Enneagram of man's life cycle






This diagram takes basic principles discussed in many of the other diagrams and applies it to a single human life, from birth to death. Although the names for various features in the landscape change, they all refer to related or similar concepts.


It ought to be noted that physical death is located between the notes Si and Do in the above diagram.Although the requirement for this second shock is the requirement of a conscious shock, in the case of biological life, the shock is mechanical — that is, inevitable, lawful, and unavoidable — and cannot serve exactly the same purpose that it does if the shock is invoked intentionally.


It ought to be made clear here that the whole point of inner work is to die before the mechanical death of the physical body. This is exactly how Gurdjieff referred to awakening:


"It is impossible to awaken completely all at once. One must first begin to awaken for short moments. But one must die all at once and forever after having made a certain effort, having surmounted a certain obstacle, having taken a certain decision from which there is no going back. This would be difficult, even impossible, for a man, were it not for the slow and gradual awakening which precedes it."


Excerpt taken from In Search of the Miraculous by P. D. Ouspensky, pub. Paul H. Crompton Ltd, 2004, p2199.



 Gurdjieff also made some remarks to Ouspensky about what may become possible for a man at the moment of death:


“But is it not possible for man to be at once transposed to another stage of being by a wave of emotion?” someone asked.


“I do not know,” said G., “we are again talking in different languages. A wave of emotion is indispensable, but it cannot change moving habits; it cannot of itself make centers work rightly which all their lives have been working wrongly. To change and repair this demands separate, special, and lengthy work. Then you say: transpose a man to another level of being. But from this point of view a man does not exist for me. There is a complex mechanism consisting of a whole series of complex parts. ‘A wave of emotion’ takes place in one part but the other parts may not be affected by it at all. No miracles are possible in a machine. It is miracle enough that a machine is able to change. But you want all laws to be violated.”


“What of the robber on the cross?” asked one of those present. “Is there anything in this or not?”


“That is another thing entirely,” said G., “and it illustrates an altogether different idea. In the first place it took place on the cross, that is, in the midst of terrible sufferings to which ordinary life holds nothing equal; secondly, it was at the moment of death. This refers to the idea of man’s last thoughts and feelings at the moment of death. In life these pass by, they are replaced by other habitual thoughts. There can be no prolonged wave of emotion in life and therefore it cannot give rise to a change of being.


Excerpt taken from In Search of the Miraculous by P. D. Ouspensky, pub. Paul H. Crompton Ltd, 2004, p 349.