In the Gnostic tradition, we seek to examine the practical utilization of all religious, mythological symbols, in order for us to harness the very purpose of those symbols and aid us in our own development towards the perfection of our human soul. In other words, Gnosis relies upon the study of myth and theory to empower practice. This is the entire purpose. We do not study religion or spirituality as a diversion or as entertainment, but because we are tired of pain, we are weary of war, we are tired of being in darkness.
In the Gnostic tradition, we seek to examine the practical utilization of all religious, mythological symbols, in order for us to harness the very purpose of those symbols and aid us in our own development towards the perfection of our human soul. In other words, Gnosis relies upon the study of myth and theory to empower practice. This is the entire purpose. We do not study religion or spirituality as a diversion or as entertainment, but because we are tired of pain, we are weary of war, we are tired of being in darkness.
The one who approaches the study of Gnosis—even if they call it something else—the one who seeks to experience religion, to know it from their own direct conscious experience, does so because they have lived and known the First Noble Truth of the great Buddha Shakyamuni: that life is suffering. If someone as not yet verified this fact, then realGnosis—experiential knowledge—will remain a closed door; for those who have not verified the basis of suffering, real experience of religion will remain impossible.
In order to harness real Gnosis—conscious knowledge—you have to be ready to die to all your desires, because the Second Noble Truth is that suffering is caused by desire. Until you have experienced this truth, you will not be ready to die psychologically, to perish psychologically, to relinquish all your desires. For it is by the death of desire that the birth of the soul occurs. It is through psychological death that spiritual birth can occur.
If you still have attachment to your desires, and habitual indulgence in pleasure, then Gnosis will remain a closed door, because where pleasure abides, pain must also abide. This is the nature of nature. This is the very function of material existence, a great pendulum that swings between craving and aversion, symbolized in the two pillars on theTree of Life: mercy and severity, pleasure and pain. If you indulge in one, you empower the other.
It is only when these two sides of Tob and Ra (Hebrew for good and evil) are consciously understood, experienced, comprehended, that the Tree of Knowledge can yield its true fruit.
Thus, in order for us to reach that experience, we have a physical body. We inhabit this third dimensional level of nature and we suffer. We suffer not because of a tyrant in heaven or because of the burdensome rules imposed upon us from above. We suffer because we have desire: we have lust, we have anger, and we have pride. This is why we suffer.
When our mind becomes freed, when our heart is freed from fear and from envy and from jealousy and resentment and all of the multitude of defects that corrupt the temple of our heart, suffering ceases. This is why the Third Noble Truth says, “There is a way out of suffering.”
The way out of suffering is the Fourth Noble Truth, which indicates how to reach the cessation of desire, and is outlined as an eightfold path upon which one walks in any true religion, by any name. Those eight aspects have many names and may be intellectually examined in many ways, but in practice, they are universal and required.
This is what we seek: to step upon that path, which is not in the physical world. It is in the heart, it is in the mind. That path calls for urgent action, psychological action, spiritual action, which may not be visible physically. It does not always mean that we modify our visible physical behaviors, like how we dress, talk, or act, although in some cases we do need to change those things. The main change is psychological, and this is in order to alter the vibration of our mind.
We suffer because our mind is very heavy with desire, memories, anger, pride, and resentment, and as such, burdened with these very heavy elements, the mind sinks into the depths.
All of nature is a great expanse of vibrating matter and energy, and everything vibrates according to its psychological level. This humanity vibrates with a very dense, low level, and we see that this intense vibration is increasing, from day to day. It is becoming heavier.
Life is becoming more complicated, more difficult, more uncertain. As many bright ideas that we have, all the optimism that we want to cultivate about the bright future that we hope for, the facts are impossible to deny. Our world is sinking.
A simple review of the experience of our life and the experience of our parents and grandparents and their parents can demonstrate how much more complicated life has become, how much more burdened with difficulties, responsibilities, uncertainties, pain. We see that the pace is increasing, and that the effects of all of our actions are beginning to amplify and become overwhelming.
When we survey the expanse of our planet, we cannot comprehend the extent and depth of our problems. It is impossible for our mind to picture the entire scenario, the entire range of potential threats and dangers that are growing day after day: the changing climate, the proliferation of pollution, radioactive materials in our water and our soil, the threat of war—which could spark anywhere at any time and overwhelm us—the proliferation of lust, the decay of the family, the collapse of our criminal justice system, of our education system, of our political system, in every level, in every aspect of life.
We do not see a Golden Age emerging here. We do not see a civilization riding into the light of the sun, gloriously reflecting the beauty of the divine. Instead, we see a civilization that mocks anything that hints at religion, that scoffs at virtue, that ridicules the pure, that crucifies the prophets. This is our world; this is why we need these studies.
Our study of Gnosis is not merely to entertain ourselves or be distracted from our problems: it is to solve them. Our world exists as it does because of how we exist as individuals. Our world trembles in pain because we as individuals tremble in pain and darkness, with supreme anxiety, loneliness, and spiritual emptiness, longing to know the Divine, but not even knowing the language of the Divine, longing to know how to solve our problems, even petty ones, but not knowing how to communicate with the divinity that is within us.
Kabbalah: The Method to Receive from Above
Kabbalah is the language of God, it is the language of the internal worlds, it is the method by which all of the Buddhas, the Avatars, the Messengers, speak the Word.
The Word, or the Logos, is that supreme expression of the light, which is a form of knowledge that is so beyond the intellect, it is as if we compare an atom of dust with a galaxy. This is why when we approach Kabbalah, Gnosis, orDaath, we become overwhelmed, because we try to comprehend a galaxy with the mind of an ant, and we are an ant floating in the infinite; we are a speck of dust in the infinite.
The potential to comprehend nature, enlightenment, the Divine, exists within us, because we have the Consciousness(the essence, the human soul), which is a particle of that expanse, a particle of the Divine. Within us we have an element, which is connected with God, but unfortunately that element sleeps, and most of us are not even aware of it. In this tradition we call it the Consciousness, yet it can also be called the essence, while in Sanskrit or Buddhist terms it is called tathagatagarbha, which means “the embryo of the Buddha,” or the Buddhadatu, the Buddha nature. These terms all refer to a seed, a germ in the ancient use of the word, like the seed of a great tree; it is an element, which if it is cared for and fed can grow to become a Buddha, an Angel, a fully developed human being.
The seed of the Consciousness, or the seed of the soul, resides within each human being, but it is just an embryo; it needs to be grown and cared for. This is why humanity has been given many religions and mystical teachings. All religions have as their fundamental purpose the nurturing and development of that seed.
In Hebrew terms that seed is symbolized in the letter Nun, from which comes the name Noah. The story of Noah and his famous ship represents the beginning of this process of the development of this seed, and that process is symbolized throughout all the stories of the Bible, from Noah through his children, through Joseph and to Moses and beyond. Each of those prophets represents a stage of development, symbolically, of the development of the essence, until it becomes a fully-fledged human being, a soul, represented by Moses.
Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months: And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. - Acts 7:20
Moses represents that soul who has reached nirvana, the Promised Land, and become a full human being. His name, properly, is Moshe, which is spelled משה Mem, Shin, Hei, and those letters encode the meaning of his name; it means “born of water and spirit.”
If you have studied Christianity you know what Jesus told Nicodemus:
Yeshua answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born (the letter ה Hei) of water (the letterמ Mem) and of the Pneuma (Spirit, the letter ש Shin), he cannot enter into the kingdom of Theos (God). That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Pneuma is Pneuma. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Pneuma." - John 3
“You must be born again of water and Pneuma,” means that you must become Moshe. In other words, you must be born spiritually as a human soul.
No creature in the universe is born by belief: birth is always a sacred act (sacrament) of upright sexuality. From sexual purity (Chastity) - i.e. an immaculate conception - the savior (Yeshua) is born.
This is why Jesus said, “With patience ye shall possess thy soul.” [Luke 21:19] He never said that we have a soul. So, there are many things in our religion, whether Christian or Jew, Buddhist or Hindu, Muslim, Zoroastrian, within which we need to delve.
All of the stories in all of the scriptures are symbolic and provide teachings to us about how to develop our soul. That teaching is not easy; to accomplish the development of the human soul is to fulfill the greatest work in the universe. This is not something that comes easily or comes overnight.
Many people like to comfort themselves with the idea that they can simply believe in a religion, or do a ten or fifteen minute practice everyday and they will be saved. If you have not heard it before, I am sorry to be the one to tell you, because I know it is painful, but that belief is not true.
The development of the human soul requires every atom of your being. Every atom, every single bit of your matter and energy, has to be directed towards freedom from suffering. This is how difficult it is, this is how challenging. Why? Because the end result is a God, an Angel, a Buddha. Such a creature is not born automatically, overnight or mechanically, in the same way that a planet does not arise spontaneously overnight. A sun, a solar system, a galaxy, these things correspond psychologically to the level of Angels, Buddhas, Prophets. These are huge, cosmic events, which occur over great expanses of time and with enormous expenditures of energy. Likewise, to develop the human soul requires enormous energy.
When a seed physically bursts itself to become a tree, the seed dies. That seed passes away and that new life emerges within it, but for that seed to become a sprout, and that sprout to become a huge tree, a huge amount of energy and matter is required. The development of our soul is the same. The emergence of the soul within us requires that the shell die. That shell is our personality. It is our name, it is our history, it is our beliefs, our theories, our ideas, everything that we think of as ourselves, because we are merely a seed.
This death is symbolized in the story of Noah and the ark. Noah (נח from the letter nun, the seed) enters the ark in order to escape suffering. You should know that in the Bible, in Hebrew, the word ark is not there, as we explained in a previous lecture [See: The Ark of the Covenant]. When you look in the Hebrew to find the word “ark,” you will see either תבת, tebah (ship) or ארון aron. Aron means a vessel, a container; properly, it is Aron Kodesh, which means the holy vessel. But aron can be translated also as coffin.
The very last line of Genesis / Bereishit (the first book of the Bible) says, “Joseph died and was placed in an aron in Egypt.” Joseph represents the lineage from Noah and symbolizes the development of that seed of our soul, who must die. The essence is placed into that coffin, so that that essence may be saved.
All that is impure must die. When Noah entered the ark, all of the degenerated beings were punished by a great flood; the only surviving elements were the pure ones. The same thing happens with our soul. That story represents the development of our soul. When Joseph entered the ark, it represents a later degree of the development of the soul. Genesis ends with the death of Joseph, and the next chapter is Exodus, which is when Moses comes.
Moses arrives because Israel is in trapped in suffering again. The name Israel (Ish-Ra-El) does not refer to an ancient nation; it represents all the parts of our Being, the Consciousness, our divinity who has become trapped in Mitzrahim. The English Bibles say “Egypt,” but in Hebrew it says Mitzrahim, “the place between the waters,” which refers to Hell.
ISRAEL is a word that must be analyzed. ‘IS’ reminds us of Isis and the Isiac (Isaac) Mysteries. ‘RA’ reminds us of the Solar Logos. Let us remember the disc of RA found in the ancient Egypt of the Pharaohs. ‘EL’ is ‘EL’. ‘EL’ is (Chesed) the interior, profound God within each one of us. In sequence and correct etymological corollary, the people of Israel are constituted by the various parts of the Being. All of the multiple Self-conscious and independent parts of our own individual Being constitute the people of Israel. - Pistis Sophia Unveiled by Samael Aun Weor
We are trapped in suffering, in slavery, thus the parts of God that we have within are in Mitzrahim, enslaved by a tyrant, who is the ego, our desire, who wants to feed itself, to build itself, to become big and rich and fat, and we allow it, because we allow ourselves to have pride, anger, lust, and envy and jealousy, and all of those defects that we have within. Moshe represents an additional degree of development of the essence.
Each of these symbols—Noah, Joseph, Moses-Moshe—represent stages in the development of the human soul. On the Tree of Life (Kabbalah), the human soul is related with Tiphereth, which is in the very center of the Tree of Life, whether you look at it vertically or horizontally, it is the middle. This image of the Tree of Life represents us; it also represents nature, the universe, how nature is constructed and how it functions. But for us the main thing we need to know is that it represents the very structure of who we are.
In order for us to come out of suffering, to develop Moshe within, who can lead all the parts of God through the wilderness, out of Egypt, and to the Promised Land (Heaven, Nirvana), we need to know how to build the ark (aron). Moses was given instructions to the build the ark (aron), and he had to do it in order to save the nation of God. These stories represent a work that we have to perform spiritually and psychologically within ourselves.
We are not really interested in the past, in terms of whether Moses was a real guy or not; it is completely irrelevant to our suffering. We need to deal with facts, the reality that we face day to day. Our day to day reality must change, our day-to-day facts, our existence.
In order for us to understand how to build the aron, we need to know the science, the language. We need to be able to receive the commands, the instructions of how to do it. In the Hebrew language those instructions are called Kabbalah. In Sanskrit they are called Dharma, which means the Law, the Truth, the Way. The Fourth Noble Truth is the eightfold path, the Dharma, the instructions to build the ark. Likewise, there are many names for this science, which does not belong to one group or another, but has been given to humanity many times.
When you really enter into the full practice of Kabbalah, the eightfold path, or Dharma—whatever you call it—your true purpose must be to develop the capacity to receive instructions from the Divine, not merely to imitate others, not merely to mechanically follow certain rules or behaviors, but to develop oneself, to stand up on ones own feet, to look inside of yourself and see the light of God for oneself and to know the truth from experience. Gnosis means that: conscious knowledge of the truth. And the word Kabbalahcomes from Kabel, “to receive.” It does not mean to memorize, it does not mean to intellectualize or believe, it means to receive from within. This is something that comes from outside of our mind and in to our soul. By outside, I mean outside of the mind that we have now. Kabbalah does not come from memorization or beliefs. Rather than stuffing the mind with theories and books and ideas, we should open our mind, so that the Divine, God, Allah, Christ, can speak to us.
If you read the book of Exodus, the Most Holy explains to Moshe that he will give guidance to the people of Israel through the aron, and then he gives the instructions how to build it, and they are very precise (we explained them in the previous lecture). Those instructions of how to build the aron are the first step that we must perform. Once we have built it, we can receive divine guidance personally, for ourselves.
All of us have the Elder of Days within our depths, mentions the great Kabbalist Schimeon Ben Jochai, but few are those who know how to obey the Elder of Days. - Samael Aun Weor
That guidance is not intellectual, it is intuitive. The language of God, the language of the internal worlds, the language of Kabbalah, is intuitive, it is not intellectual. We can compare this to how we learn a language. As I am speaking to you now, especially if you are a native English speaker, you do not think about the words that I am saying, you just hear the meaning. Once you have learned Kabbalah, scripture will be the same to you: you will no longer have to analyze the words, or try to memorize the meanings of things; the meaning will be clear, immediate, because you speak the language. Kabbalah is the same. So, in these lectures, when we present to you all the sephiroth of the Tree of Life, or talk about the twenty-two Hebrew letters, and it seems so difficult and complicated (and you might say, “too intellectual”), you need to stop right there, and remember that when you were trying to learn your native language, it was not easy, it took time. You had to grow and develop patiently, and learn each of the letters of your language with patience, until the day arrived when, without realizing, you no longer had to think about the letters or the words, or what is a verb and noun and a pronoun, it all just flowed together naturally. Kabbalah is the same.
Little by little you will come to a place where you no longer have to think, “What does Tiphereth mean? What doesDaath mean?” Because you will know.
What I am trying to express to you is that Kabbalah is not intellectual unless we make it so. But to learn Kabbalah, we need to memorize it. In the same way that we memorized our language, that we learned how to speak and express ourselves, we need to memorize Kabbalah. We need to memorize these ten spheres and we need to memorize the twenty-two Hebrew letters, because they are a language, and that language is the language of the superior worlds. I am not saying that Hebrew is the language of the internal worlds: Kabbalah is, and Hebrew is Kabbalistic. Yet, so is Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Mayan, and many other sacred languages. All of them contain knowledge.
Whether we are a Buddhist, a Hindu, or a Christian, it does not matter, these archetypes apply and deliver knowledge of our tradition. When you study, memorize, and learn, and become very familiar with the Kabbalistic archetypes, when you dive deep into these archetypes, you can immediately comprehend the significance of any religious story, because every religion comes from the one light; every myth comes from the same source. Thus, the science ofKabbalah explains them. That is why in this tradition we talk about Shiva, Buddha, Krishna, Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, and Odin, because they are all different names for the same thing.
The Tree of Life
The Tree of Life is represented in this structure of ten spheres (sephiroth), and to us it may look strange, or complex, but as you become familiar with it, it will become to you a most beautiful, powerful tool. This structure truly encodes and reveals a kind of wisdom that is so far beyond the intellect, that the intellect will never grasp it, it cannot, but intuition can. In order for you to reach intuitive knowledge, you must train your intellect first, to understand the basic concepts, and then you let the intellect get out of the way, so the intellect can be the vessel it is intended to be, a tool, but not the only one. When the intellect is trained and subservient to intuition, you can penetrate the deeper meanings encoded in this structure.
The Tree of Life has many levels of application, not just one. When we look at this structure of ten spheres, we are seeing an archetypal model that represents every level of existence.
This tool can be applied in numerous ways. Most immediately, most importantly, it represents us. The Tree of Liferepresents any man or woman physically, psychologically, spiritually, and more.
We can apply it to ourselves physically; if you superimpose this diagram over your body, then the very top sephirah relates to the top of your head; in Hebrew it is called Kether, which means crown. All of the other spheres correspond to different parts of the body, all the way down to the bottom-most, called Malkuth, which relates to your feet, physically speaking.
But psychologically, spiritually, this tool also reveals the nature of who we are. If we start at the bottom, psychologically, Malkuth represents the physical body, and as you move upwards along this structure, you find all of our psychological aspects are diagramed perfectly.
Immediately above Malkuth we see Yesod, which means “foundation.” This represents the vital energy of the body. The physical body (Malkuth) is matter, while Yesod is its energy; the two are co-dependent. You cannot have one without the other. In that sense, they are one, they depend upon each other; you cannot separate Yesod and Malkuth.
The next sphere upwards is Hod, which relates to our emotions, our emotional body, which some call the Astral Body.
The next is Netzach, which relates to our mind, the process of cognition.
The next is Tiphereth, which relates with our heart, with our Consciousness, with our will.
Above is Chesed, the Spirit, our inner Father, the Son of God.
And the three at the top are the supernal triangle, the three-in-one, the trinity, the Logos. These are aspects that are beyond Spirit, and so are very difficult for us to understand. But, conceptually, the lowest of those three, Binah, means understanding, or intelligence. The next one, Chokmah, means wisdom. And the top is Kether, the crown. These three-in-one are the Being of our Being, the God of our God, the Trikaya or three bodies of the Buddha.
So you can see as we go upwards from our physical body, things become more rarified, more subtle, more difficult for the intellect. But, if you are intuitive in your understanding, you can grasp it.
This structure has so much importance. It provides the key with which we can understand the meaning of our dreams or visions. Visions, dreams, are a symbolic language that the intellect cannot penetrate, but we sense meaning, we know there is something there, and often we feel pain, because we know there is a meaning, but we cannot grasp it. That is because our essence is weak, our Consciousness is weak, our own Buddha nature is not developed and educated.
As we study this science, learn, teach our Consciousness, develop ourselves, little by little we start to have the tools in hand to comprehend that language, in the same way that a young baby struggles to communicate and to comprehend its parent, and the parent struggles to express and communicate with the child. But, gradually the communication can be established as the child learns. You see, the child has to learn, not the parent. We are that child. Our inner Divinity, our inner God or Buddha speaks the language, but we do not listen, we do not understand. We try to do everything with our intellect, with beliefs, theories, and do not listen to the language of God.
Some students say, “Why won’t God just speak English to me?” This is like expecting us to speak the language of an ant. What our Divine Source needs to express to us cannot be conveyed in our terrestrial words. You will now the truth of that when you have had a dream or a vision—it can be very brief, it can be in a flash, but it will contain so much knowledge, so much information, that your intellect will be astonished, your whole being will be shocked at how much knowledge can be in one symbol. Our language cannot convey that.
Speaking from my experience, it is similar to teaching lectures; to try to express in our crude words what one grasps intuitively is incredibly difficult, because our language cannot convey the full range of the meaning. The only way you can really understand these lectures is if you, yourself, dive into the content intuitively. Listening to the lectures is a good start, but you cannot understand it if you only listen superficially and then go about your business; you have to take the clues and actualize them, to use them, to dive into them. To do that, you have to first train your intellect a little, study a little, learn the different symbols so that your intellect is prepared. But, then you have to dive into those symbols and meanings, and abandon your intellect and open you mind to see new things. This is how God will teach you. Your own inner God (whatever you call That) is waiting to teach you. That is why you are listening to these lectures. Something inside of you is pushing you to it.
This Tree of Life is the ark, it is the Aron, it is a coffin. It is a holy sacred vessel, a container, whose mysteries and whose complexities will take you lifetimes to grasp. You will not get it in this life, not completely. It takes lifetimes, that is how deep it is, that is how sacred it is.
When God explains to Moshe to build his ark, he gives very specific instructions. The interesting thing is that this ark has six sides, angles, or aspects. Four are on the sides, one on the top and one on the bottom, like a box, like a coffin. When you study Kabbalah, you realize that those six are between Chesed and Yesod, the bulk of the tree, the middle of the tree. This is because those six sephiroth represent us. When we look at the tree psychologically or spiritually, we are, psychologically, a mind who longs for yoga, union, religare, religion, to unite with God.
Remember, God told Moses, “when you build the ark I will come and hover the ark to speak with the nation, and give them instruction.” God in this case is the upper three spheres (the Logos, the three-in-one, the Trinity, the Aleph, the Breath), who hovers above the remaining spheres on the tree (the Aron, the coffin), within which we must die.
You see, all of us have a physical body, which symbolizes the ark, the Aron. The physical body is a symbol, and we need the physical body to do this work. But, the physical body is Malkuth, which is at the bottom, it is not developed. We need our Moshe, our own Moses, our human soul to be developed, in order to create the full ark, which is the soul, these spheres above: Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod, Yesod. The way that this is accomplished is by making Yesod and Malkuth one. By uniting these elements and making them one, and when you understand the significance of that sexually, spiritually, psychologically, the whole Tree of Life looks different. It is revealed to be something else entirely.
Jesus told the Pharisees that we are like whitened sepulchers, whitened tombs. We do everything we can to clean the outside of ourselves so that we look pure and clean, nice and pleasant, but inside we are full of filth and garbage. Inside, psychologically, we are full of decay, sickness, psychological sickness, which we can call by many names. Lust is the main one. In our minds, we hide an enormous quantity of lust, and we surround it with anger, pride, envy, justifications, shame, and fear.
We are a whitened tomb, we are a coffin (aron), but God is not inside of it. The Shechinah, the essence of God, has left. We need to purify that temple, the heart temple, which on the tree relates to Tiphereth, the heart. By that psychological, sexual purification, little by little, we do what God explained to Moses: cover the ark with gold. Gold relates to the sun, the Christ, Apollo, the light, purity, Christ. When our ark, our mind, becomes pure, it becomes a fit vessel to receive the presence of God, and thus the presence of that instruction. But this occurs in stages; it is a long process, it is a long work, it is very difficult. That is why we have so many symbols, so many stories to explain this. This is why we need to study and we also need to work.
What is very curious, however, is that in the book of Exodus / Shemot, when God gave the elaborate instructions of how to build the ark, Moses does not build it. Did you realize that? All the instructions were given to Moshe, but he does not build it. Instead, God appoints someone else, in fact, two others to build it. To understand that symbol requires that you have a very good intuitive of the Tree of Life, but I will quickly guide you through it. You may have to come back to this again, because it is very, very deep.
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have imbued him with the spirit of God, with wisdom, with insight, with knowledge, and with [talent for] all manner of craftsmanship to do master weaving, to work with gold, with silver, and with copper, with the craft of stones for setting and with the craft of wood, to do every [manner of] work. And, behold, with him I have placed Oholiab (Aholiav) the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, and all the wise hearted into whose hearts I have instilled wisdom, and they shall make everything I have commanded you.
Those few sentences hide volumes of knowledge. But, you cannot grasp it unless you know Kabbalah. When you study Kabbalah and you know the letters and the Tree of Life, the meaning here is beautiful. So, briefly, I will give you one level of it, but it is not the whole thing, it is only one piece.
The first sentence says, “See I have called by name, Betzalel, the son of Uri, the son of Ur, of the tribe of Judah.” So this is one of the men that God appoints to build the ark for Moshe. But to understand this, you have to understand who Moses is, who Moses represents, and to understand that, you need to know the Tree of Life.
As I mentioned, Moshe is related with Tiphereth, the human soul, which relates with our willpower, our humanConsciousness. In other words, the essence developed, established in Nirvana. This is a soul who has created the Solar Bodies. This is a prophet, but it is part of us that we can attain to, we can reach. It is only the first stage of the work, yet even that requires many years of work and a great deal of change in ones’ life.
Moshe represents the Consciousness that has awakened and reached the the Fifth Initiation of Fire, the fifth Major Mystery, and who has gone another step and has entered the Direct Path, the path of the Bodhisattva. We are not talking about a Pratyeka Buddha, a Nirvani, or any common saint (all of whom have also acquired the Fifth Initiation of Fire, related with Tiphereth). Moshe represents a soul that is going beyond mere sainthood. Moshe represents a level of development that is uncommon. It can be done, but only with great change. This is represented in his story; Moshe suffered a lot, was a revolutionary, and represents the path of spiritual revolution.
This man that God names “Betzalel” is said to be a son of Uri, and the son of Ur. Many people read this and think it is literal, that those were literally his parents names, but when you know Hebrew, and you look at the letters, there is a lot of meaning there. These names actually mean light and whiteness or purity. Ur, Aur, is Hebrew for light, and Uri comes from the Hebrew word for white, pure, clean.
The tribe of Judah is the tribe of the lion, which represents Christ, Buddha, who is the lion of the Shakya.
Furthermore, it is said that the name Betzalel means “in the shadow of El.” El, E-L is Hebrew for God. So who is in the shadow of El? El in Kabbalah is the name for Chesed. Betzalel is in his shadow, so represents an aspect of our Being, of our soul, related with the Monad, with this triangle on the Tree of Life. Betzalel specifically relates with the right hand side: Chesed, mercy, love.
Oholiab (Aholiav), the second man, relates with the left hand side, with Geburah, and we know this is true because he come from the tribe of Dan, which is the tribe of judgment, severity, which is Geburah.
So here we see the trinity of the Monad:
- Moses-Moshe: Tiphereth
- Betzalel: Chesed
- Oholiab (Aholiav): Geburah
It takes the three of them to create the aron. In other words, these two men are part of Moshe, the soul; they are a part of him. This is all explained in the Zohar, in the Kabbalah.
What this means to us is that for the ark to be constructed, and for the prophecy to be fulfilled, we need to reach first the level of being a Moshe, to reach the development of the aron in this level. That is a lot of work, a long process of development.
In this second sentence God says, “...and I have imbued him (Betzalel) with the spirit of God, with wisdom, with intelligence, with knowledge.”
The spirit of God is the Ruach Elohim. The Ruach Elohim is that spirit of God that hovered over the waters of Genesis in order to initiate creation. The Ruach Elohim is related with the heights of our Innermost, that spirit who works in Alchemy in order to create the soul.
Betzalel was imbued with wisdom; wisdom in Hebrew is Chokmah.
He was imbued with intelligence; intelligence in Hebrew is Binah.
He was imbued with knowledge; knowledge in Hebrew is Daath. Daath is a hidden sphere, which is between Binah and Chesed, in other words, between the top triangle and the rest of the tree. At this juncture, between the aron and the Logos, is Daath.
Betzalel harnesses all these forces of the Ruach Elohim, represented in this upper trinity, but enacted, activated through Daath, knowledge.
Daath is the hidden knowledge, the secret, the secret knowledge that has never been given to humanity, until the last fifty years. It was never public before now. What we are teaching you is the knowledge of Daath; it is the full revelation of all the mysteries.
The reason we are teaching this openly now is because there is no more time; our time is up. We have made such a mess of ourselves, such a mess of our mind, we have corrupted our own aron to such a degree that the Divine has said that it is time once again for a great flood. So the instructions for the ark are being given, openly, for anyone who wants to develop there own Noah, to enter into their own aron, to develop their own Moshe, who will create their own aron, and who will be saved. But to be saved, one must die.
All that is impure in that ark must die. This can happen if we take advantage of the elements that we have already. We have the seed, the beginning, the first elements that are needed in order for us to develop the soul. We have a physical body, we have some knowledge, we have a longing to know the truth for ourselves. In other words, all of these things indicate that our own Innermost is pushing us to do it. In the same way he pushed Noah, and he pushed Moses.
If we are serious, if we are willing to renounce our own faults and the fake personality that we have clung to for so long, if we are willing to purify our mind of all of the garbage that we have been hoarding for lifetimes, we can make of our ark something beautiful and pure. But to do that, we need the knowledge, and we need sincerity.
The key is hidden here in this little story that I have barely unfolded for you: Betzalel is able to accomplish the construction of the aron because he knew the secret of the Hebrew letters.
Betzalel carried out all the work of the Tabernacle using the secret of the engraved letters, with which heaven and earth were created, NAMELY, THE NAME 42. He was therefore called 'Betzalel', since he knew the engraving of these letters, with which heaven and earth were created. Unless he knew them, he could not have done the work in the Tabernacle. The sense thereof is that as the upper Tabernacle was built, and all its actions done, only by the secret of these letters, OF THE NAME 42, so here in the Tabernacle below, nothing was built save by the secrets of these letters. - Zohar
This is stated explicitly in the Zohar, in that ancient Kabbalistic text. Betzalel, who is part of the Monad, who is part of Moshe, part of our inner Being, is that part who intuitively can do it. We have to train ourselves to reach that level. Betzalel, that aspect of our Being, can receive the wisdom (Chokmah), the intelligence (Binah), the knowledge (Daath), from the Logos, if we use our human soul, Moshe, and follow the instruction we are given inside. Not the instructions that I am giving you or that any book gives you, but the instructions that you receive when you take off your shoes and bow at the feet of your own burning bush, your own burning Tree of Life, to bow humbly before your own Innermost, He who says, “Eheieh Asher Eheieh,” because He is what He is, and He is the only one who can teach your soul what you must do.
The path is singular, as Jesus explained, there is one door, and it is narrow, and it is very difficult to reach, but that door is your own, it is not like anyone else’s, it is your own because you have your own karma, you have your own problems, you have your own Being, your own Innermost who will instruct you according to your needs. This is why we repeat that you should not follow anyone, but the one who says, “Eheieh Asher Eheieh,” I Am that I Am. “Eheieh Asher Eheieh,” He Is the one that He Is. This is our Innermost.
To follow that requires that we humble ourselves at that burning tree. For that we have to illuminate the tree; right now, our own tree is dark. When we close our eyes, we meditate, we pray, all we see is darkness. When we listen for the voice of God, we here nothing. When we long for an answer for what we should do, we wait, and we don’t here anything.
The fire that illuminates the tree is hidden inside of the tree. When you strike a match, when you light a fire, where does the fire come from? It is a mystery, is it not? Where does the fire come from? There are a lot of theories, but who really knows? All we know is, we strike the match, and the flame emerges. But that can only happen if all the conditions are proper, and then that magic occurs, the flame erupts.
The creation of those conditions are given to us in what we call “the second law,” in Buddhist terms they call it the Vinaya; these are guidelines for behavior that create conditions within which that flame can erupt. Those guidelines include: to stop killing, to stop lying, to stop taking intoxicants, to stop fornicating, to stop wasting energy, to not commit Adultery, to not steal… many things, because with our behavior as we are now, we are soaking the match (our tree) in all kinds of filthy things that prevent the flame from emerging. The match of our soul has to be clean, it has to have access to air, the breath of God, in order for that flame to erupt.
That flame we call Kundalini, we call Shin, we call the Pentacost, or the Advent; it is the emergence of the very intelligence of God. You see, these three spheres at the top of the tree can be symbolized by the letter Shin, in Hebrew, which represents a flame, and that flame can burst forth from us, who are the seed of the tree that must be enflamed. But if our Aron, our ark is submerged in the waters of Klipoth, in those dark dense waters of the great flood, no flame can emerge. We have to be floating on the waters, like the Ruach Elohim in the aron, our ark. Then, that flame can emerge and illumination comes, the guidance of God, and communion with the Shechinah, that intelligence, the Divine Mother, the Kundalini, the Pentacost.
If we are serious about creating the aron, we start with revising our behavior. It does not matter if we believe in God or not; if we create the conditions, if we produce the causes, the effects will emerge, it is inevitable. You do not have to believe in the flame of the match, but you strike it, the flame will emerge. The same is true for soul. It is not a matter of belief or disbelief, accepting or rejecting, it is through action. As Samael Aun Weor said so perfectly:
“Gnosis arrives through intuitive action,”
Not intellect, not belief: action.
To aid us in that process, we will now begin a course of lectures within which we will very slowly and carefully present, discuss, and examine the Hebrew letters, so that each one of us has the chance to learn these letters, to understand them, so that we can apply them. This way, as you learn them, you will be empowered to study the scripture and to study your own experiences, through dreams, and through visions, so that you can acquire the knowledge for yourself, so that you can rely on the One who is within you to guide you. This is the purpose of Gnosis. That way, when you read stories, like the one I was reading from the Bible, or you read any scripture, you will have the beginnings of the understanding of the arcana, the mysteries, the hidden knowledge which is called Daath.
This is why Samael Aun Weor said in one of his books,
In Kabbalah we have to constantly look at the Hebrew letters. - Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
In matters of Esotericism, Orientalism, Occultism, etc., scholars have full freedom to write whatever they please; however, they must not forget the Golden Book, I mean the "Standard measure,' "The Tarot' (22 Arcana)...No one can violate the Laws of the Tarot with impunity, without getting what they deserve; remember that the Law of Katancia, the Superior Karma exists ... There is responsibility in the words...I.e. The Dogma of Evolution breaks the cosmic Laws of the Arcanum 10 of the Tarot (the wheel of Samsara), violates the desiderata of the Golden Book ... leads many people into error.Obviously every erudite occultist, all esotericists, must always base themselves on the "Standard of Measures," the Tarot (22 Arcana), if they do not want to fall into the absurd.
Unfortunately, most of us have not received that education, because of varying causes. Now we can, now we need to, so that is what we will do for the next period of lectures about each letter in consecutive order. That way, little by little these stories that first appear very cryptic will start to appear to you to be very simple, because in reality, for the intuition, they are not complicated, they are beautiful.
Similarly, if I were to describe a flower to you, and only use intellectual terms, you would not understand, it would not make any sense. Or if someone came to you and said, “Well, there is this thing that is a toe nail and there is this thing that is an eye ball, but we don’t know what it means,” because they do not see whole body of the person. They only see the little bits and pieces, and cannot make sense out of them. You have to study the whole thing, the whole body of the work. That body is encompassed in the Hebrew letters and in the ten Sephiroth. If you study Gnosis without studying the full picture, you are only picking at little things, not getting the entire body of the work. If you want to create the aron, you need the whole science.
Question: So, when we learn the letters, does that mean we should go out and get a Bible written in Hebrew?
Instructor: It is a good idea to have a Bible in the original Hebrew; you will see a lot that is not in the English. As an example, most of us who grew up in the English speaking countries, have heard of these arks—the Ark of Noah, the Ark of Moses—yet there are not just two arks in the Bible, there are four or five or more. In fact, the word ark is not even in the Bible in Hebrew or in Greek. It is only in Latin and English. So when you look into the Hebrew, you can learn things that are not in what we collectively think is “our religion.”
There are many things hidden. In these lectures we barely scratch the surface, because we know it is difficult to understand. So when you do it on your own, you start looking into these letters, you will see, there is enormous knowledge, beautiful knowledge, and this is true of any religion, any scripture. The same is true of Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, the Mayan language; all of them encode enormous intelligence and wisdom.
Question: How can we better teach and encourage the study of Kabbalah, even though students feel frustrated and say that it is either too complicated, impractical, or beyond their level?
Instructor: Yeah, it is difficult for students to understand Kabbalah, and it is difficult to teach, but as I explained, when we were children, school was difficult, there are things in our education that were very hard for us. I don’t mean things that we didn’t really need; a lot of things we learned, we didn’t really need. But, there are things in our development that are necessary, and Kabbalah is necessary.
So, if someone is an instructor trying to teach Gnosis, you have to find the idiosyncrasies of your own Being, and how your own Being will teach it. You can see that each one of us that teach here, have a different way. We express differently, we focus on different things, because we follow our own idiosyncrasies; every instructor has to do the same. Each of us has something to offer.
Nonetheless, we cannot avoid teaching what must be taught. If we do that, we condemn the souls who need that teaching. If our Innermost, our Being, is guiding us to teach something or to study something, we must do it, because he is God, and who are we to go against the guidance of God? This oftentimes places an instructor in an uncomfortable position, but we have to recall that this is true of everyone who follows the instructions of God; it is not easy. Noah was ridiculed, people tried to kill the prophets, symbolically, in all religions. As an instructor, anyone who teaches will face the same thing. People will not love you for it. They will not, so do not expect love. You have to follow your Being and teach what you are led and told to teach from inside, and to do it with courage and sincerity.
Question: Yeah, in addition to studying the Hebrew letters, how important is it to have the Zohar , so you can also study...
Instructor: The Zohar is also a beautiful scripture to study. So, I recommend studying the Zohar; you will get a lot from that. But, be prepared to be confused. The Zohar is extremely layered. This is why we are going to focus on the Hebrew letters and on the ten Sephiroth, because these are the basic elements of the language. It is like learning the ABC’s; we need to know the basic letters. Samael stated that the problem with the students is they do not even learn the letters, the first letters: the Hebrew letters, we do not even know that. We need to know them.
Anyone who studies the doctrine of Samael Aun Weor needs to study the scriptures: the Bible, the Zohar , the Talmud, all the Sutras, the Tantras, the Popul Vuh, the Bhagavad Gita, the Mahabharata, and more. There is an enormous number of scriptures that we need to know. All of them include knowledge and information that is Kabbalistic and that teaches us what we need to know. We cannot disregard that.
I would suggest that it is a waste of time to read commentaries about scriptures. We should read the scriptures themselves and we should meditate; this is where the real knowledge is. When you read a commentary, you are only reading an interpretation, which will filter the ability of your Being to communicate to you. The scriptures are more difficult for the intellect, but once you have the basic knowledge together, organized in your mind, you can reach the intuitive aspect, which is what we really need.
Question: Do you know of a good version of the Zohar ?
Instructor: There are many versions of the Zohar , just as there are many versions Bible. The best versions will be in the original language, which is the hardest for us to study, because we do not know Hebrew, or we do not know Sanskrit. But you should try to find versions that you can afford, or are free, but that stay as true as possible to the original, or that show you the original. As an example, try to find a Bible that has the original language; you can get what is called an interlinear Bible, or a polyglot, which shows you word for word the different languages, and this helps you penetrate the real meaning; you can find many things that are not in the English. This is true of any scripture from any country, to look in the original language, because most of the time the translators do not know this knowledge, so they interpret based on modern sensibilities, which have nothing to do with the hidden knowledge. When you read an interpretation, or a translation, the vast majority of the real knowledge is gone. This is why we need to study Hebrew, and if you have the capacity to do it, study Chinese, study Tibetan, study Sanskrit; these will deepen your knowledge.
Yet, more important still, is to meditate on what we study. Through Meditation we can acquire knowledge that is far beyond what is in any book.
Question: Yeah, you were talking about the filtering of the scriptures, how about Dion Fortune’s, “Mystical Qabalah”, see that is a filter, how reliable is that book? Because I know there are mistakes in there…
Instructor: We cannot expect that every book will be perfect. The book of Dion Fortune is a very good book, yet it has some issues, a few things, but this is going to be true of anything we study. Even the scriptures have been corrupted, even the scriptures have mistakes. The Bible itself has passages that are black magic. Yes, there is out and out black magic in the Bible. But unless you study Kabbalah, you will not know so.
So you need to study, and analyze what you study; it is not just to take it and accept it as it is. You have to analyze. That is why I say you have to dive into it: meditate, meditate, meditate. Listen to the guidance your God gives you intuitively, and through visions, this is how you reach it. I’ll give you an example. Many years ago one of my instructors was pushing me to study Kabbalah, and I had a lot of resistance, because it is not easy to learn. One day, I thought “I am going to try to find a good book to read,” so I found this book that everybody said was a great book; all the reviews, all the recommendations, everyone said “it is great, the main one, you’ve got to read this one.” I was looking at it in the bookstore and I felt something was not right, so I put it back and walked away. Later that day I remembered that I had a dream that two Rabbis came to me with a beautiful book full of Kabbalistic symbols, but intuitively I knew that it was corrupt, so I walked away. But I did not remember the dream when I was looking at the book in the bookstore, I only remembered later, and then I realized, ugh, I am so stupid…. But at least I listened to that little feeling, that something is not right, so I put it away. This is the thing that we all have to learn, I feel very lucky to have had that experience, because if I had not felt that and later remembered the dream, I might have picked up that book, and learned things that were not right, and have been misled. And, this is true of anything: we have to listen to inside.
Question: Yeah, how important is the Gematria of the Kabbalah, the mathematical aspects of it?
Instructor: We are going to study the Gematria; the mathematics is the very science of Kabbalah. Every Hebrew letter is a number, so every name, every word, has a numerical significance. The Kabbalah is a science of numbers. But, this kind of mathematics is not intellectual mathematics, it is intuitive. It is a kind of mathematics that does not mean we have to sit down and chart everything on paper. Sometimes, it can be helpful to look at the meaning of a name, like for example, the name Adam, which is Aleph, Daleth, Mem. That name, numerically, is the number nine when you add the letters, which has a very significant meaning; this is true of every name, Yeshua, Moshe, but you can’t add up the English name, you need to add up the Hebrew name. We will get into that a little in the course.
Question: Is it different to the course about the twenty-two arcana?
Instructor: It will be different. We did a course a couple of years ago about the twenty-two Arcana, in which we discussed the twenty-two letters in relation to the Tarot and the Kabbalah. That is a very dense, deep, difficult course. The one we are intending to do now will be simple—well, as simple as it can be. Gnosis is not simple, but we are going to try to present something that will help us all grasp the basic structures, so that we can go deeper.
Question: Should we review, like every week?
Instructor: You should meditate. I would suggest that you meditate.
Question: Is it enough to have an intuition about Kabbalah, in order to understand it, rather than studying it to acquire direct experience??
Instructor: This is an interesting question. This would be comparable to you going to China and not speaking Chinese and trying to get around the country by intuitively understanding what everyone is talking about. You might be able to get a little tiny bit sometimes, but I would say most of the time you are going to be confused. It is better for you to learn the language.
Kabbalah is a language, given for a reason; Kabbalah is divine. Kabbalah was given to humanity for a purpose: it is not for entertainment, it is not for distraction, it is not just to intellectualize. It is a language. It is the language of the internal worlds. If you do not want to learn that language, that is up to you, but when you go to the internal worlds, you will not understand anything. You might have a little intuition here and there, but you will not get the meaning. The meaning is conveyed once you have the symbols organized in your mind; in the same way you learn a language, any language. There are many people who resist learning Kabbalah and they end up being very confused.
The objective of studying the Kabbalah is to be skilled for work in the Internal Worlds... One who does not comprehend remains confused in the Internal Worlds. Kabbalah is the basis in order to understand the language of these worlds. - Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
Question: I have a question, you were talking about that hidden Sephirah, that was…
Question: Yes, so I guess it’s always been known, but it’s more publically known in more modern times. So in a way it’s part of the language that we’re just fully grasping, and now we finally have the language in which to address the concerns of our paradigm. Why is that so and also did the previous incarnations of humans, like Atlantis, did they have this knowledge as well and is that the reason for it’s failure?
Instructor: Daath is a symbol in the Tree of Life. Daath represents the Tree of Knowledge. If you recall in the book of Genesis, the woman was tempted to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, and when she failed we fell into suffering and all of our problems began.
The symbol of Daath is so deep, and implies so many things. We have given many lectures about that, just that. But in synthesis, in general, it represents the knowledge of the tree of Good and Evil. There are two potential outcomes from that knowledge.
- to walk the path of Tob, which is goodness, and goodness is Chesed, mercy, the innermost,
- to walk the path of Ra, which means pollution, or evilness.
Daath, knowledge, leads to one or the other. So for a long time, that knowledge has been hidden, precisely because we who are so impure would take that fruit and become more evil. That knowledge has been protected for our own good, not to punish us. Some people say the mysteries have been hidden and this is a cruelty of the Gods; it is not, it is done from compassion. It is the same as if to say, if you have a bad child, would you give them a machine gun? No. The knowledge is extremely powerful, the knowledge that we explain in these lectures and in the books. Gnosis or Daath is a type of power, a weapon, a sword that has two edges; it can cut you and it can kill you, or it can kill yourego.
This is why we see many who enter into the mysteries result as a large number of demonic personalities. From most mystery schools in these times we see that is the result. The people who emerge from that form of knowledge are really demonic: they worship lust, they worship pride, they are idolaters of themselves. Rarely do we see a Moses, a Krishna. That is why the knowledge was always protected, in this Dark Age, for that reason: to prevent the creation of worse and worse demons.
But now that this age is arriving at the end, and this age must close, the seed for the next age must be extracted, and the knowledge is being given openly, so that any who wants to escape from suffering, to fulfill themselves completely, to attain the union with the divine, can do so. Those that do not will become worse; they will take this knowledge and become worse, and we see that. This is why it has been said that the Gnostics are the worst people on the face of the planet, and the one who said that was the head of the Gnostic movement, because we get this knowledge and we make ourselves worse, most of the time. The majority of students do not really, seriously, work on their ego. Instead, we take this knowledge and we become very proud, we become full of ourselves, strutting around like peacocks’ showing off our Gnostic feathers; this is an abomination that is happening everywhere.
The real science requires death, and through death is liberation, through death is resurrection.
So you asked about Atlantis also, this happened then too. The story of Noah is a symbol of what happened in Atlantis, and is exactly what is happening now, only now it is worse, because the karma is heavier.
Question: You mentioned Archetypes, what exactly would that mean?
Instructor: An archetype is like a diagram, a blueprint. When you are going to build a building, first need a blueprint. You draw it, you outline a structure; that is what an archetype is. So, in the world of the archetypes (Atziluth), which relates with this upper triangle, are all the possibilities, all the potentials, and that is why from there we get the instructions from the aron, we get the blueprint.
In the same way, all of these sephiroth represent archetypes in us, because they are not yet developed, they are just the drawings, the outlines. The possibilities are there, but, until we become that, they are just archetypes. We study Moses, we study Jesus, who are archetypes within us, they represent something that can become, but is not yet.
Question: So if you have a dream that could be like a sneak peak at the blueprints or…?
Instructor: It is possible. Many times in our dreams we see archetypes, or we are being taught about archetypes. So, interpreting dreams is something that is deeply personal, and must be intuitive, and often times will take years. You know, the real meaning of a dream often does not reveal itself for many years. It takes a lot of patience. There are dreams that I had 10, 15, 20 years, even when I was a child, that only now I am understanding. So, for that, we have to just be patient and keep waiting and waiting for that understanding to emerge. Remember, understanding is Binah, the Divine Mother; She is the one who provides that, but according to her schedule, not ours.