purpose in having it is to rise above the animal nature, to conquer the animal nature, and become a true human being, walking and talking with God, speaking with divinity, seeing divinity, and communicating directly with divinity, being in command and control of nature. Not only the external nature, but internal nature. Our purpose is to express the true nature of the, which is to be awake, happy, content, without fear or pain, but experiencing a state of serenity and joy that are natural to the .
The, that essence, descends from the world of six laws into physicality, but then becomes trapped by becoming hypnotized by craving and aversion and thereby elaborating the structure of the , the psychology that we have now. The is a tiny spark that is trapped and conditioned in a cage. It sleeps, and must be awakened. That is why we have religion and mysticism; to teach us to awaken it, and subsequently to eliminate all of those mistaken actions that put us on the trajectory of pain. To do so, we need to know about all of this and how to change it.
The Buddha gave us the clues. He taught about the Four Noble Truths.
The first is simple:
“Birth is suffering; Decay is suffering; Death is suffering; Sorrow, Lamentation, Pain, Grief, and Despair, are suffering; not to get what one desires, is suffering…”
The Buddha Shakyamuni had everything; born a prince; born wealthy; had absolutely everything: beauty, strength, a kingdom, wealth beyond imagining. But his parents prevented him from seeing the truth. He was always kept cloistered; protected. And because of his natural interest in understanding things, he snuck out of the palace grounds and for the first time saw old people; sick people; dead people. He was astonished because as a prince he never saw those things. He was greatly disturbed. Subsequently, he decided that this problem of old age, sickness, death, and all the problems of pain and suffering, must have a solution. So he abandoned all of his material goods and status and went to live in the wilderness with absolutely nothing, and devoted himself to religion, to yoga, and spent years in; in complete abstinence. He only ate a single grain of rice a day. After seven years he was nothing more than a skeleton with skin on it; completely emaciated. And in that time, meditating in the forest, he heard nearby someone trying to play an instrument that is called a veena; it has strings. But the string did not sound right; it was not in tune. And suddenly it struck him; he is like that. If the string is not in exactly the right tension it does not produce a beautiful note. And he realized he is exactly like that. He went from one extreme, of materialism, wealth, status, beauty and everything else, and abandoned that and went all the way to another extreme of renouncing everything and being completely alone; and both extremes were wrong. He realized he needed to be in the middle; tuned.
Subsequently, he came to understand these truths: Yes, there is suffering.
“It is that craving which gives rise to fresh rebirth, and, bound up with pleasure and…”
When we are craving something it always sets in motion this cycle called "Pratityasamutpada," which is very difficult to translate into English. Usually it is translated as "dependent-origination." It simply says: because of this, that happens, and because of that, this happens. It is a cycle of cause and effect. Craving is what gives rise to that wheel of movement that causes suffering. So it says it is that craving which gives rise to fresh rebirth, bound up with pleasure and. The cause of suffering is craving; desire.
Since suffering has a cause, which is craving, then the Third Noble Truth says:
“It is the complete fading away and extinction of this craving, its forsaking and giving up, the liberation and detachment from it…”
If we can conquer that unnatural craving for pleasure and the unnatural avoidance of pain, and instead learn to be in the middle, neither craving or avoiding, simply being, not chasing pleasure and always avoiding uncomfortable things, but being present and aware, awake, then we undo the chain that binds us to suffering.
“It is the Noble Eightfold Path, the way that leads to the extinction of suffering… This is the Middle Path which the Perfect One has found out, which makes one both to see and to know, which leads to peace, to discernment, to enlightenment, to Nirvana.”
This is the first teaching that the Buddha gave. It is most profound. It is something that is maybe somewhat easy to grasp with your intellect, but extraordinarily deep because it penetrates into every atom of our existence. To think you understand it with your mind is not enough. True understanding of the Four Noble Truths is revealed in your actions when you are no longer acting upon your craving and aversion.
These two factors, craving and aversion, are accompanied by a third, which is ignorance. These are symbolized in the center of the bhavachakra, the so-called "wheel of samsara", and around them everyone rises and falls, suffering through the kingdoms of nature.
This type of ignorance is not to be book illiterate, but instead to lack knowledge of our true nature. We crave pleasure and seek to avoid pain because we do not know our true nature. How many people can with their hand on their heart in complete and utter honesty, say that they have spoken directly to theirdivine? They have talked to God in them? They have faced the Buddha that is within them, and talked to that Buddha? Probably none of us. That is the ignorance that we suffer. We do not realize that the is a spark of divinity connected to our own being; a Buddha; a type of intelligence. A type of spirit that is splendorously beautiful and utterly divine and immortal. That spark of essence, , that we have longs to return to the full and complete knowledge of that self and become one with it. That is what or liberation is all about. It is to become fully knowledgable of oneself; to know oneself as a divinity, as a being. Conscious; awake; not just physically but in all of the worlds. When you understand the Four Noble Truths completely, you will acquire that type of knowledge. And the way you do it was expressed by Jesus in the Bible. In the Book of John he taught Nicodemus and said,
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God... Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh [through common sex] is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” —Jesus from John 3
This word "man" does not mean gender. It refers to all of us. The word "man" in English, in fact, is also genderless. It is unfortunate that in recent decades it has acquired gender. Its root is Sanskrit. "Ma" - to think. "" - intellect, mind. But it has two aspects.
If we look on the Tree of Life we have inferior, which is the way we experience thought now, which is a concrete type of mind that says "I think." Then you have superior , which is ; beauty; the human or , which is abstract. It does not need to think; it simply is. All of us, in that sense, have this "man" or "ma" within. But it is undeveloped.
Jesus taught that "ma," "man," "" must be born again. If not, it cannot see the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the superior worlds above.
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God... Know ye not that your bodies are the members of? shall I then take the members of , and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee . Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." —1 Corinthians 6
To see that Kingdom, that "" must be born again, meaning that it has to be broken out of its shell. It is just a seed, and when the seed dies the tree can be born. What is that death? It is the death of the . What is that birth? That which is born of the spirit. Not through the flesh, but through the spirit.
Jesus is clearly telling us that there are two kinds of sexuality. There is the common, carnal, animal sexuality that everybody in the world knows, that unfortunately nowadays has become completely corrupted by craving and aversion; by. But there is another type of sexuality that humanity ignores, and that is related to the spirit. It is a type of sexuality that those who are serious about religions are introduced to when they are taught ; brahmacharya; continence. They are taught to restrain the sexual energy and convert it into a spiritual resource rather than waste it through lustful , through masterbation, through pornography. They instead learn to retain that energy and transform it through , through types of spiritual exercises that they learn, and through maithuna; a type of yoga that harnesses the sexual energy that historically in the West was called and in the East was called . That is what is depicted in this image of the Buddha sitting under the tree immediately after the story I just told you.
When he heard that note and realized that the string had to be exactly at the right tension, it had to be in the middle, in order to play a beautiful note, he understood in that moment the nature of the Middle Path, which is the basis of everything that the Buddha taught. What he realized was that the two extremes were mistaken. When he had that understanding, immediately emerged out of the forest a beautiful woman bringing to him a bowl; because you remember he had been surviving on a single grain of rice for seven years. And in this bowl she brought him rice milk.
Contemplate that symbol: rice milk. It is a life-giving substance that has the essence, the seed of nature in it; rice. That is obviously a symbol of the sexual energy.
When he takes the rice milk from her, he accepts that gift of nourishment, he is instantly restored to health. Her name in Sanskrit is Sujata, which means "good birth." At that moment, the Buddha was born. This is a symbol of sexual transmutation, of cooperation between man and woman, with the sacred substance of the sexual energy held securely and safely in a bowl; not wasted, not treated lustfully, but with great reverence andand respect as a nourishment for the Buddhata, the essence, the ; in order for it to be born again; to have birth of the spirit, not of the flesh.
That is why Jesus said in the next book of the Bible:
“…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
This is from a story in the Bible of Jesus encountering a woman at a well. When she asked for the secret of eternal life, immortality, he tells her it is an everlasting water that emerges in you. Later in the Bible he says it emerges in your belly. She asked to learn the secret and he says, "Get your husband and I will teach you," because the secret is sexual. It is a relationship between man and wife, utilizing the sexual energy in a divine way.
All of this points us towards a great mystery in the Christian Church that nowadays has been erased, which was spiritual marriage. It was widespread in the early days of the church, in which a couple would live together inas husband and wife but not spill the sexual energy. They would preserve it in accordance with the instructions that are given in the Bible. But the priests later removed all of that and changed the teaching. In fact, we know that Jesus was married.
The purpose of this spiritual marriage and the retention of that sexual energy is to take the energy that has condensed into the body and utilize it.
The physical body is a transformer of energy. You are using it everyday to transform energy; you eat, you drink, you breathe and you take in impressions through your eyes, your nose, your tongue and your skin. All of that is constantly being converted automatically in your body. All of that matter and energy corresponds to 48 laws. As soon as you eat and drink and breathe and look at things and hear things, everything you take in is being digested by you physically and psychologically. Physically, the most refined element that your body creates is your sexual energy. It is the signature of everything that you are. You know this is true because you yourself were made by the signatures of your parents. Everything that your mother was, was in her egg, and everything that your father was, was in his sperm. When those two seeds united they produced the physical body that you have. Their physical bodies were constantly taking in all the food and nourishment and air and water and impressions, and boiling all of that down into that one seed; a sperm or an egg. Your body is doing the exact same thing right now. That seed in you is not just your physical resemblance; it contains your psychology; everything about you. We call it genetics, but really that is just karma. Everything about you is summarized in your sexual energy. So the way that you use that energy in your physical life is also the most powerful thing you can do in your life.
If you study your life and the lives of people you have known, you'll see that the actions that have produced the most traumatic and intense and incredible changes in their lives have been sexual actions. Do you want proof? Look how your life changes when you have a child or you get a sexual disease. Nothing changes your life like that; especially having a child. It is the most profound change, and it is a sexual change. Often it happens because we were following a craving; we were just lead byand accidentally had children; not intentionally; not consciously. What that shows us is that if we were to actually take control of that energy consciously, and learn to direct that where we want it to go, we have incredible power in our hands.
That is why all religions begin with ethical rules; to not abuse the sexual energy but to conserve it; to learn to control it; to not be mastered by desire, by, but instead to master it, to control it, to take advantage of that energy.
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth [his seed] to flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth [his seed] to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." —Galations 6
When we learn to control that energy and contain it, not waste it through, it is a creative force. We know that because it can create physical life. But Jesus said that it also creates spiritual life. When that energy is contained and controlled and kept in an environment of sanctity and purity, and harnessed through certain techniques that we learn in different religions, that energy, instead of expelling itself and creating suffering, can then return inwards and upwards to create spiritual life.
When there is a surplus of sexual energy in the body it transcends the 48 laws and reaches the world of 24 laws and initiates a new level of creation; a new type of creation. Subsequently, it can go to 12, to 6, and beyond. That is how you create the second birth; you become twice-born; you create the solar bodies.
In the East this was represented as a process of raising what is called; a type of energy; divine energy. But there is not just one , there are seven. They correspond to these seven lower aspects of the Tree of Life, beginning with the physical body, and steadfastly, subsequently, moving up each sphere until we reach , which is our own , our own inner Buddha, who in the Bible is represented as Abraham.
When we initiate that process we create the. The first five spheres are the solar bodies; physical, vital, emotional, mental and causal. Those are depicted in all the different religions in different ways. In the Bible it is the chariot that Ezekiel rides to heaven. In Hinduism you have the same symbol; Krishna driving the chariot with Arjuna, who represents the , the . That chariot is the bodies, the vessel, the vehicles, that allow the to travel to the heavens; to be conscious in the internal worlds; to become a cognizant citizen of the universe.
In fact, there is a very interesting symbol of that from the old tradition of bullfighting. The torero is in the ring with the bull. The bull represents the animal impulse of desire, and the torero has to conquer that bull, but with dignity. And what does the torero wear? That resplendent, beautiful outfit, very shiny, to reflect the light of God. That outfit represents the solar bodies. That tradition comes from the ancient past. Nowadays it has been converted into something brutal and grotesque. Originally, the bull was not harmed. In Ancient Greece and Egypt in past times it was never hurt. Nowadays they brutalize the animal. The origins of that tradition reflect this mystery; the creation of the.
Jesus said that we do not have a. He said with patience we will possess the ; because it has to be created through the second birth. He said that only those who are called to the wedding feast can attend, and to attend the wedding feast you must have a wedding garment; and those who are wearing rags cannot attend. That wedding garment is the . It is the new type of garment that we learn to clothe the with; the ; And it is the solar bodies. That emerges through the transmutation and elevation of sexual energy.
That is whyand were always taught, in all the religions, in all of the world, in secret to those who were prepared. That is why the Bible says,
"Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man... has any inheritance in the kingdom ofand of God." —Ephesians 5.5
“Lustful people do not enter the path to liberation.” –Padmasambhava
Padmasambhava was an Indian master who broughtto Tibet and radically transformed that country; made it the repository of the most esoteric and beautiful traditions. He is depicted in sexual union with his spouse; not with , but as a practice of and where they harness that energy to liberate the from its addictions to craving and aversion. That is the essence of or ; to transform the lead into gold. To do that we have to conquer . That is clear in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism; they all teach the same thing.
Unfortunately, nowadays humanity only wants to fulfill its desires, and anything that contradicts that, we reject. That is why we suffer so much. Humanity has no interest in curing its pain. Sadly, humanity only wants more and more pleasure, at any cost; never recognizing that all pleasure has a cost.
The question is: where are we headed as a society and as individuals?
If we contemplate the way the laws of nature work, as depicted for us in religion and mysticism, the answer is very clear. The Bible and all the scriptures of the world are full of warnings that those who pursue desire,, pride, and anger always deepen their suffering and end in deep pain. The choice is ours; to continue with that trajectory or to change it.
We change it through our actions, not good intentions. We change it through changing today; changing our mind; changing our behaviors; dropping anything that causes suffering and adopting those actions that bring happiness. That is the essence of any real religion; to become truly ethical.
When you find something that causes suffering, you stop. When you find something that brings genuine happiness to the, you adopt that. That is how we change the trajectory of our life away from the infernal worlds and towards the heavens.
The intensity of that change is up to us.
The question really then is: How long do we have? All of us think that we are not going to die but we are, and no one knows when. So every day that we have using this physical body we should take full advantage of it and not waste a moment. Radical change does not rely on good intentions, but on action.
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