Doorway Two – Enneagram Two, chakra: second (vital), trigram: Kuen (Earth), primary idea: Life, subtle body: etheric (vital), sephira: Binah, element: Water, Tarot symbols: II. HIGH PRIESTESS i XII. HANGING MAN
We are going now to discuss the enneagram Two, also called the Second or Vitality Chakra, as well as Kuen or Mother Earth on the Chinese Baqua diagram. In most general terms, it represents Life, understood as biological phenomenon: the Aliveness, fact that we have DNA, chromosomes, gender, flesh and our sensual, receptive nature.
Symbolically it is Eve in the Garden of Eden for it shows us the fleshy reality: the woman, the home, the childbearing, the maternal love and the pleasure of relationships. Her male counterpart, Adam, so far referred to as Mass (the First, or Objectivity, Chakra) – would be then bony reality of facts: the job, the money, the car, the marriage, the bank loan, the house.
Mass (Matter), that we discusswed so far told us about the inanimate Universe, something that is there.
There: man (Adam), stars, planets, politics, cars, jobs, TVs, money, shoes, casinos, holiday spots, firewood, knives, building, books, movies, football games, gas stations, know-how, world situation, great things, UFO's, information centres, scientific theories, bridges, rules, orders, ships, army, stress, machine guns, action, body mechanics, offices, dance clubs, elegant watches, duty, rationale, stiffness, screwdrivers, and motorbikes
Life, on the other hand, which is not there, but here, shows us the Universe's antipodes. The living planet.
Here: woman (Eve), home, river, sea, children, ease, pleasure, dogs, cats, nature walks, garden, gossip, nail polish, mountain, flowers, little things, knick-knacks, just being, pure joy, ecstasy of nature, excitement of being with friends, sensuality, home decoration, family activities, shopping, waterfalls, lunches, wine, love, helping and caring , candles, celebrations, neighbours, best friends, coffee and tea
Well, this is not to say that enneagram Ones are always men, and the enneagram Twos – women. The objective of these texts is to first of all point out that we all contain all enneagram types. Both me and you, independently of our gender and presupposed ”enneagram type” have this male and female parts in us, distributed more or less equally. I use certain gender stereotypes to convey an idea, rather then make you feel imprisoned in a role. Other than that, plenty of men show tendencies towards family life, just like a lot of women excell in sports. We are pretty hermaphroditic, that is, our psyches are.
The Second Doorway is the area of our genome, sexuality and gender
The deeper knowledge of the enneagram points out, that what we call here feminine with the typical female enneagram Two, can appear very masculine when displayed by a male Two. And vice versa., This is a funny example of how our bodies, with their hormones and rituals, interpret our psyches (which are far beyond the social conditioning). The thoughts are free.
Let us look at Marlon Brando in Godfather. He is playing a male Two, that by the way reflects two great Twos – the mafia and Italy. The Two-ness is based here on the idea of a ”family held together by a threatening Mother” (a 2-8 transition).The Godfather is an archetypal mother that is both revered and hated by the whole ”family”. On the outside he displays motherly love and care, while on the inside, ”feminine style”, plays games and pulls strings.
To further confuse things, this doesn't in the least make him effeminate. To the contrary, on most viewers Brando's Godfather would probably leave impression of being extremely macho. Well, macho and mother? The interesting feature of enneagram dynamics is that it offers different layers – if you care to look. Those usually don't interfere with each other but support themselves creating a holographic effect. We only have to be open enough not to take seeming ”contradictions” for face value. Then the deeper synthesis can emerge.
We have discussed so far the fact that Mass and Individual Self are seeming opposites. Objectivity seems to contradict the existence of an Individual – thus leading us to a materialistic standpoint (”only Mass exists”).
In fact, there's no contradiction. The True Self remains all the time the only reality, and Mass, as part of it, doesn't fight it in any way. We could compare it to a clock. If the True Self is a clock, that Mass is one of it's wheels. There's no need to see them as opposite. Mass is, and quite happily, a part of Self. And thus Self remains whole.
We are thus proposing a view that is devoid of attack. There is no need for discussion, for everybody are right. There is no contradiction between Mass and Self, despite what might seem on the surface level. In other words, we don't recommend (unlike the gurus) any specific mode of behavior. Do what you like! – that's our one and only admonition as for ”how to live”.
What we stress however, is the leading role of Self in that relationship. The clock as a whole is definitely more crucial then any of its parts. Without the clock, parts would have no idea how to be useful. That's why we would describe the clock as ”leading” (or ”cause”), and focus on the recognition of the fact.
The recognition of the Self as being the only reality, one that already includes Mass, is the goal of exercises we have so far proposed. It happens purely on the mind level. You don't need to do anything to make it happen, except to change your way of understanding. The exercises as well as thought processes we propose may be (or may be not) useful in achieving that.
What is happening at Doorway Two, is formally different than what we have described in Doorway One. Although, as ever, we deal here with the same clock-part mechanism, we are developing a completely new perspective on it. Let's have a look.
We are no more dealing with Mass (Matter), as something situated objectively, there, at a distance from our person. We altogether drop that masculine philosophy. Instead, we are interested in our personal feeling of Aliveness. This is the feminine sensation that there is Life going on here, that we are animated by a thrill of significance making us special.
We can rightly guess that every living being from smallest bacteria to a gigantic octopus, has got this same precious conviction of its own specialness. That very feeling, which precedes the emergence of ”false self” (or ”ego”) that we will discuss with Doorway Three, is what we call Aliveness.
What then is Aliveness?
It's the feeling that there's something going on here.
Mass was the idea that something was there, remember? That's the difference. There - is distant, and thus not very special. There - is like many others, predictable and dry. Here – quite to the opposite. It is close, it is us, it is our own private self. Juicy, eh? Sexy! Hey! It's happenin' !
Never repeated, always in this situation, this current outlook that an individual organism takes on Life. It is not what many people think, it is what one entity personally feels.
There's something here, that's a most basic fact. Something warm and personal, something tender, squirming and writhing, pulsating, panting, and willing, something trembling with Life, and yet limited in scope, so little, locked in the body, imprisoned inside a narrow, minimal, shamefully negligible cage.
A dot left by a fly on the Map of Zodiac, mercilessly clasped by Time.
This Aliveness remains present already with very simple organisms, plants and fish, and even the bacteria. If only they could speak, they would all say of themselves - Here! Here was here even before our human conscious self. It came about with the first amoeba in the first puddle of goo under the first funny rock.
There's no discussion that Life knows it's here
Small self remains much more primal than intelligence or self-consciousness.. It is the knowing that ”something wills to live!” . We call it the primary Will of Life. The here-ness of anything biological.
This Aliveness is very much needed and right. Well, it is our Lifeforce, it is Vitality, the very idea of Life in us. We desire Life, just as we desire to have sex or delve in sensual pleasures. Here is an orgasm, we desire to be here, and from here we will our Life with all of our Will.
So far Aliveness has appeared to us as pure Goodness.
What can be wrong with that feeling of Life animating all the Mother Nature? Isn't it the greatest gift in itself, one that engulfs us, rejuvenates and invigorates? One that even, as Zorba would advise, remains the actual goal of our Earthly existence?
The Dog of Freedom
The trouble with Aliveness is much the same like with our home planet. It's that it is so …. small.
Small? My ”I” remains locked in one entity (me), and is limited to exclusively one place (this body and its Life situation). To be born, grow, study, get married, have children, work, retire, get sick and die?
Stuffy, ain't it?
Life – is a bitch, they say.
When you look at it, there's something of a cramped bourgeois living room, complete with sofa, knick-knacks and paintings of deer in rut. Or maybe pink boudoir with its pictures of cats, soft plush curtains, ostrich feathers and … that smell, a combination of pot-pourri and old sweat...
The ”life” that most people ”live”. The actual repetition of a myriad similar movements of the Past, those of our ancestors, with similar limitations, blockages, cramped passions and hopes, walled off, as one of my pen-pals so wisely noticed, by electric cattle fences.
Time to say it: the much valued ”life's glamour” when we pass 30, becomes cheap pinchbeck and kitschy schlock.
We repeat the same used catchphrases, year to year.
We ”love” the same ”great food”, and proclaim pretty much the same ”eternal truths” to our mouldering audiences.
At Christmas dinner we fiercely recite the well-known list of life's do's and don't's, one that our family could repeat by heart woken up at midnight.
We laugh at the jokes which are not funny, or worse, are ourselves ones who tell them.
We are a well recognized phenomenon amidst the by-no-means-unfamiliar environment.
Nausea – that's the word. Feels like somebody here is about to puke.
Pleasantville of relationships.
So what happened? What have we lost, and is there, if there is, anything else?
To answer, let's look at the idea of Collective Self.
Here's the trick: our True Self is actually a Collective Self !
The honeycomb, symbolic of Collective Self
There are many of us right? And the True Self remains only one. There are no 2 True Selves, or 1.000 000 True Selves – there is precisely One, is that correct? Wait a minute, but we've just said that there are many of us. Does it mean that almost nobody of the 7 billion people on Earth has a True Self? But that's impossible!
No, of course. We all have a True Self. How? It is a one big Self, consisting of many Individual Selves, all of them infinite and boundless, and yet each with its own, unique vibration. Does it remind you of anything? A hologram! Remember the Hebrew Elohim, that actually means gods? There is no other way for the True Self to be one (forever and ever), than the fact of its honeycomb nature.
When we talked about Mass (Matter) we referred it to the True Self using the idea of Individual Self. The Individual Self is a specific concept that undermines the seeming absoluteness of Mass. It is the key that helps Mass recede and thus enable True Self to emerge and shine. We are talking about ”receding” metaphorically – Mass does not actually go anywhere. It stays where it was but our perception of it shifts from seeing Mass as absolute, to recognizing it as vibrational chord in the glorious symphony of True Self.
That much about Mass (Matter). Now with Life, we would need a different key, one to undo the biological and atavistic small self, and help us experience our True Self in its transcendent glory. We could then go past mere Aliveness, and experience a true bond with others, something that has actually not much to do with being lively, romantic or sympathetic. We could bypass the infuriating Kitsch and Mad Qui-Pro-Quo of our family relations – and reach to something real, deep at the heart of things. We could transform the rotten soap opera into deep mutual understanding and inner freedom. It is exactly for that we now need a key.
The key to small self is the Collective Self.
The Collective Self is the idea, that True Self consists of many Individual Selves, one of which is our own Individual Self. The Individual Self that is part of the honeycomb will develop by sensing the presence of other selves around, by tuning in to them, by really feeling grateful and compassionate. This way it will partake in their strength and gain benefits from participating in a family, rather than floundering selfishly on its own. It will discover both giving and receiving, and thus strengthen the awareness that all the Individual Selves are in fact One.
Welcoming other beings as a Collective Mind is much more than Aliveness. It has nothing to do with bustling family life, social or sex arena, raising children, being friendly, dynamic or sweet, doing good works, going to church (or Zen school) every Sunday or giving money to charities. It's simply about really liking people - really, organically feeling for them and giving them freedom to decide.
And naturally, that could not not include honestly liking yourself.
This deep appreciation of others, of You, and thus of Life in its totality, is the secret Doorway by which Lifeforce will be transmuted into a quality elixir: Compassion and Gratitude for Life in All Its Aspects.
Elohim. The Orchestra of Living Beings, each playing a divinely composed melody, each useful and in harmony with the rest.
In this way the True Self can be seen via Doorway Two.
The secret vestiges of which, we will not fail to reveal in the upcoming chapters.
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