The Fuel for Spiritual Experience
In the Gnostic tradition we are interested in understanding something more profound about life, not just going along with the flow of everyday existence, but to penetrate the veil and see something fundamental and true. In other words, the Gnostic student does not rely on mere belief, but instead wants to see and experience the truth, to know the truth, to feel it, to taste it, to touch it, to live it.
In order for us to comprehend what Gnosis means, what it is—as opposed to just a theory, an idea, or a word that we talk about—we have to utilize a very special form of energy, a form of energy that all of us have, but that unfortunately we have never learned how to use, and so it goes ignored, wasted, and in worst cases, misused. That energy is the same energy that causes everything to exist; it is the very force, the very fountain from which all life is nourished. That energy is in us in every level of what we are as a human being. The Gnostic student is seeking how:
- first, recognize that energy; to know what that energy is
- second, harness it; to learn how to use it
- third, direct it by will; to use it for the benefit of everyone
These are three essential phases through which every spiritual aspirant of any tradition has to accomplish.
The first step is to know what that energy is, to recognize it, see it, experience it, taste it, touch it use it. That energy is the very fuel of spiritual experience.
Foundations for Spiritual Advancement
Everything that exists is subject to cause and effect.
In order to arrive at a given circumstance, a given experience, the causes must have been produced for that experience to occur.
In order for you to take a walk, there are many causes and conditions that have to be satisfied: you need a healthy body and a place to walk, you need to know how to walk, you need the freedom to walk. Similarly, if we want to walk spiritually, we need to learn how, we need to establish the causes and conditions, and then we need the freedom to do it.
Because of Karma, cause and effect, there are a lot of factors involved in acquiring spiritual experience. Many people join different religions or schools—including the Gnostic tradition—and mistakenly assume that once they have heard the theory or have accepted it, and have begun to believe in it, that they are on their way to God or liberation. This is a mistaken view. Learning about the energy, learning about the parameters of spiritual growth—the causes and conditions—does not equate having the experience of that energy. You have to go to the next step, which is to use the teachings, to apply them, to actualize those teachings in your life. This is true whether you call yourself a Gnostic, a Christian, or a Buddhist.
It is insufficient to merely believe. Belief does not create anything. What creates is action. That is the root of the word Karma. Karma means cause and effect, but the root word is Karman which is Sanskrit and it means "to act." Karma is the law of action and consequence, whether we call ourselves a Gnostic or a Christian or a Buddhist or a Jew or Muslim.
There is a common interest, a common intent, shared amongst all religions, which is the longing to experience the truth. This is the urgency in the heart, a sense in ones heart that what we see in our daily life is not the totality of life. Truthfully, if what we see in our daily lives was the totality of life, life would not be worth living.
This reveals the second common element amongst all religious people—I mean the ones that do not just believe, but the ones that practice—and that is a sense of renunciation, a taste, a comprehension and understanding that what we commonly see terrestrially is really fruitless and pointless, and that the real purpose of living, the purpose of life, is to penetrate that veil, to see beyond this physical illusion and to experience the truth. This point of view marks the soul.
The real practitioner of Gnosis or any religion is the one who has realized and knows in their heart that they are tired of suffering. They want suffering to end. Most of us tend to forget this because we get caught up in religious or political debate, the pursuit of money or possessions, and all the different distractions that emerge in life. But in the core, in the heart of the spiritually inspired person is a sense that this physical life is not all there is to living, and that there is something more.
We Gnostics are tired of suffering. We want to know how to change. The only answer to suffering cannot be found in external circumstances. The balm or medicine for suffering cannot be found in a job, a spouse, a marriage, children, it cannot be found in moving to another city or country, or in a new wardrobe or hairstyle. The solution is found in your consciousness, in your soul. This is why the Buddha Shakyamuni gave us his beautiful first teaching: the four noble truths.
It is through not understanding, not realizing four things, that I, Disciples, as well as you, had to wander so long through this round of rebirths. And what are these four things? They are the Noble Truth of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Extinction of Suffering. - Buddha Shakyamuni
The noble truths state in essence that there is suffering, and that suffering is caused by desire. If one eliminates ones desire, suffering ends. And, there is a path to accomplish that. That path has many names. In the East they call it Dharma. In the West they call it by many different names, but the one we use is Gnosis, which is as a name used in the East in Sanskrit, jnana, which means Gnosis.
This science has a purpose, which is to give us the practical experience that shows us how to end suffering. The end of suffering is accomplished by ending desire. Desire is the cause of suffering. Desire has many forms; it is not simply the concept of desire. If you see how complicated life is, how complicated your mind is, that is how complicated desire is. All of the suffering in all of the worlds is caused by desire; that is how complicated desire is. If you can conceive in your mind all of the worlds and all of the suffering creatures, that is how complicated desire is. So this problem is not simple to unravel, but it can be done in yourself. Once you can do it in yourself, you can help others, and this is the key foundation of this teaching.
I am emphasizing this because without a firm grasp of these factors—Karma and suffering—it is very easy to get confused, to get distracted, and to be drawn off into different directions in your spiritual life. This is why in traditional religions these factors are the very foundation that every student has to work on for a long time before they are introduced to the higher concepts, the higher practices. In any foundational level teaching, the emphasis is on Karma, which is cause and effect, which in practice means ethics.
The foundation of every religion is ethics: knowing how to behave. We need to learn what actions bring good results and what actions bring harmful results. We do not know this, because we are still creating suffering for ourselves and others. To advance spiritually, you need to know very well about the consequences of action, because as long as you are persisting in actions that produce harm, you cannot possibly succeed in any higher practice; it is impossible.
Someone who does not have this foundational training will continue generating too much negative energy for themselves and others. Thus the efforts of higher practices will not bear any beneficial fruits. Moreover, you have to understand that your actions create suffering, not only for yourself but for others.
When someone really comprehends these two interconnected concepts—cause and effect and suffering—something changes in them. Comprehension means conscious knowledge, not just concept or belief. Someone who is conscious of these facts becomes a different person, because they begin to become very serious in their daily life in moment to moment: how they engage with other people, how they behave, how they use their speech, how they use their body, how they use their mind. This type of person begins to radiate a new force, a new energy, which in the East is called Bodhichitta, and which in the West we call compassion, love. But, this is not simply terrestrial love. Bodhichitta is a kind of wisdom-love that is far beyond anything we can imagine in relation to our concepts of love. Bodhichitta is a conscious love, the kind of love that a master has, an angel; it is the love that an angel expresses.
Bodhichitta is conscious love that shows in a persons actions. The person who has Bodhichitta always does their best to not cause harm to others. Bodhichitta is a change of mind. Someone who has Bodhichitta has a mind that is different from the rest of us. Bodhichitta in Sanskrit is बोधिचित्त and can be translated as “wisdom mind.”
Once a person is showing signs that Bodhichitta is really emerging in their mind stream and in their actions, they can receive higher teachings that show how to take the deepest core energies within us and utilize them for the benefit of others. These are very potent techniques and dangerous, and that is why traditionally these techniques are only taught when someone has already established these factors consciously in themselves. Again, consciously means they understand not just intellectually but in their body, in their heart, in their mind, in their actions. They know when they do something that there will be an effect. They know it. For such a person, this isn’t just a concept; it is not something that one forgets, like “Oh yeah I have to remember cause and effect.” Such a person who knows this; it is in their atoms. Moreover, they know that every harmful action they perform causes suffering if that action. If it is a selfish action, if it is modified by desire, it will cause suffering, even if that suffering isn’t visible immediately after the action. They also live with an urgency to serve others, to help them, to reduce their suffering. This is Bodhichitta. Such a person is able to take higher teachings and use energy in a new way, because they are trained mentally to use energy in a way that will not cause harm. This is why for many centuries the highest teachings of any religion were always protected, were always kept secret.
Humanity does not know what is in the esoteric heart of any religion. Everyone thinks that they know; you can buy a thousand books about “the esoteric secret teachings” but they are mostly lies. Humanity does not know the secret teachings, because humanity has never been taught them. The real secret teachings have never been given in the physical world. What we call “secret teachings” are either lies or just the kindergarten for the real teachings. Even the teachings of Samael Aun Weor—which are a portion of the secret teachings that have been made public for our benefit—are just the antechamber to the real secret teachings.
This is not something that we should blame humanity for, or condemn people for, or look down on people. Nor should we be angry with those who have protected the knowledge. Humanity has not been prepared. Humanity is not matured. For centuries and centuries, humanity has been kept in the antechamber, in the foyer of the temple, and has not been brought into the mysteries, because humanity is immature. The evidence is everywhere. This humanity loves war. That is why we have had a continual state of war for decades on this planet. See if you can find one year without war; you cannot! That is why this humanity has been kept from the heart of the mysteries. That is why when you hear people saying this and that about “the secret teachings” and claiming to be “this and that big shot” you should just ignore them. Put your feet on the ground and be practical: look at the facts. Look at the reality. We are ruled by desire. We are not mature.
Yes, the secret teachings have begun to be unveiled, but not in totality. Only some clues have been given. We have been given clues that allow the student to open the door to the real teachings, but the full teachings are not in the physical world anywhere, in any school, under any name. The real teachings are not in the physical world—not in the Gnostic movement, not in the Tibetan movements, not amongst the Christians, any other Buddhist group, any group anywhere. The real teachings are in the internal worlds. To access those teachings, you have to awaken your consciousness and go to those places. Then, having proven that level of maturity, they will teach you there, because you have demonstrated that you are serious, and that you can control your mind, and that you can control your energy; this is the key factor.
Where to Begin
So, to gain that, we work here in the physical world to establish these foundations:
- understanding cause and effect
- understanding suffering
- learning how to develop Bodhichitta, cognizant compassion, conscious love, which equates to sacrifice for others
Bodhichitta is an entirely new mind. Bodhichitta is Christ mind. It is the kind of mind that is only concerned with the welfare of other beings. It is that mind that can use the higher teachings. If we do not have Bodhichitta, then the higher teachings are completely useless for us. In fact they can be dangerous. That is why they are withheld form us. You will probably understand a little bit more about that as we go through this lecture.
As I mentioned, our goal or interest spiritually is to have experience, to see the truth, to know something about what is happening on other levels of existence, not just this physical world but to know: where do we really come from? What is God? What do dreams really mean? Those types of questions cannot be answered through our physical senses, or through a book; they cannot be answered through any kind of belief. They can only be answered through personal experience: through the consciousness, awakened and utilized.
To do that, we have to begin by using our physical body. This is our vehicle, our vessel. The physical body is symbolized on the Tree of Life of Kabbalah as the sephirah Malkuth, which is the lowest sphere. Malkuth relates to the physical world and to the physical body. Malkuth is the third dimension. So take a moment and become aware of your physical body.
This vessel, this vehicle that we all take for granted, is the vehicle that you need in order to have spiritual experience.
I know that we like to think that spiritual experience has nothing to do with the body, but that is wrong. We need this body. We need it to be healthy and strong. We need it to be very relaxed and in balance, because this body is the vessel that receives and transforms all of the forces necessary for the consciousness to do its work.
The Jewel in the Waters
We need this body, but we need to know how to use it. The ultimate goal of Gnosis—the heart of any religion—is to fully realize the capacities of our consciousness, to fully develop ourselves as a human being, to become a real human being. That ultimate possibility we have seen expressed in all of the greatest masters of every religion—Jesus, Buddha, Krishna—these great masters have displayed unimaginable love and intelligence. That ultimate potential is symbolized in this image, in the hands of the Lhu.
The being that is depicted here rising out of the waters is called in Tibetan lhu གླུ. In Sanskrit, the word is Naga नाग. Naga means serpent. Lhu or Naga is a type of being that is not human, and that does not generally appear in the physical world, although they can. They are elemental spirits, primordial intelligences of nature that protect a vast amount of knowledge and energy. Any shaman works with lhu, the forces of nature.
Every body of water has a lhu. A river has lhu, a lake, a tree, a rock, a mountain. These are all the elemental forces of nature, but now remember your body. You are sitting in a body that is comprised of all of those elements from nature. Everyday you take in more elements from nature. You take in the energies and components of lhu, and they become your body. But, we do this unconsciously, without any consciousness at all of what these elements are, what we do with them, and what they become.
We tend to eat garbage. We tend to drink garbage. We tend to breathe in garbage. Yet, we are what we eat! That is why our bodies are sick. That is why our minds are sick. We eat garbage, not just through our mouth, but through our eyes. You see, not just food is taken in by us to transform energy, and not just air, but impressions through our eyes, through our ears. Impressions are food. Haven’t you noticed that you get hungry for images? That you hunger for your favorite TV show, book, magazine, or music? You hunger for them because you need impressions. Those impressions are food. They are impressions you transform into energy, but unfortunately, the impressions we take in are usually garbage.
This lhu represents a primordial intelligence of nature, which has importance in relation with nature around us and also within us. She holds in her hand a norbu. Norbu (ནོརྦུ;) is a Tibetan word that means jewel. This jewel in her hand is enflamed. This is a very particular norbu. It represents the ultimate potential of a human being. It represents what we can become. The Sanskrit equivalent is Vajrasattva, which means “diamond soul,” a perfect soul. A diamond is what we consider the perfect gem; why is it perfect? Because it reflects light. That is what a perfect soul does: it receives all of the light of the universe and reflects it out to create beauty, not to create war, violence, lust, pride, but to create beauty, the beauty of the divine. That is a Vajrasattva, a perfected soul; that is our ultimate potential.
This lhu is showing that in the hands of nature is the secret, but notice that the lhu is rising out of the water. This is the hidden aspect of this teaching. The water is where that secret potential is hidden—not physical water, but spiritual water, ethereal water, psychological water. Water here is a symbol. Water is a symbol in every religion, a very important symbol.
If you remember, in the beginning of the book of Genesis, one of the first things that happens is that the waters are divided. Those waters are called Mayim (מים) in Hebrew, which is written with two Mem’s: the open Mem מ in the beginning, then a Iod י, and a closed Mem ם at the end. So Mayim shows two waters, a Mem above which is the waters in heaven, then a Iod in the middle, and a Mem below, which are the waters below. This has enormous significance on many levels, but the most important level for our discussion today is how that applies to us. Those waters are in us in levels, but we need to know how and what that means.
This image shows a yogi in meditation. At the level of his head we see waters flowing from heaven. Those are the waters above, from the superior worlds at the level of his head.
Those waters are שמים Shamayim. The Hebrew word Shamayim means “the fiery waters,” but it is usually translated as Heaven. Shamayim is Mayim plus the letter ש Shin. The letter Shin means fire, so the fire is in the waters.
This yogi is working in meditation, which is a practice to work with the mind, and this image is showing that the mind is intimately related with the waters. In other words, when we write the word Mayim vertically and we place it over our body, the first Mem is in our head, and did you know that your brain floats in water? Those are the waters of our own personal heaven, the waters above, but those waters in our spinal cord and around the brain do not merely sit in one place, the waters that the brain rests in are the fluids of the spinal column and those fluids go all the way down the spine; those waters flow through our nervous system. Those waters are very important.
This meditator is working with the core aspects or steps of meditation practice but especially meditation as taught in the higher level schools. Let us clarify this: this lecture assumes that you have already understood the foundational level aspects. That is, when you are listening to what I am explaining in this lecture, do not relate it to foundational level teachings, what we might call Shravakayana, Hinayana, or Theravada Vipassana practices. In this lecture, we are not discussing mere concentration practices. When I am talking about meditation in this lecture I am talking about meditation at the level of Tantra, the third level of teaching. This means that the person who is working with meditation at that level is working with these four core aspects.
Most important, begin with relaxation. The real student of meditation begins by relaxing, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Without relaxation, any practice of meditation is pointless.
Secondly they learn to use prayer, which opens the heart. Without prayer, without an open heart, meditation practice will be a failure.
Thirdly, they work with concentration, to focus attention on one thing. Without concentration, the mind is distracted, and the meditation will fail.
The fourth component is visualization, in which the person uses the powers of imagination to see.
When these four components are active, meditation is possible.
This is what we studied on our recent retreat. We always begin by relaxing—and really, we should be relaxing ourselves continually all the time, to be continually preparing for meditation. We should never be tense. Tension is frustrated desire. If you ever find tension in yourself, it is because you are frustrated. That frustration is a frustrated desire; it could be anger, fear, lust, pride, etc. If you are tense, you cannot meditate.
We always start with relaxation. The yogi in this picture is very relaxed. I know this posture would probably not be very relaxing for any of us, but he is used to it—of course, he has been painted on that wall for a long time, so he has had a long time to get used to it.
The symbol in his heart represents his prayer. That symbol is the Tibetan letter A ཨ. In recent lectures about the Runes, you have been hearing about the mantra A. This is extremely significant; remember that this is the first sound the baby makes when it comes out of the womb, Aaaaaaa. It is that first emergence of the breath.
In this image, Aaah ཨ is in the heart, and below it is a lotus, which is the flower of the heart. This is showing that our prayer has to be sincere, not just a prayer in the mind, such as “Oh, God, please give me that car,” or “Oh, God, I’m sorry I did bad today, I’ll do better, please forgive me.” Real prayer is not intellectual, it is emotional. Prayer should emerge in the heart. Prayer when it is effective and sincere opens the heart.
This is so important, so let me repeat: relax the body, mind and heart so that when we pray the heart will open. We might be relaxed physically, but we can be very tense emotionally, when our heart is filled with resentment, worry, or anxiety, when we are stressed about work, our spouse, or our children. When we are emotionally tense, prayer cannot happen, meditation cannot happen. We need to be relaxed, and we need our heart to open, to be sincere, to talk to God. The opening of our heart is a prerequisite for meditation, it has to happen.
The next step is concentration, where we focus our attention. This effort to focus our attention is related to the pineal gland, which is in the center of the brain, in those superior waters.
Notice something that is happening here that is very significant: if you put the word Mayim over the body of this yogi, we see the superior waters related to his head, the Iod related to his heart, and the lower Mem is related to the base of the spinal column, which is the sexual water, the waters of sexuality, the creative waters from which all life emerges. In other words, through relaxation, prayer, and concentration, we open up a connection between the lower waters and the superior waters in us.
Why is this important? Because we want to know God. We want to experience the truth. We want to experience the reality. That reality is fire, represented by the Hebrew letter Shin that descends from above, that makes Shamayim. That fire descends into us to fill the waters within us. That fire of Shin is inspiration.
The Master Samael Aun Weor taught that meditation as three phases:
The steps I have explained so far prepare you for the first step: imagination. You relax, pray, concentrate, imagine. When your imagination begins to show you images—because you are relaxed, prayerful, and visualizing and concentrating—then imagination opens and inspiration comes; that is the fire, Shin.
If you do not know what I am talking about, if you have never had that experience, that is why I am giving this lecture: to help you find out why you have not. What I am describing in this lecture are fundamental principles that anyone can use and that are harmonious with any religion, with any practice. But in order for you to have experience of reality, you need the vessel, you need the causes and conditions that will allow that experience to happen. Firstly, you need a physical body, which luckily we all have; it may not be the body that we want, but we have one. If we take care of it, we can have those experiences. But, something else needs to be there, not just the body itself, that is insufficient as we probably all know: there are billions of people on this planet, and they do not have experience of reality. Why? Simple: they do not have the fuel that the fire can burn in order to illuminate them. The Bible says:
For our God [is] a consuming fire. - Hebrews 12:29
Fire needs a fuel in order for it to burn, for it to cast light.
Do we provide that fuel? Is there something in us that God can use as fuel in order to illuminate our minds and to awaken the fires of our heart? That fuel is the sexual waters. That is why religions throughout all time have emphasized chastity.
This image shows a yogi who was a student of Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava. This yogi’s name is Jnanakumara, which means “king of Gnosis.” Jnanakumara is shown in a pose that reflects his mythology; he is depicted hiding himself in a cave for many years sustaining himself with one thing, which is water that he took from the rock. He is gathering the water with the top part of a human skull. This is not literal, it is symbolic, but what does it mean? It means that Jnanakumara, this Master of Gnosis, was transmuting his sexual waters up into his head; he was taking the waters from the rock. What is the rock? It is the foundation stone, Yesod on the Tree of Life; it is “the foundation of the temple, the stone that the builders disallowed, the stone that the builders rejected.”
The foundation stone is the stone of the well that Jesus sat on when he taught the Samaritan woman,
There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, “Give me to drink.” - John 4:7
The water is taken from the stone. Jesus said,
“...whosoever drinketh of the 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 4:14-16
Meaning, the secret is sexual. Jnanakumara is showing us all of that.
Every flame needs fuel in order to burn. The sacred flame of our candlestick [spinal column] also has its fuel. This fuel is our oil of gold. It is our Christonic semen. The human being who wastes his sacred oil cannot light his candlestick. - Samael Aun Weor
This next image shows the waters of sex being transformed and raised through the three channels through the middle of the body: the central column of the spine and the two columns, two forms of energy on either side. The transformed energy flows up into the brain. Again we see the letter A ཨ in his heart, but what is that around his head? It is a window: the window of the pineal gland. When we transmute the waters and bring them into the head, those sexual waters—through which all life is created—the power in that water resuscitates, rejuvenates, regenerates the pineal gland; all that energy, all that force goes into the pineal gland, which is the source of clairvoyance, which is where we imagine, which is our window to the Divine.
This image shows a yogi in meditation with the three channels on the spinal column, and above his head is a fire; that fire is the same as the Hebrew letter ש Shin. Next to his mouth is the Tibetan letter Ha ཧ. Above his head is a flame, and above that flame, the letter A ཨ, and from that letter A ཨ we see a splendorous radiation and then an image of heaven or nirvana.
This image is related to a tradition called Tummo, which is a particular type of technique that is taught in a variety of schools of Buddhism. In the Gnostic tradition we call it Pranayama. There are many varieties of Pranayama exercises. The Sanskrit word Pranayama means “to harness the winds.” It is not referring to physical wind, but ethereal wind—in other words, what we call ethers. To harness the winds is to harness energies. Those energies is shown here in this path that leads to this temple in the internal worlds. The yogi is using mantras; these letters are A and Ha but you see, they did not paint the whole mantra. Can anybody see what the whole mantra is? Yes, Ham-Sah. Do you know the sound that fire makes? Sssssssssaaaaahhhhh.
The image shows the vowel Ha ཧ by his mouth. When practicing the pranayama Ham-Sah, Ham is the mantra we pronounce mentally when we breathe in; we breathe in the air to take the vital currents, the ethereal currents into the body. We imagine that energy rising up the spinal column as we mentally pronounce the mantra Haaaammmmm, and all that energy is going up, up the spine into the brain, that is the lower portion of this image: Haaammmm. The Haaaammmm is the Ha by his mouth that brings the M (Mem), the waters, from the bottom to the top, the lower waters to the upper waters, the waters of sex to the waters of the brain: Haaaammmm. Then the fire that is in the water irradiates the brain, rejuvenates it, gives it life and energy, and then the Yogi says Ssssssssssaaaaaaahhhh with the exhalation. In total, this causes the fire in the waters to rise to the brain, illuminate the pineal gland, and open clairvoyance, to give us the power to see beyond the physical senses. It is very beautifully illustrated in this painting.
This is the technique of Ham-Sah. It is simple, effective, and it works. This technique illustrated in the secret temple is the same technique with some variations taught to all the initiated members of all the religious groups around the world. It is the essence of the same technique taught in the internal worlds to prepare the students to awaken their consciousness and go to the temple to get the higher teachings.
The Development of the Body
Everything you need is here in this body that you are sitting in; it is an incredible vehicle. Take care of it. Stop destroying it. Stop putting garbage into it. Relax. Tension destroys the body. Tension and stress destroy your mind, your body, and cause you to age very rapidly.
If you are stressed out and tense all the time, that does not mean that you have to change your job, move to another place, sell your house and all that dramatic external action; the change your stress, you have to change your attitude.
The most radical life change you need to make is in your attitude. Transform why you are so stressed: what desire, fear, anxiety, pride, lust is causing the stress; that is what you have to work on. Change how you relate to external things. That change is inside.
Harness the forces that are in your body—first and foremost, the sexual energy, which is the most powerful force we have access to: a single sperm or egg creates a life. That is a lot of power. Moreover, that single sperm or ovum contains absolutely everything that you are, synthesized into that one little thing; there is a lot of power in there. Let us look at this.
Your parents—even though you don’t like to think about it—had sex at least once. I know it is disturbing [laughter], but they had you, and that act had a lot of power. In that moment when conception occurred, two tiny little organisms united and became one, and began the process of decoding your Karma and elaborating a body as a reflection of your Karma, of all the causes that you had already put into motion in your previous existence. For nine months that body was prepared in the darkness, and then it was propelled out into the physical world to start suffering, to start paying its debts.
Let us look at how that process happens; from the moment of birth to seven years of age, you learned how to use that body, how to move all of its pieces, how to walk, run, ride a bike, climb a tree, use your tongue, talk—you learn to develop your motor skills. Moreover, you were beautiful; every child is beautiful, perfect, really! Every child irradiates so much beauty.
Then, around seven years of age, we change. Our Karma becomes more intense because it is starting to incorporate into our psyche; we start to get grumpy, irritable, proud, vengeful, afraid. We start developing our intellect. We start trying to figure out what the world means, what life is all about, what is this place that we are in. We have a lot of questions, and that goes on for a few years, until thirteen or fourteen, usually.
Then we start to feel something different; we start to develop emotionally. Friends become more important, and the opposite sex—who used to be really disgusting—is now all of a sudden not so disgusting. We start to change and become an emotionally engaged person, social. That goes on until around the age of twenty one, when we actually become an adult.
Let us point out something very important that happens in these three phases. There is a very significant change that happens—in the past, it was around the age of thirteen or fourteen, where our childlike beauty starts to goes away. That beautiful child starts to become the unbearable teenager, who might be attractive physically, but emotionally and mentally starts to show a lot of conflict, a lot of problems, a lot of pain, a lot of struggles and difficulty. Why?
When we are growing up, in those first few years, all of the energy in our body is focused on growing the body. The most profound growth happens between birth and around thirteen and fourteen; there is a huge growth that happens; imagine it: from a single cel to a fourteen year old child. That is a dramatic change. Towards the end of that change, and until twenty, there are little spurts that might happen, but for the most part we are close to our size in terms of scale, because around twelve to fourteen the focus of that energy that is in us shifts, it changes with puberty.
The beauty that we had as a child, the energy that we had as a child, changes. I don’t know if you have a way to observe children now, but when they are young they have a lot of energy and we adults cannot keep up. Why? What is the difference between the child and me; it is not just age, there is another difference: the child is not wasting any energy. He is very active, but he is not wasting any energy. All of his energy is flowing naturally and normally, the way it should be. In other words, his mind is not running like a freight train, his heart is not surging with a lot of anxiety, stress, worry, attachment, fear, and desire. His mind is empty. His mind is only concerned with that apple and that tow truck, and how interesting they are, and that is it! He is not thinking about bills, about what are we going to do today; he is not worried about anything. He is in the moment. He is here and now, and that’s it. That’s why he has so much energy, and he is so happy, and he is so beautiful, and we are so ugly, and in pain.
When we reach puberty, the energy that was previously elaborating the body and helping us to develop the mind, shifts and begins to focus on developing the heart, but because of our Karma, because of our desires, we start to make a lot of mistakes. The sexual energy that had been perfecting us and growing us becomes too much to handle, and we are never trained to handle it. If you are an older person, just remember how much that energy burned you when you were fifteen, sixteen, and how much that energy would just take a hold of you and shake you like a rag-doll, so that you did not have any control over your mind or body. Young men get erections without wanting it, they cannot control their eyes or thoughts. Young women have surging emotions, taking them to the heights and into the hells. That is sexual energy in motion psychologically in us, but unfortunately we never learned how to use it. Unfortunately, we went around to our friends and learned how to masturbate, how to have sex with each other; we learned how to look at pornography, and consuming a lot of romance novels and romance movies, to transform that energy via our desires. That is how we entered into a lot of conflict and turned that energy from something creative into something destructive. That is why we are in the state we are in now.
If we learn how to contain that energy by will, by prayer, it can be transformed in a positive manner. This is why in every religion the prerequisite to enter into the higher mysteries was to contain the sexual energy. Every religion taught that—not to the householders, not to the man and wife in their house with their kids, they did not need it, they were not interested in it. I am talking about the people who were tired of suffering and wanted to enter into real religion and wanted to know the truth. People like this who renounced materialistic life, as soon as they went into the doors of the church or temple, were always given that first instruction: stop fornicating, no more sexual abuse for you, restrain that energy and learn to transform it. They would learn techniques such as Pranayama, mantra, and prayer, different tools in order to start harnessing that energy.
The energy of the sexual waters connect directly with the waters of the brain. Some people nowadays—to be specific, doctors—say that masturbation is healthy; they say that the orgasm is healthy, and they claim to have so-called evidence, but the simple fact is that they have not done a single study of people who transmute the sexual energy, thus they have no control group. They have not applied the scientific method at all! So, on this issue, doctors cannot be listened to; doctors have not been initiated into this knowledge nor have they practiced or studied it. They do not know anything about scientific chastity and transmutation. Doctors fornicate. Doctors have the orgasm. They do not know about the sexual mysteries. If they were to study their own priests, their own Lamas, their own Rabbis—those who know the esoteric tradition—they would find the truth about transmutation, that it is in every single religious tradition, but hidden. The real priests, rabbis, Lamas, and Imams all know—or should know—that they have to save the sexual energy and transform it for their spiritual practice. Unfortunately, nowadays many of them do not know that anymore and do not care, but nonetheless, that is the ancient teaching. If the doctors were to study that, they would find that all of that potency that is in the sexual energy rejuvenates the nervous system and rejuvenates the pineal gland and awakens all kinds of functions inside the body that the common person has no idea about, specifically chakras or energy centers that are dormant in the common person.
This image is from a Tibetan medical tantra. It is based on knowledge that is thousands of years old. This image shows the intimate connection between the sexual energy and the mind.
To be point blank, if you are studying the mind, you have to study sex, and if you are studying sex, you have to study the mind; they are inseparable.
If you study Mahayana Buddhism, then you know about the term Bodhichitta. But if you have not been introduced into Tantra yet, then you do not realize the real meaning of Bodhichitta.
In Mahayana level teachings, the Sanskrit word Bodhichitta refers to compassion (cognizant love) and comprehension of the Absolute. But in Tantra, Bodhichitta means sexual energy. This is a very deep teaching that very few people receive. What it reveals is that the full development of Bodhichitta is dependent upon sexual energy. If you do not work with restraining and transforming sexual energy, you can never fully develop Bodhichitta, ever.
With the pride of a vajra holder (that is, with a sense of divinity and respect, not animal lust),
the vajra with the lotus enters the lotus (male and female unite).
With the lingam (male organ) placed into the bhaga (female organ),
the yogi performs hum phat (the secret mantras);
the bodhichitta (sexual energy) is not emitted. - Vimalaprabha, Stainless Light, The Great Commentary, by Pundarika
Now, this is a very important point, because there are three classes of Tantra. If you go to any group that claims to teach Tantra, they are all going to talk about the same kinds of things; most of them nowadays just talk about sex, and most of them use that as their hook. they say that through Tantra you could have more orgasms, or through Tantra you could have more pleasure, or through Tantra you could unite with God, etc, etc, etc. The more serious ones will tell you that Tantra is not just about sex, that the word Tantra means “continuum of energy.” A lot of them will talk about Bodhichitta and awakening compassion for others, etc. Most talk about three essential factors, classified as Birth, Death and Sacrifice. Birth just means the awakening of consciousness, the creation of the Soul, most of them teach that. Death means the elimination of the ego, the destruction of desire, aggregates, or obscurations to perception, and many of them teach that. Sacrifice means to serve others, to help others, and most of them teach that. So then how do you know when a school or when a teaching is good or bad?
How do you know when a teaching is black, grey or white? A black school produces demons, asuras, people who are attached to desire and thereby increase suffering. White schools produce buddhas, people who are freed from desires and thereby freed from suffering. Grey schools are mixed, but usually end as black. Since all three schools teach very similar theories and techniques, it is not easy to distinguish between them when judging from the physical world, but when viewed from the internal worlds, it is easier.
In the physical world you can go to any school of Tantra—or so called esoteric teachings—and they will all give you a good impression. They will all have great masters that they rely on. They all have a very impressive lineage. They all have very profound scriptures. They talk about beauty, love, compassion, serving others, and all the things that we would expect them to teach. Some of them teach about chastity, and some of them do not; some of them teach about eliminating the ego, and some of them do not. Physically, it is almost impossible to know when a school is good or bad. This is why you have to learn to awaken your consciousness and go in the internal worlds to investigate.
Some of them talk about chakras, about how to use energy, sexual energy, to awaken the chakras. Chakras are nothing unusual, and are used as something exotic to attract people, but listen: all of you are using your chakras right now in some way or another. A chakra is a vortex of energy, a place where energy moves from one place to another. It is like a nerve connection, but for energy. So when you are feeling something emotional related with your heart, if there is any energy moving there then the heart chakra is active, but it depends what kind of energy it is, is your heart filled with a virtuous emotion or with a selfish one? The vast majority of what we feel is corrupted with desire of some kind. By self-observation you will learn how your chakras are moving. It is not complicated.
When you work with sexual energy, you awaken chakras. In the sexual act, a lot of energy gets moved around and we feel a lot of things, a lot of which we cannot put a name on, and we become very entranced by sexuality because of the types of sensations and feelings that we experience that are not just physical, that are very profound, that are related to chakras, spiritual things, and desire!
If we learn to use sexual energy in a positive way, we can awaken the chakras in a positive way, but if we learn to use the sexual energy with desire, we will awaken the chakras in a negative way; the result will be suffering. remember that first teaching of the Buddha; desire causes suffering, if we are engaged in sexual activity in combination with desire, we are producing suffering. Anyone can experience that for themselves; it is the basic teaching of every religion.
In our physical body we have all these forces; we need to learn how to use them properly. Here physically we experience many things; for example, all of you can sense and be aware of a thought. You know when thinking is happening, but thoughts are not physical; they use the brain, but the thought is not in the brain or part of the brain, it is just flowing through there. Thought is not physical. Thought is related to the fifth dimension, to the mental body, what in Kabbalah is called Netzach.
We also sense emotion; we might feel some kind of sensation sometimes when an emotion is very strong, but generally we just sort of sense emotion but we are not exactly sure where the emotion is or where it comes from. That is because emotion is related with the fifth dimension; it is not physical. Emotion is related with the astral body.
We have a lot of energy related with the vital body; this is the energy that gives our physical body the capacity to be active. This is the root of the energy that we see children using; it’s the health and vitality of their vital body. What is important to grasp about this is that the vital body is a conduit for thought, emotion, and will.
The vital body is a conduit, a vessel; the vital body is the superior aspect of the physical body. it is the body of energy. If you go to an acupuncturist, they are working on your vital body. If your arm falls asleep, that tingling is the temporary separation of the vital body. If you have ever meditated and felt like you are sitting in one way but then you also simultaneously feel like you are sitting in a different way, that is the vital body; it is the body of energy.
Imagine a horse. Do you know what a horse looks like? No one here has a picture of a horse? Yes, you do, you all do, in your mind. Do you know how you see that image? Through your vital body. Imagine your mother. Do you know how you see that image? Through your vital body.
The Vital Body
Your vital body is where all your energy is, especially your sexual energy, so now what do you think happens when you misuse that energy? Remember, I explained about the yogi who is drawing energies from the sexual organs up to the mind, working with this energy that descends from above. This is made possible by the vital body, not the physical body. The physical body is just flesh; what makes the physical body interesting is the vital body that is in it, which is its fourth dimensional aspect. The vital body is the electricity or energy of the physical body. When you feel sexually inflamed, that is the activation of sexual energy, which is part of your vital body. When you are using your imagination, that is your vital body. You are not using your physical body when you imagine, are you? I don’t think so. Your physical body does not imagine, your mind does, and you see the images here physically because the vital body transmits them from the fifth dimension.
When you are thinking, when you are aware of a thought, you are perceiving it through the vessel of the vital body. That thought is reflected in the vital body. When you are sensing an emotion, that emotion is in the astral body, but you feel and sense that emotion through the vessel of the vital body. What about willpower? Consciousness? We experience them through the vital body. All of these psychological phenomena are experienced physically because of the vital body.
The vital body has four main aspects that can be called sheaths or ethers; these are four conduits that make up the vital body. The two inferior ones are:
- the ether of life
- the chemical ether
The ether of life is that aspect of the vital body that manages reproduction; sexual energy. You know the woman says her biological clock is ticking? Her biological clock is not the physical body, it is the ether of the vital body responsible for the energy of reproduction.
When you are digesting food, breathing, when your stomach is transforming nutrients into energy to nourish your mind and your heart, that is the chemical ether; it is the ether in the vital body that is managing the energies of transformation.
What about your senses? Well, all of you are hearing my voice, but how? The sound passes into your physical ear but then what happens? Does anybody know? We have heard a lot of theories about it but do we know? If you meditate you can find out. The sound passes through the ear channel, vibrates in the filament in the ear and is translated into pulses of energy which flow into the brain, but then what happens? The brain is just a vessel that moves energy from one place to another; the brain is not anything more than that. On it's own brain is just dead matter, but it has energy and that energy is the vital body. The sound is reflecting from the brain into your mind. The reflecting ether of the vital body is what reflects those vibrations into your psyche. Your mind is the one that knows English, and knows how to translate what I am saying into meaning, concept, images, and also your heart, your astral body, which translates it emotionally, if I happen to say something important to you. So you see, the vital body has this aspect of reflecting data from the senses, not just physical senses, but also internal senses, reflecting that information to the psyche, to the mind, to the soul.
When you imagined your mother just now, how did you do that? It is not done with physical matter alone. When I say imagine your mother, and this image appears somewhere, we do not know where, we all say, "It is in my mind," but we do not know where that is. The mind is in the fifth dimension; it is in your mental body. That image is produced through your will, conscious will, hopefully, flowing through the luminous ether of the vital body. That ether is the part of the vital body that projects through willpower and imagination; luminous means light.
This is very important for a meditator to study. Do you remember the steps of meditation?
When we relax, we are relaxing the vital body, because we relax the physical body and the superior part of the physical body is the vital body, so when the physical body is relaxed, then our energetic body can relax, which means that energetic body, that conduit of energy, becomes very serene, very still. When a body of water is still, does it reflect things perfectly? Your vital body is related with the element water, the tattva of the waters, and when it is still, it reflects perfectly. The relaxation of the physical body and the vital body creates a stillness which allows images to be reflected without confusion.
Through prayer we activate the heart, the emotional body, which deepens the ability for images to be reflected clearly. Master Samael said that when we absorb the ethers of the vital body into the astral body, then our clairvoyant perceptions becomes radically improved; that is what we do with prayer: we relax, pray, and bring the vital and the astral components-the energy and the emotion- together. Then we concentrate. This is how we focus the mind; Netzach, by means of Tiphereth, which is will. You see, all of these pieces are connected now. The physical body relaxes the vital body, we pray to bring in the emotional body, we concentrate the mind by means of will, all of these are becoming one, focused on one thing; present here and now.
The Activation of Energy
Then we can do something; this is when magic happens. When we have the presence of God, when we are harnessing all of our forces and energies, when we are focused and our heart is open and sincere, when we look sincerely into the visualization, the eyes of the spirit open, clairvoyance, imagination, the power to see, that is represented in the images above of the yogis in meditation.
Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava, brought Tantra into Tibet a thousand years ago. Here he is taking the form of Vajradara. This form represents the unity of imagination and willpower, the unity of wisdom and method, which in some Mahayana traditions is translated as action and vision. What this represents is how from the waters emerge spiritual life. In his hands are the vajra and bell, which have a deep meaning.
If we want a spiritual life, we have to look in our waters. Whether we are a single person or a married person, the secret is in our sexual waters. If you have ever seen a Tantric Buddhist ritual, the leader always uses two elements: a vajra (Sanskrit: वज्र, Tibetan: Dorje རྡོ་རྗེ) and a bell. The vajra looks like a symbol of infinity ∞, and it does represent that.
The term vajra in Sanskrit means thunderbolt, it represents the phallus, the male sexual organ. The bell in the other hand represents the feminine sexual organ, that is why we have to work with both, the vajra and the bell, male-female. That is the secret of Tantra, whether we are single or in a couple: to use that energy in harmony in balance with the divine.
This image shows how that is done. This is a picture of Vajrapani. The name Vajrapani is Sanskrit and means "vajra in the hand." Look at what is in his hand: that is a Vajra. It is a phallus. This deity is representing the ferocity of willpower needed to maintain control over the sexual energy. It takes a lot of willpower, because our minds are very corrupt. We are easily seduced by desire. It takes a lot of will, but through the power of the vajra and bell, willpower in union with imagination, that power can be harnessed. If we throw that energy away through the orgasm or psychological abuses like pride or envy, we will not have any visions at all.
A couple is able to access that power to a higher degree because those forces of the divine are represented in the three factors or the three elements in the sexual organs. The three forces of the trinity are present in the man and the woman, and when they unite, they form the seal of Vajradara or Vajradakini, which is the seal of Solomon, the star of David. The six pointed star represents the union of male and female; it also represents the union of wisdom and method, so in synthesis what this means for us is that we have to get really serious about how we are using our energy.
The center of this mandala shows Tummo, the "fierce woman," our Divine Mother Kundalini or Candali, who can destroy all of our defects if we provide the fuel for the fire. The most powerful way to provide that fuel is through sexual cooperation, in the union of the two triangles: man and woman.
When we meditate, we need to look practically at what we are doing. Persistent meditation is the way that we are going to stay inspired in our work. I know the teachings are very beautiful and complicated, and we have given hundreds of lectures and there are hundreds of books, and it is all enormously beautiful and complex, and we need to know all the information, we need to study, and that is what prepares us to interpret our experiences, but if we are not having any experiences, what are we going to interpret? If we are just studying, studying, and studying but we do not have anything to interpret, we have to re-evaluate our practice. We need to be having experiences. I am not saying that we need to be going off to visit the planet Mars in our astral body every day; that would be awesome, but at the very minimum we need to be seeing how we are causing suffering today. That is the kind of experience we need: practical experience that helps us unravel the problems that we have and the problems we are creating for others.
The fuel for that is in us: it is these waters. The basis of having spiritual insight is in how we use the waters of sex, the waters of our mind, and the relationship between them. As I was explaining in the beginning, the Hebrew Iod which is between the two Mem’s is really significant. There are a few lectures about the Iod that we have given that barely scratch the surface. Iod is the smallest Hebrew letter; it relates deeply to who we are as human beings. Our essence, our core, our synthesis is a Iod. The letter Iod represents a man, a woman, a person, but as a dot, because we are that: we are just insignificant dots of dust in the cosmic scale of things. But in that dot is the potential to become a complete human being, a Vajrasattva, a diamond soul, and that is why this symbol of the Iod is exactly equivalent to a symbol in Tibetan Buddhism called Tigle, which is translated as dot or drop. Tigle represents a spot or dot of primordial consciousness, but moreover it is sexual energy. The Iod is sexual energy.
Our essence as a person is in our sexual energy, that single sperm or single ovum through which we can create a child, everything of us is in that Tiglei or Iod, so by harnessing that, transforming it, we can become a Vajrasattva, a diamond soul. In other words, instead of wasting that energy and creating problems through desire, and creating destruction and pain, we take that creative energy and create for others, for the divine; we create a soul, beauty. Every Buddha, every Angel was born that way. There is no other way; everything that is born in the universe is born from sexual energy: the demon is born from lust, the angel is born from chastity. Both are born from sex.
So when we use the sexual energy by means of our mind, by means of our imagination, to create. When we feed desire we create infernal things, ego’s, effigies, entities. When we were teenagers and learned to masturbate, look at pornography, and look lustfully at the opposite sex we were using that sexual energy to create forms in our mind, and so we built an image in our mind, many images of what we want. The man imagines the lustful woman doing all the things that he wants her to do, and with his sexual energy directed through his vital body in relation with his mind, he produces forms in his mind. Those forms are real, and want more energy, and so that man starts to have dreams with that woman that he’s imagined, and that woman in his dreams comes every night to get more energy. So every night he is having dreams and spilling his sexual energy by having wet dreams, nocturnal pollutions. The same happens with women; the woman imagines her perfect man who comes every night to be romantic and woo her and she gets aroused and loses her sexual energy through that imaginative act, and that feeds that form in her mind; night after night that form comes to get more energy. These forms exist because we made them, and every one of us has them.
So if we are having trouble remembering our dreams, if we go to sleep at night and we are completely unconscious the whole night long, why? We have no energy. We waste our energy all day long, in our stress, anxiety, and chasing all our desires, and when we go to sleep we are totally exhausted, and so we don’t know what happens to us at night, but I can give you a hint: we do at night in our dreams what we do all day: we act mechanically, unconsciously. That is why in the morning when we wake up, we think, "I dreamed of work, I was killing my boss," and that’s because during the day you are really mad at your boss, whether know or not, you have a lot of resentment. Or at night you have a dream you were having sex with your neighbor or your coworker because during the day you have lust for your neighbor or coworker and you’re wasting all of your energy and creating forms in the mind, which are karmic, which cause suffering.
This is why we are in the situation that we are in. So, the antidote: in every moment, choose consciously how you are using your energy. Learn how you use your energy and what the consequences are. Observe what happens when you feel anger towards a person and you start thinking about it a lot, and you start dreaming about it, what is the result? The anger gets stronger. When you feed a desire it gets stronger, it doesn’t go away. What happens if you try to ignore it? It also doesn’t go away, it waits for the moment that you’re not paying attention so it can rush in and get whatever energy it can get. So, you can neither ignore it nor feed it; you have to take the middle way, which is to always be observant of it: to not indulge in it, to not avoid it, but to watch it, learn about it, stop feeding it, but change through self-knowledge.
If you want to elevate the energies of sex, do that with awareness. Learn about your sexual behaviors. Change the ones that you know in your heart are wrong. Every time you commit that act you deepen your suffering - every time. So, stop, but stop with comprehension of the act. Stop with understanding of why. Stop through knowing in your heart that this is what you have to do, and don’t go back.
During the day, you have to train your senses, because all day long we are using our energies according to how we use our senses. The sexual energies and the mind are closely related. Every time you look at someone lustfully, you transform that energy—that was pure, that came from God—and you make it into something demonic, and you create in your mind an image of that person instantly. This is not negotiable. You cannot say “Well, I am only going to look for a second, because I want to understand my lust.” That is a deception created by your ego. The instant you indulge in lust, the energy is transformed into lust, even if you do not look; it is sufficient for the mere indulgence mentally. As soon as the mind indulges, the energy is transforming, polarizing into lust. If you actually look, the process is accelerated and deepened. As soon as lust is there in your heart or mind, the transformation is happening. Learn to stop that process, with lust, with anger, pride, envy, gluttony, greed, laziness, etc. Learn to harness that energy, and to experience what happens when you harness it.
The same must occur with every ego, every defect that we have: fear, pride, jealousy, envy, resentment, all of those emotions that are negative and cause harm to us, we invest all of those with energy and they all hurt us.
So if you are wondering why you have been meditating for a while or you have been doing vowels, mantras, or different practices for a while but you are not having any spiritual experiences, here is the answer: everything is cause and effect. If you are not having experiences, it is due to two potential reasons:
- insufficient energy
- karmic obstacles (cause and effect)
To remedy having insufficient energy, the antidote is to save your energy; stop wasting it through sexual abuse or psychological habits. Every human being is given sufficient energy every day to have spiritual experiences, therefore, find where you are wasting it, and change those habits for superior behaviors.
To remedy karmic obstacles, work with the three factors everyday, and steadily revise the way you practice.
A karmic obstacle is cause and effect. If you are performing a spiritual practice incorrectly, then you cannot produce the effects you are seeking; that is, you are originating a karmic obstacle. To produce the effects you are seeking, the correct causes must be active. Do not assume you know how to practice until spiritual experiences become spontaneous, natural, and constant. Until then, work to improve and revise your methodology.
Furthermore, sometimes, even though we may be practicing correctly, spiritual experiences may not arise because, quite simply, we do not deserve them. The antidote here is the three factors, but especially the factors death and sacrifice. Working intensely on the ego is the most important way to pay karma. Secondly is to serve others, especially spiritually. The more you can do to help people find the path, the more of your own debts you can pay.
The teachings work. Gnosis has been proven effective by hundreds of thousands of people, so a lack of spiritual experience is not the fault of the teachings. If you want to have comprehension and understanding of your situation, if you want to see God, if you want to experience something true, work on improving your practice. Firstly, save energy; if you are saving energy and you are not having experiences, it might just be your Karma; you might just have to suffer in darkness for a while; that happens. It might be a long while, but usually you will find out about that. I will give you an example from my own experience. I went through a long period of time many years ago where I was meditating very seriously—I don’t remember exactly, but I must have been meditating two or three hours a day—and I was feeling a lot of emotional pain because I wasn’t having spiritual experiences. I wanted to see things, for my visualization to bear fruit and to see something, and I wasn’t, so I was having a lot of pain. One day, I was meditating and trying to not worry about my desire for an experience, I was trying to just relax, and all of a sudden I realized that I was seeing—not with my physical eyes, because they were closed, but with my astral eyes—and I felt that "Ahhhh, finally!" And then, in that moment, it was as if a blindfold was slowly lowered over my eyes, and I could not see anymore. Then I understood: it was my Karma. I had to suffer the pain of that longing, because of my own crimes. I deserved that lack of vision. So, in that moment I accepted it. I bowed to the will of God. I said, "Okay, thank you, I understand, this is what you want from me, thank you, I will pay what I owe; let me pay it now and be done with it." So, think about that, and work hard.
Questions and Answers
Audience: You said in The Yellow Book is the mantra which goes Ton Sa Ham and Ton Ra Ham and then you said Ham Sah…. Is it pretty much the same thing because in the yellow book it teaches (Unintelligible)?
Instructor: Ton Sa Ham, Ton Ra Ham is the mantra of the Egyptian Pranayama, while Ham Sah is the mantra of a different pranayama. The master Samael taught many different pranayamas. There are different varieties. The Egyptian Pranayama is just a different version. They work a little differently, so I would suggest trying them both, separately. Do one for a week or so, then do the other for a week, then you will see; they are a little different.
Audience: Is it harmful or beneficial if a person who has not masturbated or had sex for several months but has only recently really started treading the path of Gnosis?
Instructor: Is there any harm or benefit for a person who has not had sexual activity for seven or eight months or so? It really depends on your karma and your situation, whether there is harm or benefit in what you have been doing. I do not know specifically what you have been doing.
Let us answer in this way: every single day your body is receiving and transforming energy. Every night when you sleep your physical body goes to sleep and your vital body recharges; it absorbs solar energy and charges itself with a lot of energy. The core energy there is sexual energy; this is why men wake up in the morning with a lot of sexual energy, very active, because the vital body has been replenished. So energy is generating every day; what do you do with that energy during the day? We do not just use it through the sexual act, we use it with our mind, our heart, our body, so how do we use our energy? This is a question that we have to ask ourselves; is that energy causing harm or is it nourishing us? You may be avoiding the orgasm, but then, what is that energy doing? Are we doing something consciously with it, or unconsciously? That is really going to come down to how you behave, what you are doing with your time and energy. It is going to be different for everybody.
Audience: How can we develop Bodhichitta especially when we don’t feel or cannot find a deep sense of compassion for the people around us? Also you said we should pray with our heart during meditation, does this mean we should use emotion to pray rather than mental verbalization?
Instructor: Good questions. The first is how do we develop Bodhichitta, especially if our heart does not feel much emotion for others; it’s a very good question. This is probably the state of most people. The development of Bodhichitta is not something that comes rapidly or easily. In fact, in most cases it is developed over a period of lifetimes. Bodhichitta is a very profound element. So, if you are someone who does not feel much emotion in your heart, just work with where you are, start with where you are and how you are as a person. Start with observing your behaviors and how you affect other people. This is why the foundational schools start with Karma—cause and effect—looking to see how our actions affect ourselves, and from that we start to see how our actions are affecting others. The important detail here is this: when you see and really understand that an action that you perform hurts yourself, and then you feel pain and recognized suffering in yourself, then you realize, “Wait a minute: if I am making myself suffer, this is not good, it does not feel good, it is painful, but I am making this other person suffer, too.” That is what will awaken your heart. You will start to realize, "I do not want to feel bad, but I am also making this other person feel bad. I do not want them to feel bad." That is the beginning of Bodhichitta. So, work with that.
The second part of the question is about prayer; should prayer be emotional rather than mental? Generally, prayer is meant to be an emotional connection with our own divinity, but if our emotional center is very dry, if we do not feel much emotion, then that is difficult. I would recommend a similar type of exercise: start observing yourself, looking at your behavior and asking God for help. Start developing a connection with your own Divine Mother; she is the one who can revive the fires of your heart through your self-knowledge. That relationship or connection with your Divine Mother is what will open up your heart. This is much easier for women than men. For men, it can be difficult to develop that relationship, but it is critical; some men tend to think “I’m not going to be emotional, I am a man, I have to be strong.” Men are strong, but we also have emotion; we have a type of emotion that is different from women but equally important, equally vital, and we need to awaken that capacity. It is really important; the Bodhichitta that emerges through the heart of a man is different from the Bodhichitta in the heart of a woman, and humanity needs both.
If your prayer is cold, dry, or lifeless, then work with visualization; find an image or some reflection of Divinity that you feel connected to or inspired by; it might be a painting, a statue, a mantra, a story that you heard about a master or a Divinity. Work on visualizing that and praying to that Divinity to help you open your heart and develop a connection.
An important detail about the awakening of the heart: I was explaining to you that the way we use our energy is psychological, so the sexual energy in our vital body flows into our heart and mind. When we work with practices of meditation, through prayer we open the heart, and through concentration and visualization we work with the pineal gland, so that energy is flowing upwards, the heart is open and active, the mind is open and active. But, we are using that energy all day without meditation, too. So when we are working during the day at our job and we are experiencing flashes of anger and experiences of lust and flashes of pride or shame, that same energy is moving through our heart and mind but damaging them. When we are listening to violent music, watching violent movies, when we are engaged in any lustful activity like looking at pornography or having sex with different people, that energy is in motion and is destroying our heart and mind. Do you know why people don’t have sensitive or subtle feelings nowadays? Because their hearts are completely destroyed. The emotional center is damaged from intense violent music, from intense violent games, from intense violent stories and movies, and all of that stuff that we are always feeding ourselves with; it destroys the emotional center, it loses its sensitivity. The same happens with the mind and the intellect; they become damaged. If you are serious about this science, when you begin to train the sexual energy and restrain it and direct it consciously through these different exercises, all of the proper functioning is restored: your heart is restored, your intellect is restored, you begin to regenerate. Gnosis is a science of regeneration. That energy begins to flow to the heart and make it beautiful again. It flows into the mind and makes it beautiful again. So if you are feeling like you do not feel emotion, and you are having trouble with your mind, be faithful to your practices. Be faithful to your Divine Mother. Transmute your energies. Pray a lot. Eventually, little by little, you will start to see emotions emerging, new feelings and new capacities in your mind that were not there before. It is very beautiful, but takes patience.
Audience: Can you just touch on the aspect of compassion as we all live here in this physical reality, is there ever a point where we can actually be overly compassionate, where we might have to detach from let’s say other people or circumstances that could be affecting us and can you discuss more about right action in specific circumstances?
Instructor: Let me clarify something about compassion. This word Bodhichitta is usually translated as compassion, but that is not a good translation. The word Bodhichitta literally means "wisdom mind," and that is really different from mere compassion. I think in the West, especially, the idea of compassion has become very sentimental. People think compassion means we have to give money to poor people, or feel pity for those who are worse off than ourselves. Pity or giving to the poor can be good in some cases, but that is not what Bodhichitta means. Bodhichitta means exactly what you said, it is right action in the right moment. If you are a parent, sometimes you have to discipline your child; that is wise compassion. If you are a teacher working with a student, sometimes you have to discipline your student. Bodhichitta is like that: it is the wisdom of the Divine.
When I was talking at the end of the lecture some people may have been lost when I was talking about action and method; that union is Bodhichitta activated. When that union is actualized in you, it means that your Divine is able to guide you to behave and act in the right way at the right time. None of us have that ability fully developed, because we are all suffering with a lot of ego and a lot of problems. But if we are really sincere and serious, and we are really trying to listen to the guidance of God in the critical moments, he can help us as long as we are listening. So the answer to your question is right action emerges when compassion is fully merged with conscious knowledge of the Absolute. On the way to that, we have to awaken consciousness and listen to the voice of the silence. In the meantime, how to do we know what is right and wrong? Things are always changing; what is correct now can be wrong in a moment. Only our Innermost knows when and to act. Karma is very complicated. I know people who think all of us always have to act a certain way, doing certain things according to established steps or rules, but reality is not like that. Everyone has different Karma. Every situation is constantly changing. What is right for me is not right for everyone. So the genuine student follows their inner Master with an open mind, and is thus able to move in any direction at any time, without being restricted by anything or anyone.
Audience: So the will of the Being is what should be followed.
Instructor: Absolutely! So now our job is to find out what that is, and usually he won’t tell you until the last second. [laughter] There is a reason for that: because we will mess it up. If your had Innermost told you, "In a couple of years I am going to give you Gnosis, and all your egos will have to die." Would any of us say, "Great! Sounds good!" I don’t think so! We would all do our best to avoid it. So generally speaking, your Innermost is not going to tell you until the exact second that you have to act, because then you do not have time to think about it and mess it up, you have to do what you have to do, that’s it, no time to think. So if you are getting frustrated by thinking you are not being guided, just realize, "Okay, it is my fault because he knows I’m dumb and I will make a mess of my life, so I have to wait until he tells me." This takes a lot of patience.
Audience: The Master gives a lot of practices for cleansing the vital body with rue, sage and egg cleanses; is that something you can do our own or should you have the presence of a priest?
Instructor: The cleansings that we teach involving sage, rue, and the egg can be used anytime you need them. The easiest is to use a dried sage or rue plant, burn it, and sweep the smoke all around yourself while you use a prayer or conjuration. There are variety of practices. This cleanses your inner bodies, your vital body specifically, of elements that can harm you. When I was explaining that when you use your sexual energy to imagine lustful scenes something is created, those something’s become creatures like rodents or insects in another dimension. When you live in a city like this one, it is filthy, disgusting, and so these elements are everywhere. We need to do continual cleansings at least every week, and I would say more often if you can manage it. Those elements steal energy. If you go to a dirty place,—a bar, a restaurant, a movie theatre, a club, even on the train, certain parts of town where people are engaged in a lot of negative actions—those elements are there waiting to take your energy and when you show up, the bright young Gnostic student who is starting to save their energy, you are like a walking battery. Those elements say, “Hey, free food!” and they all attach themselves to you and start taking your energy; then you start to feel depleted, and start thinking “Gnosis isn’t working, these techniques are no good.” Well, they work, but there are parasites taking your energy. So this is a process of learning how to behave, how to cleanse yourself, how to change a lot of aspects of your life, until you are able to sustain it. Cleansings are important; I’m glad you mentioned that.
Audience: I guess when you come out of the city are you cleansing yourself? Okay because I have to work in the city.
Instructor: All the time, yes, and that is why we emphasize to use a lot of incense, especially the purer grade, because it does a better job. If you can grow your own sage, then you can develop a relationship with that plant and it will do an even better job to help you. I have a tiny little growth of sage and I harvest it every year; it lasts me through the rest of the year. It helps a lot. There are different plants that are used for clean sings. Juniper is also very useful. There are many others; study the books Occult Medicine and Igneous Rose. There are many practices related to those types of cleanses. Also sulfuric baths are good. You can also put sulfur powder in your shoes and the fumes from the sulfur will help keep those little bugs off of you.
Audience: How does one make the path the goal of life and all of the other activities secondary but balanced from normal living?
Instructor: Gnosis does not demand that we exit from modern life. In fact, Gnosis teaches us how to transform life and make it the fuel for our spiritual growth. We learn to be conscious in all of our duties, thereby turning every action into an opportunity for spiritual growth. In this way, everything in our life can contribute towards out spiritual life.
Question: About protection against darkness, transmutation gives power and loss of energy causes weakness, when a student accidentally loses energy how can his prayers of protection be effective?
Answer: Any prayer that we perform has a power proportional to the purity and volume of energy powering it. That is simple cause and effect. A person who is only beginning in these practices generally will not have much energy, whereas a person who has been practicing for some time should have more energy (not always, because sometimes they have bad habits that they are ignoring).
If someone has accidentally lost their energy—so for example they had a wet dream, or they could not control their energy in some other form such as with pride or anger, and they became very angry and expelled a lot of energy through anger, then naturally they will have less energy. It is simple. That energy will recuperate, so be patient. In the meantime, meditate on what caused the fault. Do not let it happen again. That is going to come through comprehension, through feeling the pain of having made the mistake. I know some people avoid it; we make a mistake or we get identified with something, and then we say “Forget it. I just made a mistake, so what.” Then we do not comprehend it. This avoidance of investigating why the event happened means that the cause of that event is still there: you are just setting yourself up for it to happen again later.
Anytime something happens that you regret, be glad. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? To be grateful for making a mistake? But the real Gnostic student is grateful because they have caught a mistake; in that instant is a chance to redeem yourself of the tendency for such mistakes to repeat. So when you catch yourself getting identified over something, don’t beat yourself up— remorse is needed, but do not start building shame, self-deprecation, going around singing your song to everyone “oh im so bad I’m so evil.” No: be grateful. Now you have something to meditate on. Students always say, “I don’t know what to meditate on.” This is because they are not observing themselves. If you are really paying attention to yourself, you will see you have too much to meditate on. I love it when the student says, “I don’t have enough time to meditate on all the things I see.” Then I know the person is serious. There is so much to meditate on, if you are not seeing things to change in yourself, you need to look deeper.
Audience: The ego is [unintelligible] and we have been different sexes in our previous lives; why does lust choose the opposite sex to derive its images of temptations, is lust a memory or a craving separate from an image?
Instructor: Lust that we see terrestrially during our physical life is only the superficial lust related to our superficial existence—that is, to our current personality. We are not seeing the depths of our lust. When you start to meditate and have experiences, you will see deeper into the perversity of the ego, and you will be very disturbed, honestly.
It is extremely disturbing to see what is truly in our minds. The elements that we have created from existence to existence are still in our minds, but in deeper levels that we cannot see. So when those elements are seeking to be fed, they seek food through our contemporary personality, through whatever means they can get it, and this is different in each person depending upon their Karma and their personality. The ego is very complicated. There is no easy way to synthesize that, but basically: what you are seeing now is not the whole picture. Meditate on what you can see and work to go deeper. Little by little, you will start to understand what I am talking about.
Audience: Is it normal (unintelligible) to be practically overwhelmed and start pounding beating rapidly when we feel our heart awakening or have other experiences or is this a sign of resistance for example an ego or (unintelligible)
Instructor: When we are working in this type of science, there are many types of experiences that can emerge in the different parts of our body and psyche. It is going to depend on a few different factors. If someone is having a beating heart or surging heart, clearly there is emotional energy at play, whether its positive or negative it depends on the experience and on the person, so you have to reflect and look into what that is, I don’t know the specific situation so it would be hard for me to say. Ultimately, no matter what reactions are provoked within us, we have to learn how to retain our serenity, and not become identified with any experience. It is easy to become identified with "good" or "bad" experiences; however we define the experience, if we lose our self-awareness and become identified, the experience has resulted in harm.
The instructors who teach the lectures and courses are volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds. Each has years of experience teaching and working with the practices and exercises that awaken the consciousness. Since the goal of dharma, yoga, or gnosis is to follow our inner Being, and to focus on divinity not terrestrial personalities, the lecturers remain anonymous, and do not broadcast their names, faces, or personal information. They do not have spiritual titles or names, do not accept followers, and live their lives anonymously like any other person in society.