Friday, December 30, 2011

The Universal Octave

In my general ponderings about the enneagram, essence, conscience, and related topics, this morning, my questions came around to an old subject–that is, being-foods in man and the universe.

 Because, as Gurdjieff taught us, man is an accurate model of the universe in miniature, we can readily understand the idea that the universe has three being-foods, just as man does.

It's not difficult to relate man's three being foods to the law of three on the enneagram, and I have done so in this diagram. (click on the link.)  Each type of food, having a different rate of vibration, is appropriate to a different center, whose rate of vibration is at a corresponding speed.

What we see is that each center has a food appropriate to its own work.

 What makes the subject more interesting to me is what happens when we look at the same diagram as applied to the universe. Readers can see this diagram at the following link, which also allows you to interactively toggle back and forth between being-foods of man and being-foods of the universe.

 Readers who have been following my recent musings will know of my essays about the connections between the creation and nature of material reality, the flow of time, and  my consequent inferences about the  relationship between the consciousness of man and the consciousness of God. Let's just say that these subjects are all intimately connected.

 The bottom line here is that the universe, like human beings, feeds on the material around it, and is constructed of it. The law of Trogoautoegocrat– I eat myself– is wholly expressed in the enneagram.

Matter itself–elemental matter–is the first being-food of the universe, the material food of the universe, which represents the initial incarnation of the divine in the flow of material downwards through the rate of creation. It's easy to understand how this works: the physical body, or moving center, of the universe, the vehicle through which all of the universe is expressed, is composed of matter. Matter itself represents the Holy Denying force: energy, emitted from the wholeness of God, manifests itself as its own “I am–I wish to be”– a separate entity from God.

Time is the second being-food of the universe, playing the same role that air plays for man. Gurdjieff said to Ouspensky, " Time is breath– try to understand this.” (In Search Of The Miraculous, P. D. Ouspensky, page 213, Paul H. Crompton Ltd. edition 2004.)  Given that air is, in man, the "food" of intellectual center, let's take a shot at it, presuming that time plays a similar role in the universe.

The intelligence of the universe, its character and everything it knows, develops only through time. It is the progressive and interactive nature of relationship that creates meaning. The intellect of the universe, its ability to see, think, and understand itself, can only be developed by consuming the medium of time. Matter must surrender itself back into God through time: everything submits itself to time, creating its relationship to the second prayer, "Lord have Mercy." (See the diagram at this link for the position of the two prayers on the enneagram.)

The prayer "Lord have Mercy" is located on the diagram at the same place where Time, the Merciless Heropass, acts as the second shock in the universal octave. Time has no mercy... hence the prayer to the Lord to provide it.

The third being-food of the universe is Love.  This force is at the highest rate of vibration, representing the point at which Divine Influence initiates and informs the entire octave of the universe. It corresponds to the food of impressions in man; and indeed, in the essay on the flow of time and its nature (see the above link) it turns out that the consumption of impressions is essential to the identity of Divinity,  in its ongoing effort to know itself fully. This subject is treated in more detail in the essay on Chakras and the Enneagram.

 Anyway, I thought readers would find this line of inquiry interesting. It's far from a complete work; nonetheless, the suggestions are provocative. I have added a complete page of diagrams of various kinds to my Doremishock website so that readers can browse through the iterations of the enneagrams I have created in my various essays without having to read all the ponderous material that accompanies them. (I have to confess that I myself find it painfully difficult to slog through endless pages of esoteric material– an exquisite irony, isn't it? ...Just looking at the pictures should provide an easy browsing experience that won't drive you completely nuts,  and, in some cases, if you truly think about them, you will figure out much of what is said in the essays.)

In summing all of this up, it occurred to me that it's possible to distill Gurdjieff's approach into a very few concise words. The Work consists of the following efforts and responsibilities, each one related to its own position on the enneagram in the law of three:

Always Beginning (note "do")
Always Working (first conscious shock- conscious labor)
Always Giving Back (second conscious shock- intentional suffering)

These three principles, applied throughout the development of any object, event, condition, or circumstance, are what we might call right action.

 There are some further important inferences to draw here from the nature of time, its position on the diagram, and the sorrow of His Endlessness, but they cannot be addressed in this essay, which has more than enough theory in it already.

On a more practical note, it's hardly a theoretical exercise to try and have a conscious impression of the digestion, breathing, and impressions (especially as they may arrive under the influence of forces above the top of the head.) We are always in the midst of taking in all three being-foods.

To be human– to be a man without quotation marks– is to sense this organically.

 I respectfully ask you to take good care.


  1. I would like to second your findings and add some comments which may be germane to your study:

    In the diagram of the Enneagram which is linked to your two prayers, there is a vertical red line which divides the Enneagram into two halves, but we must remember that this diagram has been produced musically.
    Not enough people know enough about music law to see what I am talking about, but Mr. Gurdjieff uses the Solfege ( Do, Re, Mi/Fa Sol La Si/Do) but the diagram works just as well using numbers.

    In the deepest aspect of musical law there is also a diagram which concerns consonant movement in low ratios, the Greek word ratio being translatable as the relationship between two wholes, or "word" or "logos".

    Music also follows certain patterns that can be diagrammed–specifically what is known as the Cycle of Fifths/Fourths. Although It Is a Spiral, Tempered Tuning have turned it into a circle–an exitless magic circle as forceful as the circles drawn around the Yezetis.

    The difference between the Enneagram and the Cycle of Fifths/Fourths is that the Enneagram is based upon the Law of Three; The Triangle within the circle, with two equidistant marks in each Third; whereas the Cycle of Fifths/Fourths is based upon the Square which is broken into 12 marks exactly as a wristwatch is and is traceable back to the Chaldean system of numbering via base 60. This takes the circle and cuts it in half vertically and horizontally, and then two tick marks are placed in each quarter, 30° each. This renders 12, and is still used in timekeeping–although it is outside the scope of this comment, it is an extraordinary and rich mine for pondering 12x5 equals 60. 24 hours in a day, 60 min. in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute. Why?

    This is the same structure as the Cycle of Fifths/Fourths in Music–music in the West having 12 semitones which agrees completely with the 12 hours on a wristwatch. Is there something to ponder. I think there is, and it can lead to some very deep places.

  2. PT 2:
    Now in the Cycle of Fifths/Fourths, Do stands at the top, just as it does in the Enneagram and a plumb line dropped down to split the circle in half vertically yields the flatted 5th, or augmented 4th–both representing something which is called the tritone or “Devils Interval”.

    In both diagrams, a vertical line yields what is known as the Devils interval between the Fourth (Fa) and the Fifth (sol). So that in fact, not only does it take the 1st unconscious shock of breathing (which can also be made conscious) to pass in the Solfeggi from Mi over to Fa, but then trying to move from Fa to Sol involves moving through the Devil himself. This is another reason why no one can accomplish anything–you go to the store for butter and return with a fish, and the devil's interval is also the reason that the Major Scale is asymmetrical.
    This asymmetric factor can be traced all the way back to nanoseconds following the "Big Bang. It also explains the differential between the Autoegocrat and the creation of the required indivisible force, the Trogoautoegocrat, which demands that all things move in spirals and self consume, to cheat The Merciless Heropass, Kali, the inexorable movement of Kala (TIME), which brings an end to all things.

    This asymmetry can be retrieved only by replacing the Solfeggi names with Hindu/Arabic numerals, such as 123 etc. If we do that, we find an astonishing fact–that because of the missing interval which must be filled with the shock of air, the devil tricks us into thinking that the 4th (Fa) is Do, the 1st–thus we never reach the left-hand side of the Enneagram, but are restricted to the ordinary conscious actions of do re mi, do re mi, do re mi, do re mi, do re mi, do re mi, do re mi etc. and each of these newest beginnings is a movement towards sadness and grief, that we can never finish that which we have started.

    I invite even those who are not musical to do the following: draw an Enneagram. Then draw a watch face and place the numbers according to the formula of the Major Scale–Whole Step (2 Ticks), Whole Step,(2 ticks again) followed by a half step which is the very next tick mark. It then continues with 3 whole steps which brings us to the single step that returns us to the top.

    Now, drop a plumb line (a vertical descending line) from the top of the diagrams straight down and through the exact bottom of the diagrams. In both diagrams you will find yourself between Fa and Sol, with the tick mark between them standing for the Cosmic Sacrificing Satan (Opposer)–The Invisible 3rd Force which forces all things to rotate as in the word “perverse.” Perverse actually means to turn with no set direction. Lee asked me if I could explain this, so I have done my best. Somewhere someone will understand it and it may prove to be a revelation as it did for me, when I saw the whole thing in one moment during the multiplications in a movements class.


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