Masquerading as Science: the Human Design system

New Age spiritual movements often try to appear scientific, claiming that some “research” proves their concepts and luring in those people who look for a system that would explain all their life problems. Human Design is a great example.

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A combination of six systems

Human Design has been gaining great popularity, and the air of mystery that surrounds it can be very attractive. It claims to be an all-encompassing system that will uncover your true identity and purpose in life by merging the deep truth hidden in such different systems of thought as I Ching (the Chinese Book of Change), the Indian chakra system, Kabbalah, astrology… and – rather unexpectedly – quantum physics and astronomy.

What is Human Design?

The system was created by a Canadian called Alan Krakower, who apparently had an eight-day-long “visitation” from a powerful alien Voice in the 80’s during the explosion of a supernova (the first such event to be visible with a naked eye – you can learn more from Krakower himself). The Voice explained Mr. Krakower how humans are really designed and how their destiny is determined by the position of planets (like in astrology), but also by the stream of neutrinos 88 days before birth (when the soul enters the body, according to HD) and at the moment of birth – that’s how quantum physics comes into the picture. Krakower changed his name to Ra Uru Hu, turned the alien revelations into a long textbook, and started to teach Human Design. By now, there are hundreds of certified HD analysts, who prepare graphs and reading – and of course, it is not cheap, just like other New Age systems we have written about in the past.

Elements of the system

Human Design is a complex mixture of concepts, but here are some of the basics:

  1.  Four Strategy types – these reflect the person’s proper strategy in life:
    generators – those who build and do most of the work in the society;
    projectors – people who can act as guides and see deeply into others;
    manifestors – those who act as a catalyst, initiating great projects;
    reflectors – the rarest type, with deep vision and understanding.
  2. Nine energy centers – these are the same chakras as used in yoga, etc.
  3. Seven Authority types – these show where the person’s true knowledge and intuition lie. They include Emotional authority (those who should trust their emotions when making decisions), Sacral (instant intuition), and Lunar Cycle (decisions based on the connection with the moon).

What’s the problem with Human Design?

We have already written about some New Age techniques, such as Johrei, that try to present themselves as “science”, and the criticisms directed against them are appliable to HD, too. First of all, there is no research proving any of the system’s claims (in fact, New Age theorists often use the general phrase “research proves that…” without providing any actual references). Of course, there is no established link between neutrinos or planets and a person’s character.

Human Design is not only pseudoscientific – it is expensive. The simplest reading costs circa $250, Level 1 analyst training will cost you $400, and Level 2 is around $1000. As you can see, a certified analyst can quickly cover their training expenses and earn a handsome profit by doing readings – a lucrative investment, certainly!

It’s not all wrong

There is no point paying for HD readings, but the system is correct about one thing: a lot of our problems stem from a lack of understanding of ourselves, from deeply ingrained biases and fears. If you are not successful or happy in what you do, you might indeed find success elsewhere by changing your career or way of life. The thing is, you don’t need a reading of neutrinos and chakras to do that.

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