I spoke with my wife about this question of how impressions are dealt with by the various centers, or brains, and she had a bit of difficulty understanding some bits of it, so I’m going to explain it in a different way.
Imagine that there's a window pane. The sunlight is coming through it.
Now, the sunlight represents the impressions; and the windowpane is the intellect. (There is a trick to this, because the intellect of each center — its thought ability, which exists in each center uniquely relative to its own type of work and ability — is all part of the windowpane. However, for the purposes of our comparison we will just pretend for now that the windowpane is the intellect or intellectual center, the intellectual brain that thinks, by itself.)
This intellectual brain has a set of preconceived ideas and concepts that applies to everything that comes through it. It’s like a film of dirt on the windowpane. Some of the window pane has a little dirt; some has a lot. There are windowpanes in general that are heavily coated with dirt and some that have a lot less. But whatever there is on the window pane, it obscures the sunlight which is coming in.
Thought is like this. As an impression enters, the preconceived thought – whether it is an intellectual, physical, or emotional “thought” — blocks a significant portion of the impression from entering and falling deeper into the room.
To make matters worse, all of the light that it does not block is recolored, so it loses some of its strength and does not go as deeply into the room as it would otherwise do.
Because of all this, the objects in the room (here, the analogy for the room and its contents is the physical body) can’t receive the sunlight that they would ordinarily receive; and so they don’t store the warmth—at least they don’t store the majority of the warmth—that they could store if the windowpane were transparent.
So this is the analogy of the body, which could be absorbing impressions much more deeply and at much higher levels if the “windowpane” of the overall intellect wasn’t dirty and smeared.
Ultimately, this means that later, when the sun goes down, the objects in the room can’t radiate as much heat as they would have been able to if they had absorbed all of the blocked impressions and stored them properly.
In this way, the human being receives, stores, and then re-emanates impressions.
During this process, the impressions are concentrated, purified, and raised to a higher level — in exactly the same way that physical digestion works. Yet because the food that is being ingested is of a much higher level, it produces much higher substances.
And perhaps I will talk about that in the next post.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.