Centers, Formation of
Excerpt From Mouravieff's Gnosis Vol I pp. 33,34,35
The formation of the three mental centers in the Personality is not synchronous with this development.
The MOTOR CENTER is already highly developed in the newborn. Its positive instinctive part grows and forms itself while still in the mother's womb, beginning at conception, and continuing throughout pregnancy in such a way that at birth it functions in normal rhythm. After this it will no longer be subject to qualitative change. On the other hand, the negative motor part of this center is much less developed. It can be said that if the instinctive part of the newborn functions at around 75 percent of its normal output, the percentage for the motor part only reaches 25 percent and this is almost totally devoted to the internal processes of the body.
Throughout growth, before and after puberty, this part of the motor center not only develops quantitatively, but qualitatively. In addition, all the savoir-faire of the bodily 'I', from the time the infant takes his mother's breast until he performs the most complex movements, must be complemented at every step by qualitative development. This development continues throughout life.
The EMOTIONAL CENTER in the newborn is characterized by its purity. As long as the child has not learned how to lie, he retains the marvelous faculty--proper to this center--of spontaneously discerning the true from the false over a very wide range of experience. With time, education, and all that is instilled in the child, this center is deranged and this faculty lost, to be found again only much later as a result of esoteric work, special exercises, and sustained efforts. It must also be noted that the emotional center in the newborn is generally much less developed than the motor center, and that commonly during the life of man 1, 2, or 3, exterior man, it does not develop like the two other centers.
Although education is a major preoccupation of families and public authorities, the emotional development of the child is almost totally left to chance. In our contemporary civilization, this leads to an extraordinarily impoverishment of our affective lives. Even in the eighteenth century, the Abbe Prevost notes:
"There are few people who know the full force of the different movements of the heart. The vast majority of men are only sensitive to five or six passions, in the circle of which lives are passed and which define the boundaries of their imagination. Take away love and hate, pleasure and pain, hope and fear and they will feel nothing."
He further added:
"But persons of nobler character can be moved in thousands of different ways. It seems that they can receive ideas and sensations which surpass the ordinary norms of nature."
The development of the emotional center is the principle object of esoteric culture. We shall see later that it is only through this center that man can find the key which will open the door to give him access to a higher life.
The INTELLECTUAL CENTER is in an embryonic state in the newborn. It goes through an intensive development which continues for the length of life, very often taking hypertrophied form in our civilization. Man's shaping is almost exclusively the shaping of his intellectual center through instruction, personal experience, and analytical or constructive work, whether original or compilatory.
The intellectual center in the child is a tabula rasa. It can be compared to a system of gramophone discs which have not yet been recorded. The system is vast, well regulated, and provided with a mechanism--that of association--by which any disc arriving at its end automatically releases a second, the contents of which are related to the first. A record which turns as someone speaks can similarly provoke in us--again by association--the release of an equivalent record. In general this is how dialogue is born and sustained. This procedure is mechanical. We can easily observe this in any conversation between a number of persons who know each other slightly. Such an interchange necessarily falls to an elementary level of the most banal interests: weather, political news, or the city. We hear these records being played, turning continually and passing from one person to another, each with their faces congealed in a grimace which--we commonly agree--gives evidence of an amiable attitude.
The recording continues practically forever, as the disc library is vast and the recording apparatus very sensitive. When a person speaks, it is generally easy to distinguish whether his recordings are played or whether he speaks from some deeper part of himself. In the later case, he uses a pictorial, rustic and sometimes awkward language; in the former he speaks in a singing tone of voice. It is important to make these observations upon ourselves, in order to be able to constate variations in speech. One moment it is 'I' who speaks then, unnoticed, it is no longer I; a recording from the past begins to play in me. A curious thing: once a record has been started, it is almost impossible to stop it before it has run through its content.
There are discs which we should carefully preserve, while others should be re-recorded. A special series of discs sometimes concerns the techniques of one's work. Everyone in his everyday work unconsciously creates a collection of such discs, which he uses for the needs of his profession.
Interior observation of this phenomenon would reveal a whole repertoire of such records. A discovery like this would offer the opportunity of working to control the release of a particular type of recording, and so try to eliminate it completely.
For that, we must first start to distinguish these from useful discs which have some purpose. This is done by analysis of their contents, and by the characteristic inner 'taste' which causes them to be played, as well as by the charecteristic intonation that they give to the voice. Thereafter, we must try to catch the exact moment of their release. It is in that precise moment--we shall see later on why this is so--that it is possible to control these recordings and eliminate those which are useless.