The name Samael Aun Weor is Hebrew (סמאל און ואור) and is pronounced "sam-ayel on vay-ohr."
Between 1950 and 1977 – merely twenty-seven years – Samael Aun Weor wrote over sixty books on the most difficult subjects in the world, such as consciousness, kabbalah, physics, tantra, meditation, etc., in which he deftly exposed the singular root of all knowledge. He experienced all the extremes that humanity could give him, from adoration to death threats, and in spite of the enormous popularity of his books and lectures, he renounced an income, refused recognitions, walked away from accolades, and consistently turned away those who would follow him.
Perhaps most remarkably, what he wrote and taught was not mere theory: unlike most authors (especially those who write about religion and spirituality), he taught from personal experience.
"There are authors who write marvels, but when one looks at them, one realizes that they have not lived what they have written; they did not experience it in themselves, and that is why they are mistaken. I understand that one must write what one has directly experienced by oneself. I have proceeded in this way on my part." - Tarot and Kabbalah (1978)
His lifelong mission was to deliver to humanity the complete path toward the realization of the inner Being, or in other words, the total and exact science required by anyone of any religion, race, culture or creed who wishes to fully and completely develop the human soul. The path he taught is the Path of the Bodhisattva, that mysterious and ancient wisdom long hidden in the bosom of every great religion.
"For as long as space endures
and for as long as the world lasts,
may I live dispelling the miseries
of the world."
- From The Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life by Santideva
The Bodhisattva Path, also known as the Straight Path, is taken by very few. While many aspire to the Light, the vast majority take the easier Spiral Path, which is accomplished over a much longer period. The walker of the Straight Path is rare because that road is bitter, painful and filled with terrors. Embodied in the life story of Jesus of Nazareth, the Path of the Bodhisattva is a path of crucifixion and suffering on behalf of others.
"The straight path, the upright course of action, the eightfold path, conducts us from the darkness to the light. Thus, this is what Christ meant when he said to us: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
"Those who renounce the happiness of Nirvana because of their love for mankind, those who have the body or vehicle of solar transformation, the Nirmanakaya, are the authentic Bodhisattvas, who indeed walk along the straight path; they know the word of the Lord.
"Regarding myself, concerning me, I am a walker of the straight path; thus, I teach the doctrine related with the straight path for those who want to go on the straight path. As to those who do not want to go on the straight path, well, I'm sorry, but the moment at which they have to define themselves will come: then, to those who choose the Spiral Nirvanic Path, we, the ones who follow the Straight Path, have to say "good-bye," because we go towards the Absolute!" - Samael Aun Weor
Clearly, the Path taught by Samael Aun Weor is a radical departure from the teachings of the Spiral Path, and is even more sharply opposed to the far more common teachings of the Baalim, or Lunar Path. Thus, the student, when encountering Gnosis for the first time, is often shocked, outraged, or offended, because these teachings contradict much of what we believe or hold dear. Upon closer study, it will be discovered that Gnosis is indeed the Doctrine of the Synthesis, the expression of the Universal Wisdom in the heart of every religion. What is in conflict with Gnosis are the ideas and interpretations of mankind. Truth is One; it is the mind we have within which degenerates that Truth into opinions, dogmas, politics and wars.
As a vibrant embodiment of the Bodhisattva ideal, which renounces all self-interest and seeks instead to benefit others, Samael Aun Weor rejected any notion of personality worship or the attachments of followers. Throughout his life, many thousands of students projected onto him their ideals and their needs, and this continues to this day. While many worship him and make Gnosis into just another system of belief, his own message is very clear: the only Master we should follow is our own inner Divinity. To reach that inner Divinity, we must remove from our mind mere belief: we must instead study the path as taught by all the great teachers of humanity, and put those teachings into daily practice.