“Since time immemorial, man has hankered after a state of transcendence from the form in which he finds himself locked. This state has been called so many different names – nirvana, moksha, brahman, satori, enlightenment, awakening…
This issue of enlightenment is deeply ingrained within the Human Design Revelation. The actual terminology is important here since Design notes a difference between enlightenment and awakening. Awakening is referred to as being in absolute alignment with our original nature. It is as simple as being oneself. Enlightenment is a rather more slanted terminology, since its etymology hints towards the word ‘light’. In other words, enlightenment, as a word, can be deeply divisive and misleading. To dwell within the light is to dwell in an extreme, and many enlightenment teachings over the centuries have sought to escape the darker side of human nature. Awakening is a broader term – you can be awake and in the light or asleep and in the light and you can be asleep in the dark or awake in the dark.
Enlightenment, in many ways, is something of a con. The light can be so deceptive; it can so easily draw you away from where you are really meant to be. Most of all, it can prevent you from accepting yourself as you are now. To the Not-Self, enlightenment is the ultimate lure. I have even conned you all by using the term in the title of this article. But Human Design is not concerned with enlightenment. If you awaken, you will attain the states you are meant to attain, at the right times with the right people and in the right places.
Many teachers have over the centuries attempted to categorize the paths to enlightenment and awakening. Buddha himself divided these paths into four broad categories. So often, great cosmic truths arise directly from deep genetic truths. There are four types of vehicle and therefore there are four mechanical paths to awakening (and four types of spiritual propaganda!). They are all rooted in a common theme of surrender:
Manifestors are here to surrender to Freedom. The more deeply a manifestor rests in their true nature, the more powerful their urge to be free becomes. By design, manifestors are archetypes of pure freedom, even though within the maya, this is an illusion. For a manifestor, freedom comes before everything, even before love. The propaganda of manifestors brings us the concept of freewill. This is the ‘You create your own Reality’ propaganda. This is ‘we are the planet of choice’. Spiritually speaking, this is symbolized by the path of Yoga – a proactive path towards awakening (this is ‘Yoga’ as a teaching rather than the western body-centered discipline). When a manifestor comes to Human Design, they actually appear to make their awakening happen. Given the power of their conditioning, this may not be as easy as it sounds.
Generators and Manifesting Generators are here to surrender to the Now. The awake generator actually goes in the opposite direction from the manifestor (albeit to towards the same source). Whereas the awake manifestor takes control of their own life, the awake generator surrenders control. The surrender of response is the continual surrender to the next moment. This is the propaganda of ‘nothing is up to me, it’s all out of my hands’. Spiritually speaking, this path is embodied in the Indian Vedic teachings known as ‘Advaita’, but it can also be found in other teachings such as the Chinese Tao Te Ching, which centers on the concept of ‘wu wei’ – the art of doing nothing. Since it applies to over 70% of us, it is amusing how unpopular this kind of teaching really is. The Not-Self generator much prefers the manifestor propaganda that says: ‘no, I have a choice and I’m going to make a difference!’
Projectors are here to Surrender to the Other. Like the generator, the projector has a design to wait. But the awake projector cannot simply wait for the next moment to define them; they are actually defined by their relationships. Spiritually, this is symbolized by the path of Tantra, the union of two or more energies leading to transcendence (again, this is ‘Tantra’ in its purest form, rather than the modern western sexual interpretation). The secret of the projector’s true path lies in the mastery of the undefined sacral, which always depends on the correct alignment of their own and someone else’s energies. The spiritual propaganda of the projector path is all based on cooperation and love. This is the teaching that we are all one and that only by joining together can we attain transcendence. One can see how this is actually the most natural of all teachings, since projectors are the most natural teachers. It is the natural direction of humanity, and yet projectors cannot impose this way on others.
Reflectors are here to surrender to their own Existence. The awake reflector is a living archetype of transcendence. Their very being testifies that there is no individual self. This is symbolized by the spiritual teachings of negation – that all form is emptiness for example, as Buddha taught (one wonders about his design). The myth of Buddha is a wonderful archetype of the reflector – sitting beneath a tree for seven years until the deconditioning reveals the truth that there is no one sitting under the tree after all. For such a relatively small part of the population, the propaganda of this path is enormous. The reflector’s propaganda is the propaganda of enlightenment! They represent the extreme. For a reflector, the repetition of the truth ‘this isn’t me’ directly resonates. Every time the reflector looks in the mirror and identifies with what they see, they stop being a clear mirror for others.
The Reflector also bears testimony to a great truth – that beneath our designs, we are that as well. Only when we resonate our designs through our correct path will we become aware of the background emptiness in which we live and move and have our being symbolized in every channel, gate or centre that we have undefined. Any awake being, whether manifestor, generator or projector, will attain the same transcendence as the reflector, but each will simply perceive it differently. Our individual path is directly linked to the definitions in our design, which is why the Reflector has no distinct path of their own. Theirs is the so-called ‘pathless path’.
The Maya in which we live holds such delicious ironies – perhaps the greatest of which is that there is any such thing as awakening, let alone any path towards it. The mystics have always held that we are already awake. And yet, we are each designed to seek out a higher truth. Collectively, humanity is a passage in which a rolling consciousness is flowering. We are all being used by consciousness, whether through the authentic self or the not self. From the viewpoint of pure consciousness, no duality exists, but from our viewpoint within the maya, we are each limited through the perspective of our designs. There is no spiritual teacher who has ever existed who has not been limited by the perspective of their design. Even the Reflector is limited by seeing things in an unlimited way!
I begun this article with the intention of writing about reflectors, and now find that I have in fact written about all the types, and a great deal more. That actually symbolizes the reflector beautifully. All the above paths to transcendence have been so deeply intermingled and confused that it extremely difficult for anyone to know which path belongs to them. The Not-Self is generally only comfortable with imitation, which is why it seeks outside authority and a structured path. Everyone these days wants fast food, pre-prepared spirituality.
So, one final caution – especially for those with undefined minds and undefined head centers! All of the confusion about awakening and enlightenment has come about because of the mind. Undefined minds hate to be uncertain, even though it is their nature. And worse still is the undefined head centre. 71% of humanity has an undefined head centre! That means that two thirds of the human race is still trying to figure out questions that do not matter to them. So, if you have an undefined head centre, enjoy the inspiration of teachings and structures, but don’t try and work them out. Let time and the simplicity of your strategy answer all these questions for you” – Richard Rudd