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The enneagram now

February 16, 2005

Meeting rules

1. Nothing discussed here leaves this room; everyone can feel secure to speak their heart.

2. Continually observe yourself during this meeting: body (tension, breath)


feeling (“autonomous” emotions)
mind (focus, storytelling, lying)

3. No lying. When speaking, watch yourself for (unintentional) lying and stop. Know what ‘lying’ is.

4. The enneagram is practical. No theoretical discussion for the sake of theoretical discussion.

5. Reside in truth; be true.

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Start: a brief sitting.

Reading: appendix 1

Basis of the enneagram

The law of one

There is only one absolute truth. The truth is static, unchangeable and eternal. This is the ultimate, transcendent (above
all) reality.

The law of one can be visualized as a point.

The law of three


Every process requires action, and action requires force.

The law of three states that three forces (active, passive, neutralizing) drive every process.

The law of action and reaction shows that for every action (active force) there is a reaction of opposite direction (passive
force). This hinders the progression of a process and favors the status quo.

If either the active or the passive force “wins” there will be a result, but this result will be temporary and is lost when the
power balance shifts again.

A third, neutralizing, facilitating or reconciling force is necessary to make a result permanent. The third force can therefore
be considered a fixative.

Examples: getting up in the morning, losing weight, completing a project, personal development.

The law of three can be visualized as a triangle.

The law of seven / the law of the octave

The law of seven dictates the progression of every process.

The law of seven shows that every process progresses through distinct steps and encounters barriers that can only be
overcome by outside impulses or “shocks”.

Without these impulses the process stops or continues in an unintended direction.

The law of seven can be visualized as the diatonic scale:

DO RE MI FA SOL LA SI DO note

360 405 450 480 540 600 675 720 Hz absolute frequency

1 9/8 5/4 4/3 3/2 5/3 15/8 2 relation to ground-do (360 Hz)

9/8 10/9 16/15 9/8 10/9 9/8 16/15 increase from preceding note

The enneagram

The enneagram was introduced to us by George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (1877-1949)

The enneagram combines the laws of one, three and seven.


The enneagram: Personality structures vs personal development

The enneagram has been used as a system to study personality structures. Personality is changing, impermanent and
ultimately not truth. Its study tends to be strongly formatory.

Personal development deals with the transcendent reality of the true Self, which is unchanging, eternal and true. The
unchanging, true Self is nearly always covered by the ever-changing personality.

True personal development is indeed personal, completely practical and on a level that allows only a generalized
description. Personal development requires a teacher, coach or guru.

Personal development

Personal development is a process and is therefore governed by the law of one (for its source), the law of three (for its
driving force) and the law of seven (for its progression).

Personal development can be viewed as a process leading from being governed by many cosmic laws (48 according to
Gurdjieff) to progressively fewer.

A seemingly different viewpoint is to regard personal development as “trading” the guidance by the fickle and divided ego
and the resulting misery for the guidance and resulting bliss by the Absolute/Universe/God/the Self.

Suggestion: perhaps we could view “the ego” as consisting of many (48?) largely independent and conflicting “I’s”.
Personal development would then be the process of shifting control from those “I’s” via an intermediate stage of a
magnetic center (one “I” that is more dominant) to a single unified “I”.
At the same time, let’s stay aware of the formatory trap.

The enneagram as road map for personal development

Since personal development is a process, the enneagram can be used as a road map to describe its progression as
governed by the laws of one, three and seven.

• The enneagram visualizes the three laws together:

o The law of one as the middle point


o The law of three as a triangle
o The law of seven as a hexad

• The law of one is miniscule in the center: a point. It does not display action and does not directly interact with the laws of
action (three and seven).
• The laws of three and seven never join each other although they do intersect: an endless and eternal “dance” (Shiva
Nataraja).

• The law of seven is represented as numbered positions along the circumference of the circle according to the
(repeating) outcome of the division of one by seven (1/7): 0.142857.

• The law of three indicates barriers (corner positions 3,6,9) that obstruct progression along the law of seven.

The cosmic enneagram and the internal enneagrams

Every step along the “big” (cosmic) enneagram is in itself a “small” (internal) enneagram. This internal enneagram, in turn,
contains seven internal enneagrams. This process continues for several rounds with each successive sub-enneagram
representing smaller yet more concrete steps until each step becomes too small to be practically meaningful.

The implication is that even at the beginning of personal development we already have experience of the entire
enneagram, just not at its cosmic level. We have gone through and continue to go through numerous internal
enneagrams. This means everyone can have or obtain a “flavor” of the entire cosmic process.

Our questions + answers by Paul van Oyen

One question concerns the interaction of different triads. As I understand it the neutralizing third force of one triad can
form the active force of a new triad. What is unclear to us is:
1. whether this necessarily results in an ascending octave.
2. whether the neutralizing force can also form the passive force of a new triad.

Part of the ambiguity seems to result from the nomenclature of active and passive which seems misleading. The active
force is not necessarily “building up” and the passive force is not necessarily “breaking down”. Even the terms of building
up and breaking down seem incorrect: you can build something up (for example a habit) which can at the same time
mean a step back on the octave of personal development.

1. The third force dominates both ascending and descending lines.


If the third force “falls” on the active side in the next triad this will result in an ascending line of development to more
consciousness and the development of human qualities in us.
If the third force “falls” on the passive side there will be only a memory of how it once was and how it could have been or
become. The misery and painful thing about the Gurdjieff and also Ouspensky organizations is that they master this
aspect very well and can tell you exactly what Mr. Gurdjieff once told us and how beautiful things once were and how far
away they are now. But new design, breaking new ground and exploring and being adventurous is “not done”. And so the
past is only perpetuated and everything only gets older until it dies. This is true for almost all spiritual organizations. It is
quite unique to find a living and contemporary tradition that is many centuries old while continuously regenerating itself.

2. Why are there no internal lines between 0 and 1 and between 8 and 9? In a way they seem like the most difficult steps:
there is nothing you can “do” from 8 to 9, because you must be called, and from 0 to 1 could take many lives (and it
seems it may still require a call/grace/luck/good karma to finally get a chance to start).

2. Of course there is no line from 8 to 9 nor from 0 to 1. “Going” from 8 to 9 is impossible unless the 9 calls. At 8 you
therefore wait – just like the virgin bride in the bridal suite –until the bridegroom enters. You never know when he arrives;
this is the theme of the biblical story of the foolish virgins – just read it.
As for going from 0 to 1: The impulse to move towards 1 is completely dependent on the individual person’s karma and on
that person’s education and upbringing. Nowadays this education and upbringing (especially in the US) is in an
extraordinary and very, very sad state. It is an outright disgrace for a civilized society to so neglect the younger generation
and to let it be so dominated by the bogus of political correctness. Political correctness prescribes that if the majority
considers the earth as flat we therefore all hold the opinion that the earth is flat and act accordingly. What education does
such a system provide? Exactly: none. You can at best learn tricks, something at which our American brothers and sisters
are extremely adept. Preferably in endless many beautifully designed glossy books.
It is no more than a shortcut to disaster. This problem is as old as the road to Athens because Socrates already
confronted it. I advise you to read the following dialogues by Plato in a fluent, modern translation: - the Apology -
Symposium - Phaedoon – Phaedros - The Republic

3. What struck us was that the line from Sol to La is a direct hexad line (the only hexad line that directly follows the
progression of the cosmic enneagram) while there is still an interval at 6. Is that because the interval at 6 originates from
the second enneagram (with do at 3)? Still it seems curious you can “just” go from Sol to La, especially since it would
seem like such a tough step to make.

3. Your question about the hexad jump from 5 to 7 is not completely clear to me, but your own reaction to this question is
not wrong. In the musical octave there is no interval between Sol and La and they are directly connected in the regular
musical progression of the octave. The interval at 6 is an implicit interval which only works from the subconscious (i.e.
from the second octave that starts at position 3 and has its own position 3 interval at 6).
It is an extraordinarily difficult “hump” because you don’t really notice it. The result is a yet even greater ego-arrogance
than at position 3 where the arrogance is pretty blatant. Not so at 6. There everything appears to be love and light …

February 23, 2005

Let us remember the meeting rules.

Reading: appendix 3

Symbolism of the enneagram

Because the enneagram contains the three laws that govern every process in the cosmos it is said to contain all
knowledge; therefore its symbolism is endless. For us, from the viewpoint of personal development, some symbols are
especially interesting:

• The middle point. The ultimate source from which everything projects out onto the circumference. Also the ultimate end
point to which every fully completed process returns.
• The triangle. Embodies Gurdjieff’s teaching of self-observation. In personal development, our desire to work is an active
force, our disinterest and unwillingness to work (48 laws of resistance) a passive force. Self-observation can be the third,
neutralizing force which eventually facilitates and allows the work.

• The hexad. Indicates how each new stage in self-development is only reached after repeatedly traversing the
enneagram and “visiting” several positions that appear to lie ahead or behind.

• The circumference of the circle. Represents the outward appearance of the process. Can also be viewed as a
representation of the outside world, the madly spinning wheel of fortune, the endless dance of life and death, birth and
rebirth.

• The three regions marked by 9-3, 3-6, 6-9:

o 9-3 physical world: action, senses


o 3-6 subtle world: thinking, intellect
o 6-9 causal world: emotion

• The 0 or 9: Beginning and end, low and high “Do”. In reality 0 and 9 are the same note “Do” but in different octaves.

The nine points or positions

The nine positions of the enneagram represent stages in personal development: eight levels of personal development
(0,1,2,4,5,7,8,9) and three barriers (3,6,9). Each has a number, a musical note (do-si, Pythagoras), a numeral indication
by Gurdjieff and a description which can be found in the ancient Yoga Vâsishtha (see also appendix 2):

position Gurdjieff note Pythagoras Yoga Vâsishtha Translation from Sanskrit

0 “zero” Do (low) DO-minus: the Lord, the Absolute --- ignorance, unawareness, disinterest

1 man no. 1 Re RE-gina caelorum: queen of the heavens, the moon shubheccha true impulse

2 man no. 2 Mi MI-crocosm: earth suvicârana decision, effort, reason and equitability

3 ------------- (interval) ------------------------------------------------ --------------------- -------------------------------------------------

4 man no. 3 Fa FA-ta: the planets tanumanasâ refinement, spiritual flexibility, firmness

5 man no. 4 Sol SOL: the sun sattvapatti thoughtfulness, enlightenment

6 ------------- (interval) ------------------------------------------------ --------------------- -------------------------------------------------


7 man no. 5 La via LA-ctea: the milky way asamsakti insight, freedom, release

8 man no. 6 Si Si-dera: the stars padârthabhâvani abundance

9 man no. 7 Do (high) DO-minus: the Lord, the Absolute Turîya the transcendent

A description of the seven levels of development (excerpt from Chapter 3: 37-53)

0. low Do: mechanicalness in sleep


99.9% of the world population.
The truth is present as seed-form.

1. Re: man no. 1, right desire, right impulse


The seed sprouts and takes root: the true desire for truth.
Somewhat hesitant and unsure: is this a good idea?
A lot of help is required: for example a “school”.
A huge step forward from “0”: mathematically impossible (0 becomes 1), indeed a miracle.
This miracle requires faith that a change is possible.
This faith brings focus and a sense of direction.
It means the end of distractions from the wish to know the truth about oneself.
This first step on the path of development is to let go of the past.
The right desire makes man give things up, not because he has to, but because he no longer want them.

2. Mi: man no. 2, decision


The deep desire to discover and realize the truth about oneself awakens man’s emotional side.
This brings an ability to come to yourself and become still.
The still mind learns to let go of everything and to stop its frantic activity.
This all immediately acts on the desire to discover the truth. The Îsha Upanishad devotes a beautiful verse to this:

15. “The mouth of Truth is covered with a golden veil. O Sun of my soul, please remove it so that I who love the Truth may
behold it.”

The stillness of the heart nourishes the desire for truth.


Inner stillness and balance promote an understanding of what is right and equitable.
In the stillness of the heart things are seen in a new light and the mind comes up with completely new and unexpected
solutions.
This man rises to a high level of development, is cultivated and intelligent and has eye for others.
Man discovers the strength and especially the value of stillness and emotion which shows in consideration of others,
mildness, forgiveness and compassion.
The intellectual ability is dominant with an emotional dimension right under the surface.
This combination gives this man a great ability compared to the 0-position of his surroundings.
This gives man no.2 contentment and inner peace.

3. first interval: outside impulse, evaluation


Man no. 2 has ample equitableness and vision, as well as an emotional ability. The great limitation, however, is the ego of
that man who regards all this as a personal and special accomplishment. This way, this man views the world and its
reality as the polarity between I and the other. He or she can speak quite well about unity, but anchoring that unity into his
own life is a very different matter. In this regard that man is still very green and ignorant, so captivated is he or she by this
miraculous knowledge and the acquired emotional ability. At this stage all those abilities act as blinders, resulting in a one-
eyed man in the land of the blind. This one-eyed man is the proverbial king and this position is very seductive. Only a wise
man of a special level will be able to get this one-eyed king off his throne and ensure that the journey home is continued.
There are 5 more steps to go. The quest for truth dictates that he or she will have to become genuine and real. This man
no. 2 soon ends up in a situation that is divided by opposing loyalties. On one side are the personality and the greed of an
ego that wants no change, on the other side he or she is drawn by a newfound integrity and willingness to serve. This
inner conflict causes a mental restlessness that demands knowledge and guidance.

The great obstacle for modern man is the remarkable and conflicting idea about “freedom” he cherishes. That idea is
rooted in the axiom that defines freedom as doing as you please unless society indicates boundaries (then again, if
nobody’s watching …). This whole idea of “freedom to do as you please” in turn is based on the illusion that we can do
something. As long as this illusion exists, any notion of true freedom will remain foreign to us. All our “doing” is completely
dependent on the circumstances in which we find ourselves and the material and psychological infrastructure within which
we function. Our “doing” is a product of our entire environment together. That environment acts upon us with forces and
influences that motivate us and impose an intention onto our every move. Only when we begin to develop an “eye” for this
will we be able to understand how our “doing as we please” truly functions. Without suitable conditions William the
Conqueror could have never invaded England. Without suitable conditions Kaiser Wilhelm would have never started
World War I. Without suitable conditions Hadewijch could have neither “seen” nor passed on her unparalleled mystical
poems and visions. The barrier at this position 3 implies that man (the ego) is completely uninterested in this point of view.
For by taking away the “doing” the ego is no longer the center of attention and is no longer nourished. Then it dies.

Progress requires an outside impulse in the form of a guide or coach or a very upsetting event: a shock. This means
subjecting to discipline, just like a sportsman reaching for the top.
The coach can bend man’s self-contentment towards a willingness to self-investigate and to go deeper.
This means further stilling and a willingness to serve and follow.
A painful “season clearance” is held where all old and surplus items must go at all cost.
The right desire joins with reason and lets go of all that obstructs the Truth.
Ultimately Truth is unveiled from behind self-contentment.
It is a completely new and different knowledge that is no longer rooted in scholarship and intelligence, but in
understanding and insight.
The memory of this Truth now becomes the third force and is Gurdjieff’s self-remembering.
It enters the system and pulls it up in its entirety to a completely different and new level.
This self-remembering acts as a great energy shock and is very liberating and releasing because all that is worldly is now
left behind.
Spirituality and the transcendent reality are now the end goal of the next phase.

4. Fa: man no. 3, refinement


The seeker enters a completely new and very different world: his I-ness or ego is no longer dominant.
There is a certain degree of sadness: man sees his fragmented nature in painful clarity and detail.
This is truly a level of refinement through hard work and honest effort in acceptance.
All remarkable knowledge is replaced by the unpretentiousness of “not knowing”.
Yet there is a luminous intelligence that can instantly tap into living knowledge.
The beginning of a great transforming ability through being a living example in great mildness.
This man no longer offers knowledge but instead becomes a living, substantial and tangible example.
Man no. 3 is the crowning of personal development in the outside world.

5. Sol: man no. 4, thoughtfulness


Between position 4 and 5 lies an important gradual difference which is visible in the enneagram.
It is the turning point from dominance of the intellect to dominance of true emotion.
The fully developed intellect takes a step back as it supports a new goal: fullness of emotion.
The combination of emotion and intellect gives intelligence.
Man no. 3 still lacks the inner strength necessary to always stand for the truth, even against all odds.
But on the fourth level a man knows what is true and what is untrue, leaving him no choice.
This gives this man a special faithfulness and trustworthiness, greatly increasing his credibility.
This man has become the personification of light.
No longer is the discrimination between good and evil, right and wrong a matter of convention or circumstances, for this
man now views the situation in the light of reality.
This man is fearless since all fear is born from darkness and ignorance.
This man has sufficient strength and energy to reject the wrong without outside help or advice.

6. second interval: outside impulse, evaluation


There is no musical interval between Sol and La on the diatonic scale.
This is a subtle interval that works beneath the surface in the new octave that originates at position 3.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9/0
DO RE MI || FA SOL LA SI || DO
do re mi || fa sol
The entire “crisis” of position 3 is reprised but this time at a subtle and spiritual level.
Now all subtle and even the most personal attachments lose their binding power.
This means another dilemma or crisis in which a coach is needed to help with the letting go of the past.
Then he becomes a different man and enters a completely new world.
Everything becomes much more fine and subtle.
Man learns to handle this finer essence so that he himself becomes a more refined being.

7. La: man no. 5, insight


The interval at 6 has prepared the seeker for a completely different domain.
This man has direct access to Gurdjieff’s centers of higher intellect and higher emotion.
He enters the world of self-consciousness, the inner circle of humanity.
Spirituality is now the all-encompassing factor and deals with man himself, his own his divinity and immortality.
Man’s scope and horizon are transformed to where he can see beyond the outward and superficial.
He has left his personality, also in a subtle sense, behind him and is free: a true yogi.
All that remains is Thy will be done as he has become a Brahmadâsa: a servant of the Absolute.
This man now sees and enjoys the radiant, splendid, enchanting and alluring appearance of things and their
connectedness as manifestations of the Absolute.
He sees everything as new and reacts to it in a completely natural way, neither from the past more from any future
expectation, but solely from the moment of now, the moment in which the will of the Absolute lights up.
This man still regards his own being as separate from things and also separate from the Absolute. The stage play, the
actor, the performances and the resulting joy are all known and recognized in their own special meaning. Yet none of
those appeared to bind that man. He is only bound by love and in this detached state he answers to the will of the
Absolute.
Still, his awareness of the interconnectedness of things also confronts him with his own relative weakness as an
individual. This slowly makes him ready for the next step.

In his book “A new model of the Universe” P.D. Ouspensky points out that Jesus continuously indicates that the Kingdom
of Heaven is not about a hereafter after death but that it represents a state of being in that man can realize here, on Earth,
in this embodiment.
Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in
his kingdom.
(Matthew 16:28; Luke 9:27, Mark 9:1)

With the Kingdom of Heaven Jesus implies the inner circle of humanity where humans are no longer dominated by their
personality, but connected to God in a way that allows them to continually function from that inner connection. This man is
the personification of Thy will be done. His inner connectedness marks this man as a “Son of man” and in the passage
above “Son of man” does not refer to Jesus but to this man who has risen above the barrier at position 6 and who has
come to true surrender. As mentioned, this man belongs to the inner circle of humanity.

8. Si: man no. 6, abundance


This man goes still deeper.
He looks at forms and goes beyond and looks behind them.
He sees that the observable forms all rest in the birthing womb of the unlimited and pure conscience.
He truly experiences the continuing presence of the will of the Absolute within which all space, time and qualities exist. He
simultaneously sees the pot and the clay, the table and the wood, the ring and the gold, thread and fabric. He sees all
these things as one and the same. All appears to be nothing but the body and the being of the Absolute.
At this level things become transparent. They don't disappear, nor are they denied, and yet that man goes beyond them,
he surpasses them and he is conscious of the rules and laws that bring all of this about and also of their Creator. He is
like a lover who can always see nothing but the beloved in everything. The characteristic of this stage is that he and she
are both there. As a matter of fact, there is nothing besides him and her, i.e.: nothing but the individual man and the
Absolute.

9. high Do: man no. 7, liberation


It is finished. Salvation or liberation.
Man is now completely free and has found himself back.
Now comes the dive into unity itself.
The dive, the depth and the diving are all known and experienced as one.
This man stops nowhere, nor does he stop anything but he lets everything happen.
In this unity he only knows himself as the Absolute and he acts as the Absolute.
He possesses creative power and uses it without truly claiming anything for himself.
This state is turîya but can hardly be called a state for it encompasses all other states or conditions.
It is fullness, unity, reality, unlimited and indescribable.
There is the Absolute, the One without second.
This is where the individual becomes universal.
Man is home, with himself, with Brahman.
The journey has been completed.

This entire journey through seven levels or steps of consciousness, once started when man at the base level woke up and
decided to get up and go on his way.
The Law of Three demonstrates that there is nothing to do but to look and listen.
Once we really look and really listen the road opens up and then it is as if everything happens naturally.
The entire human system then becomes subservient to the observing gaze that provides the knowledge and information
to go to work.
If there were no inner blockades in the form of all kinds of hidden impressions and therefore hidden agendas we could
travel the road in no time.
But this is not the case because we are so tangled up in ourselves. It is that tangle that we must try to cut or unravel. That
takes time and we are given that time.
The tangle is formed by our thinking that we are separate, a unit separated from our environment. To that separation we
surrender our soul and bliss and proceed to call it “I”. This “I” makes us believe that we must do all sorts of things and are
responsible for them. This is the deeper meaning of the biblical statement in the book of Genesis (III,18):
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt
thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou
return.
3

April 13, 2005

Let us remember the meeting rules.

Reading: appendix 4

The first sub-octave: “inner enneagram” from cosmic DO to cosmic RE

If we consider the first sub-octave (meaning step 0 to 1 on the cosmic octave), then the cosmic meaning of the high Do (of
the sub-octave) is right impulse, right desire. The entire octave then describes the transformation process that leads from
a mechanical world of living to that first step:

Do (202.5 vibr/sec; and “low” D on the piano):


Doubling this note gives 405 vibr/sec = the note Re (D on the piano) in the cosmic octave (right impulse). This note, the
“low” D is connected with “right impulse” on the cosmic octave and is therefore focused on that: Right impulse is the end
goal, the crowning, of this octave.

Re ( 9/8x202.5 = 227.8 vibr/sec; and “low” E on the piano):


Here is the impulse to come to “right impulse” on the cosmic enneagram. This man begins a search for all kinds of
influences and impulses that can give him or her the stability and steadfastness to always and under all circumstances be
connected to “right impulse”. In the cosmic octave the “rightness” of “right impulse” is determined by the desire for
liberation, for deliverance. All else becomes subservient to this. This cosmic stage acts as a giant sifter and in the sub-
octave the impulse to come to the right impulse gives a sense of direction and with it and ability to prioritize and slowly let
go of anything that does not lead to the right impulse. The note Re has the quality of letting go of your past and of your
own mechanicalness.

Mi (5/4x202.5 = 253,1 vibr/sec; and “low” Fis on the piano)


The decision and in particular the effort to truly change our patterns of desire, in order to no longer be blocked and miss
the “right impulse”. We see that it is equitable and speaks for itself and this knowledge makes that we can give up things
from within without outside pressure.

Fa (4/3x202.5 = 269.9 vibr/sec; and “low” G on the piano)


Our determined decision is now refined and learn to see nuances. Yet the goal remains to let go of the past. The entire
process begins to resemble a game rather than an arduous process in which you are the center of the Universe.
Everything becomes less grave and therefore more joyful and lighter.

Sol (3/2x202.5 = 303.8 vibr/sec; and “low” A on the piano)


The light dawns and makes you see both the beginning and the point of arrival. This point gives an overview of the entire
process which makes you feel like you are getting control over your own future.
La (5/3x202.5 = 337.5 vibr/sec; the “low” B on the piano)
In the light of dawn you are getting a better view of the end point (the right impulse on the cosmic level) and all ballast that
remains is pitched overboard, bit by bit. At the cosmic level the right impulse implies great knowledge of the path that
leads to freedom. There is also insight in the nature and action of the human psyche and insight in the human soul. All
these things are studied and also put into practice. This gives this man an increasing “right to speak”, considerably
increasing his or her credibility.

Si (15/8x202.5 = 379.7 vibr/sec; the “middle” Cis on the piano)


Man now finds himself in sight of the harbor (the right impulse on the cosmic level). If he or she has ultimately reached the
harbor that man has become the embodiment of the cosmic level of “right impulse”. The crowning of being the
embodiment of it is still being kept from man at this second-last level (Si), but otherwise it is as if that level has already
been reached. This man has a great attraction because of the impulses he emits. People come to him to listen and to
receive teaching. And yet this is “only” the first step on the cosmic level.

Do (2x202.5 = 405 vibr/sec; the “middle” D on the piano)


Now man has made the first step on the cosmic level: the Re on the diatonic scale. The feature of this level is that this
man is completely filled with the right and pure desire to come to real knowledge. That “real” knowledge is the living
knowledge that comes directly from man himself, because in reality he has always carried that knowledge with him in his
conscience. His pure desire is now aimed at definitively unveiling that owned knowledge and he is completely prepared to
make the necessary effort. Thus begins the second sub-octave.

Appendix 1: reading – P.D. Ouspensky

A true understanding of symbols cannot lead to difference of opinion. It deepens at the knowledge and cannot remain
theoretical, for it strengthens the desire or real results, for the union of knowing and ‘being’, i.e. for The Great Doing. Pure
knowledge cannot be transmitted. But once expressed in symbols, she is covered by a veil that becomes transparent for
those wish to see and know how to see.

In this sense one can speak of the symbolism of language, even though the symbolism is only rarely understood. For
understanding the inner meaning of what is being said, is only possible at a certain level of development and only when
the listener makes the necessary effort and is in a certain states. When someone hears something that is new to him and
when he begins to oppose and to reject it, instead of trying to understand it, and when he puts forward an opposing
opinion which according to him is the correct one, but which typically has nothing to do with the subject, he loses every
possibility to receive something new. To understand the inner meaning of the language when it becomes symbolic, he
must have already learned how to listen. When language is used to express objective knowledge and the union of
diversity and oneness, every attempt to understand literally is doomed to fail beforehand and in most cases it only leads to
new digressions.

It is necessary to reflect on this so extensively because the intellectualism of contemporary education imprints upon
people a tendency to seek logical definitions and logical arguments for everything they hear. Their desire for exactness in
areas where exact definitions become inexact in meaning due to that very exactness forms an unconscious barrier.

Appendix 2.
It is curious how little research has gone into Gurdjieff’s true source of information. Usually an idea or concept of the Sufis
has a parallel within the Vedic tradition, and this also appears to be true for the enneagram. Within the Vedic tradition the
idea of the “journey of 7 steps” on the path to knowledge is well known. The idea can be traced back to the works of the
great Indian philosopher Patañjali (approx. 200 A.D.) who in turn based his teachings on oral transmissions of the
ancient tradition that reaches back to times long-gone. Within this oral tradition the standard work known as the Yoga
Vâsishtha is regarded as the source of this idea of a developmental journey through consciousness in seven steps. The
legendary or perhaps mythical sage Vâsishtha was the teacher of Prince Râma, to whom the great Indian heroic epos the
Ramâyana is devoted. To pay due homage to the original source, here is the text of the pertinent passage from the Yoga
Vâsishtha:

Yoga Vâsishtha, 50,6:


Râma, I will now explain to you the seven states or levels of knowledge. Once you truly understand those you will no
longer be deceived. The first level is characterized by the right and pure desire to come to true knowledge. The second
level is characterized by investigation and contemplation. The third level is realized when the mind becomes flexible and
subtle. Being rooted in reality is the fourth level, where truth has become the foundation. The fifth level is characterized by
complete detachment. No personal tie or bondage remains. In the sixth level the objective world drops away into unity and
the seventh level is transcendent and beyond everything. The pure or right desire of the first level begins with the
question: Why do I continue to run around like a fool? It is enough. I am going to speak with wise people and I am going to
study the ancient scriptures. For this I am prepared to give up all kinds of other things. This is the nature of the desire in
the first state. Subsequently this seeker will study and contemplate the scriptures. He begins to look at himself and to
investigate himself. This man also learns to use his senses and to observe. Once these two levels have been realized the
third level comes into view. Now the mind becomes more and more clear and the seeker attains a great mental flexibility.
Once he has truly made this discipline his own this man desires less and less sensual enjoyment and he becomes
completely content with reality as it is. That reality is truth. Being rooted in truth is the hallmark of the fourth state, the
fourth level. When one is experienced in this, the fifth level announces itself. This level is characterized by a complete
unattachedness. Man is completely content with himself and resides in his or her own light-heartedness. In the sixth state
one begins to see all-encompassing unity everywhere, both in as well as around oneself. All differences drop away. Every
effort that is made, certainly when made in the interest of others, again and again leads to the sweet fruit of spirituality that
is immediately experienced. Beyond this state is the world of the Self-realized, the jivanmukta. This free soul has no
binding whatsoever with this material world and is truly free.

Râma, he who has passed through these seven states is truly a great soul. These people are truly free and liberated.
They are no longer assailed by whichever consideration of happiness or unhappiness. Some of them continue to function
in this world, others have completely withdrawn and live like a hermit. They reside in the self and are completely content
with it. Their bliss has become independent and lasting. This highest state can be attained by every creature, even
animals and the most simple humans. It is about realizing wisdom. He who realizes that level has become truly wise and
is a great man. That man deserves all honor and reverence.

Appendix 3: reading – question and answer by Paul van Oyen

Q: How important/interesting/wise is it to try to figure out where one “stands” in the enneagram?

PvO: For now it is better to regard it impossible to know where you are in the enneagram. Most people with some
discipline in their system and a true interest in a more subtle level and on top of that a willingness to consider where they
have come from (as a soul) and where they could be going are considered to be
The fullness of position1 in the enneagram (the note RE) is characterized by right impulse.
The rightness of the impulse is determined by the goal. If I want to play football the right impulse is to read about it, to
watch football on TV and to join a football team. If I want to play tennis I should NOT join a football team but a tennis club.
This means that the classic idea of good and evil, right and wrong is medieval, old fashioned and irrelevant. Right is
whatever has to do with the journey home (through the enneagram) and wrong is anything that leads away from it.
A man of the first level (RE) is receptive to all impulses that point to the end goal (merging with God, Self-realization,
Enlightenment, etc.) but this man is not only receptive for it, he can also emit these impulses. This is the case within the
Gurdjieff Foundation and also within the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society and here in Centre Plenum.
Most people who are active within these kinds of organizations are of the RE kind or are on their way to RE (in seven
steps). The next step of Re to MI (position 2) makes a enormous difference and is a giant step: the development of reason
and true common sense. It is important to realize that reason is the ability to bring everything back to its origin in a cosmic
relationship so that every issue points back to the original unity. It means that inner harmony has been crystallized and
available. Even more so, man at 2 (MI) can speak and act from this inner harmony.
In addition the positions 1 and 2 (RE and MI) are connected with 7 and 8 on the other side (the emotional side). These
positions are implicitly present and resonate inaudibly but noticeably. This is the meaning of implicit. Once you view these
positions in this way you will get some idea of the cosmic scope and
To develop from man 1 to man 2 is truly a landslide. Most leaders of ashrams, cults, spiritual groups are at this level. At 3
is the crisis of the ego and nobody can take that barrier without outside help from someone who has already reached the
other side.
Whoever reaches FA is truly intelligent, flexible as a reed and with endless patience. His or her feature is an ability to true
service and true surrender. This is already very rare in today’s world.

Appendix 4: reading – Paul G. van Oyen, “Het ennegram nu”/“The ennegram now”

The story of Creation (Genesis, King James Version)

Day 1: Genesis 1-5


[1] In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
[2] And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved
upon the face of the waters.
[3] And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
[4] And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
[5] And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

When God’s spirit hovers over the waters, something in man begins to move. His magnetic center begins to take shape
and begins to open up to right impulses. He begins his journey, pulls the door of his past shut behind him and lifts his
gaze towards truth and reason, even though they are as of yet unknown to him. He needs knowledge and guidance and
will soon find himself facing the separation of darkness and light: the first day (Re).

Day 2: Genesis 6-8


[6] And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
[7] And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were
above the firmament: and it was so.
[8] And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

The decision is made: he seeks the light, he exerts himself and works hard. His effort is aimed at learning to handle the
God’s spirit which hovers over the waters and remembers the reality of unity and limitlessness. This means that he learns
to take everything and to place it in his own limitlessness and only observe it. Under that observing look, and with the
effort it takes, new knowledge slowly begins to rise up. That knowledge creates space and acts as a new dimension, as
an expanding firmament. That firmament takes care of the chaos and fragmentation of the physical world (the waters
below) as well as of the chaos and fragmentation of the world of the mind (the waters above): the second day (Mi).

Day 3: Genesis 9-13


[9] And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and
it was so.
[10] And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was
good.
[11] And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind,
whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
[12] And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in
itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
[13] And the evening and the morning were the third day.

The waters of chaos and fragmentation are separated from the earth of fertile soil in which the seed can be sown. The
seed is the seed of dharma: right thoughts, right feelings, right ideas, right principles, right laws and right understanding.
That right seed ultimately takes root and gives a manifold harvest. This man becomes a veritable horn of plenty. One can
ask him anything and he will always have an adequate and relevant answer. This man has released a great burden of
ballast and has become lighter and it makes his journey much easier. He has developed a creative power and knows how
to use it: the third day (Fa).

Day 4: Genesis 14-19


[14] And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for
signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
[15] And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
[16] And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the
stars also.
[17] And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
[18] And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
[19] And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Now he stands on the crossroads of country road and main road and also of light and darkness. He can see all pairs of
opposites because his vision has become very clear. His inner light is so strong he has become as the sun and also the
moon. When the sky is clear there is the sun, but in darkness there is the light of the moon. This man is never without light
for he has become light, and a shining example: the fourth day (Sol).
Day 5: Genesis 20-23
[20] And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the
earth in the open firmament of heaven.
[21] And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly,
after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
[22] And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the
earth.
[23] And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

The hallmark of this level is the ability to let everything be as it is. There is no more wish to interfere from a personal
desire or ambition. This way the moving of living things can arise in the inner limitlessness and as a seer this man sees an
abundance of signs in this expanding dimension. This man has taken on a truly cosmic dimension. He knows that the
secret of multiplication division, or sharing, is and that the secret of division the indivisibility of the remainder is. He is
everywhere at home, both on earth and in heaven: the fifth day (La).

Day 6: Genesis 24-31


[24] And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the
earth after his kind: and it was so.
[25] And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the
earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
[26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon
the earth.
[27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
[28] And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and
have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
[29] And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every
tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
[30] And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein
there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
[31] And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were
the sixth day.

Only on the second-last day (step) God creates man in His own image. Man still remains a reflection of God himself.
Therefore there still remains subject and object, duality, of man and woman. Man is still “imprisoned” in creation, but he is
able to completely fulfill that creation from abundance. This ability is based on the polarity of active and passive, with as
neutralizing force the observing look itself. Here abundance automatically rises up and this man knows to leave it at that,
for behind the abundance appears the source itself. This is why he has been given reign over the entire multitude of living
creatures in the universe. That reign is not given to man’s ego based on what that ego thinks it can do and not do. This
man’s only motivating force is Thy Will be done. He is a “good shepherd”. The sixth state has been likened to the
contemplative state of samâdhi. “And, behold, it was very good”: the sixth day (Si).
Day 7: Genesis 2:1-3
[1] Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
[2] And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work
which he had made.
[3] And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God
created and made.

This is the perfect unity, the “unio mystica”. Man no. 7 has completely merged with God and has thereby come to perfect
rest and peace. No duality remains, no separate I comes into view. In this complete freedom only the Creator and
Creation remain as one great unity. He has crystallized a causal body and is therefore a thrice-born. This man and this
Creation have indeed come to fulfillment, for that is the ultimate goal: to fulfill: the seventh day (Do).