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Updated: Feb 25

This iconic photo of Franz Liszt was taken in 1858.

Channel 18-58 is composed of:

Gate 58: a joyous zest for life, a voracious pressure to enjoy life, a merry audacity to challenge that which prevents enjoyment

Gate 18: attenuation to the possibility of perfection, the drive to improve, a sensitivity to where flow is blocked and the ability to unblock it, a clear eye for defection and correction

The full channel: innate alignment with vitality. Acute awareness of where vitality is blocked, and the vitality necessary to correct such blocks. An insatiable drive to correct.

This is gonna be an introspective post. In fact, this whole blog is going to be just as introspective as I want it to be.

My entire life, I have been connected to a deep well of self-esteem, knowing how much I have to offer the world. And at the same time I have felt intense dysphoria and self-loathing at my inability to channel it in a way that feels meaningful or effective. I have been both buoyed and disoriented by my apparent ability to excel at almost anything. If I am put into any situation for long enough, my eyes start burning x-rays through the papers and the walls and my fingers start to twitch with the desire to rearrange everything from the ground up. My kind of intelligence is systematic, and I end up displaying a kind of fluency that is usually reserved for people with more expertise. So I appear to have talent at almost every particular subject. And people's eyes get wide when they see what an asset I could be for them. I should join science olympiad, I should join the track team, I should join the youth orchestra, I should get promoted to shift supervisor at Starbucks, I should switch my major to Performing Arts Technology, to theory, to English. Whatever.

Fully Defined Channel

18-58 is the only fully defined channel in my human design bodygraph. What does that mean? I can give a succinct explanation, but it will be ever-so-slightly simplified, so if you're a human design nerd and you want to "well actually" me, can it. Anyways, this explanation will work for now. The bodygraph has 64 areas where definition is possible. These areas are called "gates," and each of them exists in a pair with another. The pair is called a "channel." Amid these 64 gates, everyone has 26 areas of definition, scattered basically randomly over the chart. When both gates in a channel are defined, then the whole channel is defined, and that is significant, because human design is mechanical and a defined channel acts like a circuit.

All definition represents something you can consistently and reliably bring to whatever situations you encounter. But when a full channel is defined, not only do the two energies complement each other, they create something that is more than the sum of its parts. I like to call it a "dynamo." A circuit is created, and energy begins to move reliably and incessantly.

It's not unusual to only have one defined channel. Some have zero defined channels. Not sure about the hypothetical upper limit. Seven would be a large number of defined channels.

When A Gate Is Defined But The Full Channel Is Not

If I only have one defined channel, does that mean I never have the capability of doing any of the things that the other defined channels do? For example, channel 17-62 combines the pattern-spotting ability of gate 17 with the naming, concretizing, and organizing ability of gate 62 to create an energy flow of constantly making sense of information. However, I only have gate 17 defined. Gate 17 formulates information into opinions and proposals, but not necessarily clear or useful ones. Does this mean I can never make sense of anything?

No. It just doesn't come from a mechanical phenomenon that is like an ever-flowing waterfall or ever-turning whirlpool that is intrinsic to my personality structure. Here are some ways whereby I might reach useful conclusions aside from being born with this mechanism.

  1. Since I myself have an intense 18-58 dynamo, if I put my own nose to the ground and sniff out the flow of vitality, I might well follow it from disorganized data to an intelligent conclusion. I would be using instinctual, sub-rational, sub-logical methods to reach the same ends, and those methods could very well imitate logic. As you might be able to accurately translate the bark of a dog as "My God! How dare you enter this house! Begone, posthaste!" but that doesn't mean the dog was using syntactical thought forms. hahaha

  2. If I am hanging out with someone who has gate 62 defined, and we are mingling in each other's auras and in the communication flow, those two gates are going to sync up and there is going to be a dynamo function between the two of us.

  3. Perhaps the sun, or Mercury, or Saturn, is passing through gate 62 in the sky and making the overall "flavor" of gate 62 more present for everyone... which might influence my 18-58 activity to imitate logical process even more strictly.

  4. Maybe I just read a long book by a very 62-heavy author and their way of thinking is buzzing around in my head, shaping the way my mind and throat work for a while.

  5. Or whatever!

On a very real level, it's all just a toss-up. However, on another very real level, I feel myself constantly generating opinions and proposed solutions which are kind of useless except as a container for my own understanding process.

Maybe I am writing papers for a teacher who has gate 62 defined. They think I am logically brilliant, I think they're inspiring. I am getting recognition for my apparent logical abilities and start associating my self-image with them. I start understanding But when I leave their class and the connection is gone, I feel bereft of that ability, and like a disappointment to myself and them. Later maybe something similar happens and I might think "Oh I am smart again, I am myself again"... and I just end up tempest tossed eternally.

The tempest-tossing never ends. Anyways, thanks to human design, I don't care about that anymore. I just know I have gate 17 defined and can always come up with opinions that will help me formulate my understanding, and I don't have to expect them to be correct or useful. Now, sometimes I will experience the channel as fully defined, and that will be fun! Cool stuff will come out of that interaction. But I don't hang the hat of my identity on it. Thank GOD.

Like I said, we've all got 26 points of definition. 2 of mine link up to form a channel that I have reliable access to. 24 dangle in half-empty channels. If I am trying to generate something continuously and reliably, I want to know what it is. I don't want to be distracted by the 24 danglers playing around and making temporary circuits. And it's one thing. 18-58. 1858, an interesting year, ten years after all those crazy-ass revolutions.


Over the years I have looked into my personality and seen a billion little reflections, but the 1858 energy has always been clear. I have always prioritized enjoyment of life above anything else and have moved through the world moving blocks to enjoyment out of the way. The hobby that provided a focus for my energy and went on to be the focus of my professional training, violin and later viola, was a perfect outlet for both sides of this channel: violin is intensely technical, yet totally pointless without vitality.

In all the various circumstances in which I've felt recognized as my true self, I can see 1858. I see it quite plainly in my teaching style - I insist that my students play with vitality and momentum, and will yell (good-natured) about it. And god knows it has guided my entire difficult journey with classical music. That is the subject of another post. But using the keyword "vitality" it is no surprise to me at all that I ended up playing with the Gaulway Ramblers - prioritizing the vitality of their music over the elegance, intricacy, subtlety, depth of classical music. (Not that classical music can't or shouldn't have vitality. Just that it almost never does, and I rarely find myself invited to improve the situation. Again, that's another blog post.)

Now you can go to bed

I have been at and over the brink of despair several times in the past seven years, when I have been vegetating in my hometown and teaching lessons. I have tried on a million suits and experimented with identifying with all kinds of different values, traits, and roles. I have almost constantly felt overextended and like I'm not doing anything at the same time. Now I have one thing to say. 1858. I don't have anything else to say. 1858 is like finding the key that I've been tearing up the house looking for and now I don't have to feel frantic. It's not time to do anything. It's time to tuck myself in and go to bed, to call these past seven years a phase of life and let myself do the deep rest that will process this experience into meaning.

My peace is not the peace of knowing what my values are or knowing what I am going to do next. It is the peace of being plugged in and knowing I am going to get warm, I am going to be able to open my eyes later and actually feel oriented.

In light of the clarity the simple term 1858 has brought me, I am incorporating it into my personal branding. I know what it is. I know how it feels to bring it to situations. I know that no matter what roles I end up filling I will bring 1858 energy to them. Or if I'm not bringing it naturally, I can just remember "1858" and my instincts will find my way to that inkwell. I'm setting up shop around this inkwell, or regular well, or water wheel. I don't have to do anything else right now except get used to the feeling of knowing who I am and who I am not, get used to the feeling of not trying to figure out who to be, what set of ethics or memories or roles to prioritize in that figuring, of constantly telling myself "This is going to be the thing that doesn't string me out and make me sick, this is going to be the thing I can bring energy to"... I don't know what life is like under that, and I'm not bothered by not knowing. I am just going to discover that now.

I will write my way there. I can write anything I want, independent of any project, identity, or expectation.

I wonder what I will be writing about. It feels like I will be writing about everything I've learned these past six or seven years. Though I've described them in terms of the extreme discomfort I have felt the whole time, they have been extremely valuable, and while the overall feeling of these years has not been joy, there have been many pockets and ores of joy running through it. For every 93 inappropriate ways I tried to be a human, about 7 of them worked. I'll discover those during this rest period of my life. The writing will do what dreaming does. I will see what comes up.

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