Chapter 11

Sexuality and the Transmutation of Energy

The Psychology of Moral Sexuality

Rose strongly recommends celibacy as an essential aspect of the spiritual path, especially for younger men. There are a number of reasons for this: the conservation and transmutation of energy, the development of intuition, protection from psychic contamination, psychological honesty with oneself, lessening of projection onto life, less susceptibility to the hypnosis of Nature, the redirection of desire, the maintenance of one clear state-of-mind, freedom from the carnal ego, and to allow one to walk through the jungle of maya in a state of innocence and Grace. This message is a difficult one to accept and harder to heed. We have been so heavily programmed by a degenerate and spiritually impoverished civilization in regards to our fundamental assumptions about sexuality that it requires a radical shift in perspective to be able to confront one's massive, deep-rooted errors about sex and a courageous integrity to be willing to realign oneself with the truth.

The issue is not prudery vs. licentiousness. Sin and piety are on a lower level of spiritual maturity. On the Fourth Way, there is only foolishness and the rejection of foolishness. As Rose describes this posture of betweenness: "...greater still is he that is both pious and impious, and is neither" (Rose, 1975, p. 68). The question for the seeker of truth is simply: What is the truth about sex? What is sex for? What is life on Earth for? What is our role in the system of Nature? Is there an objective standard of correct sexuality according to the laws of Nature and Spirit, totally irrespective of social mores and personal desires (of suspect origin)? What actually occurs during sex? What are its consequences or price? How does sexuality relate to spirituality?

Obviously, sex is a major concern in most people's lives. It is frequently a source of problems, as any practicing psychotherapist can attest. That the very mention of sex, in all its variety, so readily prompts us to laugh, suggests the nervous discomfort underneath the "joy" that reveals our innate awareness of something about our sexual nature being frightfully, tragically wrong. Through rigorous analysis in looking for the common, underlying theme beneath all outer manifestations of suffering and its compensations, it is seen that most problems for the human being, both individually and collectively, can be directly or indirectly traced back to some violation of healthy, moral sexuality. Some examples:

  1. The pervasive economic, ecological, and social problems caused by over-population.
  2. Physical and neurological degeneration, as well as psychic damage, in self and offspring due to sexual excess.
  3. Unwanted children born into unhealthy relationships due to irresponsible sex and who later become troubled adults.
  4. Sexual abuse: child molestation, rape, pornography, other forms of criminal violence related to sex rage.
  5. Emotional suffering and even insanity in pathological relationships held together by desperate sex.
  6. War: due to all the reasons listed above plus general aggression stemming from perverted male ego of sexual domination and lust for power.

These questions about sex become an even more crucial concern for those consciously on a spiritual path. We find ourselves caught between two conflicting directions of exhortation. On one side is the nearly overwhelming indoctrination from all angles of convention urging one to engage in sex as much as possible, in as many ways as possible, as this is implied to be the foremost value in life. On the other is the stern warning in religious texts that the trap of uninhibited sex is a tantalizing lie leading only to death, while promising that the struggle to maintain chastity leads to Life. What does one do?

Rose advocates a serious, no-nonsense evaluation of sex, with all the glamour, passion, and identification removed from it. He wants us to take an honest look at what sex is and our real motives for engaging in it. He does not want people to decide what they want the truth to be about sex, based on their desires, conditioning, and sicknesses. He urges us to find out what the impartial truth about sexuality actually is, and to live it. This is a primary form of "becoming the truth."

The first step in objectively examining any experience is to be able to back away from it and see it impersonally without identification and the resultant blanket justification. This is particularly difficult with sex because we are programmed from birth to wholly identify with our bodies, and then later, with our role as proud, obedient breeders. We are further encouraged to develop tremendous egos of self-importance about our participation in this mechanical function. In addition, it is especially difficult to be detached about an experience of such intensity and self-consumption. Very few people ever stop in the midst of the frenzied mating ritual to ask themselves: "Why am I doing this?" Rose poses the question from a different, more ominous angle: "Do you enjoy–or are you enjoyed?" In other words: do we choose to have sex–or are we compelled? Does sex have us? Assuming, in our subjective experience, that we choose to have sex is like pretending we choose to breathe–try to stop.

We need to start our investigation with the basic fact: sex is for reproduction. It is Nature's method for the continuous creation of life-forms. On top of this given reality, the human being has added numerous other layers and categories of meaning; most of them false. All animals are programmed by Nature in their seasonal mating habits according to the requirements for the propagation of their species. They adhere to the standards set by Nature. People do not. We have casually decided or been diabolically seduced into remaking the rules of the game, before knowing what the Game here actually is. Rose has wondered at what point in history and why the human being began to violate its own intended programming and devised reasons and rates for sexual indulgence beyond what was necessary for replenishing the tribe.

Another major point that Rose wants to make is that it is as foolish to regard sex itself as evil, as that it is free candy from Heaven. Sex is not evil. Lust is evil, as are the projection and dishonest motivations that generate it. He mocks the conventional religious notion that "everything from the belly-button on up is God, and everything below is Satan". Rather, he feels it is more accurate to translate "Satan", in this sense, as "Nature" (especially the exaggerated, cruder promptings of our lower nature), in that Nature is a regulating force that is concerned primarily with promoting the welfare of the planet, not with furthering the spiritual ambitions of certain humans–who are willing to pay the price. He suggests we take a sober look, undistorted by the intoxication of "love," at our role in this jungle-terrarium called Earth.

Young women are programmed to be dazzled by the illusion of romance and vanity. Young men are programmed to be dazzled by the illusion of lust and conquest. Both are consumed. We are seemingly being bred here by some unknown agency with an equally unknown motive. It is very difficult to escape the production line. But short of this, we at least owe it to ourselves as "profaned animals" to get wise to our predicament and not kid ourselves about our status, and certainly to not identify with our captors.

Rose accuses us of assuming for ourselves too high a position in the scheme of Creation and regarding pleasure as a reward from heaven to evidence our divinity. He says the real picture is less flattering to us. He describes a different view than what we have wanted to believe, and with a twist: "Men and women chase each other–until Nature catches them both." In other words: we are not doing anything here. We are done to. Most people are manifestly content to remain as fertilizer in the organic parade of life, whilst imagining personal or cosmic importance to their daily drama. We happily assume we are the crown of God's Creation, when in fact we may be little more than manure in His garden.

Yet, Rose takes care not to criticize Nature. Whatever the master plan is for Earth, Nature is the caretaker evidently authorized by Whomever or Whatever created this place to make the system work expediently. He advises us to regard Nature as our friend and live in accordance with natural law, but to realize that the course and intent of Nature does not necessarily lead to a spiritual answer beyond life, while the strict identification with its processes may actually undermine, dilute, or divert one's efforts to attain such an answer.

As strongly as we are programmed by Nature and media alike to be attracted to sexual enjoyment, Rose cautions that "Pleasure is bait." It is a lure to keep us bound to the soil and our attention captivated by the Garden of Earthly Delights. In regards to our topic of self-definition, if sex and all its related values is where our life-energy primarily goes, we really have to ask ourselves if we have any honest reason to believe we are anything more than proud life-support systems for penises and vaginas. Rose urges us to aspire to more.

One reason why Rose thinks this is wise is that he is convinced there is something he calls a "death gene." Rather than evaluating sex from the vantage point of our experiencing the compulsion and thrill of it, Rose asks us to hold in mind the larger perspective of organic life consisting of successive generations of life-forms giving birth to new life-forms, while themselves dying into the process. He believes that built into the human animal is some dormant bit of programming that is triggered when the organism reproduces. This "gene" initiates the dying process, both in terms of physical deterioration and the psychological acclimation to eventual death, once the peak of vitality has been manifested in achieving reproduction. He describes our status:

We're like the grain in the field–you reach a certain age and the grain comes to a head, the leaves immediately get dry, and your purpose is arrived at. You realize what you are–you're a cornstalk that is produced and dies, that's all. (Rose, 1985, p. 229).

He feels it is best for the young seeker to delay this transition to extinction as long as possible and instead use one's vitality for a non-somatic function.

Rose does not mean to challenge the wisdom of Nature nor deny the proper place of procreation in the scheme of things. He does lament, however, the seeming absurdity and wastefulness of this system, especially as perverted by humanity. He removes the filter of romance through which we feel obligated to view life and sees the world as a sad place, where all creatures struggle and compete to survive, for no apparent purpose:

We look out the window at this point and observe the world as a sorrowful slaughterhouse; a place of blood and carnage, wherein the most noble efforts of Nature and the whole system of Tension leads and evolves only to semen, blood, and blockheads. (Rose, 1982, p. 138).

Rose asks us to wonder if it is worth our continued participation and sacrifice to perpetuate such a futile scenario:

Nature consumes us. There is no escape; everybody is going to die from some sort of natural consumption. It is hard to submit to events that perpetuate a balanced natural aquarium, that seemingly has no meaning. If we knew that this ferment of life led to a smile on some god's face, we might languish into death with some masochistic complacency. (Rose, 1985, p. 274).

Of course, the question that would remain irregardless is: Why create new life before knowing what life is, what it is for, and who the current, anonymous link in the organic chain is?

Arriving at an objective view of sex is most difficult, as our perception is so heavily colored by hormones and hypnosis. It is a pervasive influence. I once asked Rose if the sex-desire does eventually end and leave one alone. He replied: "Yes, it does–about 15 minutes before you die!" This, obviously, is not very helpful. The seeker of eternity cannot afford to wait that long before being able to see clearly and to start thinking seriously about something beyond one's organic fate.

This entire line of thinking being discussed here is plainly counter to the modern, Western philosophy of "go with the flow" in regards to sexual inclinations, in which resisting the pleasure impulse is considered anything from boring to pathological–as well as dangerously subversive. Rose acknowledges this powerful programming, which includes the subjective conviction that one is choosing to go with the flow and is enjoying it. However, he also asks us to note that the main flow goes down the drain and into the sewer. It is not good to become a part of that flow if one wishes to seek a destiny beyond the soil. Yet, there is hint of another that flows uphill. It is much harder to become a part of that flow–but that is our only hope.

In examining not only sex, but life itself, we see that it is essentially a game of energy, taking different forms for different purposes. There is not so much "sex energy" per se, as there is "vital energy" that can be manifested as sexuality, physical work, mental work, or spiritual work. While Rose says it is possible to tap into sources of energy beyond the individual once a level of superior virtue, maturity, and perspective has been attained (see section on betweenness), on the mundane level there is a finite amount of energy available for each person's use. And, like a bank account, it must be used judiciously, otherwise one's supply will run out. He says he does not want to beguile people with the term "divine energy", which might only reinforce the dishonest hope of being able to freely dissipate one's allotted amount and then regally petition the universe for more. The mechanism of betweenness runs parallel to this but contains the safeguard of egoless intention to make it operative. The attitude of willful consumption automatically stops it.

We get energy primarily from food, and some from the sun. The body converts this to somatic energy for physical work. With some effort, it can be transmuted to mental or neural energy. With a special kind of effort beyond that, it can become what Rose calls quantum energy, for use in spiritual work, healing, or transmission.

Sexual activity uses up a tremendous amount of energy. According to Nature's intent, life energy is projected into the male, who projects it into the female, who projects it into the children, who grow up to continue this cycle endlessly. This is appropriate, and flatters nor degrades no one. We are a part of a system that uses us. However, the common message in mystical and yogic teachings is that all energy used up in sex beyond what is required to fulfill Nature's purposes is wasted, and only strengthens the chains of maya that bind us to the Earth.

Due to some primal defect in the psyche that manically augments the already powerful Nature-programming towards reproduction, the young male especially is eager to pursue sex, further impelled by the ego of vanity, yet does not realize the price of over-indulgence until it is too late. This waste is not always obvious, as in youth the individual has large reserves of energy to utilize (or squander), and the price is at first paid on the subtler levels of potential before it becomes apparent on the gross level.

However, witnessing the escapades of those who live life in the fast lane, not heeding nor possibly even aware of the advice about conservation of energy, yet seemingly none the worse for wear, may perplex those who are making the deliberate effort to curb their libidinous excesses. I once asked Rose how some people who "play hard", e.g. a lot of sex, drugs, alcohol, dynamic foolishness, etc. can still seem so vital and alive. With a blend of foreboding and pity he replied: "A candle burns brightest before it goes out."

But, before one can aspire to a standard beyond the Nature-game, one must first manifest at least a level of morality that is equal to a barnyard animal. Rose disapprovingly notes that most humans do not. In terms of frequency and variation on natural function, people are generally stepping far outside the boundaries of their authorized programming. In addition to the mental work of objectively defining the true state of affairs in the relative world, another broad aspect of the search for truth is that of living truthfully. This means bringing one's actions into alignment with what one realizes to be right, according to an objective standard. Since there are so many factors involved in sexuality, including deeply personal psychological issues, the efforts to confront one's own sexual inclinations, and then to act with resolve on one's intuitive convictions about the matter is a major phase of the Work–and a significant measure of the sincerity of one's commitment to the path. Supposedly, the Buddha even claimed that the complex work of overcoming the carnal mind and attaining true virtue is 99% of the spiritual path.

One difficulty the seeker will encounter in thus determining the true nature of sexuality is that society's current standard-bearers of validity about subjective matters–the psychology profession–do not have a clue as to the reality of their subject, yet we have been conditioned to trustingly look to presumed authority to gauge what is right and wrong. This is a deadly mistake in regards to something as crucial to the spiritual life as sexuality. This is also a large part of what Rose has been referring to in his repeated tirades against the popular tendency of attempting to define truth by democratic vote, and then the institutionalizing of this belief-state into the officially sanctioned facade of professional authority.

Rose is quite adamant in his contempt for the sexual standard promoted by the mainstream mental health profession in the West and its reliance upon the bell-shaped curve of convention to determine what is correct behavior, regardless of its consequences. He counters this by stating: "It does not matter if 90% of all dogs have fleas or ticks–this should not legislate for all dogs that fleas and ticks are either normal, natural, or divinely programmed for dogs to have" (Rose, 1981, p. 17). It does not matter what the majority of people are doing. The masses of humanity may well be hopeless in any given lifetime. The individual of intuition cannot afford to wait for 51% of the population to agree with him before affirming what is true.

Rose feels the current trend of libertarian values will not only not lead people to spiritual realization, but not even to organic health on a generic barnyard level. He derisively exclaims: "We have evolved a psychological/psychiatrical science developed by perverts and onanists who have discovered a system of studying the mind through the anus" (Rose, 1982, p. 131). He thoroughly condemns the "If it itches, scratch it" school of sexual response.

I have not encountered any authority figure in the mainstream psychology profession who understands the truth about sex and its real significance (as referenced in Chapter 2). They either ignore the subject or get it dead wrong. To reinforce the public's tendency towards dissipation as being healthy and natural is not therapeutic, but "enabling" (the term used in substance abuse counseling to refer to the misguided compassion of family members that excuses and compensates for the addict's pathology rather than confronts it and helps the person to overcome it.) It would be more compassionate to encourage people to fully feel the void they wish to fill with pleasure, and help them locate their misplaced souls that should fill it.

So, the picture we have of organic life is that we are placed within a system of Nature in which a certain amount of energy is provided to the individual during the course of a lifetime; a designated portion of which is to be used for reproduction and its familial consequences. This satisfies Nature. Although we do not know Nature's ultimate purposes in this scheme, nor what Master it serves, the system is well-balanced and it seems to work. There is some leeway allowed to us beyond this generic minimum, however; this unexplained license proving troublesome for many. We are left to wonder if there is anything more to be done, or discovered, beyond comfortably vegetating in our pre-destined groove.

There are three courses open to us. We can waste our vital energy by indulging in sex way beyond what is necessary to fulfill our natural function, for assorted confused reasons; gradually degenerating ourselves and our eventual offspring. We can come to understand what the natural function of sexuality in a healthy state actually is and adhere to it, trusting that the wisdom of the Earth is a sure and justified foundation. Or we can judiciously use some of this energy projected through us for our own purposes.

We have no choice but to be subject to this pressure and tension. In fact, this is the source of all desire and suffering in the relative world-scene. As Rose explains: "Nature implants in animals an irritation of magnitude so intense that release from it brings joy or ecstasy, depending upon the degree of suffering" (Rose, 1982, p. 145). This applies to everything from sexual climax to mystical bliss, which some have noted have a similar dynamic and are sometimes related. He has stated that this partially explains the mystical joy felt by ascetics who have deprived themselves of the physical and social enjoyments of life in exchange for a bid for some higher exaltation, which on some level they eventually grant themselves. Rose qualifies the seemingly ultimate spiritual value of such ecstasy by claiming: "The rewarder is man, in all cases. And man as a rewarder, can only give that which he already has" (Rose, 1978, p. 222). He is saying that this reactive bliss is still an emotional "pay-off" on the human level, and not the meaning of Realization. This is not meant to belittle the value of sexual restraint but only to note that its purpose should not be that of bargaining, nor should even the highest psycho-physiological joy, however well deserved, be mistaken for the bliss of non-relative spiritual Being.

Given all these factors, how can we strategically make the best of our circumstances? Rose describes the recommended philosophical posture:

How can we act? We can try to live in moderation, by detaching ourselves from the destructive extremes, but at the same time indulging in sex to the point that nature is not denied, thus finding peace of mind and a period of grace in which to study. But remember that peace of mind is a gift of nature, not of the Absolute. You have peace of mind when you are causing no ripples in nature. Satori only comes with friction and irritation. So the other thing we can do is to take action which may lead us possibly, but not deliberately toward irritation, life, and discovery. (Rose, 1981, p. 15).

Referring back to a related principle in the Albigen System, Rose advises: "We must use that which uses us. And when we employ Curiosity and Desire to search for our definition, we are on the path" (Rose, 1978, p. 215). These implants, and the force they contain, are usually aimed towards organic functioning, in all its diversity. We can acknowledge this urge towards fulfilling our natural destiny, but then, with some measure of internal control, turn this force around and use it to further our philosophical goals. This is not merely a change in attitude. It involves an actual change in the quality and level of one's energy. In yogic teachings this is referred to as raising the "kundalini."

Rose explains what this adroit maneuver involves: "In regards to kundalini: sex was designed for propagation, but applying the principle, 'Milk from thorns', it becomes quantum energy–for transmission or projection" (personal correspondence). By "Milk from thorns", Rose means that it is possible to squeeze some personal benefit out of an otherwise adverse situation. By "quantum energy," he is referring to a special quality of energy that is distilled from the coarser forms of somatic and mental energy, and is operational on a strictly spiritual level.

He wants the student to know that while Nature does not openly encourage spirituality, it does leave room for it, if the original plan is honored. He states:

Don't think you are better than Nature. You have to be a part of the natural programming which I don't believe in violating. But I also think everybody has the right to solve the mystery of life too. The fact of who they are. I think that is your prerogative. Your sacred trust also. (In addition to the natural programming) there is another (voice) that says inside this other very complex web, there is a blueprint whereby each and every man has a chance for ultimate survival. Ultimate definition. And he doesn't have to violate Nature to do it. (Rose, 1985, p. 181).

Here, Rose offers an exquisitely poetic passage that succinctly describes the intuitive seeker's perspective on sexuality as it relates to the path:

The sex-instinct that has been implanted may be used to promote other than its manifest purpose. We can even speculate that the Intelligence that designed this scene of Creation planned it so that some shrewd and determined beings might find their Maker, if they discovered and followed some labyrinth leading from illusion into the sunlight, and thus the Truth, subtly woven into the fabric of the living-dying drama. (Rose, 1978, p. 209).

This clue also touches upon one aspect of the magical balancing act called "betweenness."

We have generally been conditioned to look at sex from primarily one angle: that it is a desirable experience, a compensation for enduring an otherwise thankless, grubby life–possibly even being the highlight of life, the closest to a taste of divinity one is likely to ever have, and one should make the best of it whenever it is available. Yet, Rose asks us to look at sex from an entirely different slant. He asks us not only to look at sex, but at ourselves in relation to it, as its being something apart from us. We automatically assume that sex is an intrinsically positive value, outweighing every competing consideration, and bringing one to an elusive–yet frustratingly temporary–state called "satisfaction."

Rose confronts this attitude, looking at this experience from a perspective most have not considered before, and instead poses a question that few have ever pondered: "What do you hope sex will accomplish for you?" This recalls Jean Klein's key point about one's needing to examine the real nature of desire and the current, baseline-state of malaise from which one is attempting to flee. Rose is asking us to look at our normal condition, as it is, and admit to our attempt to make up for our basic unhappiness by pursuing pleasure and ego-affirmation. We face the harsh realization that when we finally cease to automatically identify with our sexuality, sex activity is seen to be more often a gesture of desperation than celebration, as we like to pretend. We cannot hope to end our suffering, to truly love, and to become REAL, while lying to ourselves and each other, and feeding egos that are not us, but only use us.

This last point brings up one criticism that could justifiably be made about Rose's manner of teaching. Despite Rose's consistent disparagement of behavioral psychology as a shamefully shallow, irresponsible approach to human understanding, he tends to encourage sexual morality through a primarily behavioral approach, in the form of promoting the conservation of energy in mechanistic terms and denouncing sexual overindulgence as an indicator of weak character. The previous quote being an uncommon exception, he does not devote as much attention as he could to the psychology or subjective experience of sexuality–the real "why?" behind our desires, beyond repeatedly pointing out the ridiculousness of our escapades, the wastefulness of our indiscretion, and the needlessness of our victimization.

This tactic may be a sufficient prod to those who are already quite strong and sane inside, and who only need a slight push to move them in the right direction or reaffirm their almost sure conviction. However, if Jim Burns and Roy Masters are even slightly correct in their dismal assessment of the psyche of humanity, then most people are profoundly crippled and deluded in their inner natures, and sex is the primary syndrome in which our pathology manifests, as this is where the greatest energy and feeling are centered. It is therefore important to more precisely understand the deeper motives and processes animating our sexual inclinations, and to correct the misunderstandings at their source that later become expressed as sexual immorality. We want what is best for us. We do not want to knowingly violate ourselves, but will come to self-harm if we do not know our true needs and instead serve a false master, whom we believe is us.

The first difficulty one encounters in such introspection is that of contemplating sex without quickly becoming wholly identified with the subject-matter and absorbed into the hypnotic spell it casts. It is most difficult to study our sexuality objectively, without the coloration of reflexive self-justification that passion, desperation, and denial produce. As Rose puts it:

Meditation upon sex is like lighting a match to see how much blasting powder is in the keg. You have to look into that keg without lighting a match. And when you do, you will see that you have been a robot, and that you have been doing things which were not your ultimate choice of behavior. (Rose, 1981, p. 13).

Another difficulty we run into, alluded to in the above quote, is that we are deluded in our experiencing of sex. Rose states that "love" is largely a state of hypnosis meant to further an aim of Nature by prompting us to reproduce and make binding commitments to insure the welfare of offspring: "...Love is but the masquerade that cloaks necessity" (Rose, 1982, p. 79). Spiritual emptiness and existential loneliness combine with social conditioning and unresolved parental issues to add further urgency to the obsession. Conversely, this biological necessity, oftentimes blending with ego and exaggerated by the giddy romanticism of youth, takes on a lyrical pose that flatters the lover: "...And romp with lust, thinking it the music of love" (Rose, 1982, p. 109). He adds the brutal admission: "Better say of this choice nebula of dust, Beautiful, is this fond mirror of my lust" (Rose, 1982, p. 48). Rose has been even more blunt in stating his point: "'Love' is selfish; 'love' is a weakness." He is saying that most of our protestations of love are rather pleas for love, and sex is the primary commodity of barter. In addition, the cost of indulgence in this dance of mutual neediness is a liability in our pursuit of wisdom, the attainment of which would include the realization of Love, of which the other can be no more than a sad imposter. He does temper this view with some compassion: "We believe that somebody loves us, and we live long enough to discover that the person really loves that which we can give. Everybody wants to believe in love, because we're lonely" (Rose, 1985, p. 71).

We need to understand the nature of our deepest inner desire motivating the attraction to sex. The most basic, global reason of which we can be aware is the desire to establish secure roots and feel the sense of belongingness in Mother Earth as a foundation and home. As alluded to in the above quote, another deeply felt reason is that we believe ourselves to be individual, separate beings–often alienated even from ourselves as well as from others–and so project love/sexual desire as a way of reconnecting with our own misplaced, dispersed beingness that is imagined to reside in the other person, and thereby reestablishing the sense of wholeness with life that we have been seduced into forfeiting. While still on this level, what we seek in mature, honest sexuality is conscious communion whereby we experience the fullness of our own presence in the reflected wholeness shared with one's "thou", and not frenzied passion, which is rather an attempt to escape in anonymous mindlessness the anxiety of one's intolerable isolation. Of course, even completely merging our identity with the group mind would not be the answer we seek either. We intuit that ultimately the answer is to somehow attain a paradoxical state of individual awareness within the All. But how?

It can be seen that as one matures spiritually, the level of the communion yearned for by this fragmented pseudo-"self", who feels isolated within the whole, becomes more sublime: 1) the joining of male and female bodies, 2) the merging of male and female psyches, 3) the blending of masculine and feminine principles within one's own psyche, and 4) the uniting of the individual soul (as experienced, whether it exists or not) with the Overself (as yet unknown, whether it exists or not). It is good to search for one's wholeness on the highest level on which one is able to work.

To further clarify the dynamics of sexual identity while on the path, Rose has distinguished three aspects or dimensions of point-of-reference in our experience that we must get right: first, to be either a man or a woman; second, to be both a man and a woman; and third, to be neither man nor woman. The first is organic identity, the second is psychic identity, and the third is spiritual identity. We have to be healthy, nature-bound animals, our psyche whole and its polarities in balance, and our self rooted in formless beingness. All three levels have to co-exist simultaneously, which is what makes this work on self-definition so difficult and confusing. But when they are manifesting properly, we are in alignment with our true nature, and the lie of the carnal self cannot long survive.

On the level of "hogpen" psychology, sex is considered the ideal method of tension reduction. Other than suicide, it probably is. Yet, Rose cautions that this philosophy is a serious mistake. Tension is energy, not a problem to be eliminated. To euphemistically "reduce" tension is actually to waste energy that could be better used elsewhere. In brief, to deal with the obstructions and inefficiencies in our energy system, two categories of correction need to be made: 1) all forms of "false" tension, of erroneous contraction (neurotic anxieties, insecurities, inner conflicts, etc.) should be recognized for what they are and diligently resolved, rather than symptomatically discharged, and this self-corrosive force be returned to one's reservoir of vital energy, and 2) one's healthy, natural tension should be directed into the vector towards "becoming", rather than dissolution or further projection. This is real spiritual work.

In thus assessing the component layers comprising our bedazzled worship of sex, we find the individual to be bombarded with three major forms of programmed pollution urging one towards relentless dissipation: 1) cultural conditioning encouraging licentious, egotistical hedonism, 2) personal psychological neediness, blending misguided devotion with the thrill of seduction, and 3) seemingly some primordial biological capacity for error that exaggerates the legitimate mating impulse. One must undergo a thorough psychological inventory to root out all sources of such contamination and misrepresentation of one's true sexual nature, and act accordingly; this right action finally changing one's very being.

The material from Chapter 2 on Roy Masters will not be repeated here. His insights into human nature, the psychodynamics of male-female relationships, and the spiritual implications of sexuality are fully in line with Rose's own findings. Masters' specialized comments can be regarded as filling in the subjective details of this important aspect of the Albigen System beyond the general guidelines about morality that Rose provides. His basic point, very briefly, is that men and women are acting out some ancient "Adam and Eve Sindrome", in which the attempted compensation for the lie of false pride or ego that seduced us out of Paradise is the worship of the Serpent, instead of the true God. Sex is used as the main form of denial and escape, the ego being both the perpetrator and victim of this tragic farce, but is in actuality suicide on the altar of spiritual despair.

On the level of Fallen humanity (not in Truth), the cruel corollary to the previously stated principle that the only power most men have is in their identification with the powerful forces that use them, is: the only power most women have is in the power they derive from men through sex and its related projections. Such sexuality degrades the woman and degenerates the man, leaving both spiritually impoverished and only Satan, or the lower forces of Nature, the victor.

Rose and Masters also agree in their exposing of two common variations on sexuality as lies, however much modern psychology and sociology condone them: homosexuality and masturbation. The remarks cautioning against the lure of sex can be easily twisted around by the dishonest or perverse mind to mean the indictment strictly of male-female relations, exempting all other forms of sexuality as neutral, or even exalted. Yet, both teachers warn of the energy loss and psychic destruction both from solitary sex, as well as the tremendous spiritual harm that comes from homosexual activity.

The issue is not one of blame and guilt, of "sin against God" and grim atonement, but rather: what does the truth of our nature require, according to the laws of Nature? We can only sin against ourselves, finally; meaning the true part of ourselves. The etiology of our habits and our rationalizations for them can be looked at impersonally, from a holistic perspective, and from this we can see more clearly what it was we were really trying to find through false sex and how we were deceived into answering to this soul-desire in a self-destructive way. When the bigger picture is seen, the conviction of individual responsibility amongst all factors diminishes, and hence the resistance to admitting a wrong. This allows for self-forgiveness and a turning towards where our true desire has wanted us to go all along.

As one example, it could be argued that female homosexuality is primarily a pathological overreaction to male failure. Yet–to what is male failure an overreaction? We are caught in a complex web of mutual reinforcement of our reactions to pain; the permutations of which spiral ever downward into hell. The real issue, once again, boils down to self-honesty and self-definition. Fantasies projected onto the void meant as escape from facing one's emptiness and aloneness must be bravely confronted and negated. Grave misunderstandings about one's true nature as a human being need to be corrected before subtler levels of being can be apprehended.

Conventional heterosexuality is a perversion of something that is natural. Homosexuality is a perversion of a perversion. It is just one more kink in an already tangled knot. Rose warns that both are traps. Neither one leads to freedom. Both are gods that ultimately fail–and with a great price.

As has been explained, 99% of sex has nothing to do with sex, but is the desperate, futile grasping at some compensation for spiritual poverty. In fact, keeping in mind Masters' teachings about the inner "Fall of Mankind" and its psychophysical reversal in the yogic teachings on kundalini, it could be said that sexuality is the inversion of spirituality, rather than its most joyous manifestation. Those who have experienced God-Realization testify that sex is at very best only the most intense, yet crude, reflection of sunlight on the wall of Plato's Cave. As such, "the joy of sex" is a thief, of something much finer. It is better to look for what it is reflecting. The misguided abuse of the sex-function is like killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. Rose submits to us this difficult precept: "Thou must lose to have, and forsake love to be Love" (Rose, 1975, p. 67).

He also refers to "The Five Minutes of Sanity" after sex is completed (Rose, 1981, p. 15). One experiences a brief respite from the relentless pressure of Nature goading one to breed, and one's mind temporarily clears from the delusory state of consciousness called sexual desire. One is in a free, neutral state. It is most advisable to attain and maintain this state as much as possible, although achieving it instead through discernment and spiritual maturation. Rose says: "The more a man knows, the less he lusts" (for gold or power too, as well as sex) (Rose, 1979c, p. 34). Awareness is the direct opposite of lust, like light negating darkness.

Looking at this entire issue psychodynamically as well as spiritually, it can be said that one's prevailing mode of sexual expression is a symbolic statement of self-definition regarding one's entire life and state-of-being. Indeed, you are what you do–and won't do. Masters' conviction is that the true measure of a man is revealed in his ideal of a woman (and vice versa). How a man sees Woman in his mind's eye is how he sees the nature of his life. Likewise, despite the current mores of "anything goes," until a person knows shame for him/herself, one cannot know the truth of one's sexual nature.

All these arguments and explanations reduce down to one fundamental point. The real reason why sexual immorality is wrong is because it violates the First Commandment: "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus, 20:3). We are not to be idolaters of meat in our desperate hunger for essence. All further teachings about ego-states and energy conservation are only supplementary commentary.

Something should also be briefly mentioned about Tantra as a spiritual path; an increasingly popular approach in this age of self-glorification masquerading as Self-Realization. (This is in reference to sexual, or "red" Tantra, as distinguished from the strictly psychic, non-sexual "white" Tantra, which blends and refines the masculine and feminine energies through meditative and yogic practices.) Rose does not especially address this discipline of "effortless Tantric salvation," other than to dismiss it as being invalid, dangerous, and/or superfluous as a reliable methodology. Based upon all available material on sexuality as it relates to the religious life, to use any form of sex as a means of attaining Liberation from the bonds of the Earth is clearly contradictory, like dousing a fire with gasoline, and suspect in motive.

One guess, based upon Rose's comments about the different categories of spiritual experiences, is that Tantra does result in an altered state of consciousness–some form of nature-ecstasy and partial merging of the ego-self into the organic flow of life, yet it is not the genuine joy and contentment of Cosmic Consciousness, but only mimics it–for a price. The religion of Tantra seems to be more the worship of one's own image reflected in the eye of the Serpent. The Tantric state lacks the insight and the permanent change in being involved in the authentic experience. Even beyond this, it has nothing to do with the crucial shift into actual spiritual awareness, where there is no longer the experience of relative ecstasy or suffering, nor an individual experiencer. He makes the clear distinction between any and all categories or levels of consciousness within the mind and the Final Observer that watches them from the entirely different dimension of Spirit. This gives greater meaning to his earlier remark that ecstasy is not wisdom and even wisdom is not direct Realization or becoming.

It is safe to say that sexual Tantra is not considered a legitimate means to arrive at the true Self, according to the Albigen System and those many other teachings referred to in Chapter 2. It is too crude a method, incomplete a path, and involves great risk of energy siphoning through psychic contamination. The aim of raising quantum energy for spiritual discovery can be better accomplished through less manipulative and more "essential," holistic means, leaving one open to genuine transformation. It has long been said that we should regard the body like a temple–not an amusement park (or bordello, tavern, or toxic waste dump). One obvious danger in Tantra is that one may be irresistibly seduced into worshiping the temple, instead of making the effort to look for the deity who would inhabit it, while also preparing the temple for the visitation.

Rose sternly notes the divergence between conventionally accepted moral standards and the higher road promoted by the world's religions:

Each generation is encouraged into greater and greater dissipation, while pretending to search for a God that exhorted mankind to become again as little children. There must be some value to being a child. And most esoteric guidelines point us in the direction of childlike innocence...indicating that such innocence is germane to perfection of intuition and thinking processes. I believe that sexual morality is a common denominator in every esoteric path of any worth or permanence. (Rose, 1982, p. 136).

He is indicating that morality is not only an arbitrary value of social propriety, but a living truth, with biological, psychological, and spiritual consequences.

The above quote contains an important clue which Rose stresses throughout his teaching: celibacy is essential for the development of a particular quality of intuition and for the maintenance of one state-of-mind, as well as some measure of protection against adversity.

Related to this point, he has also made the curious statement: "To enter the Kingdom, you have to become as an autistic little child" (Rose, 1985, p. 261). Being a "child" in this sense does not mean being the immature, narcissistic, greedy, petty, hedonistic, and egocentric creature that children–and childish adults–too often are. It means being pure in heart, whole in mind, and sensitive in spirit. By "autistic", Rose is referring to his conviction that some autistic children have chosen on some level to not be immersed and identified with this dimension of life or our paradigm of values. They are not "in the world", as the "normal" are, but rather standing apart from it, as neutral conscientious objectors, however handicapped. He thinks this specific aspect of their state is advantageous for the seeker, if it can also be combined with mature innocence.

This insistence upon virtue has been depicted in various religious and mythological images. The most emphatic statement as a foundation goes back to the Bible: "God did say: 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die'." After the Fall: "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked." (Genesis, 3:3-7) This instruction and the allegory of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is at the core of all Western mystical traditions. The implication is that the immature soul was somehow seduced out of its pristine spiritual state through the abuse of the sex function, which promised a tantalizing taste of the divinity that was already its rightful state but not yet realized. This falling of the Spirit into misidentification with the ego-self in the world created from projected vital energy resulted in the trap of dualistic knowledge within relativity and the loss of the capacity for original direct-mind experience in unity.

As to the specific nature of this transgression, the above Biblical quote says nothing about the eating of a forbidden apple, as is the traditional artistic imagining. Rose says the actual meaning of that admonition is plain to see. He strongly urges people to take the hint. The death mentioned in the warning refers to the inescapable mortality of the body-self with which one now unknowingly identifies. The real observing Self that has temporarily been forgotten–its Eye fogged over by the carnal mind passing before it–does not die. (What identifies with delusion? Does the Self forget itself, or does the mind forget it?)

The account of Samson losing his strength and vision through falling victim to sexuality is another obvious allegory. A "haircut" probably had nothing to do with it. Yet, one positive clue in this allegory, one that offers hope to those who heed its warning after having succumbed, is that Samson's hair grew back. Rose has also referred to the myth of St. George subduing the Dragon as containing a significant clue. St. George did not kill the Dragon, as often mistakenly assumed, as this would amount to self-castration. He subdued this force that would consume him, and mastered it for his own use. Rose describes what happens when a certain threshold of sublimation is attained:

In yoga, you get into certain blissful states by virtue of being liberated from physical habits. The kundalini experience–this is hatha yoga graduating into raja yoga. You sublimate the kundalini energy and you become really in love with yourself. Because you're free. Nobody can put their finger on you. Nobody can enchant you. Nothing can captivate you; you can't get hooked on anything. Because your intuition has reached its peak and you're a free man. That's a form of bliss. (Rose, lecture, 1986).

In a phrase, the objective of the Albigen System, as that of all esoteric teachings, is to reverse "the Fall": retroversing the projected ray and redeeming the added dimension of carnal delusion contained within it. The foundation and fuel for this work is chastity.

This requirement can be frightening to those raised in a culture that promotes the worship of sex as the ultimate god and the image of the romantic lover as the ultimate form of self-validation. But this standard too goes in line with the dictum of "becoming the truth". One could liken this to the function of eating. During a period between meals when a person is not eating, should that person be said to be fasting–or just not eating because it is not required? Likewise, if the truth of sex is that sex does not need to be indulged in very often according to the laws of Nature and Spirit, is that person enduring masochistic, teeth-grinding celibacy in order to bribe a sadistic god with a display of mortification–or just not engaging in sex at the time because it is not truthful? "Everything in its season; a time to embrace, a time to refrain from embracing...", as taught in Ecclesiastes. As in recovering from any form of addiction, much of the personal inner work during this phase consists of dealing with the psychological "withdrawal symptoms" revealed as the bonds tying one to the dependency are being severed.

Rose is, as usual, much more blunt about the matter than this. He confronts the individual who is considering adopting the noble status of "truth-seeker" with the statement: "Sex is the plaything of (unhappy) animals (who are too tired to fight, or think). Chastity is the right of kings."

There is an apparent paradox in Rose's teaching regarding sexuality. On one hand, he does extol the strict sexual inhibition of the Albigensians who considered the physical dimension to be an unauthorized nightmare, best left as quickly as possible, and that bringing more souls into this world through sex was a grievous crime. On the other hand, he has said that Nature is our friend, that everything here is as it should be according to some master blueprint, and we should vow to fulfill our natural destiny once our spiritual objective has been attained.

The answer to this dilemma is neither to fully immerse oneself in Nature (sexuality, etc.) as is the case in some forms of religion, nor to fight Nature head-on (repressing sex as being evil) as in some other forms of religion. Rose recommends instead that the seeker "take a vacation from Nature." This means acknowledging the programming pervading all organic life and respecting its power, but temporarily sidestepping it through a sly form of mental adroitness into a neutral space. As Rose puts it: "Celibacy involves a particular art of betweenness. It is not both-ness, or neither-ness, but the point of being a man while still conserving your energy" (Rose, 1985, p. 294).

The adjustment must be made on the mental level; physical inhibition through sheer determination alone is not enough, nor is body-despising mortification recommended. Rose says: "Don't beat the brute, just guide it" (Rose, 1985, p. 306). Mental celibacy means to turn one's head away from all aspects of sex and then to transmute the unfulfilled desire that remains. This, of course, involves tremendous self-knowledge and commitment to a non-mundane, unknown objective. It means to no longer project symbols of soul-satisfaction out into the world (especially sexuality) to then embrace, but instead to pull back all such ultimately frustrated desires and use the resultant tension to find that place inside where the Beloved dwells, and prepare oneself to enter. Real fasting has nothing to do with food.

The sexual ideal on the most concentrated, kamikaze phase of the path is chastity and an androgynous mind. Rose states the aim should be temporary, total abstinence from the conscious sex act; "temporary" meaning the number of years it takes to achieve one's spiritual goal, and the rest of this key phrase simply meaning taking a deliberate vacation from the Nature-game to reside in a special grace period reserved for those who need the free space to seek Nature's Master, and entrusting to the body that its own internal mechanism will regulate itself while in this neutral state, with no willful, ego intervention born of desire.

He has on occasion tempered this ideal by saying that a moderate compromise with Nature is grudgingly allowable after some point of spiritual maturity and intuition has been reached. He agrees with traditional yogic teachings in recommending moral sexual relations once a month within a committed relationship, if unavoidable or seemingly planned by fate, so long as it occurs without identification or psychological need. There is said to be some benefit to the woman in such an arrangement in supplementing her own vital energy, the energy dynamic involved in such natural sex being analogous to using a car battery with the engine running, which recharges it. Besides, in such a compromise a monk may find marriage to be a valuable learning experience. If he thinks he knows all about poverty, chastity, and obedience now, he should wait until about six months into the marriage! Rose would certainly add mischievously that it would also give him a working knowledge of hell, to add authority to his metaphysical discourses.

It should be mentioned that this aspect of the teaching is largely aimed at men up to the age of 40, as are most mystical and yogic books written about the monastic life and kundalini energy. Rose notes that most cases of spiritual realization occur before the age of 40 anyway (as documented by Bucke), and that it is more risky physiologically to extend this discipline as one advances in age, especially if the mind has not been kept under strict control. This special exercise in betweenness is most optimally undertaken in a man's earlier years, although the broader principles of moral living and the inner path can be worked with to both gender's benefit at any age. Nonetheless, this sexual commitment should not be made with any implied time limit, as this opens the door to ever-present rationalization and will dilute the magic. Rose says the basic commitment on the path must be unconditional in order to insure success: to be willing to see this entire experiment through to the end, even if it threatens to result in madness or death.

The woman's path regarding sexuality is less explicitly spelled out in his teaching. The general principles of moral living and energy transmutation are essentially the same, although the mode of inner work by which this kundalini is raised will differ, according to the feminine nature. The main difference, however, is that Rose believes the woman's path is more tied-in with the fulfillment of her natural programming in nurturing offspring, rather than postponing it, as does a man, and the woman's spiritual realization is more likely to occur in later years after the function of motherhood has been completed. (However, keeping in mind the principle of non-duality, if a man is true to the guidance of his highest intuition and trusts the wisdom of his life as it unfolds, his path may include being a householder, if this is what is ordained for him; this role then not being a cowardly or undisciplined tangent from it.) Women can find the ego of vanity dissolved or worn away by parenting. Men accomplish this necessary humbling more through other, equally arduous means. The parallel dynamic either way is the loss of the conviction of self-importance and the devotion to a larger commitment in life.

This entire subject of sexuality is by necessity highly individualistic, as each person's nature, genetics, psychic inheritance, and circumstances are different. These are only general guidelines which one should be aware of in charting one's course to freedom and integrity. It is best to have access to a personal teacher who is competent in this area and whom one can trust to provide more specific guidance in each case.

It is very difficult to adequately discuss this topic in such a short space. It would require a separate dissertation to properly delineate all the relevant issues involved. The points mentioned thus far are meant largely to challenge one's convictions and alert one's intuition. It is best to summarize this section with a passage in which Rose gives a sense of the meaning of betweenness in regards to sexuality on the spiritual path:

By observing the existence and habits of non-sexual monastic population-segments down through the centuries, we find that Nature has left a door open for their existence. But this door must be a neutral door...homosexuality will destroy the monastic sect, but to be sexless (celibate), there will be no blame. The door is the door of innocence, and is a door of escape. This is a paradox of Nature, although there are certain penalties for those who resist reproduction, even in a neutral manner, such as celibacy. Yet, if you continue to live as a child, there is found a combination to the door. Nature definitely leaves a door open for spiritual direction. The spiritual quest, however, passes through the door not smoothly, but with great risk. The escapee must be well disciplined, alert, and fearless. And he must possess an intuition equal to his courage. (Rose, 1986a, p. 35).

All the information presented about the teaching thus far creates an image of the Fourth Way seeker as a mythical, valiant Zen warrior; a man with an innocent heart, a whole mind, and a certain vector; one who walks the razor's edge, guided by intuition, fueled by transmuted energy, and carries no excess baggage.

The term "intuition" is frequently encountered in esoteric writings (and sometimes seems to suggest more of an indiscriminate, naive inkling than a sensitivity born of mature innocence), but the way to develop it is not often well described. Rose offers a rare and invaluable explanation of what the workings of this faculty really involve:

Intuition is a computer with the taps closed. No (irrelevant) impressions coming in. No irritation, no confusion coming in; no energy going out (as sex-action). So that the problem stays in the computer until it's solved. And the energy stays in there to keep the computer going until it's solved, so to speak. This (sexual restraint) is the whole secret behind developing intuition. (Rose, lecture, 1981).

There are some important clues in this statement. Rose has referred to recent research in biochemistry that corroborates the ancient teachings on kundalini. There is now evidence (Bernard, 1957; Jaqua, 1986; Rose, 1975, p. 58-9) that the physical substance of sublimated sex energy–which creates LIFE, so it must be important stuff–is reabsorbed into the nervous system and used to nourish the brain by being converted into neurotransmitters. These chemicals result from transmutation. He is also pointing out that in order to be able to do the subtle inner work of mental refinement, it is important to maintain a single, relatively sane state-of-mind and be free from outside influences and contamination from other's possibly polluted psyches that would disrupt such delicate research. Sex being the activity with the greatest power to influence the mind and the body's energy-system needs to be correspondingly inhibited and this force rechanneled. Intuition in the Albigen System can thus be simply described as the product of chastity plus transmutation. T.A.T. could therefore also stand for: Transmutation and Transmission.

Rose has stated that celibacy is essential for the attainment of Enlightenment (at least during a crucial period of the path), but it is no guarantee by itself. This transmutation and final realization is not automatic. Years of mere repression does not bring this about. He has likened celibacy to coal, in that it represents latent energy. In order for it to become living energy, it has to be ignited, or used. It can then become quantum energy, which is the highest distillation of energy and is used to power the leap from relative consciousness to absolute awareness.

The curious question comes up as to what refined physiological energy has to do with bringing about an ultimately non-physical experience, considering Rose has attested that Enlightenment might also occur at the time of actual physical death, when all of one's energy ceases, (if one has lived a prior life of dedicated spiritual search). A partial, symbolic answer could be that, in the seeker, the tension of this transmuted energy is what finally cracks the "cosmic egg" of the ego-self, leaving one exposed to reality or even propelling one into death, once sufficient contact has been made (so to speak) during life with the true, aware Self, which is all that would remain to realize itself after all else is negated. The same relinquishment of the ego-mind can occur at one's natural death, if one's spiritual vector has sufficiently prepared one for the experience (without which it might not completely end at death, but continue in some rarified form in another dimension). The bottom line in both cases is death–one's being reduced to zero, and the isolation of that ever-present spiritual "I."

The absoluteness of this conclusive state-of-being also helps explain the qualitative difference between those tantric or otherwise manipulative practices that transmute energy for the purpose of achieving some reactive bliss-state in consciousness, and the Fourth Way/Raja Yoga efforts recommended by Rose that lead to complete transcendence of the entire relative scene. The former condition is temporary, manifesting, and experienced by a subtly separate, finite self who remains largely intact afterwards. The latter is permanent, non-dualistic, and can never be experienced by an experiencer but only realized by no one, by becoming one with it.

As metaphysical doctrines all state, this quantum energy is transmuted by intense mental concentration in a specified direction; the refinement of consciousness at its summit transforming into aware beingness, which is what ultimately realizes itself. Energy follows thought. What we attend to is what we become. The mind becomes that upon which it constantly dwells. This concentration can take several forms, according to the seeker's nature and level of capacity. Some of the ways that have been used are:

  1. Focusing on various nerve centers or chakras.
  2. Repeating a mantra or prayer.
  3. Regulation of the breath.
  4. Various mental exercises.
  5. The establishment of a system of shocks.
  6. Monitoring the alternation between agony and ecstasy.
  7. Philosophical contemplation.
  8. The practice of remembering the self and self-confrontation.
  9. Residing in the observing self that watches the contents of consciousness with detachment.
  10. The practice of thinking about one thing, then about everything, and then about nothing (Rose, 1982, p. 111).

Rose claims the common denominator of functional value in all spiritual disciplines is concentration, not the specific means or technique practiced by any one sect that embodies this function. The Albigen System offers an advantageous strategy for transmuting the kundalini, compared to the prevalent, indirect approach of one's doing something else as a mechanical exercise to raise this energy to the head, with the assumption that this raw potential will then enable one to achieve Self-Realization with further insight, discipline, or divine intervention. This approach is like a mountain climber lifting weights in order to be strong enough to climb more vigorously later. If getting to the top of the mountain is really one's goal, it would be more expedient to use this same time and energy to just start climbing up steadily from the lower slopes, and gradually become more capable at doing exactly what one intends to do.

Likewise, what Rose suggests–if one is able to do so–is that the inner work consists of the actual psychological and philosophical inquiry that promotes mental refinement, self-understanding, and sane comprehension. This kind of concentration then not only transmutes the energy, but is also a holistic effort that directly furthers one's progress in "becoming the truth." This is more truly spiritual than artificially manipulating energy in isolation from the rest of one's total system as only a preparation for this transformation, yet without having submitted oneself to the larger requisites of the Truth. The disturbing occurrence of moral degeneracy or madness in ambitious, though insincere, seekers on the path is one reason why texts on kundalini and alchemy warn against the danger of stimulating sex energy through such mechanistic means or laboriously mutating consciousness into exotic patterns, while ones's psychology and character are still immature or even corrupt.

A chart depicting the transmutation of energy is presented in [Rose's book, The Direct-Mind Experience] and is worth serious study. It shows the possible courses of energy-flow from its organic source, through the human being, and on towards several possible levels of goals. The energy from food is first transmuted by physical exercise into body energy. Some of this then goes into the glands and is used primarily in sexual functioning. Neural quantum can be developed from glandular energy by mental effort and manifested as thought, introspection, or creative expression. Only from this neural quantum can spiritual quantum be developed by intense concentration in the specific direction of self-awareness. Rose says: "Civilization rests on the ability to transmute the energy someplace above the glands" (Rose, 1985, p. 192).

As can be seen, most human energy ends up doing nothing more than nourishing the soil, with little profit to the individual in the form of some superior attainment or realization. To reach the highest levels requires deliberate effort and discipline. This objective of developing quantum energy for use in spiritual work is the meaning of the Philosopher's Stone referred to in medieval teachings of alchemy.

Rose adds a note of warning regarding the waste of energy on even the higher levels from one's being drained by others. He discourages the use of one's personal energy for healing troubled people, whether deliberately or inadvertently: "Do not project energy/sympathy towards people (in need). The sick must heal the sick." He adds: "It is foolish to bail out a leaking boat without also plugging up the hole; to patch up flat tires without taking the nails out of the road." He is saying the healing must take place from within the individual by their correcting the personal fault causing the distress or resolving the original violation done to them which created the psychic wound that absorbs their vitality, and that either getting into emotional rapport with the person (as versus detached compassion) or directly projecting energy into them siphons off one's own energy reserves. Also, unless the reason for the person's sickness or dissipation is remedied at its source, the healing will be useless for the afflicted and wasteful for the healer. Real aid should be in the form of teaching those who can hear you how to heal themselves.

The Forces of Adversity

A troubling and serious addendum to this subject needs to be briefly discussed; something that was referred to in Chapter 2: the deliberate opposition to our efforts on the spiritual path by seemingly conscious entities or influences. "The forces of adversity" were mentioned previously as a general principle. Although the precise nature and dynamics of these forces in their own domain are not readily known, Rose does offer more specific insight into their workings and motives in regards to our's.

This line of inquiry–into what is now admittedly only a disturbing possibility for the seeker–begins with the simple questions: Are we the highest link in the food chain? Do we have any justification to assume we are? Might something in the interrelated scheme of Nature be eating us? As we are evidently not being bodily consumed prior to death (excepting when ravaged by illness), what more subtle essence within us might be the nourishment for some unknown recipient? Rose recounts a humorous poem as a clue to describe our predicament; one with grave implications: "Larger bugs have smaller bugs upon their backs to bite 'em; smaller bugs have smaller bugs and so on infinitum."

It has been presented as a consistent theme throughout the Albigen System that the spiritual path, as is organic life, is largely a process of the refinement of energy and consciousness to increasingly higher levels. It is Rose's contention, in line with the Law of Progression, that there exist in another dimension, interpenetrating our own visible one, something he will only call "entities": beings of some intelligence and willfulness that are a part of Nature and who feed on the vital energy of humans, the same as all other life-forms feed on complementary life-forms for their sustenance. He says they are not exactly "evil", in our usual sense of the term; they are merely hungry and will move to consume the nourishment that is available to them with no thought of the harm done to the one being "eaten", as we care not for the animals and plants we kill for our own use.

He has never fully explained "why" these entities exist; in other words, what legitimate function they serve in the overall scheme of Nature to justify their license to feed on us. Their role in prompting people to reproduce does not seem like a complete explanation, as the breeding impulse is already sufficiently programmed into the human animal as in all others, and the sexual excesses–and gratuitous bloodshed–which Rose claims they are largely responsible for instigating seem contrary to the aim of Nature in devitalizing or eliminating some of its highest members. Furthermore, why would Nature–presumably designed by a Higher Intelligence–contain within it adverse forces that would thwart humanity from reconnecting with that Higher Intelligence? Evidently, we must add these questions also to our growing pile of discomforting mysteries. The full truth of the matter to which the circumstantial evidence points will only become known when all is known. In the meantime, the haunting unknowing motivates us onward.

Rose does point out that these beings are not superior to us in any objective or hierarchical sense; they are only strategically superior by being operative in a dimension most of us cannot see or influence. He emphasizes that these beings–as well as the disincarnate, psychic remains of wayward humans and the more deliberately malevolent forces classified as demons–are not to be mistaken as "spiritual" just because we cannot readily see them (although some can), but are also physical and relative, as we are. He explains that the other dimensions touching our own are still physical, but their substance vibrates at a difference frequency, allowing entities within them to interpenetrate this one and manipulate it, while remaining largely elusive to our attempts to counter them.

Rose claims they function primarily on the psychic level in us and their objective is to consume our energy through various means, mainly through urging the person to sexual indulgence (along with implanting the conviction that one is the enjoyer), thereby gaining some nourishment from the expenditure, as their "commission." He is fully aware that to the strict materialist or Pollyannic spiritualist this seems like an absurd ghost story or ignorant superstition meant to frighten people into moral living, or to explain intrapsychic processes in a paranoid fashion. Nonetheless, based on his own ability of direct-mind perception from a vantage point outside all relative dimensions, Rose insists: "I know that there are entities and that they are as real as this physical dimension, and possibly equally as illusory in the final analysis" (Rose, 1981, p. 5). He does not attempt to "prove" their existence, but suggests we can infer their likely presence through the study of the interrelationships between life-forms, the dynamics of energy, and the suspicious fluctuations in our mental states, especially those relating to sexuality.

He teaches that they influence the human mind through hypnotic suggestions of thoughts, moods, and compulsions, as well as distinct, subjectively audible voices that are not merely a disowned part of the psyche, but from a source external to it. We are susceptible to such influence because our minds are not whole, clear, and invulnerable in our normal state, and can be deceived. This is a frightening trap in that the psychic contamination or damage resulting from such devious seductions into self-violation causes one to be subsequently even more susceptible to suggestions urging one towards progressively more serious crimes against truth, as one's capacity for common sense and self-awareness is correspondingly diminished. This is much like an infection exploiting a wound and feeding on the organism's vitality thus exposed, further debilitating it.

This is one reason why Rose stresses the importance of knowing oneself thoroughly with the aid of the higher intuition in objective awareness, in order to be able to discriminate between a valid thought, feeling, or conviction and some form of projected delusion, our acting upon which is not to our ultimate benefit. He declares: "We are tempted, but we don't tempt ourselves, and we are outwitted, but a man doesn't deliberately outwit himself; he gets outwitted before he can even catch up with it" (Rose, 1982, p. 146). This sabotage refers to the entire, impersonal conspiracy of Nature, as well as the lower forces in our own nature that would thwart us in order to perpetuate their own parasitic existence.

This is also another reason why doubt is so necessary. We are generally encouraged by life, as well as the psychology profession, to never doubt ourselves and to assume that our experiences, desires, states-of-mind, etc. are all perfectly valid and justified, as is. Accepting the possibility that there may be adverse forces wishing to divert our higher intentions through deception or intimidation, thereby benefiting from our failure, one is forced to develop some detached assessment capability of one's own subjective states, and to discern the true from the false and the mine from the not-mine. We certainly recognize in our lives there being plenty of human sources of such opposition and parasitism. Why assume "homocentrically" that there is no one here but us and there cannot be non-human inhabitants of this dimension as well? (This would be much like different frequencies all operating on the same radio band, yet our only being able to hear one station and so not suspecting that others simultaneously exist too.) In fact, they may also be responsible for the human expressions of such adversity, by their acting through them.

No one in mainstream psychology acknowledges the reality of possession and psychic influences upon the mind, or at least does not dare to do so openly. Nevertheless, Rose insists that entities do play a large role in determining our sexual habits, and related incidents of madness or bloodlust. The tremendous rush of exhilaration we feel during sex is the sensation of our energy leaving us, especially on the psychic level, as evidenced by the great fatigue immediately thereafter. As energy never ceases to exist but only changes form or location, he asks us to wonder where this energy goes, and what worthwhile profit there was to us in the expenditure. He also mentions, ominously, that there is a different entity for every kind of sex-act, thus impelling us to examine our motives and urges even more carefully.

As taught in the Gurdjieffian system, fear, anger, despair, lust, and identification are the main forms of energy drainage and negativity that plague us. In fact, it seems that sex, war, vanity, acquisition, and assorted ego-obsessions are where most of humanity devotes most of its life energy most of the time. Entities live on this energy, and the true part of us thereby lives correspondingly less. Challenging one's negative mental patterns as being invaders, rather than claiming them as oneself, weakens their spell and allows one to disassociate from them. This is similar to the principle in exorcism that correctly calling out the demon's name and demanding it to leave compels it to depart from the victim of the possession. The paradoxical attitude needed in this adroit maneuver of disengagement is to indeed accept one's experience as happening and thus be responsible for having to deal with it, but to not identify with it as being oneself, and so inherently valid.

Especially in regards to the compulsion to sexual excess of any kind, Rose urges us to adopt a perspective on our experience different from the customary belief in the sanctity of pleasure: "Realize that you are being used and fight it. Don't identify with the process of being ridden." In the event of any kind of ego-obsession harmful to the true part of oneself, he states that one must not be intimidated by it, but can insist on asserting one's freedom from the imposition: "Say 'NO!' and put your foot down–the possession/nightmare will stop." In this battle, the firm ground of awareness is equivalent to the authority of the name of Christ invoked in exorcisms. He adds that there is another, more subtle, zen-like weapon against such psychic adversity; one which he frequently uses as a teacher: laughter. Recognizing and challenging absurdity in oneself by being able to laugh at the part of oneself that is being ridiculous weakens its hold on us. Insight into the dynamics of one's susceptibility to such influences reveals the reactive egos being thus dismantled to have been some form of crystallized defensiveness against the feelings of guilt and inadequacy, which are being exploited. Seeing the whole truth of one's condition from a vantage point of compassion allows forgiveness to take place, which then allows one's inner division to be healed and the deadly lures of compensation to be resisted. When frankly examined, most of life is seen to be little more than a masturbation fantasy, meant to cover one's spiritual void. Reality can be regained when we either faithfully or bravely submit to it.