It might be worthwhile to discuss materiality and its place in the whole system.
Those who have studied my interpretations of the enneagram relative to the chakras and the Names of God will know that this quality of materiality appears as the note Re in the development of the octave. The position is exact, and occupies the philosophical and cosmological position indicated by both Ibn Arabi and Swedenborg as foundational.
This is because materiality is the fundamental premise upon which manifestation of the names of God and of Being is placed. Materiality arises as a receiving vessel for the influences from higher levels; this is exactly how Swedenborg describes it, and the entire cosmology Ibn Arabi presents us with is dependent on this understanding as well. It's one thing to speak of the body as a vessel for receiving; and indeed, I have often done this. But one needs to develop an inner capacity to see that the entire state of material reality is a vessel for receiving.
At its fundament, in its elemental nature, materiality has a sweetness at its root, and this sweetness is formed by the divine influence. When Rumi spoke of musk, he spoke of this scent of sweetness that under certain circumstances can be physically smelled by the senses. It permeates all of reality like perfume, because it is the influence of divine love, and as a higher influence, it permeates all of the higher senses with its perfection of Being. That perfection of being can only be expressed through sweetness. Indeed, the sweetness of fruits, with their perfumed aroma, is a corresponding manifestation of divine love from higher level. Flowers, which are so commonly used to represent the chakras, are equally important expression of this sweetness.
Because divine love permeates everything, this sweetness can be found with a everything to varying degree. There are times when the sweetness is hidden, and not expressed in an outer form; and there are times when the outer form itself is the embodiment of the sweetness, as with this peony in the photograph. The sweetness — which can be sensed with the outer senses under certain circumstances, with the influence of a higher energy arising — also expresses itself to the inner senses, which are very different senses. Gurdjieff referred to these as the six organs which are receivers of varying vibrations, talked about in the last chapter of Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson, "From the Author."
It might be dangerous to try to assign the understanding of the inner senses to specific organs, because the inner senses have a capacity to express themselves in a wide variety of ways that transcend the traditional, and perhaps somewhat limited, system of chakras. Under the right energetic circumstances the chakras expand to encompass receiving mechanisms and expressive mechanisms that don't fit into the traditionally depicted systems. But that is another question; and it doesn't take place except under specific kinds of influences which, it must be admitted, are not frequently active on this level.
To the extent that we develop a spiritual receptivity — which is forever blended with these lower parts that do not have much of it — so, also, do we begin to taste the sweetness at the heart of life, which is the most elemental quality that can be sensed by human beings on this level. I use the word elemental because it has a vibrational quality that is irreducible, that is, it is like gold. Once you have it, it cannot be refined any further.
Materiality, in its entirety, is designed to receive this sweetness, which is the original manifestation of love that creates materiality, a vibration that is present within every material arising — every object, event, circumstance, and condition. Even the worst and most objectively awful conditions for human beings still contain the sweetness. The fact that we manage to turn it into something it should not be is no fault of God's, but only our own.
Awareness of our materiality also becomes a foundational element in our work. In Gurdjieff's system, his movements are the fundamental expression of our materiality, and represent, in some ways, a starting point for the acknowledgment of the idea that we are, that we exist. This acknowledgment of existence constitutes a certain formal awareness, and is the beginning of the path towards understanding the sweetness that lies at the heart of Being.
may your soul be filled with light.