Thursday, January 10, 2008

Three Classes of Energy

In considering the question of energy that we discover within us, and the energies that we become sensitive to in life, people generally discuss "an energy," or "energy," or "the energy," as though energy were somewhat generic, or there were only one kind. In my experience, even with people that work with energy a good deal, the subject is treated as a vague one.

This in contrast to Gurdjieff's exhortations that we study such energies and attempt to understand them in more detail.

Gurdjieff maintained that the human body experienced various kinds of energy through the action of various kinds of hydrogens. Despite our rather sloppy tendency to "lump" it together verbally, it seems fairly clear that there is not one kind of energy; instead, man finds himself operating in a field of various energies.

We know from the world of science that there are a number of different kinds of energy: for example, there is electromagnetic energy, the energy of photons, kinetic energy, and so on. We have radio waves, light waves, and (presumably) gravity waves. These are all external kinds of energy that can, excepting gravity, be directly measured using machines.

In the same way, the energies that are depicted within the enneagram--inner energies--are actually several kinds of inner energies,, which vary substantially according to rate of vibration, in the same way that even though colors are all colors, red is not blue or green. Man is also a machine designed for and capable of taking the measure of these various energies.

The ennegram divides energy further, into two different major classes: energies belonging to the law of three, and energies belonging to the law of seven. Each of these energies has different specific characteristics, actions, and effects depending on where it manifests within the octave.

I explained this idea of dual energies in my essay on the enneagram in 2003. Over the past four years, I have added a good deal of material that elaborates on that effort, much of which is available as a group of essays on the website.

As I was falling asleep last night, conducting at the same time a study of the inner sensory state, I saw something that relates to the entire question.

This "something" requires an addendum to the enneagram essay to correct it, or, rather, expand on it in a rather important way. The essay as it stands is essentially partial in its reference to "dual energies," as you will see below.

It's my habit to let work as it was completed stand, rather than to "repaint" it, so I am not going to rewrite the essay. If I do anything along those lines, it will require an entirely new piece of work which I am not up to yet. There is another project on the table regarding Paul's letter to the Romans which will take some time to complete. So I am expanding this additional point about the enneagram in the blog for the time being.

In the essay, I explain that there are two kinds of energy depicted in the diagram. It might be more accurate to say that there are two classes of energy belonging to the two different laws in the diagram. In so far as the statement goes, it is correct. However, it overlooks a third class of energy that I have been writing about at some length over the last couple of months. That is the energy of ordinary impressions gathered through the five senses.

Although many esoteric works repeatedly warn us that we are almost exclusively under the influence of the "first" set of energies as gathered through the five senses, this set of energies is absolutely essential to the total equation. It is quite necessary to "have" it. Because of man's persistent literalism, the arts of abstinence, deprivation, and renunciation have become stock religious practices, but none of these appear to sufficiently address the underlying issue.

It is, rather, non-attachment to this class of energy that needs to be practiced.

This first class of energies happens to be completely missing from the visual diagram of the enneagram. Gurdjieff himself pointed out that a good deal of the material in this diagram could not be properly used because the diagram was incomplete- significant elements were absent. This energy of the five outer senses is one of those elements.

So, there is not one, there are not two--there are actually three types of energy interacting within the range of man's conscious experience.

The first kind of energy, not depicted in the diagram, is the energy of input from the five senses -- the course, or outer, impressions of life. The body's five senses are physical tools--a receiving apparatus--which collect those outer impressions.

The second kind of energy, which is depicted in the diagram, belongs to the six inner flowers, i.e., the chakras, or, as Gurdjieff would rightly have it, the structure of emotional center. This gathers impressions that belong to the inner being, and are of a much finer nature. The inner structure is capable of receiving vibrations that are not directly related to those that the five outer senses collect. They do, however, interact with them in vital ways.

The work of the multiplications in the enneagram is the progressive bringing together of the structure so that inner impressions can be experienced and gain enough weight in a man's life to counteract the overwhelming effect of outer impressions. (Gurdjieff's touchy-feely description of this process is aptly expounded in his idea of "personality feeding essence.")

In this way, a man's consciousness can eventually become balanced between the two sets of impressions, ultimately discovering how to inhabit the middle way.

Then we have the third kind of energy, depicted by the triangle in the diagram, which comes from a higher level, and is definitely needed to assist complete development of the inner octave.

It makes perfect sense that there would be three different kinds of energy at work in this complete picture. We see the Law of three at work here in the sense of holy affirming, holy denying, and holy reconciling elements. These three sets of energies are dynamic and interactive, and, as Gurdjieff pointed out on more than one occasion, can interchangeably play the three roles under different sets of conditions.

My own impression is that the subject deserves a great deal more practical study, which definitely needs to be conducted within the most active moments of life.

May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.

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