The Transformation of Impressions
The First Conscious Shock consists in transforming the impressions which reach us. If one manages to transform the impressions which reach the mind at the moment of entry, one obtains marvelous results which benefit our existence.
One can still work on the result of the impressions. it is clear that they expire without mechanical effect since this mechanicity is usually disastrous in the interior of our psyche.
This Gnostic esoteric Work should be taken to the point where the impressions enter, because they are mechanically distributed to wrong places by the personality to evoke old reactions. I will try to simplify this. As an example, let us use the following: If we throw a Stone into a crystalline lake, impressions are produced in the lake and the response of those impressions produced by the stone manifest in the form of waves which go from the center to the periphery.
Now, imagine the mind as a lake. Suddenly, an image of a person appears, that image is like the stone of our example, which reaches the mind. Then, the mind reacts in the form of impressions. The impressions are those which the image that reaches the mind produces and the reactions are the responses to such impressions. If a ball is thrown against a wall, the wall receives the impressions, then follows the reaction which consists of the return of the ball to the one who sent it. Well, it could be that it will return directly to the person but by all means the ball bounces back and that is reaction.
The world is formed by impressions, for example: The image reaches our mind through the senses. We cannot say that the table has arrived or that the table has entered our cerebrum, that is absurd, but the image of the table is inside, then our mind reacts immediately saying: This is a wooden or metal table, etc.! There are impressions which are not so pleasant, for example: The words of an offender, isn’t that so? Could we transform the words of an offender?
Words are as they are, therefore, what could we do? Transform the impressions which such words produce in us and this is possible. The Gnostic Teaching teaches us how to crystallize the Second force, the Christ in us, through the postulate which says: “One has to receive with gladness the unpleasant manifestations of our fellowmen.” In the previous postulate is found the way to transform the impressions which the words of an offender produce in us. Receive with gladness the unpleasant manifestations of our fellowmen. This postulate will naturally lead us to the crystallization of the Second Force, the Christ in us; it will cause the Christ to come and take shape in us.
If of the physical world, we only know the impressions, then, in reality, the physical world is not so external as people believe. With just reason Immanuel Kant said: “The exterior is the interior.” If the interior is what matters, we should therefore transform the interior. The impressions are interior, therefore, all objects and things, everything that we see, exists in our interior in the form of impressions. If we do not transform impressions, nothing will change in us. Lust, covetousness, pride, hatred, etc., exist in the form of impressions within our psyche which vibrates incessantly. The mechanical result of such impressions have been all of those inhuman elements which we carry within and which we have normally called ‘I’ which in the ir mass, constitute the myself, the oneself
Let us suppose, for example, that an individual sees a provocative woman and that he does not transform those impressions; the result will be that the same impressions, of a lustful type, produce in him the desire of possessing her. Such a desire is the result of the impression received and it crystallizes, it takes shape in our psyche and becomes one more aggregate, in other words, an inhuman element, a new type of lustful I which comes to add itself to the sum of inhuman elements which in their totality constitute the ego.
Anger, covetousness, lust, envy, pride, laziness and gluttony exist in us. Why anger? Because many impressions reached us, our interior, and we never transformed them The mechanical result of such impressions of anger form the I’s which exist and vibrate in our psyche and which constantly make us feel anger.
Why covetousness? Indubitably, many things awakened covetousness in us: money, jewels, material things of all types, etc. Those things, those objects, reached us in the form of impressions. We committed the error of not having transformed these impressions into different things, into an attraction for beauty, into happiness, etc. Such non-transformed impressions naturally became ‘I’ of covetousness which we now carry in our interior.
Why lust? I already said that different forms of lust reached us in the form of impressions, in other words, there surged in the interior of our mind images of an erotic type whose reaction was lust. Since we did not transform those lustful waves, that unhealthy eroticism, naturally the result did not make itself wait, new morbid I’s were born in our psyche.
Therefore, today we have to work on the impressions which we may have in our interior and on its mechanical results. Within, we have impressions of anger, covetousness, gluttony, pride, laziness and lust. We also have within, the mechanical results of such impressions, a bunch of quarrelsome and vociferous ‘I’ which we now need to comprehend and eliminate.
Such work of our life consists in knowing how to transform impressions, and also, in knowing how to eliminate the mechanical results of impressions which were not transformed in the past. The exterior world as such does not exist. What exist are impressions and impressions are interior, and the reactions of such impressions are completely interior.
No one could say that he is seeing a tree in itself. He may be seeing the image of a tree but not the tree. The thing in it, as Emmanuel Kant said, is not seen by anyone; one sees the image of things, in other words, the impression of a tree, of a thing, surge in us and these impressions are internal, they are of the mind.
If one does not carry out one’s own, internal modifications, the result will not make itself wait: the birth of new ‘I’ is produced which come to enslave our essence, our consciousness, even more, which come to greater intensify the sleep in which we live. When one really comprehends all that exists within oneself with relation to the physical world, that they are nothing but impressions, one also comprehends the necessity of transforming those impressions, and upon doing it, the transformation of oneself is produced.
There is nothing that hurts more than calumny or the words of an offender. If one is capable of transforming the impressions which such words produce in us, well, they then remain without any value, in other words, they remain like a check drawn against insufficient funds. Certainly, the words of an insulter do not have any more value than that which the insulted person gives them. Therefore, if the insulted person does not give them any importance, I repeat, they remain like a check drawn against insufficient funds. When one comprehends this, one then transforms the impressions of such words, for example, into something different, into love, into compassion for the insulter and this, naturally, means transformation. Therefore, we need to be incessantly transforming impressions, not only the present ones but also the past and the future ones.
Within us exist many impressions with which we committed the error of not having transformed them in the past, and many mechanical results of the same impressions which are the so-called I which we now have to disintegrate, annihilate, in order for the consciousness to remain free and awake. It is indispensable to reflect on what I am saying. Things, persons, are nothing but impressions within us, within our minds. If we transform those impressions, we transform our life radically. For example, when there is pride in one, the latter has ignorance as its basis; for a person, for example, to feel proud of his social position, of his money. But if this person, for example, thinks that his social position is a mere mental matter, that it is a series of impressions which have reached his mind, impressions about his social status, when he thinks that such status is nothing but a mental matter or when he analyzes the question of his worth, he comes to realize that his position exists in his mind in the form of impressions. Those impressions which money and social position produce are nothing but the external impressions of the mind. With the simple fact of comprehending that they are only impressions of the mind, there is transformation of the same. Then, pride, by itself, declines, collapses and humility is born in us in a natural manner.
Continuing the study of the processes of the transformation of impressions, I will proceed with something else. For example, the image of a lustful woman reaches the mind or surges in the mind. Such an image is an impression, that is obvious. We could transform that lustful impression through comprehension. It would be enough, in that instant, for us to think that that woman will one day die and that her body will become dust in the cemetery, and if with the imagination we saw her body in the process of disintegration in the grave, this would be more than sufficient to transform that lustful impression into chastity. If it is not transformed, it will be added to the other I of lust.
By means of comprehension, it is convenient that we transform the impressions which emerge in the mind. It is highly logical that the exterior world is not so exterior as is normally believed. Everything that reaches us from the world is interior because they are nothing but internal impressions.
No one could put a tree, a chair, a palace or a rock into his mind. Everything reaches our mind in the form of impressions, that’s all; the impressions from a world which we call exterior and which is really not exterior as it is believed. It is extremely urgent that we transform impressions through comprehension. If someone greets us, praises us, how could we transform the vanity which this or that flatterer could provoke in us? Obviously, the praises, the flattery are nothing but impressions which reach our mind and the latter reacts in the form of vanity; but if those impressions are transformed, vanity becomes impossible. How could the words of a flatterer be transformed? By means of comprehension. When one really comprehends that one is nothing but an infinitesimal creature in a corner of the Universe, one immediately transforms by oneself those impressions of praise, flattery, into something different; one converts such impressions into what they are: dust, cosmic dust, because one comprehends one’s own position.
We know that the Galaxy in which we live is made up of millions of worlds. What is the Earth? It is a particle of dust in the infinite. And if we were to say that we are some organic microorganisms of that particle, then what? If we were to comprehend this when were flattered, we would carry out a transformation of the impressions related to the praise and flattery or adulation and as a result we would not react in the form of pride.
The more we reflect on this, more and more we will see the necessity of a complete transformation of impressions. All that we see as external is interior. If we do not work with the interior we are treading the path of error because we will not modify our habits. If we want to be different, we need to transform ourselves integrally, and we should begin by transforming impressions. By transforming the animal and bestial impressions into elements of devotion, sexual transformation, transmutation then surges forth in us.
Unquestionably, this aspect of impressions deserves to be analyzed in a clear and precise manner. The personality that we have received or acquired receives the impressions of life but does not transform them because it is practically something dead.
If the impressions fell directly upon the Essence, it is obvious that they would be transformed because, the Essence would immediately deposit them exactly in the corresponding centers of the human machine.
Personality is the term that is applied to everything that we acquire. it is clear that it translates impressions from all sides of life in a limited and practically stereotyped manner in accordance with its quality and association.
In this respect, in the Gnostic Esoteric Work, the personality is sometimes compared to a terrible secretary who is in the front office, who is occupied with all the ideas, concepts, preconceptions, opinions and prejudices. It has many dictionaries, encyclopedias of all types, reference books, etc., and is not in communication with the centers, in other words, with the mental, emotional and the physical centers —intellectual, motor, emotional, instinctive and sexual—, in accordance with its unusual ideas. Consequently or as a corollary, it so happens that it almost always puts itself in communication with wrong centers. This means that the impressions that arrive are sent to wrong centers, in other words, to places which do not correspond to them, producing, naturally, erroneous results.
I will mention an example so that I will be better understood. Let us suppose that a woman attends to a gentleman with much consideration and respect; it is clear that the impressions which the gentleman is receiving in his mind are received by the personality and the latter sends the m to wrong centers. Normally, it sends them to the sexual center and this gentleman gets to firmly believe that the lady is in love with him, and as is logical, it does not take long before he rushes to make insinuations of an amorous type to her.
Indubitably, if that lady has never had that type of caring for the gentleman, with much reason, she cannot, but feel surprised. That is the result of a terrible transformation of impressions. Here we see how bad a secretary the personality is. Unquestionably, the life of a man depends on this secretary who seeks transformation in its reference books without comprehending in the least, what the event means, and consequently transmits, without preoccupations for what could happen, but feeling only that it is fulfilling its duty.
This is our interior situation. What is important to comprehend in. this allegory is that the human personality that we acquire and which we should acquire begins to take charge of our lives.
Unquestionably, it is useless to imagine that this happens only to certain and specific persons; it happens to everyone no matter who it is.
One finds out in observation that numerous characteristic reactions exist which are produced by the impressions which reach us. These mechanical reactions, unfortunately, govern us. It is clear that each person in life is governed by life itself, it does not matter if he calls himself liberal or conservative, revolutionary or Bolshevik, good or bad in the sense of the word.
It is obvious that these reactions before the impacts of the exterior world constitute our own life. In this sense, we can say in an emphatic manner, that humanity is completely mechanical…
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