Matthew’s Welcome Spiritual Discovery

Matthew
Matthew B

When I stumbled across one of The Gnostic Movement’s websites, I’d not participated in a religious or spiritual group before. I wasn’t looking to join one either. I was open-minded about spirituality, but wasn’t interested in taking up a particular creed.

Most spiritual groups I was aware of, whether large or small, generally had a doctrine that you could either accept as the truth or reject; and if the latter you could not really participate meaningfully. I found that approach quite limiting.

I wanted a tangible way to explore spirituality and discover what is really going on in life for myself. But I didn’t think or expect any group offered a practical way to do that.

The Gnostic Movement had another approach, however, which I found appealing. It had its doctrine and teachings, but it also offered a series of free course where you could learn how to apply its spiritual exercises in a practical way. You were encouraged to use the exercises to explore what was explained in its teachings for yourself. There was no obligation to accept everything in its doctrine upfront.

The first thing that attracted me to The Gnostic Movement was the information on astral projection. Some unusual circumstances had prompted me to investigate the “paranormal”: I’d had a few spontaneous out-of-body-experiences and strange experiences with sleep paralysis which baffled me. I wanted to understand what was happening and take control of these situations, and explore this phenomenon in a hands-on way.

So I started searching the internet for information, and came across the site Astralweb in mid-2004. It had some good information and forums where I asked a few questions, and it also advertised a free astral projection course which was then run on another site called Mysticweb. I signed up to take the course online as there was no center or group where I lived.

Beyond astral projection, I didn’t have much interest in the rest of the gnostic stuff at that time. Samael Aun Weor’s books were available as PDFs on their website, and I skimmed through them a bit before taking the course, but I didn’t really find it appealing at first and was not convinced it was all true. I decided to just do the course and try the practices, and didn’t plan going beyond that.

The course was a 9-week program, with a new topic and exercise to try each week. The weekly topics and exercises were explained in PDF documents made available for download at the start of each week, which were written by Belzebuub. There were course forums where you could share feedback and ask questions.

I found Belzebub’s writing clear and practical in a way that really struck a chord with me. But what struck an even deeper chord were the experiences I began to have through trying the techniques provided. I was astonished to discover they really worked.

Even though I was practicing alone in my bedroom, without access to the support and guidance of a Gnostic center, I felt I was getting help in some way, like I was somehow becoming connected to something much bigger going on in life.

During the online course I experienced astral travel. Through the course I’d learned that you could ask for a spiritual teaching when consciously out-of-the-body; I tried that out and found it was possible. One night I was taken to a place where four men were seated at a table; they were just dressed normally. I walked over and sat down with them. I had no idea who they were. Later on though, when I saw some photographs, I recognised who three of them were: one was actually Belzebuub, one was Rabolu and another was Samael Aun Weor – the three teachers of modern Gnosis. But at the time I didn’t know who they were, or that they were spiritual teachers or anything, because I was new to this information and wasn’t familiar with their appearances, and had not taken any particular interest in them prior to that.

The one who I later found out was Samael Aun Weor asked me a question, and my response was incredibly silly. Belzebuub laughed, in a very genuine and lighthearted kind of way. Looking back, what I said was pretty ridiculous and I would probably laugh too if someone said that to me.

After that I received a personal teaching in a symbolic way. It gave me some pretty clear guidance about something I needed to change in my life which was holding me back spiritually, and it came in a way that I would have never expected – a symbolic way that spoke straight to my heart.

To get this kind of direct guidance was amazing. The written teachings were an extremely useful guide to help me, but by putting them into practice I found it was possible at night to get more personal spiritual guidance. I never knew this avenue for guidance from above existed before finding the Gnostic teachings. Considering the course was free, this was very good value.

Through conscious experiences like that beyond the body, I came to see that the teachings offered in The Gnostic Movement were not just something made up – there was a real spiritual depth to them, and they brought tangible results. I also discovered that Belzebuub, who guided The Gnostic Movement, was a genuine spiritual teacher, as were his predecessors. The guidance was not just static in words – it went beyond this physical world and manifested in dreams and astral experiences.

In astral experiences, Belzebuub didn’t always teach how I would expect. I remember an experience I had much later, where he came to me in the astral, and I was kind of stuck in a wall and couldn’t get out – at least I thought I couldn’t get out. I asked him for help, but he just walked away! I realised it was up to me to find the way to break free. I put in a bigger effort to get free – I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to get a teaching – and found I could get out after all. Belzebuub actually helped me overcome my defeatism by walking away, as it helped me learn to do it myself. And after freeing myself I caught up with him and got a really profound teaching.

I’d stumbled on a spiritual goldmine, and I found out so much about myself and my life through the experiences I was getting. I began to see the value in the spiritual work, in taking life in a different way to learn about myself, change for the better and help others to do the same. So I did all the courses I could, right through to the teacher’s training course.

Taking part in the courses put me in touch with the spiritual dimension of life I lacked contact with before. It inspired me to cultivate a relationship with divinity. I made more of an effort to improve my actions and inner state during the day, and made prayer a part of my daily life. If I became conscious in the astral plane, I learned that I could pray there too, and ask for spiritual guidance from higher spiritual aspects which guide us personally (which gnosis calls the divine mother and divine father). This guidance would often show me things I needed to improve or change in daily life.

At the start of 2006, about a year and a half after I first found the site Astralweb, a senior teacher moved to my city to start a new center. I was a trainee teacher, and had gone as far as I could in the online courses. My wife and I helped the new center to get established. Soon we had a flourishing center and the three of us were like family, and had many good times together.

Having been an online student who’d mostly practiced by myself, I really enjoyed being able to do practices with other people. It was a magical feeling, gathering in the hall in the evening, with the fragrance of incense, and doing the practices in a group. These could be really uplifting, and the room was charged with a spiritual atmosphere. Pronouncing mantras in a large group was a particularly enjoyable and energising experience.

It wasn’t until the end of that year that I actually met Belzebuub physically. This happened when I went to an Australian retreat he attended. I didn’t know he was coming so it was a nice surprise when he turned up.

I found him to be a very warm and considerate person. He gave some talks and guided some practices. And he was more than happy to answer some questions I had one-on-one as well. On the last night at the retreat everyone gathered around a camp fire, under the stars, and Belzebuub gave one of the most moving and profound talks I have ever heard. I remember another student describing it as feeling his words right in the heart, and I know what he meant. I left the retreat very inspired to keep striving to move forward in my spiritual journey.

I became a member of the organization in the ensuing year, and had the opportunity to work with Belzebuub and other committed people for a common spiritual aim. I found it very fulfilling to be part of an organization that was working for the greater good, and learned so much through my involvement, and really enjoyed being involved in the different projects and activities it was coordinating.

It wasn’t always easy, as I discovered, and there were lots of challenges, but I found that those challenges and opportunities provided just what I needed for my own spiritual journey. In facing external obstacles there are always inner obstacles to overcome, and things to learn about myself, and I’ve found the situations I was involved with in the organization gave me vital opportunities to learn and change in ways that just couldn’t occur if I wasn’t part of it.

I was so glad that out of all the commercial “spiritual” flotsam out there these days, that I managed to come across the teachings of Belzebuub and The Gnostic Movement, and discovered a real spiritual teacher, a real spiritual school, and a real opportunity for spiritual change, filled with genuine people working together in harmony.

I made many friendships in The Gnostic Movement that endured after the organisation closed. All the members and teachers who were there to the end were very kind considerate people. It was a very warm and supportive working environment, and some of the people I worked with became like family in a way. And Belzebuub was there along the way offering his guidance and support to all of us who were working together for this common aim, and his wisdom and guidance were truly priceless.

It’s very sad The Gnostic Movement is no longer around, and I still feel a great sense of loss at its closure. It was a truly unique organization in which I learned so much, and it made a lasting positive impact on my life.

I carry more than just happy memories from The Gnostic Movement. In my heart, the living connection with spirituality it taught me to forge is still there, and that, for me, is its true legacy which must be preserved.

Matthew B

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