higher level. Therefore, the one who limits his study to the intellect will perceive twocontradictory instructions that apply to two different levels of development, and they willenter into conflict. The synthesis or the answer to that is to discover Gnosis inside of oneself, for oneself.Gnosis demands exactly what the Buddha taught:As the wise test gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, So, bhikshus, should you acceptmy words -- after testing them, and not merely out of respect. You have to live these teachings, you have to apply them in your moment to momentexistence, otherwise they have no purpose.We can say that Gnosis, this doctrine of the heart, is directed towards the expansion of our self-knowledge. To "know oneself" is to gather Gnosis of the truth of life and death of reality. This is not something to be taken lightly; the fact is that death awaits everyone of us. None of us know when the moment of our death will arrive; it could be today, it couldbe in the next matter of hours, and that comprehension, that recognition, is importantbecause it provides a foundation for us to manage our attention, to manage our will, tonot be distracted. Some traditions in the West have this phrase "Momento Morte,""remember death." The purpose behind that is to always be mindful of the presentmoment, and when we are mindful and present and observant of ourselves, we arestanding in the door of Gnosis.Gnosis as a Science and as an Art does not exist in the past, nor does it exist in thefuture. The only way to enter into and access Gnosis, or experiential knowledge, is in thepresent moment, and to do that, to acquire that, requires discipline, it requires effort, butmost of all it requires consciousness, to be conscious, to be attentive, to be aware. This refers to one of the foundational teachings in this doctrine of the heart, which saysthat there are two lines that exist in life. There is the horizontal line that moves from birththrough all the experiences we can have in life, to death. That line moves steadily inaccordance with our Karma, in accordance with our karmic values, positive and negative,which are within us. Most of humanity remains on this line in ignorance, in confusion, indarkness, and this is because there are in truth four levels, roughly speaking, to thecapacities of human consciousness.If you can imagine a building that has four floors, most human beings (what we call"human beings") live the entirety of their time within a physical body on the bottom twofloors and have no idea about the other two. The first level, the bottommost level, is what we commonly call "sleep," but in this casewe would say this really refers to the sleep of the physical body. And this state is when weneed to rest and we lie down; the physical body goes to sleep and the consciousnessleaves the physical body and we begin to dream. In our own experience as an individualperson, as one humanoid entity, what is our own experience of dreaming? This is a keyfactor of great importance in your life because it indicates your own conscious capacities.Most people do not remember their dreams or if they do, the dreams are very vague orsporadic and the ones they remember obscure, incoherent, and this is because theconsciousness is weak, conditioned, trapped. The second state of consciousness is what we call the "vigil state" and it is when ourphysical body is active, moving around, doing things, but, according to the heart doctrine,according to Gnosis, this is really just another level of sleep. And all of the great mastersand prophets, teachers have said so. Jesus repeatedly emphasized that we are asleep, sodid Buddha, so did Moses, so did Quetzlcoatl. All these great teachers point out to us thatour consciousness is asleep. We think we are awake and this is the problem. We believethat we are awake because we perceive and act and we think that is equivalent to beingawake, but it is not.