The issue of reflectors and the four
paths to enlightenment
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
Many teachers have over the centuries attempted to categorise 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 symbolised by
the path of Yoga - a proactive path towards awakening (this is 'Yoga' as a teaching
rather than the western body-centred 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 centres 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!'
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 symbolised
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 symbolised 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 (symbolised 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 symbolises 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
So, one final caution - especially for those with undefined
minds and undefined head centres! 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.