The Enneagram of the three centers, Grace, and Mercy

 

Commentary

 

Originally published in the Zen, Yoga, Gurdjieff Blog, November 2013

 

Grace is given, and Mercy is earned. This is because on the downward path along the right side of the enneagram, much help is sent. God, after all, understands that he has separated his own Being from himself and sent it on a very difficult journey which should benefit all of Being and even Reality itself if it is successfully completed. He consequently gives an enormous amount of help, very freely, because of His Merciful nature.

Once the energy is accepted, however, and the progression around of the diagram turns to the point where the individual has acquired responsibility — the note sol — a different kind of effort is necessary. Now, instead of accepting the conditions one is in and the influence one finds oneself under, which is in the realm and place of natural influences, one enters territory where one must strive to become more like God, since one has acquired the ability to purge oneself of the ego and move closer to God. So energy, in a certain sense, "flows backwards" on this side of the diagram. We discover Being; we seek Mercy.

This may sound like a complicated idea, but the terms are specific and exact. We don't need to seek Being because we already have it; we just don't recognize it. Mme. did not talk about the search for Being; she talked about the Reality of Being. To awaken is to awaken to one's pre-existing state of Being. There is no need to seek this; it merely needs to be uncovered.

Mercy, on the other hand, must be sought, because it is a divine quality that does not belong to man. It is one of the highest principles in the universe, and because it is actually very distant from Being upon its inception (Being is already directly inherent or incarnated (though not fully expressed yet) at re, whereas Mercy occupies the place between si and do, the correct location of the second conscious shock) one must strive to reach it. The fact that it is ever-present and assured does not mean it is attained without effort. My apologies: this understanding is quite complex and exceeds by its very nature the scope of the present essay.

So, coming back to the question of the two prayers in the work, I am – I wish to be is the prayer of Grace given, and Lord have Mercy is the prayer of Mercy sought. The first acknowledges our condition; the second embodies our search. We inhabit the natural; we search for the spiritual.

The practice of conscious labor is the inhabitation of the natural with the support of grace. The practice of intentional suffering is the search to emulate the Mercy of the Lord; and one must go a long way towards Divinity before any help meets one from the other side under these conditions.

 

 

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