This is a transcription of the audio lecture Twenty two Arcana of Tarot and Kabbalah 07 Arcanum 7 Triumph originally given live on Gnostic Radio, which you can download for free.
The Arcanum Seven depicts a warrior standing in a chariot. This warrior holds in his two hands a staff or a rod and a sword. The chariot has four columns which he stands in the midst of and the chariot is drawn or led by two sphinxes, one black and one white. This Arcanum symbolizes the chariot of war, which is also represented in the famous epic story of ancient India called the Mahabharata. This is an ancient story describing a huge conflict amongst the members of a family. The most famous extract or portion of this epic story is called the Bhagavad Gita, which means “The Song of the Lord,” and is a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. They have this dialogue in a chariot on a battlefield at the very precipice of the greatest war the world has ever known.
Of course typically, traditionally, the story is interpreted as merely a story and the symbolism is missed by the majority of the readers of the Mahabharata. The war symbolizes the struggle that the spiritual initiate has to undergo within the mind; the war amongst the psychological family, between the virtuous brothers and the greedy and proud brothers. Of course, the greedy and proud ones outnumber the virtuous ones, in us and in the Mahabharata.
Arjuna has the responsibility of riding out on the battlefield in order to initiate this great war, and when he faces the army of his brothers, of his family members, and he sees all of these beloved ones that he has to kill, he hesitates and feels conflicted and asks Krishna his advisor, his guide, “How can I kill my beloved ones, my own family? How do I discover my true duty when I am faced with this great conflict, where my duty is to kill those that I love, how do I resolve that?” Krishna gives as his answer “The Song of the Lord,” The Bhagavad Gita, which is a discourse explaining the duty of the spiritual initiate, the duty of the spiritual practitioner. It is a beautiful story, but the chariot that they ride in is represented also in the Western Tradition here in the Seventh Arcanum of the sacred tarot.
In this image we see the Warrior who stands in his chariot holding his sword and his staff. The symbol here is multifaceted and very deep. For us to begin to penetrate into the meaning of this symbol, we first have to examine some basic laws which exist in nature, which exist in all of creation. Truly, the exposition of all of these Arcana is the examination of all the varying laws that we have to come to understand.
The term Self-realization has a very specific meaning whose true interpretation is easily overlooked. To “realize” is to know directly, to have profound insight or an intuitive understanding. Realization is the epiphany of understanding, is the moment in which comprehension blossoms within the mind. And by “Self” we have to understand that what we seek on any true spiritual path is to realize or comprehend the real Self, our true self. This realization is not limited to an intellectual idea, it has to be a kind of epiphany of the consciousness where we comprehend and understand directly what the nature of the real Self truly is. The obstacle that we have to achieve that is our own false self. So to comprehend and understand and enter into the understanding, the knowledge, of the real self requires that we abandon the false one.
We have created and become trapped within a false sense of self because we do not understand the laws of nature, the laws which govern our own consciousness and the nature of our own Soul. So the examination of the 22 Arcana is the beginning of our own consciousness grasping the essential nature of each of the primary laws which manage nature.
Each Arcanum is a Law; each Arcanum contains and encodes vital structures which manage energy in nature. So in order for us to achieve Self-realization we have to become one with those laws, to realize those laws, to act in harmony with them, and to have our every motion, our every movement, our every thought, and feeling be harmonious with those laws.
With this lecture, we have arrived at the seventh of twenty-two. In the first six, we have looked at very elevated, somewhat abstract presentations of different aspects of the functions of energy in nature and matter. One of the primary laws that we have examined is the law of three. The law of three is the law which creates, and this law is visually depicted in the uppermost triangle of the Tree of Life. We have in this triangle three forces, three aspects of one divinity. The law of three is required in any expression which seeks to manifest something else. This is a law of harmony, a law of equilibrium, a law of balance. So when three forces are brought into a state of cooperation, creation occurs.
When we look at our own inner psychology, the structure of our soul, we know that this Law of Three is the Solar Logos, the supernal Father, the Father of our Father, the most elevated region of manifestation, beyond which is the unmanifested.
But this light of the Solar Logos, which is our own inner star, the depths of our own consciousness, has to be organized. There is that expression of light, which is one, which is three, but in order for that expression to manifest further, to actually act, it has to be organized. So that organization, the organization of that expression is what we call the law of Seven and the law of Seven is visually depicted in the lower Seven spheres in the tree of life. These seven are organized as two triangles of three plus a seventh which hangs below.
The first triangle also encodes three forces, and this is the triangle of the Monad. “Monad” comes from the Greek “monas,” which means “unity,” so once again we have three as one, one as three. The Monad in this case is our own individual, inner Father; the Monad is three aspects of one intelligence. This is the warrior himself, who rides in the chariot. The warrior, the fighter, is our own inner spirit, our own Monad, our own individual, unique Divine Father who we also discussed in the first Arcanum, the Magician.
You may begin to notice that “we” don’t appear very much in all of these symbols. There has been a tendency - especially amongst certain groups - to always relate symbols, images, laws, to the personality, to the terrestrial person, but this personality, the terrestrial person, is the false self. To realize the true self we have to get beyond the personality and realize that these symbols, structures and laws really correspond to the True Self, our Innermost.
The warrior in the seventh Arcanum is differentiated from the first Arcanum for a particular reason. In the first Arcanum, we were examining the Hebrew letter Aleph and how this character has in its very structure the law of three. It has three essential components, and the Magician, our own Innermost, works with these forces in order to dominate and control nature, to become a perfected Aleph, a perfected man, but the inner most as number Seven is the warrior who is working with the law of Seven. He is working with the sword and the staff in his two hand; working in his chariot, in other words. The chariot is his vehicle, it is the Mercabah, or the soul itself.
If we analytically break down this triangle of the Monad, the second triangle on the tree, we would see that Arcanum Seven rests on the seventh sphere counting upwards, which is Chesed. This is Atman or our own Innermost, this is the number Seven. He is the one riding in the chariot, but the chariot itself is all of the seven bodies, which are below.
Number seven itself is the Atmic body, the body of the Innermost, six is Geburah, which is the Buddhic body, the body of the consciousness, five is Tiphereth, which is the causal body or the body of the Will, the human soul. These three (5, 6, and 7 counting upwards) are the bodies of the Monad; they are one but three.
Going further, we have Netzach, which is the mental body (4), we have Hod which is the Astral body (3), Yesod which is the Vital (2) and Malkuth which is the physical body (1). These lower four are called the inferior quaternary; “quaternary” is four aspects, four faces. These are the four bodies of sin: physical, vital, astral and mental, and these four bodies are illustrated in our graphic by the four columns of the chariot.
For Atman, our own Innermost, to fight on the battlefield of Self-realization, he needs his chariot; he has to dwell within the four bodies. He has to fight within his own vehicle. This is what he uses to ride into battle to defeat the enemy. The enemy is Shaitan, Satan, the Devil, who is of course ourselves, our own egos.
The seven brothers, the seven aspects of the soul, are these seven bodies. In the Mahabharata they are depicted as five, which are the lower five. Causal, astral, mental, vital, physical bodies. Krishna represents the Christ. But the essential symbol here is that the Innerself who rides in the chariot has to ride and inhabit and drive the four lower bodies, the inferior quaternary. He has to be in charge in order for the battle for Self-realization to proceed well. This becomes our difficulty.
Who is in charge of our mind?
Who is driving the thoughts that we are experiencing from moment to moment?
If you observe and examine your thoughts, look in them to see: what is the will behind the thought?
If you examine your feelings, look with this analysis: what will is behind this emotion?
And if you examine your impulses to act, you have to analyze: what is the force of will driving this impulse? What makes me want to act this way? Is it the Monad? Is it my own Innerself who is pushing me through this thought, through this feeling, through this impulse, or is it my ego?
It is in this effort from moment to moment that we begin to establish the presence of the Being within, and this effort is called Self-observation and Self-remembering.
To observe oneself is to be present and watchful from moment to moment, watching all of the varying manifestations that arise in our minds, in our hearts, in our bodies. That watchfulness requires the vigilance of a warrior.
One instance of distraction is enough for the enemy to get in, for the enemy Shaitan, to take control of our own psyche, to control the chariot, in other words.
The thoughts that we have are related of course to the mental body, which is one aspect of the chariot that the Monad needs to drive.
When our own demon of the mind is infiltrating our camp, through our intellect, through thoughts, through ideas, he pushes his agenda, which is always rooted in desire, which is always veiled with justifications, with good reasons, with strong arguments. The demon of the mind is very cunning, very convincing, very logical, very smart.
This demon of course is represented in the Christian gospel by Pilate, who as you know appears sympathetic to the Christ in the Gospels. He appears to care, he appears to be concerned for the welfare of the Christ, he appears interested, inquisitive, curious, but in the end he betrays the Christ and rationalizes his betrayal with reasoning. He washes his hands of guilt. Our own mind does the same thing, in appearing to be sympathetic to the cause of our inner Being, by appearing to be curious about the nature of the teachings, by appearing to be very logical, reasonable and rational in all his ideas. But when our own demon of the mind controls that vehicle, the Innermost cannot act and we proceed to behave in wrong ways.
The same is true of the demon of desire, and the demon of evil will, these other aspects of our own mind, which are the three traitors. And these three traitors exist in us, they are not fantasies, they are not theoretical. They are living, breathing, scheming aspects of our own mind, which are in every moment seeking opportunity to take control of the chariot.
The Being has to fight to establish control over his chariot, and he does this with the sword and the staff. The sword is a symbol of Willpower, and the staff is the symbol of the spinal column.
“Whoever wants to be a Magician,” writes Master Samael Aun Weor, “has to acquire the sword.”
How does one acquire the sword? How does one become a Magician? You remember from the first Arcanum that the Magician is the Innermost himself, the First Arcanum, and to become that is to become Self-realized; the sword is Willpower. Will, we know is related to Tiphereth, the human soul. Whosoever wants to become a Magician has to acquire the sword, Will, Tiphereth, the Causal Body, to become a soul, to become a human soul. To become that, to acquire the sword, implies different things.
The sword is the Kundalini itself. It is the transmuted sexual power, which rises up the spinal column; it is grasped by the Innermost and becomes his force, his expression, which he uses to conquer his enemies. The sword in this case represents the fires of the Kundalini which are raised and used to dominate Shaitan, to destroy the enemy. This is illustrated throughout the Bible in all the great battles when the Lord descends and empowers his warriors to conquer the unbelievers. These are all symbolic of initiatic processes that the aspirant has to go through. This is all rooted in Will, and Tiphereth as we know is related to the Hebrew character Vav or Vau, which we examined in a previous lecture. This character Vav or Vau is related to the sword the magician holds in his hand and is related to Tiphareth. Vav in this case symbolizes of course the spinal column as well, but in relation to the Arcanum Seven it is the human soul.
The character Zayin looks very much like Vav. They are very similar; it is a very subtle difference between them. The Innermost has to have Vav and Zayin in his hand in order to do battle. Zayin is Buddhi, is Neshemah, is the Divine Soul, Geburah. Here you have the Monad itself working in battle. The Innermost, Atman, the number Seven, and in his two hands are his two souls: divine and human, Zayin and Vav.
The Bible states that when God created man, God breathed into the dust, this form of clay, a breath of life: of Neshemah, this is the Zayin, but in this case we have to examine the distinction between Vav and Zayin. How do we understand how this relates to the number Seven?
The law of seven is that law which organizes nature. We see the law of three creates the light of consciousness, our own Glorian. That law of three is organized into the seven bodies of our soul, the Seven bodies of the Innermost, which is the chariot itself. That organization is a descent of light, a descent of energy. This is the force of Aleph, the Magician, the three forces descending through Vav, the spinal column, elaborating the chariot itself. So these are sexual forces, creative forces being organized in order to manifest the human being. But to become perfected, to become Self-realized, requires a complimentary process. The sexual forces have to be organized in order to create the soul as a Self-realized entity; this is happening through the arousal of transmuted sexual forces, which are Zayin itself. So we can say Vav in this example demonstrates the descent of that energy to elaborate the structure. Zayin is the ascent of that force to elaborate the perfection.
Zayin or Neshemah is also the feminine sexual forces. Neshemah is our own consciousness, Buddhi, who is the aspect of the Innermost providing us with intuition, insight, intelligence.
Vav is his Will, while Zayin is his Imagination, Intuition, Comprehension.
In order for the Innermost to conquer the enemy, he has to have a warrior, a fighter, a servant, he has to have his chariot. The Innermost works through us. To realize the Self is to realize that. It is to come into harmony with the will of our own inner Being. This has nothing to do with any kind of terrestrial morality or terrestrial laws or any kind of tradition. The will of the Innermost is individual, is unique. The Innermost that we have has his own solar personality, his own idiosyncrasy, his own mission, and for the terrestrial person, we have a role to play in the fulfillment of that mission, but we have to understand how to perform our duty, to work on behalf of the Innermost and fulfill that mission, that duty. In order to do that it is important and necessary that we understand how these laws function. This understanding of the chariot is vital. The understanding of the spiritual soul and the human soul is vital. The understanding of the law of Three and the law of Seven is vital, in order for us to understand how to act properly in relation to the will of our inner Being.
The sword and the rod in the hands of the magician, the warrior, have an additional implication. Buddhi or Neshemah is that feminine aspect of our own Monad, and Buddhi is the light which expresses the will or the information from the Innermost. Buddhi (from Sanskrit) means literally “intelligence,” but it is intuitive intelligence. So Buddhi is that intelligence or that light which provides insight or intuition.
The insight or intuition of the Innermost is acquired in ourselves through the vehicle of Neshemah. But that vehicle cannot be accessed without Zayin in us. Zayin is the seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is the letter that corresponds to organization; it is also related to the seventh day, Shabbat, and to say seven in Hebrew we say “Shabbat, Sheba,” related to the Queen of Sheba. Zayin, Geburah, Neshemah are related to feminine sexual forces, intuitive forces, illuminating forces which have to be gathered, respected, cultivated. The forces of that light, the forces of that intelligence, are dissipated when the sexual forces are expelled from the body. In other words, people who fornicate lose their capacity to acquire real insight. That is the bottom line. Through chastity, through upright sexual behavior, the forces of the Ishim, Ishod, Isha, the forces of the feminine sexual power are accumulated, fortified and begin their ascension, represented by Zayin.
There is a process which unfolds, a process of creation when these three forces, encompassed and embodied within our own sexual waters, are harnessed by the chariot, by the warrior within the chariot, the Innermost. He fights in order to transform those energies and create his chariot, create his soul. Without access to those sexual waters, that form of creation cannot occur.
The three forces of divinity descend into us and have their ultimate refinement in our sexual forces. These sexual forces are our own expression of creation. The most powerful creative capacity that we have is all encompassed in our sexual force. When we use that force of creativity under the guidance of the demons of the mind, heart and sex, we create, but we create by causing those forces to continue descending because the will driving that creation is descending. It is a will that belongs to the Klipoth, to the lower realms of nature, to Hell. In other words, when we are acting out of desire and we are acting from anger or from pride or from envy, we are harnessing the forces of the sex through those actions, through the mind, through the heart, physically, but to create downwards. Psychologically, we understand that this how the forces of the Divine Mother are descending into a negative polarity.
There are two ways to create, positively or negatively. There are two ways for that raw creative power to be polarized, in other words. There are two ways for our creative expression to be organized according to the Law of Seven.
The way we normally behave in society today, we take these Three Forces and we create according to instinctive impulses, animal desires, driven by pride, driven by lust, driven by fear. To create in this way is to take the three forces descending from Vav, which are manifesting and being expressed through our three nervous systems, the law of Three which are being organized by our Seven Chakras, the Law of Seven, our Seven bodies, the Law of Seven, which have their expression polarized negatively. In other words when we listen to our animal mind, to animal desire, to lust, to pride, to envy, to those demons we have within, we create in the Klipoth, we create in hell.
On a psychological level, this means when we listen to our pride we take our own vital forces and feed pride and create more pride. When we are acting on our anger, we are taking our vital sexual forces and feeding the anger and creating more anger.
This falls in its ultimate synthesis into the negative manifestation of these energies, which falls roughly into two realms: Lilith and Nahemah. Lilith and Nahemah as said in ancient traditions are the two wives of the fallen Adam. Adam, of course, represents us; we are fallen from Eden, from perfection, we are fallen into suffering and we are betrothed or intimately involved with our own animal desires, with our own inner Lilith, our own inner Nahemah.
These two represent how the feminine sexual forces create negatively by force of will, which is our will. How does this happen?
When those sexual forces, when the forces of Divinity descend into us, they are descending as represented by Vav, which I mentioned before. This character is representing the spinal column, and that force of Vav is channeling or receiving these forces, the three forces of creation, and those forces are gathered and accumulate in our sexual organs, which are the potency that we have. But when we take that potency and we harness it with desire, when we fulfill the desires of instinct and we fornicate, that energy is polarized negatively immediately. That Three-aspected sexual force, which is descending, called “the three breaths,” is forced downwards, it pushes those energies further down. It cannot return because it has been polarized negatively. That creative expression takes the intimate virtues which are inherent in the consciousness and polarizes them negatively.
Let me back up a little so you can understand what that means. The Being himself is the receptor of the Divine Light coming from above, from the Solar Logos, from the Glorian. That light has as its very essence the virtues of divinity. Now the purest virtue, the purest aspect of that is Christ itself, which is Love, pure, but when it is organized it becomes the Seven Virtues of the Soul, the Seven Virtues that we know, the seven great attributes which are Altruism, Diligence, Chastity, Humility, Love or Charity, Philanthropy (happiness for others), and Temperance. These seven virtues are related to how the light of the cosmic Christ is organized into the psyche. When that light is descending into us it can provide an influence, it can provide gifts, it can provide guidance through Neshemah.
But when we fornicate, when we listen to the animal desires of the mind, that ray, that light, that force is inverted. That light can no longer return upwards in order to express in the right way. It is polarized negatively by the animal desire, so all of those virtues invert themselves and become their opposites. So where we should have altruism, we have avarice. Where we should be acting with diligence, we manifest laziness. Where we should have Chastity we have lust. Where we should have humility we have pride. Where we should have Love or Charity, we have anger or hate. Where we should have happiness for others and philanthropy we have Envy. And when we should have Temperance, we have Gluttony or Greed.
These seven polarized forces are an expression of will. They are accessed, they are emboldened, they are empowered by the human soul through action. That is our responsibility, that is our job, to choose.
How do we behave?
By what will do we act?
Under what influence?
This is a moment to moment decision that we make. This is not a kind of statement we make to ourselves or a belief. “I believe I am doing the right things.” Or, “I believe I am a good person, I am headed in the right direction,” it is not that simple. We make these decisions every moment. In each moment we are deciding how to harness the energies that are flowing into us.
How are we harnessing those forces? How are we using them?
Each moment each thought, each feeling, each impulse.
Each thought, each feeling, each impulse, represents the arrival of new energy, the presence of energy that needs to be used and directed, but directed by will.
Whose will? The will of the Innermost, or the will of the animal mind?
This becomes our question; this becomes our effort. This is how the terrestrial person becomes a reflection of the Innermost, by first becoming a warrior. The path begins in us when we begin to fight our own mind. In other words, when we begin to work towards acquiring the sword.
The real acquisition of the sword is a matter of inner initiation. But in polite terms we talk about using the sword of our will in our moment to moment experiences, even though we do not really have the sword until we have reached High Initiation, an event related to the soul.
But we can start to prepare for it. When we begin to use our will in the right way, we are “using the sword.” It might be small, but we do have some free will.
When we are using our will in the wrong way we are “using the sword,” but in the wrong way. So it becomes necessary to learn in ourselves how we create negatively or positively, how are we harnessing the forces that are available in our psyche, in our bodies.
In the Bible it says,
Through Ishoth, Chokmah builds the house. – Proverbs 14:1
Chokmah is the Christ, “Wisdom.” The house is the chariot itself, so we know Christ is the one ultimately who builds because it is the Christic energy which becomes elaborated through force of will, but that energy here is called Ishoth, which are feminine sexual forces. But how are we going to build that house if we are fornicating? If we are corrupting those forces with desire? We cannot, the forces of Ishoth, those feminine sexual forces, have to be purified through transmutation. This is the work that we have to perform as a warrior: to begin to fight against Shaitan our own mind; to fight against the desires that arise in our three brains and to begin to organize our energies into virtues. We do that by stealing the fires from the devil, by stealing the forces that would otherwise be used for wrong action.
This is accomplished by understanding an ancient Alchemical mystery. In Alchemy, medieval alchemy, there is always this discussion of Vitriol. Vitriol is a Seven-lettered word which actually hides a sentence. This is called an “acrostic,” which means each letter is actually a word. VITRIOL stands for “Visitia Interiora Terre Rectificatur Invenias Ocultum Lapidum,” which is Latin, and in English says, “Visit the interior of the Earth, which by Rectifying you will acquire the the hidden stone.” This is the secret method of Alchemy. The Earth, of course, is our own self; “on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
“To rectify” means to return back to what it should be. When we make a mistake, we have to rectify it, we have to fix it, we have to make it right. This statement is saying our own Earth is corrupt, we have to correct it, we have to purify it. And that is why in Alchemy there is always the discussion of turning lead into gold. Lead is a very dense metal and this statement is saying, “remove the impurities, purify the metals.” The metals are these Seven defects, the metals are our own mercury, which is corrupt. We purify the mercury by applying heat, by working with fire, and that fire is sexual. We elaborate the gold and perfect the gold in the heat of the laboratory, the Athanor, in the furnace and that furnace is sexual alchemy. It is a forge, the same forge that Vulcan uses in the Greek mythology to provide weapons to the warrior, the son of Athena.
If you are familiar with Greek mythology, Athena is the Goddess of war, Wisdom, but she is the Divine Mother. And she carries with her a shield and a sword and she provides these weapons to her son who is the initiate, but the weapons are created by Vulcan in the forge of Alchemy. He does this out of Love; this is the prerequisite for success in Alchemy: Love.
VITRIOL is indicating that we need to rectify our Earth in order to find the Philosophical Stone, but what is that? In Alchemy, the philosophical stone was a magical device or property which had all kinds of powers, the powers of healing, powers of immortality, powers over nature, powers to command the elements. If you look into stories, the histories of Alchemy, you will see a very interesting phenomenon. The Alchemists were always describing turning lead into gold and creating this stone which had magical powers. Naturally when you observe and investigate this story, this history, you see many people driven by greed, by envy, by lust, chasing that philosophical stone. Kings, Emperors, Popes, Princes, Leaders, all levels of society were all desperately trying to find the secret technique so they could create gold, so they could create diamonds, all driven by greed, by pride, by envy. Naturally, they did not find the real meaning of the symbol. Instead they created what we know now as Chemistry, and still those same people are continue chasing their desires.
The symbol of Alchemy is that we have to transform the lead of the Ego, the lead of these seven defects, into gold, the gold of the spirit, the gold of the golden bodies, the solar bodies. We work in the forge of Alchemy in heat and pressure, fighting against our own mind, against desire, in order to extract what is pure from what is impure. This is the basis of Tantra: to take advantage of the impure, and pull the purity out of it.
The sword of the Innermost, given to us by our divine mother Athena, is the weapon used to conquer the impurities, who are all our “brothers” on the battlefield, all of our “family,” which represent our own egos, parts of ourselves that we believe we love and we are attached to, we are identified with, that we are in conflict with, because we don’t want to kill them, just like Arjuna.
Krishna advises Arjuna, “Do your duty, understand that what you are doing is for Me, the Christ. Understand that what you are doing is your responsibility, it is Right Action. You have to act!” Arjuna does it - and we have to follow that example, to be brave, courageous and wield the sword provided to us by our Divine Mother in order to conquer our pride, to conquer our anger, to conquer our lust.
We accomplish that in two ways, by two vital aspects, both of which are symbolized in this card. We see the Monad in his Chariot with his sword and his rod, we see two sphinxes black and white. There is a duality that has to be harnessed. The two sphinxes represent masculine and feminine sexual forces. The masculine and feminine sexual forces have also two levels of meaning. They are man and wife, male and female, or as the Bible calls them Ish and Isha, male sexual forces and female sexual forces. We have to harness the balancing, we have to balance and harmonize the feminine and masculine sexual forces. This is the basis of alchemy. By doing so, by containing and harnessing the sexual forces in transmutation, we are empowering the warrior in the chariot, providing him with the fuel and force he needs to battle the enemy.
But how do we personally do it? We know we have to transmute the sexual forces, we have to understand and engage in the science of Chastity, taking and harnessing our sexual forces and working with them in the right way. If we are married, we learn how to practice alchemy in order to not hurt each other and not hurt ourselves. If we are a single person, we learn how to transmute our own sexual forces through practices like Pranayama in order to transmute those forces and prepare ourselves for marriage. But in addition to the transmutation that we have to perform, we have to also use these two aspects of the Monad in ourselves: Tiphareth and Geburah, or in other words willpower and imagination. We have to meditate.
We use our sword, our will, or that masculine projective force, Tiphareth, by concentrating in meditation. Meditating on ourselves, meditating on our mistakes in order to rectify our Earth. This is a masculine effort, masculine in the sense that it is a force of projective will.
It is an effort; in the beginning, it takes a lot of effort because the mind is out of control. We have to dominate the donkey of the mind.
In Zen, the mind is symbolized by a bull or ox, in Tibetan Buddhism it is symbolized by an elephant, and in Gnosis by a donkey. In each case, it is an animal that is powerful and stubborn and anyone who has tried to meditate knows that is true.
So the first aspect is will; to meditate, to concentrate, to sit there and do it even though your mind is doing everything it can to convince you to stop. Giving you pain in your leg, in your back, making you feel agitated, making you think, “I gotta do this, I gotta do that, I have all these other things I need to do first,” making you think “I can’t do it, its impossible, this is too hard,” or making you think, “I don’t know how to do it, no one has taught me, I need a better teacher.” The mind will give you a million reasons to not meditate; it takes will to do it.
But meditation also requires the feminine influence, the feminine force, and that is coming to us through Neshemah, through Buddhi; this is Imagination. This is the receptive aspect of meditation. We use will to sit, to concentrate, to observe, but then we also have to call in Neshemah to receive, to comprehend, to understand.
These two aspects, will and imagination combined, produce ecstasy, comprehension.
If you meditate only with will, only with concentration, you will achieve some stability. On the other hand if you meditate only with imagination, you might achieve some vision, some insight, but you will lack stability. You have to combine the two.
Meditation requires practice, experience, something you have to taste for yourself.
In Buddhism, this force of will to concentrate is called Shamata, or in Tibetan Shi-ne. This is a stable, peaceful mind, which is developed through concentration. When we have that to some degree, we also have to receive, this is called Vipassana. It is Kabbalah, to receive information it is from Kabbel in Hebrew. So you see here two fundamental aspects which need to be unified in meditation. In other words, we have to practice, we have to fight, we have to work constantly, consistently, persistently in order to rectify our own psychological Earth.
Meditation is not something that is acquired through reading. The guidance of the Being is not acquired through reading. Meditation is not acquired by talking to other people, or by going to different schools neither is the will of the Being. The will of the Being cannot be gathered through the opinions of others. Meditation is the means to acquire guidance of our Innermost. It is the means to acquire the intuitive understanding we need to rectify our own Earth. It is the means to acquire the ability to positively direct our sexual forces, to create in the right way.
Earlier, I mentioned that there are two ways to polarize our energies. You can polarize them negatively or positively, upwards or downwards, and of course negatively we understand this is occurs through the regions of Lilith and Nahemah. Positively, we are manifesting these energies upwards through Neshemah and Nephesh, two parts of our own soul. So to understand that, to acquire that, to comprehend that, to enable that, we have to meditate. For our Being, for our warrior to conquer on the field of battle, we have to meditate.
In his hands he is demonstrating to us: will/imagination, masculine/feminine, Buddhi/Manas; this is how the warrior works. In synthesis, we can say in order to work with the force of Zayin, the seventh character, related to Shabath we have to meditate, we have to transmute, we have to balance the masculine and feminine forces in our psyche, in our sex, in our soul, in our minds.
If we are working in this way, the descending creative forces represented by the character Vav, which descend through the auspices of those three forces through Vav to elaborate the structure. When we transmute, when we meditate, we are comprehending the nature of our mind, or harnessing those forces in order to extract the pure forces of the Being from hell. We kill the enemy Shaitan, and each time one of those brothers of ours dies on the battlefield of meditation, we restore one fragment of the Being. That process of that returning energy flowing back upwards is Zayin. So we have the symbol of the infinite, ascending and descending forces. That of course leads us to the Number 8 which is next week’s lecture.
Question: In Arcanum 6 the dark woman was on the right, was the opposite.
Answer: You see the same things on some of the other cards. The question is, “Why are the sphinxes on the sides that they are?” If you look at Arcanum 2, you see the Divine Mother seated between two columns; on our right is a black one, but in the bottom you see on our right is a white one, so what is the difference?
There are two columns at the entrance of the temple. These two columns are called Jakin and Boaz. They represent feminine and masculine sexual forces, male, female, man, wife, father and mother. The entrance into the temple is through these columns, which is a great symbol in itself. In other words, to enter into the temple of God you have to work with the masculine and feminine forces, in Alchemy, Tantra. When you are standing outside of the temple on your right is Jakin, which is white, representing the masculine aspect, and on your left is Boaz, representing the feminine aspect; but when you enter into the Temple you turn and face the doorway, you see the columns from the other side. Now you can understand why the Divine Mother is pictured that way. She is seated inside the Temple, you see? At the bottom of Arcanum 2, we are outside the temple, and our job is to go inside next to the Divine Mother. The same with number seven: we are seeing from the outside of the Temple, but inside the Temple is the Being between these two pillars, the white and the black so that is the basic meaning. Someone have another question?
Question: When an ego is taking place with the warrior, where is the warrior during that time?
Answer: So you are saying when you are identified with an ego where is the warrior? That is a good question. What do you think? If you have your consciousness vibrating with envy, can God enter into that? It can’t, that’s the problem, God and the Devil cannot mix. So when we are vibrating consciously, energetically with Lust, when we are identified with lust, then God is not there. Now this takes a subtle understanding to grasp because God is always with us, up to a certain point, but God does not participate in the actions of the ego. So when we are identified with an ego and we are acting, even if that action is just mental, we are thinking about a resentment, we are thinking about an envy, it is our will which is taking those forces and energies and directing them in accordance with the desire of that ego. God is not involved in that, that is our will. If we want God to be present, we have to separate from that ego and observe it. This is the power that meditation provides. You can never develop that without Meditation, it’s impossible. The reason is that ego exists in very deep levels of the mind; without meditation, you cannot see that, you cannot penetrate it, you cannot observe it, you cannot separate from it fully. The answer to the question becomes a matter of subtlety.
Let’s look to envy, a feeling of envy; as an example, you see someone doing something that you want to do. You want to be admired like “so and so.” With full identification with that, without any inner separation at all, God is not there; God is with you, God knows what you are doing, but he is not participating in that action. But if you begin to observe yourself, then you start to bring the presence of your Being into yourself, but as a matter of degree. How potent, how strong, is that Self-observation?
Self-observation is just the action of observing, so that is a percentage of the presence of the Being, because you have to use your free consciousness to do that properly.
Self-Remembering is the full remembrance of the Being which brings more of His presence. But understand this: you can observe without remembering. You can observe yourself and not remember God, but when you observe yourself and you remember your Being, there is more potency in the presence of that consciousness, which provides you with more insight, more intelligence, more of the influence of Neshemah.
However, when you meditate, when you sit and you meditate and you observe that event, that scene, that desire, you are giving yourself the opportunity to isolate yourself from all the sensations that were previously calling your attention. This gives you even more capacity to receive the influence and presence of your Being, because then he can take that free consciousness and extract it completely in order to teach you. You can enter into Samadhi, which is an experience of the free consciousness completely removed from the cage of the ego: only then can you fully comprehend any given problem. Without Samadhi, without the freedom on the consciousness, the ego remains as an influence on our perception and understanding.
Question: During meditation is he, the warrior is at the wheel basically? That is the goal?
Answer: Exactly right. The goal of meditation is to let the warrior drive the chariot, which is the Soul itself, which is all of us. Ultimately the goal is for the warrior, the Innermost, to live in the chariot twenty-four hours a day, so that all of our actions are his actions, but to do that requires full Self-realization, which means that our false self has to completely die. That is not easy and it is not overnight. It takes a lot of effort to acquire that, but it is achievable. The ones who do it are Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Quetzlcoatl, Moses, they have achieved it by the strength of their fight and by the grace of Christ, and you can see in them pure action of the Being. No ego! In that case you see that the Warrior fully inhabits the Chariot with no inhibition, no block, no obstacle.
In this case, it is Krishna who drives the chariot. Christ is in charge of the soul. The warrior is the fighter who relies on the guidance and direction of the Christ. That is, in the complete synthesis, Arcanum Seven depicts the Innermost who has entered the Straight Path and incarnated the Christ. The Chariot is the Bodhisattva.
Question: So something like Samadhi would just be that moment, that brief moment where he is in control?
Answer: Samadhi is a taste of the full presence of the Being. And this is a mistake that many meditators fall into. The Master Samael Aun Weor wrote many times that Yogis develop the capacity to enter into Samadhi and they mistake that for enlightenment, for Self-realization. It is related, because it is an experience of the Innermost, it is an experience of the ecstasy of the soul, which is beautiful and important, but it is not Self-realization. It is temporary. Full Self-realization is a Samadhi that never ends, it is constant, so even sitting in the physical body and talking is Samadhi, the full presence of the Being, and it is the Being who is talking. This is the case of Samael Aun Weor, when he achieved the full incarnation of his Innermost, of his Being, of his Father, it was not the personality, the terrestrial person who was talking, it was the Monad. So that is something that any walker of the path can achieve… provided they are willing to die as an ego, and that is where we all hesitate. We don’t want to die, we want to get there the way we are, I want to take myself and become that. But it does not work like that.
Question: In The Three Mountains, the Master Samael Aun Weor explains that he met his Monad, Shiva, the Third Logos of Samael whom he said is his own super individuality. Can you explain why both the Chesed, and Binah/Shiva are both referred to as the Monad as well as their relationship to one another?
Answer: Okay the question is about how is that the Innermost, or Monad or Atman is the self but also Binah, Chokmah, or Kether can also be the self. When we study Kabbalah, we are studying levels of the Being. In particular, we have to understand that the Tree of Life as we normally study it (which has 10 spheres) is actually a simplified tree. It demonstrates, or represents, a simplified order. For example, in discussing the Innermost we talk about Chesed, but in truth our Being is much more than that. Our own inner Father, our particular inner Father, is Horus, and when you understand how Horus arrives or is unfolded you have to look at not only at the Tree of Life but the Four Worlds, which are really four Trees, four complete Trees of Life. Then you start to see that the Being or the Innermost is far more sophisticated, or you could even say more elaborate than just the simplified order of steps that we generally discuss. And that is because even though this sounds all complicated, this is kindergarten, what we are elaborating here in our studies of Kabbalah is only the beginning, it is the kindergarten. And as overwhelmed as we can be and as lost as we can become in all the concepts, and words and names, the reality is far more sophisticated than what is being presented here.
The Innermost is our individual, divine Father, but that Innermost is an unfolding or an expression of His inner Father, who in truth, is ours as well. So in synthetic terms, Kabbalistic terms, the Master Samael Aun Weor will refer to these different levels of the being as his Father in order to simplify things on our behalf. But in truth, when you enter into deeper levels of understanding the Kabbalah, and deeper levels of your own experience, you will encounter your own Being in many forms, with many manifestations, with many faces, and this is also represented in the Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna asks Krishna, “Show me your true form. I don’t understand,” he says, “I don’t get how my soul works, what is the structure of my soul, how can I comprehend that, you say you are all these different things in me, but I don’t understand what that means, can you show me?” So Krishna says, “Okay, I have never shown anyone this, but I will show you,” and he unfolds and demonstrates himself in his complete aspect. And you will see these paintings in India of this huge figure which has millions of faces and arms and legs; that is the Being. The Being is not one personality, the Being has many aspects, and the work of Self-realization is to unify them, to make them one. The Master Samael says in reality the Being is an army of ineffable children, and to understand that requires meditation. So you cannot simplify it to just one sphere or another sphere: the Being is all of the tree, but each part of the tree has levels, too.
Question: When does one incarnate the Monad Chesed?
Answer: With resurrection. When one resurrects, one has incarnated the Monad. In reality, the work on the path of initiation is stage by stage, little by little. There are portions and parts of the Being or the Innermost which enter into the soul in stages, but the Being himself - the full manifestation - cannot occur if the ego is there. And the ego is not completely dead until the soul resurrects.
Question: In the Invocation of Solomon, these is the sentence “Spirits of Malkuth, lead me betwixt the two pillars…”. Are these two pillars Jakin and Boaz?
Answer: The two pillars that are mentioned in the invocation of Solomon are Jakin and Boaz, they are also the two pillars on the Tree of Life, on either side. To be led betwixt the two pillars is to work with the mysteries of Yesod. We are the physical person, we work with mysteries of Yesod (the lower Eden), which are sexual. Through Tiphereth, through our will, through the human soul, we enter into Daath, which are the mysteries of the upper Eden, the sexual transmutation, in order to reach Kether, the Father. That is the meaning of that invocation. To walk between these two pillars means to have equilibrium of wisdom and love, mercy and severity, to have balance, to stand on both the right and left legs; it is not easy.
Question: In the last part of the written material, from Igneous Rose, about the middle of that there is a statement… “The Arhat who arrives to the world of the mist of fire is one step towards the Eighth and Ninth Initiations at the fundamental route of the heart. These heights are reached by practicing sexual magic or by vowing to a total and definite abstention and by walking the path of perfect holiness.” This would seem to contradict everything else…
Answer: This passage is indicating aspects of the work related to the 8th and 9th initiations, which means that someone has to already have accomplished the first seven. What that passage is pointing at are the two forms of Brahmacharya: Solar and Lunar. Brahmacharya means chastity or celibacy or to restrain the sexual force. Solar Brahmacharya is what is indicated in that passage; an initiate who has achieved the creation of the soul through sexual alchemy, and created the bodies, and elaborated the chariot, can then renounce the sexual act and work in that way which is called “the dry path.” There are many masters who choose that way of continuing their work.
Lunar Brahmacharya, on the other hand, is to renounce the sexual act without having created the soul, which means that the person does not accomplish any of the inner creations. An example of this is Yogananda. So you have two different ways of renouncing sex but that passage in particular is Solar Brahmacharya, as far as I understand it.
Question: Could you say that VITRIOL is kind of like the Lord’s Prayer?
Answer: VITRIOL is very much like the Lord ’s Prayer, in the sense that it has seven aspects, which both prayers have, and that in itself contains a mystery. If you look at the illustration related to Vitriol, you see that it is a star of seven points, related to the seven planets, and in the center is a face. That symbol is very similar to the wisdom encoded in the Lord’s Prayer, which is something that you have to meditate on in order to comprehend. But in essence, the two are very much the same. They are like a Koans, doorways that you can use in meditation. So if you meditate, you relax and you concentrate yourself, you can enter into the understanding what is encoded in that in the VITRIOL or in the Lord’s Prayer.
Question: Where it talks about the mantra INRI and how it corresponds to the Seven Chakras. In the last one it says Amun-Ra, the pulmonary Chakra, the memory of past lives. Pulmonary is related to the lungs? I thought maybe they were talking about the Kidneys?
Answer: Pulmonary Chakras are related to the lungs. So that particular sound, the “Ahh” sound is related to the lungs; when you elaborate the seven vowels, those seven vowels relate to the seven primary charkas, and the Ahh is the lungs.
Question: Where would that be on the spinal column? Above the heart?
Answer: Well it is close to the lungs, which are intimate with the heart.
This is the other thing about the law of seven; when you look at any esoteric tradition, you see seven everywhere. Seven notes, seven chakras, seven bodies, seven words; the number seven and the number three are the two most predominant numbers in the Bible. If you do an analysis of what is in the Bible, those two numbers appear more than anything else and there is a reason for that. It is because the Laws of Three and Seven are the fundamental Laws of Creation and Organization and the book of the Bible begins with Genesis, Creation, and is all about the structure or the organization of the soul.