This course is a basic introduction to fundamental principles of Gnosis. Gnosis is from Greek and means "knowledge," but this is not the knowledge of the intellect: it is the direct knowledge of the consciousness. When one studies true Gnosis, one studies experiential knowledge, as opposed to conceptual knowledge. The Gnosis of the tradition of Samael Aun Weor is directed entirely toward the realization of direct, experiential knowledge, without which there can be no real awakening. Therefore, to understand this course and the others available on this website, one must work to live and practice the principles expressed in the lectures, in order to verify through one's own experience the knowledge (Gnosis) that is being communicated. Without this daily effort in one's own life, this knowledge will remain as nothing more than ephemeral phantoms in the intellect, which can render no service for the betterment of your soul.
In order to be able to know, we first have to do. - Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic
The Law of Cause and Effect
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. - Galatians 6:7
The true and practical meaning of this word Karma is completely unacknowledged in our modern society, much to our detriment. Karma, in fact, may be the least understood aspect of spirituality in the west. What is most surprising about this is the undeniable importance of Karma in the Christian religion, a teaching most of us are familiar with. But, in fact, the principles that the Law of Karma requires us to live by are completely ignored, in spite of the clarity with which Jesus taught them.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. - Matthew 5
Karma is the universal law in all of creation: the law of cause and effect.
There are three eternal things:
The universe arises and falls in cycles of birth and death. These are cosmic days and nights; great periods of manifestation and rest. Through out the birth and death of worlds and suns and cosmic systems, KARMA is the Law which equilibrates everything.
Naturally, the Law of Karma is well understood in the East, in Hinduism and Buddhism. In those teachings, the Sanskrit term ‘karma' is defined as "the law of cause and effect," or "the law of consequence." Karma is derived from the root work Karman.
Karman: (Sanskrit) an act.
Obviously, for every action, there is a result. This is well understood in materialistic physics through Newton's Laws of Motion:
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. - Newton's Third Law
In Gnosis we understand that the physical world is inferior to many other dimensions or levels of reality. Scientifically, we understand that light has many levels of vibration. With our physical senses we only perceive an extremely narrow band of vibration.
Through the knowledge of Kabbalah we come to understand that the range of light we perceive physically corresponds to the world of Malkuth: the physical world. But above the range of visible light is a huge expanse of light: thise range corresponds to the superior worlds of the Kabbalah, or in other words, the Heavens. Likewise, the range of inferior vibrations, which is also extremely wide, corresponds to the inferior worlds of the Kabbalah, called the Klipoth or the Hell Realms.
To some degree, we can all perceive the results of action in the narrow band of physical action. We do not perceive the results of action in the expanse of the ultra- and infra- regions. All the vibrations of light interpentrate without confusion.
At this moment, we are surrounded by light corresponding to every range of vibration.
When you move your hand, you see the physical action and its results. But you do not see your hand moving in the ultraviolet. You do not see your hand moving in the infrared. It is possible to perceive these realms if we have the means. However, we do not refer to physical technologies, which are merely an extension of the physical senses: we refer to psychological technologies, which traditionally are called meditation, clairvoyance, and dream yoga.
All action has results throughout the range of worlds. The movement of your hand produces results that you cannot perceive with the physical senses.
Karma, cause and effect, is universal and all-penetrating.
The true meaning of the Law of Karma is devasting to the mind. The true activity of this law, the reality of this law, is something that the mind cannot contain. Because the law of karma is real, it is the very fabric of this entire existence around you and within you. In a way, you yourself ARE karma, and everything you think, feel and do is karma.
You may think you can grasp this. You may think, "Yes, I understand that karma is the law of cause and effect and that if I do something bad then something bad will happen to me."
Yes, that is true. If you hurt someone, then you will be hurt. It is the function of the law to balance all action. The law of karma is the law of the scale.
This law is present in everything. For everything we do there is a reaction, a response. And perhaps some of us DO get this, and we try to behave well.
But the true depth of this law, the profound reach of this law, is something that none of us truly understand. Because if we did, we would not live the way we do.
What would happen if we really understood that everything we think creates karma?
Every single, solitary thought that enters your mind, that processes in your mind...
And what about our feelings, our intentions, our fantasies, and our actions? Thought alone can create karma. That means that our thinking is creating something. Our out-of-control mind, that runs and thinks and considers and imagines without control and without awareness is generating a constant stream of energy, an energy that will inevitably have some effect.
In us, by far the majority of our thinking is self-concerned. Most if not all thoughts are about us and what we want. Most if not all thoughts are coming from selfish desire, from concern about MYSELF, ME, WHAT I WANT. And we cannot control it. We cannot stop thinking. Those of us who try to meditate face this tremendous reality everytime we sit. Thoughts are happening on many levels of the mind, both subtle and gross, and they are manifesting without a conscious choice on our part.
This is a wellspring of suffering for us. Because we are ignorant of the effect of this way of living, we persist in deepening our suffering.
This is not a matter of opinion. This is not a matter of what one doctrine says or what another teacher says. This is a matter of life and death, of pain and suffering. The full understanding of this law is vital no matter what tradition you believe in, no matter what you want to do with your life, because whatever you do you are subject to the law of karma and if you remain ignorant of this law, you will create nothing but problems for yourself and others.
Many of us may think that this Law only applies to things like stealing or murder. But really, it applies to everything in life. Remember the words of the Master Jesus, when he said:
You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgement.' But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, "You fool!" shall be liable to the hell of fire. - Matthew 5:21
Jesus is giving us a tremendous clue in this wisdom, that we should understand the law with our conscience, and know that we can kill with a word, with a glance, with our will. We can kill without a knife or a gun. And he tells us that even these actions, that seem so normal, so acceptable, are cause for judgement and punishment. He is saying what he said over and over: that we will reap only what we sow in life. As we do, so shall we receive.
And if we continue day after day nursing resentments against our spouse, our co-workers, and continue feeding our anger toward our father and mother, and continue generating anger toward people on the street, in the grocery store, on the freeway, what do you think you are sowing in the field of your life? What seeds are you planting there? And what do you expect that those seeds will grow?
It's obvious, isn't it? If we plant the seeds of anger, then happiness will not grow there. It's impossible. Yet we expect this. If we plant the seeds of greed, then contentment will not grow there. It cannot happen that way! If you want to grow green beans you cannot plant a thorn bush, and yet this is exactly what we do, everyday.
Once we deeply comprehend this fact, we can see that we are responsible for the state of our life, we are responsible for the well being of others, we are responsible for everything that we experience in life. But for us, who do not comprehend, we blame others, we blame everyone else, and we never recognize that the primary person who is at fault for our problems is OURSELVES.
Whatever affliction may visit you is for what your own hands have earned.
- Qur'an 42.30
We all say, "If I had a better job" or a better husband or a better car or, "if I get this new computer or this new book or if I can make a little more money or move to a different city, then and only then will I finally be contented and happy and then I will start to do good for others. I'll do some charity once I have everything I need."
We all say, "my boss is making me miserable, my sister is making me angry, my wife is making me anxious, my friend is making me jealous,... and if they change, then things will be better for me. If my husband changes, then I can be a cheerful person. But as long as he keeps being the way he is, then I can't do it."
Whatever harm a foe may do to a foe, or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind can do one far greater harm. - The Buddha Shakyamuni, from the Dhammapada, 42
We are hurting ourselves. It is not my bosses fault that I am miserable at work. It is my reaction to it that creates my suffering. And really, it is karma: if someone is making me suffer, it is my responsibility to see how I have made others suffer in the same way.
In vain have I looked for a single man capable of seeing his own faults and bringing the charge home against himself.
We must begin to examine our lives, and our minds, in order to see why we are in the situation we are in. And what are we doing in response to it all?
Our habits of thinking, habits of feeling, and habits of action are all self-centered. None of us have selfless habits. And really, this is a tremendous clue to us, a way for us to determine when and where we are acting in an out of balance way: we must begin to recognize when we are acting out of self-will. That is, seeking to satisfy our selves, our sense of "me," our attachments, our desires, our wishes, our rules, our requirements, our demands, our dreams, our passions. When we are concerned only with feeding ourselves, or our own interests, WHO ARE WE STEALING FROM TO DO IT? Who are we hurting in order to serve ourselves? What imbalances are we creating? Observe the state of the world, the imbalances from culture to culture, and observe this in our city, in our families... It is quite evident that the state of our world is a result of this habitual fascination with "me, myself and I"...
Suffering begins the moment we act from self-will. Remember the story of Adam and Eve: mankind was cast out of perfection when we acted from desire, and went against the Law. Thus, we began to pay for our actions. Previous to that, we were in balance with the Law, with Creation.
It is urgent for us all to recognize our responsibility for our life. Everything in our lives is ultimately our responsibility, whether we like it or not. And the sooner we recognize that, the sooner we can change things. It is only by recognizing that we create our own lives that we can begin to create a better one.
Dreaming does not work. Mind control, positive thinking, etc are nothing when compared to someone who knows how to act in accordance with the Law.
I have heard and realized that bondage and salvation are both within yourself. - Acarangasutra 5.36
The law of karma is in activity in your life every day. Every moment. And in every moment, in every action, in every thought, in every feeling, we are creating something.
If you push against an object, it will fall over. Likewise, if I scream in anger at you it will have an undeniable effect on you. Even if I feel anger toward you, you will sense it. And even if I think angry thoughts about you, it will affect you. But the most profound thing is that each of these stages, from intention, to feeling, to action, affects me far more powerfully than you. It is as if my anger was a handleless sword, and in trying to cut you, I am cutting off my own arm.
This is so because everything we feel, think and do is energy.
Consider this: it is known in western science now that everything we see is an illusion, because everything is made of energy. Mass is not really solid, nor is it lasting. All mass becomes energy and all energy becomes mass. This is something that was understood long before western scientists "discovered" it, of course, but even now it is something that none of us can really grasp.
At bottom is this fact: everything in the universe is energy. Energy is manifest as vibration, and is characterized by constant transformation and change. Nothing is still or stagnant: everything is moving, and changing.
We ourselves are undergoing constant transformation, though we are ignorant of it. Our bodies change dramatically every day, but we do not have the capacity to observe it.
Our bodies, our minds, our feelings, our thoughts, our dreams, our desires, our intentions, our wishes, everything is energy. A thought is energy. A feeling of love is an energy.
Wherever we are at this moment, there is a tremendous exchange of energy happening moment to moment. There are powerful atomic processes happening all the time, but we do not have the capacity to observe it.
As someone speaks to you they are sending energy to you. As you receive it there is a transformation that occurs in your psyche, in your mind, and hopefully, if you are present and aware and not day dreaming, there is a transformation in your consciousness.
Likewise, as you think and feel there are energies that are being processed: all of this exchange of energy is a process of creation and destruction.
In transformation, there is birth and there is death.
When you think, something is created.
When you feel, something is created.
So karma then, does not concern mere physical action. It concerns the entirety of life, from the first moment to the last. Every moment is a moment in which something is created. And in every moment, something is destroyed.
This is not just a theory or an idea. This is not a dogma or a belief. This is a LAW. IT IS. Ignorance does not excuse you from the law. Neither does opposition to the law. You may not believe the government is just in its laws, and you may oppose the laws, but if you break them, then you will pay for that. You can park in a fire lane, but you will pay for it. Likewise, you can break the Law of Karma, you can do whatever you wish, but you will pay for it. And payment is not pleasant.
So it is better to be fully educated with regard to the Law of Karma.
The Law of Karma is the Law of the Balance. The Law of Karma seeks to keep everything in the universe in balance. That is all. It is not a law of punishment or vengence. Nor is it merciless. In fact, as you will see later in the course, it is deeply compassionate.
And most importantly, the Law is not "out to get you." Law without mercy is tyranny, and God is not cruel and unjust. Just as your actions have created effects, then you can act further, in a different way, to create different effects, and cancel your debts. You can work with the Law, to be in accordance with the Law, and be in harmony.
The Lion of the Law is combated with the scale.
If you wish to untie a knot, you must first understand how it was tied. - Buddhism. Surangama Sutra.