Gate 11: The wellspring of our bright ideas

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Once upon a time and very long ago, bards enthralled us with their words and song. Bands of traveling minstrels would go from town to town, singing of travails from lands near and far in catchy verse full of suspense and longing.

For just as we do today, our ancestors relished stories, whether in the form of fantasy, news, or gossip. 

This act of creation and influence stems from our self-reflected consciousness. As human beings, we are literally programmed to narrate and share out our experiences, something fundamental to our evolution.

The Role of Storytelling in Our Evolution

From a Human Design perspective, our energetic circuitry is split into three main functions – the Individual, the Tribal, and the Collective. The Collective Circuit is further split into two networks which mirror each other in the bodygraph.

On the left (Splenic) side, we have the Logical or Understanding Circuit. On the right (Emotional) side, we have the Sensing or Abstract Circuit.

The latter Sensing circuit ensures we seek life experience. It sets us forth on titillating yet perilous adventures that inevitably promise both pain and joy.

On a mechanical level, we begin at the Head Center with a sense of confusion about what happened in the past (Gate 64). This puts oppressive pressure on Gate 47 in the Ajna to figure out what actually happened, and how or why it happened.

Gate 11 in the Bodygraph

Gate 11 and the Ajna Center

From here our energy flows down into the other side of the Ajna – the feature of the article – Gate 11. Called the Gate of Ideas in Human Design, this bright little segment of sky is called Peace in the ancient I’ Ching. 

Gate 11 operates mechanically like its mirror, the Gate of Opinions (Gate 17), preparing the idea for articulation. From there, it is ready for expression in the Throat.

Gate 11 is where the creativity takes over. Corresponding to our left eye and our visual memories, it retreats with these initially enigmatic fragments until a clear picture emerges. This is often in the form of an idea or theory that wants to be shared (as all awareness seeks expression). 

Can you see the mischief potential? Unlike the Logical Circuit, which sifts discrete items into patterns, the Sensing side must creatively fill in the gaps. It takes memories (and we know how reliable those are) and weaves them into a subjective tapestry, shading in the details unconsciously until there is a sense of no more confusion

Alokanand Díaz finds humor and amusement in this part of the bodygraph. He jokes that Gate 11 has potential to go very deep (“deep in bullshit”) as he points out that those with the Gate 11 want “peace on Earth,” yet often go about it in such a violent way.

Regardless of the veracity or utility of any given idea, we credit Gate 11 for doing the story-weaving. Like an artisan it needs time, space, and privacy to do its craft. 

We feel peace when we have had the time and space to reflect on  why something happened. The period of retreat allows Gate 11 to experience the emotional wave as it assembles its myriad images, over time finding clarity.

A sense of meaning can then emerge, as well as a need to get across an idea to others that might help them in some small way.

The Channel of Curiosity

The Gate of Ideas points down to Gate 56, the Gate of Stimulation in the Throat. This is our center of manifestation, which means our words and actions impact other people. The 11-56, called the Channel of Curiosity, is the way the story gets out.

If you have the Gate of Ideas (or Gate 56), you probably like to write, read or study human history. You are creative, reflective, and like to remember and muse about the past. Thanks to this process you are a fountainhead of constant new ideas. You ask, What about this, what about that?

All your bright ideas, in fact, are based on your musings about the past. You also seek experiential stimulation, since stimulation leads to memories to ponder, refine, and share – another thing you really love to do. 

Remeber as well that your ideas are subjective, based on a value system and reflecting an ideal.

Consider the relationship between these words: idea, ideation, ideal, and ideology – and how ideologies impact our survival and evolution.

Ideas Are Not Facts

Unfortunately your ideas are possibilities and not facts. They do not necessarily guarantee a solution to anything, much less within your own life. In Human Design, the mind (Head and Ajna) can only be an authority for other people. 

Even so it’s always best to wait to be recognized or invited before you share so that your wisdom can have the impact it is meant to. As Ra Uru Hu said, “Ideas are not a prescription for action; they are stimulation for reflection.”

Bright Ideas Fear Darkness

There are themes of darkness and light in the Gate of Ideas. Gate 11, seeking the clarity found with illumination, fears darkness and ignorance. Ra has refered to it as the Gate of White Magic, implying the power of our inventive, creative potential.

Indeed the story-teller can shed light on our lives. They offer subtlely influential admonishments or promises, visions of hope and justice and a better world. These life lessons then become ideologies that influence entire civilizations.

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