Table of content
- 1 Psychoenergetics and The Seven Rivers of Life
By Kenneth Sørensen, this is chapter three (revised) from my book Integral Meditation
This article explores how the Seven Universal Energies called the Seven Rays (A.A. Bailey) or Seven Rivers of Life (Aurobindo) corresponds to the seven psychological functions of man and form the backbone of a new psychology which Roberto Assagioli called Psychoenergetics. A psychology which is based on a concept of energy.
Psychoenergetics and The Seven Rivers of Life
We were a group of people meditating together on the theme of spiritual paths. We were receiving all the familiar thought forms relevant to the subject, but nothing new seemed to emerge. Then in a flash, my awareness expanded spontaneously into a Solar Systemic Now. A sense of clarity and a feeling of sublime love were suddenly present, connecting me to the solar system and the cosmic ocean of energy. I felt an intimate relation to the solar system; we were all brothers and sisters on a cosmic path. I felt deeply connected to the planets; they were living cosmic beings and our communion was a unity in diversity. We were one consciousness but still individual beings on our unique paths. The space was timeless and all living beings unfolded their essence in unanimity in one synchronised movement. It was as if a cosmic hand was guiding us toward our spiritual destination. I can only call this hand God, Brahman, The One Life or Spirit-in-Action.
Experiences like this are not uncommon when we expand our consciousness from the individual to the universal. And when we awaken to the fact that reality is one cosmic ocean of interconnected energies, we also realise the importance of having a map to help us navigate these waters. We work with these energies when we meditate, and Psychoenergetics offers a useful map and language to understand them.
Everything is energy. This insight has become something of a cliché since books like Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics showed there were surprising resonances between some of the discoveries of quantum physics and some Eastern philosophies. But to recognise this is not enough. What we need is a language that helps us to understand energy, what we could call an “energy language”. Psychosynthesis is already well established, and I am certain that a “fifth wave” of psychology will emerge based on an understanding of energy and what Roberto Assagioli called Psychoenergetics. Many contemporary thinkers agree, for example Ken Wilber, who created integral psychology, while Sri Aurobindo, Roberto Assagioli and Alice Bailey are some outstanding exponents from the past.
In the 1990s, esoteric psychology with its teaching of the seven rays became an important source of inspiration to me. At the same time, I discovered an essay by Assagioli in which he describes his seven ways typology. It struck me that all the major Psychosynthesis schools taught Assagioli’s Seven Ways of Self-Realisation as an integral part of their curricula. Esoteric astrology, which I have practised for several decades, is also rooted in the philosophy of the seven rays. In 2007, with my good friend Søren Hauge, I brought these different strands together and started to work deeply with the seven rays. Our research resulted in several new teaching innovations within Psychoenergetics, which we called integral meditation and Soul Flow. We created a new language that helps us to communicate this psychology. We also discovered new insights and applied these in our teaching and workshops – see www.jivayou.com
Psychoenergetics describes how the seven rays constitute and colour all of existence. It is also the language of integral meditation. The seven rays, seven levels of consciousness, seven ways of meditation and seven spiritual types form the basis of this philosophy, which works with five integral life practices in the three areas of I, We and It. This chapter describes the seven rays, and shows how we connect with them through the seven psychological functions.
The seven rays inform many spiritual teachings. According to the Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo (1872-1955), the Vedas describes how the manifestation of the universe “brings down, the unrestricted downpour of the rain of heaven, the full flowing of the seven rivers from a superior sea of light and power and joy”. Alice Bailey called these “seven rivers” the seven rays, and so did Aurobindo when he was quoting the Vedas.
These two terms – seven rays and seven rivers – are often used interchangeably to refer to the same energies, but there is a difference between them. The seven rays is a masculine expression that emphasises the will. By definition, a ray is a radiation of energy that is directed: think of a flashlight. Astrophysics speaks about cosmic radiation, and in nature scientists can measure the different types of radiation created by the colour spectrum of white light. I sometimes prefer the term rivers of life; rivers flow, and this seems a much more feminine kind of phenomenon. We can direct our consciousness at a target, but we can also dive into consciousness as if it were a stream. In Aurobindo’s words: “The seven Waters are the waters of being; they are the Mothers from whom all forms of existence are born.”
In the same that white light expresses itself through the seven colours of the spectrum, the seven rays are actually subdivisions of the one essential ray which contains them all. There is a close analogy between the seven rays and the seven colours of the spectrum.
These seven rays each have inherent psychological qualities. Speaking cosmologically, I will refer to rays and rivers; speaking psychologically, we can call them energy types or “ray qualities”. The seven qualities are:
- Will and power (my terminology: dynamic river of life)
- Love and wisdom (sensitive river of life)
- Active intelligence (intelligent river of life)
- Harmony and beauty (creative river of life)
- Scientific knowledge (scientific river of life)
- Idealism and devotion (idealising river of life)
- Organisation and manifestation (manifesting river of life)
Each of these rivers, and the meditations I have developed based upon them, will be explored in later chapters.
When the seven rays manifest in human behaviour they find expression in the form of seven distinct energy types, namely:
- The dynamic type
- The sensitive type
- The mental type
- The creative type
- The analytical type
- The dedicated type
- The practical type
For each of us, there is a particular energy type which colours the expression of our soul and personality. It is important to know our soul type because this lets us know which ray qualities we are primarily working with to create spiritual meaning, and it is important to know our personality type so we can create a successful personal life. In the next chapter we will explore these different types in detail.
The seven rays constitute everything in existence, from the mineral world to the highest spiritual levels of being. From this perspective, there is no area of study where we cannot apply Psychoenergetics.
The term “ray” should be understood to refer to the quality associated with it, and not the form in which it is expressed. In the mineral world, different metals have particular qualities. Metals are energy in a particular atomic pattern; their qualities emerge through the energy pattern – the “ray quality” – that created them. The same applies to human beings; it is our psychological qualities that determine our character.
An understanding of Psychoenergetics can greatly benefit our meditation.
Not all types of meditation facilitate our spiritual growth. Each of our Souls is dominated by a particular one of the seven rays, which has implications for our choice of meditation. The yoga schools of Hinduism emphasise that there are different ways to connect with God. Different people need different techniques to realise the self. The same principle applies to Assagioli’s seven ways and to the seven rays of esotericism. We each contain all of the seven rays, but not in equal measure; some are more important than others in respect to our individual Self-realisation. This book is about fashioning meditations to suit our own particular spiritual needs.
The Source of the Seven Rivers of Life
What is the source of the seven rivers of life? Where do we come from? The energies are not outside us, they are the essence of who we are. We are energy! Sri Aurobindo poetically says that the rivers come from “a superior sea of light and power and joy” and that they reveal Sat-Cit- Ananda, which is “being, consciousness, bliss”.
This is one of the things that makes Psychoenergetics so fascinating: it provides a cosmic view of life, along with practical advice for psychological application; it is a spiritual typology made up of levels, stages, states, quadrants and types as with Ken Wilber’s integral psychology.
Wilber emphasises the concept of Spirit-in-Action, which he describes as the universal life force driving the evolution of consciousness. Spirit-in-Action is the very fabric of life, the inmost power of all living beings. We all ride on the wave of this great evolutionary force: we ARE this wave – We Are Spirit-in-Action.
An important teaching in many religions concerns the transcendent, unmanifest realm that exists outside time and space. In Buddhism it is called Dharmakaya; in Hinduism it is Parabrahman; and in the Christian tradition it is God. Out of this ground of being emerges the will to manifest. The universe appears and continually actualises its potentials. We have Spirit-in-Action, we have a Big Bang, but not only the physical realm is created in this act. According to the processes of involution and evolution, our inner worlds appear before our outer one. (We will discuss this in more detail further on.) These inner worlds also constitute the manifest ground of reality; they are the source of what is known in the “perennial philosophy” as the Great Chain of Being. They are the “heavens” of an interior space.
The seven rivers of life are seven streams of spiritual force produced by Spirit- in-Action which shape and maintain creation. But how do they manifest in us? The spiritual Soul receives these energies from Spirit-in-Action and channels them throughout the personality, and continues to do so throughout our life. The three levels – Spirit, Soul and personality and the seven rivers of life – are illustrated in Figure 10. The diagram shows how the seven ray qualities flow into the Soul at the top of the egg. From here they flow into the self in the middle of the egg, and then they move out into the personality in the form of our psychological functions: will, feelings, thoughts, imagination, logic, passion and, eventually, physical actions.
The Seven Rivers of Life in Everyday Life
Let’s see how the seven rivers are active in daily life. Energy can be expressed in different ways. Love can be boundless and all-encompassing or stiflingly selfish. It is the same energy but expressed in what we might call two different frequencies.
Try this visualisation exercise. Close your eyes and imagine soldiers marching across a field. Notice their expressions, the sound of their feet, the weight of their packs. How did you react to this? Now imagine a baby in the arms of a loving mother. What was your reaction then? In the first instance you experienced the energies of the dynamic quality of will and power; in the second that of sensitivity and compassion.
The same kinds of reaction appear when we meditate. If we know the ray qualities, we can work with and eventually master them. Later chapters will explore each ray in detail; here I will briefly introduce them. Remember, we contain all seven energies and we should try to understand our relationship to each of them.
The energies of will and power are the most difficult to master. They are so powerful that we often become fearful in their presence. This dynamic ray quality is concerned with the will to power and the will to be self. Many people are afraid of this power because of the responsibility it entails. Power is a part of reality, and if we don’t take our share of it, others surely will.
People governed by this ray are dynamic types, who reach the top within their sphere of influence.
We use this power for good or bad according to our level of consciousness. This ray quality gives us focus, courage and determination. We pursue our objectives and sacrifice whatever is necessary to succeed. Dynamic energy can be destructive; it can enable us to cut through and eliminate whatever obstructs our aims. The dynamic aspect of our nature compels us to fully actualise our potential. We become pioneers and adventurers within our sphere. It gives us the will to manifest our greatness.
We take responsibility and occupy the centre of influence. We are drawn to be a leader and to use our power, initiative and drive. We love competition and want to succeed. In terms of our personality, it is the psychological function of will that manifests this quality.
The energies of love and wisdom carry a softness, warmth and sensitivity. These sensitive ray qualities lead us into the world of relationships. Like water, this energy gently penetrates rock, entering its cracks and shaping it. When influenced by this energy, we have an empathetic understanding of not only humans, but of anything we love. Here we feel a deep understanding and an urge to unite what is separate. Relationships are all; we are nurturing, calm and co-operative. We are speaking here of the archetypical energy of love. Whereas the will breaks down, love restores and unites. This sensitive energy produces patience and a desire to build relationships and heal whatever is broken. This energy is a magnetism, a force that connects and holds together, be it a solar system or a personal relationship. People governed by this ray often work in the helping professions where there’s a need for understanding, compassion and empathy. This ray is expressed through the psychological function of feeling.
The energies of intelligence make us mentally sharp and quick. They help us to understand and communicate multiple perspectives. Here we are motivated to acquire information which becomes the knowledge necessary to act intelligently and efficiently. This energy makes us light, flexible and curious, and it enhances our social skills. It helps us to make connections with all the relevant people in our network. It may not garner the depth of understanding that the sensitive energy can discern, but it helps us to collect information and see the larger picture. This energy motivates us to think and investigate. Types governed by this ray are often astute and can handle their resources efficiently. They are suited to activities requiring bridge-building. They are great networkers and excel in problem solving. The energies of intelligence are expressed through the psychological function of thought.
The energies of harmony and beauty make us playful and spontaneous, and instil a strong desire for the harmonious and beautiful. We cannot live without beauty, lightness and balance. Conflicts and drama are ok inasmuch as they can relieve tensions. But under the influence of this ray, we can find harmony in disharmony. We can mediate between extremes and turn chaos into order. We can lose control, safe in our belief that new potentials will emerge in the process. All the rays are creative, but this one carries a gift for bringing beauty into form. It provides insight into inner conflicting forces, helping them to reach accord. Types governed by this ray are often drawn to the arts, where imagination reigns, but also into professions where mediation and appeasement are highly valued. The energies of harmony and beauty use the psychological function of imagination.
The energies of scientific understanding make us serious, precise and attentive to facts. Practical details are important to us and we find great pleasure in learning. In psychology we analyse human behaviour in order to ensure valid and reliable conclusions. We want to know the truth so we can speak with authority. We are logical, using our intellect to discriminate, discard and conclude. We are inventive, curious and dig deep into our specialised studies. We are well suited to circumstances that demand sharp analytical thinking, and we are drawn to be a researcher, technician and practical innovator. The energies of scientific understanding are expressed through the psychological function of logic.
The energies of idealism and devotion make us enthusiastic, loyal and earnest. We are passionate about everything we do and are committed to it wholeheartedly. We elevate the people around us and motivate them to reach for their highest goals. We are, in a word, idealists. We tend to think in “black or white” because our dedication is all-consuming. We are happy to follow a leader as long as we share his values. The cause motivates us, not the attention. We are loyal and accountable because we judge ourselves by the ideals we follow. We are born activists, zealous advocates of any cause that captures our heart. Professions requiring sincere communication suit us: sales, marketing, coaching, the helping professions. The energies of idealism and devotion are expressed through the psychological function of passion.
The energies of organisation and manifestation make us efficient, orderly and systematic. We strive for excellence, which is the central aim of this energy. We enjoy planning strategies with efficient people. Achieving concrete results and bringing ideas into life is deeply rewarding, even the planning, preparation and presentation of the perfect meal. We love to experiment with new methods in order to perfect our skills. We are creators of law and order because we firmly believe there is a right way to do everything. We co-ordinate and direct group activities where ideas are an essential part of the overall process. We recognise different qualities and abilities and see how they fit together in the bigger picture. This type of personality makes an ideal team leader. The energies of organisation and manifestation are expressed through the body and physical action.
I hope you can recognise yourself somewhere in the descriptions above. But let me give an example from my own life regarding how these ray qualities can come into play.
My Own Energy Types
I have suggested how the seven ray/energy types can dominate an individual’s psychological constitution. In Psychoenergetics, we also distinguish between what we call the five dominating energy types: body, emotions, mind, personality and Soul, each of which has a particular dominant energy conditioned by one of the seven ray qualities. These five energy types influence how we experience the world. We can access all the seven rays, but some of the rays are primary and others are secondary. (Energy typology is simple but complex, and will be explored in more detail in the next chapter.)
The two most important energy types are the Soul and personality. The first influences how we pursue our spiritual path, while the second shapes how we create a successful personal life. When I reflected on how I managed my own successful professional life, the qualities that came to me were idealism and passion.
When I was 17, I joined the army, giving five years of my life to the service. Later I spent a decade working in social psychiatry, during which time I edited a magazine that was written and produced by people suffering with mental illness. Since then my work life has been focused on pursuing esoteric wisdom and exploring transpersonal psychology through teaching, counselling, workshops and education. My passion has driven me forward. This quality belongs to the dedicated energy type, burning with idealism and devotion. Idealism and passion for the “cause” formed my character. I have also been influenced by the shadow side of this energy type: a tendency to fanaticism and extremes, to playing the righteous missionary, sure of his perspectives in life.
I became aware of other prominent qualities in my psychological constitution: my love for the ageless wisdom and a deep longing for connection. Meditation satisfied me deeply. It felt like coming home. And teaching spiritual psychology was deeply gratifying. I found the connection with others that is afforded by the intimacy of the therapeutic space to be nourishing and rewarding. The difference between the dedicated type and the sensitive type is that the dedicated type lacks the soft, embracing and calm quality of the sensitive. However, in the late 1990s, I became aware that my sensitivity was increasingly beginning to influence my character. I was certain that I was a 2-6 type, that is, a second ray Soul and a sixth ray personality.
This perhaps needs a short explanation. My personality, which means the dominant qualities of the basic and middle unconscious in the egg diagram, was the major influence throughout my youth. The dedicated energies of the sixth ray conditioned my overall behaviour, so I was a dedicated personality type. Then, later, the superconscious energies began to emerge in my life. The dominant qualities of the superconscious and the Soul itself started to influence me. These energies were primarily an expression of the second ray in my case, so I became aware of my second ray soul type – also called the sensitive soul type.
When I started my spiritual practice in 1988, I visualised the sun in my heart centre, and continued this practice every day for the next ten years. I was so focused on my spiritual life that I never really had the time to relate to people in a deeper sense, or to enjoy a gentler, less driven way of being. I pushed myself to the limit with work, a common hazard of the dedicated type.
Around the millennium, my life changed drastically. A power struggle within the esoteric community I was involved in left me disillusioned about our ability to practice what we preached. We sought wisdom, but when everyday conflicts arose no one, myself included, was mature enough to handle the situation. This painful wake up call was nevertheless a blessed event.
Disillusionment is a common crisis among dedicated types. Their ideals are too lofty, too impractical to become realities, and that was exactly the case with me. The next few years were difficult; with no focus for my ideals, I felt my life had stalled. Yet what emerged was a more open outlook on the world. I decided to never again identify with any belief system, no matter how beautiful or significant. I would practice an open spirituality based on experience.
I would also start long-term psychotherapeutic work in order to overcome some of the problems I had become aware of, such as my tendency to isolate myself, my sense of loneliness and fear of intimacy with people I didn’t know. I decided to take training in Psychosynthesis psychotherapy. Six years later, that goal was accomplished.
What really happened? Today it is clear to me that there was a conflict between my personality ray and my Soul ray. It was a deep existential crisis that took centre stage in my life and defined my new identity. In Psychosynthesis terminology, it was a phase where the personality was integrating with the Soul. I moved from holding an intellectual philosophical attitude to adopting a more intuitive “being-orientated” approach. I did not reject my intellect but I didn’t need to identify with it or with a particular faith. The focus of my meditations was to simply be aware and present, silently, with no aims or goals. I also realised a need for more intimacy, more “presence”, in my relationships. It was the way of love-wisdom bringing me to the Soul.
When the Soul qualities begin to emerge and we come under the influence of a new flow of energies, it’s important not to forget the stage we have just left. My natural enthusiasm, drive and passion remain – they are part of my Soul’s equipment and necessary for life. But instead of identifying with these qualities, I am learning how to ride their energies in a calmer and open-minded way. The second ray Soul can now start to inform the energies of the personality. The opposite could have happened. If I had been a calm, lazy type (a common trait of sensitive personalities), I would need to tap into my Soul’s fire and passion. It all depends on the individual and what feels right according to the purpose we are here to realise.
What does my story tells us? Knowledge leads to mastery. When we walk in the forest, we see trees, but a forester sees oaks, green ashes, weeping willows, cedars and much more that escapes you or me. This knowledge means the resources around him are available to the forester, and the same applies to our inner energies. All our experiences are movements of energy. When we are focused we experience the energy of will, when we relate intimately we experience the energy of love, and when we organise our work it is the energy of manifestation.
Psychoenergetics helps us to identify the different energies that influence us and shows us how to use them. To do this the energy psychologist identifies seven psychological functions.
The Seven Psychological Functions
Let’s look at how we can work with these energies from the point of view of the psychological functions. The psychiatrist C. G. Jung wrote about four functions: feeling, thinking, sensing and intuition. Assagioli, however, spoke of seven psychological functions, which he presented in a Star Diagram. These functions are sensation, desire (passion), feeling, imagination, thought, intuition and the will. Our system follows Assagioli’s with a few changes. We include logic as a psychological function. This seems in keeping with the thinking of Assagioli, who was aware of the dual nature of the mind, its ability to grasp abstract meanings and to analyse concrete facts. Also, we speak of passion rather than desire because of the negative associations with the former, and we prefer the term action to Assagioli’s term sensation. Furthermore, we list intuition as a transpersonal function rather than a psychological function (there are also seven transpersonal functions – see below). This is also in accordance with Assagioli’s thinking:
“This personal self is the human core at the ordinary level, the level of personality. It is the center of our ordinary psychological functions: mind, emotions, sensation, imagination, etc.
Likewise, at our higher human level there is an entity that is at the center of the higher functions – artistic inspiration, ethical insight, scientific intuition. This is our real core: it is there in all of us, but the personality is generally not aware of it at the ordinary level.”
(The Rebirth of the Soul)
The self moves through life through the seven evolutionary stages by making use of the psychological functions. We do not consider awareness a function, but a state of being, yet we are able to expand and develop awareness, so there are eight developmental lines in all.
Assagioli depicted the seven psychological functions in the form of a Star Diagram (Figure 11) and here in my modified form.
- Action (Sensation)
- Will (and the conscious “I”)
Each of us makes use of these functions; they are part of normal human psychology. Through developing them we can learn to know and eventually to master the seven ray qualities. There are meditations designed to help develop these functions, but they also unfold naturally as we go through life. Meditation is a way of accelerating their growth. Different schools of yoga are aimed at harnessing different qualities: devotion through Bhakti yoga, the mind through Raja yoga, and the body through Hatha yoga. Our aim is to develop all of them through an integral approach.
The self uses the psychological functions to gain knowledge of the inner and outer world and to express itself in the world. At the centre of the Star Diagram, we have a white circle – a point of pure self-awareness, static and immovable. From this centre, the Self radiates its qualities. All the psychological functions have their respective centres in the brain.
Gradually, the psychological functions of the personality transform into the transpersonal functions of the Soul. Will becomes synthesis; feeling becomes intuition; thought becomes idea; imagination becomes vision; logic becomes wisdom; passion becomes service; and action becomes mastery. While love relates to feeling and intuition, as Oneness love is also the essence of all the seven ways: every single atom in the cosmos longs to be one with all the others.
The Psychological Functions and their Internal Relations
As an alternative to Assagioli’s Star Diagram, Figure 12 shows how the seven psychological functions relate to the seven rays via the three primary functions of will, feeling and thought.
These three primary functions relate to the seven psychological functions in the same way that the three primary colours, red, blue and yellow, relate to the other colours in the spectrum. Figure 12 shows how will, feeling and thought form a triangle with action at the centre, in contrast to Assagioli’s Star Diagram, which puts will at the centre. Action has been placed at the centre because we are concerned with manifesting our life’s purpose. There will be more about this later.
The will directs energy and is expressed through purpose, choice and decision. The will motivates us, and puts life into motion, often in subtle ways; sometimes we don’t even know that a decision has been made. The will confirms who we are. Through our choices and actions, the will reveals our identifications.
Feeling is our sensitivity. It makes us sympathetic to the psychological qualities of a given situation. It informs us of our likes and dislikes, what we find pleasant or unpleasant. It also connects us to our surroundings, so we can feel what is going on in the outside world.
Thought tells us the nature of something. It gathers information, creates categories, and weaves different perspectives into a system. It interprets data received through the other functions. Using thought we can communicate how we see the world to others.
The next four psychological functions are formed through different combinations of the primary functions. So, for example, combining thought and feeling produces imagination, our playful visualising faculty. Through imagination we can create images that carry an emotional atmosphere. We use imagination to visualise reality as it is or as it could be. We may say it is our magical faculty: anything is possible through the imagination. Though not physical, the imagination affects us just as real as the “real world” does.
Logic is produced by combining will and thought. Logic is directed analytical thinking; it gets us from A to B through the shortest route. Logic discriminates and evaluates; it is concerned with facts, certainties and objective truths. Thinking is broader and reasons inductively; logic begins with premises and follows through to conclusions using deductive reasoning.
Passion, the combination of will and feeling, focuses us intently on a goal. It includes our drives, desires, aspirations and needs. Passion moves us. It is the power we need to get things going. Passions can range from a brute survival instinct to a burning love for God.
Action occurs when will, feeling and thought inform our capacity for movement. All action involves a decision and thought about how to realise it. This puts us in motion. One function can be more dominant than the others, ie. when our actions are informed by our strong will. Action means specifically physical action through the function of sensation. We can say that all the psychological functions are “acting” simply because they are active; but what we have in mind here is when specific actions are performed in the outer world.
The Psychological Functions are Lines of Development
Meditation can help develop the psychological functions, but there are also other ways. The psychological functions provide access to the different energies, as well as to the seven rivers of life. They develop differently from person to person, so it makes sense to consider the functions separately, along with the self’s own particular path of awareness and identity.
There are eight developmental lines when we include the self line (Figure 13) because each of the seven psychological functions and the self develop through their own stages of development. We have:
Figure 13 shows the main stages the functions pass through, starting from the bottom of the egg moving up to the top. When the functions become open to the superconscious, transpersonal functions emerge. For example, the psychological function of feeling becomes the transpersonal function of intuition. This illustrates that while the cognitive line (thought) may be well developed, the emotional line (feeling) can lag behind; the same applies for the other functions as well. There are eight primary lines of development, but many other lines appear as the different functions form different combinations. Ken Wilber’s integral psychology provides a brilliant presentation of the different lines of development. In Figure 13 the eight developmental lines, we see a hypothetical illustration of the various psychological functions and how they develop independently.
If the diagram was representative of a person, we could conclude that this individual’s compassion and empathy were highly developed (line 2), more so than his self-awareness (line 8). Perhaps he works in the helping professions and is doing a great job, but his awareness does not exceed that of the average personality. He has not yet awakened to his identity with the whole. The line of action (7) is also very developed, so he is probably skillful in organising and manifesting compassion in a practical way.
Let’s look at the self-line and those of the three primary functions. We need to remember how the seven functions relate to the seven rays. The self is not a function but a being of light. As the “white light” and Universal Self it is the source of all the different rays.
The self-line represents the width and height of our self-awareness. It indicates the development of how we relate to the world, from an egocentric view through ethnocentric and world-centric views to a Cosmocentric identification, and it also refers to the levels of awareness that the self has attained, from body consciousness to Spirit consciousness. The Self enters these inner landscapes through meditation and reflection.
The feeling-line relates to the development of sensitivity. It shows our level of empathy with others and our understanding of different emotional states. It charts the development of our empathetic understanding, not only in the social dimension, but also with the higher worlds of intuition and transcendence. Sensitivity is needed if we are to embrace impersonal and boundless love. In addition, the capacity to contain painful states grows as we direct our sensitivity toward the depths of our being, into the darkness of destructive patterns.
The thought-line develops as our mind grows and we are able to entertain many different perspectives simultaneously. It represents our worldview, our understanding of social environments and the products of culture. It is also the vertical dimension, and charts the quality and validity of our interpretations of reality, how integral we are and the extent to which our perspectives are flexible.
The will provides the power to break through and the ability to express our identity in action and continually enlarge our sense of freedom in action.
Feelings enable us to experience intimacy, connectedness, warmth and deep meaningful relationships.
Thought gives us clarity, overview and expands our horizons, so we can grasp the world and communicate.
Imagination allows us to experience magic, spontaneity, play and adventure, a space where the grey routines of the day are interrupted by dance, laughter and joy.
Logic contributes to our sense of reality and provides an ability to make judgments from a firm footing, so we can build our dreams on solid factual ground.
Passion gives us the fire we need to accomplish our dreams; it provides focus and enthusiasm.
Action offers grounding, vitality and a practical sense so we can organise and see the results of our creative force.
From these perspectives, let us now investigate the seven energy types in detail and see how they develop through the seven ways to Self-realisation.