The 12 Energies by JG Bennett

The Material Energies

Dispersed Energy (E12)-heat is the energy of motion without direction

Directed Energy (E11)-arises when motion has a consistent direction. Gravitation has a force field that has direction, down.

Cohesive Energy (E10)-the energies by which things are held together, gives solids and liquids their cohesion. It’s the very basis of the structure of matter as we know it. Everyone of the things we deal with is held together by the cohesive energy, including ourselves.

Plastic Energy (E9)-it is necessary that things be able to alter their shape to some degree yet remain what they are. We ascribe this to the plastic energy. It is the most free, versatile and the most active of all the material energies.

The Living Energies-The living energies are of direct concern to us not only because they bring with them life but also because they include energies that cross the threshold of awareness. Every living body…has an immensely complex organization far beyond that of anything that is not living. It is able to grow according to the pattern that is in it…by using materials that are different from its own, converting them into its own nature.

Constructive Energy (E8)-the power of constructing a body we attribute to the constructive energy. Every living thing as an organizing principle which directs its growth and determines its particular structure.

Vital Energy (E7)-this is the directed energy of life, gives living things their outward-directed, goal-seeking quality. Constructive energy allows things to live, the Vital energy drives them to live. When an organism can no longer hold on to the vital energy, it dies. The vital energy is life itself, and has living things that are its instruments.

Automatic Energy (E6)-automatic energy is the energy of habit. Patterns of behavior are passed on from generation to generation. Birds know how to build nests and migrate. Automatic activity goes on from dawn till dusk in our thinking. From the outside it can look like something is going on, that someone is doing something as if he’d chosen to do it, when there is nothing but the working of an automatic machine. All our instinctive automatic processes, such as association, the beating of the heart, breathing, digestion can to some degree be controlled. This is where we can begin to talk of ‘work on ourselves.’

Sensitive Energy (E5)-Sensitivity is the highest energy that we can have under our control…and is the limit of our ordinary awareness. The sensitive energy allows us to be aware of our thoughts, our feelings, and our bodily sensations; that is, associations, reactions and sensations of our mechanical life. The condition of the man-machine is to exist as thoughts, feelings and bodily states so that he is a slave to every fleeting impulse. It is only when we are aware that there are alternatives that we can choose.

We have to know what it is to hold together opposites. When we like something it is useful to see how we can dislike it and vice versa. If we find ourselves saying ‘no’ to an idea it is useful to see ourselves in agreement with it also. It is only when we are able to come under the combined action of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ that we really have a possibility of choice.

It is very important that we should practice asking ourselves “What do these words proceeding in me mean?”

By combining sensitive thought with sensitive bodily presence something can be evoked in the feelings. The most practical way to overcome automatisms in the brain is by combining the action of the other two.

The Cosmic Energies

With the cosmic energies we go within our awareness, to regions where our ordinary awareness is ‘outside.’ They are the energies beyond life. With them our identity goes beyond that of a living body.

Conscious Energy (E4)-Real self-observation requires what is called ‘the separation of oneself from oneself.’ This means a separation from all the functioning of thought, feeling and body. Our functioning is still then part of ‘us’ but ‘we’ are no longer just a part of it.

It is because conscious energy is a cosmic energy that we cannot make ourselves conscious. It does not come directly from our efforts, as sensitivity does…there is always a spontaneous component in the arising of consciousness. That is why the act of voluntary attention which awakens consciousness, is essentially creative. Consciousness can also be liberated in us by shocks, such as intense emotional impacts. The conscious energy can blend with the automatic energy in us and the result is the energy of the intermediate level, that is, sensitivity. “The higher blends with the lower to actualize the middle, which is higher for the proceeding and lower for the succeeding higher. The sensitive energy that is then liberated is then available for blending with the energy above consciousness, the creative energy.

We can prepare for consciousness by giving our sensitivity experience of the combination of ‘yes’ and ‘no’, and also of ‘inner’ and ‘outer.’

It is said that it is always possible for us to ‘remember ourselves’ even if only for a fraction of a second. It is important that we do what we can with the amount of conscious energy that we have…the bringing about of the struggle between yes and no by which the soil is prepared for the sowing of conscious seeds.

We can learn to put ourselves in the way of conscious experience.

One practice that is especially informative is ‘the stilling of the mind’

Creative Energy (E3)-The creative energy is beyond our reach but it is not beyond the reach of it. We can be an instrument through which the creative energy acts in the world…a conscious instrument of creativity…the conscious energy by which we can observe ourselves is under the control of the creative energy. It is the creative power which gives us access to what is beyond ourselves, the cosmic process…the energy.

One of the ways in which the creative energy works in us is in the revelation of our own nothingness. If consciousness shows us we are asleep, creativity shows us we are nothing at all. The conscious energy can produce in us the feeling that ‘I’ am seeing my sleep. Before the creative energy the ‘I’ vanishes altogether and nothing at all is left. For a moment we are dead to ourselves and to the world. If is said that ‘to do’ we must give up the illusion of doing. Annihilation—we are dead to ourselves. What fun!  

Unitive Energy (E2)-The world is constantly under the action of the which we can also call the energy of cosmic love…we must realize that it rarely reaches man directly. Love is the redemptive power by which the lower orders of creation are enabled to return to the Source. It’s the power that makes us all one and undivided in which there are not many wills but only One Will.

Transcendant Energy (E1)-This energy transcends the bounds of creation…it’s the master of all energies. The whole of the creation is engaged in a universal transformation. All energies are necessary for this purpose.

Note: We people are made so that we are able to transform a whole range of energies, from the material energies through the life energies—two of which, the automatic and sensitive, we can experience more or less directly. The higher energies cannot be transformed in us unless there is conscious work on ourselves. Either man can live in a dream world of his hopes and fears, desires and ambitions, and the pursuit of some phantom of ‘happiness,’ unconscious and uncaring of the tranformations that are brought about in the energies of which he is made,  or become a conscious instrument of transformation…it is by conscious work that man fulfills his cosmic obligations.

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