Sunday, June 1, 2014
The nature of the centers
Every "center," as Gurdjieff called them, is actually a mind — quite literally, a separate and full consciousness of its own which is distinct from other consciousnesses in the body. So we have an intellectual consciousness, an emotional consciousness, and the physical consciousness. Each one of them is distinct and has its own unique way of being aware.
Now, because the central nervous system functions associated with these various consciousnesses are to some extent localized, we presume that maybe there is a "place" where the center physically "exists." But there is no such place, unless we are to understand the place as the whole body, all of us.
In this way, when we inhabit the intellectual mind, all of us, 100% of us, is that mind or center, as though the entire being and the body and all of us that is or ever can be is that intellect, that thought, that thinking process.
Usually, that's all there is. We occupy one center, or mind. If we are thinking, we are 100% thought, and there is not much else there. It goes the same way with the emotions and the body.
Yet it's possible to connect these minds, and when that takes place, it is an additive process, so that instead of being 100% intelligence for example, thinking, one is now 100% thinking plus body, or sensation. That is to say, the action of sensation layers itself within the mind of thought, and the two merge so that they are not distinct from one another, but co-joined, separate, equal, and yet one thing together. This may sound as paradoxical as Christian doctrines of the holy Trinity, and the analogy is not out of place.
If the emotions — the feelings, a more delicate form of emotion — enter, they intensify sensation, because they are an additive process that causes sensation to be deeper and have more of a fine quality to it. At this point one experiences what is called three centered being, that is to say, all three minds active within oneself at the same time. But it isn't as though one is over here, another is over there, and yet another one is still further over there. All are together; and within this additive process, with every addition, the entire being is encompassed by the action of the centers that are active.
What this means is that in truth, in three centered being, we both can and can't distinguish between the action of the minds. They merge; and in becoming whole, becoming one thing, each one still retains its separate identity.
Each of these minds has an exquisite ability to understand life from a different perspective. And as the additive process becomes progressively deeper, one senses an increasing fineness of vibration. This does not mean that the vibration is "higher" or "faster," although words like this are tempting. To say the vibration is finer means that it is finer, that it has a much more precise nature to it. And we will discuss this in the next post.