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Our lecture today is entitled Our Dreamlike Nature of Existence. It is a very interesting thing to think about. Maybe some of us have been learning, or reading, or understanding topics such as the fact that the nature of our mind, or the nature of our consciousness, is sleeping.

It is one thing to see that as a theory, and something else to work with facts, something that is practical. There was probably a time in which we were unaware, or a time when we first came across this idea, this notion, that we are as a mind or consciousness sleeping… that there is something to be done with our state of consciousness.

Well, if this is the first time you have heard of this, do not be too shocked: you are asleep, and you need to awaken.

There is a very interesting and somewhat famous story in Buddhism of a Brahmin walking up to the Buddha, and the Brahmin was very curious who this person was, because he was obviously someone of great stature, someone very wise. He asked the Buddha a series of questions, trying to figure out what exactly this person was.

He asked the Buddha if he was a God, and the Buddha replied, "no." Then the Brahmin said, "Well are you a human?"

"No."

"Are you some type of demigod, some type of deva?"

"No, no."

"Are you some type of trickster spirit, or elemental?"

"No."

And then finally the Brahmin gave up and said, "Well what exactly are you?" The Buddha gave a bit of an elaborate answer, and at the end, the Buddha simply said, "I am awake, I am awakened."

This really points something out. The word "buddha" is actually a title meaning "the awakened one." So the state of the Buddha is the state of being awake. It is our aspiration to emulate that, to achieve that, to achieve Buddhahood.

What that would imply is that we are not awake, that we must be asleep. That being the case, how do we know that we are asleep? Because it is interesting that it might be a theory, it may be either an attractive theory or an unattractive theory in our mind - something that we do not like to believe in, that we are asleep.

If you ask in a very naive way if someone is awake or asleep, they will usually tell you that "I think I am more or less awake." From a very practical day to day standpoint, their body is awake, they are experiencing things, so they think, "Oh yeah, I am more or less awake." It takes some elaboration and some testing to see what the true state of our mind.

What is really going on here? How do we know that we are sleeping, how do we know that our mind is asleep? How can we put something factual to this? How can we observe that fact? Well, it is something that we have to test; it is something that we can observe. This is why it is important for us to begin to pay attention to what is going on day to day, practically, in our life. Somebody who is awake never dreams; an awakened person never dreams. So what does that mean?

We think that dreaming happens when our body is asleep. And this is true, we have dreams when we go to sleep. But our state of mind really shows us that we are sleeping during the day as well. A simple way to observe that fact is to simply retrospect and see if we can recall all the specific events or details of our day, of yesterday. To go a little bit further perhaps and ask ourselves what were all the events of last week, maybe even last month. And if you do that exercise you will see very quickly that our memory is very fallible, it is full of many gaps and holes. We know the further we go back the more hazy and foggy it becomes. It is more difficult to discern one day from the next. It is very difficult to really, from one month to the next, to actually discern what week something happened the previous month.

Just to put in an event, not even to the day, but just the week it happened, or what month or year did it happen? So that shows you our state of mind. That is the state of mind of all of us, we are all more or less in that condition. But it is not the ultimate nature of mind. It is not the root nature of our mind. There is something else going on there.

Of course there are some people who have an extraordinary ability to place dates to any memory, so in this case, it does not illustrate the fact, and a more comprehensive test is needed, to look at the whole picture of their life…

What any teacher such as Budda or any avatar is really teaching is that we need to awkaen. In Buddhism it is very clear and more elucidated. In other teachings you hear about waking up, or some story where a person wakes up, and they are waking up to the facts, they are waking up to the state of affairs as it actually is, as opposed to some state of affairs as it appears to be, some projection.

A dream in and of itself is some perception, but it is not the actual state of affairs. There is some relationship there, some event occurs and subsequently a type of dream or fascination in relationship to that is projected.

Samael Aun Weor writes in Fundamental Education, "It is very difficult for people to recognize that they are asleep, since the entire world believes themselves to be awake. Nevertheless, if someone was to recognize that his consciousness is asleep, it is obvious that he would begin to awaken from that very moment."

In a very simple way, if you were ever having a conversation with someone and talking about these matters it is often the case where a person doesn't see their own state of sleep. We can illustrate it with another example: have you ever had the phenomenon of not knowing where you put something, where did you put your keys for example? You do not know where you put them so you are searching for them. Or, when you put something in a “special location” so you do not forget where it is, and then you forget where that special location was? Somebody put those keys somewhere, and that somebody was you!. So by what right or by what means do we have, to not remember it? Why do we not remember that? Should that not be the natural state of our mind or our consciousness to remember the things it actually does?

It would seem from a certain perspective that it should be our state. So when we observe the data of our life, of when we forget something, or we make a mistake, or we have a conversation and we forget the point that we are trying to make, or we are in the middle of one thing and get distracted and never complete the original task - these are all very practical data points that will say, "yes, our mind is asleep, there is something strange going on here." This is not something we should just digest intellectually and theoretically, that we are asleep and need to awaken. It is the reality of the facts!

In the beginning that is the first step, to intellectually to see that, but you as an individual person you must get the data, you must observe the facts. You must work in a practical way. It is not something you accept or reject, it is something you know. And that in and of itself is gnostic, it is gnosis, from practical daily life.

If we were to step a little bit further and maybe elaborate on why or how is it that we are falling asleep: Why is it difficult to pay attention? If we begin to practice paying attention, being aware, we will find that it is difficult. Again, that is something we can know for ourselves. We should become very curious as to why we are not constantly paying attention. We need to become very curious about that fact. We live here physically, and the easiest place to have your consciousness in a certain sense, to begin awakening your consciousness, the easiest place to start is here in the physical body. It is the most practical. This is the most dense form of impressions that we get, so it is the thing that we can work with the most, the easiest. There are other levels of mind you can awaken in a dream, but it is unlikely if you are ever going to awaken outside of your physical body, if you have never had your consciousness present inside your physical body, because the physical body works with very dense types of energy, which is easier to deal with that. When you are outside your body, consciousness is working with something much more fluid, and subtle, much more fascinating in a certain sense. In that way it is much easier to fall asleep. So, if you want to awaken outside your physical body, you start here and now in the physical body.

Let us take a very concrete practical example of how this process can work. We will work with something physically that can bring our consciousness into sleep. It could be any object, any merchandise. We are very much a culture of much merchandise and consumerism. Particularly in the West, but now it is pretty much global, this consumeristic type of society. If you think of something new that is very desirable it could be a new smartphone, a new car, some new clothing, a new pair of shoes, a new pair of sneakers.

If we were to just look at shoes, for example, let us say there is some attraction that we have towards it. If you are that type of person. Some people do not care about shoes, and another might care about the iPhone. But whatever it is, if we just say the shoes, there is something about our quality of being, our quality of mind, that is attracting ourselves to that pair, and not to another pair. You might first say, "well, the shoes look nice. And that is what is attracting me to it." This is important because if we are paying attention, can see something happen to our attention.

If we are present within ourselves, we have a sensation, we in that case attracted to that sensation (the image of the shoes), and that is how we jump from an attentive sense of ourselves to becoming lost into some impression. There is something going on there. The very basic level is that raw sensation, it can be pleasant or unpleasant.

The sense of clothing or apparel can just feel nice, so you can have that kind of just nice sensation. We are attracted towards nice sensations. We would like a blanket that is nice and soft and warm. We would like a shower that is a little bit warmer, or a pool that is a little bit cooler. Whatever it is we want something nice. And we get attracted towards pleasant sensations versus unpleasant sensations. That is obvious, right? So, some clothing could have that type of attraction towards it, but there is more than that because sometimes we will buy some clothing that is very uncomfortable. So, it is not just some raw sensation there, we could buy a pair of shoes that is really terrible to wear, it does not feel nice at all. But we buy it anyway, there is some other attraction towards it. So, it is not simply some raw sensation, there is something else going on. And it has something to do with what that material item brings to us. What does it do to ourselves.

It is not that the attraction is in the external object, it is actually in ourselves. It is the relationship between our state of mind, what is going on in our mind, with what that external object represents to us. It is more about the idea than the actual matter. It is not so much that the shoe feels nice, it is about what that shoe represents. It is not just about the phone itself, it is about what that phone represents. And it is what we want to project. If we have a certain type of fascination within ourselves, with what we want ourselves to be, we can project that in a material sense. The external world mingles with something about ourselves, and then that produces a fascination; and the quality of the fascination is more to do with our emotions and ideas. It is just the external world pushes the buttons that we have, to put us to sleep. It is really important to observe that, to see that relationship, how it works.

The next level of looking at this analysis is getting rid of the external world, because the mind runs upon its own self-sustaining machinery, to use an analogy. That is the Samsaric cycle, it is self perpetuating, it perpetuates itself. The activity of the mind seems to perpetuate itself. That one fascinating element, which animates some type of thought, or feeling, produces some other attraction to some other element, and you see how the chain of causation occurs within our own mind. One thing causing another thing. The dream is perpetuating itself.

So if we take advantage of the practical day, if we really pay attention to how the external world is influencing our internal world, how we can see the internal reactions, if we are doing that on a daily basis, when we sit down to meditate, we will be a thousand times more prepared, it will be a thousand times more impactful. Because when you sit to meditate, all you are doing is shutting down and withdrawing from the external senses and you are left with just the internal process.

There is something else going on here of course, because I spoke about the true nature of our mind, and then we have this sleeping nature. If we are sleeping and we can actually even observe some of this activity of the mind or the consciousness getting pulled in different ways, what is it that is actually observing it? What is there that can actually see this going on, perceive it? And in these studies we call that the Essence. In Buddhism they call that the Tathagatagarbha, or the Buddha nature, or Buddha-seed, some seed element. And that very element contains some root properties to it that can be helpful for us to understand, to even meditate upon, because it is those very root elements that give arise to all of our perceptions, everything that we experience.

So the first aspect of the Tathagatagarbha, or Buddha nature, or Essence, is that it is essentially empty. That is a very difficult concept, that it is either empty or void. This is something that requires a lot of contemplation and meditation. All three of these aspects that we are going to talk about requiring a lot of meditation. Particularly when we, in other lectures, are talking about the Being, and all these wonderful and magnificent archetypes of the Being, or different parts of the Being, all different symbolism that is going on, and it gives us an idea of a very rich and colorful, multidimensional existence of the Being. All of that is absolutely true. But that Being emerges from where? It emerges from the Absolute, it emerges from the Abstract Space, from the Void, from the emptiness. So all of those beautiful manifestations, all of those beautiful parts of the Being, have a thread back to the Absolute. In fact, all of those beautiful parts of the Being in the final synthesis are to be completely integrated, one hundred percent, and it is when it becomes completely integrated that it goes back into the Absolute, in some other process. So we need to understand both the form and the emptiness of the Being. But at the very, very, root, root nature, we see that if you try to dive into the depths of the Being that you always find something deeper. You get to the depths of the Being and you find emptiness. But not just emptiness as darkness, but luminous, which is the second quality. Not emptiness as a black room, but emptiness as a luminous or illuminated void.

There are many quotes from Samael Aun Weor that talk about the illuminated void, and he writes;

"It is necessary to know—to experience in a living way—the illuminated aspect of the consciousness. It is urgent to feel and experience the void aspect of the mind."

Although it seems to our intellect when we talk about this Tathagatagarbha, or essence, or root nature of our Being, to be empty, we must qualify that or understand that in a very deep sense. That type of wisdom, or comprehension of, the emptiness, will help safeguard us against projections of our ego, or help safeguard our mythomania developing from having experiences. We may have an experience out of the body and it can be very beautiful or even objective, but if we take that and grasp that as real, as a real essential nature of ourself, we develop an ego related to it. We say all the time that the Being has no form, and yet if I say the Being is essentially empty, you may have a different response in your mind, but it is the same thing. The Being has no form, it is essentially empty. Our root nature of consciousness, our root nature of Being, whenever you try to look into it there is some kind of deeper sense to it. It goes all the way to the Absolute, it is also luminous. By this word 'luminous' we do not mean a simple type of light, what we mean is it has the capacity to see, it has the capacity to perceive.

Not only is it empty and has a capacity to see, there is a third aspect that we call "unimpeded activity" or "spontaneous activity" which means that the Being has the ability to act, and it acts spontaneously, according to its own nature. What we experience from moment to moment is a very obstructed, impeded, activity. We have very little willpower, we have very little freedom to actually do anything. We are restricted in all of our actions.

Physically, we have some restrictions related to the laws of physics, but mentally we are even more restricted. Any time that we have a negative emotion, why is it that we can't not have it anymore? It is because we do not have the unimpeded activity to be free. We are under the will of our own ego, our own karma.

If you look at those three root natures, the essentially empty, luminous, and spontaneous root nature of ourself, everything else unfolds from that. You can have an experience relating to your Being, and it can be shown to you in various forms, in various symbols, and you can even have an experience relating to other people, but is your Being that actual person, or is it just a symbol? Even if your Divine Mother appeared to you as a beautiful woman, is that actually your Divine Mother? No, it is just a form, it is just a symbol. It would disappear into the emptiness.

We grasp at those images because we have a very poor understanding nature of our own Self, when I say Self I mean Being, really. We have a very poor understanding of emptiness. But it is not by some accident that Buddhism very heavily speaks about the emptiness repeatedly because it is so powerful. It is extremely powerful to comprehend that, to experience it.

Those three root natures of our mind, or consciousness or Being we could say - in Buddhism they usually just say the root nature of mind, but in our tradition we either call that the Being, or the consciousness, or the Essence, depending on how you want to phrase it - but those three natures are related to the three fundamental properties or laws we often speak about, the holy number three.

We speak of the Supernal Triangle in Kabbalah which is Kether, Chokmah, and Binah, which we know is related to the Holy Trinity, or the Trimurti. In Buddhism it is related to what is called the Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya. It is the same principle.

What we are saying here is that the root nature of our own Being is the Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya. The root nature of the Dharmakaya aspect is again the emptiness, and infinite potential. So why is emptiness related to infinite potential? As soon as you put form to something you limit that thing. Any form is a limitation; if you express something in a form it is limited by that form. Something that has no form has infinite potential to go into any form. So Dharmakaya as a property is described as an absolute, formless level of experience. Its Nirvanic quality we could say is emptiness or infinite potential. Its Samsaric quality, which we experience, is a fundamental type of ignorance.

The second quality, the Sambhogakaya, is instead of an absolute formless level of experience it is a pure form of experience. There is some form there, but it is very pure and abstract. That is related to the luminosity, or the root capacity to perceive or see. But in its samsaric quality it manifests as dualistic perception. This second aspect is really the Second Logos which is Chokmah, which is what Samael Aun Weor states is where the most beautiful atoms of Christ reside, is in that second aspect. That most beautiful aspect is where that luminosity is, the luminosity of Christ, the glory of Christ, that is where that luminosity is, and that is where the perfect multiple unity is. But in its opposite aspect instead of a Perfect Multiple Unity, you have the most imperfect duplicity, or dualistic perception. Instead of everything being all as one, in a perfect harmony, we see the complete opposite of that. We see myself, and everybody else is different than me.

And finally the Nirmanakaya is the impermanent form, related to Binah, the Holy Spirit, which we know is related most heavily with the world of formation in Kabbalah, so you can make various types of analyses there. It is the impermanent form, and as we said before its Nirvanic quality is unimpeded expression as awareness, or the actual cognition in action. One thing is the capacity to see, another thing is actually seeing. One is the capacity, one is the actual activity of it, so that is why it is that unimpeded activity of that cognition. Its samsaric quality is taking that but now instead of perfect forms of action, it is confused expression.

When our Being emerges from the Absolute, it holds these three fundamental properties, and it is from those three fundamental properties that everything elaborates. But a Monad, or a being that has not achieved Mastery co-originates both the Nirvanic quality and the Samsaric quality at the same time. There is an aspect of it which is emptiness and infinite potential, but there is another aspect that has a fundamental ignorance to it. Otherwise, why do we have to do a work, why do we have to work on ourselves, why do we have to achieve Initiation, why do we have to awaken, if there is not something to be done?

There is some kind of transformation that is going on, not just from our sense here physically, but related to our Being as well. Not only is there that type of infinite potential, but it co-originates with something which is ignorant, which seems very contradictory to our mind, but it must be in some sense that way, otherwise there would be no work to do. And then again, you have that perfect capacity of cognition, and then you have the opposite co-originating factor of dualistic perception. And the third being the unimpeded expression which is also co-originating with confused expression. As our Essence descends into the matter, and is placed into this physical world in various types of bodies, you see a co-emergence of both of these factors, but it is not until we get to our humanoid existence with an intellect that we really begin to exhibit much more of the samsaric quality. We really begin to make a mess out of things and have a very confused state of mind. Let us take these factors and put some logic to it, and see how one leads to the next leads to the next.

Our fundamental ignorance of the essential emptiness of our own nature leads us to see that luminosity, even though that luminosity is a part of our root nature, that luminosity is perceived through a dualistic sense. The first aspect is truly we have this emptiness, which is our own Being, purely abstract, but because we falsely perceive it as a real self, we perceive ourself in a way that is not actually real. We have this root sense that is ignorant, that “I” exist substantially and in and of myself,  without any other factors I just exist independently, that is what we believe, but it is not the truth.

We do not just believe it consciously, it is very deeply embedded in our mind that it just reflexively views the world that way, me and other. We have that reflex, so as soon as we perceive something, luminosity, instead of being a luminous understanding of that emptiness it gets turned on its side and now it is the sense of perceiving myself and everything else is something separate.

One always leads to the other. Without understanding the emptiness, you reflexively take that luminosity and transform it into dualistic perception. On the slide it is written as "erroneously cognizing luminosity as something other than Self." The luminosity is of our own nature but we see it as another thing. It is like when a dog views its own image in a mirror and thinks it is another dog, and even starts to attack it.

Our luminosity allows us to see things, and view it as something substantially real outside of ourself. We set up a dualistic framework of self and other through that misapprehension. That nature, we see it as two separate things, but that is not the way that things actually are, that is a confused state of perception, it is ignorance. Because we do not actually perceive reality in the way that it actually is, that leads to the final state. Instead of a spontaneous experience that is in perfect harmony, we have emotional reactions, that is confused reactions of this falsely separate self, acting against that falsely perceived other.

Putting this all together, it reads out as:

  1. our fundamental ignorance of our essential emptiness of Self leads to
  2. erroneously cognizing luminosity as other than self, which results in
  3. a dualistic framework of self and other, which leads to
  4. the unimpeded awareness to be expressed as emotional reactions from that subject towards the object.

That all seems very intellectual, and it is, but there is a very beautiful and important knowledge behind those words that you can recognize in your own experience through meditation. That level of ignorance is so deep that we cannot get to it through the intellect. We can read this and maybe partially intellectually see how one can link to the other. But again, we have this deep reflexive way of experiencing the world that is unconscious to ourselves, it is deeply unconscious. So that process of awakening is taking what little bit of free luminosity that we have, that little bit of light that we do have, and shining it into the darkness, into the ignorance, and seeing what part of ourselves is acting in some way which is not in accord with the actual reality of our world. This reminds us of the light shining in the darkness, and the darkness understanding it not. Our inner darkness does not actually understand how this world works. And I do not mean just this physical world, I mean the whole universe, the whole of Samsara and Nirvana.

So we talked about a few things. Firstly, that in our practical life we fall into fascination. That there is a relation between our senses in this physical world and our states of mind, our state of emotions, and even instincts and physical activity. That is because we have a certain state of mind, we become lost, we fall asleep.

Secondly, that there is some root nature of our mind which has an innate capacity to see, when it is liberated, when it is free.

But our nature of Self, our Being, is not real in the sense that it is some super defined old man in the clouds. The image of our Divine Mother is only a symbol, the root nature of that is the emptiness, the void.

The first aspect is that we are sleeping, the second aspect is that our own Being has this empty nature to it, and the third aspect is that even the physical world that we have does not have a substantially real, independent nature either.

All the objects that we see, in a very normal sense, we view it as real. And in a pragmatic sense it is real because we deal with it. But you can dive into the nature of any of these physical objects and you will find that none of them have substantial reality either. Our external reality does not have a substantial nature to it, and our internal nature does not have a substantial nature to it either. Moverover, the external and the internal are really the same thing as well.

We talk about us being in Samsara, and the person who is achieving liberation or awakening is getting out of Samsara, achieving Nirvana. But the reality is that the only difference between Nirvana and Samsara is the state of mind. Nirvana or the Superior Worlds is simply the perception which is unconfused, and not bound by Karma. And Samsara is confused perception that is also bound by Karma. So if we purify our perception, and we exhaust all our Karmic debts, then Samsara becomes Nirvana.

What does that really mean, because we can look at it practically when we get out of our physical body whether if it is through dreaming unconsciously, or we have an experience related to meditation or dream yoga, we have to understand that you can be out of our body and still be in a Samsaric quality of mind. Just because you are out of your physical body does not mean you have pure perception. You can be out of your physical body and still have confused perception. In fact, that is what our dreams are. It gets a little more confusing when we wake up to some partial extent and we are still viewing something, some perception. That is how our experiences can become misapprehended and become taken over by our ego and we can fall into errors in that way.

If we were to look at how to decompose this physical existence as also having no substantial nature, we could first just look at anything physical like this table here. We could say the table exists, right? The table has some source, something in and of itself, and then we see the table. That is how we naively view everything in the world: the chair exists, and I see the chair. And we imagine that the chair exists without me seeing it and then I see it, that there is some source of that knowledge, that thing in and of itself, the chair. But none of these physical things can exist in and of themselves. They only exist as they are, they seem like something, because of the way we perceive it. We have a three dimensional perception, so we see it in three dimensions. If we had different types of perceptions, if we could see it fourth dimensionally, we would see it differently. Likewise fifth, and sixth, and seventh dimensions. So the form of any object is always just a relationship between the type of perceptions that we have, and how that form manifests.

There is no root form of anything. The same quality of mind that I am seeing now doesn’t exist in any distance from any of the other dimensions. We think of the Absolute as some very far away place, but all dimensions are right here. So any form or quality that we have, it is not like it exists and it gets implanted into ourself. The quality of something is some type of information and our perception coming together and producing the quality. Qualities only exist in our mind. That is a way of looking at how nothing physically independently exists.

Secondly that sensation itself arrives, and in this sense, we can have the sensation of seeing a coiled rope, we can imagine just a coiled rope. This information arrives from the world and travels through space and time and enters into our perceptions, and we get all the raw information that represents that coiled rope. Instantaneously that raw sensation gets combined with our mind, and our mind instantaneously, reflexively attaches it to whatever concepts or previous egos that have been implanted there, and immediately takes that sensation and makes a perception out of it.

So, you have the raw sensation, plus our previous concepts, you get some result there. In all the Buddhist teachings there is an analogy that is often explained as you opening up a dark closet and seeing that coiled rope, but the way the light is it looks like a snake, an image there of a rope that looks like a snake, but it is actually a rope. It is actually one thing, but we perceive it as something else. Now in a physical sense we have that reaction, and we reflexively maybe get scared that there is something going on. In reality, there never was a snake, but we reacted to it as if it was a snake. And based on that reaction, that can actually create an ego, that can create some formation crystalizing in our mind.

The image of the snake and the rope is something very simple to understand, but in reality we are constantly perceiving the world, and taking in the world, in a way that does not actually correspond to the reality of it. That is all we are doing, constantly, one step after another, constantly seeing the world, and receiving the world, impressing that world on our mind in a way that does not actually correspond to reality. And when you start to think, "why do I keep making mistakes in life? Why is it that I am striving for something and just cannot seem to get it?" It is because we are seeing the world in the wrong way, and we are basing ourselves off of misperceptions.

So we think of this physical world to be real, because we can touch it and sense it. But if you break apart the whole process of the sensation, the perception, and the impression, where is the reality of it?

One thing is the raw sensory information, another thing is the perception, which is just our old habits, our old mind reflexively responding to it, and then we get this final impression. When you take all that out, when you decompose the process, where do you hit bedrock? Where is the actual reality? How do you get to the actual reality, where is it?

Again, reflexively, throughout the day we just take it all in like it is really there, like whatever we appear to be observing is actually that way.

It is one thing to be dreaming and asleep, and it is another thing to wake up and observe the world. That is good, but if we just observe this whole world as substantially real the way we naively bring it in through our senses, it is not going to be that helpful. You have to be on guard, you have to be very watchful, and remember that it is appearing in a certain way and may have nothing to do with reality.

That does not mean we should just reject our senses, instead we have to comprehend them. We have to go deeper. We cannot just naively accept everything. Really that is the subtle difference between observing the world, and actually being awake. Because you can observe and pay attention, and really be present and record the information, but it is something else to really be awake, to really remember your Being.

That is why in Buddhism they often say you should see the world as a dreamlike experience, and that this physical world you should treat with dreamlike qualities, that this world has dreamlike qualities. That is not to say that nothing matters, things matter, there is karma. If I bang my head against the wall I will feel pain. If I make a mistake, I will have to pay for that mistake. But everything about it is very much dreamlike. There is no bedrock, it does not exist. Any time you dig deeper you find nothing more than smoke which just fades away. You go deeper, you find nothing more. Everything only exists in a relationship.

To have information, it travels from one thing that emits the information, and something has to receive it. So, information is always a representation between two things. There is no information in and of itself, it does not make sense. You have to receive information from somewhere else. So, there is always something there, it is never the root information. It is always the nature of the way it is expressed, and the nature of the way it is received. And there is no way to get between what is going on there.

This is the limitation of having forms. In the Absolute it is all integrated, it is one thing, it is something inexpressible because it cannot be expressed as information, because information implies duplicity and different forms. That is why it says here: "Nothing can be known in and of itself because things can only exist relationally." That means they only exist in relationship to other things. Anything that you show me, I can relate to something else. Whether it is this chair is related to that chair by some special difference, or some quality that you can relate to in terms of color, size, etc.

So, things only exist relationally, and all information is always transactional. It always goes from a source to a destination. All these things imply that there is a relational and transactional aspect to everything we experience. That is why it is a dreamlike quality. It approximates some kind of reality, and it is very repeatable and testable. I can do science because the laws are repeatable, but ultimately you get down again to this insubstantial nature, it does not exist upon itself.

It is very helpful for us to view this world almost as if it was a dream. It is also helpful to view the our dreams as if it has more reality. When we are in the dream world, we accept very crazy things happening. Reflexively, unconsciously, we just accept them happening, really strange stuff. We know that those things cannot happen physically. So why did I just reflexively accept that happened? It is very strange. In the dream, you are in the middle of the woods and you are climbing up a path and it is very difficult, and there are people shooting arrows at you for example. You wake up and say, "that was a really strange dream, why did I just accept all that?" This is because we were not awake, we were just being unconscious.

We need to bring curiosity to both our dreams and our waking life. We have to see there is a continuum between this physical experience and our transition into dreams.

We have two quotes, at the end here. One is from the Hevajra Tantra, and it says that:

Forms, sounds and more of samsara

Feelings and more of samsara,

Sense organs of samsara,

Anger and other emotions of samsara,

Are all phenomena of nirvana.

Through confusion, samsara takes form;

Without confusion, and with purification of samsara,

Samsara is transformed into nirvana.

Hevajra Tantra

The more that we can integrate our understanding of this physical reality and our internal experiences being a continuum related to our state of mind, the more we can progress without misapprehending those inner experiences. If we view this world as being nonspiritual, and far away from our Being, our Innermost, and then we view anything that is in our dream world, our out of body experiences as super substantially real, and direct, and true, we are going to fall into mistakes. Our ego still exists in those other dimensions. God is here and right now, and the ego can also exist outside of our body. Our confused state of perception can be here or out of our body. A purer state of perception can be here or out of our body.

Finally, the Buddha states:

My dreamlike form

Appeared to dreamlike beings

To show them the dreamlike path

That leads to dreamlike enlightenment.

Buddha Sakyamuni, Bhadrakalpa Sutra

Have any questions?

Audience: So, Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine talks about that there are different characteristics of matter. She says that what we perceive as direction, length, width, and height, really there is only one, it is just an extension. There is one characteristic of matter, just as, you know, [inaudible]. She says they are related to the senses. So if we have not developed a particular sense then we cannot perceive that characteristic of matter. And she says that the next perception we will come to is what she calls permeability, and permeability of course belongs to natural clairvoyance. And she also says instead of waiting for evolution to develop that clairvoyance we have to meditate. So how does that relate to what you were talking about that continuum of consciousness and how is that related...

Instructor: We have our perceptions, we have our sense organs, and we have some nature of the world, and we only perceive in relation to how our sense organs are developed. The chakras are our superior senses, specifically the upper chakras related to clairvoyance and polyvoyance, and telepathy, and the ability to intuitively understand things. Samael Aun Weor says that we need to develop our spatial sense. And this is what Blavatsky is also speaking about. Samael Aun Weor also writes that when we see an object we only see it in terms of lines and shapes. But if we had a developed spatial sense we would be able to see that thing from its top, from its bottom, from its outside, from its inside, from its future, and from its past. All integrated. It is very difficult for us to imagine what that might be. But it is related to intuition, to seeing that root nature, getting closer to it. Through meditation we are withdrawing our senses of seeing, hearing, touch sense, and we are developing our inner senses. We are working with those inner senses, and with that movement of energy, and through developing the capacity to keep attention, you start to move that energy and try to awaken those chakras. Of course, fundamentally developing those chakras through transmutation, through creating the solar bodies, those are all going to enflame or enlighten those senses even more. So, meditation develops our inner senses and we bring those inner senses back to our physicality but it develops very gradually. Does that answer your question?

Audience: So, put another way so when she talks about the permeability of matter, she is really talking about permeability from consciousness? It is not that two objects are permeable to each other, it is that our consciousness changes the nature of that matter to our perception?

Instructor: To our perceptions, right. I have not studied exactly what Blavatsky stated, but we can say definitely that when our senses develop and change, the forms of the things we see change. It is not because the form is changing, it is because the relationship between the source of that knowledge and the receptor of that knowledge is changing, so we are getting something different. So as our senses change, we see the world in a different way.

Audience: So like as you were just explaining now, it is all [inaudible] the ego is obviously an illusion. Why is it enough to come to this realization as you were just saying to go to this other level and view things from a different perspective [inaudible] is this comprehension or does it have to be deeper than that [inaudible] like going to that higher level from meditation we can take things apart [inaudible].

Instructor: Yes, so comprehension through meditation, we are coming into our internal senses. And you could think of it as elevating our consciousness, or going deeper into our subconsciousness with attention. It is that combination. Meditation obviously, it is very sophisticated, but those states of consciousness that we get ourselves into where we have one part that is very attentive and another part that is not attentive, and one part is seeing the other part. At face value it just seems like meditation, but when you try to put it to words it is almost indescribable, how you can be attentive and inattentive at the same time, both yourself. In fact, you have to merge the two. If you separate the two you run in to an obstacle. We develop that comprehension by going deeper. It cannot be just the intellect. And even Samael says, even the word comprehension becomes a label and becomes a limiting factor if we just use comprehension in a very flat way. We are using the word comprehension because we have to use something, but it is extremely deep. He says we need an emotional significance behind it as well. What exactly is that? How do you pinpoint that? When do you know you have achieved it? It is very difficult, because you try to put your finger on it and you distort it. Or you try to grasp at it and it is the ego thinking it has achieved something. So there are pitfalls.

Audience: You also said that everything exists in relation to something else. Essentially, nothing exists in and of itself. But the Buddha says the only three things that exist are space, Karma, and Nirvana. So what makes those things different? Space to me seems like it exists in relation of distance. Nirvana is in relation to Samsara. That Karma is in relation to cause and effect. So what makes those three things [inaudible].

Instructor: My understanding of space, Karma, and Nirvana, is that they are the root causes of everything that exists, but when everything gets swallowed up into the Absolute, even those get swallowed up as well. That at the end of the cosmic day, causality, and Karma, and everything gets suspended. Karma is going away because it is going into the Absolute and nothing is being played out anymore so it is not there anymore, it is gone. But everything that exists is going to be predicated in some space, whatever space that is, it is going to have cause and effect, and Nirvana and Samsara are the exact same thing, it is just Samsara is another extension from Nirvana. So whenever we say Nirvana, if you are in a confused state of mind, you are in Samsara. If you are in an unconfused state of mind and you have no Karma, then you are in Nirvana. When we come into existence, those are the three root factors. But my understanding is that those get swallowed up in the Absolute at the end of the day.

Audience: [inaudible]

Instructor: From that perspective, yes. That is why it is this dreamlike enlightenment. I like that quote because we are always talking about "to awaken, to awaken, to awaken" but the tantras always talk about this world being dreamlike, and to view even Nirvana as dreamlike. Because even in Nirvana having perfect perception of some transcendent being, that being is still interdependent. It is still emerging from the void, and returning to the void. Any other questions?

Audience: My question is when doing the Key of SOL, you know, subject, object, location, [inaudible] having that dualistic mind? The aspect that my essence is the subject, and whatever I am observing is the object [inaudible] come from that reality and what is the relationship of the Key of SOL with just being and noticing that without thinking?

Instructor: Good question, because you are right. When you are doing subject, object, location you are dividing your attention, it is a division of attention. But it is the same reason why to awaken we really need to start here, in this place of many different forms, this physical world. We have to pull ourselves up from the bootstraps and get as concrete as we can sometimes, and then later remove the scaffolding. Like you build up that scaffolding but you do not need it at the end. Samael says the way he practices SOL is completely integrated, like it is completely integrated into the instinctual center. So instead of the reflexive type of "me vs the Self" it is a reflexive type of "You and me, we are one." If you want true compassion, how could you possibly see someone as other? True ultimate compassion, the true ultimate Bodhisattva, sees both the dualistic nature, and the fact that they are one, simultaneously, and treats the other person exactly or better than how they would treat themselves. But SOL, in the beginning it really is a division of attention, but we need something to grasp on to, because otherwise it is like there is this huge ocean and we are being swallowed up by waves and we just need the “swimmies” and the life vest just so we can float above the water a little bit until we know how to swim. So it is good to start there, subject, object, location, but then as you get a little more accustomed to that you just integrate it and go with the flow, with that mindstream of seeing everything all at once. Does that make sense?

Audience: You guys mentioned comprehension [inaudible] I was just wondering like if someone has comprehension of lust, or somebody has a lot of comprehension of their anger or lust or whatever defect it is, and you ask them about it, will they be able to say "oh I comprehend that my lust began at this age or because of this this and this" would they be able to intellectualize it like that? Or would it be more of something that we couldn't explain and that is just an understanding or an intuition beyond intellectualizing?

Instructor: You would be able to understand the source of some manifestation of lust if you really got down to it. So for example, Samael Aun Weor writes about I think he was working on lust and he was having a very difficult time. He went out of his body and had this experience in front of the tribunals and they thrust a spear into him, and this horse-like element left from him related to lust. You might have an experience like that where there is an ego very particularly related to a certain previous life, or a certain set of experiences. But if you were to go deeper and say "why did I originally fall into that?" and it is related to those three root natures. When an essence is brand new it has this fundamental naivety and ignorance about how things really are, so lust is really at the very core of that, the very root nature of it. So you would find some experiences that relate to that, but then you have that fundamental level of just that root lust, it is very difficult to comprehend.

Audience: So not just lust but any defect?

Instructor: Any defect.

Audience: So would you be able to tell somebody, "my anger started in this lifetime because this happened, and then when this happens to me and my anger comes up, and I comprehend all that"?

Instructor: If you reach a certain level you would have that type of knowledge. But you would need to be a very competent investigator of the internal worlds to know exactly when parts of your ego developed. You would not only be able to get out of your physical body, but be very competent, and be like a scientist outside of your body, to investigate that type of thing.

Audience: Because we talk a lot about comprehension, but I have never heard anybody talk about the comprehension that they had...

Instructor: My understanding of comprehension is that it always comes in levels. So we need a level that will help us out here and now.

Audience: So it would be something more like [inaudible] happened to me because of this, and I remember [inaudible] happened to me and it is related to that

Instructor: It could be. It could come up in a thousand different ways. Realize too that you can reach all the initiations of Major Mysteries and still have a tremendous amount of ego. You really do not start really, really, killing all of the infidels, all of our egos, until we are completely developed as a Human Being. Then we have the ability to cut all the heads off. One thousand or ten thousand or a hundred thousand. And at that level you are working very deep into your ego. So we can do all this and think we are doing a tremendous amount of work on our ego, we are in a relative sense, but when we reach those initiations we are going so much deeper, so much deeper. That is probably that level of comprehension that you are talking about.

Audience: We can [inaudible] work a lot on the ego as a single person

Instructor: Yes, so you can reach 50% of the elimination of your ego without achieving a single initiation, so that is a tremendous amount. So if we achieve that level, we would be in paradise. That would be enough to change the whole course of the situation of this world if everyone achieved that. It just doesn't seem to be in the cards. It does not seem to be what is going to happen.

Audience: Another thing is you mentioned if we were awake we would remember every event that happened to us, and there are some people who can do that, but that does not mean they are awake right, there is just something different about their brain where they can just remember if you said to them "what happened on February 4, 1962" and they could remember every detail of that day, but kind of like you were saying it is even deeper than just remembering everything, it is more of an intuitive understanding of how nature actually exists.

Instructor: Right, and that is a good point, there are some people who have that type of memory, it is extremely detailed where they just remember everything, it does not mean they are awake actually, it is deeper than that.

Audience: [inaudible] retrospective exercise, that is why it is important to go back and remember every detail. If I remember correctly there was something about that the point of exercise is not that it is a memory exercise per se, it is more about identifying those moments where you are identified with the ego, and being able to eliminate it. So when I practice the retrospective exercise, part of me is psychological laziness where I am like I do not need to remember everything so I just jump to that so, I am kind of confused about that.

Instructor: So the point of retrospective exercise is not to just develop your memory. It would be much more helpful that as you are retrospecting, the gaps in your memories have the keys that we need to change. Because if you think about it, our most egotistical moments are going to be the moments we are most asleep, the moments where we make kind of the biggest mistakes. Even if there are little ones, there are the bigger ones we are making throughout the day, the way we treat someone, the way that we respond a certain way, the way we have a little bit of pride or arrogance or anger or whatever it is. So those are the moments we are going to be the most asleep, so there is a big correlation between those gaps and us acting in a way that is going to cause us to suffer in the future, and for other people to suffer. So we do not want to just necessarily say "oh I remembered everything now I am done" that would not actually help us that much. If you are doing the retrospective exercises, and you really find something, it could be five minutes into that retrospective exercise where you go, "oh I remember that and I acted that way" and you begin to see something, like "there is something about the way I acted there." You could abandon the retrospective exercise right there and just go right into that. Because you found something, might as well work on it. There might have been twenty other things, but let's just go after the so-called low hanging fruit, "I got this one, let me dissect this." You do not need to be like "oh I will worry about that one later, I am such a good meditator." Take whatever is in front of you.

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