“A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life: he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Reading time: 15-18 mins
To conserve our energy in the way we think, feel and act we need to know how they might all relate in simple terms. So, let’s simplify it.
Think of energy efficiency (upgrades) and energy conservation (energy use) leading to the correct economy for your life. The home can be thought of as a metaphor or symbol of your mind and body. (If you like, this is an extension of Jordan Peterson’s thinking of tidying up your room).
Energy conservation involves using less energy by changing your behaviours and habits. Energy efficiency, on the other hand, involves using techniques, traditional systems of knowledge and new technologies that requires less energy to perform the same function.
Energy efficiency = all those qualities and techniques you can find to maximize your potential and minimize chaos. Accumulate energy for creativity and minimize loss from internal and external entropy.
Energy Conservation = simplifying your life through judicious, careful attention and limiting unnecessary drains on energy. employing measures which ensure you are not only efficient but have a constant supply on tap. Conservation sometimes means getting very creative. The more you conserve, the more likely that can be!
In other words, to be energy efficient means looking at ways your personality system can be upgraded so that less energy is needed to perform certain functions and which provides qualitatively better results. This can be “costly” in the short-term but requires much less effort in the long-term. This includes insulation, replacements, careful monitoring and upgrades.
Energy conservation involves actively seeking new ways to on your internal efficiency. You change your relationship to energy within your home. You seek ways to receive energy for minimum loss and a minimum amount of effort. It is strategic, long-term and eminently practical. It requires a re-calibration of existing appliances (organs of perception; centres) in order to extract a maximum amount of energy. The energy that you have is used wisely.
In other words, it means a change in overall behaviour through commitment and a creative application of knowledge.
How might we use our energy more efficiently?
Insulate, upgrade and monitor.
Insulate your mind and body from that which would drain but remain porous enough to let constructive influences through. And if you have good quality insulation then you have more energy to produce warmth and proper flow of electricity and therefore creative potential. (It might be stretching this metaphor to its limit but it’s no coincidence that key brain areas found to have more nerve fibre insulation or “myelination” equates to advantageous personality traits!)
Upgrade the utilities and appliances within your system so they augment and add to the new energy matrix. Change your lightbulbs of perception to distribute the light of awareness through knowledge, so that you encompass more with less energy output. Change your sources of energy completely to those which are not only more efficient but incentivise and harmonise the functioning of your home overall.
Energy efficiency and conservation must be directed to producing harmony and balance on all three floors of your mind and body.
Monitor the input and output of your house/system through self-observation, receptivity to feedback and the attention needed to maintain your newly acquired economy of energy. And let’s face it, if you don’t take care of your house it’ll eventually fall into disrepair and become derelict.
(Then you might get “squatters”… But that’s another story for another time).
The Mouth, The Cauldron and The Well
Returning to the I Ching once more (see here for background) Hexagram 27 ‘Nourishment’ is particularly appropriate when it comes to simplicity, economy and conservation of energy. What we take into our mind and body has a direct relation to the quality of our consciousness and our ability to transmute those ingredients. Lines 5 and 6 describe precisely why it is that we must nourish ourselves on correct influences.
Hexagram 27 ‘Nourishment’ is about how our desires can feed us or give us spiritual indigestion. It is about changing what we metaphorically put into our mouths and finding better quality “food” to refine the system and the virtues and values to which we aspire.
I Ching scholar Hilary Barrett and her 2010 book I Ching – Walking Your Path, Creating Your Future the renderings of line 5 and 6 of 27 is distilled from a range of translations and seems most applicable to nourishment and growth. From my own experience, this pair of lines made a frequent appearance for several years as I underwent a comprehensive re-evaluation as to where I’d choose to find my own nourishment and once found, the constancy needed to sustain it.
line 5, is as follows:
Dwelling here with constancy: good fortune,
Cannot cross the great river’
“You reject the established sources and usual channels of nourishment, refuse the way things are always done, aspire to a richer, broader flow. This is a good time to stay at home, not to ‘cross rivers’ and commit yourself to new adventures. You’re not yet capable of sustaining such a commitment – but more than that, there is ‘good fortune’ in making your home here. Perhaps there’s nowhere else you need to be?”
And line 6:
‘Origin of nourishment. Danger, good fortune.
Fruitful to cross the great river.’
“The origin of nourishment, the source it grows from. What you need is right here with you. Responsibility stops here and its up to you to provide. There’s no safety net to fall back on and you need to avoid delusions of your own sense of invincibility. But this is also good fortune, because you carry your nourishment with you, you can find your path again, make new commitments and explore new territory.”
We must accept that during a process of conscious growth, willingly undertaken – to heal, self-observe, consider our past actions in the light of new awareness and to simplify and economise – we cannot carry on as before. We must stay present and keep our eyes fixed on the here and now. We don’t know what we will become. Overconfidence shows that we haven’t really understood the nature of the change which must take place step by step so that none are missed out.
The right kind of nourishment facilitates the right kind of change so that you progress through paying attention to the effects you have on others, which may not always be considered comfortable from their perspective. Once a sufficient amount of energy has been saved, and trust and faith have been acquired, you can “cross the great river” and meet the unknown as representative of a creative desire unbound by purely selfish interests.
Hexagram 50 ‘The Cauldron’ or ‘Vessel’ is rich in alchemical symbolism and plays an equal part in the process. Where 27 is concerned with the re-evaluation of our desires and what we accept into our mind and body as nourishment, 50 is about what we do with that nourishment and how we can “cook” the ingredients within us to create transformation toward a New Self. The Cauldron contains and transforms through the heat of fire, providing the space whereby the lessons of life can be transmuted into a richer whole.
Finally, Hexagram 48 “The Well” is another code that symbolises the connection we make with Universal Creativity and the Information Field. This is our fundamental resource that produces increasing awareness and its light that we share. The Well also symbolises how easily we can draw from the Universal Spring once we have repaired and re-tiled the Well and dealt with the dark stagnant water at the bottom. When our awareness is “eaten” by the internal and external dynamics of the Predator’s Mind and by extension, joins the streams of organic life that nourish the moon, the Well can never acquire enough sexual energy to repair nor replenish and welcome the refreshing waters of higher emotion. We cannot truly share because we only have enough for ourselves.
In order to nourish and be nourished we alter, modify and re-align our desires so that we can tap into that infinite energy. 48 refers to the maintenance and repair of the inner resource (the well) which needs to contain the new life energy. When we create that new channel within us and invite the Spring to bubble up and assist in integrating the centres, our personal needs begin to match the creative and cosmic dynamics of serving others.
The Well allows us to lower the pail of our needs deep into the personal and collective unconscious and draw on the ancestral power of the past. The Well was traditionally used by members of a town or village to draw natural spring-water whenever they needed it. As we re-activate the Well in ourselves we automatically become available to share our resource with the community. We are able to give and receive energy we have changed ourselves to accomodate and anchor qualitative energies. These could not have otherwise been housed in a mind-body system that functioned exclusively from the lower centres and thus at a low vibratory rate of association. Similarly, if we stuffed the cauldron (50) with junk food, which had numerous holes in it (and we couldn’t cook or extract the nutrients from the food) and the inner well from which we could draw limitless energy was missing tiles and bricks and blocked with rubbish, then transformation would not be possible.
Lao Tzu “Three Great Treasures” of Simplicity, Patience and Compassion (also seen as modesty and frugality in some translations) form the fundamental basis of our actions and which permits us to have the energy to remain present, constructively detached and in control of any situation. Which is why simple tasks that accomplish little victories over expressions of chaos in our lives, are so very important. Cleaning, for instance, spurred on by a different focus, can be therapeutic as it acts as starting symbol of change for your unconscious. And the unconscious never misses a trick.
We’ll come back to how nourishment, the alchemical “vessel” and The Well feature in economising our energy. Meantime, take all the elements of this alchemy and apply it to sex.
How can we make sure that we gain the right nourishment for the input and output of our sexuality to flourish; use sexual energy as the capacitor for change and build our inner well anew so that sexual energy becomes transformative?
“‘[S]ex plays a tremendous role in maintaining the mechanicalness of life. Everything that people do is connected with “sex”: politics, religion, art, the theater, music, is all “sex.” Do you think people go to the theater or to church to pray or to see some new play? That is only for the sake of appearances.
The principal thing in the theater as well as in church, is that there will be a lot of women or a lot of men. This is the center of gravity of all gatherings … Sex: it is the principal motive force of all mechanicalness.
All sleep, all hypnosis, depends upon it.’ “
— G. I Gurdjieff
You want to simplify your life and conserve energy?
Give up sex.
(Guffaws of laughter)
Most people would consider that ridiculous and for good reason.
The need to procreate is the most powerful biological drive we have. It underlies almost everything we do. Even the word “sex” has a powerful hypnotic suggestion that triggers a cascade of associations. The act of sex is the source of all life.
So, how do we view the act of sex? How is it expressed in our lives? Does it augment our wish to grow and develop or actively get in the way?
If you have been sexually active some or most of your life, it’s probable that you’ve had your fair share of disasters and mishaps under the domination of the sex drive flooding your emotions and intellect. (And hopefully some happy memories along the way too). Many would say sex is overrated as a consequence. Yet this brings into complex definitions between sex, love, imtimacy, friendship and a myriad of grey areas in between, much of which we’ll cover in due course.
The act of sex is as natural as food and water – and just as important in many ways. It can be exciting, joyous and healing. It can also be powerfully addictive in our current culture of sensation, leading to all manner of pain and heartache. When lack of meaning is absent ponerological streams quickly place an emphasis on excess over moderation.
Though it may not be healthy for most adults to restrict their sexual needs in any meaningful way, there are times when periods of voluntary abstinence is necessary for self-development. The timing of this decision will be different for everyone and depend on individual circumstance and personality considerations. If we are to live truly harmonious lives, getting a grip (so to speak) on the sex drive and its biochemical demands cannot be avoided.
In terms of energy conservation, the quickest way to drain the system is through sex.
When you have sex (as opposed to making love) then you can gain a significant amount of energy – and even exchange a mutual quota. But more often than not, when bed gymnastics are sourced from the instinct/moving centres (base/sacral chakras) and therefore no real emotional connection, one or the other is likely to experience an energy deficit. Our biological imperative cares nothing for higher emotions and is in active opposition. This is especially true when an essential lack of energy pushes us to seek more and we become possessed by this sex drive machine. Our will to seed /receive underlies almost everything we do.The incorrect use of sexual energy grooves imbalance.
Sex addiction or “hypersexuality” is the same type of compulsive behaviour as alcoholism or substance abuse: it is a product of a mind-body out of balance and the consequence of an addictive culture bereft of psycho-spiritual meaning. It is the natural escape route from an increasing poverty of spirit and joy. It seems in our present culture various channels to release sexual energy are now seem as normal, though they are almost all a product of imbalance, through errors in our thinking, emotional pain or conditioned responses which equate pleasure with some form of negative expression.
Overidentification and obsession stem from the release of the “happy chemicals” serotonin, dopamine (and oxytocin in women) and the pleasure that floods the system. This flooding eventually rewires and habituates the system like rats in a lab seeking a greater and deeper hit. Compulsive use of pornography and the masturbation that accompanies it; street prostitution to escort agency services; S & M and fetish clubs, swingers parties and the hook-up culture are all part of “normal” life for millions of people.
“Sick and perverted always appeals to me.”
Sexual encounters can be as brief and as a primal as a bout of huffing and grunting in a toilet booth to a weekend away at an expensive spa-hotel. But it’s all the same – the excitement that comes from the “dance” is more (or less) as important as the act of sex is itself. But it is sex that is the driver for so many exchanges rather than intimacy. And if intimacy is secretly yearned for, it’s often never found in these fast-food scenarios. And these are somewhat overt examples. But the same misdirection of sexual energy takes place in mundane fashion everyday, from engaging in gossip about your neighbour; feeling anxiety at a lack of progress at work or winding down the car window to rage like a madman at the guy who didn’t signal.
None of this is to make a moral judgement for those unconcerned about self-growth. Like a pressure cooker and the release valve, so-called morally ambiguous practices may have a healing value in relieving tension and pain which would otherwise slip into violent expression or forms of psychosis. Similarly, there is a place for testing, experimenting and experiencing the power of the shadow to know what we are up against, but that’s a very familiar danger of mythical proportions – it can quickly become addictive and we may forget ourselves. This is a repeat of the biblical Fall and even symbolic of the cosmic descent of the soul into earthly life, which is drawn back again and again into the pull of matter, sinking deeper and deeper each time.
We can be motivated by sex and power as Freud believed but this is a machine-consciousness perception reflecting upon itself. We can be equally motivated by the love of truth but such a motive demands that we know when we cross the line between wallowing in matter and escaping its thrall. And escaping the pull of organic life and its automatism is the aim.
In the context of self-development and economising one’s energy, anything that abuses sexual energy abuses the moral code which is rooted in the same wise management of said energy. Without it, conscience and soul growth can never geminate, let alone grow. The choice to reject that is fine and dandy. And in some ways to consciously reject that is more honest than lying to yourself, although it sets you on a different path entirely from which you may not be able to return…
For seeker of truth or the individual sincerely and simply trying to live a better life for himself and others, none of these avenues will lead to true contentment (unless you are a psychopath or sociopath. I have discussed this at length elsewhere – see article series).
So, let’s look more closely at sex in our culture, in Taoist philosophy, the 4th Way teachings and how we might gain a better understanding of the sex centre in relation to simplcity and economy.
Sex, just like everything else has been commoditised by the God of consumerism and the pornographication of culture. The underlying “normality” of a deregulated market place and the ascension of illusion and fantasy has left us without the means to navigate through a world of wild complexity. The emerging, largely socially engineered tribalism means the causes are crudely handled and reduced down to ideological opportunism.
Take radical feminism, gender fluid politics, for example. The growing reaction against it has naturally come from secular and religious conservatism alongside those moderate folks of every political and non-political persuasion who are worried about free speech and the seeds of totalitarianism. They see these extremes for what they are: symptoms of pathology. Young men and boys are in crisis and desperately in need of direction, so the men’s rights and return to masculinity movements are providing very useful insights in terms of psychology, law and justice. That they are addressing some of the egregious imbalances is healthy and just, but these movements often lack a broader, psycho-spiritual perspective and are generally characterised by the exact same victimhood mentality so valued by radical feminism and SJWs.
Sadly, the same process of ponerisation is occurring within the variety of men’s groups formed to address the balance. It’s one thing to call out the abuse and excesses of postmodernist and feminist ideology but quite another to use men’s rights and the more unsavoury versions of past masculinity to promote exactly the same type of behaviour – and worse.
There are already clear signs that a great number of spellbinders and psychologically deviant personalities are jumping on the bandwagon and adopting positions of leadership that reaffirm the worst excesses of bigotry and chauvinism under the cover of male emancipation. (Though incorporating lots of valid information, Rollo Tomasi’s Rational Male and various Red Pill proponents are pushing a very limited and frankly pathological view of male and female relations). In fact, this rationale amounts to intellectualising predatory behaviour, where sexuality is seen as strictly utilitarian and strangely divorced from an inclusive perspective. Love and imtimacy appear quaint and pointless.
This boils down to a simplistic evaluation of women in order to re-enact a version of an ultra-materialist anti-hero. It’s all about establishing male victimhood (poor me, females are so evil) conquest (the key to all this is to fuck) and control (women speak a different language and have a different brain so in order to extract what you need from her employ these strategies…) Sexuality and gender then become even more reductive with battle lines drawn in shifting sands of opinion.
Interpreting evolutionary biology and sociology from a purely materialistic and often atheistic standpoint is very seductive but does a great disservice to the complex psychologies of every individual – not least the possibility of a metaphysical dimension to all this. There are certainly biological and genetic patterns of behaviour which underlie male and female relationships about which we must get up to speed. But that is very far from all. One-dimensionality seldom produces a holistic picture, but it does serve those who wish to amplify their own agenda and take a host of young men along with them.
As more men are subjected to the institutionalised nature of political correctness and radical feminism, the likelihood is that they will gravitate to the popular world of the pick-up artist and gaming techniques to obtain what our memetic culture tells them they should have: lots of sex and zero commitment. This is not a great goal given the levels of narcissism and infantilism already extant. A roaming man-child placing his all his energies into fucking as many women as he can because it’s easier to believe the one-sided story that “evolutionary biology made us that way” – is infantile as well as narrow-minded. It is cave-man thinking in a dinner jacket brandishing a little black book of mind control techniques instead of a club. But the result will not heal – it will polarise.
Any new movements arising from Official Culture as a response to perceived injustices which are rooted in relational and sexual dynamics must be treated with extreme caution because so many contextual elements are missing and biased by one-sided experience – often bitter and traumatic. To ensare the man or bed the women whilst playing games with scientific and philosophical justifications is more fakery. Seeking to lose ourselves in pleasure as a result of a new found intellectual barrier that shields us from wounded emotions seldom breeds contentment. Knowledge of one’s biological “machine” should bring us together not feed into manipulative devices to extract energy from one another. For the male, the message is to paly the game without consequences. For the female: to use sexuality and default victimhood to manipulate men and win the prize of security. Sexual need meets a need for security/babies, meets a mutual “fatal attraction” – all based on lies, because it’s mostly mechanical and chemical.
That’s not to say we should all knuckle down and become puritan Christians, abstain until marriage, have children and preach the gospel of Calvinism. There are ways however, to respect and treasure an essentially sacred sexual energy that imbues are mind and body. When you play the field at the same time as seeking self-development (never a good idea) be sure you are doing it for the right reasons not to embrace a psycho-social ideology to get your leg over, or to exercise your feminine wiles to trap a man and then complain because he left you when your manipulations were revealed. Emancipation isn’t about selfish axe-grinding based on a perceived injustice and gender “privilege”. No one owes anyone anything based on gender (or race, for that matter). In both instances, a lack of self-responsibility is usually the defining driver of negative consequences.
There is something seductive about soundbites and carefully packaged ideologies which proport to guide and tell the “truth”. When a following begins to develop then you only have to read comments on social media and in forums to discern the kind of divisiveness which emerges. Be careful to maintain a critical mind and be aware your hurts and bruised emotions are looking for a simple explanation to past hurt in order to avoid facing your part in that chaos. When you give your mind over to a charismatic spellbinder who taps into that hurt, repackages it from the fire of genuine insights into a raging inferno of belief – it can be simple, reassuring and seductive in its comfort. But it will have inherent biases and gaps in its theory and application.
Keep in mind what psychologist and ponerologist Andrew Lobaczewski said on this point. There are two very different types of perception among people who accept information based on the charisma and selective reasoning of potent issues of the day:
“… the critically-corrective and the pathological. People whose feel for psychological reality is normal tend to incorporate chiefly the more valuable elements of the work. They trivialize the obvious errors and complement the schizoid deficiencies by means of their own richer world view. This gives rise to a more sensible, measured, and thus creative interpretation, but is not free from the influence of the error frequently adduced above.“
“Pathological acceptance is manifested by individuals with diversiform deviations, whether inherited or acquired, as well as by many people bearing personality malformations or who have been injured by social injustice. That explains why this scope is wider than the circle drawn by direct action of pathological factors. This apperception often brutalizes the authors’ concepts and leads to acceptance of forceful methods and revolutionary means. 
There are many people all over these radical movements who exhibit schizoidal behaviour and its declarations.* Ostensibly moral or corrective imperatives are used as a means to cement their worldview which is programmed into their followers. When there are serious flaws and omissions in the information your receive about such matters – especially when it comes to subjects of relationships, sexuality and gender – you will incorporate the same “deviations” and “malformations” in your appraisal of men/women which will likely colour your interactions in ways not so “perfect.”
This is even more important for those seeking self-development and will have exponentially greater results of a negative kind. Whenever you feel an undue fervour and compulsion in relation to the person/movement who is the object of your focus, step back a bit and evaluate. Listen to your conscience. Anything that promotes predatory behaviour and subtle twists on truth as a means to gain control is clearly suspect. It is not enough to use blanket generalisations because “men/women are made this way” and you must to employ this strategy to get what you want. And after all, if we seek intimacy rather than endless shagging opportunities – healthy as that may be on one level for the emerging male adult – then seeking ultimate control isn’t exactly the best foundation to attract your partner in crime. As author Rob Bell explains: “Love is giving up control. It’s surrendering the desire to control the other person. The two—love and controlling power over the other person—are mutually exclusive. If we are serious about loving someone, we have to surrender all the desires within us to manipulate the relationship.” And that’s the problem – there’s too much manipulation and entrapment in an unconscious bid to force love and intimacy into being.
Buyer beware. We are singular individuals that naturally group together not a momentum of groups that single out individuals to increase the core belief and thus its power. Yet, that is exactly what is happening. So be sure you “follow” the latest male or female Youtube or Twitter guru based on authenticity as opposed to unconscious negative material.
All this is an example of the abuse of sexual energy.
When we abuse sexual energy we misdirect and lose it’s power, perpetuating a cycle of scarcity. Adopting a lifestyle of simplicity and economy must include a thorough examination of our sexual habits and how we use such energy. Enormous benefits will accrue from respecting its natural flow as well as the inherent boundaries and limitations to its expression.
Sexual energy is the powerhouse energy running through all our emotional and intellectual thinking. Don’t misunderstand “sexual” to mean a genital. Sexual energy is a pro-creative force which can birth higher emotion and soul growth just as it can a new-born baby. It may be expressed selfishly or creatively, in isolation or within a community. When directed by proper will and discipline our newly purified life-source can nourish the mind and body and produce the fuel needed to manifest creatively on the material plane. But we often have to experience the exact opposite of that ideal before we understand.
Young people especially need to be given the chance to experiment with their sexual identity safely and securely without taking on the pollution of ideologies, fantasies and social engineering programs that distorts their natural needs. Such a sacred space is rare indeed which is why, when adulthood is reached, maladapted sexual identities often dominate. Is it any surprise that the raw power of sexual desire is used as an outlet for all manner of loneliness and longing? As Edward Abbey states: “Modern men and women are obsessed with the sexual; it is the only realm of primordial adventure still left to most of us. Like apes in a zoo, we spend our energies on the one field of play remaining; human lives otherwise are pretty well caged in by the walls, bars, chains, and locked gates of our industrial culture.” 
Some of us have a strong sex drive others not so much. But it’s my view that the stronger it is, the greater the potential to transform it into its higher creative state. But it usually gets you into a whole lot of trouble before that possibility arrives – if at all. I obviously don’t need to point out just how difficult it can be to master it. Our world is a daily menagarie of sexual instinct going AWOL. Yet, when turned to creative ends it can be truly liberating. Indeed, that is probably its deeper design.
In the final analysis, ALL human interaction and the joy and suffering that comes from these encounters are a product of energy exchange, impasse or drain. The human mind and body develop ingenious ways to extract energy for itself when free access is blocked. So, we must become aware of this dimension if we are to hold on to what we have saved.
* = From Lobaczewski’s Political Ponerology: “…schizoids are hypersensitive and distrustful while, at the same time, pay little attention to the feelings of others. They tend to assume extreme positions and are eager to retaliate for minor offenses. Sometimes they are eccentric and odd. Their poor sense of psychological situations and reality leads them to superimpose erroneous pejorative interpretations upon other people’s intentions. They easily become involved in activities which are ostensibly moral but which actually inflict damage upon themselves and others. Their impoverished psychological worldview makes them typically pessimistic regarding human nature…” See also: The Psychopath: A Different Species? III
 pp. 187-188; M. Lobaczewski Andrew; Knight-Jadczyk, Laura; Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes (2007)
 p.89; Bell, Rob; Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality (2012) Harper One reprint edition.
 Abbey, Edward; Down The River (1982) Penguin Books Ltd.