Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Natural and spiritual influences
On this level, our three centers — moving, emotional, and thinking — are driven by forces from this level, roughly stated as urges, desires, and knowledge. These three forces, as those who have read my book The Universal Enneagram will know, relate to the more universal principles of materiality, desire, and power.
However, this question of urges, desires, and knowledge is a bit more immediate. Our material existence causes us to have urges, and this is exactly what the body has: the urge to eat, the urge to stimulate itself, the urge to engage in exercise, etc. All these urges are mechanical and we share them with animals. They are strictly physical functions. Sexuality actually falls into the same general realm; in its ordinary condition, it's an urge. Urges rule us unless we rule them; but as anyone who has struggled with addiction knows, a different kind of force is necessary in order to rule urge.
Desires are equally mechanical; they don't have any conscious thought behind them and are influenced strictly by the interest in gratifying urges. Urge and desire conspire together to direct affairs; but this is done, in an inner sense, as though with a series of levers connected to the outside. The outside has all the leverage; and it is what moves these particular forces within human beings. I say particular, because the forces manifest within the particles — atoms and molecules — of the human body, that is, they are physical, and their action is physical.
Knowledge, the most sophisticated of the three mechanical forces, appears to know what it is doing, and there are vast quantities of it available for collection. Having enough of it does give one power, hence the connection between the two concepts. The power that it gives one over the forces of urgent desire are, however, illusory, because it is still under a natural influence, not a conscious one.
I've created a diagram for those who are interested in seeing a picture of such things.
In any event, if a conscious force enters, and the three centers are bound together in a more unified and harmonious action, the three forces that act on the natural, or material, level are each of them transformed through conscious action into forces of a quite different nature, which nonetheless have their exact mirror in the natural.
Urges are transformed into sensation, that is, conscious awareness of the body.
Desires are transformed into wishes, that is, conscious awareness of aim.
Knowledge is transformed into understanding, that is, conscious relationship with the material world.
Readers will notice that there is a hierarchy to this which begins with sensation.
These descriptions are, of course, approximate, but they may be of use to those who wish to more specifically study the relationship between our spiritual Being and our natural being.