This essay is in response to an earlier essay about the Six fixation presented at the International Enneagram Conference. In the first essay the author used a metaphor of all the different fixations approaching the crossing of a log over a rushing stream. The author referred to the Six fear and doubt, and working with that through different techniques to “get the Six to cross the bridge.” The author also referred to the Six as having a lack of a center-post or cornerstone for constructing a self.
Techniques can be very useful for ego-strengthening. Using visualization, mantra, anchoring, role-modeling, hypnosis, and other exercises, the Six fixation can learn to “cross the bridge,” to move through the fear and doubt. But does this lead to true fulfillment? Certainly counter-phobic Sixes could cross the bridge with ease and derring-do. Does this make them any happier, any closer to essence? None of them has ever reported it so.
The Eight fixation is wrapped around Two at the core. The Eight often flaunts the pride that the Two can so skillfully mask. The Eight is either proud of being the best or the worst. The flaunting of the pride is the defense against the deep hurt of worthlessness and sensing that, “I am wrong.” The hurt of worthlessness is protected by the pride and used to justify the acting out of lust.
Lust is best summed up by the phrase, “What about me?” The code for the Eight’s expression of lust is, “Let’s have some fun.” If it isn’t fun, the Eight is not interested. What constitutes fun is fixation specific. For the Eight it often means acting out excessiveness in trying to consume all of life in one bite and then taking another and another and another.
An essay by Eli Jaxon-Bear (Exemplified with the Point Six Fixation)
Every animal is run by three primary instinctual drives. These are the drives for survival of the species. The species survives through survival of the individual unit, sexual reproduction of the individual unit and hierarchy and role of the individual unit in the herd. These three drives in the Enneagram are called Self-Preservation, Social and Sexual drives or instincts. These drives directly correspond to the first three chakras in the Hindu Yogic system.
The metaphor used in the Kundalini system is of the dragon hoarding both treasure and damsels in the dungeon while terrorizing the countryside. A selfish, aggressive life is a life lived from the three drives or animal instincts.
As long as consciousness identifies itself as flesh, then all of life is mediated by these three drives. These drives run the fixation on a substrate below the level of passion. These drives fuel the passions and until these drives are addressed, the passions will continue to run unchecked.
The Realization of Truth
“The Way does not require cultivation – just don’t pollute it. What is pollution? As long as you have a fluctuating mind fabricating artificialities and contrivances, all of this is pollution. If you want to realize the Way directly – the natural Mind is the Way. What I mean by the natural mind is the mind without artificiality, without subjective judgments, without grasping or rejection”
– Chan Master Mazu –
Who could deny the obvious truth expressed by Mazu? The question has always been how to achieve this exalted state.
The great gift of the Enneagram is that it gives us a reflective surface for the artifices of mind to be displayed. Pollution, or the fluctuating mind, is revealed to be generated by character fixation. Grasping, rejecting, subjective judgments and artificiality are the hallmarks of fixation. Character fixation is a crystallization in mind-stuff of aeons of desire waves, or fluctuations. This crystallization is experienced as, “me and my past.” The waves are thoughts of, “me and what I want.”
Stanford University, August 1994
Keynote speech by Eli Jaxon-Bear
“When you can recognize who you are not, then there is a possibility to wake up and discover who you really are!”
I have never met anyone who doesn’t want to be happy. The desire for happiness is the bottom line for the human species and maybe for all species. Everyone wants to be happy. The question is: how is it possible that this desire for happiness is threatening to destroy our species and Mother Earth. How is it possible? This is really a burning question that I have had. And I know that many of us have had this question: How is it possible that the desire for happiness creates suffering? What I have discovered is that it is possible to end suffering.
“I do not know how much time this body has left. We all have an expiration date stamped into our genes and reflected in our circumstances. But as long as there is life breathing in these old bones, I will be sharing what I have realized. I invite you to join with us if you are called from your heart”
The European Three-Year Group Retreat is held every year in Baden-Baden, Germany.
Hi, Eli. Can you describe in a few sentences the central message of your work?
Eli: My work is to support everyone waking up from the trance of egoic suffering. My life is committed to a world of true peace and true freedom through universal Self-realization.
What does spiritual evolution/development mean in your own personal life?
I was not drawn to a spiritual life initially. Personal awakening never interested me. Like most people, I just wanted to be happy, which meant that I wanted everyone to love me and do what I wanted them to do and to be free to do whatever I wanted to do. And like most everyone else, I was not successful at this. So even though I had loving parents and a comfortable upper middle-class life, I was miserable and I made those around me miserable. A typical neurotic childhood.
By Bertrand Coquoz, Geneva, Switzerland
Recto-Verseau Magazine, March 1999
“Drop all thought. Drop into silence, turn your back on all manifestation and see who you really are.” – Eli
How do you usually present yourself? Your name is Eli Jaxon-Bear. Do you have anything to do with Indians?
Most people just call me Eli. I have had many different names just in this lifetime. Since I was a revolutionary in the ’60s, I had to use different names. When I was a federal fugitive during the Vietnam War, my name was once Norman Brown. During a ceremony with a Mescalero Apache in 1973 I was given the name Eli Jaxon-Bear and it stuck. Now, as some karmic joke, my daughter just named my granddaughter Reagan!
Berlin – Germany, 2000
As an international teacher, do you see a similarity or a connection between us now and the circumstances that gave rise to Hitler and his power?
Yes, there is a deep connection. This connection is fear based on selfishness. As long as fear runs people’s lives, they project the enemy as some foreign force. Fear is based on insecurity, which is rooted in ignorance of the truth. This fear is what keeps the whole system running, keeps everyone economically enslaved. Unemployment has nothing to do with foreign workers, but is a function of a capitalist free market economy. This economy runs on fear and greed based in deep ignorance. It is a lot easier to imagine that the enemy is a Turkish worker and not the entire system of economics.
What advice would you give people so that this does not happen again?
Connections Magazine, May 2001
What is satsang?
Satsang is sitting with a fully realized teacher who transmits silence and realization. Anyone can speak the words of satsang. My teacher, Papaji, used to say you can teach a parrot to speak the words of satsang. And since the words are so powerful, they will have an effect. But the words are only pointing to what is beyond the words.
The true teacher is satsang, not the words that are spoken. I have been with very powerful teachers who had very strong shakti (spiritual power), but they were not transmitting freedom. When I met my teacher, his living presence was the emanation of silence. His words were used to cut through the false identification of mind. So both the transmission of silence and the intelligent insight into the condition of the human mind are the two sides of satsang.
- Eli Jaxon-Bear
- Leela School