This is a transcription of an audio lecture you can download for free: Machinery of the Soul 07 Ethics, Love, and The Path AUDIO . It has been edited and enhanced for additional clarity by the original author. There is also an accompanying pdf: Machinery of the Soul 07 Ethics, Love, and The Path PDF .
In the Gnostic tradition of Samael Aun Weor, we have a myriad of techniques and teachings which provide enormous benefit, and can help us directly experience our Consciousness, to have perhaps spiritual or mystical experiences, and to reduce our suffering. Of course, all of this is beautiful and wonderful, but if we really want to become serious, there is something more than just the experiences, or the reduction of suffering. That something more is the Path. This is why we are always talking about the Path of Initiation. In the beginning students come into these teachings from many different angles, in relationship with their psychology and karma, but to begin to walk on the Path we need to understand: what is it, and what are the prerequisites?
When we talk about a Path of Initiation what we are talking about is a type of transformation that occurs. It is the type of transformation which, from a certain dimension, is irreversible. When one achieves Mastery, when one has an inner Monad which is a Master, that Monad remains as a Master even if the Human Soul falls into degeneration.
We have to understand that initiation is related with the Being. Initiation is not something that belongs to the ‘I’, to the self. It belongs to the Innermost. We are a part of that Innermost, of course, but when we say there is a type of irreversible transformation, this is related to the superior dimensions, related to our Spirit. The Essence, the soul, can continue to suffer, can fall into degeneration and even into the inferior worlds (klipoth or hell realms) and to experience the “second death” even if the Innermost has achieved some developments along the path. This is a very grave situation: a fallen soul with a Master monad.
Karma always continues to exist so long as there is manifestation, so long as there is existence, karma will continue. The transformation of the spiritual aspect is what we need to work towards, so that we can achieve Final Liberation. Final Liberation is the ultimate goal of any true Gnostic. Final Liberation entails the complete exhaustion of all karma and the complete cognizance or wisdom of all aspects of Creation within all the infinites of space.
Obviously, that is something very profound. Nevertheless, every Monad or Spirit who achieves that (Final Liberation) begins in the same space, the same spot, that we are in presently. Because they do a work (or they did a work), they achieve that Final Liberation. This is what the Prophets, the Avatars, have told us: that there is a Path and that we need to walk upon that Path.
In the beginning we work on what we need to work on to gain equilibrium. Therefore in our previous lecture we talked about Gnostic Revolutionary Ethics, because ethics is where everything begins. We need to begin with ethics. You cannot skip it. If you try to achieve something without working with ethics, you fall on the wayside into mistaken Paths, because there are ways to develop powers, experiences, which are not related to the Initiations of the Innermost or the inner Master. It is related to accumulating certain powers of our mind and developing our ego in a way which can awaken it, so we can develop certain powers, but this is like becoming “a king in hell”. This is the analogy. Those who walk that path are often very mistaken and believe that they are walking on the right path.
We should be very concerned with our ethics. As we said in our prior lecture, we need to understand what we mean by ethics. What we mean is knowing and learning how to transform all the different types of energy that we have. We have energy related to our Intellectual Brain. We have energy related to our Emotional Brain and energy related to the Motor-Instinctive-Sexual Brain. We need to know how that energy is processing itself in relationship with the outside world, with the exterior world, and in relationship with the other states that are occurring within our own mind, our own inner world.
How do all of these transactions occur? Life is happening all of the time. Our mind, our emotions and our impulses are continuously responding, and where is the Consciousness amongst all of this chaos? Usually it is taken along for the ride and we remain asleep. But as we know, we need to learn how to self-observe, to observe those processes, to get to know when our mind is having some stream of thoughts, and those thoughts are related to some action that occurred, and some type of emotion is influencing our reasoning, for example. Then, certain impulses which can feel very strong, we may justify them or condemn them, but we lack comprehension of them.
We have talked a lot about self-observation and the transformation of impressions in many other lectures, but what that fundamentally is talking about is ethics. Ethics is really that comprehension of knowing how to transform, moment-by-moment, all of the energy of life, in all of the different dimensions and spheres. This is a life-long work. We begin with ethics, but it is not as if we ever abandon it, because we are working with the transformation of energy all the way through the entire work. All the way to the end.
In the beginning, we really need to focus on gaining balance, psychological balance or psychological equilibrium. There are a lot of tendencies that we must respond to the world in unbalanced ways. Some people respond to the world primarily from the Intellectual Brain, some people respond to the world primarily from an emotional sense or the Emotional Brain, and other people respond to the world very much related to instincts, tradition, and impulses.
This causes us to suffer, because we are getting stuck or identified with a certain aspect of our self. That aspect is not the totality of what we are. So, we need to learn how to find balance. We do that by awakening our Consciousness, by using our Consciousness, by observing the process of the mind, seeing what is there first, and then comprehending what is there. This is a process of learning how to have true agency and action, as opposed to just responses. To just have reflexes of thinking and emotions represents a sleeping Consciousness.
When we begin to find balance in life is when we really can walk on the Path. If you think about riding a bike, you cannot move forward unless you have balance. If you get on and you immediately fall over, well then, you cannot go any distance. Watching a new born, or a toddler, just learning how to stand up and take its first steps, you can see it takes a long time, a lot of effort for that child to do that, but once it gains that basic balance then it learns how to take steps and walk. Moment-by-moment, and therefore, day-by-day, we are either in a relatively balanced state of mind or we are caught up in identification and fantasy, and all of the negative qualities of the ego.
When we are identified and fascinated by life, obviously we are not transforming the energy in a way that can provide us with an opportunity to walk upon the Path of Initiation. We need qualities of our soul and spirit to be nourished, and we can only nourish them if we have the more buoyant or volatile types of energy available to us. When we have psychological balance, happy states of mind arrive, we can say, automatically or spontaneously. We don’t have to try to have love because that love emerges out of the balanced psychology. Love is something at the core of what we are. It comes from our Inner Being like a fountain. That fountain of energy arrives in us if we set up the conditions correctly, but if we are wasting our energy and we are not working in the right way, then that energy never makes it to express itself in any type of pure way.
We need balance. It is not as if we need perfect balance, but we need enough balance to begin to be able to work upon ourselves. If we do not have enough balance to do this work upon ourselves, then it means that we are very much identified with our present condition in life, with our present scenario. We can measure this day-by-day, by seeing if we feel that we are a victim to our day. By this we mean that the day was so intense that we failed to have a basic equilibrium. That is going to happen at times, because that is where we are at in our process, but as you begin to work upon yourselves, those types of days become less and less intense, and you become more and more capable of being able to transform those types of days. These are the types of days when something difficult occurs, when we have some type of unfortunate ripening of our karma, when tragedy strikes. It is not as if we need to have perfection and always be totally 100% perfectly transforming energy to walk on the Path. It is just that we need enough to be able to maintain a consistent balance.
As we said in the prior lecture, we had a quote that there are students or chelas in India that would be studying and doing 30 years of work making good progress, but even with after that many years they are still in the prologue of the work, in the beginning. There is nothing wrong with that. This type of work takes our whole life, and commonly takes more than one life. Therefore, we need to dedicate our life. If we are becoming serious, it is something that we dedicate our life to.
There is a balance that occurs between receiving the benefits of this teaching very immediately - a reduction in our suffering, greater happiness, having more peace, having some better situations in life - because we are working on our self. Those things occur, but at the same time we still have suffering in our life. There are certain types of suffering which are always going to be a part of our life, and we also have a lot of karma from our previous lives that is going to be applied regardless if we are on the Path.
We should understand that, yes, working with ethics and learning how to transform our state of mind, this will produce greater happiness in our life. We also have to understand that we must pay our karma, and there is going to continue to be suffering until the Final Liberation.
There is a sort of a duality there, because you will have that suffering either way. However, if you are walking upon the path then you are paying karma off in a much more intelligent manner, because you are extracting cognizance, wisdom, out of that karma, out of that experience. It provides meaning and purpose, whereas if you are not orientating your life towards the path then you suffer without meaning, and you remain in the dark of why it is occurring.
When you have that karmic application of suffering and you are working on the path, you develop cognizance as to why a situation is occurring, because you are meditating daily, and little-by-little you begin to develop understanding as to why your condition is what it is. When we are working on the path and we are experiencing some of that suffering, we also have a development of the cognizance of what is going on inside. We develop that connection to our inner Being.
In terms of love and initiation, Samael Aun Weor states in “The Aquarian Message”,
If you are willing to give the last drop of blood for the love of this suffering humanity, then you are one of us. Whosoever wants to reach the altar of initiation must transform the self into the immolated lamb upon the altar of supreme sacrifice. It is necessary to love those who hate us, to kiss the beloved hand of the one who whips us, to clean the sandals of the one who humiliates us.
Initiation is something very serious and profound. It is very beautiful, and at the same time we can become overwhelmed with the idea of initiation and what is required of us. Certainly, it is not the ego that can achieve initiation. It is not the ego that can walk on the Path, but it is the Consciousness. So, let us find the Consciousness, let us awaken, and it is that Consciousness which can achieve all of those beautiful things.
Well, we need to become psychological in our work. It is too easy to be lazy in these studies. Sometimes people work to a certain level, where they reach some of that equilibrium, and they find some more peace and harmony in life. But then they lose their impulse to work more profoundly, deeper, refining their psychological analysis. Therefore, they can remain stagnant.
We have three brains, as we know. These three brains have a relationship with the three fundamental forces of creation. As we know, the Intellectual Brain is related to the Holy Affirmation, which is also called the First Logos, which in Kabbalah is related to Kether. The Intellectual Brain is related, therefore, to the top Triangle because that top Triangle is related to the First Logos. Even though that top Triangle has all three Logoi there, its center is in Kether.
This is not to say that the Intellectual Brain can understand Kether or that Kether is somehow fundamentally intellectual. We must understand that in terms of the Holy Affirmation, that force, that principle, finds its most prominent expression in our intellect, in our intellectual function. Most refined, of course, is the Superior Intellectual Centre. This is the type of reasoning, or objective reasoning, which can comprehend the great Mysteries. The Holy Affirmation is the proclamation of “I Am”, the cosmic principle of existence. It affirms itself. That is the Holy Affirmation.
The Second Logos is called the Holy Denial and that is related to the Emotional Brain. If the First Logos is the “I Am”, then the Second Logos is the Space in which that “I Am” is spoken. It is the receptive element in that aspect. It is that which must occur to allow existence to be. The Holy Denial is related to our Emotional Brain which is related to the Second Triangle, from the top down, on the Tree of Life: Chesed, Geburah and Tiphereth.
Chesed is on the right side, Geburah is on the left side and Tiphereth is in the middle or the center. Our Emotional Brain has a direct relationship also with Tiphereth, but again we have to understand that in its superior aspect it is really related to that Superior Emotional Centre. It is where the foundation of our love really emanates from because we receive that love, we receive that love from our Inner Being. The Sephiroth Chesed can also be called Gedulah. Gedulah means “greatness” or “goodness” (as in “Only God is Good” Mark 10:18) and Chesed means “mercy” or “love”. We receive love from our Inner Father which is that Chesed, but in our physical body we seem to have that receptive aspect in our Emotional Centre. All of these qualities, of course, are inter-related.
The Third Brain, the Motor-Instinctive-Sexual Brain, is related to the Third Logos or the Holy Conciliation which is related to the Third Sephiroth, Binah, and the Third Triangle of Netzach, Hod, and Yesod. Yesod being in the center, Netzach being on the right and Hod being on the left. This is the energy we have talked about in a couple of lectures already. It is related to our creative energies. Energies that are very transformative and integrative, and provides a foundation for our work. We need to have a foundation of sexual transmutation and from there ethics really bases itself. If we try to be very ethical and transform our state of mind, but we are not transforming that third aspect related to our sexual energy, we will not really progress. In fact, we cannot progress at all on the Path of Initiation.
The Composition of the Being
In the past we have talked about the physical body, the Soul and the Spirit, but there is also the Logos and even beyond that is the Absolute. If we start from the top, we can explain in a very simplified and synthesized way what the whole Tree of Life is showing us in terms of our Being. At the very top you have three qualities called The Ain, The Ain Soph and The Ain Soph Aur.
This is what we call the Abstract Space, the Absolute, and this is a type of non-Being, a non-existence which can be referred to as Sat in Sanskrit, and in Hebrew would be related not to the Elohim but the Aelohim. Elohim means “Gods and Goddesses”, but Aelohim is the negation of that, which is beyond the Gods and Goddesses. Aelohim is related to pure potentiality, the type of uncreated Light and it is from there that everything manifests itself. It is from there that the first quality of Creation emerges which is that Trinity which we call The Logos. That is where we have the Universal forces of Creation.
There is already a creation here with the Trinity, or the Trimurti, or the Trikaya, which is Kether, Chokmah and Binah, which is that Holy Affirmation, Holy Denial and Holy Conciliation. That already is a very rarefied or abstract type of Creation, but it is not Creation as we would understand it yet. Nothing really has been created. Those qualities are the substrates needed in order to have Creation. That is the very basis of Creation itself. Those forces need to interact with each other in order to create.
Through the use of those forces certain types of Monads or Beings – certain types of Elohim or Cosmocreators, we can say – are able to use those forces in order to manifest all the Spirits into the Spiritual world. From the Logos comes the Spirit, and it is through the interaction of the Holy Spirit, that our Inner Spirit manifests in the spiritual world. That Inner Spirit is what we call our individual Father in Heaven. The Father of the Father is Kether. That is the Cosmic Common Father, that is “our (common) Father”, but our individual Father is related to Chesed.
The Spirit unfolds into the Spiritual Soul, which is Geburah. Geburah is where you can begin to see the beauty of the Spirit in the first aspect of the Soul. It is a Spiritual Soul. When you look at a candle flame you can see the wick of the candle, and immediately surrounding the wick of the candle is something transparent, and as you expand away from the wick then you begin to see the flame itself more concretely. That space there, where it looks almost transparent or dark is, we can say, related to the Spirit and out of that space, the flame begins to have its luminosity. We see the beauty of our Spirit in the Spiritual Soul. Another way to explain it is when you have a flame, and then a fine piece of glass or alabaster around that flame. That alabaster around it provides a type of beauty, it transforms that Light in a very beautiful way.
There is a subtle relationship between Chesed and Geburah that we need to meditate upon. These are qualities that, we can say, always remain in the superior worlds. The Spiritual Soul is the final receptor or receptacle of all of the wisdom that we gain here on earth, and in other dimensions, as the Human Soul. The Spirit, which is also called “the Monad” unfolds itself. First as Chesed-Geburah, and then the next level of the soul which is Tiphereth, can be understood as the Monad. Tiphereth is still within the spiritual world but it is the first unfoldment of the Human Soul. Therefore we can relate Tiphereth both on a spiritual aspect and also a human soul aspect.
The reason why the Monad needs to unfold itself into the Human Soul and then into the mind, emotion, and then into the foundation of chemical energy and sexuality, and then into the physical body, is because the Monad needs to acquire cognizance of its own qualities. The only way to achieve that cognizance is to have the experience of the Human Soul go through all of the transmigrations, and to do the work. The Spirit unfolds into the soul, and that is why we say that the soul is “that which must acquired”. The Spirit must acquire its soul, it must manifest the cognizance of all of its qualities.
The soul is what can fall into degeneration, into a lot of karma, while at the same time the Inner Spirit can never fall into degeneration, because, in the spiritual world the Will of God, we could say, is always performed. It is through the unfoldment and going into the other dimensions that go towards the physical world that there can be actions, activity, agency, which goes against the Will of God which then creates karma. Through the transformation and purification of karma we can gain cognizance. We can gain “the sapience of sin” in order to awaken our Consciousness and integrate all the qualities of the Being.
This is a very synthesized overview of what the Path is about. It is not just about doing good works because God says we should do good works. It is about gaining cognizance and developing all the qualities, manifesting all the qualities through the process of Initiation. We call it initiation because you have to initiate a certain process of development within all of the sephiroth, and that is a very elaborate process. In synthesis it is about the full manifestation of the Spirit developing and then that full manifestation ascending into the Abstract Space.
The Spirit is something that "already is" and the Soul is something which must be acquired. This is where the development occurs. That is why we said that you can achieve Initiations, but initiation always belongs to the Spirit. Even though the Soul is doing the work, the Soul can fall into degeneration, but the Spirit still has the initiations.
This leads to all sorts of situations, sometimes, where a spiritual teacher exists here physically that possesses a certain type of energy that is noticeable to the students that are hearing this teacher teach. Very often the student is just mistaken or a charlatan, and the teacher actually has no development at all. However, it can also be the case there is something in that teacher’s inner Spirit, their inner Buddha, but at the same time the soul can have a lot of problems still, a lot of karma, a lot of ego. There are these strange mixtures that occur, and when that does occur that teacher has a big problem that they need to solve, and the students can suffer a lot. The teacher in this type of case gains a lot of karma.
Things like this are always happening, even today. Certain traditions which have teachers that are in one aspect are teaching something true, but in another aspect have a big ego. If the teacher believes themself to be that great Being, having that inner Buddha developed to some degree, but they ignore they also have the ego. And because of their condition, they do not see themselves for what they truly are. Therefore, they justify their errors and often end up making their students suffer a lot, and abusing their students in many different ways. Some cases are more serious than others. People do not understand how these things can occur between the inner Spirit or inner Buddha possessing certain qualities while the soul, or lower aspects of the mind possesses a lot of degeneration. Students are naïve, and do not realize that those things can happen at the same time. Of course, we know that is called a Hanusmussen. There are different levels or different types of those who have a “double center of gravity.”
Really, every student and teacher has a double center of gravity. Anyone who has ego has that. The Being is one center of gravity, and ego the other. The problem becomes serious when a teacher has some development related to their Spiritual Soul, legitimate development often from a prior life, related to their Spirit. Yet, in this life they ignore their own ego, and they build up an ego of mystical pride, of mythomania, and they ignore the ethical basis that they should have. A lot of suffering occurs because of this.
In relationship to the three brains and Five Centers Samael Aun Weor states:
The “I” exerts control upon the five inferior centers of the human machine; these five centers are the: intellectual, emotional, motor (movement), instinctual, and sexual. The “I” cannot control the two superior centers of the human being, which are the Superior Mind and Superior Emotion. If we want to dissolve the “I,” we must study it through the inferior centers; we need comprehension. - Alchemy & Kabbalah
How do we have experience or knowledge about those two superior centers? Principally, it is going to be related, of course, to Meditation. If we can develop a routine of Meditation we will begin to have experience and knowledge of those brains. They operate in a superior way. They operate in abstract and intuitive ways. When we have certain types of experiences related to our dreams, for example. Sometimes if we have a powerful dream, it could be related to our superior centers, in such a case the information is really coming directly from our Being. Even if we are not totally cognizant, sometimes the Being will transmit its information through our superior centers, so that we may even get the information, have the experience, but not comprehend it yet. We have to comprehend through Meditation in order to know what that experience is all about.
But other times when we are living in a balanced way, if we take advantage of a situation, and we transform the impression, sometimes we can shift into these superior centers for a moment. As we develop our work, we are more and more consistently operating in those superior centers. The superior centers require those more elevated levels of energy, what we call more elevated levels of "the hydrogens" which we have talked about in some prior lectures.
Love & Initation
Let us now talk about love and how it relates initation. The word love in the New Testament of the Bible is actually one of three words in Greek. Those three words are “storge”, “agape” and “phileo.” There is another Greek word called “eros”. All of these words have a relationship to what we call love. And usually when we talk about love, we really are talking about activities that are occurring in the superior centers: superior intellectual and superior emotional centers. From the standpoint of the intellect and emotion, love is not going to be appearing or manifesting in the inferior centers.
The Third Brain is a little bit different. In the Third Brain (Motor-Instictive-Sexual) things are synthesized and integrated. Then there are some types of instinctual behaviors which really are coming from a place of love, but we are not totally cognizant of how that love is expressing itself. It is mechanical.
From the top, in relationship to the Superior Intellectual Brain, we can use this word “storge”. Storge is a type of love related to our family. This is the love that you have for family members, the love that you have for parents, and all of the different types of family members that you have. That type of love, we would not say, is not related to any initiatic principle or quality, to just love your family because they are your family. That is wonderful, but that is actually very instinctual, because there is no real a cognizance there. That is not the way we apply the word “storge” in terms of the Gnostic Work.
Samael Aun Weor talks about “filial” love. Filial is related to Latin, and it is the same principle. Filial means “of family,” meaning to know that you are a child of your parents, for example. But Samael always talks about the Innermost: to know that you are a child of the Inner Father. To know that you are a child of your Being. To have that experience, or comprehension, that one is a child of the Being. To feel that one is a child of the Being. However this word “feel” needs to be understood, because it is not just an ordinary feeling. In the same sense as this word “storge” it needs to be understood, consciously, that you are a child of the Being.
Storge or filial is related to the Inner Father. The Inner Father is related to Chesed, but it is also related to the Father of the Father which is Kether. What this quality is pointing towards is an existential quality: that there is existence, “I am a child of the Being”. That is a type of existential notion – a quality of existance. That is what existential means, and it is also has an initiative quality, the Holy Affirmation, of initiating. When we talk about initiation, it is always related to our Inner Being, right? And it is always coming from that First principle. It is initiating new developments.
The second two words, “agape” and “phileo”; these are the words that Jesus is using when he talks about loving thy enemy. Agape is specifically loving thy enemy. It is the word used when he says, “love thy enemy”. Agape is a type of universal love, to love everybody. So, of course, it is related to the superior emotional center.
“Phileo” is related to loving your friends, having a brotherhood or sisterhood. Again, from an inferior aspect, phileo is sort of mechanical. To care about somebody just because you know about them, because you have a lot of shared experiences and, therefore, you care about them, is mechanical. It is good to care about them, but that is not actually coming from a superior emotional center. It is coming from our instinctual center into our inferior emotional center. To care about someone because we share some common circumstances is a mechanical and inferior aspect of love. What we truly need which is compassion for everybody, not based upon circumstances or whether they are good or bad, but just because that compassion is a part of us, because we are no different from anyone.
The superior aspect of love is what we are really concerned about. In modern Christianity they describe “agape” as a universal, unconditional love as well. However, they describe it as a love that you do "in action", meaning, you love your enemy by helping them when they need help, but you don’t need to feel as if they are a real friend. The way they teach agape is that, yes, you should always help everybody and “love thy enemy” in that way, but you don’t need to feel as if they are your friend, and they contrast it with the phileo type of love.
This, of course, is wrong. This is not what we should be following. We need to love our enemies not just through actions but in our superior emotional center. It is not enough to just do or to follow some rule. We actually need to have comprehension. You see, if you don’t comprehend what that relationship is with someone, if you feel already that someone is your enemy, you have already lacked comprehension. You already are not comprehending the true nature of your own experience, your own existence and the existence of the other. Already there is lack of comprehension.
In the end, agape and phileo merge together. Not only do we love thy enemy in deed or in action, but we actually feel as though everyone is close, is of our family in that sense.
When we talk about the first type of love, that of filial or storge, it is a love between our experience as a Soul and our Inner Being, and all the qualities of our Inner Being. That beautiful experience and knowledge. To have that feeling of plenitude and infinitude. You know when we feel disconnected from the world and we feel isolated and bored, all of that is the opposite of what filial love is. Because when you have filial love you feel completed, without needing anything exterior. You have your Inner Being. You have the infinite potential of the Inner Being, so you don’t need anything outside of yourself? That is what we are looking for with filial love.
With the agape type of love, we are going from our inner Being to all other inner Beings, to all other sentient Beings, and loving them as we love our self. But we have to remember that we have to love our self, first. Sometimes we talk about you should love thy neighbor as you love yourself. This is what Jesus says, but we need to know how to love our self, first, which sounds selfish, but when we say “to love thyself” it is not to love the ego, it is to love your inner Being, to have comprehension of it.
The third type of love that we are going to talk about is Eros, which is the erotic love related to the Motor-Instinctive-Sexual Brain. This third type of love is, of course, related to Yesod and related in a very superior sense to Daath. We have spoken a lot about Eros in some of our prior lectures so it is not so unfamiliar.
While the first type of love is that initial existential quality, the second love is the universal, ubiquitous quality which supports all life. And the third type is a synthesis of those two. A relational,, transformative type of love, because Eros is, of course, related very specifically to the transformation of energies.
All of these loves are united. Just as the Trinity, which is three in one. Don’t try to separate them too much. But on the other hand, we do have these three brains and just as our three brains are inter-related so are these different types of loves. We don’t want to try to separate them too distinctly because that would not be correct. We know that third type of love, the erotic love is related to the movement transformation of energy. It is a transformative and relational type of energy.
Let’s talk a little bit more about each of these loves. First, filial love. We are going to go back to a quote that we had in our last lecture from the Bhagavad-Gita 16:5 which states,
The divine nature is deemed for liberation and the demoniacal for bondage. Grieve not, O Arjuna, for thou art born with divine properties!
This is a nice quote. We need to comprehend that we have a Divinity within our self and we need to not forget that. As we always say,, it is one thing to understand this intellectually but to be cognizant of it is to not forget it. If we are cognizant that we have an inner Being then we are not going to become identified with something that is not our inner Being. To be cognizant of something means to know how to recognize it. To know it when you see it. To re-cognize … to know it when you see it.
If you are to see something on a table and it is a piece of fruit and it is an orange, do you recognize it as an orange or are you not sure? Or is it maybe an apple? Do you recognize what it actually is? Well externally, yes, we can see something and see it for what it really is, see it from that perspective as for what it really is. That is not an apple, that’s an orange. That’s not an orange, that’s a banana. Simple, right?
To recognize what is our Being and what is our ego is not so simple. We don’t recognize the ego for the ego. We don’t recognize the Consciousness for the Consciousness. When we don’t recognize the ego for being the ego, we identify with its process. If we are identified with its process, then we get locked in this struggle with opposites between self-hatred and self-pride. I can use the word “self-love” but I don’t want to confuse everyone so I use the word “self-hatred” and self-pride.
If we have the experience of self-hatred, what is it that we are hating? Do we hate our self? What self? What is the self which we have this emotional force towards? Have we investigated the nature of that self which we might hate or which we might love – the nature of self?
Many times, what we will talk about is to comprehend the hatred, or comprehend these negative emotions, but another way is to look into the object of the hatred, and if it is related to our self. We need to enquire, “what is this self which I have these very seemingly concrete emotions towards, seemingly very real?” Because the nature of the self needs to be investigated. What is the nature of our self? The more you investigate the nature of your self, the more its illusory nature becomes apparent.
This is not to say that the ego is just an illusion. Sometimes people say, “Oh! the ego is just an illusion. You just have to know that we are all one, and don’t get caught up in the illusion of the ego”. It is a lot deeper than that. You must comprehend every atom of our own Consciousness. Of our Being as well. Every time we don’t have a comprehension of some aspect of our self, we confuse it with other things which are not the self, not the true Consciousness. So, when we have these powerful ideas about our self, the most powerful way to get through that is to investigate: What is the self? Where do I find the self?
In Buddhism they are very adept at going through these types of meditations, from the physical body and through all the different skandas. Samael Aun Weor has meditations too related to the physical body, then to the Astral body and Mental body – whether it is solar or lunar, it doesn’t matter - saying, “I am not this body, I am not this …”.
If you have strong emotions and just accept them, or, if you have strong thoughts and you just accept them for what they are, or you just accept them for what they appear to be (as they appear to you), that is not good enough, because how they appear and their actual true nature, is very, very different. All of these emotions and thoughts appear as if they are so concrete and they are so real and true, but it is through analysis, through reflection in Meditation that they begin to unfold.
Just like a knotted ball of yarn, if you work upon that knot, it unties itself eventually and then you notice that the ball is not there at all. You just have this substrate of what that ball of yarn was, just the string itself laid out. That string, that yarn, doesn’t look anything like the ball, but you can tie it all up again if you want. In the same way we have these knots of energy: emotions and thoughts. We can learn how to unwind them, but we need to know how to meditate. This is why we talk about Meditation so much.
Fundamentally, if we have this type of self-hatred and over-exaggerated senses of guilt – and the opposite as well, self-pride – it is fundamentally due to an inability to recognize the difference between the ego and the Being. When we begin to recognize the quality or taste of what it is when we have these powerful emotions and thoughts, the more we can recognize that something is actually an egotistical impulse. The more we can realize this, the better we can apply some antidote to help ourselves get through it.
Self-pride usually is related to when we have a strong emotion or thought, and because it is strong, because it has a definitive quality, if one can say “I definitely have this thought or I definitely have this emotion”, then instead of going to self-hatred we can go into self-pride simply based upon the intensity and clarity with which we can see it as a thought or emotion. Simply by the intense quality we believe it must be real, that it must be a true expression of our self.
In simpler terms, we know that we have a powerful aversion to something, we don’t like something, or we definitely do like something a certain way. And simply because it is powerful, we simply don’t analyze it, we just don’t reflect on it. Simply because it is powerful, we just lay down all our Consciousness just accept that this must be really what the truth is. Of course, that is wrong. When it is that powerful, almost always it is the opposite. It is our ego that is so inflamed. Usually that powerful thought or emotion that we have is not what is real. It is our ego.
Now here’s the thing! We often associate the ego with suffering, right? Yet the emotion that comes up may not feel like suffering. It feels good, and we do not see it for what it is. In that moment of self-pride we don’t see it as suffering. We don’t recognize it for what it is. It feels good. In Western psychological terms it is egosyntonic. Egosyntonic means it feels good to the ego, but it is still ego. The opposite of egosyntonic is egodystonic which means the ego doesn’t like it. But in both the case of egosyntonic and egodystonic, they are both the ego. Just because we have an emotion, and if the emotion feels good, or, because we have a series of thoughts and the thoughts seem to be good, or pleasurable, or pleasant, or whatever word you might want to use to describe it, it doesn’t mean it is actually the Being, the Consciousness, the Essence. It doesn’t mean it is unconditioned, a type of pure unconditioned expression of Consciousness. We need to reflect on all of this.
Another aspect of filial love or storgic love is the Path itself. Without this experience, or relationship with the Inner Being, we cannot walk on the Path. We must at least begin to comprehend the Being, even if it just “a mustard seed” of faith. That mustard seed of faith is the connection that there is some Path. There is some Being, some atomic star that shines upon us, that always smiles upon us, and that our existence has a purpose, and that purpose is to be the Being. There is a means for us to return to that Being and that way is the Path.
Our true nature is what we call “the Being” and the reason for the Being is to be that same Being itself, to be a light unto itself. Because our real nature is within such Being, liberation is possible. If we did not have a Being, liberation is not possible. If we didn’t have a Being, the Path is not possible. So, the Path is possible because we have our inner Being. Therefore, because that liberation is possible, you should engage in the Path to liberation. Not for any other reason! Not because of “this” or “that”, because things are nice, or because you will have some pleasant future. You should engage in the Path of Liberation because liberation is possible, and you are the soul, the Consciousness that needs to return.
The whole meaning of life is to walk on this Path. The whole meaning of what life is, is the Being itself. The Being is life. To walk on the Path is to live. To not walk on the Path is to be dead. This is what Jesus said, “follow me and let the dead bury their dead” and “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”. Jesus was talking about a Path. This first type of initiatic, filial love is related to walking on the Path because every step upon that Path is experiencing that love in greater and greater degrees.
We move onto the Second Logos where we talk about agapic love. We are going to read from the New Testament from the Sermon on the Mount,
You have heard that it has been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love them which love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
These beautiful words are read by any Christian, but I found it so interesting when I heard some of the way that they taught this scripture. This is agapic love, this is universal love. As I said before, those who teach this type of love as a love of action, that you should love your enemy and help them, but you don’t necessarily need to feel they are your brother or sister. This is wrong. We need to feel deeply united with all Beings. There is no other way to embody these teachings other than through deep reflection and Meditation. There is no way to love your enemies in truth without destroying your ego. If we have intolerance, jealousy, hatred or even boredom towards another person, this constitutes that we have some ego related to that. Because even boredom, if someone bores you, you should reflect on that. If you don’t have a natural spontaneity of love towards a person, then we have work to do. It is very easy to see we have a lot of work to do.
How can we become perfect as our Father which is Heaven is perfect? Again, this is only possible if we comprehend, if we really understand. We need to understand what our Inner Being is and we need to understand the nature of those other Beings around us. When someone despises you or hurts you, by the nature of the fact that you already feel hurt means that you have unconsciously and mechanically transformed that impression in accordance with your ego. If it is already hurting, the ego has already transformed that impression of the person who is slandering you or disrespecting you, or whatever it is.
Understand that if you feel hurt already, the transformation is already undergoing. And if you are feeling bored by the company of someone, you don’t necessarily dislike them but they are boring, that also represents some transformation of energy. Because underneath boredom often is hatred, which we don’t want to admit, something we don’t like about someone. There are a lot of justifications that we do, very subtle ones. We hide from our self because the work is quite difficult and rigorous.
Now the second quote related to agapic love is in Exodus 23, Verses 4-5:
If you meet your enemy’s [ego’s] ox or his donkey [subjective mind] going astray [into false reasoning], you [the Essence] shall surely bring it back to him again [through compassionate Meditation]. If you see the donkey [subjective mind] of one who hates you [the ego] lying under its burden [of emotional afflictions], and refrains from helping its master [the Being], you [the Essence] shall surely help him with it.
If you read this in an external level, it is another good teaching on living well, helping others. But if we read this more psychologically, initiatically, we can understand that the enemy is our own ego. The enemy is our own self. The donkey or the ox is related to our subjective mind, our mind. When our mind goes astray, it is going into false reasoning. Our mind is suffering and we are caught up in that suffering. We are that suffering. But through our Meditation, our Consciousness can bring back that mind into equipoise, into peace.
We need to comprehend how our emotions are afflicting ourselves because we feel burdened in life – the donkey feels very burdened – and when the donkey feels very burdened, when the mind feels very burdened, we feel it impossible to really work spiritually. We need to recognize that the mind is caught up in the ego. We need to free the Essence in Meditation to comprehend the ego.
Also, when we see another person’s donkey, the mind of another person going astray - we see another person afflicting us with their mental afflictions – we should be compassionate towards them. We have to comprehend that they have an inner Being as well and it is just their ego which has so much suffering and hatred. They might be spewing that towards us, but if we comprehend, if we see the ego for the ego, if we see the inner Consciousness for the inner Consciousness, then we can love what is able to receive that love and know how to act. What that means it is always something different. It doesn’t mean that you just try to hug them and tell them loving things. That is not it at all usually. There is usually a very skillful way of helping a person calm down so they can get out of their own affliction and get back to some equipoise again. You can help them. You can help them stabilize their mind perhaps, but sometimes one must walk away. Just as they say, you cannot help someone else who is drowning if you yourself are drowning. Therefore, we need to really be cognizant about the way we help others. We need to know when we are ourselves unbalanced.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Matthew 5:38, 39
It means to turn the cheek, right? What we can say about this is, of course, it is not about physical altercations. It is about the way we feel hurt by the way someone might attack us, through their own thoughts and emotions and everything. If someone hits us on our right cheek, well, the right side means good works. It may be that we are being attacked for our virtues, or being attacked for doing something actually good. That is to say, working on the “right” side. But then, they attack us based on our left side. We are trying to do something positive, so they hit us on our right cheek, but they are actually attacking us for our left cheek because we have ego too. Others see our faults. Therefore, if someone attacks us, we should be open to that, and say, “Perhaps you are right, I do have a lot of problems too. I have issues, or, I can understand your perspective. I see that I have imperfections as well.” That is what it means to turn your left cheek. It is to agree and to see the perspective of the person who might be attacking you.
And if thy right eye offends thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:29
This, of course, is psychological. Here he is talking about the eye, the organ, the eye, but really that is the same thing as saying our ‘I’, our ego. Because it is our ego what sees the world, right? It is better for us to eliminate our ego than to have our whole Essence go into hell. So, to achieve agapic love we have to caste out our ‘I’s’.
And finally there is a verse that we often quote:
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit Adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed Adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:27–28
This really points to the profound nature of what true love is. It is not about external actions of doing something, right? It is about how our psychology, or how our Soul, is transforming the energy and if we have these ingrained patterns of mis-transforming the energy, our ego in other words, we cannot achieve those higher levels of energy. We cannot go into higher states of Consciousness.
Finally the third type of love, of course, is related to Eros or erotic love. And, as we have said before, the word “erotic” does not mean lust. It means that type of love that manifests itself between two souls. And when we say two souls, physically that means between husband and wife. But initiatically, husband and wife in union represent a union of the Human Soul with the Spiritual Soul.
The Being or the Innermost has two Souls – the Spiritual Soul and the Human Soul. Usually the Spiritual Soul is described as a feminine soul and the Human Soul is described as a masculine soul, because the Spiritual Soul is what receives those elements.
As I was saying before, when one walks upon the Path of Initiation certain qualities are being acquired which never go away and that’s because these are the qualities which are going into the Spiritual Soul. The Human Soul is an unfoldment of the Spiritual Soul, so the Human Soul gets those benefits too. The Human Soul gets its power and its virtues ultimately from that Spiritual Soul, but if the Human Soul falls into degeneration, the Spiritual Soul takes them, and then the Human Soul suffers. We have to understand that duality, that dichotomy there. The Spiritual Soul in that sense is receptive and, therefore, we say feminine, and the Human Soul has this heroic action which is working and fighting against the ego. Therefore we say it is masculine.
Sometimes the question comes up, how does one understand that if one is a woman? Because the way Samael talks about his initiation process, how he was meeting his Divine Soul, Divine Guinevere and all those things, and to experience the Divine Soul as a woman awaiting her hero for marriage. Of course, if you are a man and reading those books it makes sense. But if you are a woman, you may not be sure. The reality is that you can imagine the opposite. That other opposite of your Soul, the Divine Soul, is the opposite gender. If you are a woman, to see your Divine Soul as your inner prince. That is totally fine and that is natural. Obviously, our true nature is androgynous, our true nature is related to the superior aspects, right? But here we have this Consciousness related to our physical body, we naturally relate to the opposite gender, so we need to work with it and understand it.
The Spiritual Soul actually has a lot of powerful qualities which are related to the terror of the Law, of Karma, and it is a very forceful Sephiroth as well. There are masculine and feminine energies in all of the Sephiroth. The Path of Initiation is a path of integrating and manifesting all the aspects of the Being, so there are all these unions that are occurring in more and more superior degrees. That occurs through the Third Logos, and the transformation of sexual energy is generating these qualities and fertilizing all of the Sephiroth, creating an integration of the Being.
Of course, that plays out physically through marriage, through the sexual union between husband and wife.
In The Mystery of the Golden Blossom Samael Aun Weor writes,
Women, listen to me: Shakti must be lived regally during intercourse as Maya-Shakti (Woman-Eve-Goddess). Only in this way can you be successful in the consubstantiation of love in the psycho-physiological reality of your nature. The Gnostic man must personify Shiva (The Holy Spirit) during the Sahaja Maithuna (Sexual Magic) and feel flooded with this marvellous strength from the Third Logos.
So, in a very natural way the couple practicing Sahaja Maithuna should really see each other as a Divine principle, as the opposite Divine principle. The man should see his wife as Shakti, his Goddess, and the woman should see her man as God or Shiva. It is that quality which you are looking to help engender in the opposite.
The kiss is the mystical consecration of two souls who eagerly express in a sensory way that which they live in their interior. The sexual act becomes the consubstantialization of love in the psycho-physiological reality of our nature. The perfect matrimony is the union of two beings; one who loves more and the other who loves better. Love is the most accessible religion. Hermes Trimegistus, the thrice great God Ibis of Thoth, said: “I give thee love, within which the summum of wisdom is contained.” - Love (lecture)
The third type of love is transformative. It is creative, obviously. It’s the very power of Creation manifesting in us, and as we have talked about in a couple of prior lectures in this course, that transformation of sexual energy creates something new within ourselves. It is a sublime manifestation, and obviously, all these other aspects, all these other qualities of love that we are talking about are all inter-related, so one feels all of the fullness of being a part of their own inner Being.
Samael Aun Weor states that sexual enjoyment is a legitimate right of the human being, but that we have to totally eliminate is our ego, our desire, our lust. That is a long process, but inside all of that confusion and chaos is real bliss and happiness, not related to sensations, but related to states of Consciousness which don’t have any type of wanting or craving. We have a lot of ego and a lot of lust so we have to work to annihilate all of that.
Lust is something which is related to a type of foundational or fundamental ignorance, or naivete, that we have. Because of that fundamental ignorance, we end up transforming sexual impulses in ways which create the ego, and then the ego really takes hold, and always transforms the impressions in the wrong way. Nevertheless, we have the Consciousness and we are able to develop that Consciousness, so that the fundamental ignorance is transformed into fundamental cognizance or self-Consciousness. The Essence-Consciousness is there before ego arrives, but the Essence in the beginning is innocent. It doesn’t know Good and Evil. That same Essence becomes cognizant, it develops into awakened Consciousness and it transforms that fundamental ignorance into fundamental wisdom. That is the wisdom that goes up to the Spiritual Soul and gives Light to all of the properties of Being. Therefore, the Being already is, but it is missing that fundamental knowledge.
As a review, the first is that storgic or filial love. What that means is to feel that one is a child of the Being, but I would even say that differently, and say it is a comprehension that one is a child of the Being. Now comprehending that one is a child of the Being, we have that little-by-little, and as we have more experience in Meditation, if we have the illumination of the void, if we experience the illuminated void, then we really begin to understand the nature of the Being. The void is that Abstract Space. The illumination of that Void is our Consciousness or cognizance of that Void. The experience of the illumination of the void is the cognizance of our real nature. If we have that, if we develop familiarity with that, we understand that deeper and deeper through experience and we forget less and less our Being from moment-to-moment. Of course, if you have full illumination of the void, we are never forgetting it. But we experience different levels, so we have different experiences related to the Astral plane, Mental plane or more superior levels. You might have a profound dream for example that is very meaningful, helpful for understanding what our Being at some particular level. It is not the final understanding. It is still related to perhaps the Astral or Mental planes, even if it is the superior aspect of those. You can have experiences related to the Sixth Dimension or the Seventh Dimension or even experiences related to that Abstract Space.
As you realize that more and more, you are not intellectually knowing these things, you are comprehending them. You are cognizant of it and you don’t forget that. So, as you experience those things, if you are dedicated in your meditative practice, you begin to have those experiences, and the more you have them, the easier you are able to transform all the impressions of life.
We work from both sides. We talk about working concretely with very factual and practical information about what happened in our day, and comprehending that – retrospection and comprehension of particular very small snippets of our life to understand them. Also, and this is on the other side of the spectrum, of having those mystical experiences helps us comprehend the nature of our Being. The one is to comprehend the nature of the ego and the other is to comprehend the nature of the Being. If we make the effort for the illumination of the void and the result is a spontaneous comprehension, moment-by-moment, that we are a child of the Being. We know our own real nature and, therefore, we have filial love.
Second, is agapic love and that is what that other aspect is, radical and total death of the ego, 100%. If we achieve that we spontaneously have Universal compassion and love for all Beings. This is not something we can have through intellectual argument or dialogue. We need to actually destroy our ego. The price of this is our very life. The question is, who can afford such a luxury? Even better, who can afford to not have such a luxury?
Of course, in the third type, erotic love, we make the effort of the transmutation of our creative sexual energy. Whether that is as a single person through pranayama and other types of esoteric activities (such as mantras, chains, etc.). Or, as a married couple in the sexual act itself. Eros results in a transcendental communion, the integration of your inner Being or the blossoming of the flowers of the soul. There are different levels that you can talk about that. From the highest aspect it is the integration of your Being, all the parts of your Being coming together.