The path of Christhood is not only the path of purification, it is also the path of power. In fact, it is the purification of the seeker’s inner and outer powers that constitutes the path. For within the human being lie vast territories of unexplored consciousness and power. Consequently the use and regulation of those powers are inherent in the aspirant’s training.
This Commandment is about the regulation and conservation of all the physical powers of the human being, without which he cannot successfully pursue the greater life of the Spirit. Otherwise as he travels his way along the path, conflict between his higher and lower self, and his inner and our life, will be produced–conflict that can psychically tear him apart and plunge him into the Abyss. This is not poetry! Seeker, beware!
Why sexual power?
Why, if this Commandment is about the bodily powers of the aspirant, does it only mention the sexual power? The answer is that, for most people, the strongest energy is sexual energy. Even more than that, it is the deepest-rooted energy, dominating life even in the plant level. Have you ever heard of anyone becoming psychotic from hearing bad words or bad music? eating bad food? meeting bad people? smelling bad smells? feeling discomfort or even pain? seeing ugliness? No. But untold millions are psychologically damaged to some degree by forms of sexual impact. Many children suffer from severe shock by the mere observation of sexual acts. And a tremendous amount of these damages are buried deep in the subconscious. No faculty so profoundly affects us as that of sex–both active and passive. Sex should be treated as cautiously as nuclear weapons, for no force devastates as many lives as does sex.
On the practical side, it is seen that if sexual energy and impulse can be controlled, then all energies can be controlled.
Sexual energy is not the foundational energy of life. Rather, all of the powers of the human body are derived from etheric energy. Just as in industry many end-products may be made from a single basic material, so the ether is the basic material from which various energies are formed and function. Etheric energy is the essential energy which motivates and bonds atoms and sub-atoms (nuclear physicists are only just now discovering this, but occultists have known it for centuries). Lower forms of etheric energy are taken into the human body by eating, but higher forms can also be absorbed into the human body through the psychic centers called chakras in the yogic tradition. In the East, this basic energy is called prana.
Etheric energy takes various forms, depending upon the situation and through which organ the energy is radiated. The most “physical” form of etheric energy is replicative energy; it is this form of ether that is used for the maintenance of the physical body. Physical growth and healing both draw upon the replicative form of the ether.
A further subdivision of replicative ether is recognized as “sexual” energy, which is used for the production of more physical bodies. Commonly “sex” is thought of as referring merely to sexual intercourse, but the esoteric reference is much broader, because the source of sexual energy is recognized. Because the replicative ether is the foundational energy which most commonly manifests as sexual energy, it is evident that he who purifies and intelligently controls the etheric-sexual force then becomes the master of his entire physical entity.
Why, though, does the Commandment say “adultery”? To those of material consciousness, the confinement of sexual intercourse to the married state is the highest level of energy control attainable. But to the esoteric sight of the Essenes, and later the Christians, the term “adultery” was–and is–an esoteric term signifying the outward dissipation and the weakening of the etheric energies which should be internalized, conserved, disciplined, and directed upward. This is why the term “adulterated” is used in conjunction with food; in this usage, the term means that something has been added so that the original is weakened through dilution or dissipation. Therefore in ancient Christian writings there was frequent reference to “fornication” and “adultery” to indicate the wasting or weakening of inner powers of all sorts. This is why some ancient Christian Gnostic writings say that the soul falls into the material plane and “goes about committing fornication.” “Fornication” is the outer expending of vital energies by those not yet “wedded” to the divine Groom, the Higher Self or God. “Adultery” is the same folly.
So, in brief, we can say that “adultery” is the weakening, misuse, or wrong expenditure of energies. To use our physical, mental, and spiritual powers for wrong or foolish ends is adultery. To strive for any goals not in keeping with our true nature and destiny as sons of God is adultery.
Keeping in mind the true foundation of sexual energy, we can now consider the sexual aspect of etheric replicative energies, since sexual energy is the most abused of personal energies in our modern society–so much so that the misuse of sex has come to be considered the proper use.
Our esoteric anatomy
It is elementary knowledge that the centers of highest awareness in the human being are in the brain, at the top of the spinal cord which is referred to in Christian esotericism by the Biblical expressions “the King’s Highway” and “the Highway of Holiness.” Conversely, the points of lowest awareness are at the base of the spinal “highway” in the perineum and genital areas.
In the levels of astral energy, the spinal column is like a thermometer gauging the evolutional level of the human being. The higher the main mass of energies are accumulated along the spine in the reservoirs (chakras), the higher is the level of the individual’s evolution. Noble words and even noble deeds cannot belie the testimony of the (astral) spinal thermometer. Rather than pride ourselves on outward sophistications or supposed “spiritual attainment,” we should study well to determine the level upon which we really live. The Bauls, an esoteric sect of Hinduism, challenges its members with the query: “In what station are you dwelling?”
Solomon and Sheba
Everything in the universe is polarized, including our own energy levels. The hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal glands and brain comprise one pole of our magnetic energy existence, and the base of the spine and genitals are the opposite pole. The top pole is positive, and symbolized as masculine: “Solomon.” The bottom pole is negative, and symbolized as feminine: “the Queen of the South.”
In I Chronicles 9:1-12, the story of Solomon and the Queen of the South (Queen of Sheba, or Ethiopia) is symbolic of the lifting up of the sexual energies into union with (and within) the occult centers within the brain and its astral and causal counterparts. When this union is accomplished, the Queen returns home instructed in wisdom–that is, functioning under the inwardly empowered will for the exclusive purpose of divine unfoldment–no longer wild and barbaric or challenging the authority of the King On High. This is the primal path of the Christ, and it must also be the unswerving path of those aspiring to Christhood–and beyond.
It is obvious, then, that processes such as meditation, worship, and prayer polarize our energies and awareness to flow upward into the heights of positive consciousness, whereas sexual excitation and activity polarize our energies and awareness to flow downward into the depths of negative ego-and-matter-centered consciousness. The one is life–resurrection from the dead–and the other is death itself, “for to be carnally [fleshly] minded is death” (Romans 8:6).
The Queen of the South
Regarding those who use sexual power for short-sighted pleasure, Jesus had the following words, comprehensible only to those of inner vision: “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (Matthew 12:42).
At the end of each lifetime, when the spirit departs from the body, it carries the subtle energy (astral and causal) bodies along with it. In a sense, the spirit’s “energy suitcase” is “packed” for the journey into other realms of existence before its next return to human embodiment. This process is experienced as a summing up of the person’s life. Not only is the whole life reviewed visually, insight and commentary are given at the same time by the higher self.
If the subtle powers of the individual have been habitually directed inward and upward, the gathering and withdrawal of the energies is easy and pleasant. If, however, they have been habitually directed outward and downward, and grounded in the lower centers of awareness, there can be great conflict and pain–a very real “death struggle.” In such a case, as the sexual and life powers are forcibly drawn upward “against the grain” of the spinal highway, intense burning pain is produced from the astral friction, often giving rise to the belief that the person is experiencing the fires of hell and is damned. Fortunately this is not true, but the individual does not know it! Moreover, his folly at abusing his sexual energy becomes self-evident, and in this way the Queen of the South in her rising up condemns “the men of this generation”–those who have expended their sexual power for momentary pleasure in this temporal world rather than employing them in the higher, eternal realms–for having used her for gross enjoyment instead of for the gaining of wisdom.
The law is simple: we cannot serve God and materiality (Matthew 6:24); and the etheric sex force is the coin of our service. Philosophy and high-flown talk can be readily engaged in by the sexually dissolute, but true knowledge of God and communion with the Supreme is utterly impossible for them.
The purpose of sex
Sex has a twofold function, one primary and one peripheral. The primary function–through the secretions of the sexual glands–is the nourishing and developing of the brain and central nervous system and their corresponding levels in the subtle bodies.
Male sperm is composed of the basic materials of life, including prostaglandins, vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and proteins. If sperm is not ejected from the body, its components are reabsorbed into the body and greatly enhance its functions and energies. Moreover, the testicles also manufacture male hormones (androgens), including testosterone, and the hormone known as Inhibin. A lack of these hormones results in susceptibility to cancer–no doubt because they empower the total immune system. If these hormones are not ejected, they go directly into the blood stream, and are carried to every part of the body. They especially stimulate the pituitary gland and the creative centers of the brain. Prostaglandins are vital to the maintenance of correct blood pressure, and profoundly affect the entire body.
The materials which compose the seminal fluid come directly from the blood. For this reason from ancient times it was stated that the semen was distilled blood, and was therefore the most powerful and vital substance within the body (many alchemical texts that speak of distillation are referring to conservation of semen in a symbolic manner). From this we see that seminal loss is a drain upon the entire body, including the “life” of the blood. Conservation of semen is thus conservation of life.
The procreation of children is only a peripheral, optional, function of the glandular secretions. These two are the only “lawful” physiological functions of sex: the nourishing and developing of the brain and central nervous system (and their corresponding levels in the subtle bodies) and the procreation of children. The first function is required of all, the second one is an option to be exercised intelligently and responsibly.
Sex is a process for providing new bodies for those spirits who need them in their upward striving along the path of evolution, and sex should be used for that purpose under the intelligent will of those who have prepared themselves for that purpose.
Those who think they can indulge in sex for mere pleasure (“recreational sex”), without any real harm accruing to them, should consider well the fact that sex dims the consciousness because it shifts a portion of the ether away from spiritual activity to physical activity and expends a tremendous amount of high-level energy. Unhappily, the sex addict is as heedless and rejective of the consequences of his addiction as is the drug addict.
In procreation, the large amounts of etheric energy are used as a pathway by the incarnating spirit down to the physical plane and as the basic building block to begin the construction of the physical body. In irresponsible sexual expression, neither goal can be satisfied because neither purpose is present, and the result is simply physical and etheric loss. The consequences are not pleasant: just as one can attract chickens by haphazardly scattering chicken feed, so one can attract negative and vampiristic astral plane entities by scattering one’s sexual energy. These astral plane creatures are drawn to absorb the wasted sexual energy of the human being, and, if they can, they will attempt through subliminal suggestion and urging to induce further wasting of sexual energies, thus beginning a cycle of sexual slavery that is very damaging, not only to the person but to those around him.
As the Talmud says: “There is a small organ in the human body which is always hungry if one tries to satisfy it, and always satisfied if one starves it.” And Gandhi wrote: “The scientists of old have put great value upon the vital fluid and they have insisted upon its strong transmutation into the highest form of energy for the benefit of society.” Gandhi was not alone in his opinion. Plato, Leonardo daVinci, George Bernard Shaw, Sir Isaac Newton, Immanuel Kant, Ludwig von Beethoven, and Freud held–and practiced–the same principle. Those who feel the same way are therefore in the company of the great.
Freud taught that neurasthenia, a nervous disorder popularly known as “nervous breakdown,” could be caused by frequent sexual activity. It is not commonly (and inconveniently) known, but Sigmund Freud was a strict celibate. He held the opinion (based on personal experience and observation) that sexual activity was incompatible with the accomplishing of any great work. Since he felt that the great work of creating and establishing psychotherapy was his destiny, he told his wife that they could no longer engage in sexual relations. From the age of forty until his death Freud was absolutely celibate “in order to sublimate the libido for creative purposes,” according to his biographer Ernest Jones.
All that has been quoted was written for the general public. How much more so, then, does it apply to those seeking to succeed in the true alchemy of transmuting the “base metal” of human consciousness into the “gold” of Divine Consciousness?
Wisdom of the ancients
The ancients said that serpents had a jewel in their heads that could confer immortality. Those whose life and understanding were merely physical, proceeded to kill snakes and cut open their heads to obtain the jewels. And, behold, they found no such jewels! But the wise knew that “the serpent” is the sexual power, whose “head” is the brain, and the jewel is the pineal gland that has been fully awakened and empowered through the reversal of the sexual current. The Pharaohs of Egypt wore circlets bearing cobras with fully extended hoods. These cobra images were worn at the center of the forehead to indicate that the sex force had been lifted up and made to enliven all the occult centers of the brain (whose two lobes were signified by the cobra’s spread hood), especially the “third eye” pineal gland. The same experience can be ours.
Read the next article in Gnosis of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes: Thou shalt not steal.