The Unseen Sea: Adrift in the Magical Enneagram

Luca original plus(c)AA
Image Stephen Tanham

There is only one Life.

But there are a dazzling myriad ways in which it finds expression. Life is very simple to define at this symbolic level: it is the animation of matter, such that it exhibits awareness.

The scale of that awareness varies from the most primitive forms of single-celled response to environment all the way up to the conception of the ‘self’ – literally, that there is an “I” which is separate to the place in which it finds ‘itself’.

So-called ‘manifestation’ is simply an entry of the vivifying principle into the world of separateness; and so called ‘enlightenment’ is a (usually) step by step return to the revelation that nothing is actually separated at all…

Everything is in those three paragraphs–the whole mystery. But to see what lies beneath the words we have to go on a journey. We have to set sail on a voyage that is a mirror of how, where, and why life manifests as it does.

What it does is a given; it is not of ‘our’ choosing. We have to learn to live by the laws that our bit of life was given in our arising. This process, or better, perhaps, this pathway, is designed to bring us face to face with an increasing depth of truth; not science’s experimental truth (good though that is, in its place) but a truth that shouts out its bedrock existence in a way that removes all doubt – an experiential truth, a revelational truth.

We have largely forgotten this kind of truth, but our lives probably contained many instances where something glimpsed in our experience became an idea, then a distinct possibility, then matured into one of those “I told you so” moments. Life and truth are both like that; and it should not surprise us that they are twin sisters on our pathway.

Any modern system of true spirituality needs to harmonise itself with science; and science needs to stop being so arrogant and open itself up to the depths and wonders of subjective experience – consciousness, in other words; something it has no explanation for. We sent the scientists ‘out there’ to find the truth, somewhere back when the age of reason began its necessary assault on our carefully constructed lives. Now, we need to harvest the fruits and put them into the context of the whole human and the whole of Life.

Life began, science tells us, nearly four billion years ago, in the deep primeval oceans, probably near a volcanic vent on a ridge of the sea bed, where the energy gradient was vast. Gradients are important, because life does not thrive on stability – it thrives on the edge of chaos. On a physical level, we are biological machines that convert chaos into order, appearing to cheat entropy – the dreaded ‘heat death’ that the scientists loved to scare us with, not too long ago.

Life began with a stage of evolution that biologists think of as something called LUCA – the Last Universal Common Ancestor. As kids, we used to put soil into an old bottle, add water, and shake it violently in the bright sunshine to see if we could make ‘life’. Later on, watching Frankenstein films, we realised we were missing a lightning-bolt, or, if your chemistry set could be linked to your Meccano generator, an electric current…

The scientists couldn’t get it to work, either; even the really grown up ones. “Life will arise when the conditions are right.” they used to write.

Nope, zip, nada. Life didn’t do that.

In fact life began on the beautiful Earth only once, somewhere around four billion years ago, when a self-replicating set of proteins wrapped themselves in a shroud to protect itself from what had suddenly become the ‘out there’. Big step, that. So big it began not only life, but the gradient of awareness that became consciousness as we know it.

That  was LUCA and she’s been with us ever since. Every cell in the trillions that we possess is LUCA in one of her many variants. She’s wilful and beautiful. She is Life on Earth. And in her highest levels, when she’s not fighting to survive, she’s trying to get home…

Every cell is, essentially, a circle. Circles are important in the mystical, the esoteric (which just means ‘hidden’), where the spiritual principles are offered in symbolic form so that something ‘higher’ than the brain can latch onto them and do magical things with our consciousness.

The enneagram is a circle, too…

End Part One.

©Copyright Stephen Tanham, 2016 images and text. All rights reserved.

45 thoughts on “The Unseen Sea: Adrift in the Magical Enneagram

    1. ‘Small bell going off in your tummy’ is lovely! That’s your ‘gut’ centre and it is linked to instinctive truth as well as our links to our ‘life past’ whose story is told in the enneagram, if you learn how to uncover it. I hope to cover some of these issues in the series of posts. The times has come for a lot of this ancient knowledge to be woven into science and retold as a story of Life; and in language that will speak to the modern mind, and more importantly, heart – though both are urgently needed to protect Life on Earth.


    1. Thank you for commenting, Roughwighting. I think healing that divide is essential for mankind’s future. But big changes in the way we view life must be forthcoming for this to happen. The more of us who feel that way, the better!


  1. ❤ this. Had never stumbled across LUCA. Strange they made her the last, as, surely, she is the First. Ah. Now it makes sense… :p

    I'm sure you are probably aware that the latest observations and theories are pointing toward the wonderful conclusion that life is only possible through an extreme form of cooperation; one in which that self replicating set of proteins opted to wrap itself so completely in a sphere that it could no longer function outside that sphere.

    Unfortunately, for mitochondria, it is now being described as a virus which infected a fellow single celled organism. And it is from that unknown, single celled organism that the diversity of life we now observe kind of sprung…

    Luckily, for the hapless single celled organism, with mitochondria happily ensconced in its spherical heart, it now contained within itself a substance that internally produced the energy required to survive away from that hot vent on the sea floor…

    The rest is history, or biology (?), for the within all life it is the mitochondria, beavering away at the heart of every cell, which means we don't all have to all live on the sea floor, hugging a hot vent…

    Well, at least that's how I understood it… 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Indeed! And on dark nights, with nothing else to do, I while away the time imagining the face of Science, contorted in rage and disbelief, every time it takes a step closer to what the esoteric and the spiritual were saying all along. It’s my only vice… 😉

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Aye! They do what they do do well, and I have great hopes for the growing science of consciousness, but my, they don’t half make some massive bloopers… (self included, I should add, for the sake of transparency.) 😀

          Liked by 2 people

  2. science,religion,mysticism,spirituality all in one explained,beautifully,time will unburden all.What a channel you are Steve.Have a very pleasant weekend.we wait,anticipating the “follows” as we even try to read what the Within is saying.

    Liked by 3 people

Please leave a comment - we would love to hear from you

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.