This is a transcription of an audio lecture which you can download for free: Alphabet of Kabbalah Course .
The eighteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, ,צ is called Tzadi. In modern Hebrew most speakers refer to it as Tzadik, but in the ancient form, it is pronounced Tzadi. The letter makes the sound that you hear at the beginning of that word: "ts-," a 't' and an 's.'
As the eighteenth letter, צ Tzadi corresponds to the number ninety. If you have studied any form of mysticism, you know that the number nine has a lot of significance. Kabbalistically, eighteen is one plus eight, which is nine. Eighteen is also a combination of two nines. Kabbalistically, Tzadi, ninety (90), is also nine plus zero, which equals nine. So the number nine emerges in many ways from צ Tzadi.
Nine is a deeply beautiful number in mathematics when you observe the patterns and structures that the nine makes, particularly in multiples. This is important because Kabbalah is a science of numbers. It is a science that exposes the underlying structure of all matter and energy.
The letter צ Tzadi is probably the most mysterious number in the Hebrew alphabet, because about it almost nothing known. It is veiled; it is concealed. In fact, even in modern times, scholars of Hebrew argue over its origins, uncertain as to its roots, and are unsure as to its symbols, because those who have been initiated into the knowledge have not revealed those things.
צ Tzadi in the Zohar is said to be the letter that conceals the secret of the Torah. It is the letter that conceals the secret of the path. Even though throughout the previous seventeen letters in this course we have explained many mysteries in relation with the path towards the light, it is Tzadi that condenses them, represents them, and pulls it all together. You see, at the eighteenth letter, we have reached the moment of "to be or not to be." It is the moment of decision, when one is approaching the end of the letters, the twenty-second letter. It is here in Tzadi that we define ourselves: for the light, or for the darkness. All the previous letters have explained to us the factors of the path, the elements that are involved in our longing in life, but it is Tzadi that defines us. Tzadi is a letter of action. It is defined by action, not by belief, and not by any theory.
Numerically, צ Tzadi is the number ninety (90). If you have studied the Bible or Torah, you might recall that Sarah, the wife of Abraham, had her son Itzhak (Isaac) when she was ninety. This is a reference to the letter צ Tzadi. Furthermore, at that moment Abraham was one hundred years old. People who read the Bible literally think it literally means he was one hundred years old, but no, that number one hundred is a reference to the letter ק Kuf, which comes after צ Tzadi. You will learn about it in the next lecture. The relationship between Kuf and Tzadi is very important. In fact, it is underscored in the modern mispronunciation of the name "Tzadik." That 'k' sound is a ק Kuf. Tzadi and Kuf are very tightly linked. Some say that the pronunciation "Tzadik" comes because when you recite the letters of the alphabet, you say "...Pei, Tzadi, Kuf..." so that 'K' automatically attaches itself to the end of the word (Tazdi-k) and it became a habit.
Nonetheless, with Sarah and Abraham we see these two numbers: ninety and one hundred. These are the letters צ Tzadi and Kuf, and between these two letters is a great mystery of initiation. This mystery of initiation will be explained further in later lectures, but if you have studied the works of Samael Aun Weor, then you know about the Minor Mysteries and the Major Mysteries. This relationship between צ Tzadi and ק Kuf is related to them.
When you write the word "Tzadi," it is spelled צדיק Tzadi-Dalet-Iod-Kuf, or צדי Tzadi-Dalet-Iod. The word Tzadi means “to be on the path.”
One is not on the path simply by believing in it. Owning a printed map and believing that the map leads you somewhere does not take you to that place. It is only when you walk on the roads illustrated by that map that you go where you need to do. Tzadi is that: to be on the path is to have conscious, awakened experience of the spiritual truth. Merely having read about it or studied any religion (the map) is not the same as to have walked and talked with God. The word Tzadi means to be on the path, to be walking it, to be doing it. Not to just believe in it or read it, think about it or talk about it; to do it. So, by being on the path (tzadi), you can reach Kuf and be united with it: tazdi + k = tzadik. That ק Kuf (100) at the end of tzadik is the entrance into a major initiation. Tzadik in Hebrew means "righteous one." To be a Tzadik is to be on the path of initiation.
So you see why this letter defines us. The cosmic hierarchies do not measure a man by the contents of his beliefs or theories, but by his actions. A woman is not valued by her intentions, but by what she does.
A Tzadik is someone who is on the path, who is bridging the gap, or who has gone beyond number ninety to number one hundred, number two hundred, number three hundred; beyond. You see, those later numbers correspond to the later letters of the alphabet: Kuf, Resh, Shin, Tav. Those numbers correspond esoterically to spiritual ages. In the internal worlds, we have an age, but it is not age of time, it is an age of spirit. Esoteric age is a measurement of our spiritual level or the degree of initiation that our Innermost has acquired.
The esoteric ages are as follows:
- First Initiation of Lesser Mysteries, ten years old.
- Second Initiation, twenty years old.
- Third Initiation, thirty years old.
- Fourth Initiation, forty years old.
- Fifth Initiation, fifty years old.
- Sixth Initiation, sixty years old.
- Seventh Initiation, seventy years old.
- Eighth Initiation, eighty years old.
- Ninth Initiation, ninety years old.
The Major Mysteries
- First Initiation, one hundred years old.
- Second Initiation, two hundred years old.
- Third Initiation, three hundred years old.
- Fourth Initiation, four hundred years old.
- Firth Initiation, five hundred years old.
- Sixth Initiation, six hundred years old.
- Seventh Initiation, seven hundred years old.
- Eighth Initiation, eight hundred years old.
- Ninth Initiation, nine hundred years old.
Ages greater than nine hundred years are Logoic ages.
To reach absolute liberation, one needs to possess 300,000 (three hundred thousand) esoteric years of age (esoteric ages are not measured by chronological time).
Initiation is your life itself.
Initiation is profoundly internal.
Initiation is profoundly individual. - Samael Aun Weor, The Manual of Practical Magic
Shadows and Images
It is our Innermost who acquires initiations, not us. It is our Innermost who becomes the perfect Adam, not us. It is our Innermost who becomes Nephesh Chaiah, a resurrected master. Not us. We are a human soul, merely a shadow of that which is above. In Hebrew the word shadow is צל Tsel. It is spelled Tzadi-Lamed, and means “shade or shadow.” This is why David said,
Man walks as but a צל (shadow).
We are merely a shadow. None of us are a real man or a real woman because we do not have Chaiah, soul, life. We do not have our Elohim shining in our consciousness. We have darkness. We are a צל Tsel, a shadow, a shade, a ghost, the dead, as Jesus said. We are spiritually dead, but psychologically alive. The ego is alive. The ego is the shadow of the tree of life.
We are a shadow because we have our klipoth very alive. Klipoth is a Hebrew word that means “shells.” It refers to something that may be beautiful outside but inside is empty. Klipoth is the shadow of the tree of life.
The tree of life is illuminated by the fire of the divine. That light casts a shadow, which is the tree of death (klipoth). The tree of death is also illuminated, but by the fires of hell. This is why the צ Tzadi (18) is related with black magic and the abyss.
The tree of life and the tree of knowledge are both called עץ "ets." This Hebrew word עץ means tree, and is spelled Ayin-Tzadi. Our internal tree is a merely a shadow of what it should be. We can prove this to ourselves merely by closing our eyes and looking within. What we see is darkness, shadow. When we watch our dreams, we see shadows. We see vague things that we scarcely remember. When we look back upon our life, we see fleeting shadows, we see life through a glass darkly. We live life as a shadow, a shade, scarcely casting any light from God.
We study in the Torah or Bible that Adam was made “into the צלם image of God.” Religious people read this literally and presume that God must be a man. A big man, maybe, but a man with a beard who sits on a throne and who looks like us. This is not the meaning of the word “image” in that verse in Genesis. That word is צלם Tselem: Tzadi-Lamed-Mem. You see, it is spelled like the word shade or shadow which is Tsel, but it has a letter ם Mem on the end. Tselem means “image.” But that image is different from a shadow, because it has ם Mem. Mem is related with the waters, mayim, which is the Divine Mother, the source of life.
When Adam was made into the image of the Elohim, Adam was made not as a visual image, because that word Tselem is not visual. The Hebrew word Tselem does not mean a visual image, it means a spiritual image, a psychological image. It is something related with the soul.
What is even more interesting is that when you read that verse, it does not say “one image.” It says:
And God said, Let us make man in our צלם image, after our דמות likeness...
There are two replicas mentioned there. This is a great mystery that corresponds to our Innermost and our terrestrial person; two levels. In Kabbalah, we call them Zeir Anpin and Nukvah. Symbolically, they are referred to as “male and female,” but they are simply two levels of our selves. We can call them soul and spirit. In his writings in Greek, Paul called them "Soma Pseuchikon," which is the lower part, the terrestrial man. In English Bibles it is translated as “the natural man.” Then there is the "Soma Pneumatikon," which is the spirit image. Pseuchikon means the soul image, while pneumatikon means spirit image.
In synthesis, these are our spiritual identity (spirit, pneumatikon, Zeir Anpin) and our psychological identity (soul, pseuchikon, Nukvah). The physical part is created later, and anyway is impermanent, temporary, fleeting, so it is not mentioned yet in the scripture.
We need to unite those parts to make them one. That is why Elohim created Adam. Adam was created with these two aspects: soul and spirit. For them to unite, Adam was “divided” into Ish and Isha, male and female, so they could cooperate in order to unite all the parts of the Being. But of course, that process was interrupted by desire. The result of fascination with desire was that we abused the tree of knowledge (Ets Daat) and impurity was born (Ra). When that impurity was born, we became a shadow. We were expelled from Eden, out of bliss. That image of God, the pneumatikon, withdrew. The light of the Shekinah, that light of the Divine Mother, the Mem, that irradiated the primordial Adam and Chava (eve), withdrew from them because of sin. When that light left them, they saw themselves and realized that they were naked of that light, and they felt ashamed. You see, that nakedness was not physical, but spiritual. They were naked of spirit. It was at that moment that humanity ceased being a Tselem, an image of Elohim, and became a Tsel: a shade, a shadow. We left Eden because of our own actions. A great tragedy which initiated suffering, death, and pain.
Nonetheless, it is possible to restore the Edenic state. We have these teachings. We have an Innermost. We have a physical body. These elements make it possible. All we need then is the willpower to do it. That will is not over anything but ourselves.
To Dominate Nature
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. - Gen 1
When we study the ancient state of humanity as Tselem, as an image of the Elohim, we see in the scriptures that the primordial humanity was in charge of nature. All of nature bowed before the man. Adam had dominion over everything. As it says in the Zohar,
When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the universe, He made all the creatures in the world in their appropriate shape. He then created man in the supernal image and made him ruler, by power of this image [tselem], over all creatures. As long as man continues in the world, all creatures look up to him, and when they see the Supernal Image of man, they feel dread and tremble before him, as it is written: 'And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird'. This is true only when they look and see in him the Supernal Image and the soul IS in him. But Rabbi Elazar said that the image of the Righteous does not change, even when the soul is not in them. When a man does not walk in the ways of the Torah, his sacred image is altered, and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky then prevail against him. When the sacred image was changed, so was the image of man, Who then received the image of the other animals, so that creatures are no longer fearful of him and can have power over him.
It would be easy to study these scriptures and read them literally, as if these scriptures literally refer to beasts like lions, tigers, dogs, and horses, and that is what most people do, but that is not the meaning. It would be rather absurd for the purpose of creation to merely be for mankind to dominate the animals of the Earth. Would it not make more sense for the vast, beautiful universe to have a greater purpose than merely humans dominate animals? Fortunately, we do have a higher purpose.
Those beasts are symbolic. Those beasts of the field are in you. The field or earth is your body. The beasts are the animalistic desires that try to take control of your body, such as instinct, violence, lust, passion, greed. The birds of the air represent thoughts, ideas, desires in the mind. To be a real Adam, to be a real Chava, is to be in dominion over your mind, to have dominion over your body, to command your body and mind, not the other way around.
Unfortunately, in us, we see that our desires rule our body, and our body rules our mind. When we get a little bit hungry, we get cranky, we get demanding, impatient, we want to eat what we want to eat, now. And if anything stands in our way, we become terrible beasts, tigers, lions. We lash out at each other, over what? A meal? Even worse is when a sexual desire takes control of our body. We will throw away a marriage, we will commit crimes, even in the presence of children, because of lust. And what of anger? A terrible beast. And what of greed? A terrible beast. And envy? And jealousy? All of these things are beasts of the earth and birds of the air, which control us, because we, our souls, are mere shadows.
If we have inside of us the image of the righteous, the supernal image, the presence of God, those beasts cannot dominate us. That would be impossible. How can a beast dominate God? How can greed or anger or lust overcome the power of the Elohim? It cannot. This is our need: to bring the presence of our own Innermost, that supernal image, soma pneumatikon, the spiritual man, the real Adam, into our presence, our temple. By doing so, we can enter the path and become a Tzadik, a righteous one.
A Tzadik: a Righteous One
Daniel was righteous man, a Tzadik. Because of his righteousness, he was in conflict with those who are not righteous. Most of all, he was in conflict with his own mind. The story of Daniel represents his development and growth. In a great moment of trial, he was put into a pit filled with lions. But, he did not become identified. He did not moan, cry, and complain to all his friends, and call everybody and say "My life is so terrible, I got put in this pit of lions and now I do not know what I'm going to do! They are going to eat me." He did not do what we do. He was perfectly serene, because he knew he had within himself his Innermost, that supernal image. Because of that, the lions bowed. In the story it says a great angel came and protected him. Who is that angel? His own inner angel: his Innermost.
Daniel was not hurt because the sacred image of a Righteous man is the very angel who shut the lions' mouths and shackled them to keep Daniel safe. Therefore, Daniel said: "My Elohim has sent an angel" (Daniel 6:23). This refers to that angel upon whom all the images of the world are engraved. He strengthened the image in me, so that the lions could not overpower me, and he shut their mouths. Assuredly, He sent His angel. - Zohar
Daniel showed how one becomes a Tzadik. Through serenity, through remembrance of God, and by upholding the covenant. It says in the Zohar that the angel closed the mouths of the lions to protect Daniel. That angel is the Innermost (the sacred image, soma pneumatikon) of Daniel. The way that we can do the same is to make sure that we never commit a mistake and forget the covenant, forget the supernal image, the Tselem of god.
It is very interesting that the Zohar says,
Rabbi Yosi said that a man should beware of sinning and not deviate right or left. ALTHOUGH HE GUARDS HIMSELF, he should search himself daily for sins. For when a man rises from his bed, two witnesses stand before him and accompany him the whole day. - Zohar
What is that, to guard oneself? It is to be in a state of self-observation continually. To continually watch oneself with willpower, consciously. To guard oneself, to protect oneself, to be a warrior spiritually speaking, psychologically speaking.
What are those witnesses? They are represented by the letters Vav and Zayin. In Hebrew, they are Od and Obd, the two serpents that rise upon the spinal column of the initiate, two energetic channels that connect directly to our Monad, to our Innermost. These two channels relate very specifically to our willpower and to our consciousness, to our ability to be aware of ourselves, but also for the ability of the Monad to be inside of us.
Then the Zohar says:
When a man wishes to rise, he opens his eyes and the witnesses say to him, "Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you" (Mishlei 4:25). - Zohar
This is a very beautiful kabbalistic statement. Once again, if we read it literally, we will miss the meaning. The statement says "When a man wishes to rise." Well first of all, who is a man? We are not talking about a terrestrial person, a body physically. A man is Ish. Ish is Aleph-Iod-Shin, “man.” Isha is woman, Aleph-Shin-Hei. Ish, that man, is manas, mind, soul. What does it mean to rise? It does not mean “to get out of bed.” It means to rise back to Eden, to rise up the mount, to approach God as Moshe did, to rise through Initiation, the esoteric ages.
"When a man wishes to rise, he opens his eyes." The eyes are ע Ayin, the sixteenth Hebrew letter. Those eyes are spiritual. Those eyes are opened through self-observation, meditation, transmutation, through work. When he opens his eyes, the Zohar says, "And the witnesses say to him, 'Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you'." Those witnesses are Vav and Zayin, the two serpents that entwine upon our spinal column. Through those two energetic channels, we receive information from Innermost and from our soul. This is how we are given guidance on the path. That guidance is "Let your eyes be straight before you. Let your Ayin see the path, straight to your Innermost."
The Zohar continues:
When he prepares himself to go, they say to him, "Make even the path of your foot" (Ibid. 26). Thus, when a man walks, he should guard against his sins the whole day.
When night falls, he should examine and search his actions for that day to repent for his deeds. He should always search them so he can repent before his Master, as it is written: "And my sin is ever before me." (Tehilim 51:5).
Those of you who have studied Gnosis and the teachings of Samael Aun Weor for some time will recognize what is described here. This is called retrospection. It is written in the Zohar. It was not invented by Samael Aun Weor. It is ancient. The practice of retrospection is universal in all religions. It is the culmination of an entire day's work. A day's work is to be continually observant of oneself, to guard oneself against one's own mind. In other words, to guard your soul, your consciousness, from the beasts of the field (body) and the birds of the air (mind). And at the end of that day to reflect, because until you are finished with the work to return to Eden, you will not have a perfect day. You will make mistakes because you have ego. All of us have beasts in our field (body) and birds in our air (mind), and a lot of them. Thus we do our best during the day to watch for them, and in the evening we meditate to learn about them. This action of meditation is not to sit and space out. It is to sit in conscious reflection upon one's mind, to look at oneself, to reflect upon the contents of the day without prejudice, without self-love, but also, without self-hate. To look at oneself objectively, to see what one did, in facts. Not what you would have liked to have done, not what you would have wished had happened, but what actually happened. When you engage in that activity, you will discover that your mind refuses to let you do it. Your mind does not want to die. Your mind does not want you to see the truth of it, because, you see, your mind is the enemy.
The struggle that the Tzadik engages in is against his or her own mind. It is not against any outside force. It is not against other groups, other people, your spouse, your boss, your children; it is against yourself. It is the most difficult battle possible. The problem is, we always believe we are doing our best. We justify ourselves. We think we know what we are doing. We fool ourselves. We cheat ourselves continually.
A wise son [human soul] maketh a glad [inner] father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his [divine] mother.
Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.
The LORD will not suffer the נפש nephesh [soul] of the צדיק righteous to famish: but he casteth away the הוה [havah] of the wicked. - Proverbs 10
Tzadi is the eighteenth letter, which relates with the eighteenth arcanum, which in the Tarot is called Twilight. This arcanum represents the duality, the struggle between black and white. it is made by two nines, two dogs, two beasts, two mountains, two moons, two forces: black and white. We have to pass through the eighteen and enter into the nineteen: ק Kuf, Inspiration. This is a great battle. It is not easy. To do it, we have to raise up the י Iod.
In the middle of the word צדיק Tzadik is a letter י Iod. This Iod is the hidden clue of this letter. If you look at the letter Tzadi, you see on its upper right edge a י Iod. It is a Iod mounted to the back of a נ Nun. The letter נ Nun is bent over, but why? How? First of all, let us remember what the letter נ Nun represents.
The letter נ Nun represents a fish. In Aramaic, nun means “fish,” which is the ancient symbol of the Christians. It is also the ancient symbol of the Tannin, the leviathan, that great whale in the water whose significance and meaning we discussed previously. Kabbalistically, the Nun is that fish in your waters. It is the sexual energy in your waters. The letter Nun represents the forces of Christ. This is why Yehoshua is called “the son of Nun,” because Christ is born from the power of the נ Nun, the power that is hidden in the sexual energy.
And what is י Iod? We described in all of the lectures. Iod represents Kether, the first sephirah, the Being of the Being, the root of our root. The Iod also represents you and me, Malkuth, the Nukvah. The Iod also represents the covenant, the sacred agreement between Noah and the nation of Israel.
So there is a great deal of significance in that little letter of Iod, and that is why the letter Nun is bowed under it. It is bowed under that burden, because in order for Kether, the light of the Ain Soph, manifested, to rise in us and return to its source -- thereby creating a Tzadik, a perfect soul -- it can only do it through the letter Nun, the sexual energy which rises up the spine. That is why this Iod is moving up the back of the Nun. It represents the force of Kether in us that must rise through our sexual force. This is why the letter Tzadi has always been concealed. This is why you will not find this explanation anywhere else. It is the clue of the Torah.
It says in Proverbs:
When the whirlwind passeth, the wicked is no more.
What is a whirlwind? It is the force of the א Aleph in action. The Aleph represents the air, and when that spins and moves, it is the force of Kether. Aleph relates with Kether in the same way the Iod does. An א Aleph is three י Iods in action.
But the צדיק Tzadik (the righteous) is an everlasting יסוד [Yesod].
יסוד Yesod means "foundation." Yesod is the ninth sphere, the ninth sephirah. It is the Nukvah joined with Malkuth. Yesod and Malkuth are Nukvah. Yesod is the ninth sphere. Yesod is the sexual organs. So the secret of the Tzadi is in Yesod. That is why Tzadi has a Iod in it.
יסוד Yesod is the word יוד Iod with ס Samech in the middle. ס Samech is the serpent. Great mysteries and secrets hidden there.
And what is the reason for it remaining concealed? It is the inclusion of the letter Nun and the adjoining letter Yud from the Tetragrammaton, which is also the Holy Brit, which came and mounted on the letter Nun, thereby creating the letter Tzadik. - Zohar
The word "brit" is from "brit milah" in Hebrew. Maybe you have not heard that term, but I am sure you have heard the English word: circumcision. The Zohar says: "Why is the Tzadi concealed? Because of the inclusion of the letter Nun, the letter Iod which is the Brit," the circumcision. The Iod represents that. But what is circumcision? We have explained throughout the lectures that real circumcision is not a physical ritual. Circumcision is a symbolic pact that is energetic, psychological. The physical aspect, as Paul explained, is irrelevant. What is relevant is the spiritual and psychological aspect. For us to observe the covenant, to respect the Holy Brit, is to circumcise the beasts of the field in us, to harness that force, to be in control, to have dominion over the animals within us. That is the meaning of circumcision, the holy covenant, the Brit Milah. When one observes that covenant, one is in dominion of oneself (or aspiring to be). The Zohar explains this to us. It says:
Rabbi Chiya continued: Come and behold! All Yisrael have a portion in the world to come. Why is this so? Because they observe the covenant on which the world is established. This is as it is written in the verse: "If my covenant be not day and night, it were as if I had not appointed the ordinance of heaven and earth" (Yirmeyah 33:25), meaning that Yisrael keep in holiness of the covenant of circumcision by never desecrating it with spilling of semen in vain, or by sexual misconduct. Therefore, Yisrael, who has accepted the covenant and observes it, has a portion in the world to come.
This scripture is explicitly clear, so why is it no one observes the covenant?
Who is Israel? Many people in the world now claim to be “the nation of Israel.” Not even just the Jews, but many Christians claim they are “the true nation of Israel.” But upon what basis do they make this claim? Belief? The scriptures nowhere say that. The scriptures say this: “Israel accepts the covenant and observes it.” What is the covenant? It is the circumcision of the sexual energy. It is the controlling of that power. It is to respect the tree of knowledge, to abandon animal behavior, and to adopt angelic behavior, primarily sexually. From that sexual root it becomes possible to adopt those behaviors throughout the rest of the mind. Therefore, we do not see the nation of Israel on this planet. We only see fornicators and polluters of the earth.
So the scripture says:
Israel, who has accepted the covenant and observes it has a portion in the world to come. Furthermore as a result, they are called Tzadik [righteous].
Tzadik, as I mentioned, means “righteous one.” It is spelled צדיק Tzadi-Dalet-Iod-Kuf. Who is a Tzadik? Someone who is on the path. And how is one on the path? By respecting the covenant. And what is the covenant? Circumcision of the sexual energy: not the body, not the physical body, but the astral body, the vital body, the mental body, the causal body. That is where the circumcision must occur; in the mind.
This is why Jesus explained clearly that adultery is not merely a physical act, it is an act in the mind.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. - Matthew 5
When someone looks upon another person with lust, one has committed adultery. That is a breaking of the covenant. This is not negotiable. This is not something that you can let your mind say, "I didn't mean it," or “Everyone else does it,” or "I couldn't help it," or "I'm trying to work on myself, so I let myself look." These are lies. These are mental sophistry, and are the works of your ego, also called Satan. This is how your inner Satan works: tricking you to continue with your mistakes. One has to dominate that, change it.
By respecting the covenant, we begin to harness that sexual energy. The Iod, the Brit, represents the circumcision of that force. To stop it, to cut it from leaving, from being wasted, from being spilled. Of course, that begins physically. To stop the spilling physically. But one fornicates in the mind, in the heart, as Jesus explained. Circumcision is important in every level of the mind. When we do that, when we begin to observe ourselves regularly to stop ourselves from wasting those forces, when we dominate the beasts of our body and the birds of our air, we begin to restrain that fire. That fire is Esh in Hebrew. Esh is Aleph-Shin, Esh. I told you that Ish and Isha are man and woman. And the difference between them is the Iod and Hay; phallus and the uterus. If you take the phallus and uterus out of the words for man and woman, in both cases you have the word Esh, fire. The holy circumcision, the symbol of that represents the circumcision of this force, the restraint, respect, the redirection of it.
The sexual energy is the force in Yesod represented by the letter Samech. When that force is restrained, it no longer flows out through the physical body, propagating and creating the rivers in hell, our own psychological hell. Instead, those rivers of light are returned through Yesod, Eden, and begin to flow up through the tree of life, giving life, Chaiah. This is that well of everlasting life, the well of living water, that Mayim Chaiah that Jesus spoke of. Those waters create, and it is from there that we can begin to create the soul. This is the progression from ninety to one hundred to two hundred to three hundred. Through the letters, through initiation. Raising the serpent of the Kundalini. First in the physical body, Malkuth. Second in the vital body, Yesod. Third in the astral body, Hod. Fourth in the mental body, Netzach. And then Tiphereth, the causal body. Then one becomes a soul. This is to reach the age five hundred. To reach Tiphereth. This process is a process of creation, creating the chariot, the Merkaba. This is all rooted in the fire, the Esh. It is a combination of the covenant, which is spelled Bet-Resh-Iod-Tav, and Esh, which is spelled Aleph-Shin. When that Esh (fire) is placed in the middle of Brit (circumcision), the word spelled Bereshit: “creation,” the first word of the Bible. This is how we rise to initiation. When the Esh, the fire enlivens that circumcision of the spirit, that Brit becomes Bereshit and then "Bereshit bara Elohim." "In wisdom the Elohim create" the soul, the heavens and the earth. The heavens and the earth are those two images. This is how the Elohim created Adam in the likeness, in the image of the Elohim, through Bereshit. Bereshit is that covenant, Brit inflamed with Esh. The Iod in Yesod containes that mystery. The Iod rises on the back of the Nun. And this is why the Tzadi represents the one who is working in the path. The one who is rising, who is creating the soul.
This process is gradual. It must be earned, it must be fought for. It does not come easily, and it does not come by belief, membership, by paying donations, or by being a good member of a group. It comes by dying through psychological death. It comes through transmutation, or spiritual birth. It comes through sacrifice, compassion, helping others. These three forces united empower Tzadi. Many make the mistake of believing that merely by transforming their sexual energy, they can accomplish this work. Some others make the mistake that merely by meditation they can accomplish this work. Or merely through service to others they can accomplish this work. But these three alone are incomplete. These three have to be united in perfect equilibrium with each other; birth, death and sacrifice. These three are not defined by external action, as well. Many believe that only through external service, only through external signs, sensations, are they accomplishing the three factors. In other words, people use their terrestrial eyes and look literally to see the three factors; impossible. The three factors are psychological. They are spiritual. You cannot judge another person based on their physical actions. One can only judge oneself, and even then one must be cautious because we tend to judge with our ego.
This word Tzadi has a deep relationship with the word justice. Righteousness is its translation. It says throughout the scriptures that the righteous will inherit the promised land. But who is righteous? The entire Pistis Sophia explains this. Who is righteous? It is Sophia. Who is Sophia? Your soul. It is not our terrestrial person, it is our soul. It is something deep, something hidden from the eyes of the flesh. If we look for righteousness we have to look for it within, not outside. Not in another person, not in the mirror.
You see, a true Tzadik is unknown. In the Kabbalah it says at any time in the world there are at least thirty-two Tzadikim, righteous ones. But this is symbolic, not literal.
In the Torah or Bible, it says God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorra. Abraham said, "What what if there are Tzadikim in Sodom, would you still destroy it?" God says, "I will not destroy it if there are at least ten." Ten is the number of Iod. It does not mean literally ten people in that city. It means if the circumcision is respected, if the covenant is abided by, if that Iod is kept pure, God will not destroy Sodom. But of course, there were no pure Tzadikim in that city, and God destroyed it by the fire, by Esh. That story is symbolic of what happens to us if we do not respect the sign of the covenant.
When we are impure, that fire, Esh, burns us, and we are all experiencing that. Look at how the sexual fire is destroying humanity. We all love the internet, but do you know that its number one use is the propagation of pornography? Some estimates put it at eighty percent or more of internet use is for pornography. What kind of tool is that? How is that improving humanity? It is destroying humanity. That Esh, the sexual fire, is destroying the mind of humanity. It is also destroying the body because those who become addicted to pornography destroy their heart. They lose the capacity to love. They become animals. That is why their relationships fail. That is why they abuse children. That is why they abuse themselves. That is why they develop all kinds of psychological problems; because of that Esh, that fire.
You see, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra was not with physical fire, it was psychological fire. Humanity all around us is suffering the same fate.
That Esh, if it is respected, if it is circumcised, transforms, becomes light, becomes the fire of the Pentacost, the fire of Christ, the fire that illuminates the soul.
A Tzadikim is one who is raising that fire through the Iod from the Nun. The letter Nun relates to the sexual seed, but Nun is also Christ. Yehoshua is the son of Nun. Christ is born from that seed through the process of that Iod rising up our spinal column, step by step, ordeal after ordeal. Because you see, the soul is not created by “skipping through flowers,” it is created by descending into the abyss and working with the fire. It is created through trial, through suffering. A diamond is made in that way. A diamond is in the earth and the force of fire and pressure, great forces, produce that diamond. The same is true of your soul. This is why Jesus said, "With patience ye shall possess thy soul." Not through belief, not by membership, but by patience, work.
The Esh rises through each of these sephiroth creating the man. You see, the Esh fills the Brit and becomes Bereshit, and then Bereshit bara Elohim. The Elohim creates the man in the image and likeness of the Elohim. The image comes first, the Tselem. That image that emerges from the Mem, the water. That is the arising of the soul through levels of initiation, until the point at which we reach Chesed, the Innermost. It is here that that soul makes a choice of how to proceed. The decision is made in relation with the sephiroth or initiation of Tiphereth. How to continue on, which path to take. It's at this point that this soul chooses their cosmic destiny. This is something hard for us to grasp. Nonetheless, that soul is established once again in Eden as a Tzadikim, a righteous one.
Questions and Answers
Audience: The final Tzadi ץ looks like ו Vav and ז Zayin united.
Instructor: Yes, the final Tzadi represents those two witnesses that I was discussing. You see in them the Vav and Zayin, who are united on the spinal column. That is how one is a Tzadik: when those serpents are risen. And through that, one sees that ones Ayin, eyes, are opened. The Ayin looks very similar to Tzadi; nearly identical. That is because they are closely related.
Furthermore, the primary form of צ Tzadi is the closest shape to א Aleph and this is why the two letters are called mates. There are twenty-two Hebrew letters, so there eleven pairs. צ Tzadi and א Aleph are a pair. And you can see why now, from this lecture. Through the צ Tzadi one becomes א Aleph. The power of the א Aleph is realized through צ Tzadi.
It is also said that צ Tzadi could represent a fish hook, but scholars have always struggled to explain why. But now from this understanding, you can understand why. The Nun is the fish, right? And if one wants to capture the power of the Nun -- that fish in the waters -- who does it? The fisherman, Christ, who said "I will teach you to become fishers of men." The hook is the Iod. That force of Kether in the Iod, which is in the sex, and Christ uses that force to pull us up so that we rise through initiation. That is why the Tzadi is a fish hook. If we wish to become fishers of men, we have to incarnate Christ because the one who is the fisherman is Christ. The men are those who are becoming Tzadikim, righteous ones.
Audience: A student wants to know, when working with the three factors -- transmutation, meditating on the ego and working to sacrificing for others -- this is external in the beginning?
Instructor: Like everything in this teaching, in order to learn the three factors, one begins physically. We have to work here and now in our physical body. We learn transmutation in the physical body. We learn meditation in the physical body. We have to learn to sacrifice for others in the physical body. Why? Because this is the only place where we, right now, can have consciousness of ourselves. We are so weak, consciously, spiritually, that if I told you first you have to learn how to transmute in the astral plane, who could do it? We are asleep in the astral plane. Most of us do not even remember dreams, much less are we awakened in Hod. So we begin here with the three factors. Yet, that is not enough. To transmute physically is the beginning. To meditate on one's egos in the physical body is the beginning. To sacrifice for others with your physical skill is the beginning but it is not all. Those efforts have to continue into our psychological world. So that as we learn to transmute the energy in the physical body, then we learn to transmute the energy in the vital body, and then we learn to transmute the energy in the astral body, then the mental, the causal. All the energies in our entire Being. And likewise, we have to learn to meditate and comprehend our egos, comprehend our mind in every level. One has to learn to sacrifice in every level. The three factors are not merely physical behaviors. They go far beyond that.
To synthesize, we can say that a Tzadikim or a Tzadik is a person who is on the path. To enter the path, one has to perform three factors. This is unavoidable. You do not enter the path simply by meditating or simply by transmuting or simply by sacrificing. You enter the path through initiation, which is internal, spiritual, not physical. You might pass through “initiations” in schools or groups or religions, and these are good; they are symbolic. The real initiations, though, are in the internal worlds.
By passing through those initiations, one becomes a Tzadik. The first one is when one passes from the esoteric age of ninety to one hundred. From Tzadi to Kuf. In other words, from the Minor Mysteries to the Major Mysteries. Inside of the one who has done this, their Innermost has become a Tzadik. As a matter of politeness and respect we can say that those who are passing the Minor Mysteries, which are the ages ten through ninety, spiritually speaking, are Tzadikim. But we only say this out of politeness. The Being does not become a true Tzadik until one starts to create the soul, to rise the Kundalini in the spine; to incarnate that force in oneself. That is how one’s Being becomes a real Tzadik.
Audience: You said that the letter is to be on the path; it's eighteen because it's a combination of two nines. It's a man hermit and a woman hermit that will put you on that path.
Instructor: That's correct. To enter into the first initiation of Major Mysteries, which corresponds to the number one hundred, requires the combination of those two nines as you mentioned; two hermits (Arcanum Nine, The Hermit) which are a man and a woman united in transmutation. But also united emotionally, mentally, not just physically. You see, the Divine Mother does not reward cheaters, fornicators, adulterers, liars. Just because a man and a woman have sex does not mean they enter into initiation. Just because they are married does not mean that they are going to enter initiation. Even though they make the sacrifice of transmutation, that does not grant them initiation.
The power of Esh is the force of love. Esh -- that fire -- is Christ, love. Samael Aun Weor wrote in The Mystery of the Golden Blossom that the Divine Mother is very demanding and very exact. She does not reward those who betray her. We all betray her. We betray her in our three brains continually by misusing her energies through fornication, whether physically or mentally; through adultery, whether physically or mentally; through lying, cheating, stealing, anger, envy, jealousy. All of these are forms of sexual abuse because they abuse that force. Moreover, Samael Aun Weor explains in that chapter called "Treason" that someone can be performing all of this -- sacrificing, trying to work on their ego, transmuting their energies -- but they will not awaken Kundalini if they betray their master.
Audience: So the duality of the arcanum eighteen we mentioned could be black, could be white, represents both aspects as in for the couple and everything that they would have to fix?
Instructor: That's right. That's the great challenge of this letter, because it represents that duality. You see, even in those schools of the ba'alim or what we would call black magicians, they call their initiates Tzadikim, Tzadiks. They are initiates of black magic, black tantra. They think that they are good, pure, and holy and following the covenant and respecting the law, but they are doing it through the ego. Their Esh is polarized negatively. They work with the power of the Esh, but in hell. They do not realize it most of the time. They believe they are on the right path. Some of them are called Kabbalists, some are called Tantrics, some are called Christians, some are called Wiccans, some are called Rosicrucians, and many names. The bottom line is: the only way to walk the true path is inside, towards the inner master, through chastity, charity, and sanctity.
The Divine Mother is very demanding, and very few satisfy her requirements. A primary reason: very few are willing to die as in ego. It is not hard to find people who become enchanted with the wisdom of Gnosis, with transmutation, with sacrifice for others. That is why Gnosis has spread throughout the world, and there are millions of people who study these teachings in one form or another. But it is exceedingly rare to find someone who lives them, who is truly living the path in themselves. Because in most cases, people just believe it, they follow along, but they do not want to abandon their habits, their ways of seeing things, their ways of believing things. They do not want to die. This is why we see people stuck in the same problems year after year. Everywhere, we see students having the same conflicts, the same fights, the same struggles, the same arguments, the same politics. This is in all schools, all religions, all movements; this repetition, this cycle of suffering. It is not God doing that. It is the people in those groups who do not want to change.
A Tzadik changes. A Tzadik abandons their tendencies inside and revolts against themselves. And much of the time that means they revolt against everybody else's behavior, too. And of course, other people do not like that. So a real Tzadik is generally condemned, rejected, exiled, cast out, ridiculed, gossiped about, put down. A lot of rumors fly. That is what happened with Samael Aun Weor. That is what happened with Jesus. That happened with all the great masters. Humanity did not love them and embrace them. Humanity tortures the Tzadikim. Humanity ridicules and crucifies them. Even their own students betray them and stab them in the back. This is why as a real Tzadik, you rely on God, not humanity.
The job of the Tzadik is to love humanity. How do you love humanity? By being honest. This is why the prophets, especially Samael Aun Weor, speak so directly. He did not speak in order to make others impressed with him, or to try to get people to love him, or believe him; he wrote what he wrote, he said what he said because he loves humanity. If you love someone and you see that they are sick and they are dying - and worse, they are doing it to themselves - will you just pat them on the back and tell them "Oh, I love you" and walk away? Will you encourage them to continue, or supply them with what is killing them? We do that. All of us do that, because we accommodate each others pride, lust, fear, greed. People are married to alcoholics, and they buy them alcohol. People are married to people who are addicted to smoking and they buy them cigarettes. We give money to addicts on the street. We buy products that feed a system of abuse and corruption. We support systems in our social environment, in our families that support abuse and corruption. We uphold political systems built upon greed, lies, and mass deception.
Our world is as it is because how we are as individuals. The suffering that we have as individuals and as a society are because of how we act. We are not Tzadikim. We are not righteous. We are the creators of pain.
If we want to become a Tzadik, we have to fight against ourselves, to change our own tendencies that keep us ignorant and persisting in our tendencies to create suffering. Those are pride, which make us feel so self-sustaining and wise. Lust, envy, anger, greed, all of that. And along the way, we have to help others overcome their own problems. Sometimes this means we have to be honest, but in a loving way, in a kind way. Love sometimes sounds cruel. This is why some people reject the writings of Samael Aun Weor. They say he sounds “too mean, misogynist, that he hates women, or that he hates people, or he is to angry.” They say these things because their ego reacts. The truth is, what he wrote, what he taught, is a great medicine, and we need it.
Audience: What you're talking about also seems on the surface to contradict the saying that we must learn to take in unpleasant manifestations of others with gladness. How does that reconcile itself?
Instructor: We have to receive the unpleasant manifestations of others with gladness, yes. But this is different from being an accomplice to a crime. There are times at which we must speak, right? To receive the unpleasant manifestations with gladness means to not become identified. To not become angry, to not seek revenge, to not seek to blame or attack, but instead to speak the truth when it must be spoken. Sometimes we just have to accept and be patient when we are receiving something painful for others, just as Jesus did when he was walking up the path towards his crucifixion.
You see, in that process we see a Tzadik. We see Nun, Christ, bearing his cross. This is that Iod walking up the hill towards crucifixion. That is a Tzadi. He represented that. That is a work of patience and love. It is to receive the spit and ridicule of others without complaint. Nonetheless, we must speak the truth. If one is silent when one knows the truth, one must be sure that you should be silent. Because there are times when you have to be silent. There is no golden rule here except to follow the guidance you get from within.
Audience: How else would you really know the defects in you without somebody else bringing them to the surface? The Dalai Lama talks about it all the time, you know, anybody that has evil will to you, treat them as a gift because in reality, they are bringing you a gift; to know yourself.
Instructor: That is true. This is why we live in the world, this is why we have life. It is our gymnasium. We need it. Christ could not have ascended that path towards his crucifixion unless those people had been there to persecute him, unless the centurions had whipped him, unless Pontius Pilate had committed him, unless Caiaphas had betrayed him, unless the Jews had betrayed him; none of it would have been possible. So Jesus owed his ascension to all of those who punished him. Sounds strange, but it is undeniable. The same is true for us. Our mind wants to blame everyone else and justify our behavior. And what I am explaining here is very difficult to grasp because the mind interferes. Yet our consciousness can learn to do it. Our consciousness, which is connected with God, with our inner Buddha, has the capacity to remain serene, to remain centered in conscious love in any circumstance. And this is what Jesus was representing, even on the cross: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." That is a conscious attitude of Paramita, called Prajna, wisdom.
Prajna Paramita is that supernal knowledge of the two truths that sees beyond conventional reality and see the Absolute, the emptiness. That is Right View: how we see beyond superficial appearances and penetrate the truth. And when one cultivates the skill to be awake, to be conscious, even when one is receiving blame, insults, betrayal, gossip, people doing terrible things to you, you can still treat them with love. You can treat them with respect and you can speak the truth. Samael Aun Weor exemplified that. Towards the end of his life, when he was passing through a great ordeal and all of his students betrayed him, gossiping, rejecting him, stabbing him in the back, what did he do? He treated them with love. He continued teaching, continued writing. We have that capacity in the consciousness as we develop the soul. But the ego can never do it. That is why we do not understand. We know the evil of the ego; that is what we live within. We need to escape from that and learn about the conscious values of the spirit. And then we learn the primary virtue of the gnostic church: tolerance. Sounds strange, doesn't it? Of all the virtues we talk about, the main one is tolerance. But tolerance does not mean what our sensual mind thinks. Tolerance is conscious love. Real tolerance does not stand by and observe a rape, it does not stand by and observe a suicide; it intervenes, it acts. That is a conscious value.
In ancient Japan there is a code known as Bushido, which is the way of the Samurai. The roots of that tradition have conscious values. Unfortunately, it degenerated like most other traditions in the world. But its original value was this: the samurai must act, but without passion. This was the rule. And of course you probably remember that a samurai was always armed with weapons and was a great warrior, and would kill. But why? For justice, for equality, to protect others. Of course, that system degenerated into political wars, but originally it was a spiritual war. For the samurai to draw his sword and act required a completely silent mind. This how, when we hear the stories of the samurai, we are amazed at what we hear of the incredible skill they had with a blade, or to navigate difficult circumstances. That was made possible because of Zen, because of a quiet mind. A mind that was completely silent, but awake, active, aware. That is in its root the synthesis of all martial arts. The true warrior in every tradition was to uphold that skill. We see that in people who are guards or watchmen. Samael Aun Weor said often: to be as a watchman in a time of war. The Zohar says one must guard oneself. But what is it to be a watchman? It is to be a warrior at a post, fully conscious of the knowledge that at any instant, the enemy will try to get past our guard. A watchman cannot sit there and daydream, "Do do do do do," no. Have you played sports? Were you ever a goalie or playing a sport in which at any instant you could be called upon to act? In most sports, you cannot think, you have to pay attention, being very active, attentive to what is happening. If you get distracted for even an instant, you can lose the game, right? Most sports are like this. That is precisely the kind of attentiveness we need from moment to moment in our daily lives: to be watchful of ourselves, because from instant to instant the enemy is trying to take our Esh. That enemy is your ego. It is all those elements in your mind that you have been living within for centuries and that feel normal but are not. Those have to be conquered, and there is a great fight that begins in attentiveness; inner watchfulness.
Audience: I remember that the main duties, if I'm correct, of the samurai was always to guard and protect its master. That samurai that was rogue and didn't do that was thought of as nothing.
Instructor: That's right. The samurai who failed in his duty to his lord was shamed, and it developed later that they would have to kill themselves. In the Zohar, in the tradition of Kabbalah, we learn that the Tzadik has to serve his master. And it says,
When night falls, he should examine and search his actions that day to repent for his deeds. He should always search them so he can repent before his master."
Most people read that and think that the master is a physical person -- a teacher -- but it is not. It is our Innermost. Our duty as a warrior is to our Innermost. Our duty to guard over ourselves is to protect our Innermost. It sounds strange, but our actions affect God. We are a part of something more than this terrestrial vehicle. Our Innermost needs us to fulfill our end of the work, which is to revolt against the mind. To raise the Iod up the Nun and become a Tzadik. We have to fulfill the purpose of creation, Bereshit.
Audience: Many students do not want to interfere with the law of karma or the law of recurrence. Just like the tibetan monks, when the nuns were getting raped by the chinese and were invading, they just stood by and thought that this was the law of karma, and didn't show them compassion. So where is the line drawn, really, between the law of karma -- just letting it happen -- and acting?
Instructor: The way you can know when to act and not to act can never be resolved by the mind, by reasoning, because the mind always reasons: "Should I do A or B? Which is better? Well on A's side there is this and that and this and that. And so-and-so says I should do this. And on the B side, so-and-so says I should do this." The mind only sees opposing actions. The mind always gets into conflict. The mind can never resolve it.
Let me state this clearly: the mind can never resolve problems. Yet all of us are trying to use our mind to resolve our problems. This is our problem.
What can solve our problems is our consciousness, which does not think. Think about that.
Let us look at the tree of life to understand what that means. We have a physical body, which is Malkuth. We experience the energy of our vital body (Yesod) through our physical body as our vital energy, our energy to act, the energy of sex, the energy of our memory and imagination and our perception is all here. We experience emotion, right, feelings, which is the astral body (Hod). We experience thoughts, those birds of the air, which is the mental body (Netzach). Beyond that, we do not usually experience anything that we can define. Sometimes we have a subtle feeling, "I should do this, but I do not know why," or "I should not do that, but I do not know why." That is called intuition. That is from Tiphereth, the causal body, the human soul. We usually ignore it because we do not have a “reason” in the mind to back it up, or we do not have a “feeling” in the heart to back it up, or we do not have an “energy” or “sensation” that wants it in the vital body, or our physical body doesn't have the “habit” or the knowledge of performing whatever it is we felt. So we have conflict, because we are not familiar with intuition, with conscious knowledge; we rely on thoughts, feelings and sensations. This is why we are always suffering; it is simple like that. We are always suffering because we ignore the impulses that come through intuition, the consciousness, from God.
Audience: Speaking of sport, do you guys promote the wrong idea of victory, for example, at the expense of others as opposed to a victory against ourselves?
Instructor: The question is about victory in sport. Well, everyone makes of sport something egotistical. In ancient times, sport was a conscious value, just like theater, art, and music were. You may recall that amongst the Greeks, amongst the Maya, sport had great spiritual value. Both the Maya and the Aztecs had great sports that represented conscious spiritual values. They competed physically and some won and some lost, but that reflects spiritual achievement or spiritual loss. Eventually those games degenerated just as our games now are merely about animal competition and have nothing spiritual in them at all. So sport in itself is not bad; it is what we make of it.
Audience: Netzach means victory right?
Instructor: Yes, Netzach means victory. That victory is in the mind.
The hope of the צדיק tzadik [shall be] gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
The way of יהוה IHVH [is] strength to the upright: but destruction [shall be] to the workers of iniquity.
The צדיק tzadik shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
The פה [Peh, mouth, 17] of the צדיק tzadik bringeth forth חכמה [Chokmah, wisdom]: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
The lips of the צדיק tzadik know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked [speaketh] frowardness. - Proverbs 10