One of the things that gets lost in the discussion of the three minds, or centers, is that they ought to be a single entity. This is what Gurdjieff meant when he discussed three-centered being.
In an early draft of Beelzebub’s Tales that has never been published anywhere, Gurdjieff makes a series of strong points about the fact that these three parts ought to form a single mind, but that this faculty is completely broken in ordinary human beings.
In order to better illustrate how the two minds — the higher and lower mind, or, the higher and lower natures — ought to function, I've created the diagram that accompanies this final post on the subject. In it, the minds are arranged to show the way that they touch one another at the point of conscious awareness.
Each mind occupies a different realm. The spiritual mind of man inhabits a higher realm than the ordinary one we live on; and the natural mind of man is designed in order to come into relationship with that in mind, presuming it acts as a single, whole entity.
In drawing this diagram, I took care to preserve the three parts of each part of each mind, and the way in which they combine when they're in proper relationship. This is not an arbitrary science and one can't just (for example) glue the body, mind, and emotional parts of the emotional mind together haphazardly.
They're laid out on the diagram in the positions they are in for a specific reason; and if one studies the diagram and understands why these parts are placed where they are (relative to the diagram of the enneagram in the previous post) it will elucidate a number of fascinating things about the system and the nature of inward relationship in both the lower and the higher mind.
Most particularly, it can help to explain where the connective "tissues" between the critical parts of centers lie.
On both levels, from an overall perspective, feeling serves as the reconciling force between intellect and sensation. On the lower level it corresponds to remorse and conscience; on the higher level, it corresponds to love; yet they're all part of the same thing.
Anyway, I will not go on about this too much, because I could spend hours explaining the diagram further; yet I think readers should do work on these ideas themselves.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.