Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Metabolism V - Physiognomy (Pancreas)

Before we go on to discuss the pancreas and its role in the Metabolism of Time I would like to recap what we have established so far.

You as a being are in many ways a conscious spiral of DNA - as the embryo develops one of the ends becomes a 'head' end and one becomes a 'tail' end, one side becomes the 'front' and another the 'back' - therefore latent within the idea of DNA is a head, a tail, a front and a back.  Cells express only the information relevant to their position in the body, thus liver cells express liver information, retinal cells retinal information. 



As spirals of 'consciousness' we are in the process of digesting time/experience and this metabolism of time can be overlaid on our spiral structure such that the 'head' is in the future (in that it is anticipating), and the genitals are in the past (in that they preserve history in the form of the genes they propagate).

Individuals are often concentrated, in terms of the type of consciousness they experience, on one area of this metabolism or another - in that some are future oriented, some are past oriented, some people experience their world through their belly, some through their eyes - although we as individuals contain all of these different faculties we typicaly focus on one (or the path between two).

The next character we will look at it is the physiognomical character of the pancreas - the one which relates to the inner mind in the Metabolism of Time and the one I call the Prisoner.  The character of the pancreas is all about energy storage (and release) and so obviously here the issue of fat storage in the abdomen comes up along with diabetes.  These characters have a tendency to store fat, and regardless of their personal quests to battle it their build will inevitably be stockier at best than the other characters. High carbohydrate intake and the subsequent storage as glycogen and fat is often a sleep inducing process and I have noted that these characters are often dreamers (day-dreamers) - linked directly as they are to the 'inner mind'*, they will easily sink into fanciful reverie and reflection - often they are fantasy prone.

There is a flip side though - insulin has its antithesis and partner in the form of glucagon, the hormone designed to release the energy that has been stored and often the prisoner has its flipside in the form of the anarchist whose sudden release of that stored energy can lead to a violent mood swing, flipped tables and armed revolt.

Qabalistically this character relates to Tifereth and therefore 'beauty' so why choose such an image as a fat pig on a toilet, an ugly image at best, to connect with this idea?  Appetite, greed, digestion and defecation - pigs being considered particularly taboo in Jewish diet - seem highly inappropriate associations for the 'messianic' Sefira, but a closer study reveals messiahs get themselves involved in breaking taboo all the time.  Looking past the superficial, as we must, energy storage in the liver as glycogen and subsequently in fat cells has seen our species and animal kind preserved for a long time - this activity is quite literally the Saviour.  And what is it saving exactly?

GLUCOSE!  The divine *hexagon* of our metabolism, the source of energy, *photosynthesised* by the plants in the beginning of its journey from the sun to our solar plexus.

One of the reasons I wanted to recap at the beginning is because we now have enough information to start considering 'the paths' and zooming in a little more on some characteristics.  Thus far we have examined, the Many Mannered Mind Man (genitals), the Prisoner (pancreas) and The Treefrog (thyroid) which relate to Yesod, Tifereth and Daat respectively and so map out part of a physiognomic 'middle pillar' path.  We can therefore have people with some of the traits of Prisoners blended with Mind Men, or alternately blend the characteristics of the Prisoner with the Treefrog - if we memorise those traits and learn to identify them, they can be very revealing about the resulting moods and behaviour of such an individual.

*enteric nervous system - the 'brain' of the stomach.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Metabolism V - Physiognomy (Adrenals)

We will now discuss two of the physiognomical characters in tandem as they arise from the same gland but from different hormones - namely adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline and cortisol are two important hormones secreted by the adrenal glands which sit on top of the kidneys - they mediate the flight or fight response (in the case of adrenaline) and 'stress-control' (in the case of cortisol).  The gland is split into two sections the medulla and the cortex with each responsible for one hormone.


This is the Jay - (the original title was Semi-Psychic Jay) - the physiognomical character of adrenaline.  These people typically have the lithe bodies of hunters, bodies shaped by their adrenaline, are very quick to lose their temper, and have some kind of avian face (although bear in mind that there are 'owl' forms of this face as well as narrow beaky forms). 

As you will recall from the diagram of the metabolism of Time, the Jay character is associated with 'remembering' - an interesting correspondence here is that adrenaline enhances memory recall.  Now what are the effects on the personality - in my observations Jay characters are very keen to not be 'forgotten' - they remind their friends that they are constantly there and they can be quite jealous in their relationships - they do not let go of grudges easily and are tempted to revenge.

Qabalistically this character relates to Hod, the Sefira of 'Logic', traditionally associated with Mercury (note the adrenaline link with the winged feet and speed in general) - and these characters, gifted with the power of remembering often appear as intellectuals or pseudo-intellectuals.  If not an academic, they will remain on the ball by reading critical essays or popular science, and of course commenting on it to their friends.


The Mime on the other hand is the physiognomical representation of the hormone cortisol.  Cortisol rises in response to stress and causes a whole host of problems - these characters are fairly easy to identify by them.  Typically cortisol causes skin conditions when it rises (inflammatory), but these characters will take on vast amounts of stress because they are naturally designed to handle it - normally this stress will be acquired by heroic multi-tasking on the part of the individual.  This 'multi-tasking' is represented by the Mime on the pillar juggling (the reference is to the stoa of the stoics).  The side effects of rising cortisol can seen in the two Mime characters at the base of the pillar, where the vast stress taken on by these characters results in an eventual emotional breakdown and typically some kind of 'smoking' like behaviour (or something else associated with 'relaxation') after the blowout.  Physically the Mime tends to be 'fleshy' in opposition to the lithe build of the Jay, but not fat persay.

In the Metabolism of Time, The Mime is related to the principle of 'forgetting' and as a correspondence cortisol is involved in 'forgetting' in the brain - high cortisol levels which occur in trauma (because of the stress) cause damage to the architecture of the memory (a kind of scarring) and impair its recall.  What kind of behaviour can we expect from someone who is more typically likely to forget than remember?  The learning of such an individual is often intuitive or natural and comes from mimicking behaviour as opposed to dedicated book learning and rote memorization - they recover from relationships more quickly as the cortisol helps blot the recall that so curses the Jay.

Qabalistically, the Mime is related to the Sefira of Netzach traditionally associated with the path of Venus - the patron of artists.  The Mime has a gift in representational art, art which involves copying or mimicking nature as opposed to interpreting it - it should also be noted how much she likes to dance.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Metabolism V - Physiognomical Characters

The last two posts have been about the physiognomy of characters produced by a genetic distortion in the Metabolism of Time.  Characters who emphasised 'the Experience of the Moment' (Daath) were called Treefrogs and some of the physical traits of overactive/underactive thyroid were listed, characters who emphasised the Altered Past (Yesod) were called Many Mannered Mind Men and some of the physical traits associated with testosterone were listed.

The entire list of characters is as follows:

  • The Ignorant Genius - The Altered Future - The Pituitary - KETHER
  • The Ignorant Fool - Reducing the Future - The Pineal (Serotonin) - CHOKMAH
  • The Bloodless Being - Changing the Future - The Pineal (melatonin) - BINAH
  • The Treefrog - Experience of the Moment - The Thyroid - DAATH
  • The Shellfish - Reaction to the Moment - The Thymus - CHESED
  • The Confused Venutian - Analysis of the Moment - The Thymus - GEVURAH
  • The Prisoner - The Inner Mind - The Pancreas - TIFERETH
  • The Mime - Forgetting - The Adrenals (cortisol) - NETZACH
  • The Jay - Remembering - The Adrenals (adrenaline) - HOD
  • The Many Mannered Mind Man - The Genitals (sex hormones) - YESOD

Each of these characters will express the hormone that is associated with it more or less than average and as a result of this certain moods and various physical attributes will be displayed. From analysis of the mood and attributes one can come to a knowledge of the 'root-character' of an individual that one meets and so help them more effectively.

There are important points to remember here though that will be dealt with more thoroughly later on: 
  • Psychological damage from abuse or spoiling someone can distort the 'natural' root-character, such that they will present a 'mask' to the world that does not match up with that root character. 
  • The root-character may lie between these archetypes - typically on a 'path' between the two - but before one can contemplate the paths between the characters and how they are expressed one must learn the fundamental archetypes themselves.