Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee – Part Twelve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“In the brain?” she asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.

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


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

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