There is but one force in the entire universe. Originating in AIN SUPh AUR is the force that the old alchemists called VIRGIN SULPHUR (see same). This force, responsible for the movement behind all evolution, manifests through the human level of development as the procreative sex drive. It always creates, or procreates, something. When not used for idle creativity, or for repopulating the line of the species, it may be employed to further human evolution. Human personality is the distinctive individual quality with sufficient control of consciousness to direct that force to enhance awareness. When a certain level of awareness is achieved, sex for recreation, and in some cases even for procreation, comes to an end. Eastern occultists were aware of these facts thousands of years ago. Over a century ago Madame Blavatsky recorded this in The Secret Doctrine:
"The sexual relation they considered as a "Karma" pertaining only to the mundane relation of mankind, who is dominated by Illusion; a thing to be put aside, the moment that a person becomes "wise". They considered it a most fortunate circumstance if the Guru found in his pupil an aptitude for the pure life of Brahmacharya."1
All the esoteric cultures of the world have contained teachings to rechannel this reproductive force, through strict sexual continence, for evolution. Ancient European alchemists called this practice the Hermetic Seal. This pertained directly to the GLASS VESSEL (see same) in Hermetic Alchemy. Inside the Philosophic Egg the personal aura was magnetized by sexual continence, for a period, to match its luminosity with AIN SUPh AUR outside the Vessel. When the match is achieved, illumination expands the perception of awareness into the fourth dimension. This is the reference to ‘keeping the vessel tightly closed’ in all alchemical writings. Roger Bacon wrote in the Root of the World:
"The vessel being well and perfectly closed, and never so much as once opened till the perfection or end of the work; so that you see the vessel is to be kept closed, that the spirit may not get out and vanish. Therefore saith Rhasis, keep thy vessel and its junctures close and firm, for the conservation of the spirit. And another saith, close thy vessel well, and as you are not to cease from the work, or let it cool, so neither are you to make too much haste, neither by too great a heat, nor too soon opening of it. You must take special care that the HUMIDITY (see same), which is the spirit, gets not out of the vessel; for then you will have nothing but a dead body remaining, and the work will come to nothing. Socrates saith, grind it with the most sharp VINEGAR (see same), till it grows thick, and be careful that the vinegar be not turned into fume, and perish."2
The same author wrote in Chapter 5 of The Mirror of Alchemy:
"Therefore, if we intend to imitate NATURE (see same), we must have such a furnace like unto the Mountains, not in greatness, but in continual heat, so that the fire put in, when it ascends, may find not vent, but that the heat may beat upon the vessel being closed shut, containing in it the matter of the Stone."3
Socrates' reference to Vinegar is understood as that portion of the 'green fog', raw stage of the First Matter, turned clear (cleansed) through states of prolonged meditation. Without meditation the powers intensified may be for the worse rather than toward any will-to-good. The rechanneled reproductive force is a brute force with no conscience behind it save for the maturity of its channel. Of this Swami Vivekananda wrote in Raja-Yoga:
"The yogis claim that, of all the energies that are in the human body, the highest is what they call ojas. Now, this ojas is stored up in the brain, and the more ojas a man has, the more powerful he is, the more intellectual, the more spiritually strong. One man may express beautiful thoughts in beautiful language, but cannot impress people. Another man may not be able to give beautiful expression to his thoughts, yet his words charm; every movement of his is powerful. That is the power of ojas. The highest form of all the forces that are working in the body is ojas. You must remember that it is only a question of transformation of one force into another. The same force which is working outside as electricity or magnetism will be changed into inner force; the same force that is working as muscular energy will be changed into ojas. The yogis say that that part of the human energy which is expressed through sexual action and sexual thought, when checked and controlled, easily becomes changed into ojas; and since the Muladhara (chakra)guides these, the yogi pays particular attention to that center. He tries to convert all his sexual energy into ojas. It is only the chaste man or woman who can create ojas and store it in the brain; that is why chastity has always been considered the highest virtue. A man feels that if he is unchaste, his spirituality goes away; he loses mental vigor and moral stamina. That is why, in all the religious orders in the world which have produced spiritual giants, you will always find absolute chastity insisted upon. That is why there came into existence monks, who gave up marriage. There must be perfect chastity in thought, word and deed. Without it the practice of raja-yoga is dangerous and may lead to insanity. If people practice raja-yoga and at the same time lead an impure life, how can they expect to become yogis?"4
The reference to the Muladhara center is the Mars Chakra of astrology, and to Metal IRON (see same) of western alchemy. Suffice it to say here that Iron or the Mars Center is the reproductive center on the surface of the Glass Vessel. It has nothing to do with the reproduction of the line of the species so much as the reproduction of material bodies. It is the center that reproduces our bodily tissues at the cellular level. If we cut our finger, for example, the wound is healed and tissues cells restored by means of the reproductive force. The more of this force that is rechanneled through the practice of sexual economy, the faster the healing is affected. With prolonged storage of ojas, through Hermetic Seal (sexual abstinence), the reproductive center may build bodies to last hundreds, even thousands of years with no visible deterioration. Through the combined action of the other force centers or assemblage points on the Glass Vessel, a body may instantaneously disintegrate and re-integrate anywhere in this or other tangible worlds beyond the imagination of ordinary generic humanity. This is not sci-fi fantasy. There is no doubt that ojas, gathered within a vessel Hermetically Sealed, does increase the energy of mankind. Meditation with the spirit of right practice may avert an intensified dark power. The world has seen how powerful people in influential positions can wield a certain hypnotic daze over masses. Yet they were individuals who utilized principles of sexual continence. The Yaqui Knowledge referred to the effects of sexual continence as 'the glow of awareness.' May I strongly suggest the rereading of Chapter 4, 'The Glow of Awareness,' in the seventh book of that series, The Fire from Within. The following excerpts help develop the point here. His teachers, Don Juan and Don Genaro, are addressing Carlos Castaneda:
"I have always told you that sexual energy is something of ultimate importance and that it has to be controlled and used with great care. But you have always resented what I said, because you thought I was speaking of control in terms of morality; I always meant it in terms of saving and rechanneling energy..."5
"...to have sex is a matter of energy."6
"Through sexual energy, the Eagle bestows awareness. So when sentient beings are engaged in sexual intercourse, the emanations inside their cocoons do their best to bestow awareness to the new sentient being they are creating."7
"If warriors want to have enough energy to see, they must become misers with their energy."8
"There is nothing wrong with man's sensuality. It's man's ignorance of and disregard for his magical nature that is wrong. It's a mistake to waste recklessly the life-bestowing force of sex and not have children, but it's also a mistake not to know that in having children one taxes the glow of awareness."9
We do not become celibate by sheer conscious effort and will, however. When we begin fat-free diets for ourselves, do we not think constantly of food? So is it with sex. The problem with strict mandates concerning total celibacy in nunneries, monasteries and seminaries for priesthood is that they do not take into account that these drives are rooted in profoundly deep levels of the subconscious. Prayer does not alter these urges; hence the dismal results with participants taking premature oaths to total abstinence. Genuine sages know that if these urges still preoccupy the consciousness of an aspirant to the Alchemical Art, they are yet considered 'green apples' in want of maturity. When we slowly become less enamored with this world's illusion, sex becomes less important for recreation and stress release. It is a matter of developed awareness from the subconscious level. Sex's appeal wanes. Subconscious awareness grows with intensity after a long period in this life (or accrued through lives from previous incarnations) has been devoted to spiritual disciplines. After prolonged efforts with studies, meditations, prayers, sensible diets and genuine aspirations subconsciousness is embroiled by these inducements and deduces the zealous effort for reunion to be its course. Our priorities in life change radically. Sensual pursuits eventually become boring; hedonism is no longer fun. But it is not a moral issue, as Don Genaro intimated. Those of us who still invest a good deal of time and energy in the pursuit of sensual delights are not wrong or evil. We are still merely young. Realization, however, forces consciousness to adjust. With maturation of our awareness, we grow to understand the meaning of this world's illusion and our place in it. Steeped in illusion a consciousness needs sex, its by-product. Sex, like all other sensations, maintains the structure of this world’s illusion. A carousel of boring madness waxes since the desire for sensation can never be appeased. After a time, millenniums maybe, our spirit says – enough! It is then that our consciousness seeks Spiritual Alchemy or another of the many universal spiritual disciplines, and like the Prodigal Son, begins its Road of Return. Take heart, we have all eternity.
1 Blavatsky, Helena, The Secret Doctrine. 2 vols. Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1974, Vol. II, pg. 458.
2 Bacon, Friar Roger, The Root Of The World. Edmonds, WA: Alchemical Press, 1985, pg. 8.
3 Bacon, Friar Roger, The Mirror Of Alchemy. Edmonds, WA: Alchemical Press, 1992, pg. 16
4 Vivekananda, Swami, Raja-Yoga. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1982, pg. 63.
5 Casteneda, Carlos, The Fire From Within. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984, pg. 69.
6 Ibid., pg. 69.
7 Ibid., pg. 70.
8 Ibid., pg. 71.
9 Ibid., pg. 72.