Questions from the Previous Lecture
Question: With trying to imagine the image of the apple and holding on to that... What happens to me is that I get glimpses of it over and over.
Answer: You are doing it. That is it. You simply continue and keep returning to building the image in that space. That is why meditators use tangkas (Tibetan paintings; see example on right). The reason those were painted, all those fantastic complicated images, was to help the meditator develop visualization. It was not to put God into a form. So beginning monks will learn first how to meditate to visualize something simple like an apple or a rock, or just a simple image of the Buddha. And they will start with one part of the body, the eyes, the mouth, or the hand and they will work to visualize that. Gradually, little by little, they add details. And the opposite is true of all the great artists. They began studying the image in their imagination and they translated that into the physical world. Really great art, really great music is accomplished in that way.
The beginning for all meditators is the same. We have to learn how to imagine, but with perfect concentration. And on that foundation comes everything else. So you have to persist. Little by little that capacity develops in us, if we are working in the right way and if we are working with the right tools. It is part of the consciousness to be able to do it. It just takes patience.
Question: The other thing I noticed is that I could conjure up the concept of the apple, but that is not right.
Answer: You are exactly right. The concept is just part of the mind. The image is something else. The concept is an idea. You can have the idea of the apple, a thought - "apple." But the image is different. The picture is different. It is like the same thing if you have all these ideas about what its like in Italy. But when you have been there, and you have seen it, the experience wipes out all the ideas. It totally transcends them. It is exactly the same with meditation. When you perceive something directly, then you do not need the thought. The thoughts become irrelevant.
Question: I have had a struggle, on a personal level, with imagining the Divine Mother. My heart wants to see her in a certain way. I can create an image and usually I get an idea and I see an image. I am having a real tough time every time I think of a God image and it feels like her.
Answer: What happens?
Question: Somehow it feels like an illusion.
Answer: Who says that?
Question: My mind.
Answer: Your own mind is producing the resistance.
Question: Do I have to satisfy the mind or what? If I am going to visualize the Divine Mother, how might I go about coming up with an image I can trust or feel for?
Answer: With your heart. Not your mind. In the case of the apple it is the same thing. If I tell you, "Imagine the apple." An image will appear, maybe just a quick flash, but there is something. But then your mind says, "No, no, no, no! It should not be green! It should be red!" And then your mind is trying to change it. It is the same as your Divine Mother. You think, "Oh my Divine Mother!" Then you imagine something and then your mind says, "No! She would not look like that, it is too Disney!" (laughter) And that is the mind. But you see, the images spontaneously arise. That is what we have to learn to maintain, and that is kept pure by developing attention and learning how to differentiate between the taste of conscious imagery and the taste of the mind. And that is exactly what we are going to talk about today.
Of course, in the beginning we may not even be capable of perceiving the arising of any conscious imagery. Some of us may have a mind that is so active with thoughts, words, ideas, concepts, etc, that we are sitting in a chaos of thinking and there is not enough of a break for any imagery to break through. In this case, we simply need to deepen our concentration and relaxation (drowsiness). When these two are properly developed, we become stabilized enough that we can start to distinguish all of the individual elements that arise within, and that includes any form of imagery.
For the person who struggles with thoughts and is unable to visualize easily, I suggest that they work before and after sleeping, or at any time that a nap sounds good. In those moments, the body is naturally relaxed and the predisposition to imagine (to dream) is quite strong, so it is easier to create visualizations.
Question: When I imagine the apple, it changes. It changes shape, it changes color and not because I am manipulating it... it starts to rotate and I will have a zoom-in effect and it gets very detailed but I am wondering, am I unconsciously manipulating it...
Answer: There are a number of things that are happening there. What you need to develop is the capacity to maintain it, to control the imagery, with conscious willpower. So if you have the capacity to perceive an image, the next step is to control how you perceive it. It is the difference between controlling it from self-will or ego, and controlling it from conscious will, and that is a very subtle differentiation. That line is as thin as a razor blade. That exact line is what differentiates a demon from an angel; it is the line of self-will. Learning to differentiate that takes a lot of practice. But in the beginning what I would recommend is to pick an image that has an objective form; so for example, something you know exists a certain way, like a painting; it could be of the Divine Mother, it could be any sacred image. Study that physically; "This is the shape this is the image, this is the color, this is how it works." And then transfer that into your imagination and hold it. Learn to hold it. The consciousness naturally wants to use it and go deeper and show you other things. But in the beginning you have to know how to stabilize it. That is the first part. What might be good if you have a capacity to perceive an image is to pick something more complex. If an apple appears naturally and you are able to move it and see it easily, pick something more like a tangka of the Wheel of Samsara, which will require a great deal of concentration and imaginative power. So you can try to study something that is more complex. This wheel of life is extraordinarily complicated and this would take a lot of development to be able to imagine it perfectly. And there are of course meditators who do that.
Lecture Six: Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition
We are going to describe the practice that we are all working toward accomplishing, the technique itself. Concentration is of course preliminary, and developing the capacity to imagine is of course preliminary. So we have all the beginning steps. We have relaxation, we have concentration. We have other steps that add to our ability to enter into real meditation which include pranayama and vocalization. We will cover pranayama in the next lecture.
Once we have stability of attention, we then have to work with imagination. And from that we can then enter into real meditation.
Clairvoyance and imagination are the same thing. But if you look at what it really means, clairvoyance, it is from French: CLAIR meaning "clear" and VOYANCE which is related to vision or sight. So it literally means "clear vision." So when we use this term it has levels of meaning.
Commonly we use this to describe the perception of inner imagery. This means to perceive sensations, but sensations that are beyond physical sensations. And truthfully, all of us fantasize, we daydream and imagine all the time. And that is clairvoyance. It is just negative, because it is mechanical and it is rooted in desire, in craving, in aversion, in fear, pride, lust, envy, arrogance, gluttony, etc. We all know how to do that very, very well and the trick is to stop using the imagination to feed our desires and to develop that same capacity of perceiving inner images but in a positive way through conscious willpower.
Imagination and willpower united in harmony takes us to the Divine.
All this is saying is that Shamatha and Vipashyana perfectly balanced, imagination and concentration, show us what is real, which is of course what we want. As seekers, as people who are inquiring about spirituality and the nature of the soul, we want to see for ourselves. That is why we are all here. To do that we just have to put together those causes and conditions. If we want Imaginative Knowledge, the knowledge of real clairvoyance, of real inner perception, we have to know how to concentrate and relax, how to pay attention, and the consciousness itself will open up.
So having these things as our foundation we can synthesize all these first steps that we talked about in the first 5 classes as one thing. We will call it all Imagination. Because in reality we relax and concentrate and we develop these skills in order to imagine. That is really why we do it, to remove ourselves from all physical distraction, meaning all physical sensation, to remove ourselves from intellectual distraction and emotional distraction in order to meditate, to imagine, to perceive. This cannot be emphasized enough. These realms of the heart, of the mind, of the body must be transcended. In order to perceive reality we have to disconnect from physical sensation, we have to be aware of and separate from emotion, we have to be aware of and separate from thought. Then we can perceive without the interference of the ego. And that is the only way to access conscious clairvoyance.
So we learn to meditate. We learn to sit, we learn to relax, we learn to concentrate our mind, we learn to focus on one thing. Then what? Many people stop there and they think that is it. They have not even entered the door. They begin to knock but they have not entered.
What we know now is that this person exists on a line, and it is a line that moves from birth to death. And this present moment is that person's position on that line at whatever age, whatever day, whatever stage in life. So what we have is past and future. Generally speaking most of us when we sit to begin to try to understand how to meditate we tend to get caught in past or future. It is very difficult for us to be just present, in the moment, without worrying about the future, and without regretting about the past, or wishing we could repeat something or return to something, do it over. Most of the time we are distracted by images and thoughts and sensations related to the past or the future, which means we are not meditating, we are dreaming, we are fantasizing.
When we first sit we are concentrating on our object. It could be the breath, it could be the candle, it could be a mantra. But the mind is processing, the mind is surging with images, with thoughts, with sounds, with words. Some of us see blackness, and we just feel and hear all the thoughts like a raging sea. Some of us perceive lots of imagery: Dreams, fantasies, worries, wonderings, speculations, imagining a conversation that we have to have but that we do not want to have, etc.
These are the contents of the mind and most of us sit in that chaos and struggle and suffer until a certain point that some image or another overwhelms us. We get knocked out of the way as it were and we become absorbed by fantasy, by the mind, by thought.
To struggle against fantasy is urgent. Fantasy makes us appear as if we were this or that, when, indeed, we are miserable, shameless and perverse. - Samael Aun Weor, Revolutionary Psychology
So there is some sensation that we become identified with. It might take a minute, it might take 30 seconds, it might take 10 minutes. But at some point, inevitably, every meditator finds themselves distracted. And generally there is a reaction: it is either apathetic, or angry. In both cases the reaction is wrong. The true way to respond there is to immediately return to the meditation. But in that returning to concentrating there should be a recognition of why we became distracted.
Any distraction that seeks to pull your attention away from observing yourself should be identified and seen for what it is, which is a sensation, an impression that is impermanent and that means nothing. It is an impression, it is an energy, it is a vibration, that is all it is. But we mistake all impressions as reality. We think they are real.
And 97% of the time they are just thoughts, they are just mechanical reactions to impressions of life.
Samael said this:
Inevitably, if we stop thinking about a problem, it goes away. - The Revolution of the Dialectic
Think about it: if you stop thinking about your bills, are they going to go away? No. But the way you perceive them will change. It is exactly the same with every sensation that arises in every circumstance, whether you are walking around, or you are meditating or you are in the astral plane, it is the same. It is all dependent upon how you perceive it. How you receive impressions determines how you live your life.
Most of us receive impressions mechanically and so we live our life dreaming about the past and dreaming about the future, which means obviously we live our lives dreaming, not living. Can you see that? Dreaming is not being alive. Living is being present. It is being here and living your life, whether it is painful or pleasant, being in it and taking from it the best, taking from it everything you can, consciously, for the betterment of your heart, for the betterment of your soul. If you avoid circumstances, if you avoid life, if you avoid people, if you avoid pain, you are trying to ignore your own reality. Thus, you live in ignorance, thus you live in suffering.
And that will not change so long as you ignore it. Real change, real transcendent liberation, begins when we are sincere enough to look directly in the face of pain and to see it for what it is: a sensation, a sensation that will pass away, a sensation that is impermanent.
Pain is a creation of Satan, of the ego, not the consciousness. The consciousness itself does not feel pain. The consciousness only suffers when it is trapped in the ego. But that is not the pain of the ego. It is a subtle thing to understand, but learn to observe in yourself. The consciousness can feel remorse. Yes, it can recognize that it has made mistakes and needs to change them. The consciousness can also feel compassion, which is somewhat like pain, because in real compassion you comprehend the suffering of someone else. But you yourself do not suffer the same way. The consciousness has something that is like pain but it is a suffering that is without attachment, without desire. It is the longing to be pure, the longing to be free of ego and of karma. That is not the same thing as the pain of the ego. The pain of the ego is the pain of attachment, of fear, of desire, of lust and envy and pride and all of those other factors, and that pain is what we take as being real. The pain of abandonment, the pain of rejection, the pain of criticism, the pain of loneliness, those are all ego, all of them. The pain of being poor is the pain of the ego. This understanding is what has given all the saints the capacity to withstand unimaginable suffering because they never identified themselves as being their suffering. They have always been able to recognize that it is temporary and it is the suffering that is necessary in order for them to transcend. That is the path. That is the path taught by every teacher, every master, every angel, every genuinely awakened positive master. There are no easy answers and there is no way to avoid it. We are all in pain and we are all trying to avoid it. And it is only by going through that pain, understanding it, comprehending it, that we can overcome it and then be free of it.
If you have cancer you are free to ignore it but you will die and you will suffer and you will have a lot of pain. But if you recognize - "I have cancer" - then you can get treated and you might survive it. The same exact phenomenon applies to the development of the soul. We have to recognize the pain. We have to see the truth of our own suffering and we must change the causes of suffering. And the causes of suffering are in your own mind and in your own heart. They are not anybody else's fault, they are your own karma. And if you have the sincerity and courage to recognize that this practice becomes extraordinarily simple and extraordinarily beautiful.
What we need to do is start to recognize that the pain of "my past," the pain of "my future" are illusion, they do not exist. What exists is right now. And that is all. And truthfully speaking, right now does not exist the way we perceive it. We have to develop the capacity to perceive the now as it is. And only those who have developed the Supraconscious Clairvoyance can perceive that. Those beings perceive all the realms of Nature simultaneously... and what is their hallmark quality? Love; love that is beyond attachment, love that can be severe or that can be gentle. Unmistakably, the quality of someone who has developed Supraconscious Clairvoyance is real love, and to arrive at that knowledge, that knowing, can only come when suffering has been transcended. That transcending implies the one who did it experienced it. That is how they have compassion, because they experience that suffering, they know it. It is not an idea. It is knowledge.
So in us, the way this applies, we have to make strict and rigorous effort to be present. This is called the Tao, the moment, this moment. Not five minutes ago, not an hour from now, not tomorrow, this moment. This is the great teaching the Buddha Shakyamuni gave, the teaching of the middle path. In his life story you see these extremes, he was very wealthy and he renounced everything and became a starving hermit. Those are two extremes. And he learned the way to really live is in the middle, without attachment, having transcended the extremes. The extremes are the past and the future, bad and good, good and evil, craving and aversion.
Thus we must establish right away, and constantly strengthen, the capacity to reject dreaming about the past or the future. Be radical! Be strict! Do not consider the past or future unless it is absolutely necessary; and when you do so, go in with your consciousness fully active and aware, because you are entering into enemy territory: this is exactly where we all lose our attention, and where we descend immediately into grave error. When you must make a plan for the future or analyze something from the past, do it with full awareness that you must remain rooted in your present circumstances, wherever you are in that moment. Do not lose your awareness of the present.
When we learn to imagine, once we have a little stability, we learn to do a practice called retrospection in order to see all these elements in ourselves. To retrospect means "to look back." This is not the same thing as dreaming about the past, or imagining our history, the events of our life. This means in the position of meditative stability, with a sense of separation from the image, we review our past. So if today we are going to meditate, and we have developed the capacity to concentrate, the first thing we do is we sit, we meditate, we begin to review our day like a movie. So with our closed eyes we project our day, just like we are watching television, we watch it like a film. We examine the events, just like a movie. And the proper way to do this is to do that with an awareness that whatever we are observing has us as an actor. We see ourselves, but we are separate from what we see. This is in order to help us not to become identified, to keep that sense of separation. We observe our day as an outside observer. You can also do it looking from within your own eyes, looking into your day, but it is tricky. You might even find you go back and forth.
The point is you need to be able to see within yourself the three brains: the intellect, the emotion and action, to recognize how your own psyche is processing. And the only way to do that is if you have been observing yourself during the day. You will find that if you sit to meditate and you begin to do this retrospection, looking back over the course of the day there will be big gaps where you do not remember anything. You just learned something: the gaps mark the time you were asleep. You were not paying attention. You were dreaming. Period. That is the work: Recognize the periods of time when we are not paying attention and learn to pay attention during those times. Obviously, we must then look to find what was it that caused us to become distracted? What caused us to lose our attention? Do not rely on memory for the answer: rely on the retrospection in meditative, observant, receptive visualization.
The other part of this picture that you are observing is that what you are seeing in yourself is your state and what you are seeing outside is an event. That distinction also must be clear. It is just a matter of perception. You do not have to think - "I need to know my state." You do not have to think about "what is the event." You just need to perceive it as having a sense of separation. There you are as a person with your psyche and the reactions that are manifesting in your psyche. Then there are the external circumstances. And those are separate things. There is a relationship, that is for sure. But you cannot see them as one package. You need to see them as separate. (For more on States and Events, study Revolutionary Psychology).
With this process of observation we observe our whole day, from the moment we got up to the moment we sat to meditate. And in that observation we find particular times where we know we became distracted, where we know an ego was manifesting itself through us, where we felt pain, anger, pride, envy, fear, resentment, despair, depression, arrogance. Any of those things. That moment then becomes your meditation. So you first retrospect, you examine those events the whole day, you pick out certain "photographs" during the whole day. These are "psychological photographs." And then you begin to observe that particular event.
Obviously, to succeed in this practice you must have meditative stability. If you are still struggling to develop the capacity to maintain the awareness that you are in meditation, then wait to use this practice. This practice should be used once you have developed continuity of awareness in meditation. Otherwise you are just going to be fighting the mind.
Here is the practice: You sit to meditate, you begin to review the events of the day, you have the sense of separation. But then, as you are examining this picture, something begins to come into your awareness, a thought or a feeling. Let us just say for example you saw a person earlier that day that you use to be married to or you used to date and it brought something up for you: a strong sense of pain, attachment, desire, resentment. And so that thought is hammering to get your attention. (In the beginning, of course, it will take over and we will forget that we are meditating; we will instead begin to dream). This memory becomes a distraction. All you have to do at this point is recognize it, separate yourself from it, and use that distraction as your new object of meditation.
To repeat: you began on the event, retrospecting your day. A distraction arises in your mind. It could be anything, it could literally be just a pain in your leg, it could be a worry about a bill, it could be a thought like, you heard on the radio some actor saying something. It could be just ridiculous. As soon as you see that you consciously shift your attention directly to that distraction. This is called Psychological Judo.
You are blocking the attempt of your own mind to distract you. All that surging chaos is the way your mind keeps you hypnotized. And if you can receive all those internal impressions consciously, you can wrestle your own mind to the ground. Samael said this practice is the real root of Jujitsu and Judo. Those physical movements are reflections of the internal movements of initiates who are conquering their own mind. Many initiates have astral experiences, or meditative experiences, and they see themselves fighting "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-style" against their own mind.
Question: I always thought it was different egos trying to get my attention.
Answer: It is.
Question: But are they consciously working together? They say "if we all get together and if we cause enough chaos we will have her, she will be gone, and under our control..."
Answer: Yes, that is right. Let me tell you how this works. The ego, this mind that we have, is constructed of certain elements, aggregates, all the ones we have named, the seven capital sins, pride, fear, lust etc... they use images to keep the consciousness enslaved. If the consciousness begins to perceive the means that the ego uses, the consciousness begins to free itself. If you see the prison then you know you are in jail.
Question: That is why they do not make sense half the time.
Answer: Well, they do not make sense immediately because we are asleep. But let me tell you what happens. You observe this event, this is ‘A', this is the first distraction your mind throws at you. Let us name it. "The cat is sick and I am worried about the cat." Normally we start thinking about that and worrying. "Oh its going to cost $2000 for surgery for the cat, I do not have the money, I have to start working extra hours," so we start worrying about our job, the money. And we have to do this and that, and "If I am working then I can't go out on a date with such and such." "And then I am going to lose the boyfriend," and then we worry about the boyfriend. So there is a chain of events, a chain of associations in the mind. That is the chain that binds you, that traps you psychologically. That is the chain that we all just go along with mechanically. Comprehension is when we see it and break it.
The different distractions keep us swimming, and dreaming and sleeping. And 10, 15, or maybe 30 minutes later we go, "Oh, I am supposed to be meditating!"
All along the clue is in front of your face. Everything that you just dreamed through constitutes the method the ego uses to make you sleep. All you have to do it become conscious of it.
BUT REMEMBER: This is a special technique. This shift of attention is ONLY to be used once you have established strong concentration. If you use this technique before developing concentration, you will likely only become more distracted and confused.
So let us look at an example. You are meditating on an event. You visualize yourself at a baseball game, and you felt really angry because your team is losing and you became really upset. The first distraction that comes up, you bring that to your meditation. So if you are meditating on your disappointment about the team losing, and a worry comes in about the cat, you drop the baseball game and you shift immediately to the cat. "Okay, this thought just came in my mind and I am observing it." You do not have to think this. You just shift your attention, the same way you shift your attention when you hear a sound, or a noise or when you feel something.
The student who wishes to acquire knowledge direct from the Cosmic Mind proceeds in much the same way as a patient who is submitting to psycho-analysis... He starts with an idea in his own mind and follows the chain of associated ideas till he reaches the root-complex in the Cosmic Consciousness. - Dion Fortune, The Training and Work of an Initiate, Ch.1
Question: So it is important to not think.
Answer: You do not have to name it in terms of thoughts. You just have to recognize it for what it is. If you could recognize it without applying a name, do it.
Question: Trying to name things distracts me more.
Answer: Then learn to do it without the name. The key there is to be attentive, to shift your focus of attention to that distraction. And ideally you want to do it without thought. So if you can, do it. You will move faster.
You wait, observing that new distraction. Inevitably another one will come. So you must do this: Be ready for the next one. In Judo, in any martial art, you have to be fully prepared for the attack to come from anywhere, at any time. And any martial artist, a good one, has that capacity but they are always completely relaxed. They are not tense and paranoid, worried. They are very relaxed, but extremely attentive, and that is the capacity that we must develop in our meditation and in our daily lives.
Question: Is there a pattern to the distractions that come up in me?
Answer: In a sense, yes. But the patterns will change and fluctuate, because the ego is a multiplicity of inconsistent, battling desires. This is why we have to maintain constant vigilance.
Eventually you begin to see that your real worst enemy is your own mind. And of course these days we all think the mind is who we are. And most schools, most traditions nowadays, teach that we should be proud of the mind, we should affirm the mind, we should develop self-esteem. Self-esteem is a form of slavery; we just do not have the capacity to see it right now. All witchcraft is based in this, all black magic is based on enslaving the consciousness to the mind. On the surface it can look beautiful; it can look very positive. And they can teach all the same factors, but in the depth of it the slavery to the mind is what makes it black. So this is an extremely critical point because the very health of your soul depends on it. There is not a joke in it; there is nothing superficial in it.
The sad part is most of us do not really want to change it because it is painful. It feels like pain because we have to go through all of the ego to remove it, to free the consciousness from it. We do not like that; we would prefer to dream, to fantasize, to hope, but without work. The real work is "Strike with thy rod as you beg God." The same thing is said in Islam, "Pray to Allah but tie your camel to the post." Pray, but you have to do the work; there is no easy answer.
Having understood this, there is another factor. What we are learning to do here is to clairvoyantly perceive our own mind. We are learning to consciously perceive the contents of the mind.
We know about the Line of Life: past, future, present.
We also know about the Line of Being, which is the line of the consciousness.
Now, if we become identified with all of the elements of the mind, we begin to fantasize, daydream, we lose our consciousness and our Level of Being descends. This is called fantasy, daydreaming, etc. Every time we daydream or fantasize we are diving into the black depths of our own ego.
All that appears does not really exist in the way that we perceive it. They are simply empty images. Our understanding of their true mode of existence is as mistaken as someone beguiled by the conjurings of a magician. - The Second Dalai Lama
So these are the realms of the consciousness: sub, un and infra. This is why most people, when they sleep at night, are gone. Eight hours go by and we wake up and remember nothing. We were not conscious of anything; we were just dreaming, being identified with all the images of the mind, not conscious of any of them. So right there is a gauge to tell you how hard you have to work, because the person who develops the consciousness does not dream - Ever - not during the day, not at night. Someone who has developed the Supraconsciousness never dreams. Can you imagine that? They are fully conscious 24 hours of the day, continually, without pause, without break. What that means is that they are constantly in the state of ecstasy, Samadhi, 24 hours a day. That is that 4th state of consciousness, Nous. That type of person is called a Turiya, an awakened Buddha. Every Human Soul has that capacity, but it must be developed. Each step toward that state is a renunciation of an illusion and a dream. Every step, we are renouncing fantasy; we are renouncing false images, negative imagination, negative clairvoyance.
Along that way what we are trying to do is develop conscious imagination. And obviously every time we become aware of a distraction we are elevating ourselves little by little because there is one less tool that the mind can use against us. Little by little we begin to see other things.
This is the door to true inner perception, through ourselves. As you begin to know the contents of your own mind, you can begin to know the contents of the Universal Mind - As above, so below. Our own door, inside, is the door to Imaginative Knowledge, to Inspirational Knowledge, to Intuitive Knowledge - 3 grades of knowledge that are beyond the mind. And that door is inside, in this technique.
Working on observing these distractions, observing the mind, retrospecting, comprehending conscious clairvoyance, little by little you begin to penetrate beyond the confines of your own mind.
The circle is the boundary of your subjective mind, which belongs to the Klipoth.
What happens is this: by observing all the distractions, how these elements are appearing in the mind, you are strengthening the presence of the consciousness. At the same time, your own Being, your own Innermost, your own inner Father and Mother, are working to help you, but they are incompatible with the subjective mind. God and the devil can never mix, and so God cannot mix with our own hell. He always is separate from it. To reach Him we have to be separate from the “I,” from the mind. That is why the sense of separation is critical in this practice. If you maintain the sense of separation, at a certain moment you will penetrate beyond the confines of the subjective mind and you will perceive the objective world - the objective astral world, the objective mental and causal world, Buddhic, Intuitional, Maha-paranirvanic, all of those realms can be reached through meditation. You can reach your own Kether, the ancient of days, the root of your root through this technique, if he wants you to have that.
So the door is right there and it can be accessed quickly, if you are sincere. Penetrating beyond the subjective mind requires the absence of the ego. Meaning this: if you are meditating on an element but you are identified with an emotion, you will remain trapped in your subjective mind. So, you are meditating on this past relationship that you had and you are still attached, then you will not penetrate beyond the confines of your own mind because you are identified with an emotion and you will not be able to penetrate beyond it. So, being able to notice the distractions becomes a very subtle work. You might be perceiving the images that you are observing, but if you are identified in your heart then you are connected to it; you are not free of it. So you have to also observe yourself. You observe what you are meditating on and you observe yourself at the same time. That is how you maintain the sense of separation.
The moment you become completely separate from your own subjective mind, you are prepared to step out of the confines of your own subjective mind.
That penetration may not happen in a very explosive way; it may not come like fireworks. What may happen is this: you may be meditating on your events, working through the sludge of the mind, the filth of all that imagery and garbage, and then all of the sudden there will be a flash of something else, something new, something that you do not understand. I will give an example. There was a student meditating on lust and anger related to a particular situation in her life. As she was observing herself and observing the images, relaxing, she felt a little frustrated because she was not getting anywhere. She recognized that and began to observe the object again, that scene, that event. Then there was this flash, very fast, like blinking your eyes, of a picture. She saw herself in Normandy, in France, several centuries ago talking to a man who was swinging a lantern - in the blink of an eye. That was a conscious clairvoyant perception. And all that knowledge came in the blink of an eye. She knew where it was and when it was. She knew what it was related to. What she was being shown was how the egos that manifested during the day were connected to a past event. This is called Inspiration.
In Inspiration, you receive symbols, messages, images, sounds, etc. There are conscious images and sounds. In the beginning they may not make any sense. In the beginning they may be things like balls of light, sounds of bells, or horns, voices, choirs, music, temples, forests, planets, any number of elements. Generally it is just sounds and lights. Gradually it builds to something else, over time with persistence. These are called Primary Clairvoyant and Clairaudient Perceptions. They are written about in several of Master Samael's books. Their appearance demonstrates that the student is beginning to activate the chakras related to clairvoyance, related to the pineal and pituitary glands.
The mistake that most people make is they get really excited, and that kicks you right out of the meditation. That is why it is so important to receive all impressions with indifference, neither for nor against - observing all phenomena as they are. You can call it good; you can call it bad. Most things are both. You might see somebody get killed in a really violent way and you might feel that is terrible and have a really powerful reaction, not realizing that was that person's karma. Now they have paid it and they are free of that. So, there is both good and bad; why become identified with that? Why invest your emotional energy in that? Those are the types of things that we need to change, how we react to everything. That is what opens this door.
Symbols (seen in meditation) must be analyzed coldly, without superstition, maliciousness, mistrust, pride, vanity, fanaticism, prejudgment, preconceptions, hatred, envy, greed, jealousy, etc. - Samael Aun Weor
Eventually, gradually, in accordance with all the laws of nature, it becomes easier and easier to penetrate into conscious perception. So, at a certain point, you sit to meditate and you walk right out. The advantage is you step out of your own subjective mind and you can look back and see the mind itself, and you can talk to the mind, just as I am talking to you. The mind is matter. It is not something vaporous and indistinct. It has a concrete form in its world.
Through Inspiration, in that level of meditation, we are receiving information in many different forms, but it may not make sense to us. We may not understand. Usually we receive that information with the ego. So this person I was telling you about, seeing that image, actually got frustrated. That student perceived something real, but she did not take it immediately with consciousness, but took it with pride and felt upset at not understanding it. "I did not get enough. I need more!" So there is pride, there is gluttony and there is anger. The "I" is extremely present. So, what you can see in that mediation experience, there was a brief moment when the "I" was not there and so her Being showed her the picture. Then her "I" intervened and the picture went away, that fast. That is how strong the mind is.
The advantage we have as a consciousness is that the mind is 100% mechanical. What the mind does not realize is that when we learn to meditate in this way, we learn to use the mind against itself. In Judo, Jujitsu and Aikido, what you learn to do is use your opponents force against him. When someone comes at you, you take his energy and direct it back at him. Watch those who are trained in these martial arts and it seems almost effortless: one strikes and the other one just takes that and pushes him back, throws him down. It is the same with meditation. The mind only has these mechanical tricks to use. All of them are rooted in desire, in ego, pride, lust, vanity, etc. You learn to be conscious of those things and the mind begins to reveal all of its tricks, the ways it has been keeping you tricked for a long time. And it cannot do otherwise because it is mechanical; it is a machine. So, if you are serious about this practice you can move very quickly in comprehending your own mind. If you meditate every day, learn how these things function, very quickly you can begin to change things that have been bothering you, probably for lifetimes.
The images that we receive will be properly understood only with Intuition. Intuition is the wisdom of the consciousness. In the Inspirational level we receive the images. With Intuition we understand them.
Of course, there is a certain level of understanding that we get through the intellect or by studying. We see a cross and we know the meaning of the cross because we have studied. Or we see ourselves walking in the rain. If we have studied Gnosis we know that the rain symbolizes karma and pain. So we know whatever event we were meditating on is karmic and painful.
All the messages and information we receive in Inspiration come from the language of the internal worlds, and that language is 100% symbolic. All of the images and symbols that humanity uses have descended from this level of creation. They contain power because they are rooted in that source language, the root language. So, a simple shape contains tremendous meaning - the cross, the Star of David, a pentagram. Those are not terrestrial symbols; they are internal symbols. They come from a very profound source. Likewise, the images that we receive consciously in meditation contain meaning. We can analyze them here if we have that training and understanding and education, but the real meaning as it applies to us must be understood intuitively.
The world of Intuition is the world of the Being; it is the world of the Intimate. In this world, the "I," the "myself," the ego, cannot enter. - Samael Aun Weor
Intuition is a capacity of the Being. It is the understanding that He gives us, and it can never be forced. It comes as a gift. That gift is given by him, by our Innermost, our Monad, and it is given through the heart. That understanding might come physically after we meditate; it might come emotionally or consciously in the meditation or in the astral experience.
You may perceive something and know immediately what it means; that is intuition. If you perceive something and then go, "Well, maybe it means this; maybe it means that..." That is reasoning, and that is the mind. It is reasoning which leads most spiritual practitioners to failure.
In the example I gave earlier the woman saw the images and received a certain amount of understanding at the same time. But to get the real meaning she will need to continue meditating.
Part of the reason that this technique is so potent and so powerful is that it opens the door to perceive images internally. If in the beginning, we are uneducated, we have ego, we have pride, anger, fear... we will begin to interpret those images through the ego. That will lead us to make grave mistakes. For example, someone may begin to meditate on something, then they see this flash or even a long image of their spouse having sex with their best friend. And they become extremely agitated, hurt, angry, feeling betrayed, and come out of that meditation infuriated, crying and in pain. They became identified; the mind became identified. And that person could then go get a divorce, could go kill the two people... and this happens all the time. There are people who have a dream about their spouse and then they go and kill them. That is why Samael said that 100% of homicides are caused by negative clairvoyance, because images appear in the mind and the person cannot distinguish what they are. In that experience they may have simply been seeing the egos of those people. They may have been seeing a past relationship from many centuries ago. They may have been seeing projections of your own desire.
Do not make the mistake of listening to the mind. The mind is your worst enemy. It will seek to deceive you at every turn. You receive a conscious image and the mind will immediately grab it and try to deviate you from the real meaning. It will do that until you have the mind firmly under your control. And in truth you will not have that until you have achieved creating the Solar Causal Body. Even then, the mind is a danger because you still have ego.
Understanding clairvoyant perceptions is extremely subtle and requires very rigorous education, understanding, patience, sincerity. Generally speaking, it is better to not speak about what you see. It is also better to not react to what you see. You may see things that are positive or negative. Probably the majority of spiritual teachers out there now are people who have developed some degree of clairvoyance, but they misinterpret what they see. Then they begin to call themselves "masters" and they begin to teach. Many of them say of themselves, "I am the incarnated master of so and so" or "I am receiving the knowledge of so and so." And the majority of the time they are being deceived. Mediums, people who channel the dead, are channeling egos, dead personalities, demons, black magicians. A medium is being used. All they do is open themselves up to someone else who can use them and they do not know who they are being used by. It is easy to come and say, "Oh I am Saint Germain!" It does not mean it is him. You might believe it; it still does not mean it is him. 20 or 30 or 50 thousand people might believe it but that does not mean it is him.
Clairvoyance is the window of the soul. But learning to interpret what we see requires discipline and great, great carefulness. So whatever you see, always learn to be aware of how your own ego will interfere.
One way to develop this capacity of inspiration, to reach Inspired Knowledge, is to meditate to the great classical compositions. Some examples are the nine symphonies of Beethoven, The Magic Flute, some of the great operas, particularly Parsifal or the Ring Cycle by Wagner, the music of Chopin, Liszt, Verdi... all of them, but especially Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner. Listen to that music and meditate on it in the method that we have described. You relax, sit quietly and concentrate on receiving the sound moment to moment. And listen with your heart. After a little time you will begin to perceive imagery because of the music. The music itself contains consciousness. It stimulates the consciousness and energizes it and can quickly develop the capacity to perceive clairvoyantly and to begin to interpret. It is a very healing practice.
Study Kabbalah, but without trying to fill the mind. You want to learn Kabbalah through the intuition, not through the intellect. The intellectual knowledge will come, but real Kabbalah is not intellectual. Kabbalah in itself will always contradict the intellect. You cannot conceive of the Kabbalah with the mind; it is impossible. The Kabbalah is a conscious map and the mind will always find conflicts in it; the mind cannot comprehend it. So read the books of Samael about the Kabbalah. Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune is very good. The Bible is deep in Kabbalah, and the meaning can be found in many of Samael's books. Most of the Kabbalah books that are out there are not positive. So, it is better to read things that you have had some confirmation from someone with experience. We can be deceived in very subtle ways. I will give you an example. There was a student who had a dream about walking down a street. And the dream felt conscious. These two old rabbis came up to the student and began to show him some books. The books were filled with beautiful illustrations of the Kabbalah, beautiful drawings and very old knowledge. The student felt like it was wrong, very subtly, and walked away and said no thank you. The rabbis were very disappointed. They were trying to convince the student but the student walked away. So, the next day or a couple of days later, that student, having forgotten completely about this, went to a bookstore. He found a book of Kabbalah, a famous one. The student began to look at the book and was amazed by the book, how much it had in there. In that moment, the student felt that something was wrong with it, put the book back and walked away. There was no reasoning; it was a feeling. Later on, he remembered the dream and felt amazed, because in the moment of seeing the book physically there was no memory in the mind of the dream. That is Inspired Knowledge, and that is Intuition. Intuition just says, "It is wrong." There is no intellectual concept; there is no reasoning. There is no, "Well it is wrong because of this and that; these things are all wrong." It is not that. It is just knowing. "That is wrong. I do not need to reason; I just know. " That is intuition.
We need intuition; that is really what we need to get through life. We need to listen to Jiminy Cricket. We really know better. We all know, we have hunches and feelings, we just do not listen, and we do not act on it. That is how we got into the situation we are in; that is why we are such a mess because we listen to desire instead of our consciousness.
The Kabbalah is the language of the internal worlds. All the symbols, all the pictures, ALL come from Kabbalah. It is the map, and every genuine tradition has it. Physically it might look different, but internally they teach Kabbalah. And I have spoken with students who have had conscious experiences in the internal worlds with, for example, the Dalai Lama, and the Dalai Lama uses the Kabbalah to teach. He does not use it physically because it is not a part of that culture, but internally he does.Question: I am in my day and trying to observe myself... and then I realize it is been an hour or so... and have no knowledge of where I lost myself... Should I then stop and think about where I got lost... or just go on from there and make a mental note of this is where I was now?
Answer: The idea is in that moment you try to remember, remember with pictures what took you away from observing yourself. When was the last moment you were consciously paying attention? You do not have to think with words; you try to remember, when was I conscious last? There was something that distracted you. And use the naming as you are going through your day, naming everything that arises.
Question: So if I am meditating on an event and a distraction comes up, I stay with that distraction? I do not go back to the original?
Answer: No, what happens there is this: you are moving from element to element. The method of this technique is to consciously follow the chain of mechanical distractions utilized by the ego. This means: whatever the mind presents, we follow it. In the end, it is all related to the original topic, because the mind brought those distractions in response to our consciousness looking at that topic! Your mind is going to seek to keep the consciousness distracted. But as you follow this chain of events what you are developing is the capacity of the consciousness to comprehend. The consciousness also has memory. It is not the same memory as the mind. Your consciousness will remember the chain of connections. And at a certain point, you will start to see additional things that you have not seen before, that are all connected. So for example you are meditating on your lust and then you start to see things you have never seen before and you start to see things from other centuries and other times. They are all your ego, that you created in past lives. But the mind cannot do that. The mind cannot conceive of that. What we need to realize is that within us is the memory of all of our past existences: all of those memories are submerged within the consciousness. But that is beside the point. To answer your question in a direct way, you need to follow your intuition. When you learn to listen to the Voice of the Silence within yourself, your own intuition, you will know how to shift your focus in meditation. In many instances you will find that you need to stay focused on an event no matter what distractions arise.
Natural phenomena never coincide exactly with concepts formulated by the mind. Life unfolds from instant to instant, and when we capture it for analysis (with the mind), we kill it. When we try to infer concepts on observing this or that natural phenomenon, we in fact stop perceiving the reality of the phenomenon. We only see in that phenomenon the reflection of theories and stale concepts which have nothing at all to do with observed fact. - Samael Aun Weor, The Great Rebellion
Question: Why will I see all this past life stuff?
Answer: So that you can comprehend why you are suffering now. You are who you are because of your past actions. To change who you are now you have to act differently now. To act differently now you have to understand why you should not behave as you did in the past. The thing that we have to all realize is this, we are asleep and we suffer because we are ignorant. We are trapped in desire. So, we do not even know about any of this stuff. We are trapped inside the mind, the ego. And liberation literally means to be free of the mind, free of suffering, free of ego. So, an angel, a master, has completely removed from themselves all traces of lust, all traces of anger. They have a real identity, a real individuality - not like us. We have multiple personalities.
Question: I have meditated and have had real emotions arise and have an issue with denying that because I believe It is coming up for a reason.
Answer: You just observe it.
Question: So you allow it and observe it?
Answer: Just observe; do not interfere. It is that way with everything. Whatever arises, see it as it is without changing it, without influencing it. If you have a strong emotion that arises in you, you must be in control of yourself. You cannot let the emotion determine your actions. Therefore, you must not identify with it, indulging in it. Neither should you ignore or repress it. OBSERVE it AS IT IS. This is the rule for everything: do not interfere, only be aware.
1. Relax the Three Brains.
2. Vocalize the vowels I and O.
3. Retrospect the day with conscious visualization. Review the events of your day as if you are watching a movie. When any distraction arises, concentrate on it. Follow the chain of distractions with conscious attention.
O friends who would follow my tradition:
Do not permit your minds to wander aimlessly.
Constantly be mindful of your thoughts
And try by every means to remain
On the direct path to enlightenment.
- Tsong Khapa