The Work of the Initiate
All of us live within the assumption that as a mind and heart we are isolated from one another. We go through our lives inhabiting our own psychological country, which is this mind that we experience from moment to moment, through all our experiences, through our daily lives. Somehow, we have come to believe that we are separate from everyone else. We believe that we have our own isolated mental world, or psychological world, within which we exist. We call this experience “self,” “I”, “myself.”
From this sense of existence we assume that we can think and feel whatever we want, and that our mind is a kind of private space within which we are profoundly alone. Yet, this is a lie.
We also feel that we are completely separate from God, the divine, the Buddha. We search everywhere, but do not “feel” God or see God, so we assume that God is far away from us. This is also a lie.
All of the great religions and mystical traditions emphasize that this sense of isolation is an illusion. This state of existence is not as it appears. This is why throughout our many philosophies there is an emphasis on first developing cognizance or consciousness of our collective mind, and then to go beyond that, to experience the unity of all consciousness. In the bible it says:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being. - Acts 17
Every religion agrees.
That which is the finest essence--this whole world has that as its Self. That is Reality. That is the Self. That art thou. - Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7
Veiled by ignorance,
The minds of man and Buddha
Appear to be different;
Yet in the realm of Mind Essence
They are both of one taste.
Some time they will meet each other
In the great Dharmadhatu. - Milarepa
It is possible for us to experience reality, to awaken our consciousness and see for ourselves that we are all one, without any separation. It is also possible to experience God (Atman, Buddha, Allah, or whatever we call That Which Is) for oneself.
The truth of existence is that we are deeply connected with each other, and the Divine is that unitive force. But unfortunately, because of the psyche that our own hands have made, because of our own psychology, we have lost the ability to perceive it. This is because of the nature of the psyche that we have made for ourselves.
Our psyche is intensely self-obsessed. Our mind is obsessed with its desires, fears, cravings, aversions. That self-obsessed psyche is what we call “I”, ego, skandhas, samskaras, aggregates.
If humanity made the effort to develop the consciousness, the free consciousness, the Buddhata or the tathagatagarbha, then the experience would naturally arise that we are all of us connected. We would feel one another. A spontaneous love would be present in our experience. In that state of consciousness, there would no longer be war. There would no longer be suffering, because we would understand, feel, and perceive the feelings and experiences of others. We would understand the effects of our actions upon others. We would feel what we do to others, and thus we would comprehend what pain and suffering are. We would change our behavior.
From this point of view, it becomes evident that we need to understand something about our own psyche, because it is from our own psychology that our experience of life arises. This is why in that famous Buddhist scripture, called the Dhammapada, the very first line says:
All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.
Our psyche has become what is has become because of how we think, of what we empower in our mind. That psyche is the cause of our contemporary world. Each of us has that self-created psyche within us.
Our Psyche: Psychikon
Our consciousness became entranced by desire. From the illusions that desire weaves, from our hypnosis or identification with desire, the “I” was born. Our ego has many faces, and each desire (ego) acts continually in our mind stream. All action results in karma, suffering. One such result is that illusion of feeling ourselves separate from everyone else, feeling separate from God, our inner Buddha, from Christ, Avalokiteshvara.
The “I”, or ego, inhabits what in Kabbalah we call “the four bodies of sin.”
The first body of sin is the physical body (the sephirah Malkuth), which is the body that we readily experience in our waking life.
The superior part of the physical body is called the vital or ethereal body (the sephirah Yesod). This is the body of energy, Chi, which in Buddhism is called the subtle body.
Then we have the emotional or astral body (the sephirah Hod), the body of our sentiments or feelings.
More subtle is the mental body, the body of the mind (the sephirah Netzach), which is where we process thought.
These four bodies exist in their corresponding dimensions. We cannot see the astral or mental bodies with our physical eyes, but we can see them with our astral or mental eyes in the fifth dimension, which is the world where we experience dreams. When we dream, we use those bodies. When we dream, our physical and vital bodies are left behind, and we act through the astral and mental bodies.
Although the physical senses cannot directly perceive the fourth or fifth dimensions and the bodies that exist on those levels, we do experience the effects of those bodies. Physically, we experience our energies, which are the expression of the vital body. Physically, we experience emotion, which is the expression of the astral body. We experience thought, which is the expression of the mental body.
The four bodies of sin reflect our psyche. They are vehicles through which our mind acts, and our sense of self finds its habitat in these four bodies of sin. We call them four bodies of sin because this is where the “I” lives, the ego, within these four vehicles of the psyche. Through these four vehicles the “I”, desire, acts.
But, the “I” is not these bodies; these bodies are vehicles. Your physical body is the vehicle of your will, and you direct it according to your will. The same is true of your emotions and your thoughts; they are vehicles of will. Unfortunately, the will that rules over us is generally inconsistant, contradictory, and unconscious.
This becomes the definitive question: what is our will?
When we become angry, whose will is feeding that anger? What is the will of that anger? Anger has a single objective, which is to inflict harm. When we become angry, our anger wants to harm; it wants justice, revenge, to fulfill its urge, its impulse. The urge or impulse of anger processes through our mental body (intellect), through our astral body (emotion), through our vital body (energy) and through our physical body: through our actions and speech.
You can see that anger, pride, envy, gluttony, or any of the seven major sins that we discuss, expresses itself through these four bodies. This is an ongoing process.
When we learn to sincerely observe ourselves and pay attention to the state of our mind, we will see that there is a continual rising and passing of wills within us. There is a constant stream of contradictory impulses, desires, thoughts, memories, worries, fears, cravings, and aversions. Our psyche is characterized by an incoherent series of contradictory wills, contradictory desires, confusion, uncertainty, doubt, fear, sometimes joy, sometimes ecstasies, so-called happiness, but there is always an inconsistency or contradictory nature, because all of these I’s or egos are always fighting with each other to gain control over us.
For example, in one moment we feel hungry and the urge to feed ourselves, but that desire becomes infected with gluttony, and we want to eat things that are not appropriate or healthy for us. Then our vanity arises and we think, “No, I shouldn’t eat that, because I need to lose weight, I need to take better care of myself.” So our vanity takes over. Then we remember that person we hope to attract, and we feel the desire for them, and lust takes over our mind. As the lust processes through our mind, again the hunger knocks on the door of our stomach, and we feel tempted to eat...
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. - James 1:8
We continually swing back and forth between contradictory impulses. In this tradition we say that the ego is a multiplicity. This doctrine is called “the doctrine of the many,” and has its roots in Tibetan Buddhism and Egyptian psychology, both of which present in symbolic ways this “doctrine of the many.”
The Structure of the Ego
We look at the ego as having a “loose” kind of structure. There is not one I, there are millions. But we can group them in order to assist our understanding.
We say that the ego is three, seven, legion.
The ego is three, because we have:
- a demon in our mind
- a demon of evil will
- a demon of desire
These are the three traitors of every great initiate, symbolized in all the great initiatic stories. In the life of Jesus are the three traitors Pilate, Caiaphas, and Judas. In the life of Buddha Shakyamuni are the three daughters of Mara. In primeval Masonry are the three traitors of Hiram Abiff. Classical mythology teaches us about the Three Furies. All of these stories symbolize our psyche.
The ego is also the seven inverted virtues, the seven capital sins: anger, greed, lust, envy, pride, laziness, gluttony.
These seven are not individual faces either, because they are actually a legion of an innumerable number of variations of these primary forms. This is symbolized in the Bible:
And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit [πνεῦμα pneuma]... [...]
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. [...]
For [Jesus] said unto him, Come out of the man, [thou] unclean spirit.
And [Jesus] asked him, What [is] thy name? And he answered, saying, My name [is] Legion: for we are many. - Mark 5
This story symbolizes how the egos possess us, because those egos are truly demonic, even though we generally lack the perception to see that.
Yet this legion of desires is not all that we have within. Fortunately for us we have the possibility to be redeemed, to be liberated from suffering, from our mistakes.
The Innermost: Our True Reality
Our redemption is made possible by what we call the Innermost. The Innermost is our Monad.
Monad is a Greek word that comes from monas, which means unity. The Monad is our own inner Buddha, our own inner Spirit. In Hinduism, it is called Atman. Our Spirit, which is within, has three aspects: Atman, Buddhi and Manas.
- Atman: our inner Spirit. Symbolized by King Arthur. Our inner Buddha. Our individual Divine Father, who has two souls:
- Buddhi: our Divine Soul. Our inner Muse. Symbolized by Guinevere, Helen of the Greeks, Dante’s Beatrice, and Eurydice.
- Manas: our Human Soul. Our inner Warrior or Knight. Symbolized by Lancelot, Orpheus, Jason, Odysseus, Dante, etc.
These are three aspects of one being. They are a trinity, which is a unity of three. Yet, in us, they are undeveloped.
There is a war being waged in our mind. We experience it whenever we face temptation, when we face any difficulty. We experience that war when we feel the uncertainty or confusion of how to behave, when we are faced with a problem or a difficulty and we feel that battle between doing what is right versus doing what we want, and this is the great conflict.
Our conscience tells us right action from wrong action. By the term “conscience” we mean a sense of what is right and what is wrong. Our conscience is a part of the Innermost. It is a fraction or a spark of our own inner Monad, our own inner Buddha.
The conscience is the consciousness. Consciousness is the force or energy that gives us the capacity to be aware, to perceive, to be. The heart of the consciousness is the conscience, which senses what is right and what is wrong. Unfortunately, our conscience has a quiet voice, because it is weak. We have not developed it. Worse, we intentionally avoid it.
This is symbolized in the Greek mysteries by Psyche falling asleep. Psyche represents our soul, the consciousness, that has been bewitched by its foolish curiosity about desire.
But having got so far successfully through her dangerous task a longing desire seized her to examine the contents of the [forbidden] box [like the fruit of the tree of knowledge], "What," said she, "shall I, the carrier of this divine beauty, not take the least bit to put on my cheeks to appear to more advantage in the eyes of my beloved husband!" So she carefully opened the box, but found nothing there of any beauty at all, but an infernal and truly Stygian sleep, which being thus set free from its prison, took possession of her, and she fell down in the midst of the road, a sleepy corpse without sense or motion.
Psyche, tempted by her desire to know, "fell asleep." She knew she should not open the box, but listened to her desires instead of her conscience.
When our desires arise, they are very noisy, powerful, and very demanding, so we usually do not hear our conscience, or we ignore it. In most cases we know what is right and what is wrong, but we chose to ignore it and follow our desires instead. And we think because we have this psychological state of feeling separate from everyone else and separate from God, that we can get away with it. The illusion of separateness has given us the illusion of being independent of the cause and effect, independent of karma, and this is the tragedy of our situation.
The forgetfulness (or ignorance) of our Inner Being, our Inner Buddha, and the forgetfulness of our intimate interrelations with all other existing things, gives us the illusion that we can do whatever we want, especially in our mind. We have this illusion that we can think whatever we want, without consequence, that we can daydream about whatever we want, and there will be no consequence. We believe we can fantasize, plan, project, and imagine anything, and it will simply be our imagination. What we fail to realize is that each of these levels of our psyche has a level of reality. They are each energetic, and energy cannot be separated from matter. This is what Einstein presented to us when he presented his special theories. His theories state that energy and matter cannot be destroyed; they can only be modified. Therefore the energy of thought, the energy of emotion, driving our imagination, feeding desires, planning, fulfilling our cravings and fulfilling our aversions in our mind, actually creates results: karma. The same is true physically, but we forget even that, we ignore it, because we have this illusion of separateness, and our desire tempts us so intensely.
There comes a time when the illusion of separateness starts to break down to some degree. When the consciousness becomes so hurt, when our consciousness is in so much pain because of being trapped in the ego, the consciousness vibrates intensely, calling us to behave properly, to change. This is why we come to studies like this, and why people turn to religion. They feel an inner urgency, a call towards their Innermost. When the Being, the Innermost, needs the Human Soul to work, to achieve realization, it stimulates the consciousness to work, to awaken, to change. This is what we call “a spiritual inquietude.” This is the driving discomfort that our consciousness feels.
The discomfort of feeling stuck, suffering, trapped in filthiness, is genuine and based in facts. The spiritual inquietude of feeling that our life is pointless or that our life is too painful is an important experience if we transform it by means of the recognition that we need to change. Unfortunately, most people resist seeing the fact that we created our own circumstances, and instead want to blame others, or God.
The conflict between the consciousness (which wants to awaken and develop itself) and the mind (which wants to feed its desires) is a great war. Yet, we often do not understand that such a spiritual, psychological war can only end in death. In the war over your soul, who are you empowering to live, and who are you condemning to die?
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. - James 1
The death of the soul, symbolized in the Bible by the story of Cain and Abel, occurs when Cain, because of his desire, jealousy, and pride, kills the soul, Abel. Cain represents the mind that is ruled by desire. Abel represents the soul. This battle is raging now, in all of humanity, the battle between the ego and the consciousness.
Looking within ourselves we can see, if we are sincere, that we have conflicting desires, many animal impulses, forces that are at work in our psyche that are pushing us to fulfill their desires. What we need to clearly understand is that in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven, to have redemption, to free ourselves from suffering, all of those desires must die. The Soul has to be empowered and cleaned, made pure, and only in that way can we escape suffering.
This is why in the Bible, Paul wrote:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. - 1 Corinthians 6:10
Paul is indicating all of the egos we have within. He is not talking about people outside of us. He is talking about the people inside of us: each of those I’s of fornication, idolatry, greed, vengeance, jealousy. When he says drunkards, he means egos that intoxicate themselves with the sensations of anger, revenge, jealousy, envy. When he is talking about thieves, these are egos that steal energy, ideas, time, attention, but mostly that steal our consciousness.
The answer for us is within. The resolution to this conflict is not found outside of us. To resolve the conflict, we need to know the different parts of the war, to really understand them, to know them, and to chose a side and fight.
Our own Innermost, our own inner Buddha, is fighting. That Spirit within us is a great warrior (Arcanum Seven), a great fighter, who is fighting to redeem us from ourselves, who if fighting against our ego in order to free the pure consciousness.
Our suffering is a result of our own past action, but it is there to teach us a lesson, to help us change.
Our own Innermost longs for his own development, to become one with his own Being. Our Being has a Being. Our Father has an inner Father, and this is reflected in the tree of life, the Kabbalah. The four bodies of sin are the four lower Sepheroth on the tree. The second triangle, which is in the middle, is the Monad, our own Innermost. That triangle is a reflection of the superior triangle, which is the Logos, Christ. Our own inner Father longs to be united with Christ, to become perfect, but our Innermost cannot do that so long as one of his parts is imperfect, and that is us. We have to reach perfection.
Christ is love. Christ is light. Christ is law. Christ is impersonal, universal, Divine. When we say impersonal, we mean that Christ is in all things. Christ is the vivifying geometry, the vivifying fire of all life. In the heart of every living atom burns the flame of Christ, and this is why the religions all state that in God we are one, because it is true. In the heart of our existence burns the fire of Christ, which gives us life. But we are not cognizant of that, yet.
Our Innermost wants to become fully cognizant of that fire and thus to become perfect, like Christ. So our own Innermost needs us to do it.
Christ as this superior triangle is the trinity, three in one. In Christianity this is called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the Kabbalah, in Hebrew, they are Kether, Chokmah, and Binah.
- Kether is Hebrew for “crown.”
- Chokmah is the second Sephirah, and is the Hebrew word that means wisdom. Wisdom is Christ, the Son.
- Binah is a Hebrew word that means intelligence, understanding; this is the Holy Spirit of Christianity.
When the Innermost becomes a perfect vehicle, or reflection of Christ, then the Innermost has developed it’s two Souls into a perfect Bodhisattva. Bodhi is a Sanskrit word for wisdom, which is the same as Chokmah in Hebrew. The Sanskrit Sattva means “essence of,” or vehicle of. So a Bodhisattva is a vehicle of Wisdom (Christ), a great Initiate, a great accomplished Being, when that Bodhisattva is perfectly developed.
A developed Bodhisattva is an incarnation of Christ, a vehicle of Christ, and when that soul becomes perfect, it becomes Vajrasattva, which means “diamond soul,” perfected soul. A diamond is a very beautiful gem, which perfectly reflects light. But a diamond is made by being deep in the heart of the earth, under great pressure and heat, and this is why we use the term “diamond soul.” Our soul has to pass through that great pressure and heat in order to become perfect. It is the pressure and heat of life that rids the soul of all impurity, that transforms the coal into a diamond, that which is black into that which is pure.
In the New Testament, the Innermost who is longing for that perfection is called πνευματικόν pneumatikon (Greek). This comes from two Greek words: πνεύμα pneuma and εἰκών eikōn. πνεύμα pneuma means “spirit, breath, wind” and this is the Innermost.
The pneuma bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the pneuma. - John 3:8
εἰκών eikōn means image. What is interesting here is that this term hides a deep Kabbalistic symbology or symbolism. If the pneuma, the Spirit of our Innermost is an image, a reflection of what? Of the Holy Spirit, of Binah, of understanding, intelligence.
Our own inner Spirit, our pneumatikon, wants to be a perfect reflection [eikōn] of it’s Spirit [pneuma] which is Binah (intelligence) and Chokmah (wisdom). For that perfection to occur, the imperfect aspect has to be perfected. Paul calls this ψυχικόν psychikon in Greek.
All flesh [is] not the same flesh: but [there is] one [kind of] flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, [and] another of birds.
[There are] also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another. [...]
It is sown a σῶμα ψυχικόν [soma psychikon: soul body]; it is raised a σῶμα πνευματικόν [soma pneumatikon: spirit body]. There is a soul body, and there is a spirit body. - 1 Corinthians - Chapter 15
This is mistranslated in most Bibles as “natural body.” The real meaning is “soul body.” The Greek word psychikon is related to psyche. Psychikon is the image (-ikon) of the psyche, the image of the soul, and that is us.
We need to become the perfect reflection of our own inner Spirit and this is what Paul is addressing in his writings.
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak [this] to your shame. - 1 Cr 15:34
We are not righteous (Hebrew: Tzadik). Rather, we do not have knowledge (gnosis) of God, and instead we revel in our desires. Therefore, our pneuma does not reflect the image (ikon) from above. Our pneuma is covered with filthiness.
I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. - Romans 6
Paul explains the difference between these two parts of ourselves, the Soul and the Spirit, but those who ignore Kabbalah do not understand him.
The pneuma is the spirit, Chesed.
The psychikon is the soul, which in Kabbalah as two aspects: Geburah and Tiphereth.
These three together form the Monad. When the three are perfectly united and reflect the image of the superior trinity, they are soma pneumatikon: spirit body. When pneumatikon and psychikon are perfected and unified, the result is a perfect reflection of Christ: a Bodhisattva. In this perfection, there is no ego. There is no lust in Christ. There is no animal desire in Christ. There is no anger, idolatry, fornication, adultery, covetousness. Therefore, we can see with perfect clarity that so long as we have those elements within, we can not become a perfect vehicle of Christ. Our work is to remove those imperfections.
This is why the Bible states repeatedly, that we need to work on ourselves. Paul in Corinthians says:
...let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. - 2 Corinthians 7:1
The necessity of perfection is the single point of all religions. It is man, in his egotistical misunderstandings, that has corrupted our religions and stated instead that all we have to do is “believe.” This is not true. The Bible does not say that if we “believe,” that we are saved. The Bible states:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the πνεῦμα pneuma [Spirit] of our God. - 1 Corinthians 6
We have all those egos, thus we cannot enter. Until those elements are purified from us, are gone, we remain where we are: suffering. For centuries people have “believed,” but suffering continues unabated. Belief cannot change anything. No where in the universe does God create with beliefs. he creates with ACTION: cause and effect.
Therefore we need a plan, we need to do something, we need to act, to work. We cannot just believe and sit back. If you look at your life and you look at the time you spend believing in things, did those beliefs made a fundamental change in your life? The things that make a fundamental change, are the things you change, the works that you do, the acts that you perform, not just ideas. Therefore we need Telesis.
Telesis [τέλεσις] is a Greek term that means “progress that is intelligently planned and directed.” It means “the attainment of a desired end, by the application of intelligent effort.” This is the work of the Initiate.
We have a goal: that goal is to achieve the completion of religion, which comes from the Latin religare, which means to reunite the earthly with the heavenly, the psychikon with the pneumatikon, the Soul with the Spirit, to become perfect, to become one with God. This is our goal. The culmination is union with Christ, but that union is acquired through steps, through direct experience, not through belief. We can believe in whatever we want, but to actually accomplish something, you have to act. The same is true of the creation of the Soul and the awakening of the consciousness.
A belief cannot awaken your consciousness. A belief cannot free your consciousness from pride. A mental affirmation that “I will not be angry,” does not reduce or eliminate anger, it only hides from it. You cannot free yourself from anger by belief. You cannot free yourself from lust by belief or by a theory. You have to know the science, you have to know the steps. Fortunately we can discover them.
The science, the knowledge, the intelligence, the wisdom are within the Monad. Our Being has the telesis that we need. Our Being has the plan. Remember, telesis means to work with intelligence, towards a desired goal. Our Being can connect directly with intelligence, Binah, the Holy Spirit, with Wisdom, Chokmah, the Christ. Thus our Being, our inner God, our inner Buddha, has the knowledge, the intelligence, the wisdom to direct us, to guide us, but we have to listen. We have to learn to listen, to hear that guidance and this does not come through a belief or through a theory. This comes through hearing it consciously, with our psychikon.
As a terrestrial person, here in our four bodies of sin, always being surrounded by our desires, our pride and fear, our egos, we have to learn how to discriminate the many voices that we hear in our mind and in our heart. We have to learn how to tell the difference between the animal mind and the guidance of the Being. The only way we can do that is to awaken consciousness. We cannot do it through a belief or a theory. We cannot find the guidance of our Being through memorizing books, by belonging to a school or a group, by wearing certain clothes, by cutting our hair or not cutting our hair, by eating meat or not eating meat. None of these physical actions or inaction can bring us the guidance of our own inner Buddha. The only thing that can is to awaken consciousness, from moment to moment, to be awake, to not be under the illusion of the mind. Once we begin to awaken our consciousness, to listen for the telesis of our own Being, for that guidance, to follow the steps of our own path, then we need to follow those steps, to receive that guidance and to act.
How does that guidance come? Through the conscience, our sense of what is right and what is wrong. The conscience knows and wants us to perform what is right, even when it contradicts our desires, even when it contradicts what people tell us is right or wrong.
We have to do what we know is right, we have to avoid what we know is wrong. But unfortunately, many of the schools, religions, and traditions in the world do not teach in this way. They do not teach students to rely on the Being first. They instead teach that one should become a member of a certain group, or one should believe a certain thing, or one should wear a certain kind of clothing, or adopt certain kinds of physical habits. There is nothing necessarily wrong with any of those things, but not one of them can give you the guidance of God. Only awakening your consciousness can do that, and unfortunately in many of these schools and traditions it is believed and taught that to become an Initiate, you have to read and study a certain book, or to be a part of a certain group or school, or order or to get some kind of a degree or some kind of paper, or pin to put on your shirt. None of these has anything to do with real Initiation.
Real Initiation is in the consciousness, the Soul, the Spirit, the Innermost. Initiation is not something physical. To become an Initiate, one has to work with the consciousness, and know the Being.
To become an initiate, one has to endure a magical ritual in which the soul is momentarily liberated from the four bodies of sin and ascends towards the superior vertex of the triangle of life, from where the soul can contemplate, on one side, his physical-animal life, and on the other side, his spiritual life. From that moment, the initiate lives with a secret longing within his heart: to accomplish a mission of service towards all fellowmen. From that moment, he knows that he is not an animal being, but the Innermost incarnated within a body, and that God and the Masters are with him in all the crucial moments of his terrestrial life.
He knows that his mission is to love and to sacrifice himself for his fellowmen.
A real Initiate never forgets his inner God, his inner Being. A real Initiate has as their single goal, charity, service, selflessness, the urge to give, to help, to assist. To arrive at that we need the science, that science is the telesis that we get from our Being. But, we need to study that physically as well. Not only receiving the guidance of our Being, but training ourselves, by learning the doctrine.
Humanity develops in two circles.
All of us are now developing ourselves in the exoteric circle. Exoteric refers to that which is outside. The exoteric circle is the physical life of any person, and all the other dimensions through which physical common people process themselves, even though they are unaware of it. This is the level of existence within which people are in ignorance, follow all their animal desires, and suffer intensely.
The esoteric circle is a level of life within which the Masters of the White Lodge, the Buddha’s, the Bodhisattva’s the Angels, all live, exist, and develop themselves. These are the levels of initiation.
The esoteric circle has many levels. It is not just a room you go in and then you are there. It is a long process of perfection. But speaking in broad terms, we say it is “a circle.”
In the physical world (the exoteric circle) there are many schools, societies, groups, lodges, churches, religions, temples, all of which propagate their own teachings. There are many books, lectures, pamphlets, websites, and lots and lots of information. But unfortunately, it is all contradictory, it is all confusing, and it is all filled with theories and beliefs. Truly, it is a labyrinth. All these schools and religions are fighting with each other.
In the exoteric circle it is very difficult to find the real path, to find any school that is genuine, to find a teaching that is true. Yet, if we rely on the telesis of our Innermost, the guidance of our conscience, our intuition, our Being can guide us to the school that we need, to the teaching that we need. Some are fortunate enough to find it, to find that pearl of great value, which is symbolized in the Bible. Yet, very few of those who find it recognize its true value and “sell all they own” in order to acquire that pearl. This is what that parable is emphasizing for us. In order to have that pearl of Gnosis, of knowledge, of the true path, we have to renounce everything else and that everything is not simply physical, it is psychological. The entrance into the real path requires that we renounce the mind, the animal mind, the ego, our desires, habits, beliefs, and theories.
Commonly, when a person encounters the true teaching, they reject it, because it does not agree with what they have been told before. The true path contradicts their beliefs, it does not agree with their theories, but most of all it directly contradicts their desire.
The true teaching demands that desire die. Very few people are willing to renounce desire and abandon selfish egotistical cravings. Even some who do take the teaching, who value it, who love it and who live it, come to a point when they encounter a desire or habit that they do not want to renounce, and they hold on to that desire. Maybe it is pride, maybe it is their own image, their social image or their self-image, maybe it is lust, maybe they don’t want to give up fornication, or adultery or money, so they leave the path. Some find the real path and withdraw from it, because they do not have responsibility.
Throughout this physical world, the wheel of suffering rotates and humanity suffers, searching, longing, wishing for the light, for change, but unwilling to renounce their own mind. The consciousness who becomes tired of the wheel recognizes the need for the ego to die. At this point, when we begin to receive guidance from our conscience, telesis, that intelligent path, we begin to eliminate our slavery to the ego. It is very simple: if desire is what ties us to the wheel of suffering, then all we need to do is remove that desire (ego) and then we will become free of the wheel of suffering. This is telesis: the plan or the action of the Being to free the consciousness. That plan, that action is the guidance of the innermost, our own inner Monad, our own inner Buddha, who in turn is receiving that plan from Christ, from the intelligence of Binah and the wisdom of Chokmah. That plan is the process of initiation into the esoteric circle.
In synthesis, when we have raised the fire of Christ (Kundalini), the fire of the Holy Spirit, within each of our bodies, then we have achieved it. Then, we have achieved the union with the Being. We have achieved the union with our own inner God. That work is a work of initiation, conscious development. This is not theoretical or a belief: it is experiential. It is something that we have to do consciously, with cognizance, with awareness, with our own hands.
Yet, this work does not always culminate in the union of the Innermost with Christ. There are souls who enter into this work, who raise these seven serpents (which can be seen over the head of a Buddha) and the Soul becomes united with the Spirit. They become a Buddha. But, that Buddha in turn needs to unite with Christ, and that is another work, a very special work. That is the path of the Bodhisattva, and that is another level. Those who remain at the level of uniting soul and spirit are on the Spiral Path. Their Innermost has become a Buddha. Yet, this is insignificant in comparison with the path of the Bodhisattva.
If our inner Buddha enters into the path of the Bodhisattva, then that inner Buddha is becoming united with Christ, in stages. This is what Paul addressed in Corinthians, when he said:
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. - 1 Corinthians 15:54
Samael Aun Weor said:
The Innermost is the true Man who lives incarnated within any human body, and who all of us carry crucified within our heart. When the human being awakens from his dream of ignorance, he delivers himself to his Innermost, who then becomes united with Christ. This is how the human being becomes almighty like the Absolute from where he has emanated. - Aztec Christic Magic
This is a long work, but it starts here by becoming conscious of who we are now. We see within us two sides in conflict: an Innermost who speaks to us through our consciousness, and we have within us Satan, the ego, the I. We are in the middle of a battle and the battle is over the wellbeing of our Soul, so it is necessary for us to fight, not only to fight against the ego, but to fight to develop the Consciousness and come to know God directly, personally, consciously, not as a belief, not as a theory, but by experience.
Someone once asked Carl Jung if he believed in God, he said: “No, I do not believe in God. I have experienced God.” This is because he was making the effort to experience God.
There is a great mantra that we can use in meditation, in order to assist us in that development, to help us to reach that experience. This mantra is OMNIS AUM. This mantra can be used at any time that we rest, we relax, we close our eyes, we forget all the vanities of the world, we turn our consciousness inwardly, to look at our inner consciousness, to dive within the Soul and we chant this sacred mantra over and over, diving into that as a doorway to our own Innermost. It is pronounced: “Ooommmmniiiissss Aaaaoooommmm.” Extend the vowels.
For this to be effective, you cannot be thinking, you cannot be worried about life, or fantasizing or daydreaming. You have to be conscious. You have to be consciously controlling your attention and relaxing.
Through that mantra, you can have the experience of facing the One who is within, your own inner Buddha, who is waiting for you, waiting to guide you, waiting to take you along that path to liberation.
A liberated human being is a master of himself. We are not. We are not true master of ourselves. We are enveloped in pride, fear, doubt, lust, greed. We are not masters of our own mind, of our hearts or of our bodies, so let us begin to develop mastery.
A true master is not obligated to be here. A true master has free will and can direct him or himself by will. We cannot. We are trapped in karma. We love the idea of free will, and we think we have free will, and talk for hours and hours about freedom, about liberty, about our own free will, but really our will is extraordinary limited. We need to reflect on that. How much free will do we really have with pride in our minds, with envy in our minds?
Until we awaken from this illusion of independence, this illusion that we are separate from others and separate from God, we will remain victims of our karma. We will remain dead to God and to our fellowman. We will go from lifetime to lifetime becoming more tired, more burdened, and more pained.
Eventually, all of us face this conflict within ourselves. The resolution to the conflict is to change ourselves. Who among us is satisfied? Who has happiness? Who among us has true serenity?
We all feel inquietudes. We all feel discontent. We are driven by impulses, by desires, and unfortunately we seek to fulfill those desires and to quiet those inquietudes by searching outside of ourselves. We try to get a new job, a new place to live, a better spouse, a better education, buying some new thing that just came out, or buying some item that we really want. We are always running here and there with this illusion that somehow, once we have the object of our desire, we will feel content, yet we never do. A few minutes after acquiring the object we longed for, we are discontent again.
And there are those who think they will find contentment through sex, who are always seeking sexual experiences and believing that is true happiness, and yet they fail to realize that each time they seek a new sexual experience, they go a little further, they become a little more extreme, until suddenly they find themselves doing things that are unspeakable, that are even criminal.
If they are confronted with that, if for example they are performing some act which is illegal and they are caught, then all the sudden they become repentant and promise to never do it again. It is the same with many crimes.
Many who are caught performing crimes say, “I have never done this before. I do not know what came over me, I am so sorry, I will never do it again.” That is a lie. They may believe it, they may be sincere in believing it, but so long as the impulse to commit the crime still exists in the mind, the crime will be committed again, when the opportune moment arises. Desire does not die on its own. Desire always seeks to grow, unless that person develops sufficient will to listen to their conscience and to do what is right.
Many criminals say when confronted, “I knew it was wrong. I knew I should not have done it. I was being stupid. I will never do it again.” This demonstrates that their conscience knew better and yet they felt that they were separate from all other men and from God, and thus could get away with it. But the law is always there. The law within us is our own Innermost.
As Samael Aun Weor pointed out: the true initiate knows he is never separate from God, or from the Masters, from the Bodhisattva’s, from the great Angels. The true Initiate knows that in every instant he is accompanied, for the true Initiate knows he can never commit a crime in silence. Any action that he performs is visible and seen by God, by the pure ones. This is worth reflecting on. In those moments of temptation when we feel attracted to perform an certain action that we know is wrong or that we sense could be wrong, do yourself the favor of listening to your conscience.
In Colossians, in the Bible there is a passage that sums up this lecture:
Mortify therefore, your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil, concupiscence and covetousness, which is idolatry. For which things’ sake, the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience, in which ye also walked, for some time, when ye lived in them, but now ye also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of you mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds and have put on the new man, which is renewed with knowledge after the image of him, that created him. Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all and in all. Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering, forbearing one another and forgiving one another. If any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things, put on charity which is the bond of perfectness.
Questions and Answers
Audience: When we talk about the perfect Soul and perfection, I mean is that not in any work, like this fear which has it’s own perfection, as we progress up the tree of life?
Instructor: We tend to think of the word perfection as an absolute term, as having an absolute definition, but actually, perfection is a relative term. Perfection is relative to that which it describes. For example, when you existed in the animal kingdom, you acquired perfection in that kingdom and that gave you the ability to enter into the humanoid kingdom. Now, as a humanoid, it is your responsibility to become perfect in the humanoid kingdom, so that you can enter into the superior kingdoms. This is true for every level of the tree of life, every level of consciousness.
There is a state of absolute perfection. That is the Absolute (Ain Soph, Sunyata). A being who has reached that absolute state of perfection is called a Paramarthasatya, which is a perfected Bodhisattva, a perfected Being. Any one of us can reach that.
Keep in mind when you hear the word perfection, it is related to the term Paramita in Sanskrit, which we gave a whole course about. Although we use the word perfection for Paramita, really Paramita means “conscious attitude,” a state of consciousness, which have levels of development. All of those perfections or Paramitas that we need to acquire have many levels.
Audience: What is the difference or the relations between the conscience, intuition, and the Kaom.
Instructor: First of all we can say that the term Kaom refers to an aspect of our own consciousness, which in sort of a crude term, could be called the “Cosmic Police”. This is a part of our own consciousness that witnesses and documents our every action. This is on every level of the psyche, not just physical. The Kaom is part of our Innermost, and is closely related with Geburah, which is the sphere of justice, the Divine Consciousness. This is a part of our own inner self, our own inner constitution, which is a natural record of our activities. This part of our self is objective. Objective means it is not egotistical or biased. It simply records everything, for good or bad, without judgement; it just records it.
Our conscience is different. Our conscience is a part of the human Soul, related with the sephirah Tiphereth. The conscience is that spark of our own Soul, the embryo of the Soul, which is capable of receiving the impulses or the intuitive guidance that is provided to us through Chesed and Geburah. So they have a relationship, but they are not the same thing. The intuition or the conscience is that which provides the guidance, the Kaom is that which records what we do.
Audience: So you could say that the conscience is the intuitive guidance of the Kaom?
Instructor: No, I would not say it that way. I would say that the Kaom is one that just records the action. The guidance comes from the Innermost, the Divine Soul.
Audience: I’m a little bit curious about the tree, you spoke about the absolute and then you spoke about the animals and how we can evolve to a human; I was thinking, it is that we were all Absolute and we lost our state and became like fallen angels, or is it that we were created and we are like the fallen to the Absolute, or were we Absolute and we just lost our state and we try to climb back on the ladder?
Instructor: That ladder (Jacob’s ladder) is the tree of life, the Kabbalah, and the rungs on the ladder are the dimensions, or the sephiroth on the tree.
To put it in terms of “time,” in the past a spark of the Absolute, a spark of the Ain Soph entered into manifestation, driven by Karma. That spark is our own inner Ain Soph, our own inner star, but that star or that light unfolds itself in levels into the degrees of manifestation. That is the structure of the Soul that we have been discussing. Our consciousness has deep within it a connection back to the Absolute, to the Ain Soph, but we are not cognizant of that. We are not conscious of it. That spark of our Soul is not developed. When we perfect our Soul, we can return back into that absolute existence as a perfected portion of that Absolute. Otherwise, at the end of all the great cycles of existence, we are absorbed back just the same way as when we left, so all that suffering was purposeless, no point, because we did not acquire the realization, only more karma.
Audience: So you are saying that at one point we were all Absolute?
Instructor: Right, but without cognizance of it.
Instructor: That is a subtle aspect that takes a lot of intuition to grasp. The reason existence comes to be is for the Absolute to come to know itself. All the sparks descend in order to come to know themselves, to perfect themselves, and to return back into the Absolute with cognizance of it.
Audience: So you are saying we were all Absolute, but because of our thought, our own desire to seek out what is down there and now we are searching to get back?
Instructor: We emerged into existence because of karma. We remain in existence because of karma. The obstacle preventing our return is the ego, which is intimately related with karma, so when we free ourselves from our karma, then we can return into the Absolute having mastered our destiny.
Audience: So how do we know we won’t get back to that point again, I mean let’s just say the we found it, we are there and then another thought of going back comes in?
Instructor: It can happen. That is how the Angels fall: they become enticed by desire. If you have read the book of Enoch, it is about that.
And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.' [...]
And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.
And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. [...]
And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven . . .
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.