In this section you will find articles exclusively related to the work of mystical death. The articles cover topics ranging from the general to the particular and contain a lot of practical keys and knowledge that has been liberated through work of mystical death.
These articles will be especially helpful for those people working in the death of the ego and are looking for a little help.
In Gnosis we know death to take three forms. They are: death of the physical body, the second death and mystical death. Even though this article is about mystical death we are going to digress a little in the following paragraphs and take a brief look at what death is.
Birth and Death
In Gnosis we see death and birth as twins, as two factors or principles that are intimately linked. In fact we can’t have one without the other, they work together, one leads to the other and the presence of one calls the presence of the other. If there is a death somewhere there will be a birth and if there is a birth somewhere, there will be death. For us to have been born we’ve had to have died at some time and to be born is to one day be taken by death.
Please note that we prefer to use the term birth instead of life because we say in Gnosis that death and birth are two opposite phenomena that exist on the one stream of life. We have one life with many existences or bodies. We say that life is something divine, that is rather like a stream of consciousness that never leaves us and can not be lost.
This truth tells us something very profound about death, that death exists to give something the opportunity to be born in a new state and birth exists for something to have the opportunity to better itself, before having death take it and transform it into something new according to the merits it has acquired while being alive.
As master Samael says death is everyone’s crown, that is death, according to all the merits and values one acquires during life gives one the prize in the next life. So death gives one the reward or the crown made from one’s own efforts.
Birth and death are really processes of transformation, birth transforms as does death. Master Samael says for the sapling to be born the seed must die. So whenever there is change in a person something died in the person and something new was born. So birth and death mean change. They are both something dynamic.
About Mystical Death
Now applying what we have learnt in the previous paragraphs we can say that mystical death is a process of change, Gnosis says that it is a process where factors internal to us, factors that are essentially part of our psychology die in us, only for new values and qualities to be born in our interior. We could otherwise describe mystical death as the gradual dissolution of the defects we carry within, to give rise to the virtues and qualities of the essence that the various defects were hiding.
Mystical death has the adjective: mystical, because it is a death that is not physically tangible, as it refers to our interior and can also only really happen due to a mystical factor that dwells within us, namely the Divine Mother. Another reason why mystical death has the adjective mystical, is because it also allows us to approach the divine Being (that which is truly mystical) dwelling within us, so that each time we progress in the process of mystical death we renew inner life and produce a life that is more and more the Being.
To rephrase, this kind of death (mystical death) occurs within us by virtue of an inner mystical part (Divine Mother) and its process, not its results though, is invisible to others, hence the word mystical. As physical death takes one to life, so mystical death takes us to a new life as well, and that is the life of the Being.
In summary then, mystical death exists to give ourselves a life with our inner divine Being, by dissolving the factors that separate, distance and negate the Being in us. These factors are the many psychological aggregates or “I’s” or egos that we carry within.
Why the Divine Mother?
You may have asked yourself who is the Divine Mother and why is she the part within us that helps us in our mystical death. We all know very well that Mothers bring and give life, and we also know that death brings new life and so as the Divine Mother brings new life she has to be related to death too. She has to help us to die mystically so that we can breathe the new life of the Real Being dwelling within.
As alluded to in the previous paragraph, mystical death is the process of the death of the myself which is made up of many “I’s” or egos. The process of mystical death is really the death of one, and at the same time, many. That is, the death of the myself and the death of the many “I’s” that constitute the myself.
The result of mystical death is to free the essence trapped in the ego, so to allow it to be born or emerge completely free of its previous conditioning. In short mystical death is the dissolution of the conditionings (egos) in our psychology and the birth of the free essence within us. Once the essence is free the Being can freely and fully manifest in us.
In mystical death there is nothing that dies physically within us, it is only on the psychological level that there is death and of course birth.
What is the Ego or the “I”?
Now that the ego or “I” has been mentioned it is certainly time to define the ego. There is the myself and there are egos or “I’s”. We’ve mentioned that the many egos make up the myself. An “I” or ego is something psychological and there are so many definitions that we can attribute to the ego or the “I”.
Gnosis says that an ego is really nothing without the essence, what is first is the essence. Before there was the ego there was the essence and coincidentally there was no defect and no virtue either. The ego is the conditioning or the bottling of the essence, and as soon as the essence is trapped or bottled duality arises, and defect and virtue appear.
You may be asking yourself right now, “what is the essence?” and what is that conditioning that is being mentioned. Master Samael, says that the essence is our psychic material itself, or in other words the material that our psychology is contained within. As far as the conditioning goes we can say that the conditioning is duality then relativity.
So far we have seen what the ego or ‘I’ is from an esoteric point of view, however it can also be defined from a psychological point of view, as the ego or ‘I’ is something esoteric and psychological.
A Mental Process
From a psychological point of view we can say that the ego is the thought of ‘I’ or a mental process that contains the concept of “I” and mine. Gnosis also says that it is a psychological person living within our psyche that has its particular way of thinking, feeling and acting. The essence does not have the concept of “I” or mine. The essence though has what is called a scared individuality, but not the egoic individuality of I am or mine.
The ego has a relative existence in us, because it depends upon thought, if we don’t think, then there is no ego in our human machine. The ego is “I” implying it is not the other person or in other words “I” which means “not you”. The ego is the false separation from others and from one’s own inner Being or divinity.
An Answer to the Events of Life
We may say also that every ego or ‘I’ is an answer to the diverse events of life. The ego has taken the place of the essence in giving answers to life. It should really be that a function or part of the essence with in us produces the different answers to the events of life. We in fact have an ego for every occasion of life. We can say that every ego is really a fractioned and distortion part of the essence, in the sense that a part of the essence could produce an answer to a given event in life in a constructive, just and correct way, however the ego being conditioned produces an answer to the particular events of life it has been conditioned to give an answer to.
For example we have the “I” of pride to be used in situations where we need to justify or cover our mistakes, the “I” of greed when dealing with money and possessions, the “I” of self-love, lust and jealousy when dealing with relationships, the “I” of gluttony when dealing with food and drink etc.
When we try to investigate who we are, or who we think we are, we find that we are that “I” that has a mind, a body, legs, stomach and so on. We are the possessor of those parts of the mind-body complex. That “I” that we think we are, is something psychological. If you try to find it inside your body or mind you won’t find it. It is only something that appears or exists dependent upon thought. So that is the ego, it is relative or dependent upon the relative thinking that is relative to the concept of “I” and the concept of mine.
If we want to find our essence we will find it when our mind is quiet, when that is, there is an absence of thought. Meditation is very useful for this.
The essence is something that is outside of relativity and duality, something that embraces the unity. We are really a great unity, if you don’t believe that karma shows us that this is so. Just go and slap someone in the face and soon enough someone will slap you in the face. So slapping someone in the face is equivalent to slapping yourself, showing us that the other person and ourselves are the same.
Mystical death is a term used to describe the real and definite transformation of our psychological nature.
Mystical death refers to the death of the many “I’s” or defects that we carry within our psyche. Where we suffer due to psychological factors, mystical death is a balm to heal the wounds and consequences of our errors that make us suffer.
There is the principle: that for something to be born, something must first die. So, for the so-coveted virtues to be born in us, or for the authentic, inner peace and tranquillity to appear in us, something must first die. This is something that so many human beings know deep down, but as always, the absence of a precise answer to the question of “how do I do it?”, causes so many to forget their inquietude.
Mystical Death is Transformation
Mystical death is nothing more than transformation. We know that in every process of transformation, whichever it may be (physical, psychological or esoteric) there is always something that ceases, so that something new may emerge.
For example, in nature the seed must die for the plant to be born. There are so many examples in nature, another very simple example is water. When water is boiled the water loses it liquid property and is transformed into vapour. So the liquid ceased to be, only for it to give way becoming something new – vapour.
The guarantee with all the kinds of death is that when a thing dies there is always something else born after it. That is why in Gnosis we say death and life are deeply or intimately linked. For something to be born something must die. As you know, if you know about past lives that is, we are here again on the Earth because we at some point in the past died and nature brought us back to life.
In conclusion here, we can never separate life form death. If there is one there also has to be the other. The reward for mystical death is always the birth of something new. Such as new conditions, a new perspective, new understanding, new awareness, a new kind of inner peace, a renewed love and glimpses and states of authentic happiness. I think now with the basic principle of mystical covered we can go to answer the question of why do we need mystical death.
This question can be answered from several different points of view. Some of these points of view are the esoteric, the psychological and the life point of view. These coincidently are the points of view we are going to use to answer this question in this post.
We need the mystical death for the very simple reason that we are very well and alive in the ego. We know in esotericism that the ego is bottled or conditioned essence and the essence in that state is of no use (very minimal use) to the inner Real Being. Why?
Because that essence is conditioned and because of that conditioning it acts mechanically, and in fact it is not free to act in another way, so that essence in the ego is trapped. In virtually all the cases the essence trapped in the ego does not do the will of the Being, it has its own agenda and fulfils its conditioning, that is what it was created to do.
When that essence is freed it is consciousness and it reveals its learning to the Being and it can fuse with the Being increasing his consciousness.
So in conclusion here, the more we have of free essence the more we have of the Being in us. The whole objective of real esotericism is to be the divine Being and bring the Being that each one of carries inside of us here into the physical world.
The many egos that we have make us to suffer terribly. Each ego and the fact that we have so many, weighs a terribly high toll on our mind and psychology. With mystical death we really and truthfully acquire peace.
We create space within our psychology from where our essence and consciousness can shine and benefit ourselves in the sense of conscious enjoyment, insight, balance, control over ourselves and peace.
The suffering that the ego produces in our psychology is really reason enough for us to die mystically.
Also in order to have no more contradictions and to have just one psychology or one mind we need to work in mystical death.
There are two contradictory views here. In some ways for the way of life that has currently been established on this planet, we don’t need the mystical death. Other forces (those principally created and maintained by the mind) have provided everything that we need, and so they have replaced the Being. These forces are essentially the forces of materialism and materialistic science.
So we can live in life, as so many millions do without mystical death. Even we can live happily enough if we have the dharma or merits to.
But if we want to make our life easier, to avoid suffering and illness we can achieve that with mystical death. If we want all our relationships to go well, and if we want to be able to always give the correct answer to the various and diverse events of life we need to die and awaken.
Also if we want to be helpful to others and not make others to suffer we need to die mystically in ourselves, it is the very nature of the ego to take things from one side (our side) and because of that we will always have conflicts and experience friction with others.
If we want to live in accordance with the sun, the solar principles, the Being and the cosmos we have to remove that inside of us that is against all these things.
Dying mystically is a matter of a conscious choice and conscious work. Nonetheless there is a science or a procedure involved.
The process of the death of an ‘I’ or a defect may vary between each individual, however that process even though it appears to be different passes through these five very broad stages.
I would just like to say at this moment before we get too far into the topic of the five broad stages of mystical death, that in esotericism, there are always exceptions, and in the case of mystical death there are certainly exceptions. More will be covered regarding this later on in this post, see the section Kabbalistical Barks.
Five Broad Stages
The five broad stages through which one moves through when working for the death of an ego or ‘I’ are:
Note: Master Samael made these a little simpler, instead of five steps he gave three. He gave us: Observation, Comprehension and Elimination. Of course he was right, really comprehension is separation and repentance, so the steps of separation, comprehension and repentance really fall under comprehension. Why? Because separation, comprehension and repentance, are essentially all comprehension, but different (higher) octaves of comprehension.
This is the process of getting to know the ego or ‘I’ that you want to eliminate. The purpose of this type of observation is to come to comprehend and later eliminate the ego under study.
We have to come to know the environment the ego manifests in, the impressions that trigger it and of course what is crucial, is that we come to know its way of thinking.
We also have to come to know how this way of thinking influences the emotional and motor centres and we have to know this ego’s main arguments, justifications, logic, protests, likes, dislikes, expectations (should and should nots) etc.
Knowing the ego well leads us naturally to comprehension.
This is really the first step of comprehension because here is where we come to understand that what has been bothering us is really an ego, an ‘I’, a fragment of our psychology, a psychological person and overall something that is not us or not the whole of us anyway, but rather a visitor or conditioned fragment of our psychology that is triggered (externally or internally), and is strong and stubborn and stays in our human machine for a long time.
This is where we come to be able to separate that ego or ‘I’ from our mind, from our attention, from our human machine and from our main psychology.
We finally see that it is an ego and we are not that ego and other people are not to blame for our uncomfortable feelings but rather that ego is, and furthermore we sometime in the past created it.
We essentially gain the understanding that allows us to start to not identify with that ego.
In this stage we come to understand the ego much more deeply. We understand its role and its function in our life, we come to see what it is used for in our life and what it has been created to do for us. We may even remember when and where we created it.
We may even be able to see that we don’t need it and that we can use the essence and the work to solve the situations that this ego in the past, has been used to solve.
We also come to know the logic of the ego, which is really the core of the ego. It is the sum of its concepts or it is main concept and reasoning. It is the logic or idea or concept or upon which it feels and acts the way it does. If we are able to prove the logic wrong honestly and sincerely inside ourselves we deliver the ego a huge blow.
Repentance is where essentially we come to understand deeply that the ego is wrong, that it is not correct and that we can do better with the essence, the work and the Being or the parts of our Being. We also may feel sorry for the actions of this ego when we really come to understand that it is wrong.
A part of repentance is renunciation where we through comprehension see that the ego is not needed and that the things or values that the ego brings to us can be replaced by the essence and the Being. In renunciation we essentially renounce to the values (the feelings or things that we like) that the ego brings us.
This is a very important step, this is where really the ego is executed or finally made dead. The previous steps are marvellous in that they separate the ego from ourselves, allow us to control the ego completely, they give us triumph over the ego and they exile the ego from our psychology and from our human machine. But they do not destroy or dissolve the ego it remains alive and continues to bother us.
The step of elimination is the final solution to the problem of the ego, this is where our particular Divine Mother destroys the ego and liberates the essence that is trapped inside it.
Then the essence that has been trapped returns to the body of free essence that we have and adds its light and wisdom to the wisdom and light of the already free essence. The interesting wisdom that is acquired from the newly freed essence is the wisdom of how that piece of essence got trapped in the ego.
I would like to make a short digression here and explain a little what kabbalistical barks are. These barks or shells are egos that by the grace of our Divine Mother and the Divine Law are eliminated for us, or decapitated for us even when we have not passed through the previously listed five stages of eliminating an ego.
They are called barks because the Divine Law and the Divine Mother extract the essence from them leaving only the shell or bark or outer skin of the ego. This bark decomposes in time.
This, I want to stress can happen in a person but it is certainly not the norm. This favour is usually done for us when that ego is so strong and it is beyond our comprehension and it is harming us severely.
We commonly think that the process of mystical death progresses according to how deep our comprehension is, and due to our comprehension, how much essence the Divine Mother is able to free in us. This idea we know is correct because we have all experienced it to be this way, however there are some exceptions. These exceptions are special cases because lying behind them are certain karmic debts, and as you will read later on in this article they can not be worked upon in the usual way they require in fact a different procedure.
These exception egos mentioned above, are known to us when we put a lot of effort into our practices of mystical death and we feel we have acquired a large knowledge and deep comprehension of that ego and yet we don’t experience any progress in its dissolution. In fact we still find it very difficult to separate it from our psyche, it may take us by surprise and no matter how hard we try at times to get it out of our human machine it stays there until it seems it decides to go. Honestly, we really suffer with these egos. They quite often humiliate us, where everyone is happy and enjoying an events we are suffering indescribably with this ego and in many cases we can’t function normally as everyone else does. Even those who are not working on themselves seem to function much better in the events where we are overcome by that ego. There are really terrible moments of suffering in which we think that we are never going to be able dissolve that ego and we will have it forever. In short when we are experiencing any of these tell-tale symptoms we are dealing with a karmic ego.
The Why of these Symptoms
The reason why we experience the symptoms described above is because we say, there is or are karmic debts behind that ego, which cause us to suffer and prevent us from advancing in its elimination. In fact we won’t be able to advance in its elimination until we pay those debts.
Actually, from the experience of many, working on egos that have a karmic debt attached to them is difficult and painful. People usually suffer when working to eliminate those egos. Actually many people spend years fighting with the ego, to only after much suffering be really able to comprehend it deeply and then by the grace of the Law and the work of the Divine Mother see it gradually die within them.
Generally speaking a karmic ego is one, which being identified with, lead us to make serious mistakes for which we accrued karmic debts. In other words, with these egos we harmed others and or ourselves creating a debt that we to balance or compensate.
There are several egos that we all carry within and that in the past being hypnotised by these ego we created karmic debts. Those egos are typically anger, pride and lust. There could quite easily though be other egos that have karmic debts behind them such as the egos of selfishness, laziness, theft, greed, adultery, etc.
There is also something curious here, that often these karmic egos actually become karmic instruments, that is instruments that the karma or the law uses to make us to suffer, and one definite karmic instrument is fear or anxiety. When we experience an intense, uncontrollable fear for no real reason, we are paying karma. Fear and karma are intimately linked, we hope to expand upon this in a future article.
We may work hard on a karmic ego and weaken it, though because it has the support of the law behind it that ego regains its strength. Often these karmic egos are detrimental to our health they us suffer physically, vitally, emotionally, mentally, morally etc. in nearly it seems all the ways.
Three Classes of Egos
Karmically speaking we can classify all of our egos into three classes, that is egos that are karmically neutral, negative and positive.
There are egos in us that are neutral that is when we identify with them and allow them to act they don’t create karmic debts. An example would be an ego of driving or playing chess or knitting etc.
There is another class of egos often called the “good egos” that sometimes do good things for others and therefore don’t create karmic debts, however most of the time, because those egos have conditioned consciousness inside them they don’t really know how to do good in the right moment and so identified with them we make many mistakes. They though are not as bad as the class of egos commonly called the “bad egos” that really do create karma for us.
Finally, there is the class of egos that do evil, that is that harm others and ourselves. These egos are essentially the source of all our karma. Our Principle Psychological Profile also known as the P.P.P is the ego responsible for our fall so logically it is a karmic ego and behind it are enormous karmic debts.
In summary the bad egos are the karmic ones and the good egos could also be karmic as well as they have been the cause of many mistakes. There is a saying that says “the path to hell is paved with good intentions”. Many of the good intentions that we have come from the good egos, and unfortunately if we lack the consciousness to drive or direct those good intentions to productive result we end up making many mistakes small and large.
Karmic Egos and Karmic Debt
Because with the karmic egos we have created karmic debts the administrators of the law of karma (masters and judges of the cosmic law) have to find a way to make us to balance, compensate or pay those karmic debts, and it turns out that the main way of paying those karmic debts is by suffering in the work of the separation, comprehension and elimination of that ego.
We have to suffer what those egos have given to others. Meaning we have to have that ego produce pain in us to the same degree that it has produced in another. That is why somehow magically our capacity to separate, comprehend and eliminate is blocked or rendered ineffective, because if we could say easily separate that ego from us we wouldn’t suffer and the pain that we have caused others would never be felt.
So for that reason our capacity to progress in the elimination of these karmic egos is controlled by the law, we can only really progress when the karmic debts have been cleared, and we pay those karmic debts with pain or suffering.
The good thing to know is that there is a limit to the pain or suffering we can experience from the ego and it is controlled by the law, meaning that it can be negotiated or modified. This brings an added esoteric dimension to the work on the ego. Really the work with the karmic egos is esoteric they can not only be treated psychologically.
Working on the Karmic Egos
As alluded to in the previous section, the karmic egos must be worked upon differently, by adding an extra esoteric dimension to that work, which is the work with the cosmic law, which essentially is to negotiate the payment of the karmic debt. There are three phases involved in this work, the first is repentance, the second is negotiation and the third is pardon.
Repentance, Negotiation and Pardon
The first stage repentance must be the first stage, it is essentially the preparation for this work with the cosmic law. Through our comprehension of the ego we have to know that it is wrong, that its action only leads to pain and we fully accept the responsibility for the harm we have caused. Here we have to show that we are sincerely sorry for that the actions of that ego and for having created that ego. If we feel this we are ready to work with the law as it is obvious and clear to all that we want to eliminate it and pay the debt we have incurred.
The second stage is to make several petitions to the law asking them to give us wisdom, strength and vitality in order to be able to dissolve this ego. We can even make an agreement with the law where we may pay the karmic debt in instalments.
The third stage rests on the side of the law where after having paid the karmic debt behind that ego we are pardoned and the way to eliminate that ego is laid clear for us.
The aim of this article is to provide an understanding of the process of mystical death undertaken by the initiate in the path of the three mountains.
In our study of Gnosis, we typically think that the person who makes it to the top or end of the first is very much dead and the person who makes it to the top or the very end of the second mountain is completely dead. We may even for a while think, that our process of mystical death depends entirely on our own efforts and is a process that takes place independent of the path. However, when we have the very rare opportunity (one that we must sincerely be grateful for) to observe one well advanced in the process of mystical death, we see that our concepts of the way the process of mystical death advances is not exactly the same way that it happens in reality.
Mystical Death is Processed by the Path
Mystical death is processed on the path, it is a part of the path. The path didactically takes the initiate through an ever deepening process of mystical death that culminates with the complete death of the ‘myself’ or all the egos or psychic aggregates.
Mystical Death in the First Mountain
There is the death that takes place in the first mountain and there is the death that takes place in the second mountain. The first mountain has been called the mountain of birth, it can also be called the mountain of definition. From these synthetic names of the first and second mountains we can see that the major emphasis of the work in the first mountain is birth or definition. The first mountain is about defining and establishing one’s position in relation to: one’s self-realization, one’s intimate Christ and one’s inner Being. In the first mountain the bodies are created, the human soul is incarnated and through the process of the initiations one learns in a relative degree how to control the physical and vital bodies (movement, action), the astral body (emotions, feelings), the mental body (the mind) and the causal body (the will) all culminating in the submission of one’s will to the father.
There is death in the first mountain and there is death in every initiation, just as master Samael said, in every initiation something dies and something is born. However, at the end of the first mountain the person is still very much alive in relation to both faces of the psychological moon, that it is the visible and invisible face of the psychological moon. There most likely would have been some death of the aggregates of the invisible face of the psychological moon, however a large part of it will remain intact. The visible face will have definitely been extensively touched by the process of mystical death, however it is also possible that some egos of the visible side of the psychological moon may well remain with the initiate/master well into the labours of Hercules in the second mountain.
Mystical Death is Important in the First Mountain
We must stress that the most important thing in the work or in the path is mystical death. Even if the mystical death is not the major or predominating factor of the first mountain it must be applied at every point of the path so as not to fail. Mystical death is perhaps most needed when one is a ‘man’ in the esoteric sense of the word. That is when one has the power of the bodies and feels that he/she can act independently on their own despite the will of the Being. That is where the danger lies, so mystical death is needed to radically reduce the personal egotistical will so to be able to do and obey the will of the father.
Mystical Death in the Second Mountain
In the second mountain, there are nine plus seven plus eight, totalling twenty four stages of death. These stages are the nine labours of Hercules, the 7 terraces of Purgatory and the 8 individual years of Job. During the nine labours of Hercules many egos die, mainly those egos of the invisible or hidden side of the psychological moon. Some of the egos of the visible side of the psychological moon may die as well or be weakened to the point of being very close to death.
In the labours of the seven terraces of purgatory where the seeds of the egos are fried, even then these egos continue to exist during the labours of the eight years of Job. For example in the labours of purgatory the seeds of pride are fried and then pride continues to exist in the physical body and has to be worked upon and dissolved in the eight years of Job. Actually in the first year of Job is where all the egos of the physical body are dissolved.
We even know that for only reasons the Being of the individual knows the order in which the egos of the bodies are worked can vary from the classical order, which is physical, vital, astral, mental, causual, Buddhic and Atmic. For example the egos of the astral body could be worked upon in the first year and the other egos of the other bodies in later years.
Death in the Third Mountain
In the case of Master Samael, he had finished here the second mountain and was completely dead, he did not have one ego alive in his interior. So when we passed onto the work of the third mountain he was completely dead. However, everyone’s path is different. It can well be the case that at the end of the second mountain the Being (Intimate Christ) of the master or person resurrects and the person or master may not be 100% dead in the ego yet. Though the person will be very close to being so. At the culmination of the third mountain the master or person will be completely dead. This can only be that way to be able to incarnate Kether, the Elder of the Days.