Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Seventeen

Enneagram Scarab Part 17

I waited while she brought the coffee; waited and moved my feet around in the sodden boots, enjoying the effect the squelching noise had on those on the next table. Eventually, she returned, smiling at my continued noise-making.

“Stop it – you’re just being bad for the sake of it!” she scolded.

“I’m only human.” I said, wetly.

“Thank you . . . “

I looked up into those now-gentle eyes. “Thank you?”

She sat down and sipped her coffee, assembling what she wanted to say.

“Thank you for being the person who shocked me awake on the beach;” she glanced at the shoreline across the road. “Who stalked me like an idiot, in front of the watching world, to make a wonderful and illustrative point.”  More coffee, then, “Who waded into a cold sea and made me see that these numbers on a circle are really vivid and imprisoning ways of seeing the world.”

“Well, yes,” I said, amazed and mollified at the strength of feeling. “That’s a very good description.”

“And they all have this, the numbers – the Types?”

“They all have their own flavours of this – though the original anticlockwise wave of the outgoing three are the anchors for the rest.”

“The Nine, where it begins, the Six and this–” she looked wistfully at the beach, again. “The Three.”

“Yes,” I said, smiling at her infectious good spirits. “I used the Three for this increase in ‘volume’ of your experiences for a very good reason.” I watched as she cocked her head to one side, studying me.

“You’re a three?” she asked, smiling.

“Yes, I’m a Type Three.” I replied.

“But you’re not just a Type Three?” she asked.

“No-one is just any single type. We all have them all, so to speak, they are the story of the unfolding human . . .”

“Just in differing proportions?”

“Exactly so, according to our formative reactions – and we are all unique, though we all share some characteristics we’d rather not confess to – notably the ‘sins’ we began these conversations with!”

Alexandra chuckled. “Oh, yes.” she whispered into the foam on her latte. “I can see that now.” She drank from the mug, then asked, “So, where next?”

“Next, at least clockwise, would be the Four . . .”

“Given that I have to catch one of the London trains today, can you give me a few gems to consider in the week ahead?”

I drew in a breath and opened the moment to the right words. “You must go forward from here with what you know. You know that each of what we might call the ‘Outcast Triad’ – the Nine, the Six and the Three – all the same child of the divine – were stages in the One Life, the One Consciousness, the result of a turning away from our original, spiritual nature – which, in one sense, leaves it self-important, an island of safe isolation, where it can make its own rules; and . . . colourless.”

I watched and drank coffee while she considered this. She took her time. Eventually, she said, “And the Three, in a sense, is where we end up – unless we carry on back to the Nine?”

“Very much like that,” I agreed. “So tell me, in your own words, what that process of becoming an outcast, an exile, is . . .”

She thought for a while, then drew in a breath to speak. I leaned across the table and placed a gentle hand on her wrist, shaking my head.

“My train?” she asked, smiling.

“No, my wet feet – but you have some thinking to do for next time.” I drained my coffee.

There was the happiest of silences as she walked, and I squelched, back to the car park by the sands. My boots were unlikely ever to be the same, again – but it had been worth it.

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Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.

All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.

                                                

Microfibre and tractor beams – a tale from the shrinking settee

Serafina is sitting in the formal chair, I’m lazing on the old leather settee, which fits nicely under the angled overhang unavoidably created when the architect cunningly crafted the upper floor on to our former Lakeland bungalow.

“Why irony?” she says.

“Irony?” – I’m playing hard to get. As my portable shrink, she’s used to such tactics.

“On the top of your personal WordPress web page, it has ‘Irony’ in the middle of it . . .”

I’m going to have to answer; to reach into what was just a whimsy, and deconstruct it for the world of reason.

“I like it because it has the word ‘iron’ in it. Iron is a good image, something forged with intelligence and for a durable purpose. I like the way that great iron structures rust with age, showing what they are, rather than the accretions that cover them, like concrete.” I’m impressed with this – it’s positively poetic.

“No you don’t, you just made that up.” she says, correctly; used to my verbal escapology.

Metaphorically pinned to the old leather settee, I am forced to agree. “Okay, yes I did; but I’ve had time to think now, so the answer to ‘why irony?’ is because I have always loved the notion that ‘fate’–the gods as they used to be, reach into our lives, every now and then, and fling us about a bit . . .”

Serafina considers this. “And it’s good to be ‘flung about a bit?'”

“Yes, it’s essential; it’s what really good friends would do with you if they could read your secret heart and your real needs instead of dealing with the papier maché front we all construct.”

“And these have to be life-changing events?” she asks.

“No – in fact, most of them are quite tiny – but can have a dramatic effect in the moment, in the now; if that now has been primed, so to speak.”  I consider what I’ve just said. It’s not the best-phrased construct, but it conveys the gist of the thing.

“An example being?”

She’s quite merciless, of course – this amalgam of some of the finest and most fearsome characteristics of womankind; but useful to have around.

“An example being this morning. I took the dog out for its constitutional; at the expense of my own, came back and rushed to the ensuite bathroom with a large mug of steaming tea in my hand, to be whipped around in a near airborne arc, spilling most of it, as though grabbed by a sci-fi tractor beam wielded by a mischievous and obscure small god in another galaxy . . .”

“And what really happened?” she asks, waiting, patiently for the truth.

“Okay,” I say, remembering the event in vivid details with some embarrassment. “I had thrown on one of my walking shirts, made by a company called Paramo, who utilise the strongest microfibre they can source. As I strode, at speed, into the ensuite bathroom,one of the short sleeves had hooked itself in the right door handle of the saloon-style doors. These open inwards, so I’d travelled another foot or so before disaster struck and the ancient god of distant bathrooms used my forward momentum to entertain itself with my subsequently scalded pirouette; the amazingly strong shirt remaining totally unshredded, having dumped me and most of the tea on the floor . . . but personally I prefer the tractor beam theory!”

“I see.” says Serafina. “And the moral of the tale?”

“The moral of the tale is that sometimes your best suit of armour is not the smartest place to be . . . ”

“Hmm” says Serafina, clearly underwhelmed.

Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Fifteen

n9 Pridev2

“I’ve got you an extra coffee, in a take-away cup, because I knew you were going to be late, and I’m thoughtful like that . . .”

I watched for her reaction. The word confusion was written across Alexandra’s face. I winced, inside – this was going to be a tough one.

“But . . . but I’m not late!” she protested, looking at her watch and beginning to look irritated as she flounced into the chair.

I watched her wrestle with the conflicting emotions; I had removed the normal beginning of our Monday morning from her safe grasp, and, though she had come to expect the novel, she didn’t expect the completely unknown . . .

“Arguing won’t do you any good,” I said. “It’s important that you recognise that, although I do my best to look after everyone in my care, I make the rules; and expect those who are going to help me to do it with their fullest consideration!”

Her mouth had dropped open. “You make the . . .”

Nine, ten, I was waiting for the explosion . . . “Why you pompous, jumped up . . .” And then she saw the smile. “Bastard . . .” she added, sipping her coffee and thinking, deeply, about the nearly heated exchange. I could see her fighting to get her breathing under control.

She took several minutes to consider her next words. “Yes I do . . .”

“You do?” I asked, genuinely curious.

“I know someone just like that.”

The chameleon had changed in front of her, dropping the acting and embracing the moment – one of considerable triumph on her part.

“He or she?” I asked.

“Chief clerk of our chambers, actually.” her eyes narrowed as she summoned up his inner image. “Little sod, he is, but very capable – it’s what keeps him there; but you’re either on his team or you’re the enemy!”

“For life?”

“Pretty much – he’s a great believer in absolutes.” she said. “He seems to think that he epitomises the perfect figure for the organisation.” she smiled at a memory which obviously contradicted that . . . “But here’s the thing – he gets angry with himself, as though he’s constantly failing to meet his internal picture of how wonderful he should be!”

She drank some more coffee, then added, “But it’s seldom his fault; just another example of how his vision is misunderstood. And then he returns to work, and usually works around the clock to beat himself up for not being infallible . . . “

“I’m so glad. You have the perfect Two . . .”

Her eyes were still locked in their internal gaze, remembering the picture of her sometime adversary.

“The perfect, Two,” I said softly, again, leaning towards her, conspiratorially.

She snapped out of her reverie. “The Two! Oh yes, I’d forgotten that we were up to the Two!”

“Let’s call him Will Faul.” I said. She laughed at the name.

“Okay, Will Faul it is, so what do I do with him?”

“We’ll come to the remedials when we know them all a bit better.” I said.  For now, just study the people you meet and see how many of them fit into this profile.

“What’s at the heart of a Two?” she asked. “Can’t you give me a keyword, or something?”

She was looking at her watch. I knew our time was almost up and wanted to give her something in return for the rough ride.

“Okay,” I said, draining my own drink. “It’s all about image.”

“Image,” she said wistfully, already working on the ramifications of the answer. “And that’s all I get?”

“That’s all you need,” I smiled. “For now.”

She smiled back, her composure had returned.  “Bloody good job we did all that prep or you’d be driving back wearing coffee!”

“Brought my mac,” I said, tapping the summer raincoat behind my chair and beaming with a huge grin that spilled over into laughter.

“It’s all about trust, isn’t it?” she said, returning my smile.

I didn’t reply immediately. I just stood up, nodding, threw the mac over my shoulder, and bent down to kiss the top of her head. “Yes,” I whispered. “And that you know it, so soon, is beautiful . . .”

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Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.

All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.

                                                

Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Thirteen

Alexandra arrived to find her coffee waiting on the table; together with an old silver coin.

“It’s a half-crown,” I said, in response to her puzzled look. “You may never have seen one, before?”

“I have. My grandfather had some; and what am I supposed to do with it?” she asked, in reply.

“Why, you spin it, of course!” I was being irritating, but it was for a purpose, besides, I am not old enough to be her grandfather.

“One coin, two faces – okay, technically a head and a tail? So,” she paused to take a breath. “What am I choosing between?”

“Much better,” I was ready to drop the curmudgeon. “Between a dance around the clock or a hexawaltz!”

“A what!?”

“I just made it up –  a hexawaltz . . .”

She sat down, looked at me as though she could throw something, then decided to sip her coffee. “See reaction forming, stand back, creating inner space. Let reaction play itself out in imagination . . . smile, instead.”  She beamed at me.

“Dammit, that was far too good,” I admitted, taking some of my own coffee.

“And now the choice–as my reward, professor . . .”

“I’m not your professor, but the choice is between walking the perimeter of the enneagram or dancing the hexaflow – either way we will cover the full circle of nine stations – as I promised, and in a bit more detail this time.”

“Now that I know about the wave and the context of where the Nine came from?”

I nodded. “Now that you know all that.”  I flicked the coin into the air above our table. “Call it!”

“Heads!” she had blurted it out before she realised that there was no outcome associated with the choice she had made. I let the half-crown fall into my palm and slapped it, opposite side down on the upper side of my left hand.

“So which way are we going to do it?” she said. “Since the coin is, clearly, irrelevant!”

“Awww, and I was having such a good time!” I said.

“I know you were – that’s why I spoiled your fun!”

“Ouch!” I said. “Bested by my favourite legal mind, again . . .” I revealed the snake on the trick coin and sat there grinning and insufferable. She chuckled into her coffee.

Alexandra muttered into the froth, “Bastard . . .”

“Not entirely,” I defended my stance. “There is method in the professor’s madness, and probability is an important issue in the greater picture of the enneagram.”

“Snake, then . . .” She sat back, crossing one elegant leg over the other and waited. “I’m waiting . . .”

“Round the clock, then,” I began. “We could start anywhere, but remember that everything in the enneagram, viewed as a clock face of process, progresses from Zero to One to Three to Nine.”

“Zero? You never mentioned zero before!”

She was right. I nodded, smiling. “Zero really occupies the same spot as Nine, and marks the initiation of something for which Nine is its completion – It’s similar to how Ten works in our decimal system, yet contains the One from which it began – we don’t start counting at zero do we? And yet, mathematically, it’s there; but of rather a different nature from One”

“Okay,” she said, leaning forwards. “So a raw Zero state gets processed ‘around the clock’ of the enneagram to end up as the Nine at the end of the cycle.”

“Exactly so–in nine stages, just like a spiral.”

That idea took hold immediately. “Oh, that’s good, so, it’s really three-dimensional, but, because we can only see it from above, we just see it returning to Nine, as though Nine were unchanged and just the point of starting again.”

“Whereas–?” I prompted.

“Whereas, really, in any process, the Nine represents what you would call an alchemical completion of a cycle . . .”

“Breathtaking!”

“Thank you.” She smiled. “I do listen . . .sometimes.” She chuckled, again. “When I’m not wanting to throw coffee at you!”

It was my turn to sit back and drink my coffee. “And you have to go, now, but before you do, I can tell you the exciting news that there are people living around the enneagram!”

There was mirth in her eyes. “Shock, horror–people, no less! Squatters, possibly!”

Her laughter was infectious. I joined in the mirth. “Yes, people; and, sadly, their presence there has nothing at all to do with the working out of process in the general sense that Gurdjieff taught us . . .”

“Wha–”

“It’s complex; but beautiful. And it deserves a full answer or you won’t get the elegant sense of it all – but there are two systems of human development alive and well in this beautiful glyph and they co-exist very well . . .”

Ten minutes later, I helped her onto the train. She leaned down to give me the customary Monday hug and peck on the cheek.

“Such fun,” she said, as the carriage doors whooshed shut.

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Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.

All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.

                                                

Contact details and an outline description of the Silent Eye School are on the other pages of this blog and via the website at www.thesilenteye.co.uk

Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Twelve

Alexandra was calmer and much more introspective when we met the following Monday morning.

“So, we’re going to look at things from the unified perspective of what we have called ‘the Wave’?” she said.

“Yes,” I replied, taking the new drawing, from my pocket and unfolding it next to the two fresh lattes. “Examine this and tell me what you see . . .” She studied it carefully. I had arranged for it to be printed on silk so that she would treasure it.

The barrister’s mind missed nothing. “The inner triangle is a different colour,” she said. “And the hexa-thingy and the triangle have both been marked with arrows.”

“Precisely. There are really two sequences shown in this diagram, the one made up by the sides of the triangle goes back on itself in three moves; the other follows a more complex pattern that looks a bit like a jewel.” I took a sip of my hot coffee. It scalded my lips and I winced in pain.

She chortled at my discomfort, but not cruelly. “A bit like the fear reactions generated by our coming-into-the-world?” she said, still chuckling.

“Exactly so . . .” I smiled ruefully at my haste. “In our enneagram model, that would now have created a learned reaction which would stay with the developing person, forming a foundation layer on which other, more complex reactions would be layered, but, though primitive, that foundation layer would be very powerful.”

“In the brain?” she asked.

“Absolutely in the brain,” I replied. “Much of what is considered mystical actually takes place in the brain – though that is not to say that there isn’t, alongside that, the truly spiritual.”

I watched her trace the sides of the triangle from station nine to six to three; and then back to nine again. “And you said that this first move–” she re-traced Nine to Six. “Was a basic move away from our true nature – that which is really spiritual in us?”

I loved it when she used her own logic in this way, though it held a trap, since the temptation would always be to use the brain rather than what lay beyond. It was so hard for someone very clever setting out on a spiritual path to consider that the brain – the ordinary mind – was incapable of even conceiving of the spiritual life beyond the brain patterns of reaction and personality.

She continued, “So at Six we learn fear and the patterns begin to form that will become the us that the world knows, but there is something much more alive buried beneath that?”

“Yes,” I said. But we don’t get that to start with–in fact most of us don’t get it, ever . . .”

She traced a finger from Six to Three. “So we go this way, instead?”

I smiled. It was a rewarding experience to teach one so eager and so quick-thinking. “Yes, we take our fear and our hurt and go deeper into the world, creating an island of personality at Three which allows us to get some strength and stability in the world – in our world. But its satisfaction is short lived, because we cut ourselves off from the true flow and energy in life.”

“But it’s not entirely a negative thing?”

“Not at all–it’s an essential thing. Without it we could never have the strength nor the discrimination to look back on the basic layers of fear and begin to dissolve their power.”

She looked me in the eyes; her own were beautiful hazel orbs radiating her initial grasp of the significance of all this. “This is not a trivial journey, is it?” she said, very wistfully.

“No,” I answered. “But it’s the only one that’s real. As Jung said, ‘you can construct all the beings of light you like, but until you tackle your own depths, you will never make any real spiritual progress’.”

She was silent for a long time. Eventually, she said, “But you would say that there’s so much beauty ‘down there’ that it’s all worth it?”

“Yes,” I said. “There’s so much beauty ‘down there’ that it will make you cry with delight; make you feel that, as the Sufi’s always said, the Beloved has returned to your life . . .”

We sat in silence for a long time, thereafter, and then I drove her to the station. With a gentle peck on the cheek she left for her other world, one increasingly encroached on by her developing spiritual awareness . . . the journey was going well.

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Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.

All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.

                                                

Contact details and an outline description of the Silent Eye School are on the other pages of this blog and via the website at www.thesilenteye.co.uk

Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Eleven

The sand was wet under our bare feet. Alexandra insisted on taking my hand and leading me into the shallow waves that lapped at the muddy beach. With her rolled-up suit trousers and my similarly shortened jeans, we must have looked quite a pair.

I looked at her and laughed, “You’re doing this because I mentioned waves?”

“I’m doing this because whatever you’ve done, it’s connected with something young in me and brought out a sense of abandon and adventure!”

In truth, I was now the one who was unprepared. “And the train to London?” I asked.

“I’ve disappeared,” she chortled.

“Disappeared . . .  as in without trace?”

“Yep!”

“They’ll worry!” I added, wondering why I was obsessing about her bold actions.

“They’ll be frantic!”

She began to laugh hysterically, then bent down to scoop some sea water into her cupped hands, which she proceeded to hurl at my head in an arc of salty spray. In slow motion, I watched it come towards me, my perception of the wonder of it keyed by the sheer energy of her actions, which had pushed me into that special state of heightened attention. Stilling the body’s reactions, I let the essential smile light my face as the shower of liquid diamonds kissed my skin in a million tiny explosions and turned my eyes to look at her.

“What–?” she said, a second later. “What was that?” Her hands were still in front of her, dripping. She had been fully conscious of what had just happened.

“Well, you did it” I replied softly. “What do you think happened?”

“You kind of slowed down time!”

“Or perhaps stepped into the heart of time might be better?”

“Yes,” she said, “Something like that.”

“It’s always there,” I continued. “It just requires your full acceptance of the moment – the now . . . When that is done there is no time . . . just the wave, which is undistorted reality.”

“And how do we give our acceptance to the real like that?”

In reply, I picked up a old stick, a salty remnant washed onto the beach by the powerful tides of the estuary. I used it to draw out a rough enneagram.

“To give our acceptance to the now, we have to cast off all the baggage that comes with the outer layers of the Nine.”

“How–” she began, but I interrupted her.

“To do that, we have to work through them and seen how each one gives the world a perceptual and emotional tint; how the real, loving and objective world which is always present, is tainted in seeing by what our fears and reactions have taught us”

She stopped all other movements, gazing at the stick, which I was walking around the circle of the Nine, station by station. Something else in the potent now around us was calling. I turned to look along the beach, then called her over, pointing along the shore, with the sandy end of the stick. “The boat – look!”

The sailing boat lay on its side near the water line. It was still serviceable, but old and battered. “That’s a bit like what life does to us all,” I said. “We learn to sail the waters of life in a certain way, conditioned by the shape and size of our own little boat, which is formed by our reactions to life – our own shell.”

“And separate ourselves from life’s depths in the process?”

It was my turn to smile – her response had been magnificent. I nodded and said, “Yes, but the wave always adjusts the moment, the now, so that each second contains the power to give us what we most need, what we began to lose at station Nine here–” I stabbed the end of the stick into the upper point of the enneagram, watching her wince with the power of the gesture.

“When we were afraid of its awesomeness?” she asked, meekly.

I shook my head, making sure the gesture was gentle. “When we turned our back on our own true nature . . . because it hurt too much to remember what true life was like in the face of the storm that swept us out to sea . . .”

She was silent for the rest of the next hour. She was still silent as I put her on the London train, trying to brush off the last of the sand from the pin-strip fabric of her trousers.

“We can begin next time,” I said, giving her a peck on the cheek as I passed her the last of the black bags.

“Begin?”

“Begin considering each of the Nine from the unified perspective of the wave.”

Oh brave new world . . . I’d like that,” she said, gently; waving and smiling like a little girl as the door beeped and closed, and the long snake of elegant metal left the station to begin its three hour journey. The memory of the expression of innocence on her face stayed with me for the next few hours – it was a very happy sight . . .

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Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.

All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.

                                                

Contact details and an outline description of the Silent Eye School are on the other pages of this blog and via the website at www.thesilenteye.co.uk

Gyre, Gimble and Ancient Egypt

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

She gyred and gimbled down the steep slope of the hillside; full of music, laughter and the generally infectious good will that is the core of Ali – she of the golden heart, and one of the heroines of the River of the Sun, the Silent Eye’s 2015 main workshop in the lovely hills of Derbyshire.

Quite why Ali picked this poem (Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll) I’ll never know, but, as she bounced, singing playfully, down the steep, green meadow and back towards the Nightingale Centre, it became one of those iconic and wonderful moments, when any trace of pomposity would meet a ruthless evisceration from the moment, from the ‘now’ . . .

Her utterly human humour was a wonderful contrast to the fifteen minutes of chanting a greeting to the dawn that we had just carried out in the fine early morning that ushered in the Saturday of the weekend event. The chant, a pseudo-Egyptian creation that we had crafted and layered over a dimly remembered melody from a French folk song about the ancient cathedrals of ancient Paris, had rung out over the hillside towards a dawn that stubbornly moved itself along the line of its expected appearance and appeared only during our descent – no doubt summoned by Ali’s Jabberwocky and not our Egyptian chant with accompanying text from the Hymn of Akhenaten.

And that is the most perfect cameo I can think of to express the success of the Silent Eye’s third such workshop and our second birthday – duly celebrated at the end of the weekend with a gorgeous cake baked by one of my fellow Directors of the School, Sue Vincent.

The contrast between planned ‘perfection’ and the reality of mischievous manifestation was at the heart of what rescued the River of the Sun from the annals of what would have been groaning oblivion, as those present hurried to bury the memories in gestures of goodwill and personal reassurances.

The River of the Sun took a year to conceive and three months of solid writing to bring to readiness; but then disaster struck in the last week, with four people having to drop out with health-related issues. Even two of those present turned up full of the horrible flu bug that seems intent on incapacitating much of Britain. One of them, David, was new to the whole thing, and had heroically accepted the central role of Rameses the Great for which he had done months of preparation.

The surviving cast, of what should have been twenty-two members, were to fill the roles of either the ‘royal family’ – Rameses II, his senior military command, Obion, and a mysterious and elderly Mage named Menascare; the Temple Vessels of the Gods: Sekhmet, Hathor, Khonsu, Tefnut, Ptah, Thoth and Ma’at; or the fearsome Talatat, the military elite guard of Rameses under its commander, Obion.  The island temple on the Nile was led by the High Priestess of Mut and her brother the High Priest, who had recently adopted a promising young orphan, Amkhren, and his ‘bent old grandmother’ nicknamed Snefer, who was his sole surviving relative.

But seventeen people do not equate to twenty-plus parts, even when a bit of last-minute whittling of the 150 pages of script had eliminated two of the Talatat, ridding the temple of the practitioners of the dark specialisms of inquisition and vengeance, part of the enneagram’s ‘outer leaves’ of the darker side of humanity.

They must have seen the despair in my eyes as we began the workshop with apologies for the decimation of our expected acting population and our inability to carry out the five rather vivid ritual dramas that formed the backbone of the event.

Dead in the water?  Not on your Nellie . . . not with the magical edge of the esoteric fraternity present. Within seconds of expressing my sadness, regret and (at Sue’s timely prompting) our condolences for those who had been struck down with the vicious bug, two experienced volunteers had stood up to offer to be heroes.  One was Ali, the aforementioned singer of ‘nonsense’ verse; the other was an old friend and senior figure in another esoteric School with whom several of us had shared many years of magical past – Dean.

For the Friday evening and on through Saturday and Sunday morning, the two of them battled the logistics, angular distance and the perils of the twin Wheels of Egyptian time – eternity and recurrence, as they skilfully played out multiple roles to hold together the coherence of the script.

Amkhren, now seven years older and about to be initiated into the priesthood, was duly petrified by the arrival of the river-borne war party of the young Rameses, travelling up the Nile for one last hunting mission and eager to drop in, unannounced, on the temple he suspected of harbouring one of the last pockets of support for the religion of now-erased Akhenaten, the self-styled Son of the Sun.

The scene was set for a confrontation of unequal forces as the gentle Temple Vessels battled with the cruel onslaught of the King-in-Rising and the military prowess of his elite guard – now played by a red-haired dervish (Ali)  who could disappear into one of the time wheels on the perimeter of the enneagram-shaped temple only to reappear, a heartbeat later, as a different warrior with changed voice and persona at the other side of the temple . . . It should have been funny, but it wasn’t – it was brilliant!  In like fashion, Dean, brandishing what must have been the heaviest replica sword we have ever sourced, darted and dashed through the internals of the enneagram of humanity and rounded up the missing and the fallen, re-animating them with spirit and vigour.

With considerable emotion, Amkhren repaid his mentors by charming and impressing the young Rameses; so much so that the King-in-Rising’s final act was to steal him to be be a royal priest in the family palace. The devious Menascare, the mage who turned out to be more sympathetic to the recent past than his new ruler liked, was led away to his death by the triumphant Obion, again with sword and, by now, well exercised arm muscles . . . The temple was not only spared, but given new royal patronage, and Rameses (brilliantly played by David, Sheila’s son) declared himself happy with the unconventional worship of the Divine Feminine.

During the third of the three ‘theory talks’ which always accompany the ritual dramas, I thanked those present for rescuing our workshop. The success had come, not from the play, but from the magnificent souls who had animated it.  We were talking at the time about the Silent Eye’s use of the Djed Pillar and the Scarab. Ali’s character – the bent Snefer, was in the process of being elevated, with royal approval, to the Lady Scarab, in a twist of events, which were, in many ways, the reverse of those events which had brought us to the edge of disaster.

I was told later that, at that moment, the ‘presence’ in the room changed and I went off-script for a period of about ten minutes to talk about our approach to Being in a quite different way than before. I cannot remember all of it – I was truly ‘streaming’ something from another place; but I came back to normal consciousness and realised what had happened. There was no loss of continuity, but the content had gone into a gentle overdrive . . . truly a magical moment, made possible by the goodwill of all those present and my dawning realisation that the intellectually dominated approach to taking all the risks out of an endeavour like this is entirely secondary to the Spirit’s ability to mould and fashion the moment for its purposes.

We had people present who were new to us and also the return of many old friends. The Sunday morning saw the emotional content peak with Sue and Stuart’s Rite of the Seers, during which we were all led off, in threes, by the Vessel of Sekhmet, to come face to face with a living Ankh, marked out in another room in lights on the floor, with a projected picture of the Cosmos on the wall beyond. We returned with scrolls of Egyptian wisdom upon which to meditate in the main temple.

But my moment of the weekend remains that of watching Ali-Snefer-the Lady Scarab, lovely Slithy Tove that she is, bouncing down her green hillside, in the full power of her glorious and heart-warming humanity. The Nightingale Centre nestles at the foot of a Derbyshire edge that hosts a gliding and paraponting school. As Sunday’s glorious sun warmed the day, the air was full of people with wings or para-wings riding down and up on their thermal gradients above us. It struck me that we might need a new word for the way Ali could descend the green slopes below, chanting her ‘nonsense’ poem. I propose Jabberwalking . . . any offers?

Thank you to all.  I believe you enjoyed our annual rite of the spring. We wish those stricken with the ‘flu a speedy recovery. Our target for next year is thirty to thirty-five people, so, if you’re interested in the 2016 event, the Foliate Man, which will cast the Arthurian legend of the Green Man and Gawain in the language of the magical enneagram, please contact us by email at rivingtide@gmail.com or via the website below.

All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.

                                                

Contact details and an outline description of the Silent Eye School are on the other pages of this blog and via the website at www.thesilenteye.co.uk

Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Seven

“So the circle of stations on top of your cheesy cylinder are the outermost layer of something?”

Alexandra was in fine form. Outside the coffee shop, the first real day of spring-like weather was in full flow, despite the early hour.  We had decided to celebrate this visible end of winter by sitting outside.

I had bought the coffee. Alexandra had brought us a single daffodil around which I had unceremoniously wrapped my watch. She had stared at the gesture but said nothing. The mixture of technology and nature had her bemused.

“They are, indeed, the outer layer of something,” I replied, stroking my finger over the delicate edge of the daffodil’s petals and marvelling at the power of the wave to put into our hands exactly what we need for that point in time.

“A bit like a flower?”

She had caught the inference. “Yes,” I replied. “Just like a flower”

“And we are the flower, with all our petals being the numbers around the enneagram . . ?”

I said nothing, just nodded into her excited eyes. She had always loved the intellectual chase of such things. Becoming a barrister had simply cemented what she had always been good at.

“So the outer – upper – layer of your cheesy cylinder-enneagram is the layer of outer petals of our own flower?”

“Our own unique flower – and sometimes these flowers aren’t so pretty . . .” I let that one hang, watching her digest its implications. “In fact,” I added. “The enneagram is really a flower in reverse, with the most beautiful bits hidden, but otherwise sharing the same principles – the same soil, we might say!”

“Hidden?”  She mused on that and sat back, sipping her coffee.

“Hidden in the way that, say, a root is . . .”

I unfolded the computer drawing I had done for her. For the first time, it had a complete list of the ‘sins’ in the penultimate layer of the circle. Each of what I had called the ‘stations’ had been filled in. Before her hungry eyes, there was now a perfect circle of information; and a set of frustratingly empty ‘petals’ to the outside of them.

“But the sins aren’t at the edge!”

“Quite right . . . that’s because modern esoteric psychology has come up with an extension to the sins which gives us a great insight into how each type of person looks at the world – their own world.”

She considered each of my words carefully. There were several new ideas in there, and I watched her tease apart the ends of the threads.

“Each type of person?”

“Yes, although the flowers that we are – cheesy or not – are unique, we all fall into certain types; and these particularly affect the overall way we look at the world.”

“And there are nine types, I assume?”

“Exactly so, each made up of a set of reactions to our infant life.”

“Infant life? So this is all about childhood?”  She was leaning forward to be closer to me. The coffee was forgotten.

“Well, yes and no.” I sat back and, infuriatingly, sipped some of my own coffee, before continuing, “Where this type – the outer petals of our flowers – came from is most certainly our infancy. But how we use them to get back is very much about adulthood.”

She was looking at the time. There were only minutes left, and she had about a hundred questions. I could see her breathing had quickened, as she sifted what she wanted – needed – to know before she got onto that weekly train to London.

“Get back;  you said get back . . .”

I nodded. She had picked on the very sentiment I had hoped she would. “Yes, get back . . .”

“To where?”  She was putting her things back into her black leather handbag; watching the time in an agony of too little information.

“Where do the best signposts take any of us?” I asked, playing the most powerful card I would ever have with this lovely lady.

“Tell me . . . please?”

Home,” I said softly, looking into her hazel eyes. “Home.”

She was long gone when the waitress brought me the bottle of mineral water and the small, turned wooden vase. I had spotted it, earlier, in the glass case at the back of the cafe. The owners ran a display of work for sale by local artisan painters and craftsmen; and the little vase had exactly met my immediate need.

Life was important – in all its forms, and it’s always been my belief that those with intelligence have a duty to protect and nurture it.

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Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.

All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.

Contact details and an outline description are on the other pages of this blog and via the website at www.thesilenteye.co.uk

Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Six

“You’re not going to eat that, are you?”

I watched the tableau unfold. The rolled slice of Dutch cheese was just an inch from my mouth when she stopped me.  I was grateful she had, because, in my half hour of cheesy construction, the previous evening, I had mauled it somewhat, with my fingers and my wife’s borrowed cake cutters, and didn’t really relish the prospect of eating my explanatory creation.

“Why not?” I exclaimed, pretending to look hurt, and letting the cheese slice unroll onto my carefully prepared napkin.

“You’re not allowed to eat food not bought on the premises, dummy!”

And then she saw the unravelled slice and giggled.  I love it when Alexandra giggles – she lights up a room and the relaxed behaviour is in such contrast to her normal legal manner.

“What’s that?” she asked, through bouts of laughter, now so loud they were making everyone else in the coffee bar look up from their drinks.

“It’s a piece of cheese full of holes,” I explained innocently.

Her laughter hadn’t stopped. “I can see that, but you’re never that simple . . .” She sucked in some much needed air and stopped the cackling, hissing at me, “What is it, really?”  There were tears running down her cheeks.

“Well, its a cheesy slice full of holes.” I was maintaining the innocence very well in the face of her uproarious provocation.

“I can see that . . .” she took some much needed coffee to calm herself. “Okay, you want me to decode it?”

“Well if you can?”

She threatened to crack up, again, so I stepped in to help. “On one level it’s a slice of cheese, which I now thankfully don’t have to eat. On another level it’s–”

“–A kind of enneagram.”  Her breathing calmed, remarkably quickly, as her razor-sharp mind focussed on the object she had so recently found hilarious.

It was lovely to watch.

“Okay, Mr Cheese has brought us a circle of nine sets of holes; each hole in its set is smaller than the other, with the graduation from larger to smaller going inwards – towards the centre of the circle.”

“Its a kind of cheesy perspective.” I added, not being particularly helpful.

“Quite literally, by the 3D look of it?”

“Yes,” I said. “There is meant to be the feeling of ‘descent’ in there.”

“Descent from?”

“From where we are now.”

She sipped some more coffee. “Oh I see, so we’re at the top of a cylinder thingy, and the world . . .” She paused again. ” . . . The real world falls away beneath this upper layer, which we therefore assume has some falseness in it?”

She was stunning. “Exactly so!” I said, smiling broadly into my own coffee, so as to disguise it.

“Well let’s see . . .” She was getting her teeth into it, now. “There are nine ‘things’ and I know that there are nine ‘sins’, although you – stubbornly – haven’t mapped them all out for me yet!”

“Perhaps you haven’t deserved it yet?” I knew that level of challenge would fire her up. “Anyway, we needed the cheesy thingy  to make sense of the whole.”

She sat back and looked at me, adversarially, over the rim of her cup.

“None of this is going to be easy, is it?”

“You don’t like easy – you don’t respect easy!” I said, with complete honesty.

Her face lit up. “It’s full of holes–” She finished her coffee with a giant swig. “You never waste things, so something else is full of holes–” She drank from an empty coffee mug.  “–my knowledge?”

“Yes,” I said.  It was time to be helpful in a more obvious way. “We’ve darted around the enneagram on bits of paper and I’ve done that to let you to find our own way into it.  But now we need to be a bit more structured about this truth machine.”

“And now, you’ll tell me what the Nine is?”

“I’m sure you’ve already looked it up.” I said.  “In fact, I’m sure your office has several books on the enneagram scattered across its leather chairs.”

“But?” she asked, now taking on as much false innocence as I had ever mustered in her presence.

“But that’s not the same as insight, is it?”

“No, dammit, and you know that!”

“So, when you come back to me with a real insight into what the Nine is, I’ll confirm it . . .”

“And until then?”

“Until then, you’re having the time of your life figuring it out!”

She was already standing, looking at her watch.

“Can we fill in the cheesy holes next week?”

“Some of them – here, you can make your own cheesy thingy!”  I passed her the piece of paper I had been keeping on my knee. “It often helps to draw it; I think we can graduate from napkins, now.”

With a flash of a smile, she was gone; looking as happy as I’ve ever seen her . . . ”

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Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.

All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.

Contact details and an outline description are on the other pages of this blog and via the website at www.thesilenteye.co.uk

Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Five

The rain lashed at the seafront cafe’s windows. Would this horrible wet weather never end? I wondered, as I hurried, slightly late because of the heavy and slow traffic, into the warm interior.

Alexandra had not wasted the extra time. Before her, on our table, lay a newly-drawn enneagram on a fresh serviette. I took off my raincoat, sodden despite the brief walk, and tried not to drip on her carefully prepared diagram.

“Coffee,” she said, pointing at my cup but not looking up at my face.

“Thank you.” I sat down, smiling at her relish at having the upper hand.  I watched her draw in dotted lines connecting the numbers ‘2’ and ‘4’; ‘5’ and ‘7’; and finally, ‘8’ and ‘1’.

“Shoulders . . . ” I said softly into the silence of her concentration.

“Shoulders?” she asked, still looking down at the point of her pen, eager not to smudge the napkin too much.

“The lines you have just drawn – they are generally called ‘shoulders’.”

“Aha . . .” She looked up, finally, and put the top back on the pen. “Shoulders, then.”

“So, we have nine points, which originate from three?” I asked, innocently.

“Yes,” she replied, taking the bait.

I continued, “And the three – vanity, fear and something as yet unnamed, are the anchor points of the whole thing, and have other points between them, which are secondary.”

We both sipped our coffees. She was looking at me in a predatory way. She’d been doing her homework, I could tell. She wanted to show it off . . .

“I’m beginning to get the big picture.” she smiled. “The Nine are really only three ‘sins’, and these are indicative of something that we all share in our makeup?”

“I like indicative,” I said, nodding and attempting to look mysterious.

“So the ‘sins’ are something deeper – something that has been discovered to be part of human nature, possibly all human nature?” She fixed me with a wicked smile, and continued with, “Let me guess – psychology?” You would never have guessed she hadn’t just thought of it – well not unless you had known her for the past twenty years . . .

I sipped my coffee, enjoying the hunt and saying nothing.

She had never been good at waiting and filled the silence with, “And somehow these findings map on to the enneagram, which was not originally designed to show such relationships?”

“I didn’t tell you that.” I replied in a soft tone. “You’ve been reading!”

“As a good barrister should!” she parried, becoming very cat-like. But then her brows furrowed and she added, “But I can’t find any link between the original work and this ‘sins’ stuff.”

“Between Gurdjieff’s original use of the enneagram and those who developed it in a different but complementary direction?” I asked, delighted with her growing knowledge; though that would now make it harder to keep her on track.

“Precisely!” she said, looking triumphant.

I spoke over the coffee cup’s rim, “Connections – there isn’t one, unless you count people and their individual experiences.”

“People?”

“People with broad shoulders,” I said, noting the time and knowing she’d be furious that I was bringing our Monday morning to a close.

She looked down at her drawing of what I had called the shoulders flanking the main three points, puzzled.

“Vanity and fear mix, or, put another way, what is beneath them both varies its proportions.  When you move from vanity towards fear you get envy at ‘4’ and then avarice at ‘5’, which we’ve already talked about.”  I could see her razor mind filing this away for the train journey to London. “And between the unnamed top of the clock and vanity we have Anger at ‘1’ and Pride at ‘2’. We can talk more about this next time . . .”

“And the enneagram doesn’t resolve to three,” I added as a kind of checkmate and tapping the face of my watch. “It resolves to one . . .”

“You–” she squeezed out the words through thin lips.

“–taxi driver, as it happens . . .”

“Taxi driver?”

“Yes, the car is outside. I didn’t want you to have to walk with your heavy bags in this rain, so I stuck it outside”

“On the yellow line?”

“Broad shoulders . . .” I said, picking up two of her black bags and heading for the exit.

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Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.

All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.

Contact details and an outline description are on the other pages of this blog and via the website at www.thesilenteye.co.uk