This is a transcription of an audio lecture which you can download for free: Alphabet of Kabbalah Course .
Tav ת, the 22nd Hebrew letter, is the final letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and as such it represents the completion or synthesis of all of the Hebrew letters. Within the Tav we find the complete synthesis or sum of everything. In order to understand the ת Tav, it is necessary for you to understand all of the Hebrew letters. This letter, having the depth and breadth and weight of all of the other letters, it is very deep, and very complex. In fact this letter appears symbolically throughout the Jewish and Christian scriptures, but is often unrecognized.
The ת Tav represents a mark, stamp, or seal. For example, in ancient times, would someone wrote a letter they would seal it with wax; an official document would receive an impression, a stamp, a seal in that wax; this is what the letter Tav represents. Tav is the final stamp, the definition, the summation of what is contained in the letter. So this letter is very significant: it represents the completion of the human being, the completion of the work.
The shape of the ת Tav is comprised of two letters: to make a ת Tav you unite a ד Daleth and a נ Nun. You can see the Daleth on the right hand aspect of the Tav, and you can see the Nun in the left hand aspect of the Tav. The letters דנ Daleth-Nun spell ‘Dan’ in Hebrew. ‘Dan’ means judgment. The Tav is a judgment; it is how we are judged; it is the summation of our action. When we reach the end, the completion of our life, we face a judgment—we receive a Tav, a seal, a stamp, a mark. That seal, Tav, is the mathematical completion of our every action. Every thought, every feeling, every movement of energy that has moved through us is summarized, calculated, and upon that final calculation is put a Tav, a mark; it is the synthesis of our life. From that mathematical equation we proceed to the next step, based upon that mark.
Likewise, at the end of any cycle of evolution, our consciousness receives a ת Tav, a mark. When we complete the period of time we are allotted in a human organism, we receive a Tav. When we complete a Manvantara or a Mahamanvantara, we receive a Tav, a summation of our every action, our every movement. That summary is what propels us to the next stage. Humanity, in the many cycles through which it passes, receives mark after mark as we pass from age to age, from stage to stage.
But the ultimate Tav, the final, greatest ת Tav, is written of in the Book of Revelation: it is that final ultimate synthesis of every movement of every action that we have ever performed in all of our existences. It is this Tav that we must be concerned about because it is this Tav that propels us to our ultimate destiny.
In the books of the Bible, it is written:
You shall not do injustice in judgment, in length, in weight, or in measure. - Leviticus / Vayikra 19:35
Justice is the law. Justice is the Law of God, the Law of the Divine, the Law of Nature, which seeks to balance everything, to reach an ultimate equilibrium of all energy. This ultimate justice is expressed in Hinduism as Triguna, the three gunas: three modifications of Prakriti that relate to how energy acts in every level of manifestation from the Ain Soph down. Perfect justice is the perfect equilibrium of the three gunas.
When a soul embodies perfect justice, the soul enters back into the Absolute with Absolute Knowledge. Such a soul is called in Sanskrit: Paramarthasatya. Such a soul has received the Crown of Life. This Crown of Life is written of in Revelation:
...be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. - Revelation 2:10
One who is faithful to the Ain Soph through all things and equilibrates all energy in perfect balance receives that crown. That crown is a mark, a Tav; that crown is related with כתר Kether.
The middle letter of the word כתר Kether is a Tav; that Tav is central to Kether; it is the very point of equilibrium of Kether. That Tav is the crown, Kether, and Kether is the entrance into and out of manifestation. It is the Crown of Life.
Purification, Illumination, Perfection
To receive that crown or Tav, the soul must be perfected. To reach perfection, the soul must first be illuminated. To reach illumination, the soul must first be purified. These are the three stages about which Samael Aun Weor wrote many times and which are symbolized in every religion:
- first, we must pass through purification
- second, we must be illuminated
- third, we must be perfected
Of course, all of the spiritually-minded people in the world—as soon as they hear of religion, spirituality, or mysticism—want immediate illumination and begin to assume that they are perfect (because of excuses such as “we are made in the image of God”), but they have not even started the first stage, which is purification. This is why in the Gnostic Movement we focus intently on purification (psychological death)—because without it, one can never be illuminated (stage two). Therefore, one can also never be perfected (stage three).
Illumination comes from light. To receive the Illumination of God, the Illumination of that Primordial Light which underlies all of creation, requires that we become an empty vessel that the light can fill. That empty vessel is what is measured by the Tav. That empty vessel is us; it is our human soul. The human soul is תפארת Tiphereth on the Tree of Life. Tiphereth is the central Sephirah, right in the middle of the Tree of Life, both vertically and horizontally. תפארת Tiphereth begins and ends with ת Tav. This is extremely significant: that letter Tav is the beginning and ending of Tiphereth, the human soul. That is because it is the human soul that is measured and is judged, and it is Tiphereth that must fill the Tree of Life with Light.
Tiphereth means “compassion” or “beauty,” and real beauty comes from Light—the Light of Christ. That Light emerges from fire, which you know is represented by the letter ש Shin, the 21st character of the Hebrew alphabet, which we heard about in the previous lecture. Shin emerges in our human soul through purification; it is the fire that purifies us.
I am come to send fire on the earth... - Luke 12:49
When the human soul is being purified it is also being illuminated with אשEsh, fire.
Tiphereth is central. Tiphereth is our consciousness—which is here in us, but bottled up, trapped in ego. Our own Tiphereth, our own human soul, is in darkness. None of us are illuminated. None of us have our consciousness awake. Instead, we have our consciousness trapped in impurity. We need to be purified of impurity.
There are two ways to arrive at purification. The first is mechanically; nature can do it for us. If we choose, we can simply wait—and this is why many spiritual groups say, “Ultimately, all souls return to the Light.” This is true; but what they do not say is how. All souls, all human souls, will return to the Ain Soph, but those who have not consciously and willingly purified themselves of their mistakes will only return to the Ain Soph after they have been purified by Nature—and that purification is called Hell—Gehenna, Avitchi, Averno, Hades, the realm of Pluto, Tartarus, suffering—and all of us are already experiencing it. Everyone in this planet is already in Hell. This entire planet is sinking, psychologically speaking, into Hell. That is why suffering is so pervasive; it touches every aspect of our lives. None of us are free of suffering because all of us have a psyche that belongs in Hell. Therefore, none of us can make any claim to being purified, illuminated, or perfect.
For us to redeem our Human Soul, our own consciousness, we need to understand who and what we are. Malkuth is the bottom-most Sephirah on the Tree of Life. The Hebrew word Malkuth ends with the letter Tav. So observe this:
- on the Tree of Life at the very top is כתר Kether, balanced on ת Tav
- in the middle תפארת Tiphereth begins and ends with ת Tav
- at the bottom מלכות Malkuth is completed by ת Tav
This is significant. In the central column of the tree of life is Tav.
We have told you before that the central column of the Tree of Life relates to your spinal column, to your nervous system, represented by the letter ו Vav. The Hebrew letter Vav, which is the sixth letter, represents a spinal column, and it also represents Tiphereth. The secret of the Vav is intimate with the secret of ת Tav, and they even sound similar. In fact to write the word for the letter Tav, you write: תו Tav, Vav.
The relationship between these two letters is very deep and significant. To reach the 22nd letter, the completion of the word, the ת Tav—you have to work through your ו Vav, which is your spine and your תפארת Tiphereth, your Human Soul, to unite with כתר Kether. The only way to do that is in Malkuth. Malkuth represents the physical world, the physical body and the Nukva. To work in Malkuth is to work here and now and from moment to moment. This is not something in the future; this is not something to theorize about, to contemplate, to debate.
Malkuth is Assiah, the fourth world of Kabbalah. Assiah means “the World of Action.” To work with the ו Vav is to work in action, in Assiah, now, from moment to moment. And how do your work with Tiphereth? You pay attention, you become conscious of everything that you do: in your mind, in your heart, in your body.
We have three brains, three centers of psychological activity. We need to make Tiphereth, our consciousness, fully awake in these three brains, to be fully aware. Unfortunately, our Tiphereth, our Psyche, is asleep; we need Eros to awaken Psyche.
Eros, Christ, is the force of love. Until Psyche awakens, our Tiphereth, our Vav, is negative; it is asleep. That is why in the Book of Revelation the beast has the number 666. Those are three Vavs—three brains: mind, heart, body. All three are asleep; all three in us are dominated by animal desire. Our mind is dominated by fear, pride, envy, anger, lust, greed, gluttony, laziness. Our heart is dominated by negative emotions, by resentments, by memories, by cravings. Our body is dominated by habits, by laziness, by busy-ness. Our three brains are 666: three negative Vavs, inverted in Hell; that is why we suffer. We need to rectify that, to correct it.
The ת Tav and the ו Vav encompass this whole Tree of Life, which is us. The Tree of Life does map the cosmos, but its primary importance is as a map of our mind. The Tav, the mark, the seal, synthesizes our Tree of Life. Right now we are a beast, an animal, 666.
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a [ת Tav] mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. - Revelation 13
This beast that we worship performs wonders, performs so-called miracles through the ego, but that beast receives a mark which condemns it to Hell. That mark is a Tav. That mark is the summary of all the actions of that beast in our mind, in our heart in our body.
In order to resolve this situation, we need help. Humanity and the suffering that it passes through is growing worse. From day to day, from generation to generation, we can observe that humanity is not ascending into a Golden Age: humanity is descending into horror. We try to deny it, we try to be optimistic, but the facts are everywhere that this society is crumbling, decaying from the inside. We, individually, are what Jesus spoke of:
Woe unto you, scribes (intellectuals) and Pharisees (fanatics), hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. - Matthew 23
We try to cultivate a beautiful appearance, to dress well, to speak a certain way, to appear saintly, to act like the good religious person. But inside we are full of rottenness, full of filth and impurity.
We are not judged by the Divine, by the Laws of Nature, by the Laws of God based on our appearance. We are judged by the results of our actions. We are judged by what we are and what we have done.
So to resolve this situation and change it, we need to see the truth: the truth of who we are, the truth about our world, and most of all, the truth about religion. Without that truth, we cannot change. This is why the Gnostic teachings are so critical. All religions are beautiful, needed, necessary, and important. The Gnostic Movement in nonsectarian; we embrace all movements and all religions. The Gnostic teachings illuminate all religions, and celebrate all religions - in their pure form. Nonetheless, we demand clarity of expression. We demand that the soul has the right to all the knowledge that it needs. We demand the complete teaching, because humanity needs it right now.
In this new era or age, truth, the complete truth, the complete doctrine, is the responsibility of the angel called Samael. In Hebrew, the word truth is אמתEmet. Emet is spelled: Aleph, Mem, Tav. These three letters comprise the entire alphabet. א Aleph is the first letter of the alef-bet. מ Mem is the central letter, the middle of the alphabet. ת Tav is the final letter. Here we find the complete truth, in all the Hebrew letters. The א Aleph is related with כתר Kether, the first manifested force, the Ruach Elohim, the spirit, the wind—that is related with our own Innermost. When that force manifests, the wisdom that we need, the knowledge that we need, is impregnated into מ Mem, the waters of the Divine Mother—those primordial creative forces represented by the letter Mem. We can receive that in its completion, in its totality, through ת Tav (Kether - Tiphereth - Malkuth). Aleph Mem Tav: you see here the process of that energy, the knowledge, the Light emerging and becoming a fully developed human being.
This is why Christ, through Jesus, said:
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the father but by me. - John 14:6
Christ, Khristos, is that fire, אשEsh, the Light, which is, in its synthesis, the Trinity: Kether, Chokmah, Binah—the three primary forces. Christ is the way, the path, the knowledge, the Dharma, the Torah. Christ is the light, Christ is life, Christ is truth. Christ is Apollo, Krishna, Chenresig, Quetzalcoatl, the Tao.
What is exceedingly interesting about Christ and the letter ת Tav is that the ancient symbol of Tav is a cross. In ancient times, the Tav was written as a cross. It is interesting that the Christians think the cross belongs to them, but it does not: the cross is a Hebrew letter Tav. When Jesus, the Initiate, the Master, was crucified he was hung upon a Hebrew letter Tav, because he was a Jew. The ת Tav, the cross, is a Jewish symbol, but it is also Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Tibetan, and Hindu. You find the cross in every religion. You find it in the Odinic mysteries, Nordic mysteries, in the Aztec, even amongst the Maya. The cross does not belong to Christians. The cross belongs to the universe. The cross is Tav.
The cross is the mark, Tav, the synthesis of everything. Within the cross, everything is summarized, and this is why Christianity wisely adopted the cross as a symbol. That cross represents the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate expression of the direct path: the path of the Bodhisattva, which is Tav—complete sacrifice, ultimate love, supernal compassion. That Light, that fire of Christ, is not dogmatic. It is not judgmental. The light of Christ is pure love, pure light, cognizant love.
The cross represents that; the cross unites the entire Tree of Life. If we place the Tav, the ancient form as a cross, over the Tree of Life, then the central pillar, the central column, is the center of the cross. Where does the vertical and horizontal beam cross the tree? תפארת Tiphereth, which begins and ends with ת Tav. So if you hang that horizontal beam on תפארת Tiphereth, those two ת Tavs in Tiphereth support the outer ends. The Tree of Life has a cross that bridges through Tiphereth. That is why Jesus was crucified on a cross. This is a symbol that the human soul must sacrifice all desire; the human soul must sacrifice itself for others; the human soul must die psychologically.
The cross also represents Tantra, Alchemy. In Tantric traditions the cross is a symbol of Tantras power—the cross in movement, known as the swastika, which in Asia retains its original meaning, not that given to it by the criminal Hitler. The cross is used by all mystics, whether those mystics are purifying themselves or degenerating themselves. They all use the cross.
Tantra has two main forms. We call them “black” and “white” because of their relative state of purity. Black Tantra is very common. Many religions teach Black Tantra. They may not call it that, but if they teach sexuality while in the presence of animal desire and the orgasm, they teach Black Tantra. White Tantra teaches how to restrain the sexual force and utilize that fire to purify the mind; this is pure Tantra, White Tantra. This sort of Tantra is what we teach. In White Tantra, one utilizes all the forces in all three brains—all that fire and energy—and transforms that into Light and offers it back to God, purified by the force of willpower, which is the virtue of Tiphereth. Tiphereth is will, conscious will, will over desire. But if Tiphereth is seduced by desire, by lust, by cravings for power, like spiritual power even, then Tiphereth falls, negative. In this case that cross is utilized to take those energies and use them, but negatively.
The cross is used in every religion, in every person, depending on how we use our energy. But in White Tantra, White Magic, or Pure Dharma, that cross is put into movement, that energy is propelled back upwards—from Malkuth up, thus that cross spins and forms a swastika. That symbol is present in every religion and represents this mystery: how the crossing of male-female and the restraint of that force empowers the cross with motion, spiritual motion, and that energy, that fire, illuminates the psyche—that rises upwards along the Vav from Tav to Tav. This is what we call Initiation. The instruction how to do it is called Torah.
Many people think that the word תורה Torah refers only to the writings of Moses and the prophets in the Hebrew traditions, but in fact the word Torah, which is spelled תורה (Tav Vav Reish Hei), actually means “teaching, law, instruction.” It is the same word as Dharma. In Sanskrit, the word Dharma means “truth, law, teaching.” So Dharma and Torah—which even sounds similar—are really the same. So when we talk about the Torah or the Dharma we are talking about the teaching, the knowledge, the method to purify oneself, to illuminate oneself, and ultimately to perfect oneself. This Torah or teaching is described in the Book of Proverbs as a light. It says:
...for the commandment is a lamp and the תורה Torah is a אור (Aur, light) and reproofs of instruction are the way of life. - Proverbs 6
Now many read this and take it literally and think that the Torah or the law is some kind of light, physically or otherwise, and reproofs of instruction are a way of life like the way you have to live life—and that is true in a certain sense. But there is a deeper meaning hidden here because the word תורה Torah hides the word אור Light. Light is spelled Aleph, Vav, Reish. The א Aleph is hidden in the midst of the letters Tav and Vav. Remember, I explained to you that the letter ו Vav is spelled with two letters, תו Tav and Vav—but in the middle of them is the Aleph—the wind, the spirit. So here, Torah could actually be spelled תאורה Tav, Aleph, Vav, Reish, Heh—and in the middle there is אור Aleph, Vav, Reish—Aur—Light. We all know the word ואור Weor, from Samael Aun Weor; ואור Weor is Hebrew and means “and light.” So the light, the Aur, is hidden in the Torah, and you can hear it in the word Tor-ah—Light. But what is that light?
When we study the Tree of Life we see, at the top, this supernal triangle: Kether, Chokmah, Binah. That three in one is the Trinity, the Cosmic Christ. That force is the Light of the Divine. It is a manifestation of the Ain Soph Aur. Aur means Light. Ain Soph Aur means “the Limitless Light.” That is the Light that is in the Torah, but the Torah does not belong to the Jews, just like the Dharma does not belong to Tibetans, Indians, or Japanese. The knowledge, the wisdom, belongs to any soul who embodies it, actualizes it, lives it, and becomes a Torah.
You see, in the Zohar it is explained very well that the Torah is not simply stories, but the stories are a garment, a veil, that contain the real Torah, the real knowledge. Those who see only the garment—the stories, the anecdotes, and myths—do not see the Torah. They only see the garment; they do not see the soul and spirit that is within it. The same is true of Gnosis. In the Gnostic tradition, there are many who study the beautiful words of Samael Aun Weor but they fail to see the Torah, the Light inside those words. They may memorize books and quote Samael Aun Weor very well, but they do not actualize the teachings in their consciousness; they do not become the teaching. Instead, they remain as they have always been. And Samael himself commented about that, sadly, many times.
In order for us to actualize the Light of Torah in ourselves, we have to follow the steps that it provides, but those steps are not written literally. The written law is only the inferior law. In other words, the written Torah is just a shell, a garment. It is sacred, but it is also transcended by a superior law.
There is a law that we study in Gnosis that says:
When an inferior law is transcended by a superior law, the inferior law is washed away.
The law is Torah, Dharma, but there is the inferior law and the superior law. The inferior Torah or inferior Dharma is the written law, like the Commandments, the Vinaya, the vows, the behaviors, attitudes, or steps that one takes physically. These are the many things that we learn and adopt from reading, studying, and hearing from our instructors what we should and should not do. In Sanskrit, they are called Yama and Niyama, the firsts steps of yoga. But these are the inferior law; they are necessary, but they are not the ultimate law.
When Tiphereth begins to receive illumination because of being purified, Tiphereth begins to receive superior Torah, the higher law. This law comes from the Innermost. This is the law, the truth, the Dharma, for that Initiate. In other words, these are instructions that the Initiate receives from their own Inner Buddha, and those instructions transcend the written law and everything else.
We observe in the life of Samael Aun Weor many things that he did that others did not understand, many steps that he had to take that others condemned, criticized, and even attacked him for, because they did not understand the superior Torah, the superior law. Likewise, in the lives of every Initiate—in the lives of Jacob, Moses, Jesus, Krishna, we observe this—that when they follow the steps that they are instructed to take, the world criticizes them—it does not understand them—attacks them. You see, the world judges based on appearance, but God judges based on action. Remember, Tav is about judgment.
Therefore, we need to understand that difference. We begin by following the written law, the inferior Dharma, the Torah, but gradually we need to grasp and receive that real law from our own Innermost. We need to know what we ourselves must do to overcome our Karma and to fulfill our destiny. Sometimes, those actions contradict the written law.
For example, it is stated throughout all the religions in the world that the hidden doctrine should not be revealed. But, those religions belong to the previous age, the Piscean Era, which has passed. There are many now in this new Aquarian Era who are still firmly attached to Piscean thinking—old ways of doing things, old practices, old ways of teaching, and they have their scriptures to enforce their belief. They do not hear the new current, the Aquarian current, which is revolutionary and demands that the teaching be given in full. This is what Samael Aun Weor came to do—to initiate the opening of the doors. He closed the Piscean Era and opened the Aquarian. Many have refused to walk through that door. In fact, it is even common amongst his students - so-called “Gnostics” that refuse to teach the full doctrine to the public—a fear, a hesitation, to teach openly about the mysteries of Tantra and sexuality when that is the mission of Gnosis; that is the very heart and soul of Daath. It is strange that they refuse to teach upright sexuality (Sexual Magic) openly, when it is publicly given in all the books of Samael Au Weor that you can buy anywhere. So if even the “Gnostics” are like that, it should be no surprise to us that people in other religions are scandalized and offended by what we are teaching to you openly, freely.
In the past era, it is true that the knowledge needed to be withheld. But now this light must be given. This is a commandment from Christ. It is not written. It is something you acquire through Tiphereth, through the soul. In order to acquire it, one has to be living in accordance with the covenant.
The covenant is represented in Hebrew by the letter י Iod. The covenant represents transmutation, chastity. If someone is not observing the covenant, they cannot enter the door to initiation. The covenant is the prerequisite for everything. The covenant is that which purifies, and that is why it says in the Bible:
...let the waters bring forth abundantly.
The waters are מים Mayim, which is that Mem in the midst of truth ( אמתEmet). Mayim is written Mem, Iod, Mem. In the middle of Mayim is the י Iod: the covenant—the seal, the mark that represents circumcision, chastity. Mayim, the water, is our sexual water; and that Iod is the representation or mark of the covenant; it represents the teaching of chastity. In the Piscean Era this was secret; in the Aquarian Era it must be taught widely.
The Zohar says:
And then it is made clear that [by circumcision] it is a living created being. Or in other words, a Soul that belongs to that Holy Light, which is Malkut, and not to the 'Other Side'. And this is alluded to by the words, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly" (Beresheet 1:20). This has been explained in the book of Chanoch [Enoch] as, "Let the waters of the holy seed be stamped [ת tav] by the impression [ת tav] of the Living Spirit."
This book of Enoch was a lost scripture that was found in recent years in Ethiopia. The Book of Enoch is a remarkable document that reveals many hidden aspects that were never openly taught but were privately known in Kabbalah.
This quote states that this impression of the living spirit be placed upon the seed. That seed is זרוע Zera in Hebrew, which means seed. But where is that seed in the human being? In the semen—the sexual waters of man and woman—because remember in esotericism the word semen is not gender based, it is simply sexual energy.
And this alludes to the impression [ת tav] that the Hebrew letter Yud marked upon the holy flesh, more than any other mark that exists in the world. [...] When the sign of the holy covenant [circumcision] is defiled and put into the dominion of the other [Ra, the impure spirit], namely by transgression [fornication], the holiness of the [ת tav] seal is gone from him, and he is considered as if he ruined the world, for he has defiled the seal upon which the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He, is completed. Thus he ruins the world by stopping the bounty of the Holy One, blessed be He, from the world. - Zohar
This is a very grave statement. To synthesize, it is stating: the one who makes the covenant impure by his transgressions of orgasm, fornication, and adultery, in effect stops the Light of God from emerging into the world. We can observe this on our planet. Where do we see the Light of God amongst men? Where do we see true altruism, cognizant love, chastity, patience? Very rarely. What we most commonly see is violence, sexual degeneration, and religious wars. None of this has anything to do with the divine; this has a lot to do with the ego. Thus, those who deface the bounty of the Holy One face judgment, Tav. This is why Christ through Jesus said:
Think not that I come to destroy the law (the Torah or Dharma), or the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. - Matthew 5:17
In other words that energy of Christ, which emerges in the Initiate through purification and illumination, comes not to destroy the law but to fulfill the law. This is a very subtle thing; it sounds easy to grasp but it is not. It is something that we would have to meditate on to penetrate the true meaning of it—partly because our ego thinks it can overcome the law. Our personality, our ‘I’ thinks: “I can do what I want, I’ve got time; God loves me; God will forgive me; everything is going to be o.k. I am with the right religion now so—I found the real teaching, the real group, so I’m good; I am on the express train to heaven.” These are all lies that our ego tells us; none of it is true. Christ comes to fulfill the law, that is to fulfill judgment, to measure our soul against the Torah. This is a very significant statement. If you have studied the Egyptian mysticism you may have encountered what is called the Negative Confession.
The Negative Confession is made when the soul stands before the court of Maat. Maat is Egyptian for "truth" and is very similar to the Hebrew word Emet (truth). The soul faces the forty-two judges of the law to be measured by them in relation to the teaching. Each judge measures a certain aspect of the law. He then states to each judge that he has not committed any wrong action. This is the entire Negative Confession as preserved in ancient documents:
1. "Hail Usekh-nemtet (i.e., Long of strides), who comest forth from Annu (Heliopolis), I have not done iniquity.
2. "Hail Hept-seshet (i.e., Embraced by flame), who comest forth from Kher-âba, I have not robbed with violence.
3. "Hail Fenti (i.e., Nose), who comest forth from Khemennu (Hermopolis), I have not done violence to any man.
4. "Hail Âm-khaibitu (i.e., Eater of shades), who comest forth from the Qereret (i.e., the cavern where the Nile rises), I have not committed theft.
5. "Hail Neha-hra (i.e., Stinking face), who comest forth from Restau, I have slain neither man nor woman.
6. "Hail Rereti (i.e., Double Lion-god), who comest forth from heaven, I have not made light the bushel [committed fraud].
7. "Hail Maata-f-em-seshet (i.e., Fiery eyes), who comest forth from Sekhem (Letopolis), I have not acted deceitfully.
8. "Hail Neba (i.e., Flame), who comest forth and retreatest, I have not purloined the things which belong unto God.
9. "Hail Set-qesu (i.e., Crusher of bones), who comest forth from Suten-henen (Heracleopolis), I have not uttered falsehood.
10. "Hail Khemi (i.e., Overthrower), who comest forth from Shetait (i.e., the hidden place), I have not carried off goods by force.
11. "Hail Uatch-nesert (i.e., Vigorous of Flame), who comest forth from Het-ka-Ptah. (Memphis), I have not uttered vile (or evil) words.
12. "Hail Hra-f-ha-f (i.e., He whose face is behind him), who comest forth from the cavern and the deep, I have not carried off food by force.
13. "Hail Qerti (i.e., the double Nile source), who comest forth from the Underworld, I have not acted deceitfully.
14. "Hail Ta-ret (i.e., Fiery-foot), who comest forth out of the darkness, I have not eaten my heart (i.e. lost my temper and become angry).
15. "Hail Hetch-abehu (i.e., Shining teeth), who comest forth from Ta-she (i.e., the Fayyûm), I have invaded no [man's land].
16. "Hail, Âm-senef (i.e., Eater of blood), who comest forth from the house of the block, I have not slaughtered animals which are the possessions of God.
17. "Hail Âm-besek (i.e., Eater of entrails), who comest forth from Mâbet, I have not laid waste the lands which have been ploughed.
18. "Hail Neb-Maât (i.e., Lord of Maât), who comest forth from the city of the two Maâti, I have not pried into matters to make mischief.
19. "Hail Thenemi (i.e., Retreater), who comest forth from Bast (i.e., Bubastis), I have not set my mouth in motion against any man.
20. "Hail Anti, who comest forth from Annu (Heliopolis), I have not given way to wrath without due cause.
21. "Hail Tututef, who comest forth from the nome of Ati, I have not committed fornication, and I have not committed sodomy.
22. "Hail Uamemti, who comest forth from the house of slaughter, I have not polluted myself [masturbation].
23. "Hail Maa-ant-f (i.e., Seer of what is brought to him), who comest forth from the house of the god Amsu, I have not lain with the wife of a man [adultery].
24. "Hail Her-seru, who comest forth from Nehatu, I have not made any man to be afraid.
25. "Hail Neb-Sekhem, who comest forth from the Lake of Kaui, I have not made my speech to burn with anger.
26. "Hail Seshet-kheru (i.e., Orderer of speech), who comest forth from Urit, I have not made myself deaf unto the words of right and truth.
27. "Hail Nekhen (i.e., Babe), who comest forth from the Lake of Heqât, I have not made another person to weep.
28. "Hail Kenemti, who comest forth from Kenemet, I have not uttered blasphemies.
29. "Hail An-hetep-f (i.e., Bringer of his offering), who comest forth from Sau, I have not acted with violence.
30. "Hail Ser-kheru (i.e., Disposer of Speech), who comest forth from Unsi, I have not hastened my heart.
31. "Hail Neb-hrau (i.e., Lord of Faces), who comest forth from Netchefet, I have not pierced (?) my skin (?) and I have not taken vengeance on the god.
32. "Hail Serekhi, who comest forth from Uthent, I have not multiplied my speech beyond what should be said.
33. "Hail Neb-âbui (i.e., Lord of horns), who comest forth from Sauti, I have not committed fraud, [and I have not] looked upon evil.
34. "Hail Nefer-Tem, who comest forth from Ptah-het-ka (Memphis), I have never uttered curses against the king.
35. "Hail Tem-sep, who comest forth from Tattu, I have not fouled running water.
36. "Hail Ari-em-ab-f, Who comest forth from Tebti, I have not exalted my speech.
37. "Hail Ahi, who comest forth from Nu, I have not uttered curses against God.
38. "Hail Uatch-rekhit [who comest forth from his shrine (?)], I have not behaved with insolence.
39. "Hail Neheb-nefert, who comest forth from his temple, I have not made distinctions.
40. "Hail Neheb-kau, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have not increased my wealth except by means of such things as are mine own possessions.
41. "Hail Tcheser-tep, who comest forth from thy shrine, I have not uttered curses against that which belongeth to God and is with me.
42. "Hail An-â-f (i.e., Bringer of his arm), [who comest forth from Aukert], I have not thought scorn of the god of the city."
None of us can say these things before the Judges of the Law, because we are guilty. In the presence of that court of the law everything that we are and have done is perfectly revealed. It is seen in the Light of the Divine; nothing is hidden. All of those corners of our mind and those little behaviors that we try not to show other people and we often avoid in ourselves, are revealed as in the light of day.
That moment will arrive for every soul; it is symbolized in every religion. Amongst the Buddhists, the soul is said to appear before Yama the God of Death who holds up a mirror and the soul sees itself as it truly is. This is the same symbol as the soul arriving in the Egyptian court of Maat, the same symbol of the revelation of the final judgment: when Christ sits in judgment over all beings. At that judgment, every soul receives a mark, a Tav. Are you prepared? I am not… and I am sure most of us would say that. Thus we need to work; we need to purify ourselves.
This is why we have received the Dharma. Not the Piscean Era Dharma—that is a beautiful teaching—all the scriptures, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Gnostic Gospels, the Sutras, the Tantras, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Popol Vuh—these are all beautiful, but they are all Piscean. We need the new Fifth Gospel, the New Doctrine, the Aquarian Doctrine. Some of it is written now, but not all. To receive the entire doctrine you have to awaken your consciousness.
Jesus synthesized it with his teaching when he was asked,
Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. - Matt 22
In other words, thou shalt not love they pride, thy vanity, thy fear, thy resentment; thou shall love thy Inner God, thy Inner Buddha, and from moment to moment, always. Therefore we need to study and understand our own mind. To help us we have received the Dharma, this new doctrine, and about that we can read in Ezekiel:
God says, “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not [this] for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
The heathen here is our own mind, it is our ego. It is not outside people who are not in our own particular religion or group; it is that heathen aspect of our own psyche. In other words we need to show the ego in ourselves who is the real God.
For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit [ruach] will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. And ye shall dwell in the land [eretz] that I gave to your fathers [ab]; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your Elohim. - Ezekiel 36
In other words, by purifying ourselves of all those heathen gods—which are all those psychological aspects that we worship in our minds from moment to moment, from day to day—our own Ain Soph can put into us a new Ruach, a new spirit, purified. That is how we are redeemed from the lands of the heathen, which is Klipoth, Hell—through purification—moment to moment, not just five minutes a day, not just those few minutes a week we decide to meditate. This must be continual—continual—always present and active in oneself. This is how we discover who the Messiah is.
Every religion claims to know about the Messiah. If we want, we can go out now and find ten or fifteen or a hundred people who think they are the Messiah. This is not reality.
The word Messiah in Aramaic is spelled: Mem, Shin, Iod, Chet, Aleph—Meshaiach. The Messiah basically means “anointed one.” It is a title, not a name.
Every religion claims this or that Messiah. The Jews claim that King David will have something to do with the new Messiah who will come in the future. The Christians claim that Jesus will come again. The Aztecs believed that Quetzalcoatl was to return. The Hindus believe that Vishnu will send his avatar as a Messiah. The Tibetan Buddhists believe that a great avatar or new king will come to rule over the earth in a future age. The Northern Buddhists are waiting for Maitreya, the future Buddha. All of these represent the Messiah, but every one of them is a symbol. That Messiah is not a physical person.
To understand the symbol of the Messiah, we can look into the Zohar and study the teaching about the Messiah, what that force, what that symbol represents. In the Zohar it says:
In the year 66 the King, Meshaiach will appear in the land of Galilee and he is called Meshaiach Ben Josef.
Naturally, most people who read this read it literally and think that in some year 66 some person is going to be born with the name Meshaiach Ben Josef and he is going to save the world. This is not so; the Zohar is a book of Kabbalah: everything written here is symbolic.
We begin with the year 66: in the year 66 the king will appear. What is 66? I already explained to you about the number 666, which are six Vavs. But actually the number 66, if you write it, it is Samech, Vav. Samech is the fifteenth letter and represents the number 60. Samech is the serpent in motion, in movement, the Ouroboros. The six is a Vav. But if you say the word Samech Vav instead of the number, it means: end, conclusion, termination, finished. Thus, “in the year 66” means: at the end, at the conclusion. At the conclusion of what? The work of the soul. When one is done with one’s purification, when one has completed the Torah, the Messiah appears—Christ, that King, in other words, your Being becomes a Resurrected Master.
We know this is true because when we analyze this word Meshaiach, we see the three mother letters of Hebrew: Aleph, Mem, and Shin. Aleph is the air, Shin is the fire, Mem is the water—those three letters are the Crown of Life. You see this crown? Aleph, Shin, Mem—Aleph is Kether, Shin is Chokmah, Mem is Binah. So those three letters represent the Cosmic Christ, the Supernal Crown. And what letters are left in Meshaiach? Iod and Chet—and what does Chet Iod spell? Chai—‘life’. So, hidden in this word Meshaiach is the Crown of Life. Have you studied the Book of Revelation? Revelation says:
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. - Revelation 2:10
The Crown of Life is the Messiah—hidden in these letters. If you do not know the letters, you cannot see the mystery; this is the value of studying.
Furthermore, the prophecy says that “a King will appear in the land of Galilee.” Galilee is the name of a place, but it is also a word that means “province.” It just means a region, an area. Galilee is a symbol of Malkuth. Thus at the end, at the termination, at the completion, the Messiah will arrive in Malkuth in us. Furthermore, if you add up the value of the name Galilee, it synthesizes in the number six, which is Tiphereth, the human soul—and this is where the Christ emerges in us—through Tiphereth, through our Vav.
This is particularly significant because the year 66 is written Samech Vav. The Vav is the spine—Tiphereth, the human soul. Samech is the serpent, the Kundalini. So this little line in the Zohar that most people skip right past—if they even read it—hides the whole mystery of Initiation, the whole mystery of entering into the direct path and being resurrected.
Mashiach (Aramaic משיחא and Hebrew משיח) is written by combining the three mother letters [משא] of Hebrew - which create all existence - with the letters that spell life: חי
Thus we see here that if we hold fast to the covenant, if we observe that covenant of chastity and we purify our mind, we are aspiring toward receiving the Crown of Life, which is the Messiah. The way we do that is incessant purification, psychological purification—daily, moment to moment purification of oneself; this is the only way. You can transmute your sexual energy and be in chastity as much as you want but if you do not work on your ego from moment to moment and day to day, you will receive nothing from above. We receive according to our action; we receive according to what we do. God rewards the pure ones, not the impure.
God, Jehovah, has provided for us two ways—two ways to receive the Tav: the way of life and the way of death. The way of life is walked when we respect Aleph. The Aleph represents Kether; it is the wind, that divinity that gives us the power to be alive. When we respect that through the covenant, we can enter the path of life—Chaya. That is why in the book of Jeremiah it says,
Behold, I set before you a way of life and a way of death. - Jeremiah 21:8
Life is Chai; death is Mavet in Hebrew.
If you study magic, you may have heard of a thing called a Golem. A Golem is a creature, a servant, that an Alchemist can create in a laboratory. There are many stories and mythologies about the Golem; in fact, Frankenstein comes from this tradition.
The idea behind the Golem is that the Alchemist / Magician will work with the forces or the minerals of the earth in order to craft a magical creature that has great powers and will serve the Magician. That creature is the Golem. You can find this tradition throughout many religions, but especially amongst the Jews. Golem is a Hebrew word that literally means “shapeless or lifeless matter.”
The way that the Alchemist would make this Golem is very veiled and symbolized and hidden in all kinds of myths and lies. The legends state that Magicians made Golems out of clay or mud that are empowered or brought to life through the application of magical words or letters. How many naive people have tried to create a physical golem only to fail! While it is possible to do it (there are many ancient methods for creating such things), the real wisdom of the myth is a symbol of how our own Magician, our own Innermost, creates the real man, Adam, from us: lifeless matter. We are lifeless! We do not have Christ, life, within, because we are filled with pollution.
The Elohim creates Adam from Adamah, the ground, the earth, Malkuth. The man is the soul. That man, when it is complete, will have all the powers of God and will serve the Magician, the Innermost. That man (the Golem, Adam) is supposed to be you and me.
The Golem is finished when all of the parts are assembled, which is a symbol of Initiation and the creation of the Mercabah or solar bodies. Then the Magician, who represents the Innermost, writes on the forehead of the Golem: אמתEmet (truth). Then the Golem becomes alive. That is how the Golem (Adam) incarnates Christ: the way, the truth, the life. The Golem becomes alive; it becomes a living soul (nephesh chaiah); it becomes a Resurrected Master.
Nonetheless, there is a way to kill the Golem, to kill the one who receives Christ, and that is if the א Aleph is scratched from the forehead of the Golem. When you removed Aleph from Emet, what word remains? מת Mem Tav: Mavet: death. It is Aleph (the Father) who gives us life. Without Aleph, we are lifeless clay.
In other words, no matter how high we ascend, if we transgress the covenant and the Aleph leaves us, we die. We lose everything. This is why the Book of Revelation clearly presents two marks: the mark of the beast and the mark of the living God.
The mark of the beast is made either on the forehead or the hand—because the hand is how we act, how we work—through our Iod, through our Kaph. You see that Malvet: Mem Tav—there is a Vav hidden in the middle but it is negative; it is the Vav of the beast 666. So this story of the Golem hides a great mystery as well.
In Revelation we read:
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God [ת tav] in their foreheads. - Revelation of John
This fifth angel is Samael, who delivers the Fifth Gospel. The star falling from heaven unto the earth is Samael. The bottomless pit is Klipoth. The smoke out of the pit is the Karma. “The sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit,”—because the sun (Christ) and the air (the mind) have been darkened by the Karma of the age, that is necessary to by paid.
“And out there came from the smoke locusts upon the earth,”—the Zohar explains to us that the locusts represent the knowledge of Kabbalah. “And unto them the locust was given power as the scorpions have power,”—in their tails, in their stinger. “And it was commanded then that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only those men that have not the seal of God on their foreheads.” In other words, a living soul cannot be hurt by the teachings of Kabbalah, because a living soul is in harmony with those teachings. Any living thing is anything that has Chaya incarnated; we do not. We are spiritually dead. It says that those locusts can only affect those which have not the seal of God on their foreheads. What is that seal? It is Emet: truth. We are a Golem; we do not have truth in our heads, nor in our hearts, nor in our bodies. We have the potential for it, but instead, we worship the beast. Therefore, Revelation says:
[...] And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark [ת tav] of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. [...] And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark [ת tav] upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. - Revelation of John
This story is a repetition of one that appears in the book of Ezekiel, in which God tells Ezekiel in the temple that he will kill all the impure ones: those who have corrupted the house of Israel.
Then He called into my ears with a loud voice, saying, "Bring near those appointed over the city, and each one his weapon of destruction in his hand." And behold six men coming from the way of the upper gate, which is turned northward; each man has his sledgehammer in his hand, and one man among them clothed in linen with a scribe's tablet on his loins, and they came and stood beside the copper altar. And the glory of the God of Israel lifted itself from upon the cherub upon which it had been, to the threshold of the House, and He called to the man clothed in linen, upon whose loins was the scribe's tablet. And the Lord said to him, "Pass through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and you shall mark a תו [tav] upon the foreheads of the men who are sighing and moaning over all the abominations that were done in its midst." And to these, He said in my ears, "Pass through the city after him and smite; let your eye spare not and have no pity. Old man, young man, and maiden, young children and women, you shall slay utterly, but to any man upon whom there is the mark you shall not draw near, and you shall commence from My sanctuary." So they commenced from the old men who were before the House. And He said to them, "Defile the House and fill the courts with the slain [and] go out," and they went out and smote in the city. And it came about when they smote, that I remained, and I fell on my face and cried out, and I said, "Alas, O Lord God, are You destroying the entire remnant of Israel when You pour out Your fury on Jerusalem?" And He said to me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land has become full of bloodshed, and the city has become full of perversion, for they said, 'The Lord has forsaken the earth, and the Lord does not see.' I too-My eye will not spare, neither will I have pity; I have placed their way on their head." And behold, the man clothed in linen, on whose loins was the tablet, replied with a word, saying, "I have done according to all that You have commanded me." - Ezekiel 9
To have that mark, the Tav, you need to be sighing and moaning over all the abominations that were done in the midst of God. In other words, in your own Temple, in yourself. Who in this humanity sighs and moans over the abominations in their own mind? None. Everyone justifies, washes their hands, and believes that one day God will forgive them. It is true—after passing through Malvet in Hell—yes—when the soul is pure—yes. There are two ways: we purify the soul consciously now and avoid the passage through Hell, or we pass through Hell. The choice is ours. One way or the other, we will receive our Tav, our seal.
Questions and Answers
Audience: With Samael’s books there are certain books that are marked with so many chapters like Aztec Christic Magic has exactly 22 chapters. What is he trying to say in relation to the Hebrew letters with ‘22’? Is he saying do not forget the Hebrew letters or is each chapter related to a letter?
Instructor: It is important to remember that the Bodhisattva Samael Aun Weor, when he wrote his books, wrote what his Inner Being, Samael, was giving him. There is much there that is not on the surface. That is why Samael Aun Weor stated repeatedly, “Do not read my books like you are reading a newspaper”—because you will not get it. Everything is written for a reason and purpose and there is significance hidden, just like in any of these scriptures. We are revealing a lot that is hidden in these Piscean scriptures—right? But there is even more hidden in the Aquarian ones, which include the writings of Samael Aun Weor.
Therefore, when you see numbers and cryptic phrases, there are messages there that you cannot get out of the written aspect, but only through meditation. This is why we emphasize the two aspects of the Torah: the written and the superior. The superior one cannot be retrieved physically. As an example: when we prepare these lectures, we study, because it is necessary for us to understand what is written. But we could not get this knowledge on our own, just by reading some words in a book—it is impossible. I am not giving you my doing; I am giving you what I have been given. You see… what I am teaching is not mine. I am just as astonished by it as you are. I did not know any of this before; this is all new to me as well, and it comes through trying to bow at the feet of God and receiving what he wants me to receive, which I can then give to you. The same must be done by us when we are reading the books of Samael Aun Weor.
As I mentioned, there are many who study those books, even memorize them, but do not comprehend them because they do not meditate on what is written there. It is necessary to meditate on those scriptures—and they are scriptures. This reminds me of those who quote, study and even translate or otherwise manipulate those texts but do not grasp the inner meaning. This is very sad. There are some groups who take the teachings of Samael Aun Weor and mix them with other teachings. He sais in The Pistis Sophia Unveiled that this is a form of adultery. It is hard for us to grasp that, because we know Gnosis comes from all religions, but not all religions are pure, so many people are bringing impurities and mixing them into the pure teaching; this is unfortunate.
We have to be very careful; we have to meditate on what we study. If you really learn to meditate on the books, you will get so much more; you will comprehend it. You might recall the story that Samael Aun Weor told about an illiterate Native American, who said to Samael, “I read your book, The Revolution of Beelzebub”. Samael Aun Weor was astonished and said, “How did you read it, because you cannot read, you are illiterate…” We need the skill that the native had, to meditate. It is not necessary to be literate physically: we need to be literate consciously.
Audience: A lot of us have been indoctrinated with Piscean Age ideas because of our parents, because of society, because of the media… If we as adults hold on to those Piscean Age ideas is it because we are not ready for the teachings yet?
Instructor: Those who are grasping onto the Piscean Era teachings are grasping onto the past and thus will flow along through devolution with all those elements from the past. It is quite simple: in order to receive the new current, the spiritual current that emerges from instant to instant, we have to let go of everything, mostly ourselves.
People who become very attached to a teaching or a religion are people who have not understood what religion is. Real religion is ‘religare’ or yug from yoga which means “to reunite.” The real meaning is to unite oneself with an actual fact, something that truly exists. Our ideas and beliefs do not exist; they are just theories—they are just ideas. What truly exists is the Ain Soph. To unite oneself with that—everything else below, we have to see it for what it is—which is illusion, Maya. It does not matter what we call ourselves; it matters what we do. It is unfortunate to see people attach themselves to one religion or another, one teacher or another, one movement or another, when the fact is none of them can save us. We are saved or condemned by our actions.
The only force that can save us the is the Messiah—and that comes inside. The Messiah is born in our heart and aids us in our purification until we are ready for death; that death is on the cross, the Tav. When that death occurs, then there is resurrection. Resurrection does not come because we believe in Christianity, Judaism, or Tantra. Resurrection comes when we have died as a mind, as an ego. When all ego is dead—then—the Light comes.