Meditation Essentials 03: Energy
To understand today’s topic, which is energy, we need to remember that in the previous lecture we talked extensively about consciousness.
Consciousness is that which gives us being. Every living thing has consciousness in its level. We have the consciousness of humanoids, but our mind, our psyche, is almost indistinguishable from the level of the animal kingdom, because we are still ruled by instinct and desire. The only difference between us and animals is that we can reason. We have logic, intellect. We have the humanoid body, but psychologically we are not very different from the other creatures that live on this planet, specifically from the animal kingdom.
We have not moved much beyond the animal level. Just observe the world around us; observe our behavior. This world is being consumed, destroyed, by our instinctual, animalistic behaviors: instinctual possessiveness, endless violence, theft, fighting over territory, fighting over sex, the instinctual domination of one group over another… The mindless destruction and poisoning of our own food, air, and water. The decimation of all species not our own. In our instinctual drive for security and survival, we are killing ourselves and killing our planet. This is crude, base, animal behavior. It is not the behavior of elevated beings. We would all like to have an elevated level of being, and we all think of ourselves as elevated and evolved, but the reality is — when we are honest and look at the facts of the situation on our planet right now — we have to face the fact that our level of consciousness is very low.
Our interests as a humanity are power, sex, money, materialism, and sensations. We want to get as much, accumulate as much, stand out as much as we can before we die. We are convinced that we live once, and during that time we want to dominate others, to be recognized, and enjoy ourselves as much as we can and go out in a blaze of glory, no matter what it costs. This is our modern ethic. Obviously, we are completely mislead and misguided.
If we use the power of logic that we have, the power of reasoning, and we use it with our consciousness unfiltered, our intellect can become an incredibly powerful tool. Some examples that you can look to of how powerful it can be are people like Buddha Shakyamuni, Jesus, Moses, Padmasambhava, and Milarepa. There are many examples of great enlightened humanoids that went far beyond the animal level.
Our goal in learning meditation, learning about our state of being, is to become elevated, to escape the animal level and become something more than "intellectual animals." This is really the purpose of being alive: to become something more. To do so requires that we first recognize what we are now.
As you know, any action requires energy. In this very instant, you are consuming a great deal of energy through how you are paying attention. Where you place your attention expends energy. There is a change that happens, not only in the one who is expending energy, but where the energy is spent. Modern science has already stated (even though humanity does not understand it) when you observe something, you change it. This is known in physics. It is proven, and yet we the common people of the planet do not understand it at all. We think that we are in a psychological "cone of silence," a place of psychological isolation in which we can do whatever we want and our actions in thought and emotion do not affect us or anyone else. We mistakenly believe that we can think whatever we want, feel whatever we want, look at and observe anything that we want, fantasize whatever we want, and there are no consequences from those actions. We are wrong. The use of attention is a use of energy. The use of attention is an action, and all action has consequence.
Why? Because energy and matter are just two forms of the same thing. This is also known in science. Einstein explained it well, but once again, no one understands this fact. (We might intellectually understand it, but we do not comprehend it consciously: this is revealed in our actions. Our actions prove that we do not comprehend this fact at all.)
The Tree of Life is a map of energy, matter, and consciousness.
Levels of Consciousness and The Tree of Life
The Tree of Life represents levels and levels of energy and matter, of every conceivable modality, from the most dense (depicted at the bottom) to the most subtle (at the top). The very top levels of the Tree of Life represent the most subtle energies and forms of matter in existence and in non-existence (in a state of potentiality).
The unmanifested potentiality is what is called the Absolute, Brahma, the Ain Soph in Hebrew, Shunyata in Sanskrit. That is unmanifested and uncreated light. It is something that longs to be, and will be, according to causes and conditions. When it unfolds itself, when that light bursts forth from that potential state, it descends as a ray through creation, unfolding all existing things, from vast universes down to subatomic levels. Those manifested forms are represented by this structure of ten sephiroth (“jewels”). The Tree of Life symbolizes how from the most simple, elevated levels all the way down to the most dense and complex, that ray is condensing and materializing deeper and deeper all the way down to the inferior or hell levels of nature.
All of that is inside of us; we are just a mirror of that, a reflection of it. That is why the Greek oracle said,
“Know yourself and you will know the universe and its gods.”
All of that is within us, reflected in us. All of that is within us. We are an embryo or seed that contains many potential expressions.
We humanoids have the capacity to become far more than a mere humanoid. We can become a god, or in Christian terms an angel, or in Buddhist terms a Buddha, or a master, whatever you want to call it. It is a being that has leapt out of the humanoid state and become something more. To do that takes a lot of knowledge and a lot of energy. It cannot be done through wishing. It cannot be done through theories or beliefs. It is done through conscious actions.
Moreover, we can also become terrible devils, demons. Those types of humanoids are becoming more and more common on our planet, and are pulling the world deeper into decay and degeneration.
What determines what we will become? Our actions.
Who or what produces actions? Consciousness.
How do we produce action and consequences? Through attention influencing matter and energy.
To become elevated, improved, can only happen by action of consciousness through matter and energy. Nothing else can do it. Only our consciousness can do it, not the body, not the mind, not our thoughts, beliefs, ideas, and not our external behaviors, but our internal ones are what create that state. It is what raises us and lowers us through those different realms in nature.
If you consider that for a moment, and you look at the Tree of Life as levels of density, think about physics, basic physics, and ask yourself this: is it easier to go up or down? If you are on a mountain, is it easier to go up the mountain or down the mountain? If you are in a rushing river, is it easier to go with the flow of the river, or against it? Spiritually, the exact same principal applies. It does not matter if you believe you will go upstream against the current: that belief changes nothing. You have to swim hard.
The flow of energy, of forces in nature in our level, is flowing downwards. Look at our society, where is it going? Everyone wants to believe that we are moving towards a golden age, but if you observe the facts, you can easily see that we are not. Just look at the facts and set your beliefs aside. Set aside your hopes, dreams, and aspirations, and look at the reality, and you will see a stark, terrifying truth. Humanity is not ascending. We are not getting better, but getting worse. Statistically, it is proven. Look at what the official institutions are saying: the United Nations has said there is more slavery right now than there ever has been in history. We have no clean water anywhere on the planet. We have no clean air. The food is in decay. The forest are vanishing. The animals are dying. The oceans are dying. The whole planet is in decay. Our minds are in decay. There are no exceptions to that. Beliefs cannot change these facts, only action can.
If we want to rise out of the current that is rushing towards destruction, and be different, to really have a fundamental change in our experience of being, it is not easy. The whole of the world is against it. The world wants us to become degenerated like everyone else. The world wants us to love degeneration and embrace it, and to celebrate anger and lust, to indulge in fear through television and movies and all of that. Culture wants us to be hypnotized by our traumas, to love them, to suffer with them. Society does not want us to change. Nowhere in our media, in our entertainment, and all the things that we love and worship and pursue now do we find anyone representing the virtues of the soul. You do not see television shows about being patient, about how to really love other people, how to be generous, how to be chaste, how to be altruistic. Instead all of the shows are about how to commit crimes: how to kill, steal, lie, and murder. Everything in our media — all of it — is celebration and exploration of violence and terrible crimes. That is all we watch and take in and consume everyday. How can a golden age emerge if no one is learning what makes a golden age? A golden age is defined by the character of the people: kindness, generosity, patience, humility, love, chastity, purity, simplicity. Instead, we are only learning more and more clever ways of killing each other, outwitting each other, humiliating each other, defeating each other, and being sarcastic and cruel. That is what we learn from television, movies, the internet.
To go against that current, not only the one that is outside of us, but the one that is inside of us, will take incredible energy. Yet, we do not have much energy. We are tired all of the time. We are unhappy. We suffer. Yet, we know that somehow there must be an answer. That is why we seek spirituality. Some part of us has a longing to change, and senses that there must be a way, and there is. There is a way, there is hope, and it is within us, not outside. It is the consciousness itself. It is the key that can change everything for us.
Alert Novelty & Alert Perception
In the previous lecture, we explained that consciousness is a state of being, it is perception, and it is an alert, cognitive state. It is beingness, in this moment.
Our being in this moment has qualities. It has powers. It has energy. We are here and now and present — I hope — and not distracted — I hope. Aware of what is being discussed — I hope. That is consciousness. Simply that. Yet, that is not all it can be.
Remember that the Tree of Life shows the external part of nature and also the internal part. It maps for us all the infinite potential of the consciousness.
Right now as we are listening to this subject and contemplating this subject we are in our physical bodies. This is represented on the tree by the sephirah Malkuth, which in Hebrew means “kingdom.” It is the lowest of the ten sephiroth, the tenth sphere from the top to the bottom. And yet, as we are contemplating this and listening to the lecture, are we conscious of the body? Are we really aware of being in the physical body? As we listen are we aware of our ears and how they function? As we look are we aware of our eyes physically and how they are functioning? As we sit or stand are we aware of heat and temperature and all the other qualities that the body perceives through the senses? Those bits of data are constantly striking the consciousness through perception. Are we aware of all that?
Moreover, are we aware of how the words that I am saying strike the mind and cause reactions, associative thoughts? (“That” reminds me of “this.”) All of those psychological actions — are we aware of those, too? Can we be aware of all of that at the same time from moment to moment without losing track of it?
If you are you doing it now because I am pointing it out, good, because this is what we should be doing all of the time. To awaken consciousness one must constantly be here and now using the consciousness to its fullest capacity, and pushing it out, expanding it, training it, teaching it, and growing it, which takes energy. You will find in just a few minutes from now you will become distracted and will not be keeping the flow of what I am talking about and you will catch yourself and say: “I was distracted, what is he talking about now? What is happening now? Let me catch up.” This is because of lack of attention and lack of energy. These two are what need to change in us: lack of attention and lack of energy. We need energy, but we need attention too.
We have already discussed attention. So, what is energy?
The Tree of Life shows us all of the energies that are in existence and in non-existence (potential).
I already mentioned that we have a physical body, which is represented by the sephirah Malkuth. You see that is only a fraction of what is shown on this image. There is much more.
Importance of Energy
The word energy comes from Greek energia, which means “activity, action, operation.” Originally the term was used in philosophy to refer to a sense of reality. Nowadays we only use this term energy when we are talking about charging up our cell phone, or the fuel for our car or house, or the energy crisis that all the nations are experiencing. We rarely think of energy as something personal, especially in relation to psychology or spirituality, but really this is the most important form of energy or aspect of being, how it relates to our state of being.
Many students who learn about meditation go to temples and monasteries. They go to school in groups. They learn to sit in a certain posture. They do certain types of exercises and they consider themselves "meditators." Yet, they do not get anywhere. They may meditate for ten, twenty, or thirty years and they can look like experts and talk like experts, but in their inner experience simply sit in that motionless posture for one, two or even three hours and do not get anywhere; they do not change fundamentally, profoundly. They may have very good concentration. They may be able to steady their psyche and be serene, but they do not get anywhere from that. In short, they are wasting their time. What they are doing is not real meditation. They are just sitting still. Sitting still does not grow your soul. It does not expand your perception of reality. That is what energy is for. Energy nourishes the consciousness and then expands it. Meditation is not just sitting still. Real meditation is perception and understanding of reality, not just physically, but in all the levels of the Tree of Life.
Most of the people that learn meditation in this era, especially in the west, they may learn how to sit, how to concentrate, and they may talk the talk, but they do not learn how to conserve and use energy. They learn concentration, and that is all. You cannot develop the consciousness if you are not conserving and working with energy. They are like those who buy a very nice car but do not know how to put gas in it. The car sits in the driveway, and everyday they go to sit in their nice car, and they love their nice car, and everyone comes to look at it, and they all admire the nice car, but they cannot drive it because it has no fuel. They cannot go anywhere. You see, they stay in the same place. This is sad, but it is extremely common. Many of the meditation "experts" are like that. They are experts at concentration, but they know nothing about real meditation because they have insufficient fuel to escape their level. And worse, they convince themselves that “it is only a matter of time” for them to reach liberation, while ignoring that liberation has nothing to do with time.
It is very easy to go down the mountain, but it is very difficult to go up the mountain. It takes energy. If you have no energy, what will happen? Eventually, you will roll down the hill.
Previously we talked about degrees of consciousness or state of consciousness. This is really important to remember in relation with energy. Consciousness is either on or off. This means someone is either awake or asleep. We are not talking about the physical body being asleep, we are talking about your perception, your consciousness. Most of the people on this planet, in this moment, have their physical body active but their consciousness asleep. They look like they are active and aware, but psychologically they are dreaming. They are not aware of themselves at all. They are in a dream state, even though their physical body is moving around. They are asleep, and all of us are, too.
To be awake takes energy. To be awake is to be here and now. To be awake you need to be here and now, intelligently, and actively observing.
To know that you are sitting in a chair is not the same thing as observing it. This is the difference. To know that you are sitting in a café ordering coffee is not the same as observing yourself doing it. To know that you are feeling angry is not the same as to be observing the anger. These are two different things.
In other words, to be asleep is to be passive and mechanical, going with the flow, and you know where the flow will take you if you step back and really observe the reality of your inner landscape and our outer landscape. If you go with the flow you will gain nothing from life but pain. You will die with none of your questions answered and with your purpose obscured.
To be awake takes effort, it takes energy, and it takes remembering to do it. That is why on the image of the stages of meditative concentration, we see a monk on a path and on the bottom we see a raging fire (down in the corner). This represents how much energy and effort it takes to begin training for meditation. It takes an incredible amount of energy to begin. As you start to learn, as your consciousness gets stronger, little by little that flame gets smaller and smaller until being awake and aware becomes natural, effortless. The natural ability of the consciousness is to be present, here and now. The natural ability of consciousness is to perceive and understand. It does not do that now in us because we have hypnotized it for a long time, we have deprived it of energy, we have hypnotized it with all of our fears, our desires, with our traumas and our longings, and our pains and our sufferings, and all of our psychological bad habits. We have put it to sleep.
To awaken the consciousness requires enormous energy. Therefore, since we do not have much energy, we should be careful how we use it.
If we want our meditation to be effective, fruitful, and result in perceiving and understanding the truth, then we need to have a lot of energy available to the consciousness.
We can only perceive through our senses if there is energy for them to use. All of our senses consume and transform energy, whether we are discussing physical senses or spiritual senses. When you get really tired —depleted of energy— your ability to perceive and understand declines. Have you ever driven a car when you are sleepy? Does it not get more difficult and harder to see? You start to fall asleep. You are trying to put all of your energy into your eyeballs so you can see the road, but the eyes stop working. You are falling asleep because all of your energy is reaching zero. You are depleted. The same thing happens with your consciousness. Due to our current habits, we deplete our energy constantly. We do not know how to save energy, so it is time for us to learn. The more energy we can save, the more we can dedicate towards beneficial actions.
Types of Energy
Let us talk about some basic types of energy so we can put this all into perspective.
- Cosmic (Logoic)
- Spiritual (Atmic)
- Conscious (Buddhic)
- Willpower (Causal)
- Intellectual (Mental)
- Emotional (Astral)
- Vital (Ethereal)
- Mechanical (Physical)
Let us look at these on the Tree of Life.
First, there is the ultimate source of everything: the absolute. The energy of the level is related with the gunas, a primordial quality of movement.
Next, the first trinity, called the Logos:
In Buddhism they call this the Trikaya, which has three primary parts: Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya. Christians call them Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
Next, a second trinity of energies:
- Chesed: our Innermost Being, Atman, Spirit. Energy of spirit
- Geburah: Buddhi, the Divine Soul, the Valkyrie, divine consciousness, energy of consciousness
- Tiphereth: Manas, the Human Soul, the warrior, willpower, human consciousness, energy of will
Next, a third trinity:
- Netzach: intellect, thought, mental body, mental energy
- Hod: emotion, astral body, emotional energy
- Yesod: vital energy, vital body
And lastly, the “container” that holds it all: Malkuth, the physical body, in the realm of mechanical energy.
All of these energies are flowing in us right now. They are not outside of us. They are not in some distant place. They are not above the ceiling or above your head. They are here and now and in you.
Here we are in our physical bodies, but we are barely aware of being in the physical body. Probably in our lifetime we have rarely been aware of how our eyeballs perceive, how our ears hear, how are hands work, how our tongue functions. We are barely aware of our body. We just take it for granted. We just use it and go along with its impulses, with no awareness at all of how miraculous the body is.
Yet, really, the body is impermanent. It is just a shell. It is not our identity. It is a temporary housing that is being utilized by the energies that are activating it. Firstly, the vitality, Yesod. The physical body is able to be active because of the energy that powers it. The main one is the vitality because if you take it away the physical body is dead. It dies. What about the emotional aspect? We all experience that but we are not aware of it. When we dream we are traveling, experiencing, acting in this level of Hod. The emotional body which some call the astral body. That is not a physical dimension. It is not a physical energy. It is emotional energy. When you dream you are in that realm of nature. You may be dreaming and unaware of yourself. Maybe every once in a while you are aware you are dreaming: “Here I am and I am dreaming. This cannot be real”. It is real, it is just not physical. Likewise, successively in more subtle levels, there is a world of thought, a world of will, a world of Buddhi, a world of Atman, and a world of Spirit. These are more and more subtle aspects of our psychology.
State of Meditation
In the state of meditation you can experience any of the worlds. Not only states of consciousness that you experience here and now, but also states of consciousness that you experience out of your physical body. Someone who knows how to access the state of meditation is learning how to separate the consciousness from the physical senses. In other words when we really learn how to meditate we put our body in a position of rest. We make it still. We relax it. We leave it alone. We extract attention from the senses. In other words we let go of thinking, hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching- all of that, we extract the energy from the senses. If you learn to do that effectively your physical body will essentially sleep. The same way we do when we take a nap, we rest and recharge it like a battery. When we meditate or learn about the state of meditation; are we just focused on physicality or are we leaving it behind? Are we conditioned by physical sensations? By energetic sensations? By emotional sensations? By thought? By will?
Many people who try to learn meditation observe the breath. And because that is all they know how to do, they get fixated on the physical sensations of breathing. They stay there and that is all they get out of their practice not realizing that the observation of the breath is only a preliminary exercise. It is not meditation. It is a concentration practice. It is not meditation. To really meditate one must abandon all physicality. One must abandon all vital energy, all emotion, all thought, all will, all consciousness, and all spirit. Going higher and higher and higher and higher. Any living thing can do this. There is nothing abnormal or unnatural about it. All you are doing is stripping away the conditioning filters on the consciousness itself until you can reach as high as you can on that graphic. The state of meditation is accelerated or reached rapidly when we start stripping off the filters that condition the consciousness. All of these are energetic.
I realize that many people who study spirituality become really identified with these different levels. They are fascinated by them. There are people who call themselves “energy workers”. They are fascinated by the vital body (Yesod). They are wasting their time. There are people who are fascinated and hypnotized by the notion of astral projection (Hod). They get very identified with that and they are wasting their time. They get fascinated or identified with angels, demons, and other beings, extraterrestrial, and all of these other types of stuff, and they are wasting their time. These levels of nature are part of us, but they are not our true nature.
Some people are fascinated by chakras. Listen to me, being fascinated by the chakras is the same as a plumber who is fascinated with pipefittings. That is all they are. There is nothing special about chakras. They are just points of connection between these different aspects of ourselves. They just move energy from one place to another. Big deal. Do not be fascinated by them. They are useful and we need them to properly function. They are not spirituality in and among themselves. We have many chakras through out us. Chakras are not physical. They are multi-dimensional. They are conduits or transformers of energy that move energy from one level to another. Most people talk about the seven chakras, but there are many more than that. There are too many to count. A chakra is simply a place where currents meet. If you study our esoteric anatomy you will find thousands and thousands of conduits of energy. If you look at Chinese Acupuncture or Tibetan Acupuncture and how they map the meridians through the body it is overwhelming how many conduits of energy there are in the body. In Sanskrit they are called nadis. There are so many nadis, and anywhere a nadi crosses another one there is a chakra. In the same way we have senses in our physical body, our internal bodies also have sense, and those senses are related to the chakras. There are senses like intuition. There are senses like profound memory and the ability to perceive things that are not physical. None of these are abnormal. They are part of a naturally functioning being. In our case we are so conditioned that these do not function. In essence between each of these spheres the chakras pass energy. That is all they do, they pass energy. What matters is how they do it. How they do it is up to us.
For example, the heart chakra is very important. This is an energetic center related to our physical heart. It is in that region of our body. It is a very beautiful transformer of energy, but when you are angry and you are lustful, that center is just processing the energy that you are giving it. You see, the chakra itself is just a transformer. The chakras do not awaken you, they just transform energy. If your heart is saturated with depression, anger, despair, or fear, your heart chakra is irradiating that quality of energy. That is all it is doing. It is passing that energy from your emotional body through your vital body and into your physical body. Your state of being is projected through the chakras. Yet, we are unaware of that, even though we may love “the chakras.”
Here is what we need to learn: everything we do transforms energy, so let us learn how to do it consciously so that our consciousness will awaken and expand.
As you can see from the physical (Malkuth) to the vital (Yesod), things get very subtle quite fast. From the vital to the emotional (Hod) they get more subtle. From emotional to thought (Netzach) even more subtle. From thought to will (Tiphereth), even more subtle. From will to consciousness (Geburah) even more subtle. Step by step, that is in us, but can we perceive these levels in this moment? Moreover can we work with them here and now? Can we harness these forces right now and use them? Can we change them?
When you are really serious about working in your spiritual life, these are your tools. Which of them can you access? Which of them can you use? Which of them are you aware of? Most people do not have a clue about any of this. Yet, this is the basis of spiritual life, and the basis of meditation.
All of this is inside of us, and we are using it all in accordance to our state of being.
When we are angry, when we are in despair, and when we are depressed, what does each state of being do with these energies?
Every state of being transforms of energy. Our state of consciousness directs our matter and energy to act, thereby creating consequences. So: when we are having negative thoughts and negative emotions, when we are feeling envious, when we want to satisfy the envy by getting the thing that we desire, how is that affecting our level of being? How is that affecting our spiritual state? How is that affecting other people? That is a transformation of energy, and yet we are scarcely aware of it. We wonder why we are in the state that we are in, yet it is because we are a transformer of energy on every level. We are the result of our transformations.
Physically, we are breathing, drinking, and eating matter in order to extract its energy. You take food and your body destroys it. It extracts the energy out of it to sustain itself for a few more hours. That is all you get out of it. A few more hours then you have to eat again. You drink water your body destroys it, takes what it can from it and expels the remainder. It keeps you alive for a few more hours. When you breathe your body destroys those elements. It takes what it needs and you can live for another breath. Do you realize that your senses are also doing the same thing? Everything that you can see, hear, taste, touch, smell, think and feel; you are doing the same process: you are ingesting impressions.
Just as the body becomes what it has consumed, our consciousness becomes what it has ingested. If we feed the consciousness garbage, then we will remain at a low level of being. If we want to raise our level of being, we need to ingest better impressions. Moreover, we need to save energy.
How? By choosing how and when to use energy. Instead of doing things mechanically, we do things consciously. In this way, we are choosing when to expend energy and how much, rather than just expending everything randomly, instinctively.
By taking conscious control over our use of energy, we can then take conscious control of our experience of living.
Instead of letting anger waste our energy through angry thoughts, emotions and actions, we can restrain those impulses and redirect that energy towards beneficial action.
Similar, we must learn to do this with every area of our life.
Most significantly, we look for places where we waste the most energy, and change.
What are your bad habits Not just physical habits of the body (Malkuth). What about your bad habits sexually? What about emotionally? Mentally?
Listen to your conscience: it will guide you to find those activities that you should change. Let us start here and now with what we can directly perceive from moment to moment: ourselves.
The Five Centers
When we observe ourselves, we need to observe our three brains, also called our five centers. These are much more important than chakras.
The five centers are:
These centers are transformers of energy. They are machines that receive and transform the energy we give them.
Our intellectual center is related to our physical brain. The brain is also just a machine, a transformer of energy. It is not our identity. I know that scientists think that they will take our brain and freeze them so that we will be able to live forever. They are totally mistaken. It is like thinking you are going to freeze someone’s car and save the driver. The brain is not the driver. The brain is the steering wheel. The brain is only taking the energies and influences that are coming from the psyche. The psyche is not physical, but internal, whether those influences are of a superior or an inferior aspect. The thoughts that flow through your brain, through your intellectual center are coming your mental body (Netzach).
The emotional center, related to the heart, is also just a transformer of energy. All it can do is register what is happening in the astral body (Hod, the emotional body) and it displays it physically here for us to experience that. When you feel emotional impulses you are feeling that machine that is just displaying the information that is coming from somewhere else, from your psyche.
Observe how a person utilizes these five centers. The people who are intensely intellectual tend to develop very strong mental problems. They deplete the energy of the intellect. They abuse it and they go crazy. People who abuse the emotional center become emotionally traumatized and emotionally exhausted. They deplete it. They break it. It is like if you have a racecar and you are constantly overusing the engine, eventually you will burn it out. It is the same case with these centers. Prostitutes that abuse the instinctual and sexual centers age very rapidly. Their whole organism decays very fast because they abuse that energy.
All of us are guilty of abusing these centers because we are unaware of them and certainly do not understand them.
Moreover, because of our bad habits they steal energy from each other. For example, if your job is intellectually demanding, and you are constantly analyzing data, then when your brain gets tired, you do not rest, instead you drink coffee or ingest some other energy source, or your intellect will steal energy from the other centers, especially from the physical body. That is why the intellectual types tend to be very weak physically and very inexperienced emotionally. They can only understand the other intellectuals. So if an intellectual type of person marries an emotional type of person, they will constantly fight because they do not understand each other.
The goal when you are learning to access meditation is:
- Learn about these centers and how they use energy
- Balance the centers
- Conserve & save energy
Now that rule applies to every thing that we have explained including the chakras, all of the bodies, and all of the subtleties of the energies. This includes:
- the body of will
- the mental body
- the astral body
- the vital body
- the physical body
All of that is passing through these five centers right now in you. So start here and now.
Do you want to know about your astral body? Start observing and managing your emotional center in your physical life. If you want to experience astral projections, start here and now, being awake and aware here and now, conserving emotional energy. If you want to know about your astral body, lucid dreaming, out of body experiences, which is being awake in the dream state, then you need to save emotional energy now in your physical life.
The reason you do not remember your dreams is because your emotional center is depleted. Dream recall, cognizant dreaming, astral projection are all fueled by emotional energy. If you want those experiences, save your emotional energy. Find where you waste it, and stop. We waste it on bad television, getting identified with emotions, getting identified with music, getting identified with gossip, with other peoples lives, etc.; anything that pulls your emotions out. Also when you get angry and upset, you get mad and whatever emotions that identify you or hypnotize you, that is where you waste it, so save it.
If you want to comprehend scripture and if you want to understand difficult things in your life and understand what I am talking about in this lecture, then save intellectual energy. Do not waste it on fruitless reading or studying concepts that are a waste of time. Use it on knowledge that is beneficial for you and others.
In general, we want to learn to start saving these energies and put them to good use in a beneficial way.
At the same time, we need to learn how the consciousness works. Obviously we need to learn to be here and now, to be present. Not just in class, not when we meditate once in a while, but all the time. Being present takes energy — a lot of energy. Part of learning to be present is learning to observe the relationship between the observer and what is observed. There is a profound relationship between your state of being and what you are experiencing, and what you are perceiving. There is a profound relationship between the two. This directly affects the quality of energy in your life. As you start to become aware of observing yourself you need to keep in mind the observer, which is the consciousness and what is observed. By what is observed I mean all phenomena and not just physical things. Anything that you can observe start to be aware of the relationship.
Here is why this is important. Wherever we direct attention we expend energy. If we want to expand our perception then we need to expend our energy wisely and get a return on it, something back from it. We would want that expenditure to benefit us and others. When you are observing something, the consciousness inside of you is perceiving. This is obvious. What is not obvious to us is that act of observation changes that phenomena and it changes us, too. We think that we can watch that action movie with all of that violence and it would not affect us. We are dead wrong. Everything that we see changes us.
Humanity is at the level of consciousness that it is because of how it is hypnotized by phenomena. We are always complaining about the state of the world, not realizing that all of us suffer the exact same problem: we do not see ourselves. We do not see that our state of being was made by ourselves. Our parents did not make us this way. Our spouse did not make us this way. Our friends did not make us this way. We made ourselves the way that we are.
Observe how you are always seeking what you do not have. Always envying what others have that we do not have; always jealous, always craving, always desiring, and always complaining. All of that experience is creating your suffering. It is creating this level of experience. It is this relationship between the observer and the observed. We are unaware of the filters between the observer and the observed.
We get into an argument with our spouse or with a friend and we feel completely justified that we are right. We are not seeing the filter of the anger, the filter of our pride, the filter of our fear. We are not seeing the other person for who they are. We are not seeing why they said what they said or felt what they felt. We are only seeing our anger and what our anger wants us to see. It is a simple example. We are constantly engaged in that same flawed phenomena.
So to begin a spiritual life, to really change, we have to work with energy in a new way. That starts with observing ourselves.
That self-observation has to be a constant effort from moment to moment. This is not a part-time job. If you want to climb a mountain or swim upstream you need a lot of energy to do it. What are you willing to sacrifice? It really comes down to that. What are you willing to sacrifice?
The Three Factors
The three factors that are always in motion are:
If we want to give birth to a new spiritual life, to a new level of being, then something has to die. If we want to raise ourselves out of the animal level and become something new, then something has to die. With every death there is birth. When you eat your meal, that food dies and what is born out of it is nourishment. That food is sacrificed. We do not generally think of it that way but it is that way. When we drink water the energies and substances in that glass are sacrificed. They die to give us life. So birth, death, and sacrifice are happening in every transformation of energy on every level. If we want a new spiritual life, if we want to learn to access the state of meditation, if we want to rise up out of the animal level, if we want to escape suffering, then we have to give up bad habits. We have to sacrifice our anger, our pride, our desires, our lust, and the cravings. All of those things that keep us hypnotized. To become something new we have to stop being what you are. It is not a matter of belief; it is a matter of action. It starts with observing oneself, to learn about oneself. We want to gather facts about oneself, not the beliefs or theories about oneself. You have to start observing the way things really are. We have to be honest.
The second part is to learn to save energy in every way possible, but specifically with these five centers.
When you get these habits and cravings that you have like intellectual habits or emotional habits, or motor habits would be physical things that we do, or motor skills are things that the body learns.
There are also instinctual habits that are engrained in us, and of course sexual habits are related to how we use our sexual energy. Can we give up inferior behaviors in order to replace with superior ones? How far are we willing to go? How much are we willing to give in order to be awakened? Can you live by the first training, ethics, which requires chastity, the avoidance of the orgasm? By sacrificing the pleasure of the orgasm, that desire can die, and in its place can be born chastity, purity, awakening. That is why all religions require sexual purity: it is because the sexual energy and matter, when retained and transformed, radically transforms the consciousness.
If we want to be born in a new level, to raise your level of experience up into spiritual worlds, it requires incredible sacrifice. That is why when we study the history of all of the prophets and saints we can see how much they gave, how much they were willing to give up, how much to renounce, and how much to die. That is the question we have to ask ourselves.
If we do not want to change, then this teaching is not for us. If we are willing and really want to know divinity personally, if we want to talk face to face with divine beings, if we want to escape the limited narrow band of life that society is offering us, we have to give up what is chained to it. We need to save energy in every way that we can.
Saving energy is not enough, however: we also need to know how to use it.
Firstly, each type of energy has its own qualities and powers.
The physical energy, which is mechanical energy, can only change physicality. No matter how much energy you expend physically, you cannot change the superior levels with physical energy. So all of those people going to yoga class thinking that they are going to become masters by doing poses are deeply mistaken. Moving your physical body around does not awaken your consciousness. Only working with consciousness awakens consciousness.
If you want to change your emotional quality or astral quality, you cannot do it by manipulating physical matter. You have to manipulate astral matter to change the astral body.
If you want to change the way of thinking, modifying the physical body does not master that. It is obvious is it not? It does not matter whether you sit or stand, your thinking will be the same until you change your thinking at the level of thought.
This means that if you want good quality spiritual energy, then you need to consume good quality spiritual nourishment. If you want to have a good quality emotional life, then you need to feed your emotional center with good quality energy. It is simple. Just like the health of your physical body. The health of your heart and your mind are affected by what you feed them.
There are lots of spiritual practices that help us accumulate energy. These are the most profound.
Sexual purity is the most important. That is the most important energy that we have. The way we use it affects us more than any other energy in our lifetime. Sexual energy has more potency, more power and more reach than any other energy your physical body can access. The way that you use it has more effect on you than anything else that you do. That is why all religions start their beginner students by learning to restrain the sexual energy by avoiding the orgasm. This is called chastity, brahmacharya, coitus interruptus, karezza, etc. When the orgasm is avoided, the sexual energy can be transmuted to nourish the consciousness, thereby saturating it with very high quality energy, the result of which is very rapid change.
Next would be the use of sounds, sacred words, mantras and prayers.
All of these are ways of accumulating energy. A lot of people do all this stuff because they like it, but they do not know what it is for. Accumulating energy has no point if we are not working with the consciousness. All of these exercises exist to feed the consciousness. To strengthen it. So when yogis are learning pranayamas, when the monks are learning to chant, those exercises are designed to charge the consciousness with energy to strengthen it so that they can do their spiritual work.
We also learn these types of techniques. In each of these classes we give exercises that you can do until the next lecture. This is to help you understand what we discussed. There are two this week.
1. Every day, develop your Self-observation from moment to moment. Observe the energy it takes to pay attention. At the end of each day, reflect on how conscious you were that day.
2. Every day, do this preliminary meditation exercise. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Carefully relax all three brains (body, heart, intellect) and become perfectly still. Then imagine that the energy of the Sun enters through your solar plexus, making it vibrate and rotate from left to right, like the needles of a clock when we look at it from the front. Chant aloud or mentally the extended sound “U” (as in “you”). No matter what distracts you, return to concentrating on the visualization. Do this for 30-60 minutes every day.
Questions and Answers
Student: With the self-observation I am trying to grasp what exactly I am supposed to do. If I am angry am I supposed to be in the moment saying, I know I am angry?
Instructor: Self-observation is the gathering of facts. That is all it is. It is to be an observer. When you become aware you are angry, you observe it. You observe it in the five centers. Watch it to see what it is doing. You will see the anger producing thoughts. It is stimulating your thinking to go in a certain direction. It is stimulating your emotions to feel certain ways. It is stimulating the body to act. You get impulses to behave in certain ways. It is also changing your perceptions. When you are angry, you see everything through your anger. The self-observation is simply that process of becoming a separate observer from your thoughts, emotions, and impulses. This is where you start to become aware that your body is not who you are. Your thoughts are not who you are. Your feelings are not who you are. Your impulses are not who you are. Who are you? That has to be something that is experienced repeatedly, again and again where you start to feel that sense of separation. It is an internal sense of separation.
Student: Can you talk to us a little bit about judgment?
Instructor: Self-observation is the first part of a profound work that has three phases.
Self-observation is phase one. It is where you acquire information. I talked in the beginning about how desperate our situation is, but I barely scratched the surface. The truth is we are teetering on the brink, not only as a world, or a planet, or a civilization, but as individuals. None of us have any idea of when we are going to die. We can compare our situation to being in a war. Where we are under threat. Truthfully we are, spiritually speaking we are under a grave threat. If we are in a time of war we know that at any instant the enemy can act and can take us off the map. Our sense of awareness would be completely different from what we have now. Look at the way we live now. We live now sort of floating from thing to thing. “Oh today I will go to work. Tonight I will go and watch a game at a friends’ house, or we will go and do this.” It is sort of drifting. If we as a country were in a war, none of us would behave that way. We would be very much aware of how precious each moment is and the potential for threats to be around any corner. Spiritually we are in that state, however we are not aware of it. If we become aware of it then we would know that we would need a very intense, constant vigilance, but the enemy in this way is not outside of us it is inside of us. The enemy is the ego. It is our desires. It is our bad habits. It is the tendency to slip into a dream state. To be hypnotized and be on autopilot. It is all of our jealousy, envy, fear, gluttony and greed and all of that stuff that we carry around with us. That is the enemy. Not only that, we can die at any given moment without even knowing.
The first step is to behave as though we do not know where the enemy is and where the enemy will strike, but we know we are under threat. It is to have that level of vigilance, watching one self. With that we start to gather information. We are basically looking for spies. You need proof. You need evidence. You need to gather a lot of evidence. That is what self-observation is about. It is about learning how your mind functions, how your heart functions, and how your body functions; and looking for evidence of who is manipulating your behaviors. When that anger comes up and you start to observe it; you are gathering information. That is phase one.
Phase two is when you evaluate the information. This is done separately, not during self-observation. There is a meditation practice that we will learn that you sift through that information, but you do not do it with your intellect. You do not do it with your emotion. You do not do it with your physical senses. You do not do it by speculation. You do it with your consciousness. This is a very different process. You have to access a state of meditation where you review all of the data you have accumulated that day. It is like watching a movie, but you are observing it objectively as though it is somebody else. Once that information is observed objectively you actually start to learn new things. Your consciousness gathers information and understanding. You start to understand that anger. When you start to understand that anger consciously, you weaken the ego and it loses its power over you. Eventually you can see it for what it is and it cannot manipulate you anymore. In essence you have liberated yourself from it. That is when the third phase can happen which is execution. When the anger can be destroyed.
Those are the three phases.
Phase 1: Gathering information about the spies.
Phase 2: Judging the spies.
Phase 3: executing the spies.
Today, we are talking about the first phase —gathering information — and in that phase you cannot judge because you do not know all of the facts.
So: do not judge! Only observe.
Student: So we stick to the facts?
Instructor: The first two lectures we emphasized constantly: Facts, Facts, Facts. No guesswork, no theories, no speculation, and no beliefs. You are not saying “maybe this or maybe that.” No! That is poison. You want to strictly avoid guessing, speculating, theorizing.
In the first phase, self-observation, you are only gathering facts. For example: “I came home, my kids said this. I got mad. I had this kind of thought. I had this kind of emotion. My body felt like this. I got stressed. I felt tense. I started acting out.” Those are facts. That is what you take to your meditation. Then later you meditate on those facts and you replay that event. You observe the scene as though you are a police officer that comes to the house to gather all of the information about what happened there. Once all of the facts have been gathered then you take it to the judge. Then the judge examines the facts, and the defect is sent to the execution.
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.