The Five Divine Currents
by Michael Mamas
Psychological models are only of practical value to the extent that they facilitate your own inner exploration. You abuse them if you employ them to label yourself or others. One of the models, which I call The Five Divine Currents™, has great practical value when used in exploring your own inner landscape.
There are five divine currents which arise out of the purity that lies within all people. At their base, these currents are spirituality, love, sensitivity, commitment, and impeccability. They are all very positive attributes. For example, it is good to be sensitive to your own inner feelings as well as to other people. Also, the desire to do things properly or impeccably is a laudable quality. These five different attributes are inherent to the depth of everyone’s deepest inner nature.
The psychologist, Wilhelm Reich, a colleague of Freud’s, developed an understanding of five character types. The flaw in the approach of Reich is that it is out-in, and defines people based on the outer manifestations of their energetic and behavioral patterns. Anyone who uses this approach loses sight of our deeper nature, the basis of who we are. Our deepest inner motivation is to commune, to love. Anything in life that does not appear to be love is just love in a confused state. If a therapist or anyone else looks at another person as a wounded being who is oral, psychopathic, rigid, masochistic, or schizoid, they are missing the essential point. This is why I developed the Five Divine Currents™ based upon the purity that lies at the depth of us all.
The Spirituality Current
To feel your Spirituality Current does not require you to be religious or to even believe in God, although that is how most people feel their spirituality. Spirituality dwells in all of us as a sense of our universality, our love for and communion with the exquisiteness of universal life and nature including the sky above, the earth below, and the community of all living and nonliving things. People can feel it when they extend their arms over their heads and reach for the heavens above, when they hear an exquisite symphony, when they go to church, or when they look out at a sunset over the ocean. It brings one to an expanded sense of their own being which lies far beyond worldly affairs and physical concerns. It is associated with a lofty pristine eternal sense of our own consciousness and being, as individuals as well as the family of humanity. Such feelings have inspired a sense of personified universal love many call God. It includes the feeling of being looked over and cared for by God and of having a personal relationship with divinity.
Conditioning around the Spirituality Current tends to occur in utero or around the time of birth. Many traumas can lead to this conditioning. For example, the mother might feel stressed during pregnancy so the child also feels stressed. Maybe conditions in the womb were not ideal, instilling within the child the fear to exist or be alive. To this child, the very feeling of being embodied is associated with the emotion of fear. The birthing process may have been very difficult so the infant does not want to be in that body. It is an unpleasant place to be.
Since the process of coming fully into the body has been difficult, they may try, in a sense, to get out of their body. As adults, they tend to be floating away as if into an ethereal spirit world. Because they are not fully connected to and settled into their bodies, they tend to be thin and lacking physical strength. Often there are left/right imbalances, as if they are trying to spiral and squirm out of the body. They have a far away look in their eyes. If you touch their feet, they tend to feel cold, hollow, and empty as if nobody’s at home.
People with stress around the Spirituality Current tend to be highly mental; they do not want to feel things in their bodies. They do not want to go out in the world. They are identified with an internal world of mental or spiritual notions. The Spirituality Current trauma is associated with fear. To be alive in the physical world is terrifying.
The Love Current
By “love” we specifically mean the love for another embodied being or beings. It is usually thought of as love for another person, but also includes love for a pet. It is interpersonal love – that fine, tender, precious feeling we feel for another. It gives meaning to our worldly life and fills our hearts with overflowing fullness in communion and appreciation for the recipient of our love. Love has been, and will always be, the source of inspiration for countless songs, poems, and stories. This includes the songs, poems, and stories of our daily lives as we live with one and other in the divine communion of interpersonal love.
Conditioning around the Love Current usually occurs while the infant is breastfeeding, right after conditioning around the Spirituality Current occurs. In the holding space of breast feeding, the infant feels safe and can rest into its own body, its own being. If an infant is not emotionally fed during its breastfeeding stage, stress develops around the Love Current. The stress manifests as physical characteristics the person carries into adult life. Because the body is not getting nourished, it tends to be small. The chest tends to be caved in because the heart was not filled. The jaw might also be pulled in and small because the person was never fed properly. Remember that these are just tendencies, not absolute rules.
As adults, people with conditioning around the Love Current feel empty and wanting. Their eyes tend to have a wanting and sucking look. When you are around them, they seem to pull at you or suck on you. In their relationships, they look for someone to fill the void inside, but to no avail. Their unspoken statement is “You must give it to me. You owe it to me. You are not taking care of me.” People with conditioning around the Love Current must learn to feel their own inner fullness. In other words, they must realize that, within their own being, they are full.
It is important to keep in mind that experiences from childhood are exactly that: what it was like to the child, not what actually happened. Conditioning around the Love Current does not necessarily mean the mother was negligent: mother’s behavior may or may not have coincided with the child’s experience.
The Sensitivity Current
The exquisiteness of our Sensitivity Current includes our ability to feel the presence and feelings of another person deeply within our own being. It involves compassion for others, as well as an acute body-felt sense and awareness of the presence and influence of another. It includes the intuitive and visceral ability to feel deeply someone’s state of heart and mind and the impact that state has on our self and others. This sense inspires kindness and tenderness toward others. It includes the instinct to reach out and touch another to offer comfort and support.
The primary period of conditioning around the Sensitivity Current occurs when the child is exploring his/her autonomy from mother, around the time of the ‘terrible twos.’ Conditioning around the Sensitivity Current occurs when the mother is experienced as invasive. For example, mother may say, “Eat more food, eat.” The feeling of invasion can be at either end of the body: “Let’s give you an enema.” In other cases, mother may be domineering.
Children who experience this tend to become hypersensitive and pinch off their throat and buttocks, including the space between their thighs. They also tend to pull their throat, neck, and shoulders up and close together. They accumulate body mass to protect themselves from being invaded, but it does not work.
People with Sensitivity Current conditioning walk around feeling very sensitive to the world. Others look at them and think, “They are so big, you could not hurt them,” yet the very opposite is true: they are sensitive to almost everything. They have a great deal of love, very ‘big hearts,’ and feel that the way to show love is by being accommodating. They become identified with being accommodating and taking on whatever anybody gives them, however invasive it may feel. They lose touch with their own wanting. They want whatever Mommy wants them to want. Those with Sensitivity Current conditioning generally act with the underlying motivation: “If I can take it, if I let Mommy feed me and change my diaper and I do not complain or cause her any trouble, then I’m good.”
In response to the continual experience of invasion, those with conditioning around the Sensitivity Current have a great deal of pent up rage. They are furious that they have been invaded. A pressure builds up from the suppression of their natural flow. When the pressure is released, it comes out as rage. Then they are humiliated by their display of rage.
The Commitment Current
Love that inspires dedication to a cause gives rise to the Commitment Current. The cause can vary from individual to universal. It can be in service of God, country, truth, justice, ethics, family, self, or another. It includes the qualities of righteousness, honor, devoutness, allegiance, and piety.
Around age four, conditioning around the Commitment Current can start to take place. This happens when the child is coerced into playing the role of an adult before he or she is ready. Examples include staying home alone at a young age, being made to take care of younger siblings because the parents are unavailable, or needing to protect a younger sibling or parent from an abusive parent. Sometimes the mother and father did not get along so the mother makes the little boy her ‘little man’ or father turns the little girl into his substitute female companion.
Men with Commitment Current conditioning often have big upper bodies because they are puffing up and trying to be big. You have probably seen them walking shirtless up and down the beach: they have big upper bodies, little disconnected legs, and tiny little butts. Women with Commitment Current have a tendency to be pear-shaped, with anger stored in their hip/pelvic area.
Because they had to be adults before they were ready, people with conditioning around the Commitment Current tend to take charge and run things. Inside they feel that they were betrayed by their mothers and fathers, the very people they loved the most. As a result, they are angry and vow to never be betrayed again. As adults, they try to right all wrongs. Their war cry becomes “I’m right, you’re wrong.” Their lives become a series of fights for causes, especially their own.
When conditioning around the Commitment Current takes place, the child experiences tremendous power. For example, ‘Mommy’s little man’ and ‘Daddy’s little girl’ learn to manipulate their parents. As they get older, they tend to be manipulative or do whatever it takes to get their way. They can be confrontational, sly, or seductive. They may be pleasing you and doing everything you want them to do, but are playing you like a violin.
The Impeccability Current
We love. Inherent to the consummate purity of that love is the desire to behave, give, and act in faultless service to that perfect love. We strive to live our lives as an ideal expression of the flawless purity of that love.
Conditioning around the Impeccability Current can be created in different ways. One way is this: A child jumps up on her Daddy’s lap to exchange love and hugs as usual, and he notices for the first time that she is a blossoming girl. He suddenly feels uncomfortable because he doesn’t want the relationship to have sexual overtones. The next time the little girl jumps up on his lap, he pushes her off or gets more rigid and distant. As a result, she feels rejected and gets the message, “It’s not okay to have feelings or express them,” or “As soon as you start looking like a woman, you won’t be loved.” This can also happen between mother and son.
When the child grows up, he or she can have sex, but cannot have sex and love at the same time. The experience of love and sex become disconnected. People with this conditioning grow ashamed of their love, and cannot show it because they will be rejected. They learn to hold their love inside, hidden and still, while they maintain an organized and proper appearance. Their longing for love becomes a very tender, delicate, and vulnerable place that they will not show.
I’ve seen a lot of people with conditioning around the Impeccability Current come from families where the father is in the military and disciplines them from day one. The child’s natural and spontaneous expression of love is rejected.
People with strong Impeccability Current conditioning tend to hold themselves perfectly. They appear perfect because nothing else is acceptable. Nothing else is safe. The irony here is that they are very sensitive, but others may be rude to them and resent them for being so perfect. It feels like an ice pick going right through their delicate hearts. Thus, the pain of their childhood is recreated, but of course, they cannot show it.
Be careful when you apply the Five Divine Currents model. People tend to use it to define themselves and others. Please avoid the temptation to say to your friend, coworker, or spouse something like: “Oh you are a Commitment Current. Now I know who you are and why.” We want to get past this stage as quickly as we can. The purpose of this model is not to judge ourselves and others, put everyone in boxes, and congratulate ourselves on our deep insights. The purpose of this model is to help us under-stand, not over-stand. If you find yourself standing over your spouse, yourself, or any other person using the Five Divine Currents model, you are missing the point. You would do well to under-stand more.
Everybody has conditioning around all five of the currents. This Five Divine Currents™ model can be extremely useful in facilitating the exploration of your inner landscape.
© Michael Mamas, 11/18