Alexandra arrived to find her coffee waiting on the table; together with an old silver coin.
“It’s a half-crown,” I said, in response to her puzzled look. “You may never have seen one, before?”
“I have. My grandfather had some; and what am I supposed to do with it?” she asked, in reply.
“Why, you spin it, of course!” I was being irritating, but it was for a purpose, besides, I am not old enough to be her grandfather.
“One coin, two faces – okay, technically a head and a tail? So,” she paused to take a breath. “What am I choosing between?”
“Much better,” I was ready to drop the curmudgeon. “Between a dance around the clock or a hexawaltz!”
“I just made it up – a hexawaltz . . .”
She sat down, looked at me as though she could throw something, then decided to sip her coffee. “See reaction forming, stand back, creating inner space. Let reaction play itself out in imagination . . . smile, instead.” She beamed at me.
“Dammit, that was far too good,” I admitted, taking some of my own coffee.
“And now the choice–as my reward, professor . . .”
“I’m not your professor, but the choice is between walking the perimeter of the enneagram or dancing the hexaflow – either way we will cover the full circle of nine stations – as I promised, and in a bit more detail this time.”
“Now that I know about the wave and the context of where the Nine came from?”
I nodded. “Now that you know all that.” I flicked the coin into the air above our table. “Call it!”
“Heads!” she had blurted it out before she realised that there was no outcome associated with the choice she had made. I let the half-crown fall into my palm and slapped it, opposite side down on the upper side of my left hand.
“So which way are we going to do it?” she said. “Since the coin is, clearly, irrelevant!”
“Awww, and I was having such a good time!” I said.
“I know you were – that’s why I spoiled your fun!”
“Ouch!” I said. “Bested by my favourite legal mind, again . . .” I revealed the snake on the trick coin and sat there grinning and insufferable. She chuckled into her coffee.
Alexandra muttered into the froth, “Bastard . . .”
“Not entirely,” I defended my stance. “There is method in the professor’s madness, and probability is an important issue in the greater picture of the enneagram.”
“Snake, then . . .” She sat back, crossing one elegant leg over the other and waited. “I’m waiting . . .”
“Round the clock, then,” I began. “We could start anywhere, but remember that everything in the enneagram, viewed as a clock face of process, progresses from Zero to One to Three to Nine.”
“Zero? You never mentioned zero before!”
She was right. I nodded, smiling. “Zero really occupies the same spot as Nine, and marks the initiation of something for which Nine is its completion – It’s similar to how Ten works in our decimal system, yet contains the One from which it began – we don’t start counting at zero do we? And yet, mathematically, it’s there; but of rather a different nature from One”
“Okay,” she said, leaning forwards. “So a raw Zero state gets processed ‘around the clock’ of the enneagram to end up as the Nine at the end of the cycle.”
“Exactly so–in nine stages, just like a spiral.”
That idea took hold immediately. “Oh, that’s good, so, it’s really three-dimensional, but, because we can only see it from above, we just see it returning to Nine, as though Nine were unchanged and just the point of starting again.”
“Whereas–?” I prompted.
“Whereas, really, in any process, the Nine represents what you would call an alchemical completion of a cycle . . .”
“Thank you.” She smiled. “I do listen . . .sometimes.” She chuckled, again. “When I’m not wanting to throw coffee at you!”
It was my turn to sit back and drink my coffee. “And you have to go, now, but before you do, I can tell you the exciting news that there are people living around the enneagram!”
There was mirth in her eyes. “Shock, horror–people, no less! Squatters, possibly!”
Her laughter was infectious. I joined in the mirth. “Yes, people; and, sadly, their presence there has nothing at all to do with the working out of process in the general sense that Gurdjieff taught us . . .”
“It’s complex; but beautiful. And it deserves a full answer or you won’t get the elegant sense of it all – but there are two systems of human development alive and well in this beautiful glyph and they co-exist very well . . .”
Ten minutes later, I helped her onto the train. She leaned down to give me the customary Monday hug and peck on the cheek.
“Such fun,” she said, as the carriage doors whooshed shut.
Nine Deadly Sins with Coffee is usually published on Thursdays.
All images and text ©International copyright, The Silent Eye School of Consciousness, 2015.
Contact details and an outline description of the Silent Eye School are on the other pages of this blog and via the website at www.thesilenteye.co.uk