The Human Machine
In some corners of our science and wisdom, we’ve heard it stated that the human organism is comparable to an iceberg, which as you know, rests in the waters of the ocean, and only a very small percent of that structure is visible from the surface. The majority of it is submerged and hidden from the eyes of the flesh. Our human organism is no different. What we perceive with our physical eyes is only a small percentage of the structure that constitutes our physiology, and importantly, our psychology. In order for us to truly understand our place in the universe, it is essential for us to understand this organism that we inhabit, and its purpose.
If we again call upon the spectacular powers of our imagination, and we look with our mind’s eye at the entirety of this planet, we can see a huge globe that has a very thin film, or skin, wrapped around its surface. And within and upon that thin layer of life interact a multitude of organisms of varying degrees of sophistication and power. With our imagination we can see that all of those organisms, each in its own way, contributes to the economy and health of the organism upon which we all live. All of the minerals, plants, and animals constitute the organs of this Earth, or in other words, devices or machines that perform particular tasks.
By means of analogy we can see a comparable situation within our own body, when we see the systems that manage our own health and life. The organs perform specific tasks in harmony with other organs and other systems. So, within this analogy, we can refer back again to the Earth, and see how all the plants and trees perform a particular function, which must remain in harmony with the functions performed by the animals, or by the minerals. We know in modern science that within any given ecosystem there is a very delicate balance that nature manages. When an ecosystem is left on its own, without the interference of external forces, such as man, that ecosystem – with a delicate, careful orchestration of all its parts: minerals, plants and animals – achieves a process of development, a certain kind of balance within which each of those component parts contributes to the health of the whole. In that way, we can see that each of the different creatures upon this planet contribute to the reciprocal nourishment of the system within which they live.
Naturally, in these times we find a striking exception to this cohesive, pervasive system. The exception is us.
We, as organisms that populate the face of this planet, do not contribute in a beneficial way to the ecosystems we inhabit. Instead, we unbalance them. We create disequilibrium in each ecosystem that we inhabit. The consequences of this are becoming more and more evident with each day that passes. This situation, as dire as it may be, is only a reflection of its source, which is the disequilibrium of our own psyche.
There is a great deal of attention being paid to the consequences of our actions in the environment in which we live. In these times, there are groups raising the alarm about pollution, about global warming, about nuclear waste, and many of the other problems that afflict this Earth. Yet, none of these problems can be solved as long as the source of the problem remains as it is: that source is our own mind. Therefore, this is the point of the Gnostic teaching: to go to the source and deal with the cause, so that the effect will in turn be nullified.
So, returning to the analysis of our own inner cosmos, the physical body, we can see that this structure is really formidable. It is truly incomprehensible to our current mind, because of its great beauty and its great sophistication. And really, we don’t need to do much to maintain its existence. We have certain procedures that we have to follow in order to sustain our life to some measure of health. These include eating, drinking, and breathing. But there is more to health than that.
Really, this organism has a purpose, and has functions that we barely suspect. When we look at the systems of this body, we see that it has a collection of glands, and a collection that we call the nervous system, which can be divided in various ways. These systems are intermediaries, meaning that they are transformers. They receive, transform, and transmit energies.
The human organism is a machine. Like any machine, it has a function. That function is to work with matter and energy in order to achieve a particular goal. But unfortunately, we are not aware of the function of our machine or its purpose.
When we look at plants and animals and minerals, we can surmise to some degree a percentage of their functions, and how they ingest, transform, and transmit energy. The human organism is no exception. We take in a great number of energetic influences: food, air, water and impressions. All of these types of food are constantly entering into our organism. Then our organism transforms those energies, and transmits the altered result back out. So, why is that?
When we observe how plants, for example, receive solar light, water, and minerals, we can see on a physical level how they transform those elements and release the changed elements. Those changed elements in turn will benefit the system that the plant inhabits. So, a plant, for example, will ingest certain gaseous elements and then release others. This in turn benefits its environment. The human organism in its base function is the same: the human organism is a machine that transforms energy in order to nourish the Earth.
But unfortunately, this machine has become corrupt. The machine has developed a very severe problem. Now, instead of contributing to the nourishment of the planet and the nourishment of our ecosystem, we are destroying it.
The way that the human machine lives is as a machine: a mechanical vehicle that behaves according to a pre-programmed behavior. A machine takes in certain elements and releases others without any cognizance whatsoever of what it is doing or why. A machine has no Consciousness of what it is doing. Unfortunately, we can see this lack of Consciousness in the behavior of humanity: all we need do is look at how we are polluting our waters, our air, our food, our homes, our bodies and our minds. The catastrophes that are happening to us were made by us, and yet we continue creating them: this is a serious lack of Consciousness of our own actions.
We can see this lack of Consciousness in the way we move in groups, motivated by impulses that we scarcely perceive. Unfortunately, in these times, this mechanical behavior has entered into a very disturbing phase.
The Birth of the “I”
In any normal situation, the human organism would contribute in a beneficial way to its environment in the way that it receives, transforms, and transmits energy. It would benefit all of the creatures that exist around it. In ancient times, this was the case. The beneficial status of the human organism in nature is symbolized in the Bible by the great peacefulness and reciprocal health found in the Garden of Eden.
But unfortunately, there was a certain error that occurred when the human machines of that age [Lemuria] began to realize that they were simply machines, without a grand purpose. When that realization began to occur to that ancient humanity, they became despaired and questioned the purpose of life; they were near to committing a kind of mass suicide. And so, in order to advance the process of the evolution of the species and prevent that despair from becoming prohibitive, the guides of humanity placed within the organism a new organ, an organ which, in the evolution of any human race, is always placed within the body in order to develop the relationship between the organism and its environment. This organ is called the Kundabuffer.
At that time, the Kundabuffer, being introduced into the human organism, intensified the organisms perception of physical matter by means of stronger physical sensations. This helped that ancient race forget their worries about being mere machines. This new organ gave them the appreciation for the environment in which they lived. But unfortunately, due to certain karmic influences, when the guides of humanity finally removed this organ so the evolution of this species would continue, a certain shadow remained, a shadow of that intensified sensation: an attraction towards energy and matter. It is from this shadow that desire emerged: the “I” emerged, the ego, the desire for sensation.
Since that time, such a long time ago, the “I” has developed. This ego, this shadow, has become grotesque, and has in fact, infected the entire psyche of humanity. It has become a multiplicity of illnesses: sicknesses and diseases that we call pride, lust, envy, laziness, jealousy, gluttony, greed, and hate. This “I,” this shadow, has infected our entire psyche. And now, with this persistent desire or craving for sensation, the human machine has become enslaved by the lust for sensations. Thus, the “I” has made the human machine worse than any animal. The human machine now only seeks its own satisfaction at any expense. And this is why we see human organisms who, in their craving for sensation, will poison themselves, will destroy their own psychology and physiology with drugs, alcohol, fornication, and more, simply because of the craving for sensation. Desire. Therefore, in this state, the human organism is no longer contributing to the reciprocal nourishment of its environment. The human machine is instead destroying itself and everything around it.
The Five Centers
There is a clue that will help us to transform this situation. Firstly, we recognize that the biological machine is directed by that energy or force that we call Consciousness. The state of Consciousness determines the state of the organism. This is so because it is the state of Consciousness that determines how the human machine transforms energy. An angry person wastes enormous energy trying to satisfy anger. A lustful person wastes enormous energy trying to satisfy lust. A happy person uses energy in a different way, depending upon the cause of the happiness. A loving person uses their energy to benefit others. Thus, if we take this understanding practically, we can see that if we learn how to manage the Consciousness, we can manage energy better. But for that, we need to know how energy processes through our psyche.
When we look closely at our own psychology, we can see that all of the different psychological manifestations that we experience can be understood as having certain qualities. Or, in other words, they occur according to a certain organization in the psyche. In the occult tradition, or hidden traditions of humanity, we look at the human psyche as having five fundamental psychological centers. These are aspects of psychological manifestations – how our own psyche works. These five centers are:
- the intellectual
- the emotional
- the motor
- the instinctual
- the sexual
Each of these five centers completely pervades the organism. And yet, if we observe ourselves we can see that they each have a particular center of gravity – a root location or relationship with a specific part of the body.
- The intellectual center has its center of gravity in the brain.
- The emotional center has its center of gravity in the chest, the solar plexus and the heart.
- The motor center has its center of gravity at the top of the spine.
- The instinctual center has its center of gravity at the base of the spine.
- The sexual center has its center of gravity in the sexual organs.
Each one of these centers has specific functions and capacities.
It is clear when we observe ourselves that the intellectual center is the part of our psyche related to thought, to the process of reasoning and the process of thinking. Nowadays science presumes that our entire intelligence is simply in the brain. But, we state in this tradition that the brain is simply the seat of the intellectual center, while it also contributes to other centers in the body. But the brain is not the mind. Neither is it the intellect itself, it is simply the vehicle of the mind.
The emotional center is the part of our psyche where our feelings process: feelings of like and dislike, feelings of any sort of emotional quality – joy or despair.
The motor center, or the center of movement – related to the top of the spine – is where we develop and acquire the abilities we have with our physical body. When we learn how to type, or we learn how to ride a bicycle, that is the process of training the motor center, and giving it that skill, which it then just repeats when needed.
The instinctual center, which has its center of gravity at the base of the spine, is the root psychological component within which we find many of our animal or automatic behaviors. This includes the instinct of self-preservation, the instinct to fight or to run. Many base instincts are rooted in this part of the psyche.
Finally, we have the sexual center, related to the sexual organs. In this center, we have all of the sexual impulses that motivate the entire psyche.
When we begin this process of learning about our psyche, learning about ourselves, and trying to comprehend how our mind functions, it becomes evident that each of these five centers has its own particular functions, and a great variety of speed. It is assumed in this modern world that the intellect is the most superior of these centers. It is assumed that the intellect is the fastest, that it has the most power, and is the best or most important part of us. But, actually, this is not so, and can be easily observed. The intellectual is the slowest of all the centers. When you begin to seriously self-observe and become mindful of your psyche from moment to moment, you will quickly encounter this fact. The emotional center is faster than intellect. The motor-instinctive center is faster than intellect. The sexual center is faster than intellect. All of these components of our psyche move at much greater speeds than our intellect.
This can be shown in many examples. When you are driving your car, and someone leaps in front of you, who in your psyche acts first? Instinct, motor, emotion. All of these components arise well before you can even think about what has happened. Before any thought comes, you will have reacted [and moved the car] and felt that surge of emotion: fear or concern. Then, only afterward, will the thoughts come.
In actual fact, we can see that the intellect is the slowest center. A little bit faster, about 30,000 times faster, are the motor and instinctive centers. And these two function at comparable speeds. But nonetheless, they are 30,000 times faster than the intellect. And faster still is the emotional center, which is another 30,000 times than the motor and instinctive.
And yet, clearly, the most rapid, the most potent center of all, is the sexual. It is with good cause that Freud stated that sex is the center of gravity of the human mind. It is the central axis upon which our psyche functions. This is an undeniable fact. It is for this reason that true religion, true spirituality, is always rooted in sexuality. The sexual brain, or sexual center, has the singular power of being able to transform any other center, to completely revolutionize the organism. The center with the most potency, power, the most force, the greatest capacity to create an impulse, or a movement in a person, is the sexual center. It is the fastest and the deepest. And, it is the most difficult to control.
When we learn about these centers in our observations, we realize that they all rely on a kind of duality. “For and against,” or “yes and no.” The intellect develops ideas: thesis and antithesis. Ideas or and ideas against. The emotional center feels emotional qualities that are either pleasant or unpleasant. We find the same dualism in the sexual center, with attraction and repulsion. So we can see that all of these centers register both positive and negative energies. But they are in themselves simply machines. Each center is simple a transformer. Each one simply takes given energies, transforms them, and transmits the result.
Then, as a student of any religion, it becomes vital for us to know: where do those energies come from, how do we transform them, and how do we transmit them? We have to know and see and understand how impulses arise in our mind. Where do our thoughts come from? Why do we think the things that we do? Are these thoughts our own thoughts, or are they someone else’s? The same is true of our emotions: what emotions arise in us from moment to moment, day to day? Why? What stimulates them? What are the energies, the influences that are affecting our emotional center? And how are we transforming those influences? And how in turn, are we transmitting emotional energy out of ourselves? By observing and analyzing constantly, consciously, from moment to moment, these five centers, we can start to grasp something of our true state, and our true purpose.
The most important of these centers is the sexual. It becomes somewhat easy to observe and analyze the process of thinking. And with a certain amount of effort, it becomes somewhat easy to control the process of thought, to even arrest thought. But it becomes more difficult when we try to do the same with our motor-instinctive center. And yet, even here, we can achieve a certain degree of control when we learn, or unlearn, certain habits. But when we try to approach the emotional center, the difficulties become immense because the emotional center is so fast and so strong. If you have ever tried to control your anger, you know what I am talking about. Emotions are very powerful. And yet, they are less powerful than the sexual impulses. The most difficult center to control is the sexual center. It is the single most potent, powerful source of energy within our organism. And it is the most difficult to be consciously in charge of. The sexual center works so fast and with so much energy, that generally we are just slaves to it. The sexual center can identify a sexual complement almost instantly. Faster than we can think about it, faster than we can feel any emotion, faster than we can act through our motor or instinctive centers, the sexual center will be able to identify a person that we find attractive before we can exercise any of our own will. And you can observe this in yourself at any moment. After this lecture, you may find yourself outside and discover how fast sexual attraction or sexual repulsion can arise, before thought, before emotion, before any motor action – even before instinct. And this of course, is the great difficulty. As the most potent center in the human organism, it is the greatest source of power that we have.
This is why all the great religions and mystical traditions rely upon the sexual center as their source of power, the source of transformation, of rebirth. But to do that requires that we gain control over this center. The sexual instinct is the greatest urge that we will ever feel. The sexual instinct completely dominates the rest of the mind. It completely dominates the entire organism. Of all of our thousands of desires, of all of our millions of cravings, none can overcome the sexual one. It is the central desire. The desire for money, the desire for fame, for children, for properties, for recognition, for respect, all of these are secondary behind the sexual desire. No desire is greater than the sexual one.
When we look closely at the world, we can see two fundamental factors that produce impulses and motivations in the psyche of mankind: sex and ego. This is why the world is in the state that it is – because these two impulses are not being consciously managed. Instead, sexual desire and egotistical desire have completely gained control over the entire human machine. Now the human organisms run around from here to there, doing all of their activities firstly driven by sexual desire, and secondly by egotistical desire: by pride, by anger, by envy, by jealously, by fear.
Swami Sivananda wrote a very interesting paragraph about this. He said:
Man has degraded himself to a great degree by becoming a puppet of passion. Alas, he has become an imitative machine. He has lost his power of discrimination. He has sunk into the most abject form of slavery. What a sad state. What a lamentable plight indeed. If he wishes to regain his lost divine state and Brahmic glory, his whole being must be transformed. His sex desire must be completely transmuted by sublime, divine thoughts, and regular Meditation. Transmutation of the sex desire is a very potent, effacious [sic] and satisfactory way to realize eternal bliss.
When we return again to utilizing the power of our imagination as we did in the beginning of this lecture, and visualize and imagine this vast planet, covered with all the existing organisms, and we see humanity as one organism, one functioning organ in that body of the Earth, we can see that organ is diseased, cancerous, very sick. And this is very sad. That sickness, that illness, is egotistical desire, which has many faces – faces of lust, faces of pride, faces of fear, faces of hate. That diseased organ is receiving and transforming energies and producing filth: filth that is polluting the environment, polluting the earth, and polluting itself – polluting its own organism. And yet, the possibility exists to transform it.
From the sexual power comes our destiny. As we use our sexual energy, so do we determine our future.
If we look at humanity now as that organ on the face of the Earth, and we analyze its use of sexual energy, we can see that that sexual functionalism has been entirely rooted in desire, in egotistical desire and lust, we can see what the human organism has become: worse than an animal, fighting to survive, having no knowledge of the future, no knowledge of its own actions, no knowledge of its own true nature, living in fear, living in terror, consumed by stress, raging lusts, and by doubt. The human organism is afflicted with all manner of illnesses, both psychological and physical. The human organism is largely unable to produce great art, great joy, great insight, but instead just imitates; for the human machines of these times, creating is hard, but destroying is easy. There have been some exceptions, thankfully, but in general, the human organism is degenerating. Our society is becoming worse. As much as we invent, as much as we theorize, suffering is increasing. The complications of life are becoming more complex. Our environment is struggling to stay afloat. Our human population is consuming itself with hatred, with fear, and with the fires of passion.
Within the sexual center resides the power to change that. That power is called Kundalini. In the Bible, it is called the Holy Spirit. This is a sexual fire. The transmuted energy of that center made pure and harnessed by will can purify the mind, clean the mind of the ego, and resolve the equation of life. This is the divine fire that forms the halo over any angel, that rests over the heads of the Apostles, the fire in the face of the prophet, the creative fire that inspires the master artists and composers, the fire that fuels the music of Beethoven.
But unfortunately, our five centers are infected with a disease: the disease of the “I” – the ego. That “I,” that ego, must be removed, must be cleansed from the psyche in order for that divine fire to have its full expression. And fortunately, it is that divine fire itself which provides the means to do it. When the sexual energy is controlled and transformed by conscious will, that energy can be directed, focused, controlled. It is that capacity that gives us the power to conquer desire, to conquer the ego.
At the moment, our Consciousness is trapped inside the ego. We are constantly buffeted with desires: in the intellect, in the emotional center, in the sexual center. And we willingly remain enslaved to those things.
Some spiritually-minded people enter into the process of trying to control the mind, to calm the mind, to work on the ego. They learn Meditation, they learn mindfulness. But, after some time, even though they may have experienced some moments of peace, they find that their fundamental tendencies or problems remain just as strong. This is because Meditation or mindfulness alone cannot destroy the ego. The only way to completely eradicate the ego is by harnessing the sexual fire, by harnessing that divine power. This is the fire of Shakti, of Tuumo, the Divine Mother, the great wisdom-force, which is the power of Athena, of Minerva, the goddess.
To successfully accomplish this kind of radical psychological change, we first need to learn about how our own psyche functions, because no element can be removed from our mind until we have understood it.
If you wish to untie a knot, you must first know how it was tied. – Buddha
We cannot become free of a mistake until we have understood the mistake, until we have comprehended why it is a mistake.
Each of these five centers is always receiving and transforming influences. There are two great sources for these influences that we need to be immediately concerned with.
The first are all the radiations that are entering into us from outside, all the influences that are affecting us from outside the organism. These radiations or energetic influences arrive from a variety of sources. The most widespread and difficult to perceive are cosmic. These are radiations that arrive to our planet from other stellar bodies, which exercise an influence over our psyches.
We know that the Moon in its movement influences all manner of processes on the Earth: the tides, gestation, conception, and menstruation. When we consider that the physical body is comprised mostly of water, then we can see that the same way the Moon affects the oceans, it also affects the body. Unfortunately, we are so asleep that we are not aware of that influence.
But it is not simply the Moon that affects us. The movement of other stellar bodies radiates energies that influence our psyche. This is why we have one of the most ancient sciences of our entire humanity, which is astrology, which unfortunately, in these times, has lost its true use or function, which is to help us be aware of stellar influences so that we can establish control of ourselves. Nowadays, it is usually used for fortunetelling, or to give us an excuse for our bad habits.
According to the Gnostic teachings, we can see that humanity in its collective mind is moved about by some of these cosmic influences. The great world wars were partly due to karma, but also influenced by these stellar forces, which moved the human beings to become crazy, to become maddened, and to enter into war – to kill each other, and to have all kinds of elaborate justifications for their brutality.
On the other hand, the powerful interest in spirituality and sexuality that began in the sixties and continues to deepen is due to the influence of Aquarius. This is a powerful force that, if received consciously and carefully, can revolutionize our entire being. But if it is received mechanically and by our desires, it will destroy us.
The second influence is the ego, the “I.” Once again, we remain asleep, unconscious, unaware of how our ego stimulates our movements, our thoughts, our feelings. Really, the purpose of these studies is to become conscious of what we are unconscious of. In other words, we seek to make the unconsciousness conscious.
As we are now, we don’t really, truthfully know why we do most of what we do. Much of the time, the type of job that we do, the type of education we receive, the type of friends that we have, are all motivated by certain unconscious causes about which we ignore. Life just happens to us, and we find keep finding ourselves in places we did not intend to go.
We do all kinds of things in life that in our hearts we don’t really want to do. But we do them because of all these influences from the ego. Maybe we want to be accepted, maybe we want others to admire us. Maybe we want respect. Maybe we want power. But of course, the most powerful motivation is sexual. Much of what we do in fact, perhaps all, is motivated by the desire for sex, or sexual fulfillment. We have these mistaken notions that if we dress a certain way, have a certain level of education and a certain amount of money in the bank, we will sexually attractive. If we have a certain type of body, or wear a certain hairstyle, then we will be sexually attractive. Or if we have a certain level of education, or a certain accent.
We mistakenly believe many things like this, so we live our lives trying to acquire them. This is why people have plastic surgery, and this is why we live like rats in a cage, trying to acquire certain positions in society, or in business, completely enslaved by desires that we don’t even see in our own minds. All of these influences make us very foolish, because they constantly change.
The problem with the ego is that, not only does it produce suffering and karma, but it has no individuality, no consistent will. This is why on one day, when affected by particular influences – both environmental and psychological – and a particular ego is brought to the front, we believe we are in love with a person. We feel so much love in our heart, and we feel it in our thoughts, and in our body, and we feel it sexually. But later, a different “I” comes to the front, and suddenly we hate that person, we abhor them – they disgust us. And later, maybe a different “I” comes and we feel indifferent, we don’t care about them at all. It is this form of inconsistency that gives us the clue, or the doorway through which we can see that the “I” is not one I, but many “I’s.”
In the Bible, its name is “Legion.” In the Gospels, Jesus encounters a possessed man who says “My name is Legion.” This story symbolizes how we are possessed by a legion of “I’s,” a legion of desires: all the egos that surge in our psyche, buffeted and summoned by influences, both internal and external.
We can see this as well when we come around certain types of people. When alone, we may not feel the urge to drink. However, if we have friends who drink, and we are around them, that urge arises very strongly, and we find that we want to drink. This shows how the influence of the psyche of those friends calls up from our own submerged depths that desire for intoxication, or the desire to be included and respected. And then, later, when we are away from those friends, that desire goes away, and we no longer see it. It is still there, in the depths of the mind, but it is submerged.
We find that being in certain environments, in one neighborhood or a given city, or in the country, entirely different elements emerge from within the mind. If you go to a bar, certain elements in your mind are brought up by that influence. If you to a church, totally different elements arise. If you go to a shopping mall, an entire new range of “I’s” will emerge from the subconscious, called out by that influence. If you watch certain television shows, or certain movies, or read certain books, each one will stimulate and bring up different “I’s.”
In every case, these “I’s” trap energy, they trap Consciousness, and they push the human machine to feed the “I,” to make the “I” stronger.
When alone, we may not feel any desire for money, but if we come in close contact with a rich person, that desire will be stimulated. That urge to work hard, to make money, will come up very strong. It is not necessarily our will, but the will of that “I,” that ego. So long as we remain exposed to that environmental influence, and so long as we continue to feed that “I,” it will get stronger, it will feed itself through the human machine so that particular “I” can dominate the machine more and more. The end result is that we give up our own will. We give up our right to live responsibly.
Therefore, the purpose of this type of teaching is to learn how to eliminate this legion. We want to free ourselves from the psychological slavery that we live within. We want to liberate our will from desire so that we can act freely, responsibly – consciously – for the benefit of all. We want to renounce selfish desire so we can comprehend and become conscious of how to benefit others.
Therefore, it is important for us to deeply study the “I”, to become cognizant of ourselves, our decisions, to learn how to consciously control the five centers of our machine, and to consciously direct the forces of sex in order to dominate the rest of the centers. So in turn, we need to learn about these centers and how they function. We need to learn about ourselves, become conscious of ourselves. We need to be self-observant.
When we are faced with any given situation, it is important to separate ourselves, to become conscious of ourselves. We need to analyze the situation and ask ourselves: how is this situation affecting me? Why is my neighbor reacting so differently?
Some people will only relate to a given situation through their intellect, and will rationalize and reason.
Some will react through their emotional center and react in a way determined by their feelings.
Some will react automatically, habitually, instinctually.
So we can see then that we have certain habits of tendencies in our psyche.
Many of us are very intellectual in the way we relate to everything. We have to have good reasons, wee need certain ideas in place before we can do something.
Many of us are very emotional in the way we deal with life, we rely on how we feel about something, and are driven by the impulse of our emotion.
Many of us are simply reactive – acting habitually, mechanically, without any thought. And this is why we see some people perform an action before they’ve really thought about it, or understood how they felt. Only later do they realize, “I shouldn’t have done that,” or “That was a mistake.”
So, it is important for us to take pause and observe ourselves, to study our mind. But most importantly, we must comprehend our use of sexual energy. We must become deeply cognizant of how we use this energy, not only through sexual behaviors but the way that the sexual energy processes through the intellect and through the heart.
The energies of each center must be kept in their place, and must be managed consciously. It is important for us to comprehend that. Our entire machine depends upon the proper use of energies of each center.
The intellectual center, which functions at a given velocity, will be destroyed if we saturate it with very high octane energy, such as the sexual energy. Unfortunately, we do this. And this is why people who become sexual addicts lose their mental capacity. They can become crazy. This is why we can see people who become emotional addicts destroy their intellectual center, their emotional center, destroy their sexual center. People who become overly intellectual, who rationalize and reason, and who are always exploring things through the intellect, imbalance the intellect and eventually go mad.
These centers have to be maintained in a good equilibrium, and we have to use them responsibly. As a machine, we have to provide each center with the proper energy and carefully manage its use.
It is a good practice for us to become aware of how we use these centers during the day. We may discover that we have never even felt what the emotional center is. This is becoming very prevalent in these times. Many people do not feel emotion. They only feel themselves in the intellect. And some are the opposite – some refuse to use the intellect. Instead, they want to go through life on an entirely emotional basis. And some only want to go through life according to instinct, just fulfilling desires, never thinking about it, never concerned with their emotions. And these people become totally morally bankrupt. They live their lives like animals, driven by one instinct, then the next.
- the intellect – through theorizing, through reading, through developing philosophies
- the emotional center – of romance, of pleasure, of love, of joy, of ecstacy, even the sensations that people love to indulge in through horror movies, through violent displays, through any form of over-expressive or over-indulgent emotionality.
- habitual behaviors, or instinctive or sexual behaviors.
All of these are desires for sensation, and they constitute a given level of Consciousness. If we persist in existing at that level of Consciousness, behaving according to that level, the result will be only what can be produced there: more enslavement to desire, more enslavement to sensation, and more karma. More suffering.
If our intention is to seriously come to know something beyond the physical world, to perceive directly that which exists beyond physical sensation, beyond ideas, those realities that exist beyond beliefs, then we have to move our Consciousness to those levels. We have to move beyond the limited sphere of our current psyche. This is done by awakening Consciousness, by freeing ourselves of desire, and by conquering the mind. This is not easy, it is not mechanical, and it cannot arise on its own.
Like anything in life, a given effect has a cause. The psyche that we have now is a cause that can only produce the effects that we see in our society now: chaos, suffering, blindness, spiritual blindness, spiritual darkness, great doubt, great skepticism, tremendous ignorance. The spiritualists of our time love to say that we are moving into a new age, that humanity is evolving to new heights, but there is no evidence of this anywhere in the world. What we see in facts is the deepening of suffering, the intensification of pain, the spread of poverty, slavery, starvation, depravity.
The capacity to move beyond your own current state of existence is within yourself, within your own human machine. By developing Consciousness – cognizant control over the five centers – you start to awaken the Consciousness. You start to be conscious of your activities from moment to moment. You start to displace the ability of the “I” to control the human machine, to control your organism. You start to acquire a conscious control over that organism. And in that way, you acquire conscious control over how the energies that enter into us are in turn transformed, transmuted, and transmitted.
This is how any angel comes to be, any Buddha, any prophet, any god. All the great masters of the past, present, and future arrived at that state by developing completely pervasive cognizance over themselves, so that every moment is a conscious act. A cognizant act. An act of conscious will. So long as we have an unconsciousness – influences that are affecting us without our awareness – then we are producing karmic consequences, suffering.
All suffering, all of that chaos, confusion, and ignorance, are rooted in desire: the “I.” So, it is important for us to gain control of the human machine, to activate the Consciousness, and to become deeply, deeply aware of ourselves.
Questions and Answers
Q: Obviously television plays a big role in sex and lust. We mechanically watch it, and it hypnotizes us by through the sound waves and the visual waves. Now, say we stop it, and just don’t watch it. Obviously, the memory of it doesn’t go away in terms of the ego – the impressions are stored. So, mechanically, I guess we can’t offset that. In terms of comprehension, and visual waves, mechanical waves, how do we destroy the impressions cultivated from a history of being exposed to sex and lust through television?
A: Like anything else, any given ego needs food. An ego is sustained in its existence in the same way that our organism is, because it needs energy. When we watch television or movies, all the impressions are a kind of food that feeds our psyche. So, we have to be very selective. And the reason is, “we become what we eat.” If you eat fast food, or fake food – food that is just chemicals, or heavily processed – you will become sick and weak. The same is true of the psyche. If you feed your psyche “fast food,” it becomes that, it becomes a reflection of that, and becomes nourished by that. So, if we watch lustful things, lustful shows, or very sentimental shows – or read sentimental books – then we are feeding the ego with those energies. It in turn sustains itself on those things. It becomes perverse. So, a student of this type of mysticism is advised not to watch those things, and to instead deny that food to the ego – particularly, any type of lustful imagery.
When you do this, the egos of lust become angry, they will become desperate. They try anything they can to try to get food. If they can’t get it through television, they will get it through some other means. If they can’t get it through external impressions, like television or magazines or images, they will do it through fantasies. Or, they will do it through dreams. But they will try everything they can to feed themselves. That is why students have “wet dreams,” and similar problems that cause suffering. And yet, this renunciation is the only way. That ego must be starved. Any ego, in order to kill it, has to be killed. You cannot kill an ego and sustain it at the same time.
So, we have to learn how to be very judicious in our behaviors – in the types of foods we ingest. And this refers not just to physical food, air, or water, but also impressions – that which we receive through the eyes, through the ears, through our sense of touch. Little by little, if we are selective about the impressions we take in, those egos will be starved. And what becomes most important at this point is Meditation. Just because you are not feeding an ego right now does not mean that its existence had ended. There is a huge and diverse collection of aggregates in the mind that sustain themselves in submerged levels of the mind, that sustain themselves on the filth that is within our mind, and we don’t even see it. So, just because physically we stop the behavior of watching certain things, or ingesting certain kinds of imagery, doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped feeding those egos. The only way to do that definitively is to kill those egos. And that is only possible through transmuting the sexual energy and Meditation. And that is a great work.
Q: How do you transmute sexual energy, and how does Meditation help you to kill the “I”?
A: The transmutation of sexual energy begins by not having the orgasm, by retaining those forces in the body, by containing and keeping all the potency of the sexual energy. So, in the same way that when you boil water it becomes steam, when the sexual energy is retained in the body it is transmuted, purified, and sublimated. It becomes a more elevated substance. This substance rises up through the nadis [energy channels] of the spinal column to the brain, and then into the heart, and those forces and energies feed the Consciousness. They feed our ability to become aware of ourselves. They give power to the soul.
That energy, that power, is called the Shakti, the Divine Mother, the Kundalini, the Holy Spirit, Binah, Shekhinah, Tummo. That force is then utilized in Meditation. When we learn how to direct the Consciousness, free of ego, to examine any given phenomena in life, the Consciousness extracts information, with understanding and comprehension of that element. And when that comprehension is complete, that element can be evaporated, can be disintegrated. In turn, we can say that every ego, every psychological element, is a little cage, a little knot in the flow of existence, within which is trapped Consciousness. When the harnessed sexual force strikes that bottle, that cage, it is shattered, and that Consciousness is freed. That trap, that karma, is dissolved. And this is liberation.
This is a process that goes on in great depth. If you have ever seen Tantric imagery, you will see that many of the divinities in Tantrism wear a garland of skulls. Those skulls symbolize the egos, those little cages.
Q: Are those the “I’s”?
A: – Those are the “I’s.” It is in that way that little by little we free ourselves from karma, from suffering, from pain, from discursive emotions, and from doubt.
Q: [Undecipherable] …it is necessary to avoid certain people or places because they are harmful or [undecipherable]. Can you explain a little more about the [importance] of a psychological gymnasium [that] provides for us the means for discovering our defects?
A: The question is about avoiding situations, and also the need for a psychological gymnasium. So long as the ego is alive, we will be in a psychological gymnasium no matter what we do. In the past age, the impulse of the spiritual traditions was to isolate the spiritual aspirant from the world, to take the spiritual aspirant out of the cities, out of the towns and villages, and to put them into remove locations so that they could work on themselves – to go into a monastery, or into a hermitage, or an ashram, in order to meditate and understand themselves. Part of the driving idea behind that teaching was to put the aspirant in a given environment within which they could work at a certain pace, without being so overwhelmed by the many distractions of life. But in this current age, there is no time for this kind of behavior. The ego is so deep and strong, we need to work directly on the causes of our suffering. Those causes are revealed in everyday life. The best place for us to learn about ourselves is exactly where our karma has put us. And yet, we have to make smart choices. Each of us is very weak. We are weak in accordance with the vulnerabilities that our ego provides us with. We are all in suffering because we are vulnerable. We give into certain kinds of temptation, certain kinds of desire. So, we have to be judicious, intelligent, and in balance. We have to learn this.
Isolating ourselves from our fellow men can be useful at times, and at other times it can be harmful. It is up to each of us to determine how much we can take, how much we can manage. But know this: if you enter into this science, if you seriously take upon yourself the work to liberate your mind, to liberate your soul, you will be given ordeals. You will be tested, you will be tempted, you will be challenged, and you need that.
The only way to advance in these studies is to overcome temptation. The only way to comprehend your karma is to face it. We gain nothing by running away. That only perpetuates our suffering. It only delays the inevitable. So, you see there are some extremes here. We need to be in the middle – neither seeking suffering, nor avoiding it. We need to accept what comes, and to transform that as best we can. And we need to keep going. There is no need for us to seek out problems, nor is there the need to avoid them. You have to be in balance, in the middle. Little by little, we learn how to do that.
Q: Can you elaborate on the Tower of Babel, and the three lower types of people?
A: The question is about the Tower of Babel and the three lower types of persons. Really, that is a topic for another lecture [see here ]. But, briefly: in the Bible, there is a story about the Tower of Babel, which represents humanity trying to reach God through their own means by constructing a great tower. That tower has many levels of significance.
In the context of this lecture, the Tower of Babel is construed of:
- intellectual types of people
- emotional types of people
- motor-instinctive or sexual types of people.
These three groups are people that have certain psychological idiosyncrasies. The intellectual types of people see everything through the intellect, the emotion types see everything through the emotions, the motor-instinctive sexual types see everything through instinct, through habit, and through sex. Naturally, none of these types understand the others. A marriage or friendship between an intellectual person and an emotional person will be challenged with constant arguments, misunderstandings, fighting, because they speak a different language and understand things a different way. Of course, love can balance them and bring understanding. But the ego cannot love.
The proper entrance into real self-knowledge is found by the fourth type of person – someone who has equilibrated their five centers. This type of person has become conscious of these centers, and has ceased perceiving life through one center. They have acquired a degree of psychological equilibrium within which they are conscious of themselves, no longer going through life as an intellectual person, or an emotional person, or a motor-instinctual / sexual person. They have begun to awaken Consciousness.
Beyond this fourth type are three other types: five, six, and seven. And these types are related to the solar bodies. But again, this is a another lecture we will come to on another day.
Q: By changing the [undecipherable] of society [undecipherable] saying that we could reverse the catastrophes of [the worst] extremes, [for example] global warming – there was a Gnostic [documentary] film showing how nuns [prayed] at a polluted river for months and months, and how the river eventually ran clean [again]. So, is it possible that we [as a] society still have a chance of reversing catastrophes, or [undecipherable]?
A: Yes. The question is, can we reverse the catastrophes of humanity? And the answer is simple: if you change the causes, the results will change.
Q: Even if it is physical?
A: No matter what level of nature, effects manifest from causes. If you suffer an illness, and you change the cause of that illness, the illness will go away. This is true of anything, whether it is physical, or in the astral plane, or in the mental. Whatever level. But that change has to be accomplished in accordance with karma. Karma is the deciding factor.
For example, if you have a certain type of illness in your physical body, and you discover that that illness has been caused by a particular food that you have been eating – that disagrees with you – you can pray all you want, but if you keep eating that food, your body will stay sick. Right? Simple. But, if you stop eating that food, that illness will go away when the karma is satisfied. You see? So, even if you take away the food, that illness cannot leave until the karma of those actions is resolved.
This is why we have to meditate and awaken Consciousness, so that we can understand the karma.
So, in relation to humanity as a whole, yes, we can make a direct impact – a sustained impact – through our prayer, through our actions, through learning how to behave better, through learning how to help each other, but most especially, by eradicating our own ego, which contributes to the suffering of humanity. This has a direct impact; there is no question about it. Yet, there is karma as well.
Q: [Undecipherable] to change the inevitable of [kalihua? Undecipherable], which is the end, death, [not] to die in [undecipherable], but [to die] a pleasant death.
A: Exactly. This is a very good analogy. The analogy given is that we will all die – this is unavoidable – but it is kind of up to us whether we die pleasantly and peacefully, or in great pain. And the same is true of humanity. Humanity now is dying a very agonizing death. But the more people who seriously work on themselves, who work to transform their mind, that work impacts the agony of humanity and begins to reduce that pain. The end will come. Death is unavoidable. But the intensity of the approaching catastrophes can be changed.
Q: You mentioned the [technique] of no orgasm and Meditation. So, no orgasm – that is the [state], so what is the technique for that. And when you say “Meditation“, what is meant by that? Meditation has so many kinds. [There exists] one approach for self-realization, the German tantric system that [uses] the orgasm, [and] other techniques or tantric methods [for raising] the Consciousness [whose tenets] contradict what you are saying.
A: To fully answer the question you have asked would require a lot of study. There are many aspects to this subject. But, in brief, in this tradition we study Tantrism. The beliefs of Tantra are organized according to certain approaches to the science. There are three primary approaches. This school is what we would call a “White” Tantric school.
Q: [Undecipherable] your school?
A: [Yes], this school here, Gnosis, the tradition of Samael Aun Weor. This is called a White Tantric school. This is a school that teaches the same methodology that you will find in Vajrayana Buddhism, original Ch’an Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, and much of Hindu Tantra is originally a form of White Tantra. It is called “White” because it is a school that emphasizes psychological and spiritual purity, and aims to reach a state without ego. This is the goal: to become White in terms of purity and transparency.
The basic differentiating factor for a school that teaches White Tantrism is, precisely, the elimination of the orgasm – to completely restrain the sexual impulse and to completely sublimate the sexual energy. No orgasm.
Q: So, to take that energy for transformation?
A: All of that energy has to be sublimated to completely eradicate the animal impulse, exactly.
The second type of school is called “Grey” because it is a mixture of the White and the Black. Black schools teach how to awaken the Consciousness through the orgasm – by having the orgasm, indulging in sensation, and utilizing the animal impulses in order to awaken the Consciousness. A Grey school teaches its followers to occasionally orgasm. There are a lot of Taoist schools that are what we would call Grey, because they teach to orgasm “sometimes.”
The difference is this: someone who harnesses the power of sexuality, but keeps the ego alive, and indulges in desire, creates of themselves a demon, and becomes a devil. Within them the ego is made fat, and made strong. On the other side, someone who practices White Tantra totally eliminates the “I,” and utilizes all of their sexual energy to completely destroy the animal mind, and instead create a solar mind, or a Christ mind, free of individuality, free of the “I,” free of desire, so that all that is there is divinity.
A Grey school mixes these ideas and concepts, but generally precipitates its disciples into Black Tantra, because they do not fully understand how to eliminate the ego. So, those are the differences between them.
In terms of Meditation, as you pointed out, there are many ways to meditate, many techniques. In this tradition, we study many different approaches to the practice of Meditation. The core practice is a form of Pratimokcha, a form of Dzogchen Meditation, or Mahamudra, which is a technique within which the Consciousness is extracted from the ego, so that it is free of any discursive influence. From that position – the union of calm abiding and special insight, also known as Samadhi or Satori – the Consciousness can then directly analyze the ego in order to destroy it. This is acquired through the state of Samadhi or Satori.
Other schools teach how to acquire Samadhi, or Satori, or ecstasies. But again, the differentiating factor here is that the White one teaches mystical death – the death of desire, or the annihilation of the “I.”
So, the two factors so far are:
- birth through the transmutation of the sexual energy – the second birth, where we create the soul
- death, in which we use those energies to destroy the “I”
The third factor is sacrifice, which is how we dedicate ourselves to assisting others
Q: Some of the stuff you talk about sounds like [P.D.] Ouspensky and John G. Bennett.
A: It is related. Those teachers, Ouspensky and Bennett, were students of this tradition.
Q: But their technique would be slightly different. They talk about self-remembering and self-observation, more than [they talk about] the will to sacrifice. That has a slightly tone [than what you are saying].
A: It is slightly different because Ouspensky and Bennett, and other students of that tradition, only received a small percentage of the teaching. They didn’t receive the whole teaching. [G.I.] Gurdjieff, who was their teacher, acquired his doctrine from Tibet. But, he didn’t teach them everything, because he himself didn’t have everything.
Q: Gurdjieff didn’t have everything? But most of the stuff you talk about isn’t from Gurdjieff, right?
A: It is related. But no, it is not from Gurdjieff. The original roots of this teaching are far older than Gurdjieff, even far older than Tibet. They are ancient. You can study those other schools and find useful elements, but you won’t find the whole teaching there.
Q: So, this whole teaching is based on, I guess – based on [the] Gnostic doctrine, which is similar to what [undecipherable] because they don’t talk about what Gurdjieff is saying, [emphasizing] the tools of self-observation and the movements. Those are useful tools, but they are not the main tools [this teaching works with]?
Q: So, how do you control the orgasm? By not engaging in it, by avoiding it?
A: No, proper sexuality is natural to the human organism. We are sexual creatures. But we have to learn to use our sexual powers with responsibility. That responsibility lies directly between fornication and what people call “abstinence.” So, neither totally rejecting sex, nor totally indulging in it, but rather, being in the middle.
Q: Catholic priests and [undecipherable], they are in [those] categories?
A: Yes, so you see two sides of that pendulum, right? You see those who abstain from sex completely, and those who indulge completely. Both are mistaken. We have to use sexuality, but with responsibility.
Q: And that is the key thing? But, what do you mean by “responsibility”, and how do you [find] the middle line, the balance? Where is that point, and how do you measure it?
A: The balance there is taking all that sexual power and re-circulating it through the organism, in order to heal the organism and remove desire, remove the ego. That is the ancient science of Alchemy, to transform lead into gold.
Q: That’s what they say, but the techniques of Meditation, and the movements and exercise, and things like that, is that the key to this [teaching]?
A: Well, mediation and different movements, whether they are Yantric movements, “Gurdjieffian” movements, Runic postures, or Egyptian postures – all those movements are designed to help us develop cognizant, or conscious control over our energies. But first, the energy has to be there. When we fornicate, we throw away the energy, we release it.
Q: So we have the energy, and [undecipherable]. These different schools use different methods for transforming the energy?
A: Exactly, different ways to harness and utilize it. In the next lecture, we will come to those topics in more detail.
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Quote of the Moment
“Life is a great battlefield. Life is a conquest. To live is to fight for the ideal and the goal. Life is a series of awakenings. You must conquer your mind and the senses. These are the real enemies. You must conquer internal and external nature. You must conquer your environments, old evil habits, old evil Samskaras, evil thoughts and evil Vasanas. You must fight against the antagonistic dark forces. You must resist the forces of degeneration. The greatest victory is the victory over the turbulent mind. The greatest battle is the inner Adhyatmic battle. The greatest hero is one who has conquered the mind.”
– Swami Sivananda