What exactly is this... self remembering?
Prepare yourself. Here comes the heresy.
"I am” is not enough.
Perhaps one has learned many different exercises of this kind — one says it while breathing and sensing parts, one says it in movements, or so on.
Yet one has to have this "I am” in all three minds – and until one knows what that means, one is just using the mind in elaborated ways to achieve imitative results. This is not a bad thing; it basically consists of the "as if” exercise — but it is not enough, because each part needs to come to its own “I am.”
Each center has a will of its own. When we speak of developing will, we may think that this is a consequence of three-centered work; yet before that takes place, a three centered work of its own needs to take place within each center in such a way that that center develops its own will.
When a center comes to work with the other centers under the influence of its own will, this is what is called the voluntary participation of that center.
So when the sensation works directly with the mind, it appears under the force of its own will, without being called, so that there is a union of wills between the mind and the body. The emotions, when they come, function in exactly the same way:
“…it very often happens that the additional sensation connected with self-remembering brings with it an element of emotion.” (ISOTM, P. 188.)
When all three of these wills appear, they contribute to what would be called real will, three-centered will, which can generally give a person a true direction in life. That true direction is balanced between enough force to move the process forward, and enough intelligence to know what it is, and enough compassion to guide right action. Absent the willing participation of any one center, outward action is never inwardly formed in this way; so when the inward state emerges outwardly, it's deficient.
The self consists of three parts, each one of which has an equal force in directing Being. This doesn't mean they are infallible; even when acting in concert — especially, in point of fact, when acting in concert — understanding is always yet one more step away from the situation one is in, and one must constantly struggle and suffer within the context of Being.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.