The torus is a donut-shaped flow of energy identified by the ancient Greeks. It shapes Creation in the micro and the macro, from the atom to galaxies, to human life.
Think of the Milky Way Galaxy. That is the shape of the torus.
The torus is the flow described by the One Law. You can call it the Law of Cause and Effect, the Law of Karma, or the Law of Reciprocity. Whatever it is called, it acknowledges that there has to be an activating power that moves into a field of substance to create something in that field. And then, there is a flow that returns to the source of the activation.
We see the flow of the torus in the water cycle. Rain and snow fall from the atmosphere to water the earth, flowing down mountains and hillsides to the sea, to evaporate and return to the sky.
A fountain is in the shape of a torus. Water flows from the top of the fountain through its structure—perhaps through a system of basins—to pool at the bottom of the fountain and return to the top and begin the cycle all over again.
Mechanical systems are often based on the flow of the torus. Consider an electric circuit. The current moves out from the source of generation to light a lamp, heat a toaster, or warm a room. Then the current must return in a circuit.
The steam in a steam heating system leaves the boiler and circulates through the building, radiating its heat, and then returns to the boiler as water.
If the circulation of a mechanical system is interrupted, it begins to fail. A leak in the plumbing of a steam heating system can lead to increased fuel cost and even eventual system failure. An electrical short-circuit can divert power from the circuit. Electricity takes the path of least resistance, and that can lead to sparks and fire.
A ground fault can take electricity intended to power your lights or oven and divert it into the ground. And all that power doesn’t do you any good if it is just absorbed by Planet Earth.
We use substances like plastic, rubber, or glass to insulate electrical current and ensure it flows in the circuit we intend for it. This prevents the current from being wasted by a diversion away from its intended path. It also prevents the damage that electricity can do when it is not adequately contained.
If you used insulating material in the cable meant to conduct electricity, the resistance factor would be so high that the cable would be useless. Silver, copper, and gold are highly conductive, and depending on the type of circuity, are used to facilitate the flow of electric current.
In the practice of Attunement, we depict the flow of the torus as a figure 8. The lower circle of the figure is the visible, manifest part of the flow of Creation. The upper circle represents the invisible dimension of that flow—at least, it is invisible to us.
Our physical bodies function based on a toroidal flow. The heartbeat circulates blood through the arteries to the cells, and the blood returns through the veins.
I had the pleasure of walking out on Green Ridge at Sunrise Ranch this morning. Here in Colorado, it is a gorgeous Indian summer day. I can tell you, going up the hill, I was breathing heavily! There is a beauty to the breath, and most of the time, we are not thinking about it. We are not thinking about the plants all around us giving us oxygen and how we are giving back to them the carbon dioxide that they depend upon. There is a reciprocating flow, back and forth, and we are just enjoying it. We are not worrying about it, for the most part, although these days we worry about global warming and too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But when it comes to our breath and having enough oxygen to breathe, we are not worrying about that flow—we have implicit faith in it. We breathe out without wondering where our next breath will come from. We give carbon dioxide freely on our out-breath, and we welcome the oxygen on our in-breath.
But it isn’t always so in other facets of human experience. People can lose faith that if they give freely in life, the universe will return to them what is nourishing and life-giving.
There are more subtle levels of experience that rely on the flow of the torus. Generally speaking, we, as human beings, have some sense of that flow. And when that more subtle flow is blocked, we feel the discomfort of it. But how many people really see the picture of what is and isn’t happening at that level of their experience?
More and more of the wealth and the resources of the United States are going to fewer and fewer people. Millionaires become billionaires, and billionaires become multibillionaires. And while there are many people living in poverty—and some literally starving—there is a lack of reciprocity. We have the spectacle of multibillionaires taking off into space on rockets while other people cannot feed themselves. Our civilization is full of all kinds of imbalance.
Here we live within human systems that are not flowing. They are short-circuiting so that the wealth that the system creates is often not getting to where it needs to go. And how about the greed that constitutes a resistance to the flow of love and care among us as Americans?
Broken reciprocity occurs at economic and social levels in this culture at large. But it also happens at the personal level: we give, give, and give, and people around us do not give back. We keep inviting people over for dinner, and nobody invites us over for dinner. When things like that happen, what often comes up for a person is this thought: So what’s going on here? And what do I do about it? It is so easy, it seems, to succumb to the disappointment of it all when we become aware that the flow of a relationship ain’t flowing, and it is not returning to me.
In that disappointment, there can be shutting down. There can be disillusionment. There can be the thought, Well, if people are not giving to me, I am not giving to them! And then you can end up tight-fisted and withholding generosity. And what to do?
That is no way to live a life when we reflect on it. It is no way to live a life to let our generating station shut down, or our furnace grow cold. Because then we live a cold life, with no flow and no voltage moving through us.
And so what do we say about letting that flow of voltage come through us and into the world? Let love radiate without concern for results. Bring your voltage without worrying about what is coming back. Have faith in the flow of love like you have faith in your breathing. Because if you do not, you shut down. You have no voltage with which to live your life.
Perhaps, on occasion, there is a need to say something to that person who is not reciprocating. You may need to be a mechanic for the system of the world in which you live. So if there is a leak or short circuit, perhaps you can help fix it. But still, do not shut down. Do not let that voltage drop. Do not stop giving. And just like we have faith that the plants provide us with oxygen, we can have the assurance that one way or another, even with all of the vagaries of how human beings behave, life is kind, life is good, and life is fair. The One Law didn’t stop working, even if human beings are not participating creatively.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of the working of the One Law like this:
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
He had faith in the creative power moving through himself. And I know that something comes back in the magic of life and that the Creator of it all has provided for the working of that system, and something beautiful comes back when something beautiful is given. And I do not know about you, but for me, it does not always come back in expected ways—but it comes back. It does not come back from this person over here, but it does come back from this one. I can’t figure it all out, can you? And yet, we are here to keep giving.
While the torus is a self-balancing mechanism, in the process, there has to be an imbalance. The electric current doesn’t flow from the battery’s positive pole unless there is the voltage to move it. Voltage is the pressure from the source of electrical power that moves the electrons through the conducting loop. We have to be that voltage, that imbalance of power in our world, so that our torus has flow. And if we complain about the imbalance—about all we are giving out—and shut down, that flow will never come.
There can be resistance not only in the circuity of human giving but in receiving too. And if the current of Creation can’t flow back to its source, there is no circuit. The fountain of life is not flowing.
And so, what do we say about that flow? In all things, give thanks. In all circumstances, there is something to receive. And there may be parts of what we are receiving, part of that flow that comes back that we do not know what to do with. We think, Where did this come from? Why did it come back to me?
There may be parts of that returning flow that have to go on the compost heap of life. There is no further use for it. But there is something energizing in what is coming back, something to be welcomed. We might think, Wow, that is coming back from this person. This person is a little weird, by the way—they are not the person I expected it to come back from. They are not the kind of person I might have thought it would come back through. But it is! It is coming back beautifully, this returning flow that is so uplifting, so nourishing, and such a gift.
In all things, give thanks. I am accepting life on its own terms—not as I expect it. I am participating in the fountain of life that I did not create. At least not me as a human being. But I am here to participate in it. I know the joy of Creation.
So how about between you and me? How is the flow of our fountain? Is there anything broken about it? Any way we have shut down and stopped flowing? Stopped giving our flow, or stopped receiving the flow from each other?
Forgiveness is one of the conscious tools of living in the fountain of life together. Forgiveness says:
Whatever happened, I am still flowing. And whatever happened between you and me, I may not like it; I may have to adjust how I am with you somehow because it is the only practical thing to do. But I have not stopped flowing. I have not stopped giving you my love. I have not stopped receiving whatever love you have to give me. I am in the flow of the fountain, and it is glorious. I know the joy of Creation that we have to share.
And what do we do with what is not glorious? It can go on the compost heap of life. It can go into our spiritual septic system that carries away what is not useful here in the cycle of Creation but can decompose to provide nourishment for a future cycle.
We certainly can’t have what is waste for this cycle back up into the fountain. That can happen if what needs to be dissolved, dispelled, and purified out of the system isn’t. That becomes toxic.
Physically speaking, we need our kidneys, our liver, and we need our elimination system. As humankind, we need our elimination system to purify our culture of all the toxic energy that builds up but which doesn’t belong here. It just needs to go so that the pure flow of the fountain can return, and we can know that together. Through the Spirit of Purification, we eliminate what does not belong so that we can enjoy the invigorating flow of our collective fountain.
We are the generating station for the flow of current through our human experience. We are the power source. But we are also the builders of the system. We grew our own human capacity, and together as humankind, we create the culture that holds the flow between us, for better or worse. But we are also responsible for repairing the flow of the human fountain in our own field, seeing where there is a resistance to unblock, a short circuit to fix, or a leak to patch.
This is my dream for humankind. But it is also my practice to do this with people I meet every day, most notably with those of us who have a conscious awareness of the flow of the fountain of life. It takes our conscious participation as human beings to allow that flow to move and let the circuitry between us be what it ought to be. So we become keepers of the fountain, spiritual pipefitters, plumbers, and electrical engineers.
Good to be fountaining together, allowing Creation to take its natural shape: the torus.