We all know what we want and what’s good for us, right? It’s only a matter of going out and getting it. We know that we are ready to meet our soul mate or that we need to start that new dream business. We can do anything we want if we put our minds to it.
I’ve been noticing this kind of thinking in the conversations I’m having with friends, clients, and ahem, sometimes in my own head. It seems to be based on the idea that something is wrong or missing in our present experience. In other words, our minds have decided that we should or should not have something and then we set out to do something about it. From a certain point of view, this is understandable. After all, that’s how life works, right? We decide what we want and we go get it. Isn’t this how our species learned to survive in the world?
So we book a session with a Human Design analyst, astrologer, card reader, or therapist with the expectation that they might be able to tell us how to get what we want or help solve that problem. More often than not, the issues involve finding a relationship, making more money, or trying not to feel the way we feel. At first, there is a sense of hope that maybe this system or person can tell us what we need to do to take the sense of wanting, hurt or loss away. Yet, when that fails to happen we may get disillusioned with that system and stop “believing” in it. Or even more unfortunate, blame the other person for not telling us what we wanted to hear and making everything okay.
But I have to question whether Human Design, astrology or any of this has to do with “belief”, and furthermore is this how this knowledge should be used? Are these systems actually asking to believe in them in any religious sense? In fact, one of the first things that Ra Uru Hu (the person who transmitted Human Design) asked us, is NOT to believe in it, but rather to experiment with the knowledge to see if it resonates and makes a difference in one’s life.
But that takes time, patience, self-ownership, and the ability to stay in a process. Should it be a given that we automatically get what we want when we want it in life? Is that what a lot of the motivational speakers, personalities, and inspirational coaches are telling us? Are we even present enough and aware of ourselves to know what we really want and what is ultimately best for us in this life?
Most of the time, when I see people dismiss these systems, it’s a result of a superficial or popular culture understanding of what astrology and Human Design are about. For example, when it comes to relationship dynamics, is it really about “good” and “bad” relationships? Relationships can be a complex topic and often our direct experience can tell us as much about the relationship as a chart or BodyGraph can – if we are paying attention and honest with ourselves.
To use a specific example in Human Design, electromagnetic channels (where each person has the other half of the same channel) show where we’re attracted to the other (as they have what we do not), yet they can also show repulsion. It’s a situation where “love” can turn into “hate” (or a persistent experience of discomfort), especially if we feel stuck in the relationship unseen or unrecognized. Electromagnetics speak more to the intensity of the connection, rather than a statement of whether it’s a “good” or “bad” relationship. The benefit of such a perspective is not to say whether we should be in the relationship or not – but to shine the light of awareness on the underlying mechanics of the interaction.
Either/or thinking often leads to a sense of resignation or defeatism if we don’t get the thing we want. We flip from an enthusiastic place of “I’m going to manifest my reality” to thinking and feeling that there must be something wrong with oneself, the system, or the person who told me about it. The mind may pretend to be a good believer, going through the motions of following one’s Strategy and Authority, but as soon as it doesn’t get the thing it wants, it gives up in despair. To see the bigger picture we need to look at the relationship mechanics in the context of what’s actually happening. This is where systems like Human Design and astrology can shine more light on what the real issues are. We can be so blinded by our own mental fixations that it may take an outside perspective to bring us into a new way of seeing and experiencing ourselves and the world.
This part of our intellect that sees the world only in dualities and extremes, with a compulsion to look for the opposite was identified by the 19th Century Greek/Armenian mystic and spiritual teacher G. I. Gurdjieff as the ‘Formatory Apparatus’. Gurdjieff taught that we often believe we are thinking, when in fact we are stuck in the Formatory Apparatus, the most mechanical part of our intellectual function. In his words:
“Formatory apparatus resembles a hired typist who works for a firm and has a large number of stereotyped replies for external impressions. She sends printed replies to other centres who are the ‘directors’ of the firm and who are strangers to each other. Wrong replies are often sent, as the typist is asleep or lazy.”– G. I . Gurdjieff
The gift of following Strategy and Authority also provides something of an interruption to the either/or thinking of the so-called Formatory Apparatus and its attempt to dominate the life allowing us to enter into a more co-creative space where “both”, “maybe”, and “I don’t know” exists. When we go deeper into our present experience and see what’s actually there, we may be surprised that whatever is happening now isn’t quite as bad as the stories that our mind creates about it. Chances are, we may also see that this mind driven pushing, worrying, and fretting is not actually getting us closer to the results or outcomes that we think we want.
Interestingly, when I began writing this article, the Sun was transiting through Gate 60, the Gate of Limitation. Also referred to as the Gate of Acceptance in the Human Design System, it represents accepting the limits of what can be mutated and transformed and when. It’s difficult not to see the connection here, how people seem to be unwilling to do just that at a time when according to the cycle of the Sun around the mandala wheel in Human Design, we are not even yet at the beginning of the new year when those kinds of possibilities may open up in their own timing.
There is a place for doing and “manifestation” within the view of the Human Design System, but its never initiated from the mind. Apart from the ~10% of the population which have a design of a Manifestor (a motor connected to the Throat without the Sacral Center being defined), the rest of us are here to wait until the correct people and circumstances present themselves. In these moments and within the correct context, we may find that we do have a temporary capacity to bring things into form, whether it comes with the support of the right person or a passing planetary influence that connects something inside ourselves to the world in just the right way.
As mentioned, none of this is really about belief. Astrology has been around for thousands of years and doesn’t rely on our belief in it or not. If anything, these systems should enable us to come to a greater experience of self-love, living as ourselves while honoring our uniqueness and respecting the differences of others. It’s not about using the knowledge to get what we think we want and somehow gaming the system. These are tools for awareness and awakening to oneself, not a guarantee of happiness or something we can use to manifest whatever we want in life.
In my view, it’s more about trusting in life and honoring your true nature while moving through the world in a space of acceptance and surrender. This may sound passive or bring on a sense of resignation for those of us who like to feel like we’re in charge or control. But it’s not. When we talk about “waiting” in the context following one’s Strategy, we’re referring to an active state where one is alert to the context and circumstances of your life in the present moment. This involves an awareness of things as they are, not as we want them to be.
“For me, it’s in waiting that a source of power never known before begins to arise. And this power is not a power over anyone. It’s an inner power. It comes from a deep respect for ourselves, and our make-up and our aura. And an honoring of the true nature of who we were born to be. It’s easy to see energy beings as having power but the non-energy beings have power as well.
And when you look at the aura of the Projector and you look at the aura of the Reflector you can see that they have a force that they have a power within their aura. You really see what kind of power the reflector and the Projector have and power is not about being forceful, and power is not energy it’s something else. And it comes from waiting that you get into that space.
Learning to wait is probably the most important thing I learned in Human Design. I remember in the early days Ra talking about patience that we needed to learn patience. That we are all in such a hurry as if we had somewhere to go.
Waiting… But its the only way to break through the barriers of the patterns of behavior that conditioned us from the very beginning. It the only way, waiting.”– Mary Ann Winiger