A certain man was born in 1900, lived sixty-five years, then died; where was he before 1900, and where will he be after 1965? Conventional science does not know anything about this, as well as in regards to the general formulation of all questions about life and death.

We can axiomatically affirm that “the man died because his time concluded, and that a potential tomorrow does not exist for the personality of any dead man.”

Each day is a wave of time, each month is another wave of time, each year is also another wave of time; consequently, all of the waves linked together as a chain make up the great wave of life. So, time is circular, and the life of the human personality is a closed curve.

The human personality is born in its time, develops in its time, and dies in its time: it can never exist beyond its time.

This issue about time is a problem that has been studied by many sages. Undoubtedly, time is the fourth dimension.

So, Euclid’s geometry is only applicable to the tridimensional world, given that the world has seven dimensions and the fourth dimension is time.

The human mind conceives that eternity is the prolongation of time as a straight line; nothing can be more mistaken than this concept, because eternity is the fifth dimension.

Thus, each moment of existence occurs within time, and is repeated eternally.

Death and life are two extremes that cyclically unite. Death concludes a man’s cycle of life, in order to begin another; that is, his time concludes in order for another to begin. Thus, death is found intimately associated with the eternal return. This means that after our death we have to return, to come back to this world in order to repeat the same drama of our existence.

However, if the human personality terminates with death, then who or what returns?

It is necessary to clarify once and for all that the ego is that which continues after death; yes, the “I” returns, the psychological “I” comes back to this valley of tears.

It is necessary for our readers to not mistake the Law of Return for the theory of reincarnation taught by modern Theosophy. The Theosophical theory of reincarnation had its origins in the doctrine of Krishna, which is a Hindu religion of a Vedic type, yet, his doctrine was regrettably modified, adulterated by “reformers.”

In the authentic, original doctrine taught by Krishna, only the heroes, the guides, those who already possess sacred individuality reincarnate.

Yes, the pluralized “I” returns, comes back, nevertheless, this is not reincarnation. Therefore, the crowds, the multitudes return, but this process is not reincarnation.

This concept about the returning of things and phenomena, this idea of the eternal repetition, is not so ancient: we can find it in the Pythagorean wisdom, as well as in the ancient cosmogony of the Hindus with the eternal return of the days and nights of Brahma, the incessant repetition of Kalpas, etc. This Hindu doctrine is invariably associated in an intimate manner to the Pythagorean wisdom and to the Law of Eternal Return and Recurrence.

Gautama Buddha also taught very wisely about the Doctrine of the Eternal Return and the wheel of successive lives, however his doctrine was very much adulterated by his followers.

Naturally, a new human personality has to be created in every return; so, every new human personality is fashioned during the first seven years of childhood. Thus, the family’s environment, the life in the street and at the school gives to the human personality its unique, characteristic tinge, and the example of adults is definitive for the infant personality in formation.  

Yes, the infant personality in formation learns more from example than from precept. Unfortunately, the mistaken way of life, the degenerated customs of adults, are absurd examples that give to the personality of the child that peculiar, skeptical, and perverse tinge of the era in which we live.

For example, in these modern times, Adultery has become more common than fried-onions and fried-potatoes, and as is logical this originates Dantesque scenes inside homes. Thus, in this day and age, many are the children who—filled with pain and resentment—have to tolerate the lashes and beatings of their stepfather or stepmother. It is obvious that in this manner the infant personality in formation develops within a frame of pain, rancor, and hate.

There exists a vulgar saying, “Other people’s children smell awful everywhere.” Naturally, there are also exceptions, but these can be counted on the fingers of one hand (with more than one finger left over).

The disputes between father and mother because of jealousy, the crying and laments of the afflicted mother or of the oppressed, ruined, and desperate husband, leave on the personality of the child an indelible mark of profound pain and melancholy that he will never forget during his entire life.

In elegant houses when the maids go to a beauty salon or put on make-up, they are very badly mistreated by the proud ladies, because the pride of these ladies is mortally wounded.  A child that sees all these infamous scenes—whether supporting the interests of his proud and haughty mother, or those of the wretched, vain, and humiliated maid—feels profoundly hurt, thus the outcome is often catastrophic for the child’s personality in formation.

Since the invention of television, the unity of the family has been lost. In other times, when the husband arrived home from work, he was welcomed by his wife with much happiness; yet, in this day and age, the woman no longer welcomes her husband at the door because she is busy watching television.

Yes, within modern homes, the father, mother, and children look like zombies before the television screen. Now the husband cannot talk with his wife about any of the problems of the day, about work etc., because she looks like a somnambulist watching yesterday’s movie, or the Dantesque scenes of Al Capone, or the latest fashionable dance of this new age, etc.

Children who grow up in these new ultramodern homes think only of cannons, pistols, and toy machine guns, in order to imitate and relive in their own manner all the Dantesque scenes of crime, just as they have watched them on the television screen.

It is a shame that this marvelous invention of television is used with destructive purposes. If humanity would use this invention in a dignifying manner—for the study of natural sciences, or to teach the true royal art of Mother Nature, or to give sublime teachings to the people—then this invention would be a blessing for humanity, and it could be intelligently used in order to cultivate the human personality.

To nourish the personality of a child with arrhythmic, inharmonious, vulgar music is by all means an absurdity. Likewise, it is stupid to nourish the personality of children with stories of thieves and policemen, with scenes of vice and prostitution, dramas of Adultery, pornography, etc.

The outcome of such a procedure can be seen within the “rebels without a cause,” or the juvenile murderers, etc.

It is regrettable that mothers whip their children, that they beat them, that they insult them with cruel and indecent words. The outcome of such conduct is resentment, hate, the loss of love, etc.

In practicality, we have been able to verify that those children who grew up amidst beatings, lashes, and screams became vulgar people filled with loutishness and with a lack of every sense of respect and veneration.

It is essential to comprehend the necessity of establishing true equilibrium within homes.

It is indispensable to know that sweetness and severity must be mutually equilibrated on the two pans of the scale of justice.

The father represents severity. The mother represents sweetness. The father personifies wisdom. The mother symbolizes love.

Wisdom and love, severity and sweetness, are mutually equilibrated on the two pans of the cosmic scale.

Parents must mutually balance each other for the good of their home.

It is essential, it is necessary, for all parents to comprehend the necessity of sowing the eternal values of the spirit within their child’s brain.

It is lamentable that modern children no longer possess the sense of veneration; they have lost it due to the stories of cowboys, robbers against police, the television, movies, etc.; all of this has perverted the minds of children.

The revolutionary psychology of the Gnostic movements, in a clear and precise manner, makes an in-depth distinction between the ego and the essence.

Only the beauty of the essence manifests through the child during the first three or four years of life. Then, the child is tender, sweet, and beautiful in all his psychological aspects.

However, when the ego begins to control the tender personality of the child, then all the beauty of the Essence begins to disappear and the characteristic psychological defects of every human being bloom in its place.

In the same manner that we must make a distinction between ego and Essence, likewise, it is necessary to distinguish between the personality and the Essence.

Understand: the human being is born with an Essence but not with a personality; thus, it is necessary to create the personality. Nevertheless, the personality and the Essence must be developed in a harmonious and balanced manner.

In practicality, we have been able to verify that when the personality is developed in an exaggerated manner at the expense of the Essence, the outcome is a swindler.

The observation and experience of many years have allowed us to comprehend that when the Essence is some how developed without attending in the least to the harmonious cultivation of the personality, then the outcome is a mystic without intellect, without personality—of noble heart, but inadaptable and incapable.

The harmonious development of personality and Essence brings as an outcome brilliant men and women.

In the Essence, we have everything that we own; in the personality, we have everything that we borrowed. That is, in the Essence we have our innate qualities, and in the personality we have the example of our elders, what we have learned at home, in school, and in the streets.

It is essential for children to receive nourishment for their Essence and nourishment for their personality.

The Essence is nourished with tenderness, limitless affection, love, music, flowers, beauty, harmony, etc.

The personality must be nourished with the good examples of our elders, with wise teaching at school, etc.

It is indispensable that children enter into primary school at the age of seven years, after having passed through kindergarten.

Children must learn their first letters through playing, so that studying becomes attractive, delightful, and happy for them.

A fundamental education teaches that the three aspects of the human personality—known as thought, movement, and action—must be cared for in a very special manner from kindergarten (“garden for children”); in this way the personality of the child develops in an harmonious and balanced manner.

This issue about the creation of the personality of a child and its development is a very serious responsibility for parents and schoolteachers, since the quality of the human personality depends exclusively on the type of psychological material with which it was created and nourished.

Regarding the personality, the Essence, and the ego, there is so much confusion amongst the students of psychology: some of them mistake the personality for the Essence, and others mistake the ego or “I” for the Essence.

Thus, many are the pseudo-esoteric or pseudo-occultist schools that have impersonal life as a goal of their studies. It is necessary to clarify for them that the personality is not what we have to dissolve.

It is essential to know that we need to disintegrate the ego, the “myself,” and reduce it to cosmic dust, and that the personality is merely a vehicle of action, a vehicle that was necessary to create, to fabricate.

In this world exist the various Caligula, Attila, Hitler, etc., types of personalities, yet any type of personality—as perverse as it might be—can be radically altered when the ego or “I” is totally dissolved.

This issue about the dissolution of the ego or “I” confuses and annoys the pseudo-esotericists, since they are convinced that the ego is divine; yes, they think that the ego or “I” is the Being, the divine Monad, etc. Yet, it is necessary, it is essential, it is unpostponable, to comprehend that the ego or “I” is anything but divine.

The ego is the Satan of the Bible: a collection of memories, desires, passions, hates, resentments, concupiscence, adulteries, and inheritance of family, race, nations, etc.

Many are those who stupidly affirm that within us exist a superior or divine “I” and an inferior “I.”

Listen: superior or inferior are always two sections of the same thing. Thus, the superior “I” and the inferior “I” are two sections of the same ego.

The divine Being, the Monad, the Innermost, has nothing to do with any form of “I.”

The Being is the Being, and that is all; thus, the reason for the Being to be, is to be the same Being.

The personality in itself is only a vehicle and nothing else; therefore, either the ego or the Being can manifest through the personality: it all depends on us.

It is urgent that we dissolve the ego so that only the psychological Essence of our true Being manifests itself through our personality.

It is indispensable for educators to completely comprehend the necessity of harmoniously cultivating the three aspects of the human personality.

A perfect equilibrium between personality and Essence, the harmonious development of thought, emotion, and movement, and a revolutionary ethics are what constitute the basis of a fundamental education.

Fundamentals of Gnostic EducationThis chapter is from Fundamentals of Gnostic Education (1970) by Samael Aun Weor. The print and ebook editions by Glorian Publishing (a non-profit organization) are illustrated to aid your understanding, and include features like a glossary and index. Buy the book, and you benefit yourself and others.