Spiritualizing Lust: A Dangerous Trap in Alchemical and Overall Gnostic Work
During his lifetime, Samael Aun Weor has written extensively about the sexual aspect of the spiritual work – the aspect related to sexual alchemy, about a correct usage of the sexual energy and transmutation, and about sexuality in general and why is it so important for spiritual awakening. The Gnostic teachings of Samael Aun Weor have sexuality and the sexual alchemy very emphasised, which is said to have been one of the main mission of Samael – to reveal publically the key of sexual alchemy. This key was already available to the public even before Samael, but what was lacking before him was profound psychological aspect which is also necessary for awakening, and which he included in his teachings, to eventually come up with a system for awakening through the application of the “Three keys” – the death (of the egos), the birth (construction of the higher spiritual bodies through sexual alchemy), and the sacrifice (for humanity).
Even though Samael spoke about alchemy a lot, especially in his earlier books, he has also put a great emphasis on the psychological work, about which he talked in great lengths in his books and public talks. He also warned students that alchemy is not to be taken lightly, that due to its power it can be like a double-edged sword, and that a certain comprehension of the inner work is needed before starting it. However, because of the style of his writing and because many people didn’t explore his teachings enough to get the whole picture, many have formed an impression of alchemy as a ‘spiritual’ replacement of lustful tendencies.
While browsing through some online Gnostic groups, I noticed a large amount of memes that are sexually graphic, all under the pretext of “alchemy”. It is obvious that many people are making this mistake, seeing alchemy in a way that doesn’t differ a lot from normal lustful passions, except that the end goal is not to ejaculate. However, there is much more to alchemy than just being a sex without orgasm – it is a spiritual practice that is based on true love, and that utilizes this love and the spiritual longings to be one with the Being for the awakening of Kundalini, for the death of the ego, for the birth of the spiritual bodies, and for the refinement of one’s own inner nature. This refinement comes with the inner work as a whole; it cannot be achieved without the mystical death that is done from moment to moment, throughout the whole day. With the Gnostic work, the inner nature changes as the “rough stone is chiselled into the smooth cubic stone”. This process of the chiselling of the stone (the stone representing one’s own inner structure and energies) would change the very nature of the person: their energies would soften up, their spirit would become stronger, they would be more loving, compassionate, and spiritual.
However it seems to me that this are not the changes that many people experience with their inner work, and the reason for this is because many see the sexual alchemy as a replacement of a regular sex life, or in other words the way they look at it is very similar to common sexual intercourse but with a good sounding spiritual overtone, and in many cases this overtone is not even spiritually sounding, but rather it is related to a psychic power that can seemingly be acquired through alchemy. The latter is of course very misleading, because alchemy is not about gaining power, but about moving closer to one’s true self.
This wrong approach to alchemy was also mentioned by one of the Gnostic teachers when he said how people were asking him for advice with alchemy and telling him the way that they are practicing it. What they described does not really have much to do with spiritual alchemy at all. It’s understandable that in the beginning it can be challenging for many students who wish to practice alchemy to make that shift from common sexual intercourse to alchemical. It is also clear that many students do have longings for the spiritual awakening, but the proper use of sex was simply not told to them by their teachers, and by this I am not only referring to avoiding orgasm, but to the overall Gnostic work. It can also be that the proper explanation was given to them, but the need for lustful satisfaction is so strong that they cannot and don’t want to give up such tendencies, which they then channel to what they believe is a sexual alchemy.
It is important to understand that the Gnostic teachings of Samael are not akin to Tantric schools or practices that are famous in the West, and which focus only on pleasure, or to prolonged orgasms etc. Even though Samael did speak volumes about the sexual alchemy, due to which some of his statements could have been taken out of context (especially by those who are not ready for the spiritual work), there is a system of development in his teachings that has to be taken into account when considering whether to start practicing this system of teaching.
The nature of lust is the opposite to that which is spiritual, and even though the energy of lust may in some cases ‘soften up’ due to alchemy, lust will remain what it is, and the way to deal with it is to let it go and to eliminate it with the help of the Being. Using the concept of alchemy as an excuse for having lustful fantasies is a mistake that keeps the aspirant in the state of self-deceit.
HDP, October 2020.