The vital energies begin with the dispersed energy, E9, the constructive energy. The constructive energy appears whenever we observe the behavior of self-contained systems interacting with their external environments so to catabolize material from the environment into fundamental building blocks utilizable for growth or maintenance. Systems having constructive energy are able to maintain themselves at a higher, more organized state than their surroundings by absorbing energy and increasing disorganization within their immediate environment. Systems such as these are ‘entropy eaters’, autopoietic systems, or far from equilibrium systems.
The presence of living ‘entropy eaters,’ with the potential to become conscious individuals, within our universe is actually quite a strange happening. As was mentioned previously, in order for life to have evolved it was necessary for the universe to expand at a specific rate (actually no one knows if the universe will eventually collapse upon itself or expand forever–it depends on whether or not neutrinos have a rest-mass) for a very long time so to create the one hundred billion or so galaxies with their one hundred billion stars and unknown number of planets and moons. This expansion period was necessary for the creation of the foundations of living matter (hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, iron and so on) within the star furnaces. The death and explosions of these fiery ovens as supernova disperses these heavier elements throughout space so they can become incorporated into planets, asteroids and other interstellar debris.
This stellar alchemy or transformation into the animate requires a lengthy incubation period running into billions of years. The very size and detailed structure of our vast physical universe is so precise and precarious such that any deviation from its underlying plan would have resulted in a dead end. In a sense, the ancients were correct in placing man at the center of the universe for the very universe must be as big as it is to have provided for even our one outpost of consciousness. Assuming that life may also exist upon other planets may be a big mistake!.
One could argue, like the ancients, that the whole of Creation is driven by the ‘urge to be’ of life and consciousness Itself. This ‘urge to be’ is what I call the bathmisodynamic principle. This word derives from Latin roots meaning ‘the growth force’.
The bathmisodynamic principle can be appreciated by studying how systems far-away from thermodynamic equilibrium demonstrate self-organization.(2)
The constructive energy is dispersed relative to its higher tetradic members because it is spread out and distributed throughout the mass of each living or near living system. Examples of carriers of constructive energy for living cells are the nucleic acids and their end products the proteins. Genetic research over many years has demonstrated that the patterns for growth and development of each cell are contained primarily within the deoxyribonucleic acid. This material produces another nucleic acid, messenger ribonucleic acid, which diffuses out of the nucleus eventually combining with other ribonucleic acids and amino acids to form enzymatic and structural proteins. These proteins are responsible for guiding the intricate metabolic processes of each individual cell and for maintaining the physical structural integrity of the cell within a hostile environment.
Another form of the dispersed vital energy can be seen in the wide distribution of inactive viruses within the environment which become active and controlling when they are introduced into a susceptible cell. Such viruses are able to commandeer the genetic and enzymatic material of the host cell causing it to produce more virus particles.
The highest of the dispersed energies, E4, is called the conscious energy. Conscious means the capacity of being able to observe oneself observing how one’s machine works; conscious means being aware of being aware. The conscious state is one in which the individual sees that he or she exists independent of his or her body and brain. The conscious state can exist without a physical vehicle.
This is the energy traditionally composing the soul of most religious belief systems. Gurdjieff taught that this energy had to be actively accumulated (no significant amounts will accumulate by unconscious efforts or accidents) within a man if he was to gain a permanent astral self, the kesdjan body. This energy is accumulated by the process of “conscious labor and intentional suffering”.
The possibility of a consciousness able to function independently of a physical vehicle is an ancient tenet of all religio-philosophical schools. This notion was introduced into modern scientific thought in the 17th century by the dualism of Rene Descartes. Unfortunately, later science interpreted this dualism as being equivalent to saying that mind does not really exist since a conscious state could not be implicitly included using classical mechanics. Mind must only be a result of the physical processes of the brain.
During the past 20 years, this concept has been modified as people have attempted to model the mind and brain using quantum mechanical formulations. These models are of much interest since they allow not only for the existence of mind as an unmanifested part of the wave function, but they can explain how the brain works as a unified entity (as suggested by William James in the late 19th century).3
The word conscious represents a particular state of the more general term, consciousness. Consciousness is commonly used as the general term for all the energies beginning with the higher vital energies and ending with the cosmic energies. Personally, I prefer to substitute the word Intelligence, or intelligent processing of sensory data so to achieve a beneficial goal. Intelligence does not require knowledge of its actions.
Single cells demonstrate intelligent behavior in locating food sources and avoiding toxins. Such intelligence is produced by cell surface receptors, internal enzymes, and appropriate motor output. It is intelligent because it prolongs the life of the cell or allows it to reproduce. The cell responds intelligently to its immediate environment without any higher awareness.
The conscious energy is dispersed because it represents the individualization of the unitary Cosmic Will into a multitude of separate persons.
Perceiving one’s self as distinct from one’s programming is more than simply observing the functioning of one center of activity (instinctive, motor, emotional or intellectual) by the intellectual center. Conscious activity means that our awareness points in two directions as shown by the analogy of Ouspensky in figure 17.
Self-Remembering or Divided Attention
Usually when we observe something our attention is directed towards only the object, feeling or behavior that is automatically engaging our attention, e.g.,
Intellectual Center ———-> object
When we attempt to remember ourselves, the intellectual center is perceiving the real, internal I or ‘Master Within’, e.g.,
Intellectual Center ———-> I
When we can be simultaneously aware of the object of observation and the I observing it (the intellectual center disappears) and the higher emotional center can function. This is self-remembering using conscious energy.
I <—————-> object
Although it cannot be proven except by observation of living systems (incarnate and discarnate), it is possible that the living and conscious energies are also discrete, being composed of quanta of specific vibratory rates, much higher that for concrete matter. As discussed earlier, utilizing the law of correspondence, these living quanta should be three in number similar to the three quanta composing physical matter, quarks, leptons and bosons and responsible for life.