The Octave of Human Development

Commentary

 

This particular interpretation of the enneagram applies the basic characteristics, or "meanings" of the yogic chakras, or centers of vibration, to the enneagram. In hierarchical cosmologies, characteristics arise and then develop in an order. This particular version of the enneagram mirrors the development of material reality and the consequent iterations and manifestations in a form that is remarkably consonant with understandings from the Sufi tradition as expounded by Ibn al Arabi. in any event, the logic behind the progression around the circle is inexorable  even to the casual viewer. A causal series of events is triggered by the manifestation of the absolute (al Arabi calls it "the Reality,"  which assigns it a status consonant with the Buddhist's Dharma) that results in a developing series of vibrations, each one at a higher level than the one before it.

 

Movement through the diagram is not mechanical; it can only take place through motivation and intention. This is because some of the consequences of the manifestation of the absolute in its transition into material reality (the note "re") are antithetical to the absolute itself; that is, the immanent contradicts the transcendent, a subject that al Arabi treats at considerable length throughout his many discourses. The same dilemma is present in most Buddhist philosophy, and covered extensively in the dialectic presented in Zen.

 

 All material, having become manifest, instantly develops what Jeanne de Salzmann referred to as "a nostalgia for being" — that is, an overwhelming desire to return to its source. This instinctive longing is sabotaged by the allure of material existence, creating a series of obstacles that have to be overcome by a determination (Gurdjieff's and the yogi's "will") characterized above all by the willingness to work (conscious labor) and to suffer in order to purify oneself of the consequences of material existence (intentional suffering.) The fallen state, or state of sin, hypothesized in the yogic concept of karma and the Abramic idea of sin, is material reality itself. In a certain sense, by dint of material existence, sin is instantly manifest.

 

Astute readers will probably sense a connection here between Gurdjieff's choot-bog-litanical period, after which higher being bodies lost the possibility of blending directly with the Most Holy Sun Absolute.

 

 The detailed function of the diagram needs to be compared to Gurdjieff's explanation in the chapter the holy planet Purgatory, in particular, pages 689 — 691. He referred to the action of the first shock, or stopinder, as the "mechano-coinciding mdnelin." A quick visual reference to Ousepnsky's enneagram will reveal that the first shock takes place on what is called the mechanical side of the diagram, where mechanical and material forces  predominate. Under these conditions, freedom from mechanical conditions must be sought in order to move to the second side of the diagram — and this, indeed, is exactly what Gurdjieff taught his pupils.

 

 

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