Wesak 2018


WESAK 2018

Higher Interlude Keynote: The Plan [unveiled at the Festival of Goodwill, to be  implemented throughout the rest of the spiritual year] is the Son-Daughter of the (active) Will of the Father [in custody at EASTER] and the (latent) Purpose of the (redeemed) Mother [registered at WESAK].

  • Easter: I come forth, and from the plane of mind, I rule.
  • Wesak: I see, and when the eye is opened, all is light.
  • Goodwill: I recognize my other self and in the waning of that self, I grow and glow.


Fundamental Law of Motion:

The Will is Motion and Every Motion is an Act of Will


Newton’s Three Laws of Motion

Classical mechanics: I come forth, and from the plane of mind, I rule.

  • The First Law of Motion states, “A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.”
  • The Second Law of Motion describes what happens to a massive body when it is acted upon by an external force. It states, “The force acting on an object is equal to the mass of that object times its acceleration.”
  • The Third Law of Motion states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This law describes what happens to a body when it exerts a force on another body.

Relativistic correction factor:
I see, and when the eye is opened, all is LIGHT.

Light -finite but unbounded- has no speed.

The distinction between the past, present and future
is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.Albert Einstein

The Lightness of Being



[JB: on INTEGRATING (past and future into the present) TIME]

  1. Relax and focus yourself in the soul [JB:  I am the Thinker. I think, therefore I am.].
  2. Then sound the O.M., “making sound from within,” breathing it out worldwide as you inaudibly realize its meaning: “The will of God moves the world.”
    [JB: the sounding Will implementing the Plan from the listened Purpose]
    [JB: the antahkarana as the ultimate Will Project]
  3. Then ponder upon the significance of time as an expression of the will, realising that this expression is a thought—instantaneous and effective—in the mind of the planetary Logos. Think out carefully some of the implications of this last statement.
  4. Then say slowly and thoughtfully:
    The past has gone. I am that past. It makes me what I am.
    The future comes. I also am the coming destiny and, therefore, I am that.
    The present flows from out the past. The future colours that which is.
    I make the future also by my present knowledge of the past and the beauty of the present.
    And, therefore, I am that I am.
  5. Sound the O.M. softly three times.



A Formula of Initiation

  • I AM THAT which transmutes knowledge [linear MOTION, instantaneous change]  into WISDOM [general patterns, time cycles] within a flash of TIME [duration=scalar of the time vector].
  • I AM THAT which transforms sensitivity [E-MOTION, the Science of the Emotions] into LOVE within an area [surface] of SPACE.
  • I AM THAT which transfigures sacrifice into BLISS where neither time nor space exists. [MOTIONLESSNESS of Being resurrected from its crucifixion in time and matter].

Love [in Space] is the [hidden] relativistic correction/adjustment factor operating in the causal Laws of Motion [Becoming] as we live and move and have our being within the ring-pass-not of this Universe [of Light and Love].

[Timeless] Wisdom is the Light framing our evolving consciousness (the light within the Light) as we move from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light and from death to Immortality.

I am THAT I am: the Way [of the Real], the [Light of the] Truth and the [immortal] Life of Being.


Space-Time of the Three Spiritual Festivals
of the Higher Interlude of the Spiritual Year

Easter: to Will (focused Intention)


Wesak: to Know (the Purpose that informs the Plan)


Goodwill: to Dare (the Initiate knows because he works) and thus Serve (the Plan of Light and Love)




  • Will (Atma)
  • Reason (Buddhi), and
  • Understanding (Manas)

The Central Ideas of Psycho-synthesis

  1. Synthesis (Will to Synthesis),
  2. Evolution of Consciousness, and
  3. Transformation of Energy.


Assagioli identified the Transpersonal Will, and three major aspects of the fully developed personal will (the strong will (Ray 1), the skillful will (Ray 3), the good will (Ray 2).

  • 1-5:  Strong (dynamic, determined, decisive, resolute, courageous, daring, intense, focused)
  • 2-4-6: Good (loving, kind, synthetic, integrating, enduring, persistent, courageous, daring)
  • 3-7:  Skillful (intelligent, disciplined, restrained, timely, patient, organizing)

The will is not merely assertive, aggressive, and controlling. There is the accepting will, yielding will, the dedicated will. You might say that there is a feminine polarity to the will – the willing surrender, the joyful acceptance.


[JB] The proposed journey needs a psychological frame of reference and the means and methods to achieve the healing goal of The proposed journey needs a psychological frame of reference and the means and methods to achieve the healing goal of PSYCHOSYNTHESIS.

I. A psychological frame of reference (“Egg Diagram”)

  • A. The personal self
  • B. The Transpersonal Self
  • C. The Superconscious

II. The means: the will (source of power to transform energy).

III. Methods:

  • A. Disidentification (the will to withdraw attention)
  • B. Synthesis (the will to integrate and fuse)
  • C. Guided imagination and visualization exercises (the will to identify with transpersonal archetypes)


According to Assagioli, the qualities of the will are:

  1. Energy—Dynamic Power—Intensity
  2. Mastery—Control—Discipline
  3. Concentration—One­Pointedness—Attention— Focus
  4. Determination—Decisiveness—Resoluteness— Promptness
  5. Persistence—Endurance—Patience
  6. Initiative—Courage—Daring
  7. Organization—Integration—Synthesis

[JB] Seven aspects of love

  1. Infinite (in time)
  2. Indivisible (compassionate)
  3. Unconditional (boundless in space)
  4. Harmonious (right relations)
  5. Wise (intelligent)
  6. Devoted (loyal)
  7. Well-tempered (adjusted to the need)

Seven aspects of intelligence

  1. Penetrating
  2. Synthetic (of opposites)
  3. Enlightening
  4. Contrasting
  5. Factual (memory)
  6. Focusing (one-pointed)
  7. Organic (adaptable organization)


Aries 2018 New Moon


Meditation is the primary form of service for those following a spiritual path. It is a means of cooperation and alignment with hierarchical intent. The new moon period follows upon the cycle of outbreathing in the rhythmic cycles of the breath; it is a time of pause wherein together we can establish a soul-mind-brain alignment. During this period we work in thought to concretize the ideas and impressions received at the time of the full moon period and undertake the sometimes difficult process of translating them into practical plans that can be of service in the world. The effect of this meditative effort is to enhance the many ways in which the “power of the one Life” and the “love of the one soul” are working out through all true servers everywhere.


2018 Aries New Moon Meeting: UN Security Council

New Moon Meditation Outline

Q: What are the underlying causes obstructing the path towards human unity and the consequent need for reform within the Security Council?

A:  National self-interests obstruct the international common good.


Q: How can esoteric servers contribute to the resolution of these causes?

A: Promote the development of the intuitive sense in humanity. The new yoga,  Agni Yoga, is a REVELATORY practice dispelling ILLUSION. Newer TRUTHS about hierarchical democracy and spiritual governance need to be revealed by the NGWS.

Hierarchical Democracy


Re: Synthesis, Agni Yoga and the Christ

Dear Duane:

Thank you for your thoughtful response. VBA’s intention was to share with spiritual aspirants, particularly those in preparation for the second and third initiations, an introduction to Agni Yoga, as he received it in his (Second Ray) Ashram.

The constant contemplation of life events, as archetypal symbols of an inner (usually hidden) reality, is key to this approach. In my presentation of the book for the general public


I emphasize this approach. I believe that the current emphasis on “mindfulness” is linked to the revelation of this new Yoga of Synthesis.

The advanced stage in the practice of Agni Yoga, which you very well related to the contemplation of dynamic geometrical constructs,


and which I also relate to DK’s teachings on the Technique of the Presence to dispel illusion,


I’ve included as appendices to VBA’s introductory guide.

Lastly, I’ve found it useful to visualize the Path of Initiation in terms of overlapping stages rather than rigidly demarcated milestones. As in college studies, one may master advanced graduate courses on specific subjects of our interest while still completing our undergraduate degree.  At the “terminal” degree level (third initiation for some, higher initiations for others), it will all add up.

Thank you so much for your work on the mystery of electricity and the study of dynamic geometrical symbolism, as they pave the ways into Shamballa and the revelation of the Buddhic plane.



Synthesis, Agni Yoga and the Christ

Synthesis, Agni Yoga and the Christ

By Duane Carpenter

Dear Jose,

Thank you for sending me information on this new book by Vicente Beltran Anglada now published in English for the first time. There is a small but growing group of initiates and disciples at this time historically who are attempting to understand what true Agni Yoga may actually be and how it relates to the externalization of the Hierarchy, the Reappearance of the Christ and what these new third phase teachings may actually look like. It has become apparent to me that some of these advanced teachings are filtering through all areas of the occult sciences and not just esoteric astrology which we know is the most ancient of all the occult and esoteric sciences. To show the complexity of the subject DK has also stated.

“It is these Mysteries which Christ will restore upon His reappearance, thus reviving the churches in a new form, and restoring the hidden Mystery which they long have lost through their materialism. Masonry has also lost the true livingness it once possessed but, in its forms and rituals, the truth is preserved and can be recovered. This Christ will do. He will also revive these Mysteries in other ways; not all will seek the church or Masonry for the revitalizing of their spiritual life. The true Mysteries will also reveal themselves through science and the incentive to search for them there will be given by the Christ. The Mysteries contain, within their formulas and teachings, the key to the science which will unlock the mystery of electricity—the greatest spiritual science and area of divine knowledge in the world, the fringes of which have only just been touched. Only when the Hierarchy is present visibly on Earth and the Mysteries of which the disciples of the Christ are the Custodians are given openly to the world, will the true secret and nature of electrical phenomena be revealed.” (123-4 ROC)

This science of electricity DK is referring to is slowing being revealed through conventional science as well as ancient yogic traditions and its current research and exploration in so many new and creative ways that it may be incomprehensible to esoteric students of the past who are not informed or abreast of these modern discoveries. It is not just astronomy and astrophysics but involves all the sciences, particularly those that are exploring electricity, energy, force, light and gravity in new and creative ways.

Since initiation is also a deeply subjective experience requiring not just new information on any given subject but requires changes in the inner man and his different spiritual bodies only those who have had advanced meditative training and raised the Kundalini force to the higher head centers will see all of these obtuse questions in a new light and be able to answer these deep and mysterious questions because they are now directly interfacing with those hidden forces in their higher form. Kundalini we know has may levels and facets and only a true Agni Yogi can claim to have activated those three higher head centers we call the Crown, Ajna and the 12 petaled heart center within the head and not simply the centers found along the spine and lower torso. Only those who express all three qualities of the upper triad Atma, Buddhi and Manas simultaneously can claim to be an advanced Agni Yogi. We also understand that depending on a number of different factors which of these three centers will be the most dominate or the order in which they are first activated.

Paradoxically initiates of this standing that we have just outlined do not make claims but may prefer to remain anonymous and work from behind the scenes since the danger to “premature disclosure” might put them or the groups they work with in a vulnerable and compromised position because of world conditions.


Since symbols according to DK, HPB and Master M that have been shared in the Agni Yoga series of books are the language of initiates and how they communicate on high telepathic and intuitive levels it is important we follow their instructions and meditate on what they have given. Not just individually but in groups. I have rendered and designed many of these key symbols in my different e-books that can be found on the right hand bottom column when my http://www.light-weaver.com/ site first opens.
I am presently drafting up a commentary that will reveal some of the most important images and symbols given by Master M through the Agni yoga series. A few visual examples can be found attached to this letter and may be freely used or shared.

The Agni Yoga series of books and teachings gives us some insight into a new type of abstract or “spacial thought” and indicates it can more easily be understood by the recognition of an “ascending spiral or dual dodecahedron” These images when visualized and meditated upon put the student in a better position to understand the idea of “Fiery Space” or the supreme principal of the “Intuition” “Shamballa” and the “Divine Will”. I understand that there are many approaches to spiritual revelation and inner recognition and that the idea of geometry is mainly a second ray approach to truth but it is one that can reveal much about all of the 7 divine rays and their hidden constitution.

Let us give a practical example and quote from Agni Yoga, 361.

“There are two kinds of logic: the logic of external reasoning, which one attempts to learn from textbooks, and that of mental synthesis, by which one collects and links the sparks of spatial thought. These sparks may seem to be a happy accident, even though this “accident” may have been ripening in space for an entire century…”

“As rings of the spiral show to the observer the outer turns and conceal the inner turns, so mental logic proceeds according to the limits of the outer turns while the inner turns are still merged in the streams of collective thought in space. Hence, We take such care about the broadening of the consciousness, in order that union with spatial thought may be approached.
This must be accepted as simply as is the vital importance of oxygen. Equally simple should be the idea of the spiral nature of all that exists, and of creative explosions. Thus the breath of the Cosmos will be realized as an ascending spiral…”

“We all rejoice if you are applying the rhythms indicated to you. Of course the rhythms vary with each individual, and the current condition of one’s organism determines the results. One should accept the transmissions from space into the open Chalice. This is the guarantee of synthesis. Likewise, one must follow one’s inner rhythm, because the developed consciousness cannot be without rhythm.
The combination of two dodecahedrons is useful for promoting the rhythm of fire. When enough energy has been accumulated, I shall demonstrate it, because this fleeting rhythm is necessary for the approach to Agni Yoga.”

Thank you dear Jose for your persistence determination, love and devotion to reveal and share your many important insights and research. I have ordered Vicente’s book and look forward to reading it. No one in the different esoteric fields or groups is the exclusive custodians of this important information we seek. Working together we can help build a better understanding of what Agni Yoga may look like hence in our small but important way help vacillated the Externalization program and the Reappearance of the Christ.



New Book on the Intuition and Yoga

August 2017

The intuitive sense is a crucial element in the skill set of visionary leaders. A natural talent for some, the intuitive sense can be developed through the practice of the fiery Yoga of Synthesis, also known as Agni Yoga.

Visionaries can glimpse the future because they can discard old models and adapt their vision according to new paradigms. The Promethean Fire of the Mind can melt old structures of thought in order to imagine more organically synthetic paradigms of reality. This synthesis is not the analytical outcome of the logical mind but the product of the trans-rational mind contemplating life as a sequence of symbols and their metamorphoses.

The practice of mindfulness is based on the constant presence of mind traceable to the tenets of Agni Yoga. These are: profound attentiveness, serene expectancy and perfect adaptability. When life is approached as a constant study and contemplation of archetypal symbols, whose meanings are to be revealed in all of life events and circumstances, the intuitive sense is unleashed and developed, not as an irrational regression to a naive worldview, but as a trans-rational “re-enchantment” of life itself, so much needed in our current post-modernly deconstructed world.

How to develop the intuition, from unreliable “gut feelings” and feeble hunches, to a stable and full expression of our innate capacity to speak the “language of the heart,” the grammar of symbols, is the subject of an introductory guide to Agni Yoga originally written by Vicente Beltrán-Anglada (1915-1988).

Introduction to Agni Yoga


I hope that this first English translation, edited and enhanced with illustrated appendices, may be as useful to others as it has been for me to complete and publish.

José Becerra



“It sounds like a redundancy to speak of union through synthesis, but it is not so. It is union through identification with the whole — not union through realization or through vision. Mark well this distinction, for it holds the secret of the next step for the personalities of the race. The Bhagavad Gita gives us primarily the key to the yoga of devotion. Patanjali teaches us the yoga of the mind. In the Gospel story we have the portrayal of realization, but the key or the secret of identification is still withheld. It lies in the custody of a few in this integrating group of mystics and knowers and will be brought out into manifestation in the furnace of their own experience and thus given to the world. But the time is not yet. The group must grow in strength and knowledge and in intuitive perception.” – ATreatise on White Magic by Alice A. Bailey (p. 429)

This Full Moon period in the sign of Leo may be a good time to ponder on “the key or secret of IDENTIFICATION.” Leo’s keynote, I Am THAT I Am, may prove useful in approaching the new Yoga of SYNTHESIS, Agni Yoga. The Tibetan Master has associated the revelatory Practice of the PRESENCE, or Agni Yoga, with the technique to dispel illusion by the development of the intuitive sense.

“In the (Roerich) book Agni Yoga, some of the teaching to be given has filtered through but only from the angle of the will aspect. No book has as yet made its appearance which gives in any form whatsoever the Yoga of Synthesis.” (ibid)

We invite the English-speaking esoteric community to read and study this new book introducing the Fiery Yoga of Synthesis from a Second Ray perspective. Beltrán-Anglada was an accepted disciple in training for the third initiation of Transfiguration. His Master asked him to draft and publish an introductory guide on Agni Yoga from the teachings received in the Ashram. The first Spanish edition of this book was published in 1981.

Vicente Beltrán-Anglada’s work represents the first time that the spiritual Hierarchy has authorized the original use of the Spanish language to publish its teachings. The writings of H. P. Blavatsky and A. A. Bailey were originally published in English. H. Roerich’s work was originally published in the Russian language. Beltrán-Anglada was preceded by the Spaniard Francisco Brualla, who moved to Argentina to conduct his Hierarchical service. However, Brualla did not leave any public and personal testimony of his accepted discipleship experience. That responsibility corresponded to, and was accomplished by, Vicente Beltrán-Anglada.

As a witness of the Light and in the service of the Plan,

José Becerra

PS: The Fifth Addendum

Roerich’s Agni Yoga (Revised)

The purpose of this fifth addendum to the recently published translation of Vicente Beltrán Anglada’s Introduction to Agni Yoga is twofold. First, to provide a curated compilation of essential elements in Helena Roerich’s Agni Yoga. Second, to assist the reader in drawing contrasts and parallels between the VBA (2nd Ray) and the HR (1st Ray) approaches to the fiery Yoga of Synthesis. Appendix B (Agni Yoga and the Practice of the Presence) already provides the reader with a similar reference in regard to Alice A. Bailey’s approach to Agni Yoga.


Integration Formulas and Identification Functions

Integration Formulas and Identification Functions

Teachings on Initiation, Formula Three
(“…the seed of all philosophies…”):

“There is that which transmutes knowledge into wisdom within a flash of time; there is that which changes sensitivity into love within an area of space; there is that which alters sacrifice into bliss where neither time nor space exists.”

Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. II

I. Math background [adapted from Wikipedia/calculus]

In mathematics, a function is a formal statement defining how the elements of one domain are mapped into another. For example, the expression f(x)=x+2 describes a function, f, that relates a number, x, with the results of an operation, x+2. Thus, an input of 3 is related to a value of 5, and can be expressed as f(3)=5.

The properties of functions may be further described with the tools of differential and integral calculus. The word “calculus” stems from the nascent development of mathematics: the early Greeks used pebbles arranged in patterns to learn arithmetic and geometry, and the Latin word for “pebble” is “calculus,” a counting unit.

Calculus is built on two major complementary ideas, differentiation and integration. Differential calculus “derives” the instantaneous rate of change of a mathematical function’s value with respect to changes in the input variable. Such “derivative” can be illustrated by the slope of a function’s graph. For instance, speed is the “instantaneous rate of change” of the “difference quotient” of distance over time.


Integral calculus, on the other hand, is an extension of the concept of a sum (Greek letter Sigma). The process of finding integrals is called integration and is used to find a measure of totality, such as an area. For instance, the area under a speed function curve represents the spatial distance traveled in a given time interval.

\int_a^b f(x)\, dx

II. Integration Formulas and Identification Functions on the Path of Return to the Source:


Identity (I am):1 = 1I am =
all things
I am ONE
with everything
Source (THAT):1-1 = 0THAT =
That is “NO thing”

There is THAT which:

TransmutesKnowledgeWisdomFlashTimeLightManasRight Relations
TransformsSensitivityLoveAreaSpaceLoveBuddhiGood Will
TransfiguresSacrificeBlissInfinityBeingLifeAtmaWill to Good

F(knowledge) = Wisdom
[past + present + future] ~ infinitely small measure of TIME [“flash”]

F(sensitivity) = Love
 [group consciousness] ~ infinitely great measure of SPACE

F(sacrifice) = Bliss
[Logoic Purpose] ~ Unfathomable Monadic PRESENCE

III. Agni Yoga: GROUP Revelation of the Purpose (THAT)

 A. The (manifest) UNI-VERSE is derived by DIFFERENTIATION.

 B. The SOURCE of All is known by (Monadic) INTEGRATION .

am the ONE,
Begotten by the ZERO,
Differentiated into INFINITY,
Integrated into the conscious SYNTHESIS
Of LIGHT, and LOVE and LIFE,
For the GLORY of the ONE.


The Gayatri

N. Roerich's Bridge of Glory

O Thou Who givest sustenance to the universe,
From Whom all things proceed,
To Whom all things return,
Unveil to us the face of the true Spiritual Sun
Hidden by a disc of golden Light
That we may know the Truth
And do our whole duty
As we journey to Thy sacred feet.

[Originally written in 2006]

Mathematical Approach to Spiritual Discernment

Mathematical Approach to Spiritual Discernment [ © 1997]

A Mathematical Approach to Spiritual Discernment

by José Becerra

The scientific method is a recursive process of inductive and deductive reasoning whereby we observe, infer and make statistical comparisons in order to assess causation. In the inductive phase, structured observations lead to explanatory models of reality. In the deductive phase, these models are used to predict expected observations. Discrepancies between the expected and the actual observations are used to refine the explanatory model(s) leading to subsequent predictions and observations.

This scientific process of inquiry can also be described in terms of the spiritual disciplines of Observation, Recognition and Revelation. We train ourselves in the discipline of spiritual observation in order to recognize patterns of events in life. These creatively discovered or “discerned” patterns “reveal” causal or synchronistic relationships among events to be tested by future experimentation.

The fundamental context of any observation, as experienced by ordinary human consciousness, is dual. The very act of observing defines the basic duality of self (Observer) and the not-self (observed). Moreover, ordinary observations are always reducible to simple statements of empirical truth or falsity.

If we assume that Truth, Goodness and Beauty are absolute attributes of Reality, then a scientific observer is constantly faced with decisions to accept or reject the truth, goodness or beauty of inferences drawn on evidence produced by the act of observation. The four possible options may be portrayed thus:


If an observer always accepts true propositions [Te=0], we conclude that such observer has perfect sensitivity to ascertain the Truth. Likewise, if an observer always rejects false propositions [Fe=0], we conclude that such observer has perfect specificity to ascertain Falsity. An observer with both perfect sensitivity and perfect specificity has attained  perfect spiritual discernment: a very significant milestone in the evolution of human consciousness on Earth. It should be noted that such attainment would imply an unfathomable perfection to the ordinary rational mind, a division by zero. Spiritual disciplines define this stage as having attained true harmlessness: “perfect poise, a completed point of view and divine understanding.”

Short of this attainment, imperfect spiritual discernment may be mathematically defined as the ratio of two proportions: first, the proportion corresponding to correctly accepting true statements [Tc/(Tc+Te)]; and second, the proportion corresponding to incorrectly accepting false statements [Fe/(Fe+Fc]. This ratio may called the Discriminant Ratio (DR).

The greater the difference between Truth and Falsity in a given empirical proposition, the easier it would be to develop cognitive skills of adequate sensitivity and specificity to discern between them.

sensitivity vs. specificity in variant search
Source: https://www.genomenon.com/blog/machine-learning-enhances-specificity-of-variant-search/

More commonly, however, in situations where the difference between Truth and Falsity is small, the observer needs to optimize the relationship between sensitivity and specificity in order to minimize errors of judgment.  Many spiritual disciplines encourage the practice of “evening reviews” in which the observer reviews the experience of the day. One practical aspect of this systematic exercise is to empirically ascertain the DR applicable in different situations. The end of cycles or projects may also afford unique opportunities to brood on these transcendental matters.

Short of the state of relative perfection, human consciousness relies on probability statements to quantify the uncertainty or doubt inherent in decisions made with imperfect empirical knowledge. Although gambling has been documented as early as in the Gambler’s Lament of the Rig-Veda, it was not until the late 17th and early 18th centuries that the mathematical theory of probability was first developed and established. To date, no consensus exists in regard to the subjective or objective nature of probability statements. However, for the purpose of this essay, probability will be defined in its subjective dimension as the degree of an observer’s belief in the truth or falsity of a given proposition.

The foremost exponent of the subjective approach to probability has been Thomas Bayes (1707-1761).  Spiritual discernment, as previously defined in terms of the DR, may be mathematically related to the observer’s beliefs by a derivation of Bayes’ Theorem of conditional probabilities:

(Precedent Belief) x (Discriminant Ratio) = Subsequent Belief

Belief is an attitude of mind in regard to explanatory models of reality. Beliefs also influence the way we structure consciousness to ascertain “facts.” Beliefs, in the Bayesian sense, are attitudes that can be evaluated in a continuous scale from zero (meaning impossible) to 1 (meaning certainty). Short of perfect convictions (i.e., beliefs with values of either 1 or 0), human consciousness relies on empirical evidence tested against models of reality to render judgments about events and their circumstances. This is the epistemological basis of the scientific method.

When it is “reasonable” to believe in a “probable” cause? Is credible, preponderant or “clear and convincing evidence” enough to ascertain truth, or should we believe something only when it is “beyond reasonable doubt”? These are instances in the field of law where these considerations are also relevant.

The scientific method is useless wherein certainty reigns. If a group of people is definitely convinced about the falsity of a proposition (precedent belief = 0), no empirical evidence or test whatsoever could possibly be produced to change their minds (subsequent belief = 0). This explains why ecclesiastical authorities would refuse to even look into Galileo’s telescope in the Middle Ages. History has proved them wrong but their action was consistent with Bayes Theorem. Likewise, there are people today who deny any truth in alternative healing, astrological influences or extrasensory perception. They may be right or wrong, but scientific evidence would prove them nothing because, in their minds, such events cannot possibly happen! Period.

The usefulness of the Bayes approach may also be illustrated by the analysis of the extreme attitudes of credulity and skepticism. The gullible attitude of mind leads to indiscriminate acceptance of both true and false propositions. The precedent belief is set high and the sensitivity far surpasses the specificity (rendering the DR close to 1). On the other hand, the skeptical attitude of mind leads to indiscriminate rejection both false and true propositions. The precedent belief is set low and the specificity far surpasses the sensitivity (rendering the DR close to 1). In both cases the individual lacks spiritual discernment (DR=1) and does not benefit much from empirical evidence  “Tested” beliefs would just mirror preconceived ones. Not much has been learned from the observation process.

The observer needs to constantly calibrate the DR or spiritual discernment according to the circumstances at hand. These circumstances include both the past experience of the observer and the context of the events. In some circumstances, an experienced observer may also rely more on precedent beliefs than on “partial” or “biased” empirical evidence. But there is a well-known danger in taking the position that “the empirical evidence is wrong and I am right.” The difference between a fanatic and an expert is, in a sense, very simple: both have the same attitude of mind, but one is supported by the Truth and the other is not. Many have lost their way by their inability to discern this subtle but most vital difference.

The greatest practical usefulness of the Bayesian approach and the conventional scientific method is reserved for agnostic observers. For an agnostic observer, the precedent belief in a proposition is defined by a 50:50 chance. According to the Bayes’ Theorem (2), if such an Observer is faced with scientific evidence that favors one of two choices by a 99:1 margin (DR=99), then the agnostic individual is entitled to believe in the proposition with a 99% chance of being correct ([1:1] x [99:1] = [99:1]). Further scientific evidence may always adjust, or even reverse, such decision though.

As we grow in the experience of Truth, Goodness and Beauty, we learn to scientifically and spiritually discern the better from the worse in events and circumstances. We grow in humility as each new “conviction” opens unplowed fields of uncertainty. We also learn that the better of today may be the worse of tomorrow. We may thus grow in tolerance and compassion towards those who hold today our beliefs of yesterday, as we also grow in recognition of those who know today what we may believe tomorrow. And so on, until we truly know.

Participatory Observation

Participatory Observation [ © 1997]

Participatory Observation: the Discipline of Spiritual Freedom


José Becerra

Re-cognition of our spiritual essence may be the very original purpose of human existence. The seemingly perfect but flowerless bliss of pure Being is incomplete without the fruits of experience. The “descent” from pure subjectivity to objective manifestation provides the means to consummate unconscious bliss into recognizable, and thus necessarily conscious, experiences.

The “original sin” may well be represented by the “descent” from the blissful realm of Being to the painful realm of ex-peri-ence (i.e., beyond the peri-meter of pure essence). Somehow, we lost our “freedom of being” to become “enslaved” into the wheels of experience. But why does experience need to be painful and slavering?

We will attempt to demonstrate that the answer to this fundamental question of human existence is related to two key questions about cognition (i.e., epistemology): 1) how do we conceive the world? and, 2) what is the structure of thought through which we relate to the world?

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (sutras = threads), “the earliest known systematic statement of the philosophical insights and practical psychology that define yoga,”(1) may shed some light as we attempt to answer these fundamental questions. By “yoga” we mean “a system that ‘yokes’ one’s consciousness to a spiritually liberating discipline.”(1)

Desire for conscious experience seems the logical initial point to understand the problem of human existence. Desire is a legitimate urge to seek objective manifestation, provided that we do not “forget” who we are and why are we here for. However, true recognition is actually impossible without first forgetting our true identity and purpose. Once we forget, we lose our spiritual point of reference and we are doomed to misconceive reality as it is misrepresented to us through our senses. Misconceptions give rise to mis-identifications, the most significant of which is the illusion of separateness. Mis-identifications will inevitably take us to that “valley of sorrows” that many call the human experience.

Thus, the answer to how do we conceive the world may be that, until we recognize who are we and our purpose in life, desire for experience confounds our judgment producing misconceptions. Misconceptions lead us to mis-identifications that enslave us in pain and isolation. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, “an economical set of mnemonic pronouncements”(1) on the discipline of spiritual freedom, not only offer this diagnosis of the problem, but also provide a thorough analysis of the “structure of thought” that perpetuates such painful state of affairs.

Let us visualize the number 8 as a two-wheel engine: a bottom wheel turning clockwise and engaged with a top wheel turning counter-clockwise. The bottom wheel is comprised of two halves: the lower one contains memories and the higher one contains mental impressions. Likewise, the top wheel is comprised of two halves: the lower one contains the mental representation of actions and the higher one the emerging actions themselves. Finally, the point of engagement or “yoke” between these two wheels is the process of thinking, or thought, in an endless cycle of reciprocal causation with memories and actions.

We may refer to this pictorial representation of the number “8,” so significant in the Hermetic literature (23 = 8, Hermes Trismegistus) as the “THOTH engine.” It is suggested that this metaphorical engine is symbolic of the “structure of thought” presented in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

We are all familiar with the expression “I think, therefore I am.” We suggest that this proposition is of impossible verification except for those initiated in the Science of Raja Yoga. To the ordinary consciousness Descartes’s proposition actually becomes “I thought, therefore I was.”

To the ordinary consciousness, it is the memory or synthetic recollection of thoughts that validates the “I” identity. We may remember who we were an instant ago, but we do not really know who we are right now.

Ordinary self-awareness is a succession of memory frames (i.e., fragments of experience) presented so fast to our consciousness as to give us the illusion of a movie-like continuity. The ordinary mind uses the THOTH engine to generate the mental impressions and memories that will eventually emerge as actions in the objective world. The very “habit of thinking not only generates but preserves memories.”(1) As in movie frames, the faster we run the engine the better will be the illusion of continuity. Thirty frames per second is all it takes for movie frames to be perceived as continuous by the ordinary brain. We constantly reconstruct who we think we are.

But, what if we decide to slow down the THOTH engine until we cannot only recognize the memory frames for what they are, but can actually bring the THOTH engine to a standstill? What if we accomplish the “cessation of the turnings of thought?” This is precisely the “discipline of freedom” suggested by the Sutras. We may thus become true participant Observers, fully integrated into the matrix of Being substanding reality, but isolated from ephemeral manifestations that enslave us. Patanjali refers to this hyper-conscious state of pure contemplation as “isolated unity.”(2)

We arrive at this isolated unity by reversing the mis-identification process initiated by desire. Patanjali proposes that a way to break the painful hold of desire is to use thought to experience and overcome the limitation of thought itself. We begin to accomplish this by the practice of discernment.

Discernment may be defined as the ability to correctly choose (i.e., inter-elect) among possible alternatives of action. The practice of the modern scientific method provides ample opportunity to engage in that prolonged mental concentration (i.e., meditation with seed) necessary to develop the discerning habit. And one of the major scientific breakthroughs coming from the field of quantum physics is the apparent effect of the (participant) observer in the process of observation itself (Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle).

Initially we practice self-defensive discernment as the immune system does: by discriminating between the self and the not-self, and keeping that information as cellular memory, called immunity, to be triggered by future events. Then, after much pain, we learn to discern between good and evil intentions behind all actions. But eventually we practice the supreme discernment: that between the Observer and the observed in the process of cognition itself. Thus is the ultimate re-cognition attained.

The practice of discernment is enhanced by becoming proficient in the complementary spiritual practices of dispassion and detachment. The three D’s which initiate us into the eight-fold discipline of spiritual freedom are: discernment (intellectual), dispassion (emotional) and detachment (physical). These three are the reverse images of the “passionate attachments” that ignorance (i.e., “forgetting” who we really are) begets.

Passionate attachments to seed-bearing memories drive our thoughts and actions. This is a crucial realization for us to understand our plight, and to appreciate our need for a spiritually liberating discipline. This eight-fold discipline of spiritual freedom is comprised of:

  1. Five Commandments (harmlessness, truthfulness, humility, continence and poverty).
  2. Five Rules (purification, serenity, fiery aspiration, spiritual understanding and consecrated devotion to the Soul).
  3. Right Posture.
  4. Right Rhythmic Breathing.
  5. Abstraction, or the withdrawal and subjugation of the senses.
  6. Concentration, fixing the mind upon a particular object.
  7. Meditation, or prolonged concentration.
  8. Contemplation (with or without seed), the capstone of the pyramidal discipline of spiritual freedom.

The liberated Prodigal Son, enriched by the Mother of experience, returns to the Father and says, “It is finished,” because the purpose of experience has been consummated.

Then, and only then, may the Observer assert the fact: I contemplate (past, present and future), therefore I AM! The Prodigal Son has thus given up all attachments. He has truly “for-given” because He was able to recognize His essential divinity in all. He has for-given the experience of pain, and transmuted it into conscious bliss, in obtaining His freedom.

Therefore, human life experienced in ignorance is necessarily painful and a true “valley of sorrows.” However, there is a way to discerningly garner the fruits of experience with dispassion and detachment. This is the Way of the Omniscient Observer Who, as an all-seeing eye, in “isolated unity,” recognizes His true Identity and makes it to the mountaintop of human attainment.

In the teaching of the Buddha, with its emphasis on the three D’s of the Way of Release, we have the preparatory method for the three I’s that the Way of the Christ reveals: individualism, initiation and identification.

“That great Individuality, the Christ, through the process of the five great Initiations, gave to us a picture of the stages and methods whereby identification with God can be brought about.” (From Bethlehem to Calvary [FBC], p.17)

The Way of the Christ is well represented by His own life story: 1) birth, 2) baptism, 3) transfiguration, 4) crucifixion and 5) resurrection/ascension. The Way of Release prepare us for these death-conquering events in our own life. Christ assured us that this is an attainable goal for us because “he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” (St. John, XIV, 12)

Such dramatic representation of spiritual recognitions was Christ’s task 2,000 years ago. The Christianity that we have come to know during this past “Age of the Fishes,” with the call for us to become “fishers of men,” is, however, a bridging religion. “Christianity is the religion of that transitional period which links the era of self-conscious individualistic existence to a future group-conscious unified world.” (FBC, p.18). Thus will (individual) Freedom in (group) Service be realized.

The future is now, and to resume His task in the “Age of the Water Carrier,” the Christ –the Lord Maitreya–  will reappear, overshadowed by His Brother –the Lord Buddha. “Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.” (St. Luke XXII, 10) Let us thus meet in the joy of Service!

1. Barbara S. Miller. YOGA: Discipline of Freedom. University of  California Press, 1996.
2. Alice A. Bailey. The Light of the Soul. Lucis Publishing Co., 1974
3. Alice A. Bailey. GLAMOUR: A World Problem. Lucis Publishing Co., 1978