Gate 57: Why “being here now” is so fundamental to our existence

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You’re walking alone at night and suddenly you have the sense that you should turn down a different street. Or you’re in a room with others and without warning or apparent reason,  your body tells you to leave. If this kind of knowing is familiar to you, chances are you’ve been called intuitive.

In Human Design, intuition is a function of our sensitivity to the environment in real-time. This awareness in the now is territory of the Spleen, the most primitive center in the bodygraph and one we share with all other life forms. The Spleen is what keeps us alert and alive, and Gate 57, the Gate of Intuitive insight, is arguably the most complex gate here. 

Gate 57 is highly acoustic, in the sense that the sound frequency we receive tells us whether or not something is safe for us. My teacher Amy Lee uses the example of a sleeping dog to explain the sharp awareness of this frequency. The animal might be fast asleep, lost in a dream, but the instant it hears the tiniest sound, its body will tense and its ears will prick up. 

Vigilent real-time awareness

The awareness available in Gate 57 is always in the now. If we ignore its soft whispers, or are too distracted to listen closely, they might not return. We are far from the emotional ups and downs of the Solar Plexus in this part of the bodygraph, so waiting is not the point. The point, as we shall see, is essentially the survival and empowerment of the Individual.

In Human Design there are three circuits: Tribal, Collective, and Individual. You might say there is a fourth one as well – the Integration Circuit, although it is often classified as Individual since some fundamental keynotes are shared. Gate 57 is part of both the Individual and the Integration circuitry, whose keynotes are empowerment and self-empowerment, respectively.

In the bodygraph

Gate 57 and the Spleen

While most gates in the Mandala connect to only one other gate, the Gate of Intuitive Insight connects to three. Two of these are found in the Integration Circuit, one in the Individual. 

All the Integration channels function to empower the Individual so that it can survive as its unique, differentiated self. Unlike the other circuits in the bodygraph, this powerful energy is not meant to be shared, neither with the Collective nor the Tribe. 

Three separate channels

For example, the 57-34, The Channel of Power, links the Spleen to the Sacral, our most powerful motor of pure life-force energy. You can imagine the advantage to evolutionary success that a creature equipped with such features has. It is armed with a constant sensory vigilance connected to a power source that is designated for just this vigilance. In fact, the 57-34 is the archetype of mammalian design, so essential have been these traits to survival.

Moving further down the evolutionary line, the 57-10 (the Channel of Perfected Form) connects the Gate of Intuitive Insight to the G Center, linking our real-time, razor-sharp awareness to our behavior as a unique being, to our very sense of love, identity, and direction. Similar to the Channel of Power, it empowers those with this definition to behave and thrive joyously as themselves.

The only Individual Channel stemming from Gate 57 is the 57-20 (the Channel of the Brainwave), connecting the Gate of Intuitive Insight to the Throat. Here we see a design where pure individual awareness is given a voice, an opportunity to manifest in the now. When done correctly, this introduces mutation to the Tribe and eventually the Collective.

The acoustic hum of knowing

All Individual frequencies operate on a pulse of knowing, which is either on or off. When it is on, your body will hum with this delicious knowing. But when it is off, you will likely feel an undeniable sense of melancholy.

Ironically this stream is acoustic, yet Individuals are not here to be influenced (and this is why they are not the best listeners.) If you are predominantly Individual in your design, experiment with listening with your right ear. In this way, you can listen for what the person is really saying, bypassing the superfluous just as animals filter out noise that does not threaten their survival.

The price of survival is fear.

Finally, it’s important to note that every gate in the Spleen is associated with a unique fear. In the case of Gate 57, so caught up in the present moment, that fear is of tomorrow. Alas, like the sleeping dog who is always on some level alert, we can rest knowing that our fears ensure the survival of humanity.

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