Arcanum 5: The Hierophant (Transcription)
Arcanum 5 expands upon the themes that have been expressed in the first four Arcana. When we examine the image of this book, this plate from Arcanum 5, we see Anubis, the Egyptian god. He stands upright and holds in his hand a staff, and his eye is always open.
In Gnosis, we understand that in order for us to comprehend and understand the nature of existence, the nature of our own soul, we are given religions or mystical systems, which are based on a complex set of imagery, symbols, and these symbols indicate structures and processes that exist in nature, structures and processes that have been established in order to support the equilibrium of cosmic evolution. When we examine the various Arcana, and we observe the imagery present in each particular law, we have to bear in mind that these images are symbolic. They represent encoded, synthesized wisdom, which can only really be accessed through intuition.
So, the Arcanum 5, in its depiction of Anubis, is presenting to us a symbolic representation which encompasses a vast wisdom. The number 5 carries with it a great deal of meaning, both on the cosmic level and how the universe itself comes to be, but also on the microcosmic level, how our own inner universe comes to be in harmony with the greater whole.
In Egyptian mythology, Anubis is presented as the regent of the dead, that intelligence who oversees the mysteries. He is that Hierarch, or Hierophant, the great leader or authority on the mysteries themselves, who is responsible for maintaining balance, and that is why on the bottom of this image we see a scale. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and in many of the paintings and documents that are remaining from that ancient kingdom, we see images of Anubis with his finger adjusting a scale, and he always is doing this before the presence of the divinities in the court. The scale is the scale of equilibrium, which again has many levels of meaning on a cosmic level, on a macrocosmic level, and also on a microcosmic level relative to our own inner psychology. Anubis, then, is a very central figure in the understanding of real spiritual wisdom.
In order to know God, one has to understand the laws of God and understand the structures that God has put into place. This card of the Arcanum 5 is also related to the Hebrew letter ה Hei. This particular symbol also contains and synthesizes a vast amount of initiatic wisdom, with its three arms and its peculiar shape. Of course, we know very well from the previous lecture that the character ה Hei appears twice in the famous Tetragrammaton (IHVH: יהוה), or the four-letter name of God. So, relative to the fourth Arcanum, we understand that the character ה Hei is closely related and symbolizes the womb, the woman, the mother. It is from this womb that manifestation arises. Here we begin to see an interesting relationship between the Divine Mother and karma.
The Buddha Gautama taught that there are three eternal things. The law is the first one. The law, of course, is karma, the law of the balance, the law of the scales. The second is nirvana or the heavenly realms, and the third is space. When the universe passes into repose, into the great rest of the pralaya, what causes it to manifest once again is karma, the unresolved energies from the previous age. So within that womb of the Divine Mother, the womb of space, is latent the seed of future existence. That seed itself is karmic because of previous causes. So, when the conditions ripen, that seed gives birth. It blossoms and produces existence itself.
The womb of the Divine Mother, space itself or unmanifested existence, is symbolized by the Egyptians as Nepthys. Of course, in Sanskrit we know this as Prakriti, the Divine Mother. When the Divine Mother gives birth and manifestation arises, the Egyptians called the manifested mother, "Isis". So, here we have two aspects of the Divine Mother, or two aspects of the character, ה Hei. Between these two, there is an interface; there is Anubis. Plutarch, who was a Grecian priest at Delphi, observed in his writings that the esoteric doctrine related to Anubis described him as the balance, or the interface, between Nepthys and Isis, and he was the son of both, and in this way we can understand that Anubis here is simply a symbol, as are Nepthys and Isis, a symbol of karma, one of those three eternal factors. Within the womb of Nepthys is that seed of karmic events that must unfold, and when conditions are right, Anubis is the vehicle through which the unfolding occurs. In this way we can comprehend, based on the studies of kabbalah, that Anubis is also Christ. That light that expresses itself from the womb is Christic. It is the solar Logos, and that expression occurs because of karma.
If the Absolute were in perfect equilibrium, if the three Gunas were in perfect balance, manifestation would not occur, but because there is karmic residue, those Gunas are imbalanced, and so manifestation happens, the universe comes into being. One of the great laws of any esoteric study is a law that states, "As above, so below." So, in the same manner as the universe is arising and descending into manifestation, so too are we. We enter into a physical body due to karma. We as an essence, as a spark, as a soul, as a consciousness, arise and manifest from the womb of our own Divine Mother through the vehicle of karma, under the auspices of Anubis, who is the symbol of that law, and then we enter into manifestation under the guidance of our own particular Isis, who is our own individual Divine Mother. When we enter into physical manifestation, we are entering into a body that is created by karma. Every particle of our existence is karmic. The skin that we have, the face that we have, even our name, our parents, the city we live in, the time that we live in. All of these factors, all of these conditions, exist in our lives because of actions that we ourselves produced in the past.
Karma, the word karma, refers to the law of action and consequence, and it comes from a Sanskrit term, karman, which means "act". So karma, or the law of the scale, is the fundamental law of nature which causes all action to be equilibrated. Any action that is produced has a response. Anything that happens produces a reaction. Nothing exists within a void. Nothing is independent. In Buddhism, there is a great deal of discussion and profound teachings about this term, "interdependence". Interdependence, or what is also called dependent origination, what is also called the Twelve Nidanas, what is also called Pratitya Samutpada, the twelve-fold chain of causality, which is represented in the very famous Wheel of Life, or Wheel of Samsara, by the outer rim of the wheel, which has twelve images, twelve pictures. These twelve represent and symbolize the different aspects of interdependence, and they demonstrate in a very simple way how no event exists in and of itself.
The importance of that teaching is underscored repeatedly by the Buddha himself, who says if you do not understand interdependence, you do not understand the dharma. So, this is an extremely potent and practical aspect of the teaching that we have to grasp in order to understand how to change our situation. Dependent origination, or interdependence, expresses to us that no action is independent, no matter is independent, no thought is independent. Everything interacts with everything else, and in modern quantum mechanics they are discovering the same thing, that the observer who is performing an experiment has an impact on the experiment itself. There is no such thing as an independent observer of any given phenomenon. This is something that quantum physics is now saying. They are now saying what the Buddha taught 2500 years ago, that you cannot be a detached observer of anything. As soon as you perceive any phenomenon, you are related to it, and you affect it, and it affects you. This is karma. This is the law of cause and effect. The difficulty is that we, because we are so habituated to the five senses, we tend to believe that karma only relates to physical action. We tend to have this idea that third-dimensional physics describes everything in the universe, and it does not, and even our modern materialistic physicists will tell you that. Three-dimensional physics, or Newtonian physics, describes an extremely narrow band of existing nature, but our brains, our psyche, our animal minds, have not understood that, and this is due to ignorance.
When we really examine the nature of any given phenomenon, particularly in our own psyche, we can see in fact that all nature, all phenomena, are in fact interrelated. We may observe a distant event, but with sincere introspection we can find that that event has produced an effect in us, and going further, we may discover that we as an observer impacted that distant event, and this is something famous, discussed in quantum mechanics now, where they say that the mere movement of a butterfly's wings on one side of the earth can influence and provoke a hurricane. This is not just an intellectual idea. It is not just a clever or bizarre thing to say. This is something that the quantum physicists are observing, they are measuring. What it emphasizes to us as students of Gnosis is that we need to pay close attention to our expression of will.
This Arcanum 5 is really about will. When we examine the Tree of Life and we count from the bottom upwards, the fifth sphere is Tiphereth, and Tiphereth is related to our human soul, or willpower. So, the fifth sphere in this case is definitive for our work in Gnosis, for our work to know our Being. It comes down to a matter of will, yet this will has to be understood in proper context. Why are we in the situation we are in today? Most people probably would say, "Well, my parents this and that, and my boss this and that, and my friends." There is no real tendency to look for the causes of life within ourselves. We are responsible for our own lives. This is the nature of the truth. Karma is not merely something that is limited to physical action. It is the law that balances all action on all levels. When we want to understand why our lives are the way they are, we need to examine what actions did we produce that gave rise to these events. Those actions are not limited to physical action. Those actions include actions in the heart, and actions in the mind, thoughts and feelings.
Now, where will comes into play here is not a matter of intention. Karma, that great law, does not measure intentions. The intentions are actually quite meaningless in terms of karma, in terms of how the law manages nature. It is the results which matter. We may have very good intentions to help someone, but if in our effort we hurt them, we have to pay for that. We may have had the best intentions, but it is irrelevant. So, for the human soul, for that will, to learn how to manage the law of karma in the right way in order to come out of suffering, we have to know how to perform action. We know we have to perform good deeds. This is something that every religion emphasizes. We have to have charity, we have to have compassion, we have to assist the suffering. This is well known, but how to do it is not. How to help is very misunderstood, and the reason is that people listen to their own self-will. In order to comprehend and understand right action, the right way to perform a good deed, we have to appeal to the other number five. If we count on the Tree of Life downwards, the fifth sphere is Geburah, which means justice. This sphere is related to our divine soul, or Neshamah. The divine soul is the feminine aspect of our own inner monad, our own Being, and it is through this vehicle of the divine consciousness that our Intimate, our Spirit, can give us instruction. We receive that through this vehicle of Geburah in our own consciousness. In this way, we can grasp that, as a human soul, Tiphereth, as an essence, to whatever degree of development, in order to know how to perform action in the right way, we have to receive the guidance of our Being, and that guidance is received through Geburah, through our divine soul, through meditation, through intuition.
So, we see here how the number 5 already presents to us a great deal of knowledge, but how do we truly reach our own Being? By what means? To receive the guidance of the Being is necessary and important, for us to be able to hear that voice and to know how to perform right action, but in order for that knowledge of right action to become perfect, the Being has to incarnate in us. The Being has to become our reality, and the Being does that by being born within us.
This is accomplished through the mysteries of the letter, ה Hei. This Hebrew character, this Hebrew letter, is the number five, but it also symbolizes, represents, the womb, the woman, the Priestess, or the spouse of the magician, the female or Eve in other words, and the character ה Hei contains in itself hints towards how to perform right action. The top bar, that horizontal firmament, represents the causal body, or the human soul itself, Tiphereth. The causal body is the vehicle through which we can know the will of our Being directly, because when we develop the solar causal body through the practices of alchemy, this body is directly connected with the Innermost, which you can see in the Tree of Life, Tiphereth and Chesed. The rightmost leg of ה Hei represents the mental body, the solar mental body, which is a solar mind, or a vehicle through which the instruction of the Being can be received, processed, and acted upon, and the leftmost leg represents the astral, or emotional, body. You notice here there is a gap, that this leg of ה Hei does not connect directly to the Innermost, and we see that also in the Tree of Life, that the astral body is separate from the Innermost. In us this represents, in order for us to cross the gap and understand emotionally, we have to open ourselves and listen to intuition. What creates the gap and prevents us from receiving the wisdom of our Being is negative emotions, in other words, self-will, attachment, desire, ignorance, craving and aversion. We cross that gap through the processes of initiation, and we cross that gap by learning how to meditate and receive the instruction of our Innermost.
This is really a process of karma, of cause and effect. We are in the situation we are in now because we have not listened to the guidance of our own Inner Being. Through the process of our own individual life, we make constant action from moment to moment. All of the energies that we receive on all levels of our physiology and psyche are transformed by a matter of will, our own will, but when that will is selfish, when that will is self-identified, then the action produced is wrong action, and when action is produced under the guidance of self will, it produces consequences, and those consequences are called "karma".
Suffering begins when we do not know our Being. From that unfolds all other forms of suffering. Some people say that they have a comfortable life, they have what they need, they have what they would call happiness, but notice how the slightest impact can make them miserable. If they get a little sick, if a check is lost in the mail, if someone says a critical word of them. This is not happiness; this is suffering. To not know the purpose of one's life is suffering. To not know the right thing to do with one's time and energy is a form of suffering. To feel the burden of the heavy existence we have in these times is a form of suffering. To not know the hour of death is a form of suffering, and none of us know when death will approach for us. This is the result of previous causes. The ignorance that we suffer within is self-produced.
The good news is, in the same manner that we produce the causes for suffering, we can also produce the causes for liberation from suffering. Karma is not a blind, mechanical law. Anubis symbolizes this divine intelligence who manages, with great wisdom and love, the processes of karma. In other words, karma is negotiable on different levels. Firstly, it is negotiable by dint of action. If we produce a good action that has good results, we are paid for that. We receive what we are due for that. This means that rather than becoming depressed, discouraged or anxious about the nature of the situation that humanity is in, about our own situation, our own suffering, our own mistakes, we should actually be greatly encouraged, enthusiastic, because the means to change suffering itself is within your hands and no one else's. If you observe humanity and feel pain for the suffering of humanity, if you observe your own life and feel pain because of the suffering you have endured, take heart. The means to change that suffering are in your hands, and you do it by learning how to perform right action, and you do that by knowing how to hear the guidance of your own Being.
No other person outside of you can tell you what is right and wrong. No book can tell you what is moral and immoral. No spiritual guide can tell you what is right for you to do, and what is wrong. The only one who can tell you is your Being, because He is the only one who knows the book of your karma and knows what He wants for you to do.
In the court of the law, under the guidance of this great intelligence that we call Anubis, every person has a book, and in that book is recorded every action that we have ever performed, and the credits and the debts that we have. Any soul has the right to examine their own book of karma. Any person can make the effort to travel and visit the court of the law. This court is called the Temple of Maat. This tribunal exists in the sphere of Geburah, the fifth sphere on the Tree of Life. It is a court in the same way that we have courts in the physical world. The presiding judge is called Anubis. He is an ancient initiate who wears the mask of a jackal. It is a mask, and he wears a mask in order to demonstrate impartiality; he observes without attachment, without preference. He is accompanied and assisted by 42 judges, and all of the judges when presiding wear masks, either of jackals or wolves. Why those animals? The jackal and the wolf both demonstrate in their behaviors profound watchfulness. Both observe during the day and the night. Both prowl around cremation grounds and cemeteries. The wolf and the jackal represent and symbolize how the law of karma is ever-present and ever-watchful.
Part of our own Being, part of our own soul, our own psyche, is related to the law of karma. Our every action, our every thought, our every emotion is recorded, is documented, is observed, and the part of our Being that does that is called the Kaom, in other words, the cosmic police. We have our own policeman, who is with us at every moment. So, when you think you are getting away with something, do not forget the policeman who is behind you, watching and recording your actions. All those actions are recorded in this book of your own destiny, and destiny in this case is exactly what it implies. It is the consequences you have to face.
Destiny is not a blind force. It is not something that happens by chance or due to the cruelty of some god. Destiny is self-created. We create our own destiny. Period. That is the nature of the law of karma. If you long for happiness, peace, serenity, you are the only one who can produce the causes of those experiences. If you are experiencing anxiety, fear, doubt, regret, persecution, poverty, hunger, look to yourself for the causes. You may not see in your physical life the causes of certain events, and this is because of the law of recurrence is processed over the course of many existences, but if you learn to meditate, you can perceive the causes of those events.
The Master Samael Aun Weor emphasizes and urges students to continue any event of happiness or pain in meditation. When you have something happen to you that is very joyful, very happy, very pleasant, very good, meditate. Imagine that event, imagine those feelings, imagine that scene. Relax, open your inner mind, and you can develop the capacity to perceive the cause of that joy and to see what action you produced in the past that gave you that gift in the present, and the same is true of any painful circumstance or event. You can know the causes, but not with your five senses. The five senses can only perceive physical matter. Karma manages and adjusts all matter, not merely the physical. To perceive causes, you have to look beyond physical matter.
In order for the human soul, for our own consciousness, to produce right action, we need to know the will of our own Being, and that will is well-encompassed in the name of the temple of the law, Maat. Maat is an ancient Egyptian term which refers to harmony, balance, truth, upright action. So, Maat is the Egyptian word for the Sanskrit term, "dharma". Maat, and "dharma" in Sanskrit, means the law, the truth, rightness. So, to know how to perform right action, you need to know the dharma.
The dharma, of course, is Gnosis. Dharma is the laws which manage nature. It is these 22 Arcana that we are studying in this course. It is kabbalah. It is alchemy. It is meditation, but all of that is encompassed and enclosed within the will of the Innermost. We are receiving the teachings of Gnosis because of the will of God. We reject the teaching of Gnosis because of the ego. Someone who is drawn to study Gnosis itself, to study dharma, is being stimulated by the Being to do so. The very existence of these teachings is a gift from the gods. It is a gift from the Cosmic Christ. Dharma itself means "uprightness" or "law". We suffer because we have ignored the dharma, or right action. When we ignore the dharma, when we ignore the law of Maat, we enter into mistakes. We begin to perform action due to self-will.
In the history of this race, in the process of manifestation arising and developing through cosmic evolution, matter was descending. When the ray of creation unfolded into this Mahamanvantara, and all the worlds and levels of matter were being developed, that entire process was symbolized by a particular image demonstrating the intentions behind the cosmic evolution of the universe itself, and on the microcosmic level, on a smaller level, rather, this planet, this race, and that symbol is an inverted star, which represented in the long-ago past the descent of spirit into matter, but then through the process of cosmic evolution that energy begins to return and so that star has to invert. The star is a symbol of five points, of course related to Arcanum 5, but that star represents the human being.
The superior point is the head with the two arms outstretched, and the two legs as a foundation to stand on. The upright star is a symbol of great positive value in these times, while the inverted pentagram represents matter descending further, or the spirit descending further into matter. So in this age, in these times, the inverted pentagram with the two feet upwards is a negative symbol and represents black magic. It represents the descent into the Klipoth, into suffering. It represents degeneration, but the upward-pointing pentagram represents the ascent of the spirit back towards the Absolute. Unfortunately, the descending forces, the devolving forces of nature are pulling humanity. So long as we do not have the soul, we are an inverted pentagram. So long as we do not have the Being within, so long as we are not standing upright in Tiphereth, we are an inverted pentagram. We are fallen, in other words.
To know the dharma, to really know the dharma, we have to be an upright pentagram. We have to be standing upright with our soul, our spirit, working to ascend, to become free of materialism, to conquer matter, to conquer sensation, but humanity is enslaved by sensation. Humanity is fascinated with matter, with the senses, and this is the degeneration of the soul. In the past age, it was necessary for the development of the soul to enter into matter, to experience sensation related to physical matter, but those times passed a long time ago, and because we never broke that tendency, we have remained enslaved by matter, by sensation, and have produced an enormous amount of karma.
In its heart, in its essence, the pentagram really represents the bodhisattva. The bodhisattva is the soul who has reached Tiphereth through the processes of initiation and has created the solar bodies. Upon creating the solar astral, mental and causal bodies, this person has decided to take the straight path, the direct path, the path of the bodhisattva. That person is by right a beginner pentagram, a beginner. The first appearance of the pentagram is there, but that soul has to perfect that pentagram, which is the whole process that follows: the serpents of light, the second and third mountains.
There are many souls in the world today who took that path previously, who used to be an upright pentagram, a bodhisattva, but have fallen. These souls became identified with some ego, with some form of matter, and lost their development. They become an inverted pentagram once again. The fallen bodhisattva has to return to the light. The fallen bodhisattva has to regenerate, recuperate, what was lost.
No one, whether a fallen bodhisattva or someone who has never entered the path, is better than anyone else, but there are many in the various spiritual groups who claim to be bodhisattvas from previous ages, who make shows of themselves. Truly, these people should be more ashamed than other people. To be proud of having dishonored the gods is a great irony. To proudly claim to be a fallen bodhisattva is truly criminal. The bodhisattva who falls commits a crime against his own Being, commits a crime against the White Lodge, and commits crimes against humanity. There is nothing in that to be proud of, nothing. A fallen bodhisattva should be more ashamed, more repentant, more remorseful, more humble. Someone who has never entered the path is not guilty of these crimes, is more innocent. A fallen bodhisattva should know better, and yet oftentimes we find the most arrogant, the most prideful, the most boastful, the most noticeable characters are fallen bodhisattvas who love to talk about who they were, what they did, all the while ignoring the fact of what they are, which is a betrayer, a liar, a thief, an adulterer, and a fornicator, which all of us are, but a bodhisattva is worse because a fallen bodhisattva is someone who once had the light, who once had the Christ inside, and yet betrayed Christ.
Many Gnostics fall into this worship of fallen bodhisattvas, always looking for the fallen bodhisattvas. This is a mistake. Master Samael Aun Weor stated quite clearly, "Fallen bodhisattvas are worse than demons." Worse. A demon is at least consistent. A demon is going to be a demon, but a fallen bodhisattva was once in the light and then fell. Who is going to trust them? When they try to return, the law is very hard on them and the law says. "We helped you before and you betrayed us. Why should we help you again?" So, do not make the mistake of claiming to be such a person. Do not be eager to seek out such a person. Look instead to your Being. The Innermost is the only one that matters. No person outside can help us like our Being, and if you have the great misfortune of being a fallen bodhisattva, do not develop pride because of that. Be remorseful and know very well, if you fell once before, you will do it again unless you are very, very careful.
The pentagram has a great deal of knowledge hidden within it. An upright pentagram is a symbol of great power, protective energy. The pentagram is also a combination of five A's or five alphas. If you take five A's and connect their feet, then you will create a pentagram, and of course, we know that the alpha is the Christ. The alpha, the first, is the Divine Mother. The five A's, or the pentalpha comes from penta, which means five; these five A's symbolize of course the human being, but also the Divine Mother, who also has five aspects, and also the Christ, who incarnates in the bodhisattva in order to make that pentagram perfect.
The road to achieving that work is in the letter Hei, the fifth letter. This letter represents the woman, or the womb, and it is within the womb matter is formed, the soul is formed, the universe is formed. We have to enter into the womb itself in order to gestate the soul, in order to really come to know the dharma. The Arcanum 5 teaches us very clearly that in order for us to accomplish such a thing, we have to work consciously with the law of karma. That is to say, perform good deeds, but know how to perform them. By performing good deeds, we gather dharma, positive results, and this helps us to manage the scale of our own debts.
As enclosed in suffering as we are, we owe an enormous amount. So, to work with the scale is to begin to develop equilibrium in our karma and dharma. We owe a lot. That is why we suffer. So, we need to learn how to perform good deeds, not merely to perform them, but to do them right. The saying then is, "To combat the lion of the law, use the scale."
The scale is the law itself, performing good deeds, but the scale is also in the sign of Libra. Libra is related to the kidneys, one on either side, and in the kidneys are measured our chastity. A clairvoyant observing the kidneys will see colors that demonstrate our chastity. If the chakras of the kidneys are blood-red, we are passionate fornicators, and if the chakras of the kidneys are bright white, we are very chaste and pure. You see here, the kidneys are very close to the hips, and this constellation of the hips, or Libra, is right here in "Hei", in the womb of the woman. So when you say, "To do battle with the lion of the law, use the scale," there are levels of meaning. Really, the scale is transmutation, is chastity, is to work with the letter "Hei" in alchemy in order to produce good results, to enter into chastity, transmutation. By means of that, the actions we perform have more energy, have more power, more potency, and more than that, they can be infused with the will of the Being. The sexual energy, when transformed and transmuted, is processed so by the Divine Mother, the letter ה Hei. When we act, we are using that energy, so our actions become more powerful, our words become more potent, our thoughts and our feelings more penetrating, more profound. This gives us more responsibility, but it also gives us more capacity. When we work with the scale, we are working with good and bad action. We are really also needing to work with the scale in the kidneys, the scale of man and woman in chastity. That balance, or that equilibrium, is what can lead us towards the redemption of our own soul. The balance is acquired by developing a strong central column.
The scale itself rests upon a pillar, and that pillar is our spinal column, or the central column of the Tree of Life. The center of gravity here is Tiphereth, the human soul. The potency of Tiphereth is in the Iod. Remember the Tetragrammaton, יהוה Iod-Hei-Vau-Hei. The Iod is that masculine projective principle of masculine potency. The ה Hei is the receptive feminine principle which when equilibrated move, produce results. The ה Hei, this character, encompasses this wisdom of how to enter into balance, how to work with the forces hidden in the womb, both of the Divine Mother and of the woman.
Questions and Answers
Question: I heard before, you said that a person's intentions do not matter, it does not affect the karma?
Answer: That is right.
Question: Well, doesn't thought have a karmic consequence?
Answer: Sure. It does in the sense that thought is a form of matter, but you have to look at the picture as a whole. When you think about a person, you are affecting that person. That is karma. So if you think about a person, if you are generating negative thoughts about a person, let us say resentment towards someone, you are affecting them, harming them. That is karma. If you go and hurt them physically, that is worse. That is more karma. If you think good thoughts about a person and you have good feelings towards them, but you hurt them physically, you still get karma. You see? It is relative, and it is according to the scale. It is the results which speak, the end result. You can say a kind word, something that is meant in kindness, but actually hurt someone. You can be a doctor and try to heal someone and give them medicine, but if you do not know what you are doing you can actually make them more sick. It is the results which speak, and you may be thinking good things and feeling good things, but your action is harmful.
Question: You say a negative thought of someone affects them, the person it is directed towards. Doesn't it also affect the person that is transmitting?
Answer: Absolutely, of course. When you fill yourself with that negative energy, of course it affects you. This brings up an important point. Negative emotion is highly contagious, and there is karma related to that. You may feel very angry, emotional, and go to a place and not say a word, but that energy will affect everyone else. It will infect them because everyone is asleep and all the people are just constantly taking in impressions without any discrimination. So, that anger will infect other people and there is karma for that. Sarcasm is a negative emotion. Sarcasm is a way of using forms in the mental plane in order to hurt, and sarcasm is highly infectious, contagious. We infect one another with damaging sense of humor. Television, if you watch television shows and movies, the humor is pretty much all sarcastic, which is a form of anger expressed through humor, and is highly infectious, highly contagious, and creates karma. So right action is not performed as simply as just repressing one's feelings. We have to know how to change them. When we feel a negative emotion or negative thinking, we cannot just suppress that. We have to know how to change it, but you cannot change it unless you know what it is. In Buddhism, in one of the sutras, it says if you want to untie a knot you have to know how it was tied, and the same is true of negative emotions and negative thinking. So, when you feel angry or you feel this tendency to be sarcastic with humor, you have to really observe that. Where is that coming from? What is behind that? Why is it that with my sarcasm I am expressing my resentment, and why do I need to do that? You need to examine in detail yourself. Little by little, those things will change. The effort to change it is a good action.
Question: You said before that fallen bodhisattvas are worse than others and have committed a crime against their Being. What about someone who has fallen in order to get more experience and acquire higher levels of objective reasoning?
Answer: There is karma for that. That is all there is to it. Like the Master Samael Aun Weor said, the intentions do not matter. Intentions do not matter, it is the actions which speak. So, a certain person, a Being, may have the intention to ascend higher, but if they go against the will of the Being, there is karma. If they go against the will of the law, there is karma. Let me put it to you another way. This is very, it is hard to comprehend. The law establishes equilibrium in the cosmos, in nature. So, there are certain types of actions that when you perform them, you have to pay the consequences. In certain cases, you may have to perform an action under the will of your Being which is wrong, according to the law. So, your Being is taking on a karmic debt. Do you see that? Your Being can tell you to do something that you get karma for. You are doing the right thing, but this is the tricky part for the human soul. The human soul has to follow the will of the Being, period. When the human soul starts to think that they know better, trouble begins. The Being, our own Being, is the one who is working with the law in order to bring us out of suffering.
Question: The parable of the Prodigal Son?
Answer: The Prodigal Son is a perfect, is an exact example of that case. So, if you read the parable you will see what I am discussing about, what I am talking about. The bottom line is, if your Being tells you to do something, you should do it. If you know it is from your Being, you should do it even if it appears to be something controversial or potentially wrong, but it is your Being telling you. You have to do it. The reason is your Being is managing your karma, and even if the action you perform in the short term may produce karma, in the long term it may pay more. So, you have to develop a sense of, a way of, comprehending the will of the Being, which is different from traditional moral values, black and white, yes and no. It is beyond that, and this is another key point. Karma is beyond good and evil. Karma does not measure good and evil, so those scales are not about good and evil. Those terms have nothing to do with karma. The only way you can relate it is, good would be that which is in its right place, and evil would be that which is in the wrong place. This is how you have to understand the will of the Being. The Being will instruct the human soul to do that which is necessary, and to stop doing that which is harmful or unnecessary, but the action itself may appear good or evil, depending on the moral values of the observer.
Question: Since the universe comes into being due to an imbalance of the three Gunas, can we say that all creation is flawed from the beginning?
Answer: In a sense, yes. In the sense that all creation exists as a vehicle to reach perfection. That is sort of a subtle point, particularly when you look at higher levels of manifestation as in the worlds of Atziluth or Briah, where you have levels of perfection, but because they are in manifestation there is yet imbalance. So you have to understand the three Gunas are imbalanced, which causes manifestation, but there are levels of perfection in that. Make sense?
Question: We get karma in the astral plane, true?
Question: But I understand that the, does that ego leave us while we are in the astral plane?
Answer: So the question is, "Do we get karma in the astral plane, doesn't the ego leave us in the astral plane?” Who does the ego belong to? If you have a child, and your child goes and breaks the window in a store, who has to pay for it? The parent. The same with us. The ego belongs to you. What your ego does, you have to answer for.
Question: It is like, stuff that you, like in dream stage, right…
Question: that you think of doing in the physical plane…
Answer: I know
Question: How can I pay for something that is just, I mean…
Answer: I know. It is best to not identify with all of the actions of the ego that you observe in the internal planes. If you do that, you will become overwhelmed. Trust your Being, do your work. You are receiving the dharma because there is a chance of being successful. There is a way to accomplish it. As many egos as we have, thousands upon thousands of them, all of them performing wrong actions, some of them doing things that appear to be good, in spite of all of that, we have an element within which is more potent. It is the Innermost. The Being is the one that can manage and negotiate all of our karma on our behalf, alongside our Divine Mother, who also negotiates on our behalf, and our karma can be forgiven. This is a key thing. So you have, for example, an ego that you are aware of. It has done a lot of bad things, this ego, accumulated a lot of debts. You are responsible for that, and so long as that ego is alive it is generating more karma, and according to the conditions and circumstances, you may be paying that karma now, or that karma may be latent and waiting for the moment to be paid, However, if that ego is dead, if you kill it, you are not capable off producing those actions any more, that karma can be forgiven.
Question: Astral or physical?
Answer: Wherever it was generated. Wherever that karma is generated, in whatever plane, if the generator, the cause, does not exist, that karma can be forgiven. I am not saying it will, but it can be. So this is an important thing to grasp. This is why it is so important to meditate on the ego, to comprehend the ego, to eliminate it. When you eliminate the causes of karma, there is no karma. The point being, at a certain stage of development, as you move up the levels of initiation, you develop the soul. Once you have reached that level of becoming an upright pentagram, having the soul, you then begin to look at the causes, the ego itself. That is really where the work of the ego begins, and it really begins in the second mountain, to go very deep.
Question: What about the Law of Katancia?
Answer: Katancia is the law that applies to the gods, the superior law of karma. The point that I am getting at is this. The goal of the path itself is to develop perfect equilibrium, which means you owe nothing and nothing is owed to you. Right now, we owe an enormous amount. We have very little dharma, so we need to perform a lot of good deeds, but at a certain point these have to be balanced and we have perfect balance and equilibrium and can enter the Absolute like Jesus did. In order to reach that level, we have to eliminate the causes of karma, which are the ego itself, self-will.
Question: You the said the scale has to be balanced between good and evil?
Answer: Between right and wrong, or between harmful and non-harmful.
Question: So there is such a thing as too much good?
Question: Too much good?
Answer: Yes, because if you are owed you cannot enter the Absolute. The Absolute itself is the perfect equilibrium of the three Gunas, which are three qualities of matter, and to enter into the Absolute, those three have to be in perfect equilibrium, which means neither owed nor owing.
Question: Are saying that the Absolute is good and evil?
Answer: It is beyond good and evil, it is beyond the three Gunas. That is just the point. To enter into that, you have to move beyond the three Gunas. If you have too much sattva, which is goodness, you cannot enter.
Question: So what do you do? Commit evil to balance it out?
Answer: I do not know. You have to ask the gods, but there are ways of managing action on those levels, which are very profound.
Question: How do you know when an intuition is really coming from your Inner Being and not some kind of delusion?
Answer: That is a very interesting question. How do you know when intuition is coming from your Being and is not a delusion? Primarily by experience, but experience which is measured with prudence. So what I mean is, intuition has a taste, has a flavor. It is a hunch or a nudge and the more you listen to that, the more you can tell what that voice is. It requires becoming accustomed to hearing it. At the same time, when you hear that voice, you listen to intuition, you have to compare that information with what else you know, and that is where prudence comes in. You may be getting an intuition about performing a certain type of action, but the situation itself that you are in, that action might be too volatile, might be too provocative, let us say. So, you have to measure the two, and watch for the right moment to perform that action, and this is something that only experience can tell you, and more intuition can tell you.
Question: Can you know beforehand...
Answer: The whole key is being in the moment. The whole key to getting the guidance of the Being and knowing about intuition is remaining present, because as soon as you, let us say you get an intuitive sense of something, as soon as you start to rationalize about it, you have lost it. As soon as you start reasoning or comparing in the mind, you have lost it. As soon as you start feeling afraid, you have lost it.
You have to analyze, but I mean compare in the sense of analyzing without thinking, and this is something that you have to learn through meditation. The consciousness has that capacity. The problem that we have is, we fall back into the intellect, and we want to compare it with moral codes, or with what so-and-so said, with what this scripture says, or with opinions of other people, or we start comparing it with our own feelings, "Oh, I cannot do that, that would make me feel uncomfortable, or I am afraid, or what will happen.”
Question: Like comparing with past experience.
Answer: The whole key to comprehending intuition is being present, remaining present, remaining open, listening inside, and that is how you receive guidance. What is difficult is that the mind is always there trying to pull us back into subjective reasoning, and we have to appeal to objective reasoning, which is a quality of the Being, and that objective reasoning is not something that the intellect does on its own. It is a superior quality. Everyone can reach that, but with effort. It takes practice.
Question: ...good intentions is like giving money to, say, a beggar, right, and use that money to...I know he is at the liquor store buying liquor, you know, now, what I thought was a good intention obviously turned out not to be… and I paid a karma for that…
Answer: And that is really where intuition will come into play, is knowing how and when to perform an action. So, you may feel the impulse to give the homeless person money, but if you listen, your intuition will tell you when it is wrong.
Question: If I give him food…
Answer: Exactly. A better way is buy them something to eat, and you will find much of the time when the homeless person comes, says "I need some money for food," and you say "I will go buy you some food," they will say, "No, no, no, no, no." They do not want it, because they are lying. It is like that with many things, but again being present, listening to the intuitions that come, is the key.
Question: ...before, you know, when you are experiencing a negative emotion, say hate, there is an idea to try and balance that and go into the opposite, trying to bring the opposite in…
Answer: Right. Even within Gnosis, the Master Samael Aun Weor recommends to work with the opposites. So, when we experience a negative emotion of hate, to bring in the opposite force, but to be successful in that requires that we do it without the interference of the intellect, and this is not so easy to do. The subtlety here is this: the consciousness that we have is directly connected with the Being, is directly connected with Tiphereth and with Geburah, right? Tiphereth is the Superior Manas, or the abstract mind, and Geburah is Buddhi, which is the light or the vehicle through which the Being can speak to us, with hunches and intuition, and things like that. That is where superior reasoning will come from. Objective reasoning is from the Being. When we are observing a given phenomenon, let us say we are experiencing a feeling of hate, extreme anger, the intellect is obviously a tool we can use to say, "Oh, yeah, I remember this teaching," that I need to contemplate the opposite, love. So, you can use the intellect to bring that, but you have to let go of thinking about it, and observe., analyze without thought, and there is a very effective way to learn how to do this. It is a practice called Tonglin, which is an ancient Tibetan practice.
Tonglin means giving and taking, and the same technique is taught in Christianity, it is taught in Gnosis, taught in many other religions. The idea behind this technique is simple. While in meditation, you observe and concentrate on a person, and you imagine taking from them their suffering, their negativities, their pain, and you take it on yourself, and then you give back to them all of the good things that you have, any happiness, any joy, any peace, serenity. Giving and taking. It is a way of meditating, and making an exchange. This is a very potent practice, and produces results. What is nice about the way it works is that if you do it properly, you do it without thought. It is purely an emotional thing, and it helps you to comprehend the subjective nature of hatred.
Question: How is it possible to visualize without thought?
Answer: Visualization is not a capacity of the intellect. To visualize is a capacity of the consciousness.
Question: But you still see pictures in your mind.
Answer: You still see pictures, yes, but you are not thinking intellectually. Without reasoning. The intellect is that tool that we have in the mind which compares A and B. That is all it does. The emotion is that which compares qualities and feelings. It experiences different feelings, sensations in that world. We have the three aspects of the motor, instinctive, sexual center which experience sensation, but before all 5 of those centers, we have consciousness, which perceives, and it is the consciousness that projects and receives images. As an example, when you are falling asleep and you begin to see images and dream, that is not the intellect, neither is it the emotional center. It is the consciousness, but the question is, is it trapped in desires or free? So, the same is true in meditation, this practice Tonglin. When you are imagining someone and you are doing this visualization of exchanging energy, this is something that is purely visual. It does not require thought. It does not require intellect. In the same way, you can observe a sensation of hatred, emotional sensation. So then, you would then imagine what love would be like. “What would the quality of love be like with this same person I am feeling hate towards,” and you imagine that. You visualize that. It is not as if you just think about the contrast between A and B. Yeah, you start there, but you have to go beyond that, deeper.
Question: But, don't you have to know the personality of that person?
Answer: No, of course not.
Question: ...a stranger?
Answer: You can do it with anyone. It is more effective if it is someone you know, and I will give you another example related to this. If you have a person you feel a lot of hatred towards, or anger towards, you can imagine them and you will feel those feelings. Hold that image of that person, and observe those feelings. Then imagine someone that you love very dearly and swap them. Just in your imagination, without thinking so much, but just observe. If you felt that much hatred towards the person you love, and you felt that much love towards the person you hate, where does that leave you? This can teach you very profound things, and it is purely an exercise of imagination. The key here is this is how you can come to understand the nature of karma, the nature of the psyche, the nature of right and wrong action, by comprehending the effects of sensation, the effects of action emotionally, and intellectually.
Question: So you're gaining dharma for all this also?
Answer: Perhaps, but really you are going to gain dharma by performing action. Doing visualizations in your mind is good. You will get some dharma if you are visualizing people getting good things, right? You will get a little dharma for that because it is, you are affecting them to a certain degree, but if you actually physically give them good things, you will get more dharma.
Question: We have to learn that when one is suffering to bring superior emotion in order to transcend the inferior emotions. We can use classical music, especially Beethoven.
Answer: Yeah. A great example. One of the most difficult things that the beginners have to learn is how to manage emotions, how to manage impressions. So if you are vibrating with strong negative emotions, one of the things that takes a little practice is learning how to bring yourself new impressions in order to change what you feel so that you are not producing harmful energies. So a good example is to replace a negative emotion with a superior one. There are some easy ways to do that. If you are feeling very negative, depressed, angry, take a walk in a very beautiful place. Do not think. Observe nature. Look closely at things, like you have never seen them before, and that will affect you, very deeply, emotionally, spiritually. In the same way, play some beautiful classical music. Listen to Beethoven, any of the nine symphonies, but listen like you have never heard it before. Listen without thinking, listen with your heart, and when you do that, you are taking the energies of that music into your emotional center. You are taking a superior emotion, that music, and replacing the negative emotions in your heart. This is something you do without thought. It is very powerful and it will help you to develop more psychological equilibrium in yourself.
Question: Say you feel animosity towards someone you see as, like, living an evil lifestyle, whatever, and you want, you change that to a feeling of love. Wouldn't that, what about, I mean that might give the person more energy to do evil.
Answer: The question is if you see someone doing wrong action and you generate love towards them, does that empower them to do more wrong action. It is a tricky question. I would say, in my opinion, that love properly given can never form wrong action. Real love, and I will give you an example. There are many cases in the lives of various masters that we can study, where they encounter hateful people, and are able to transform them just by the power of the love they have for them. What comes to my mind is the story of the Buddha, and the Buddha in his process of teaching was affecting a lot of people, and there was one very religious man, who was Hindu, whose whole family began to convert to Buddhism, and he was enraged about this because this was the family tradition to be Hindu. So he went to see the Buddha and waited in line for a long time, and was getting more and more angry as he approached the Buddha, and when he arrived to see the Buddha, the Buddha saw the state of this man and said, "What can I do for you," and the man said, "You have done this and that, and I am very angry with you and you did all these things to my family, etc., etc.," and the Buddha says, "May I ask you a question? If someone brings you a present and you refuse it, who does the present belong to?" and the man says, "To the giver," and he says, "I refuse to accept your present," and the man was thunderstruck. The Buddha remained so serene in the face of his attack, and his criticism, and his anger, that he realized what an idiot he was being, and he understood the basis of Buddhism, which is tolerance, compassion. So, in the same way, we may encounter someone who is hateful, someone who is doing wrong things. If you remain unidentified with them, you will help them. If you identify with them, positive or negative, you can harm them. So, for example, you may have a close relative who is doing things that you consider or see as wrong, but if you become involved in their business out of supposed love and try and interfere, you can it worse for them. You can make them more angry, more hateful, and make them go worse, into worse behaviors, and this happens a lot with teenagers. The parents see the teenagers as doing bad things and they try to get really involved. It makes the teenager worse, and it is because the parents are overidentified with attachment, but real love has no attachment. Love is a force and an energy which will always inspire the soul to good things. So I think in that sense there is no need to worry, provided you understand in yourself the right way to interact with those people.
Question: Then, it has to be a certain pure level of love
Answer: It has to be pure, exactly. Free of ego.
Question: And if you are not at that level?
Answer: Then, you do your best. Meditate, listen to your intuition.
Question: Remember when you said that if somebody really angry walks into a room full of people who are just normal, and, you know, it spreads like an infection, what if a person who is in that room notices that he is, you know, getting that, you know, infection of anger or negative emotion, how does he prevent that from affecting him?
Answer: By remaining present, observing one's self, remembering the Being. Negative emotions become contagious when we become identified with them, or when the doors are open in our psychological house to receiving that vibration.
In Gnosis, we learn how to isolate ourselves, to be in the world but not of the world, as Jesus said, and the way that works is the development of psychological equilibrium, the development of a hermetically sealed psyche.
Question: But you said that we are all interrelated.
Answer: It is true. We are. We affect each other.
Question: How do we make that hermetically sealed?
Answer: But, let me finish what I am saying. It does not mean that when you isolate yourself that you remain unaffected, OK? The difference is this. If I am developing psychological equilibrium in myself to be isolated and to maintain myself, to maintain my balance as a psyche, I may encounter someone who is extremely angry or upset. I may be isolated and may not be infected with that emotion, but it does not mean that I remain completely independent of it. What it means is that I am transforming the impression. I am receiving the impressions of that person. I see them, I feel them, I know they are angry, but I am transforming it so it does not make me angry. In fact, it helps me because that impression, that person's anger, if I am maintaining my equilibrium, my self-remembering, and I am observing them and myself, that negative emotion does not infect me and I do not become angry. In fact, it will generate love.
Question: What if you find that it is starting to overwhelm you and you are not able to do that, what, is there anything…
Answer: Go away. Get out of there.
Question: I was going to ask, how much of it can physically be ... with, you know…
Answer: How much can you take?
Question: No, no. I am just, like, how much would we really gain not to look at something, not to, walk away from it, we feel that anger, we just walk away from it, you know, not to look at…
Answer: The consciousness is an energy, it is a vehicle, but it is an energy of a certain bandwidth, and you know what that term means, bandwidth? It is like the size of the cable, right? The size of the conduit that takes the energy. We all have a different level of Being, which means we have a different capacity to manage energy. Some of us can take a very small amount of voltage, and some can take a lot, right? That is the answer. You have to know your limit. You have to know your limit. For most of us, we have a very limited capacity. We can only manage a very small amount of energy. That means we have to isolate ourselves to a greater degree from negative impressions. That is why we should not go to bars, we should not look at pornography, we should not go to certain kinds of environments because we will become infected. We do not have the capacity to manage that energy, but with development we acquire that capacity, and little by little we are able to transform more and more vibrant impressions. In fact, we may need to in order to comprehend more and advance further, right? For example, the Master Samael Aun Weor would go looking for trouble because he needed those impressions to change, to help himself. So, he would go places where we would never go in order for him to encounter impressions that would help him transform. That was his particular, you know, situation.
There is one case where there was a man he knew, who he would go and visit, and this man hated him, but Samael Aun Weor would go there to be insulted, to receive the hate of this man so that he could learn to love, but he had the capacity to manage that without becoming identified. So that is that conduit of consciousness that we need to strengthen. In us, the conduit does not have much strength at all because it is never being used. It is like any natural transformer of energy. The consciousness has to be grown, and the first stage of that is learning to self-observe and self-remember, but to really grow it we have to create the soul, and that is what becomes the conduit for impressions.
Question: For example, that man who was insulting Samael Aun Weor, would he get karma since his intentions are bad but there was not really no result?
Answer: Of course, of course he would get karma.
Question: So, I mean, there was not any bad result, but since…
Answer: He performed an action. There is karma for that. It would be worse if he really affected somebody, but he still gets karma, you know. You can -
Question: ...was only affecting himself…
Answer: Yeah, he is hurting himself, exactly. He is hurting himself.
Question: Say someone suffers from, like, chronic depression, and despite their best efforts and everything else they cannot always overcome it. Is there a way that they could, I mean, and they do not want to negatively affect others, is there a way that you can isolate that?
Answer: Sure. The question is about how to manage chronic depression, and to manage those emotions. The best antidote that I am aware of to manage depression is to meditate on pride. It is the best antidote, to learn how to meditate, but specifically to learn how to meditate on pride. Beyond that, in terms of day to day activities, it would be to learn techniques that we have already given, such as take walks in nature, listen to good music, find things that give very superior and positive emotions in order to generate a better quality of living, so that then that person is able to meditate without being identified. So, the steps would be, anytime the negative emotion of depression is there, find a way to bring in a superior emotion. Once more equilibrium is established, then meditate and find the causes of the depression. That is the only way to solve it. Drugs will not help. You know, there are a lot of Band-Aids that we have, but in order to change suffering you have to address the causes of suffering, and the causes are within the mind, and this is true of all illness, all sickness, whether psychological or physical. You cannot cure an illness by hiding it away.
The instructors who teach the lectures and courses are volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds. Each has years of experience teaching and working with the practices and exercises that awaken the consciousness. Since the goal of dharma, yoga, or gnosis is to follow our inner Being, and to focus on divinity not terrestrial personalities, the lecturers remain anonymous, and do not broadcast their names, faces, or personal information. They do not have spiritual titles or names, do not accept followers, and live their lives anonymously like any other person in society.