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In previous lectures, we’ve been discussing the nature of this book, the Book of Revelation, and the fact that in order to understand it we have to have some grasp or comprehension of the two trees of the Garden of Eden.  These two trees symbolize Alchemy and Kabbalah.  So these two sciences are the wisdom that illuminates the true meaning of the Book of Revelation.

Today’s lecture is about the fourth chapter, which is the chapter about the Throne set in Heaven.  This chapter, being the fourth, builds upon the themes set forward in the first three chapters.  In the first, we were introduced to a certain level of symbols: John, as the writer of this book, symbolizes the Initiate, or the person who is working to advance on the Path of the Self-Realization of the Being.  We were also introduced to the character of the Son of Man, who is the Intimate Christ.  The fundamental relationship between them provides the basis upon which the entire book must be understood.  John, as the Initiate, represents what in Gnosis is called the Human Soul, and the Human Soul is our essential Human Consciousness, which in us, in our current state, is undeveloped.  But by applying the sciences of Kabbalah and Alchemy, the Essence of that Human Soul can be developed towards its full potential.  John is a symbol of that.

That development is made possible by the intervention of the Son of Man, or in other words, the Christ.  That development is what we call the Path of Initiation.  And the process of that path, the details of that path, the precise science required in order to walk that path has always been hidden… symbolized in many books, many teachings, and many traditions.  However, the actual literal explicit instructions have been hidden.  Yet, in the last century, a lot of information about this path has become available.  The most direct, most potent, most explicit, most revealing information is found in the teachings of Samael Aun Weor.

To understand the nature of that science and the nature of the path requires more than just the intellectual study of those books.  It requires action.  The process of Initiation is a process of activating the Consciousness itself.  It is easy to read a book and to theorize.  It is very difficult to have direct experience.  It is very difficult to have practical personal knowledge of real mysticism.  I mention that because the Book of Revelation is a book of real mysticism or occultism (“the hidden”), and to comprehend that book requires that we are acquiring the direct experience of real occultism.  Without that, this book remains as a set of symbols that we will never penetrate.

This fourth chapter is much more complex than the first three.  It contains a very dense set of symbols whose real comprehension, real understanding, cannot be accessed by the intellect.  You’ll probably see that as soon as you try to read it.  It is complex.  It is dense, difficult for the mind to comprehend.  The Consciousness, however, can understand it, if the Consciousness is applied.  To develop that form of understanding, to have the capacity to comprehend a work such as the Book of Revelation, requires that one is taking practical steps, that one is living in accordance with the teachings and accessing direct experience for oneself.

This, of course, is a daily effort.  This is not something that can be accomplished in the future, or when circumstances are somehow easier.  Life exists in the instant in which we are.  There is no past.  There is no future.  To think about, to imagine, to dream that “one day, I will have these experiences,” or, “one day, maybe I will create my Solar Astral Body.”  This is a form of fantasy, which is a distraction.  It is necessary for all students to be present, to be in the moment, to study oneself as one is… now.  And from that basis real experience can be acquired.

This fundamental science, the science that entwines together the two trees of Kabbalah and Alchemy, is very exact.  It requires a kind of comprehension that has no illusion and no uncertainty.  Things that are left vague and insubstantial, that are left merely as theories, can become stumbling blocks for us.  In order to penetrate the veil of mystery, we have to have the capacity to activate the Consciousness, free of the ego.  This capacity is developed through the rigorous application of discipline from moment to moment, disciplining the Consciousness to pay attention.  In the process of paying attention, learning how to direct attention, how to manage how we pay attention from moment to moment, we establish a bridge, we build a connection between ourselves as a potential Initiate and our Being, our Spirit, that divine intelligence inside of us that can illuminate our understanding.

It is only through the rigorous and persistent work to activate the Consciousness that the Being, our own inner Spirit, can give us guidance.  In the beginning, for the Initiate, for the practitioner, this is extremely difficult because the mind is very active, caught in conflicts, caught in duality, battling between yes and no, right and wrong, good and bad.  This fundamental battle of opposing theories, of opposing ideas and opposing concepts, keeps the mind in a state of agitation and chaos.  And in the midst of that raging sea, the Essence finds it difficult to stand still and observe.

With persistence and with transmutation, little by little the Essence grows, and develops strength.  The student who knocks on the door of Initiation is the one who transmutes the sexual forces and does not waste them.  This begins, of course, with saving that energy physically.  But that energy must be saved in all the levels of the mind.  It must be saved emotionally.  It must be saved intellectually.  That is: we must not fantasize.  We must not dream.  The mind, in the three brains, has to be managed with conscious attention.

So with transmutation, psychological work through Self-Observation and Self-Remembering, and through performance of good deeds, we knock on the door.  In that instant we receive help.  But the help does not come necessarily in ways that we expect.  The help that we receive is help to see ourselves.  We receive challenges.  We receive difficulties.  We receive opportunities in order to learn about what we need to change.

To knock on the door, at the entrance to the Path of the Self-Realization of the Being, is not a door of entry into bliss, into heavenly states.  It is a door of entry into difficulty, self-reflection, and pain.  But it is a kind of pain that is necessary in order for us to grow.  It is the pain of the Consciousness recognizing its mistakes.  This is a necessity.  It is not something to be avoided.  To comprehend our own mistakes is a requirement in order for us to reach purity and perfection.  If we do not understand why something is wrong, then we are likely to repeat it.  Comprehension implies complete understanding, and comprehension is the basis upon which we walk.

Knocking upon that door, we begin to receive tests, and in the first portion of this work we begin to pass through nine specific ordeals, called the Initiations of Minor Mysteries.  These Initiations are a probationary path.  They are a set of ordeals and tests within which we have to prove our patience, our sincerity, our temperance, our willingness to withstand difficulty, our willingness to overcome our own desires, and our fidelity towards our own Being.

These tests come in many forms and they come in many ways.  Many students pass through these types of tests and do not realize it.  In order to have comprehension and understanding about the nature of these tests, we have to be developing the capacity to remember our internal experiences and to remember our dreams.  Of course, in the beginning of the work, this is difficult because the mind is so agitated.  The best remedy in this case is meditation.  By persistent, regular, disciplined practice, quieting the mind, we improve our memory.  We settle the ethers of the Vital Body that make it easier for the memories to be transmitted into our brain.  With transmutation, we also ease the process and assist the process of retrieving memories.  So then it becomes possible for us to recall the tests and ordeals we are passing through internally.

These Minor Mysteries or ordeals are a stage of development - a process - within which the Initiate is shown a probationary or preparatory aspect of what is to come if they continue on the path to the Light.  The student is faced with difficulties, which may seem insurmountable.  The student is faced with tests of their own psychology to see how they react, to see how they behave.  Many fail, and try again, and try again.  That is the basis of the work.  But some, perhaps many, fail and walk away, and this is unfortunate.

The ones who persist manage to equilibrate the energies in their three brains, to reach a certain degree of Psychological Equilibrium.  They also reach a stage of a certain level of energetic equilibrium, because the serpent of Eve, the serpent of Ida, related to the Caduceus that entwines around our spinal column, is restored to its proper functioning.  When that occurs, the two serpents Ida and Pingala make a connection.  There is a kind of psychological benefit that occurs with this process.

If that student is working with a spouse - and only if they are working with a spouse – there is the possibility to awaken the Kundalini; to awaken the fire of the Holy Spirit, that Intelligence which resides in the base of the spinal column.

The Advent of the Fire, which is the process of awakening the Kundalini, has moral requirements.  Firstly, it can only occur between the combination of male and female, man and wife, in Alchemy, in Chastity.  A single person cannot awaken the Kundalini.  They can experience sparks related to the two serpents of Ida and Pingala.  They can awaken Consciousness.  They can eliminate ego.  They can make certain progress in their own internal development, understanding themselves.  But they cannot enter into the Initiations of Major Mysteries.  They cannot awaken the Kundalini until they work with a spouse.

The couple who passes the moral requirements, the ordeals related with the Advent of the Fire, then begin the process of raising that Fire up the spinal column.  The spinal column, of course, is the central structure of our physical body upon which the whole body depends, and that spinal column actually has seven aspects.  It has a physical aspect.  It also has a Vital or Ethereal aspect, which is more subtle.  Beyond that: the Astral, the Mental, Causal, Buddhic and Atmic aspects.  We have seven bodies with seven spinal columns.

When the Advent of the Fire occurs, when the Kundalini first awakens, the Fire begins to rise up the spinal column of the physical body.  The first thing that must happen is that the Chakra Muladhara, this first Church of Ephesus, must become active and awaken.  Of course this has requirements and ordeals and tests, and it is difficult. Some of the moral requirements related to awakening this Church include: one must be practicing Sexual Magic.  There is no other way to awaken a Church, to activate a Chakra completely. We have to have patience.  We must endure suffering, and we must perform good work on ourselves.  Those who fulfill these requirements, pass these required ordeals, receive certain benefits.  That Chakra confers certain gifts to the Consciousness, to the Being.

Little by little, the Initiate continues; each vertebra of the spinal column has corresponding tests.  Thirty-three vertebra make up our spinal column, and of course, the thirty-three vertebra are symbolized in the story of Jesus, of the thirty-three years he has been reported to be alive, also symbolized in the Freemasonry tradition by the thirty-three degrees.  These thirty-three degrees symbolize the thirty-three vertebra of the spinal column, and the many tests and ordeals an Initiate has to face in order to raise that Fire.  This is a long, difficult, painful process.  It is painful because each step requires progress in moral purity, sanctity.  It requires progress in chastity, and requires sacrifice.  These three: charity, sanctity, and chastity are required for every step.

Those who fail to perform good deeds, to serve their fellowmen, to sacrifice on behalf of others, fail to make progress in the evolution and development of the Kundalini.  Those who fail to discover themselves, to conquer their own moral ineptitudes, their own moral failings, will fail in the progress and development of the Kundalini, and those who fail to acquire chastity cannot make progress.  So those three aspects are the key.

Little by little, by facing ordeals, comprehending one’s self, the student raises the Kundalini degree by degree, slowly.  This entire process implies the development of the heart.  Chastity, charity, and sacrifice are all in their essence conscious emotion, to have conscious remorse, to have conscious comprehension in the heart of what is right and what is wrong.

So we say, in essence, the rising of the Kundalini is based in the merits of the heart and the development of the heart… not the mind, not the intellect.  The development of the Kundalini has nothing to do with studying books.  It has nothing to do with studying theories.  You can be completely illiterate, unable to read and write, and awaken your Kundalini and raise the fire up the spinal column.  It does not require books.  It requires moral purity, chastity, and sacrifice.

Little by little, as the Fire rises up through the spinal column, it illuminates the seven Churches that we have discussed in the previous lectures.  Each Church has moral requirements, certain conditions that have to be met in order for the Intelligence that manages the powers of that Church to open that Church for us and confer that power upon us.  Such powers are not given easily or lightly, or without responsibility.  They are not given “just because.”  They are not given in one day.  Everything has its price.  To receive divine gifts costs one’s own life.  It costs everything that one has.  But the return, the benefit, is immeasurable.

The Path is painful because we have ego, the cause of pain.  Comprehension of one’s defects is painful, because our defects are the cause of pain.  When the cause of pain is removed, the pain is also removed. The awakening of the consciousness is ecstatic.  It contains great beauty, great joy, great happiness.  The heart becomes awakened: subtle, sensitive… filled with delicate feelings, and very strong ones.  This is something that the common person cannot comprehend because the heart is so dead in humanity.  But the process of the Fire, awakening the Churches, awakening the Chakras, activates capacities of the consciousness to perceive, to feel, and to understand.

With the second Church we have to develop filial love for the Being.  We have to develop the capacity to bear tribulations, to bear difficulties with patience and humility.

With the third Church we have to be improving our chastity and we cannot eat food that was “offered to idols.”  That is: we have to reject intellectualism.  We cannot be intellectualizing.  We cannot be theorizing.  We have to become simple.  We have to open the heart.

In the fourth Church is required more development of chastity, charity, service, faith, patience, and love.  These are not ideas.  These are states of Being.  In each of these requirements we face ordeals and tests in life.  We are presented with situations in which our reactions and responses are measured.  We receive criticism from some ordeal, and we are observed.  Do we respond with anger?  With resentment?  With pride?  We may feel those things, but do we act on them?  Or do we instead control it, meditate, and respond to the injustices offered to us with love?  To respond with love?  This is what is required, and this is difficult.  But this required of every step in the progress of the Kundalini.  The Kundalini is measured in this manner.

With the fifth Church is required vigilance of the consciousness, good deeds, and repentance; repentance not of material things, but repentance of our own desires.  It is not a question of having wealth or not having wealth.  It is a question of being attached, of having dependency.  To really establish a permanent center of gravity in the consciousness requires that we extract the consciousness from our dependence on other things.  As we are, we are dependent on the attention we get from others.  We are dependent on the feelings we have and the possessions that we hoard.  We are dependent on our status, on our education, on a job, on the opinion of another person.  These kinds of dependencies make us weak and make us vulnerable.  To really develop the consciousness, to make it strong, it has to be collected and made dependent only on the Being, to have its entire center of gravity rooted in the Inner Self, the true Self, the Buddha who waits within.  So long as our consciousness is trapped in the dependence on money, the dependence on comfort, the dependence on any particular physical, emotional, or mental structures in our lives, we remain weak and vulnerable.  Repentance is the repentance of attachment, the repentance of our own desires.

The sixth Church is developed based upon sexual potency, veracity and fidelity, and this is fidelity to the Being, fidelity to our own Inner God.

So you can see that each step is very difficult, very demanding.  The couple working in transmutation in White Tantrism, who persists, who manages to face each problem, each difficulty but respond with love for one another, for other people, and for the Being, this couple receives the benefits, passing the ordeals, raising the Kundalini, and experiencing all the joys and wonders that are then active in the Consciousness.

This process takes time.  It takes persistence and discipline, and it has to be performed over and over in ever more challenging situations, until the day arrives that the ego is completely dead.

The serpent of the Kundalini is raised first in the physical body.  When that process is complete and the Fire raises up the spinal column through all thirty-three vertebra, activating the seven Churches in that degree, then there is a celebration in the Internal Worlds, where the Being of that person is granted the Initiation of the First Major Mystery.  The Human Soul does not receive that.  The personality does not receive that.  You and I do not receive that… the Being does.  The Being is the one who receives the gifts, the Initiations, and the glories.  The terrestrial person is just a worker.  The terrestrial person is not divine.

Unfortunately, there are many who make the mistake of believing that the “I” receives these gifts and empowerments.  That is not the case.  The One who receives such a gift is transformed.  The Being becomes a Master - the Being, not the human person, not the terrestrial person.  The Being becomes a Master.  That Being receives Initiations and empowerments, glories, and celebrations… receives a Temple… receives a new robe, and receives development in the process of the Being Itself.

The terrestrial person, however, is just beginning.  This is only the first baby-step.  It is a great accomplishment, but it does not signify the awakening of a huge percentage of Consciousness.  The arising of the Kundalini in the physical body is the activation of the First Degree of the Powers of the Fire, but that process has to be repeated in the Vital Body, related to the spinal column of the Vital (Ethereal) Body, and naturally, there are ordeals and tests related to all thirty-three vertebra related to the Seven Churches once again, but in a higher degree, and more difficult tests, and more requirements, and of course in return, greater gifts.

Each Church has with it certain powers: telepathy, astral travel, deepening meditation, the capacity to awaken more intuition and have more understanding, clairaudience, the remembrance of past lives, states of consciousness characterized by feelings of bliss, happiness, spontaneous joy, happiness for others, mental calm.  These gifts and benefits are received by the Being, who in turn can bestow them upon the student, upon the terrestrial person, in order to help them, to encourage them, to help them move along.  These types of things are given as encouragement by the Being.  They are not automatically given.

So with the Ethereal Body, the same process ensues: thirty-three vertebra, seven Churches, many requirements, a lot of difficulty.  With the arising of that second serpent, when it is complete, the Being receives the Initiation, receives the benefits, receives the glory.

With the third Initiation, the third serpent, related to the Astral Body, there is a new creation.  In the process of raising the third serpent, the Solar Astral Body is created.  This is a new vehicle.  This vehicle is the First Coming of the Christ in us.  This is a Christic vehicle of very high value.  This is the first Body of Gold.  The creation of the Solar Astral Body marks a specific and definitive turn in the development of the student and the development of the Being.

In the process of raising the third serpent, Black Magic and all ties and connections with the Black Lodge must be renounced.  This is not easy.  This means that a large percentage of our attachments, of our ideas, of our expectations have to be removed.  Many things that we have egotistically that we have to renounce.

But this process is also very beautiful.  It is a process within which the one who recovers the memories of these experiences will experience themselves living the drama of the Christ in the Internal Worlds.  The one who persists takes the ordeals, takes the difficulties, and responds with gentleness, with love, with right action, is able to raise that serpent, create the Solar Astral Body within the Mysteries of Alchemy, and transcend the Wheel of Suffering to a certain percentage.  The one who creates the Solar Astral Body frees themselves from the Law of Return.  That is, they are no longer restricted by the limitation of 108 lifetimes in the human vehicle.  This person has entered into the Path in a new degree.  They now have the capacity to persist in their work.  Even if the physical organism dies, they will be able to take a new birth and continue working without being limited by that Karmic law.

The Solar Astral Body is the first creation of the Bodies of Gold, the Solar Vehicles.  There is a new structure that is being built, and of course: many tests, many ordeals, many difficulties, and naturally this is all dependant on working as a couple, man and woman.

Upon creating the Solar Astral Body, next is the fourth serpent, related to the Mental Body.  The Solar Mental Body has to be created, and again: thirty-three vertebra, seven Churches, many ordeals, many tests, and many difficulties.  It requires much patience.  In the arising of this fourth serpent, the difficulties, the tests, the ordeals are more subtle, deeper, more painful, and more difficult to perceive, and they are related more to the Mind.

When that Serpent is complete, the Inner Self, the Being, becomes a Buddha.  When the Fourth Initiation of Major Mysteries is complete, the Inner Being becomes a Buddha, and is presented in the Internal Worlds as a new Buddha and is given the robes of a Buddha.

The terrestrial person is not a Buddha, neither a Bodhisattva.  The terrestrial person is just that: a simple terrestrial person.  So the Inner Being receives this glory, receives this development, new robes, new Initiations, new powers.  The Human Soul, the terrestrial person, has to continue working in the Fifth Serpent.

The Fifth Serpent is related to the Causal Body, the Body of Willpower, and again: thirty-three vertebrae, seven Churches, much patience.  When this process is complete, after long-suffering and many ordeals, the Solar Causal Body is complete.

What has now been established is the Bodies of Gold, what in Greek is called To Soma Heliokon: the Bodies of Gold of the Solar Man.  We also call this the Mercabah.  We also call it “the chariot.”  In Hinduism, there is a common image of two men in a chariot driven by four horses.  The four horses are the first four bodies: physical, vital, astral, and mental.  Those four bodies are the Four Bodies of Sin, the four vehicles of the terrestrial person.  The fifth is the Causal Body, which is one of the men in the chariot.  In the Bhagavad-gita and Mahabarata, he is called Arjuna.  The other man is Krishna, the Cosmic Christ.

Arjuna is a symbol of the Human Soul.  The Human Soul is dressed with the Solar Causal Body.  The Human Soul is our Human Consciousness.  In Hebrew this is also called Tiphereth.  This is the human aspect of our Inner Being.  The person who has reached this degree of development has become a Human Being, a person within which the terrestrial aspect and the spiritual aspect have become united in the first degree.  The Human Soul and the Being, the Spirit, now have union of will to a certain percentage.  The Human Soul, symbolized by Arjuna, is the warrior, the fighter.  This is the terrestrial person who now has the capacities and abilities of what is really a normal Human Being, that is: the four lower bodies are active and standing upright, the five serpents of the Kundalini are active and upright, and the seven churches are active and provide powers and blessings to that Soul.  This is a normal Human Being.  This is the state of a Human Being as it should be, with the capacity to relate one-on-one with their own Inner God, to receive direct instruction from their own Inner Spirit; to know the Mysteries of Life and Death directly; to have Intuition; to remember past lives; to have the ability to perceive things beyond the physical senses; to have peace of mind; to have a peaceful heart; to have understanding of suffering to a certain degree.  This is what a normal Human Being is.  We are not that, because we are trapped in pride, and in anger, and in fear, and we are very confused.  We have no direct knowledge of the things of the Spirit.  We have theories.

The person who has reached Tiphereth, who has developed the Solar Bodies, who has reached the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries, still has ego: a lot of ego.  This person still has a lot of Karma.  This person still has a lot of pride.

The Being has the development.  The Inner Self has become a Buddha, an Angel, a well-developed Being, but the terrestrial person is still that: terrestrial, with faults, mistakes, and errors.

At this moment, upon completing this stage, that Human Soul is given a choice of how to proceed in their development internally.  Two paths open in front of that person, in front of that Initiate, and they are shown what lies ahead on either path.

To the left, a vast spiral, an easy slope, but a very long process within which that person will retain the use of their vehicles to travel in the Internal Worlds, will retain all the powers and gifts of the active and awakened Churches, will retain their abilities of telepathy, clairvoyance, polyvision, astral travel, and they walk slowly, paying Karma little by little, and enjoying all the benefits and pleasures of Nirvana. This is the Spiral or Nirvanic Path.

Then there is the other path, on the right: very steep, covered with thorns, difficulties, pain, ridicule, criticism, gossip, the envy of others, the hate of others, rejection, retribution, loneliness, darkness.  To walk that path one renounces all the powers, all the benefits, renounces and gives up use of telepathy, clairvoyance, astral travel, walks away from all of those gifts, all of those pleasures of Nirvana, to enter into the darkness and terror of the Straight Path.

The difference is this: in the Straight Path there is the opportunity to pay the entirety of one’s Karma right away, even within one lifetime.  There is the opportunity to proceed in the process of one’s Initiation.  More than that, one incarnates the Christ Itself.  The Initiate who chooses the Straight Path incarnates the Christ, becomes a vehicle of the Solar Logos, Chokmah, the Son.

The one who takes the Spiral Path, the Nirvanic Path, does not incarnate the Christ.  The one who takes the Spiral Path, the Nirvanic Path, takes eons to pay their Karma.  This one does not proceed in the processes of Initiation.  They work little by little, occasionally eliminating a small percentage of ego, and their Human Soul incarnates again and again, repeatedly, according to Karmic requirements.  So in each lifetime that Human Soul is still victim of their Karma, while their Being is enjoying Nirvana.  But that Human Soul of the Nirvanic Path has bliss, has powers, has abilities, may teach the Dharma, may help others to a certain percentage, maybe a good person… trying to be… may try to help other Souls, or may not.

But the one who takes the Straight Path, the difficult path, takes the Path of the Bodhisattva.  The Path of the Bodhisattva is the Direct Path, direct to the Absolute.  The only one who can take the Soul to the Absolute is the Christ.  “No one reaches the Father except by Me,” the Son, the Christ.  The Bodhisattva renounces Nirvana, renounces a life of ease, renounces millennia of easy manifestations, easy existences, easy lifetimes, renounces all the bliss and powers that they’ve already acquired.

“Why?” you might ask, “would someone choose that?”  Why would someone choose to renounce those pleasures, to renounce those powers and abilities and enter into the world to be hated and spat upon, not only by humankind (so-called “humankind”), but by those who take the Nirvanic Path as well?  Why would someone choose to make the attempt to pay lifetimes of Karma in one life?  For love… For love of humanity… For love of others.  To follow the Christ.

The Cosmic Christ is love Itself: Conscious Love.  This Love is so profound, so penetrating, so all-encompassing, the one who has achieved some degree of understanding of that wants to embody that, to become a perfect expression of that Love; a perfect vehicle through which that Love can shine.

The Nirvanis, or the Pratyeka Buddhas, or the Shravakas (these are the walkers of the Spiral Path) do not comprehend that Love.  They remain attached to power, to gifts, to Nirvana.

That rare Soul who takes the Straight Path has tasted the pure Love of the Christ and wants to become That, to become one with That.  This is very rare for any Soul to take that Path.  The vast majority of those who achieve the completion of the Fifth Initiation of Major Mysteries, choose the Spiral Path because they remain attached to their powers, to their development, to their abilities, and they are afraid.

When seeing those two paths, what you see is your Karma.  You see what you have to pay.  You see what you have to suffer.  Most cannot take it.  Most run away, terrified, and take the Nirvanic Path, and become Pratyeka Buddhas, Nirvanic Buddhas.

They have their beauties.  They have their gifts.  They have their place.  They have their importance.  But one must never confuse a walker of the Straight Path with a walker of the Spiral.  The teachings of Samael Aun Weor are the teachings of the Straight Path.  They are the teachings of the Path of the Bodhisattva.  They are not to be confused with the teachings of the Spiral Path.

Both teach about love.  Both teach about charity.  Both teach about sanctity, the need to reduce the ego.  Both even teach about Transmutation.  They teach about powers.  They teach about Meditation, about the Astral World, the Mental World.

What is the distinction?  Self-sacrifice.  The Pratyeka Buddhas remain selfish.  The Nirvanis want to build big organizations.  The Pratyeka Buddhas and their Human Souls are very much attached to the teachings themselves.  They want to build big churches, cathedrals, groups, worldwide organizations, vast spiritual industries.

The walker of the Straight Path wants the ego to die at all costs.  The walker of the Straight Path is attached to nothing and to no one.  The walker of the Straight Path is revolutionary, is radical.  The Nirvanis hate the walkers of the Straight Path, and it sounds strange.  How can a Buddha hate another Buddha?  But it happens.  If you study the Mahabarata and some of the other classics of Eastern literature, you see wars among the Gods.  Even in our Western mythologies there are wars among the Gods, and these are because of a fundamental difference in point of view.

For the student, for the aspirant, this becomes very important.  By studying teachings we are taking influences into our psyche and into our Soul.  But what influences are we taking?  What subtleties are present in those teachings?  From what source do they emanate?

The Master Samael Aun Weor stated very clearly: his teachings are the teachings of the straight path.  However, most of his students will take the Spiral Path.  And what did he say about that?  He said “Well, those who take the Spiral Path, we will have to say goodbye!”  Many of them continue to teach Gnosis, so they appear to be teaching the teachings of the Straight Path, but in a Spiral way, in the Nirvanic way.

Tiphereth, the Human Soul, is the one who makes this decision.  However, the decision should be made by the will of the Being.  Tiphereth properly defined and developed is the Human expression of Divine will.  The Initiate who faces the decision to choose between the Spiral and Straight Paths should rely upon the guidance of the Being, and do what the Being wants.  That is to say, the Being may want to take the Nirvanic Path, and that is the right of that Buddha, and there is nothing wrong with that.  However, the Straight Path is a superior work, because the Soul who passes through the processes of the Straight Path becomes perfected, becomes a Nirmanakaya, Dharmakaya, Sambogokaya.

Those heights are only reached by those walkers of the Straight Path.  The Nirvanis remain simple Buddhas.  They do not progress in the development of the Soul.  They do not perfect the Solar Bodies.

At this level of creation the Solar Bodies have been established.  They remain imperfect and the ego is very much alive.  This first stage of the work is simply the establishment of the foundation, the development of the chariot in its raw form.  The walker of the Spiral Path goes very slowly in small steps to very subtly improve upon the soul.  But to perfect the Solar Bodies, to reduce the ego to zero, to incarnate the Christ, to become a Resurrected Master, can only be achieved by a walker of the Straight Path.  And can only be achieved after passing through incredible ordeals.

So when we get to this chapter, the fourth chapter of the Book of Revelation, we have to start with this understanding, because the first line says:

After this, I looked a behold a door was opened in Heaven, and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, which said: ‘Come up hither, and I will show you things which must be acquired hereafter.’

This is the vision of the person who has taken the Straight Path, who is being shown what they must accomplish now that they have chosen this work, to walk on that Straight Path.  This vision is a vision of Tiphereth, a vision of the Human Soul who is talking with superior aspects of their own inner Consciousness.  In other words, the Lamb, the Christ, has taken up residence in them. Without understanding that, this chapter is meaningless.  The rest of the book is meaningless.  We have to understand that this book concerns walkers of the Straight Path, those who have renounced everything for the benefit of others.

One point to understand is that in certain Eastern traditions, specifically the Mahayana and Tantrayana teachings, the term Bodhisattva is used in a much more “casual” way, in the exoteric part of those teachings.  That is, in some schools, anyone who takes a certain kind of vow and says, “I will work for the benefit of all beings” is then called “a Bodhisattva,” and some of them call themselves that.  This is unfortunate, because a true Bodhisattva is a very rare person.  A real Bodhisattva would never call themselves such.  A real Bodhisattva never shows themselves, never displays anything, never seeks their own glory; they exist solely to serve.  Unfortunately, now there are many naïve people who believe they are bodhisattvas, when in reality they only have some theories and good intentions. So it should be understood that as you study, inquire, and investigate, this term Bodhisattva is a very specific term that needs to be understood in the right way.

Now having said that, when we study this chapter we see that the Bodhisattva itself, which is that Human Soul who incarnates the Christ within, then has before them a whole new set of requirements, a whole new process that they have to pass through, and that is what the coming chapters describe: what is required of that Soul on this new path, this distinct work.

The work of the Bodhisattva, the Human Soul, is the work to perfect the Being.  It is not a work of self-perfection, in terms of “I.”  The true Bodhisattva renounces the self, in terms of the “I”; renounces “me.”  The true Bodhisattva performs every action from the point of view of “how will this help others.”  So when measuring and analyzing and choosing what to do, this is the point of view that the Bodhisattva has.  “How will this affect others?”  This is important, because for the student, now is the time to apply this way of thinking.  Now is the time to learn to apply the Law of the Christ within ourselves.

The development and progress of the Kundalini is the establishment of a foothold in the realms of the Spirit and the superior realms of the consciousness.  And that foothold is made possible by the Christic fires that circulate in our organism.  That fire, that intelligence, that force, is the same fundamental energy which will fully incarnate in the Bodhisattva.  So the student who is beginning to work in this process of developing the Soul is well-advised to learn to think in a new way, to learn to behave in a new way, to learn how to apply the Law of the Christ, the Law of Sacrifice, from moment to moment.  This prepares the consciousness for a special kind of understanding, for a special kind of development in the consciousness which is called Bodhichitta.

Bodhichitta is “awakened wisdom mind,” and it is the essential essence of the Christ Itself that is born inside the human being.  The walkers of the Spiral Path, the Buddhas Pratyekas and Shravakas, develop the Soul and develop the Consciousness, but they under nourish and under develop the Bodhichitta.  But the Bodhichitta, that embryo, that essence of Christic intelligence is what the Bodhisattva will fully develop.

So if we - in our process now - begin to think, feel, and act with the principles of Bodhichitta (that is: (1) compassion, concern for others, filial love, conscious love, and (2) a sense of selflessness), then we prepare our soul well in the very process of its creation.  Each serpent is a process of harnessing forces and energies in our organism and creating something new.  Each act of transmutation, each act of taking food and air and impressions, is an act of taking forces and energies and transforming them into something new.  If we engage in that process with the consciousness seated in compassion, we build the Soul itself with compassionate forces, with the energies of love, the energies of the Christ, that is, we will develop and build the superior Soul, superior in the sense that it is more pure.

There are different qualities of gold and metal, right?  There is impure gold and there is very pure gold. The Solar Bodies are no exception.  If in the process of building our own Soul, we are from moment to moment, day to day, focusing our attention on how to be better of service, on how to be more helpful and less harmful, on how to serve in the example of the Christ, then each transformation that we make will be of higher quality, and those bodies that we create in the process of Alchemy, in the processes of Initiation, will be superior, more pure.

By Grace this is made possible, and if we are so fortunate to receive the blessing of the incarnation of the Christ, we come to know what that compassion truly is, what love truly is, and what sacrifice truly is.

The fourth chapter of this Book of Revelation is in its essence an outline of how the forces and energies of the Christ are managed and manifest through the bodies of the Soul.  We see in very Kabbalistic synthesis how the Solar Logos, or the Christ Itself, that Trinity, manifest its forces through the Spirit (Atman or the Inner Self), who in this case is manifest through the forces of Chokmah into our inner consciousness into the levels of the Spirit.  That force, that Intelligence, manages the energies of the Akasha, the descending Prana, or energy, and that energy in turn is managed through the Human Soul, Arjuna; those forces, those energies, are then further differentiated into the four primary elements.  So as we have talked about in other lectures, we have this raw solar light that condenses into a variety of forms, and at each level there are aspects of our Soul that manage those forces, and that is what’s symbolized in this chapter.

The symbol here is of a throne, which is our spinal column, and four beasts, and these four beasts symbolize different things.  They symbolize these four lower bodies: physical, vital, astral, and mental.  They also symbolize the four lower Tattvas, or in other words, the elements, and how those forces are managed by the Human Soul (Arjuna, Tiphereth), and how that Human Soul, that force, is guided by the Inner Self, or in this case through Chokmah, which incarnates in the Bodhisattva.  So when you study this chapter, you have to keep in mind that is what this dense symbolism is explaining: how the Bodhisattva manages forces in order to advance in their process.

The management of these energies is not just for fun.  It is not just to have power.  It is not just because it is interesting.  The management of the Tattvas is fundamentally psychological, and it is the basis upon which the Being Itself develops into having greater and greater responsibilities.  Your Being has the degree of intelligence necessary to create your physical body; all the infinite incredible structures and complexities of your physical body were created by your Being.  But more than that, when you advance through these processes of the Major Mysteries, your Being, under the guidance of the Christ, creates more subtle and more powerful and more complex bodies of the Soul, and each of those bodies has capacities and has powers which are beyond the comprehension of our intellect, and each of those bodies and aspects of our Soul have capacities and requirements.  That is partly what this chapter is outlining: how the Soul itself relates to and manages the forces of nature.

So our physical body, obviously, is related to Earth.  Alchemically, this is related to salt, and to the tattva prithvi.  To understand that requires experience.  To see how this applies to the processes of Initiation requires that you are in that process of Initiation.  But in synthesis, we can say that when you study this book, understand that there are levels of comprehension related to how the Soul in conjunction with the Spirit manages the forces of nature in order to perform the actions it must perform to advance in its work.

Throughout, we understand that this process is performed with help.  With guidance.  And in this chapter we see, that Chokmah, or the Christ, manifesting in the Initiate, is working in conjunction with one of His expressions, which is the forces of the zodiac, and we know in Gnosis that the forces of the zodiac are managed by twenty-four Elders, two related to each sign.  But this zodiacal influence is occurring on two levels, the Microcosmic and the Macrocosmic.  The Microcosmic, or the small level, is the human being itself, the Zodiacal forces that gather and work through the forces of the pineal gland; the Christic Fires in conjunction with the zodiacal guidance and zodiacal influence.  That force, or that guidance, manages these energies, the tattvas, and helps to guide that Bodhisattva and helps in the process of the development of that Soul.  At the same time, the zodiacal influence of the twenty-four Elders is occurring in the Macrocosmic, or in the Universe as a whole.  So there are levels of application of this teaching.  It is very complex.  When you read the chapter you see that.  I’m simplifying it a great deal just to make it a little comprehensible.

In synthesis we can say that these Zodiacal forces in the Microcosm, or within us, are levels of our own consciousness, levels of our own particular Being, and those forces are intertwined with the development of the Bodhisattva.  That is why in the book we see that those Elders cast their crowns before the feet of the Lamb, the Christ.  That is, they render respect, devotion, and homage to the Christ, that Christic force.

Now this fourth chapter is very Kabbalistic.  Number Four is related with Arcanum Four, related to the development through Alchemy.  It is also related to the number Six, which is Indecision, and Six is also related to the processes of the Human Soul, to Tiphereth.  But in synthesis we will say that this fourth chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book because the development and requirements of the Bodhisattva are set forth in the next chapters.

Questions and Answers

Q: For the walkers of the Spiral Path, let us say that some of them want to go to the Straight Path.  Can they go from the Spiral Path to the Straight Path?

A: Yes, it happens that those who have taken the Spiral Path can switch, can then make the decision to enter into the Straight Path.  That has happened.

Q: The other way around?

A: No.  To take the Straight Path is a supreme commitment.  Each commitment that we make, each process that we enter into, has responsibilities and requirements, has agreements that we make.  The development of the Soul is not a solitary work.  It is a work that can only be achieved through the assistance of the Christ.  The Nirvanis, the Pratyeka Buddhas only achieve a very small development in comparison with the work as a whole.  So, not much is expected of them.  But the walkers of the Straight Path enter into the potential to develop to an infinite degree, so a lot is expected of them.

What that means is that there is a superior law called the Law of Katancia, which applies to Initiates and those who are walking the path, whether Spiral or Straight.  We answer to that Law in accordance with what we receive.  Those who are receiving superior development are more liable, will have to answer to more, have more responsibility.  So to betray that, to walk away from that, to reject and renounce and renege on those kinds of agreements bears a serious consequence.  The Law of Karma is quite severe, and you can say that the more we receive, the more gifts we are given, the more we have to answer to that Law.  Nothing comes easy.

Q: If we meet a Master in the physical world, how can we know if they are taking the Spiral Path or the Straight Path?

A: In the first place, anyone who is claiming to be a Master in the physical world has probably got a problem, and this problem is called Mythomania.  In the book The Major Mysteries, Samael Aun Weor states very clearly: “We advise our disciples to not follow anyone.  We advise disciples to follow themselves, to follow their own Inner Self.”  To look for a Master in the physical world is to look for problems.  The only Master that we need is the one who resides within.  We need help.  We need guidance.  We need to study.  We need the books.  We need the teachings, and we need teachers.  But in the context of this day and age, the ego is so heavy in mankind and pride is so deceptive that Samael Aun Weor gave very specific and clear advise to his students: do not look for Masters.  Do not seek to follow anyone.  Follow your own Inner Self.  He wrote extensively about Mythomania, about the ease with which the Human Soul can become confused by clairvoyant visions and Astral experiences.

We are so naïve.  It may well be that the Inner Being of a given person is a Master.  That does not mean that the Human Soul is a Master.  It does not mean that the Human Soul, the terrestrial person, is a Master.  It does not mean that that terrestrial person is trustworthy.  The only one you can trust is your own Inner Self.  The only one you can rely on completely without question, without hesitation and without error, is your own Being.  He will never mislead you.  He will never guide you in the wrong way.  But you have to learn to listen to Him.  You have to develop the capacity to hear His guidance.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, we want it easy.  We want some person that we can call on the phone, or write an email, who will tell us what to do.  This is wrong.  It is wrong.  It is wrong because the only one who knows what you should do is your Being.  No one should ever tell you what to do.  No one should ever tell you who to marry, who to be with, what to meditate on, because no one knows your intimate depths other than your Being.  Who can give you advise about the nature of your Soul and the requirements of your Karma?  Who can give you advice about the will that your Being has for you?  Who can tell you what your real mission is?  Only your Inner Self, and He tells you that through meditation.

In the Book of James it says:

Be not many Masters.

There is a reason for that.  The reason is that we have one Master, who is Christ.  He manifests through His Bodhisattvas in order to teach.  But a genuine Bodhisattva never announces themselves as that.  Once or twice in an age they might, for a very specific work, but nowadays we have hundreds of people claiming to be this and that, claiming to be so-and-so and such-and-such.  All big names.  Some claim to be more than one Master at a time, the Master so-and-so and so-and-so and so-and-so, all in one person.  This is so deceptive and sad.

Q: But what about the Dalai Lama?  Is he of the Straight Path or the Spiral?

A: Ask him.  If you do, he will answer, “I am just a monk.”  And that is the right answer!  If you want to know who someone is, if you want to know what path they are on, go in the sixth dimension and talk to them.  If someone is talking about it physically, they are lying.

To really know without question, you have to go in the sixth dimension, because in the Astral Plane and the Mental Plane you can be deceived.  In the sixth dimension, you cannot.  So develop that capacity.  Anyone can develop that ability.  Any person.  This is not restricted to only certain people who have certain capacities.  The ability to investigate things directly, internally, is available to any human person.  Any one of us can do it.  But to do it we have to be serious.  We have to be dedicated.  We have to be devoted.  We have to open our heart.  The capacity to investigate these kinds of things is not developed by developing the intellect.  It is developed by opening the heart.

If you have such questions about who is a real Master, and who is not, what teachings are genuine, and which ones are not, work seriously in yourself to investigate these things directly.  Books will deceive you.  People will deceive you.  Schools, organizations and groups will deceive you.  To know the truth, investigate internally, but that does not come easy.  You have to pay for it with your efforts.

Q: How can we develop compassion in our level if we don’t have compassion?

A: You have the Essence.  The Essence is the embryo of the Human Soul.  It is that seed that we develop and grow into the Human Soul, and that Essence is the vehicle itself of Bodhichitta, which is compassion.  If you activate your Essence, meaning you learn to pay attention, to be present, and to not be caught in the battle of the opposites in your mind, then you’ve set the stage to be present with your consciousness, to use the capacities of the consciousness.  More than that, if you learn and teach your consciousness to love, to understand another person’s point of view… this is not easy to do.  This takes effort.  But if you try that, you’ll find that the Essence has that capacity in its level.

So if someone attacks you or gets angry with you, instead of reacting automatically with justifications or defensiveness, try to see their point of view, try to understand how you created that feeling in them.  Try to see yourself from their point of view, and in that you start to see what compassion really is.  Compassion is the ability to understand suffering, but not only your own; to understand the suffering of another person.  We all have that capacity.  We just don’t use it.

Q: So the true Master does not refer to himself as the Master, yet he or she speaks the message of his Being, the Master.  How would we distinguish the person from a person who is a channeler who says they are channeling their own Being, or Higher Self?

A: First of all, if someone says that they’re a channeler, then they are.  So in teachings of Gnosis we understand that Channeling and Mediumism are deceptive, so one should walk away.  Secondly, in order to learn what teachings are true and what are not, you have to combine two things.  You have to combine your own experience, your own sense of what is right and wrong, what is true and what is not; you have to combine that with study… study of the scriptures, study of true enlightened beings: Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Mohammed.  These types and levels of people are who we need to study.

For some reason, nowadays, we prefer to read common people’s point of view, books that we can buy at any bookstore.  Somehow, we have this interest in studying books that were just written this year or last year rather than a book that was written a thousand years ago and has proven itself through the test of time, and has inspired millions.  We prefer to read a bestseller.  This is worth examining in ourselves, but in synthesis I would say to really understand whether a teaching is good or not, you have to combine those two things.  What is good and true in your experience?  And second, how does that teaching relate to the teachings of the great Masters, the great teachers?  Not just those who are proclaiming themselves nowadays, but the real great ones like Moses.

The development of the Human Soul is in your hands.  No guru and no Master can do it for you.  No book - no matter how sacred a book is - a book cannot save you.  No matter how many members attend a school, a school cannot save you.  Now matter how many degrees, Initiations, and titles a person claims to have, they cannot save you.  You cannot rely on anyone.  You asked about the Dalai Lama.  He said, “You cannot rely on the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.”  The Dalai Lama said, “I cannot take a person out of the Abyss into Nirvana.”

No one can save you.  Only you can save yourself.  You save yourself through your action, not through ideas, not through theories… and you do it today.  So long as you think, “I’ll learn to meditate… later.  I’ll study… later.  I’ll try these practices… tomorrow…” you will never do it.  You have to discipline your mind, to work in the moment.  The door to ascend the vertical path is in the present moment.  It does not exist in the future or the past, and no one can walk through that door for you.  In fact, no one can even open the door for you.

So it doesn’t matter whether you find a great Master or not.  It doesn’t matter if you have a big library.  What you need is practical action in yourself in the moment.