I came across the term “contemplation” while working my way through the Golden Path in the Gene Keys, a system that came out of Human Design and became big on its own through its medium and founder Richard Rudd. Before that it was associated with some sort of daydreaming – this sleepy state of inactiveness which doesn’t bring any benefit and kind of smells of procrastination. Only further on it became clear that it was contemplation which helped Archimedes to exclaim “Eureka!,” Einstein to create his relativity theory, that it was contemplation that revealed the mysteries of my Gene Keys to me and set me on path to guide others through the maze.
Contemplation, what is it exactly? As Richard Rudd puts it, there are three classical ways to reach the Truth. They are: Path of Meditation, Path of Concentration, and Path of Contemplation.
Three Paths towards the Truth
Path of Meditation is the Yin way, and some traditions call this path “a path of the left hand, female way.” It doesn’t mean it is meant only for women, it’s not. Each of us has a male and female inside of us, and the balance of these two elements brings equilibrium, – a state which each of us is aiming towards, more or less. Path of meditation has to do with the right brain which is wholesome as it is.
One of the examples of Meditation Path is Vipassana in the Buddhist tradition which entails “witnessing, observing.” The other example can be tantra which is also about witnessing, letting life be as it is. Yin-way doesn’t create any resistance. It says that everything there is is already perfect. It is awareness in its purest, it’s the surrender, letting go, following life. Meditation is an effortless path which came from the East.
Path of Concentration is on the opposite side. It is a Yang path, “path of the left hand,” a masculine path connected with the left brain, with its logical part which likes to see things in points, sequences, stages. Yoga can be an example of this path as it is working with the male type of energy. And again, it doesn’t mean that yoga is meant only for men. It works with our male part within us, that’s all.
On the Path of Concentration we need effort. Western version of concentration is especially popular in the form of prayers, and Eastern version can find such example in Zen tradition. It is when through concentration the insights, breakthroughs come. Concentration is the path of effort.
And, finally, we’ve reached Contemplation. As Richard Rudd puts it, this path doesn’t belong to any hand, and it’s kind of forgotten by all. It’s more difficult to give it a description in comparison with the previous two. He names Tao as the best example of the Contemplation Path. On the one hand, it may seem like contemplation is quite a mental thing; however, it is not like that at all.
It’s a profound way, and its advantage is that it’s less categorical than the two previous paths, and at the same time, it uses elements of concentration and meditation altogether. It’s some sort of Middle Way: we don’t relax enough to become completely soft, yet, we don’t get tense in order not to become completely rough.
Contemplation borrows from all the traditions. It uses the stable, longstanding pressure, and it does so playfully, with a smile on its face. It’s a less formal way, more mundane and more suited for a modern person. The key in contemplation is to single out the object of one’s contemplation. It can be anything. In the context Richard Rudd is speaking about, it is our Gene Keys, our genetic inheritance which opens us up, layer after layer, specifically because of our contemplation.
Three Planes of Contemplation
Rudd says that contemplation has a trinary base. It works on the mental, emotional, physical plane. For example, first we read about our Gene Keys immersing our mind deeply into information. Then we gradually open the second layer – the emotional aspect which is connected to our heart and sharing with others. While we can walk through the mental aspect of contemplation in solitude, the emotional one is connected with others. It is about our relationships.
As Rudd says, if we stay on the mental level, the contemplation will not go further. It will be just an additional toy for the mind: yes, it will be tasty but as a matter of fact, it will be useless and will not bring any satisfaction. Emotional aspect is concerned with our feelings, and it’s on this level we start to remember at the DNA level who we really are. This memory comes up on the surface not at the mental level but at the level of the feelings, emotions. The power of heart and mind joined together is the essence of contemplation.
When awareness dawns upon our body through sensing, we might feel discomfort because very often the first thing we come across on the emotional level is our pain, our shadow side, our victimness. That’s where we can find the real treasure. While we continue diving deeper into contemplation, we reach the physical level, the deepest one.
The path towards the physical level might take its time, and there are reasons for that: the body needs to get used to the continuous transformation. Also the third deeper layer is usually the densest, and in order to pierce it through, we need not only inner readiness but also the readiness of our physical body. And this deep physical layer is located in our belly, the area around our navel. That’s where the mystery of our DNA lies.
Gene Keys are Meant for Contemplation
In our contemplative journey none of us can predict how it is going to go and what is going to happen. We don’t know how our body will react. Monitor how it happens for you. Contemplation is considered to be a solitude journey, and it makes sense; your experience will be unique, it will not be like anyone else’s. That’s the level where the transformations and changes find us, and they are not fleeting, they are rather “solid,” specific.
But for that we need to go through all the layers, one by one. We can’t start with the deepest one without clearing up whatever is on the surface. And what the journey will bring – God only knows. We need to surrender to the contemplation, and as my own experience supports Rudd’s words, it has a great unknowing installed in it.
Gene Keys are meant for contemplation. In some way, it is a new way in which joy prevails over seriousness. It’s a way of synthesis of all that we is familiar to us, and of all that we are not familiar of. It’s a way of openness, innocence and trust into the life’s mysteries. And as I said before, it matches our day-to-day life in the best way.
P.S. I have written this for Yoga Journal Russia, and translated it into English for you, dear readers.