NOTE: I am skipping Chapter 5 for the moment (Music of the Spheres as I am rewriting)
CHAPTER 6: TRANSFORMATION OF ENERGY
The Nature of Transformation
Energy states can change in one of three ways. First, the quantity of energy in a source can change without changing the nature of the energy. a simple example occurs whenever you drive your automobile. As you drive, the combustion engine in your vehicle consumes energy in the form of gasoline. The further you drive, the less gasoline remains in the tank. Therefore, your ongoing concern is to insure that you have sufficient gasoline to complete your trip. It really does not matter whether the gasoline is purchased from Shell, AMOCO, BP or from a generic station. Nor are you particularly interested in the combustion chemistry of gasoline.
The second way energy can change is in its intensity. For example, your automobile has a specific amount of kinetic energy, the energy of motion, because of its mass and its speed. All of us have had experiences dealing with this kind of energy and changes in its intensity. You have learned from experience that the faster your car goes the longer it takes to brake; that the severity of damage from hitting another automobile increases as you speed increases; the price of a speeding ticket increases exponentially with speed. The conversion of electricity of 110 volts to 220 volts is another example of a change in energy intensity. In all of these cases, we are dealing with changes in the intensity of a particular form of energy.
The third way energy can change is to be transformed from one quality or vibratory condition into another quality or vibratory condition. For example, higher forms of energy can be catabolized or broken down into a simpler form as occurs whenever gasoline is converted chemically into a pressure energy for activating the appropriate pistons in order to eventually manifest as rotary motion at the drive wheels.
Other examples of catabolic transformations, “energy exchanges going downward”, occur whenever electricity is converted into motion by a motor or whenever the protein-digesting enzymes of the stomach and pancreas, trypsinogen and pepsinogen, selectively cleave complex proteins breaking them down into their constituent amino acids.
Energy can also be stepped-up or anabolically transformed, “energy exchanges going upward”, from a lower form to a higher by a generator. For example, the up-and-down motion of the pistons of the combustion engine are converted into rotary motion useful for getting you to an appointment on time; the hepatic enzymes combine simple organic molecules into complex chemicals useful for fueling the body machinery; emission of a photon of light of a specific monochromatic frequency during the decay of an electron from a higher energy orbital to a lower energy orbital closer to the nucleus of an atom.
Although each of these changes are occurring simultaneously within our cells, our bodies, our lives and in other engines and generators surrounding us; the transformation of lower energies into higher ones are the most important. This anabolic process was taught by the alchemists when they spoke of “separating the fine from the coarse”. The active contacting by the neophyte of the “Nine Orders of the Celestial Hierarchy” of Dionysius the Aeropagite when in meditative attunement is anabolic in nature. Modern cosmologic descriptions are anabolic when discussing the origins and consequent development of the physical universe from an astronomically hot early state (1032 degrees Kelvin with a density of matter of 1096 gm/cm3) at the Planck moment (10-43 seconds after the initiation of creation). The Vedic cosmology brought into the Indus Valley in the 3rd millennium B.C. E. by the Aryan conquerors speaks anabolically when it teaches that creation began with the warmth, or tapas, and is complete for an individual when liberation from karma and bodily existence, or Nirvana, is attained.
All esoteric schools teach that the true purpose of living entities is to serve as instruments for the transformation of vital and cosmic energies so that “something can be returned to the Source” at the conclusion of this cosmic cycle. For entities composing the organic world, including unfortunately, the majority of humans, transformation is unconscious; that is, it occurs reflexly and only serves the general needs of Nature. Reflexive transformations of energies occurring in Nature outside the sphere of man, such as when the photosynthetic agent of green plants, the chlorophyll, metabolizes carbon dioxide and water using the energy of solar radiation to produce complex carbohydrates and oxygen necessary for the food chain, function fine without the necessity of awareness. The progressive improvements in the complexity of living entities through mechanical evolution, including the higher primates, apparent in the diversity of life forms seen in the fossil record is another example of the beneficial nature of automatic transformation under Divine Guidance. In a sense, it can be said that the purpose of evolution is to bring the universe to a state where all matter is alive!
However, reflexive, anabolic transformations no longer serve the Cosmic Purpose when homo sapiens are involved. Cosmic evolution here on earth will stop unless anabolic transformation advances into a new level of expression and possibility. All esoteric schools teach that the unique cosmic role for man is to serve as conscious transformers of vital and cosmic energies. Of all living forms, only man has the mental capacity to accomplish this purpose; hence, each of us carries a Holy and eternal obligation to strive to become conscious. Learning how such energy transformations are accomplished comprise the many exercises of the esoteric schools. These exercises are designed to show the student how to work with energies higher than those that normally grab our attention, the reflexive and the sensitive. Unfortunately, few choose to do the work necessary, work described by Gurdjieff as conscious labor and intentional suffering.