By: Arnold Keyserling & R.C.L.
The Unique Potentials of the Earth and the Ten Directions
In the Aquarian Age, from the evolutionary point of view, Man is the brain of Mother Earth. We serve as the Noosphere or "information network" of the planet. To perform our function intelligently we have to change our perspective. Nationalism, Empires, belief systems, and cultural imperialisms of all kinds are provincial and thus passe. Also, in today's computer age of high technology, the old focus on agriculture and husbandry is obsolete. Wars of aggression are no longer acceptable. Today only the World view and planetary consciousness can lead to survival. American English facilitates this unity by serving as the communication language for the world in business, technology and information. But this concerns only half of the brain. We have to take the other half into account, with myth, mentalities, history, local languages and local belief systems.
Here we have to consider how the actual energies of the earth as a unitary system - Gaia. The criteria of the emerging world village are known. In yet another fractal recursion these criteria are self similar to the criteria of our own consciousness, but on a larger scale. The structure of the collective consciousness of the earth follows the fourfold structure of the neocortical brain as explained in Chapter Four.
To understand Global Consciousness we must first see where the divisions in the neocortex - left and right brain, and hind and fore brain - are made on the earth itself. The first most basic division is the horizontal division of the earth by the equator into a northern and southern hemisphere. The second is the vertical division of the earth into eastern and western hemispheres.
The division between the North and the South is equivalent to the division between the left and the right brains. The equator is the corpus callosum. In the left brain - North, conscious planning is paramount, producing the industrial countries. In the right brain - South, tuning into emotions and traditions is emphasized; being in tune with the earth. The North is Yang, male oriented. The South is Yin, female, tuning into nature. As you can see from the map most of the land masses of the earth, and its population, lie in the northern hemisphere.
The division between East and West is equivalent to the division between the hind brain and the forebrain of the neocortex. The West is the forebrain with the emphasis on willing functions. The hind brain is the east with the emphasis on thinking. The dividing line is really quite different than the arbitrary line accepted today in popular culture. The Western hemisphere extends from Japan to North and South America, with the border being at 50 degrees longitude West from Greenwich. Japan and America thus have fundamental consciousness traits in common derived from the energy of the earth itself. The Eastern hemisphere extends from Iceland to China. So contrary to popular usage of the word, for our purposes of fractal reckoning, the East includes Europe, all of Africa and most of Russia.
In the West the community concerns are in the foreground - leaders are representative. In the East the charismatic leader and personality create the community. The West concentrates on what has to be done practically, the East on the world conception. The West has an ideal "freedom of enterprise and achievement", the East an ideal of "security and full employment conscious of tradition and history". The points of gravity acting as polarity in the future will be the U.S. and China.
The earth is also divided into 8 zones like the wheel or five dimensions.
As shown in the above chart, Awareness is in the polar north, and willing is in Antarctica. Both polar areas are Shamanic. U.S./Canada and Japan are based on sensation; waking is therefore the political center, the Tonal. Europe, Russia and China are spiritually oriented, venerating sages, saints and heroes, trying to understand and actualize the Nagual, spiritual evolution.
The tropics in South America with the Incas emphasize in thinking the social structure, whereas in temperate South America the accent is on emotions and feeling. The soul part of the east is mainly Moslem. It cares only to be in accordance with revelations of future life, paradise and the New Earth. As mentioned the temperate zone of South America is based on feeling, and in the east in Africa the temperate zone is based on understanding and listening to the body; expressing joy in rhythm and dance.
In most historical countries of the world four political parties emerge: a industrial northern, a capitalist western, a socialist eastern and a green southern movement. These four energies are basic to community action and life.
The degrees of longitude are found perpendicular to the zones relative to the earth's axis inclining to the Sun.
The real meridian is not in Greenwich, but in Mecca, 40 degrees longitude, with the cube of the Kaaba. The sacred center of Mecca marks the exact point of orientation. The zones are tuned spiritually to the North star, the place of the New Earth.
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: The maps of the earth which we have looked at all of our life have a profound, albeit subliminal effect on our world view. Did you know that these maps are distorted and inaccurate depictions? The sizes of the landmasses are grossly distorted. When world maps were first created in the Renaissance by Europeans they intentionally distorted the system to enlarge the importance of their homeland, Europe. The traditional maps still in use today were devised in 1569 by the German map maker Mercator. They placed Germany in the middle (in fact Germany is in the northernmost quarter of the world) and made all of Europe look larger than it really was in comparison to the rest of the world. The bias is still with us in our world view today, including most of the maps shown in this book. Maps still follow the Mercator grid and show Europe to be larger than South America. In fact ,South America is almost double the size of Europe. As a result of Mercator's northern hemisphere distortion, Alaska appears three times larger than Mexico. In fact, Mexico is larger than Alaska. Greenland appears larger than China, whereas China is actually four times larger. The examples of distortion of the world view given to us by our maps could go on and on.
Only now are the first non-chauvinistic maps being produced without bias to any one region of the earth. They are "Peters Maps" from Peters Atlas of the World, and also published as a large wall map by the United Nations. It was created by the German historian Arno Peters to correct the distortions of traditional maps. The areas of the world are shown according to their actual size and so true comparisons of land mass are possible. A rough rendition of a Peters map is shown below. Find a full size Peters Map of the world and study it. Also see the books by Arno Peters: The New Cartography and Space and Time. You will find that the northern hemisphere, Europe, North America and Russia are not nearly as large as you thought, whereas the southern hemisphere, South America, Africa, China and India are surprisingly huge.
The Zodiac is the image of the Man in the Universe. Every land has another possible dream to overcome physical death. Religions are place oriented and historically modified like a geological pseudo-morphosis. For example, the Aryan central Asian tribes took on the local religions in India and Persia, and the Slavs took on the Teutonic tribes and the Celts in the course of a few centuries. The division of the Earth into the twelve zones of the Wheel is shown on the map on the next page.
Aries zone - Soul Willing - Persia, Arabia. They look for a prophet, or a leading hero, a sacred law: Abraham, Zarathustra, Hammurabi, Mohammed. The ram is the sacred animal.
Taurus - Body Sensations - Kazakhstan, Tibet, India, Ceylon. The richest and most physical subcontinent seeing the spiritual way to overcome death, through hatha yoga, meditation and renunciation.
Gemini - Spirit Thinking - China, Indonesia. Born out of polarity (Fu Shi, Yang and Yin), they strive for an educational community based on a common spiritual will.
Cancer - Soul Feeling - Japan and Australia. In this sector acceptance of beauty, quality and socialness, and artistic and technological perfection are fundamental. The ideal is a thoroughly organized society. In Australia the animistic knowledge of communion with animals still persists.
Leo - Body Willing - New Zealand, Polynesian. The basic mentality is courage, as with the Maoris, and the ideal is social welfare like in New Zealand.
Virgo - Spirit Sensing - Tahiti, Hawaii, Oceania. One common language unites the Spirits and Man in Hawaii. The Huna tradition demonstrates a simple way to merge Ego, Self and Being: the speaking self, the magical child and the wise old man. Through song and healing, the communion with the beyond is attained.
Libra - Soul Thinking - California, Western United States and Canada. The relation man/woman is in the foreground and so here the New Age and Human Potential movement s started. The ideal is the myth of the western, the heroes journey.
Scorpio - Body Feeling - Middle America including Florida, Mexico, Central America. Death, effort, the wonder of existence is the starting point. Dreams and visions are accepted as a gate, like the Mexican Quetzocotal, the feathered serpent, or the Native American tradition of opening a new and unexpected reality, as shown by Castenada's Don Juan.
Sagittarius - Body Willing - Eastern America, most of South America. The common aim is freedom of choice, following your own dream; conscious in the north, dreamlike in the south. The ideal is using education for human potential and progress.
Capricorn - Soul Sensing - Iceland, Brazil. In the north the "Eddas" are formulated in Iceland. In Brazil the Candomble, Umbanda, and Quimbanda create a religious syncretism where the Catholic religion is an integrated part. The ideal is multinational. Brazil accepts all ways as equally valid, from dream to spiritual reality.
Aquarius - Body Thinking - Western Europe, West Africa. The birthplace of technology and humanism, it expanded through colonization to unify the globe by 1962 with a technological information society. The ideal is mastery and individuality as with the French Revolution: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
Pisces - Spirit Feeling: the greatest land mass from Northern Europe over Central and Eastern Europe, Israel and central Africa. The common faith is the starting point. The ideal is a society serving God and others, from Christianity to Socialism.
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Look at which sector, quadrant or hemisphere you now live in. Think about how it may be subliminally coloring your attitudes, thoughts and overall life. If you have ever lived in another area, compare the differences of structure and reflect upon the differences in your life there. Recall visits to foreign countries and look at which areas they were in. Does this give you any insight into your experience there, or the people. Think of people you know from other parts of the world. Try and use this structure to help you better understand them or their culture. Finally, are you now living where you want to be? Where should you be to develop your unique potential? Does the structure of the geography of your current home fit your temperament? What part of the world might you be better suited for? How might you change to tap into the power of the part of earth in which you now live? Try it.
THE SACRED DIMENSION OF SPACE
Knowing the structure of the earth is essential, not only for self actualization, but for better understanding of other nations. It is a key to furthering peaceful, effective communication. The whole of the earth has become our home, all humans our neighbors. More than that, the whole of the cosmos is our home and all conscious beings our friends. This spatial understanding was evident and independently discovered by all of the first cultures which sprang up around the world at the start of the neolithical revolution. This understanding of the quality of cosmic space is alive in many of the shamanic traditions around the world, especially in the Native American and African tribes. Many still know the ancient secrets of how to use space and number to tune into nature.
The Space-numbers are visualized on the very outside of The Wheel as the ten directions -- E-1, W-2, S-3, N-4, Center/down-5, SE-6, SW-7, NW-8, NE9, Center/up-10. The ten numbers following the 10 directions is called the "Sacred Count" in some traditions. Note that this spatial alignment of 10 directions is different from the eightfold alignment shown on the inside of the Wheel and the hypercube. For further information on the distinction see Laws of Wisdom (Vol. 3 of the School of Wisdom Series). These numbers/directions are sacred because they define a quality of our material world, such as Fire, Mineral, Plant, and they link it to the infinite and immense non-material powers behind the directions. Almost all of the Native American medicine men and women hold the directions sacred and call forth their powers. But the mathematical component - the Sacred Count - which makes integration with the Wheel easy, seems to have been lost to most tribes.
The sacred count is based on an understanding of the sacred dimension of space. We have little or no experience with this because the sacred sense of space has been lost to most cultures of the earth for thousands of years. The sacred rituals and festivals are tied to time events. They happen at certain times of the year, usually at the times of solstice and equinox. These are sacred times that do not tie into the sacred dimension of space. This represents an unbalanced over emphasis of male spiritual principles over female. In the last few millennia we have neglected Space as an expression of the Yin in favor of the Yang, the time aspect of life.
In today's world, man and woman must become equal, so too must time and space. We can no longer afford to live in a male dominated society, nor one that is dominated by time over space. Everywhere we look we see clocks, they are even manacled to our wrists. But where are the compasses?
The lost knowledge of the sacred dimension of space must be regained. Then the new equality of the sexes will happen naturally. The rediscovery of the spiritual meaning of space is a way for us to find inner balance and equilibrium.
The need for equality of space and time, the feminine and masculine powers, is confirmed by the scientific understanding of the necessary relationship between space and time. Einstein and other modern physicists proved that one cannot exist without the other, that time is relative and space is curved. Neither time nor space exist by themselves. In reality there is only the combination of both - space/time.
So too, the dominance of "Father Time" over "Mother Earth" must now end. The long lost rituals of sacred space must be renewed. To regain the sacred dimension of space in our time we must look beyond the religious festivals and rituals we know. We must turn to the earliest shamanic cultures of the earth.
Spatial rituals, rituals that have no connection to the time of year, can still be found in many African and Native American tribes. In their cosmogony we find a non-dual AWARENESS beyond name and form: For instance, with the Lakota it is called the "Great Spirit" or "Wakan". In India it is called "Brahman". It is the sacred source of all that is -- the sacred Zero. It divides into the Infinite and the Eternal, unending space and time, to form our universe.
The Yin is here symbolized by a circle (meaning an infinite circle), the Yang by a wave - movement, change, continuing forever.
They both are creators, beyond numeric order, originators of number and creation. But their Yin or Yang quality prevails in the whole of creation. Their duality maintains the created world through the eight directions that connect us to God.
- E In the East, at Dawn the sun shines - heaven rises. It is the direction of renewal, of revelation and enlightenment by the spirit of creation. The Power of the East is Fire. In the I Ching it is the trigram of Awareness, the sign of heaven.
- W In the West at dusk the earth rises. Eventually you will lie down for sleep in a horizontal position. The whole body is in touch with the earth. You relinquish all worries and thoughts of the day. Letting go and becoming empty makes you receptive. In deep sleep you receive and integrate the germs of light from all suns in the Universe, the stars. Integrate here means affirming. The Power of the West is Crystals' letting go and affirming. The correspondence is with the I Ching trigram Willing, which is also the sign of the earth. The West will clarify the attitude of affirming your existence and task on earth.
- S South is midday. You need to shine as the sun at midday, to trust in yourself and others - to trust in Soul. You need the innocence of a child, forgetting the failures of the past. The spirit of the South bestows innocence and trust, attributes of plant-life trust in growth. In the course of the year the Southpoint is the winter equinox, the festival of the innocent child. The Power of the South is in plants, in Trees. In the I Ching the South is the trigram of Soul.
- N The North - thinking - relates us to the animal world, our teachers in strategy. The spirit of the North bestows wisdom and clarity, if our thinking surges from the polar star to merge again with its center. It is the wisdom in doing. Animals are the Power of the North. In the I Ching it is the trigram of Thinking.
- C Center/Down. If you direct your attention to the four directions, and also to front-back-left-right, you will necessary center yourself. Five signifies your centered self and that of all others who are centered. In the esoteric traditions humanity is always identified with the number five. Its Power is the Sacred Earth. There is no I Ching correspondence.
Centered also means to be an axis between heaven and earth. But to become a co-creator of evolution you need the support of the spirits 6, 7, 8 and 9.
- SE Six are the teachers of humanity, the Ancestors who paved the spiritual path up to the present. They make for a continuity in spiritual evolution of human history. In the South East everyone can discover and establish contact with his or her ancestors. To a musician it might be the spirit of Bach, to a mathematician the ancestral link might be to Pythagoras, to others it might be Albert Schweitzer, Jesus Christ, Moses, or whoever gives you strength and understanding to follow your own path. The ancestor you find will include you in the spiritual family and link you to the "Golden Chain". They paved the way for your special work on earth. They do not give you directions, you create your own, but they give you strength to pioneer your new link in the chain. The Power of the South East is the Ancestors. The I Ching trigram is Spirit.
- SW Seven are the spirits of our physical world of incarnated existence: the Elementals. Here the elements - Earth, Air, Water and Fire - are part of our survival, our health, our daily activities and success. As with the seven chakras they represent our agents operating in three realms - Body, Soul and Spirit. On the dream level they are called Trolls - spirits of the soil (sensing) who maintain our existence; Dwarfs - spirits of the air (thinking) who help us to surmount obstacles; Fairies - spirits of the waters (feeling) who stimulate our power of wish and endeavor; Elves - spirits of fire (willing), of serenity and joy, who help us to celebrate life as a luminous dream. These Nature Spirits can give you courage to go forward into the unknown. The Power of the South West is the Nature Spirits and the trigram is Body.
- NW Eight is in our world the principal of underlying consistency in the midst of change. It is the grid or underlying structure in which change takes place. This is the structure which remains constant while all else changes. We feel this as a deep desire for harmony, for participation in a kind of infinite stability. The spirits of the North West have been defined as angels or cosmic helpers who bridge the finite and the infinite. We contact them to base our transitory actions on the underlying eternal laws and thereby generate harmony in ourselves and our surroundings. It is the Power of Angels and the trigram of Feeling.
- NE Nine are the Inspirers. They are the agents of change in the microcosm, the macrocosm, as well as in the human world of speech, action and experience. The combination of nine faculties generates all possible action and transformation. As Gurdjieff said, whoever understands the nine can do. The North East, which lies between the enlightening inspiration of the East and the wisdom of the North, conveys the ninefold actualizing inspiration by which we become co-creators in evolution. These inspirers were called the "Muses". They do not help, but they empower our ninefold faculty of actualization. It is the Power of the Muses and the I Ching trigram of Sensing.
- C Center/Up. With the Ten we anchor our mind in the center. We are in communion with above and below, heaven and earth. We invoke the spirit of the "Man in the Universe". He is the archetype of the possible human, of humanity. He is the aspect of the divine in whose image we are fashioned, the mold. In the center we invoke the sacred unifying power. There is no trigram correspondence.
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Get a compass and use it to learn the directions that are a part of your personal space at home, at work, etc. What direction are you facing now? What direction is your bed, your desk. What are the directions of your diner table, where do you usually sit? In what direction do you travel to get to work? Learn to orient yourself to the eight directions at all times, particularly before you undertake any significant action. Ask yourself which direction you are facing? But "facing" means acting towards the future. The energy from the infinite direction that supports and nourishes you is received from the back. So in sacred space when you say "I sit in the West", it means that you sit with your back to the West. Directions exist only in relation to the center.
Try and experiment now with the directions and sacred space. Mark the eight directions in front of you on a table or floor. They necessarily spring from a center point. Choose the direction that you wish to sit with your back to. Then reach for the Center Powers 5-10, above and below, heaven and earth, and bring them into the center you have created on the table or floor. Tell them: "Be here in our middle". Speak loud enough so that you can hear yourself. Then reach for the Powers or spirits of the East, West, South, etc and bring them all into the center. You might take a little longer communicating with the power you need most at that time, but call them all, because you wish to be in concord with the whole of sacred space. You will feel that the center in front of you is linked to the center of your psychical inner space. It is the center of your immediate future, of the evolutionary movement of your mind.
If you have a preferred spot in your yard or in a clearing of a forest or some other location in nature where you can be private, then try the experiment there. Using a compass lay out a circle of eight stones according to the directions, or you may light five candles, one in each of the four directions, with the fifth in the center. The stones or candles help you to orient to the directions and tune into them with your mind. Remember, it is your intent and awareness that unites matter and energy, not the particular props.
When you feel that you are truly centered, in your axis between heaven and earth, then try walking around your stone circle, facing the center. Walking clockwise tends to give you energy, counter-clockwise gives away your energy. While walking see whether you sense a difference when you pause in one direction or another. Stop with your back to the direction which feels the most comfortable to you, which calls to you. With a circle of friends you may wish to begin walking with hands held. Before everyone stops walking, let go of hands, and allow everyone to move freely to stop at their preferred direction. Never walk through the center, always walk around the stones or candles marking the directions. When everyone has stopped moving and has found their place, the calling on the directions can begin.
It is traditional to use a drum when calling out to the directions, so at this point begin beating on a hand held drum while you call out to each of the direction powers and ask them to be present with you. You should do this out loud using the words that have meaning for you for each direction. Before calling for a particular direction, start first by calling the Great Spirit, then invoke both the Infinite and the Eternal - the long forgotten mother of all space. Then begin the directions with the East, then the West, the South and the North. In each direction call out the key words that summarize the meaning of that direction and also imagine the entities that go with each direction: all forms of fire and revelation in the east; all gems and stones, all mountains, letting go and affirming for the West; all plants and trees, trust and innocence for the South; and for the North ask for all animals to be with you, imagine their presence, and affirm the power of Wisdom, the Polar Star. Then conclude with the Sacred Earth in the center and invite all other humans alive today on the Earth who are striving and working for the good of humanity and the earth to be with you in spirit in the middle of the circle, the intersection of the four directions. Conclude by giving thanks to the Earth and to the Great Spirit. In a circle of friends before concluding you may wish to begin holding hands again and to move together around the circle.
Although it is normal to have a ritual leader who makes the invocation described, it is also normal to have everyone participate. Ritual is not a show with one performer that others watch. It demands that everyone participate, even if it is only silently. After the invocation, most of the participants may wish to say something to the group before leaving the circle. Good food, drink, music, drumming and dance usually follow.
This is an excellent ceremony for a group of friends, but can also be done alone. Mere curiosity will not bring you a profound experience of the primal powers. A real need and honest intent is necessary to unite matter and energy. If you are overwhelmed and disturbed by a cluster of problems, you might try this method to center yourself and call for cosmic assistance. With more experience you might add the other directions to the five discussed above and call all ten powers, adding the helpers of the SE, SW, NE and NW to the ceremony of the directions. Sincere utilization of this American ritual prior to a feast will transform a mundane party into a spiritual celebration that is uplifting to all. Drinking and talking before the ceremony is common to help you relax, but eating should wait until afterwards.
Arnold Keyserling's book From the Depths of the Universe consists of poetic messages from each of the Powers related to the 10 directions. We recommend reading the excellent English translation which is now available of this work to give you a better feel for what this is all about. A reading of one of the poems before the ceremony of the directions described above helps set the right tone.
For more understanding of the directions and their importance to life, look to the Native American traditions. A few of our favorite books in this area include: the Carlos Castenada series on Don Juan; Black Elk by Wallace Black Elk; Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt; Seven Arrows by Hyemeyohsts Storm; Medicine Cards by Sams and Carson; Voices of Our Ancestors by Dhyani Ywahoo; Fools Crow: Wisdom & Power by Thomas Mails; The Way of the Animal Powers, Joseph Campbell. Michael Harner's book The Way of the Shaman describes a good method for finding your own Animal Power.
For the important and useful African perspective on ritual and sacred space we highly recommend the books of Malidoma Somé, Ph.D, and his wife, Sobonfu Somé. They are both initiates into the Dagara tribe who live and teach part of the year in the U.S. and Europe. See especially Malidoma's autobiographical account of initiation into manhood described in Of Water and the Spirit, and the Malidoma.com webs. The Dagara employ a Wheel which is fivefold (shown below).
The Dagara Wheel has many similarities with Chinese cosmology and with the five notes of PrimaSounds. The Dagara call the five basic elements: Fire, Water, Mineral, Earth and Nature. They have found that people tend to take on one of these five characteristics depending upon the year of their birth. Fire people are born in our years ending in a 2 and 7; Water people are born in years 1 and 6, Earth in 0 and 5, and Mineral in 4 and 9 . The correspondence with the structure of The Wheel is: Fire = Sensing; Mineral = Thinking; Water = Feeling; Nature = Willing; Body = Earth. The third School of Wisdom CD of PrimaSounds music was inspired by the Dagara and employs this fivefold structure for visionary experience. GateKeeper (Vol. 7 of the School of Wisdom Series). Based on the year of your birth determine which of the five you are. Then listen to GateKeeper and try to use these songs to tune into why you were born, or as the Dagara would say, to remember the gifts you have brought to the village from the spirit world. On another occasion, use the music as a doorway to each of the 10 steps on the ladder. This is further described on the booklet which comes with GateKeeper and in the book Chakra Music (Vol. 4 of the School of Wisdom Series.