The Centers of the Human Machine

Gnostic Psychology affirms that one can awaken consciousness and make it continuous and controllable, through a special kind of effort.

“Through a great effort we may become conscious of ourselves even for just a few minutes. Normally people are not conscious of themselves. The illusion of being conscious (in a continuous form) comes from:
• memory
• and from all the processes of thought

To remember unconscious actions is not the same as being Conscious. A person who practices a retrospective exercise to remember their whole life, may recall how many times they got married, how many children they engendered, who their parents were, who their teachers were, etc. But this does not mean they have awakened their Consciousness, this is simply remembering unconscious acts, and that’s all.”

-Paraphrase from Lecture 1, Section 3 of The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
and Chapter 37 of Fundamental Education

.: Listen to the lecture HERE :.

The Technique to Awaken the Consciousness

The technique to awaken the Consciousness is based on the remembrance of oneself.

[remember the Four States of Consciousness from the ‘Fundamental of Self-Study’ lecture]

“Every human being is fascinated by different things. When a specific representation (or impression) fascinates us, we forget about ourselves and then we dream. The power of fascination is this: one forgets about oneself and then one dreams and, dreaming, one does absurd things. Then, afterwards, problems arise.

It is necessary for the Gnostic student not to let themselves become fascinated by anything. In the presence of any kind of interesting representation one must remember oneself and ask oneself the following questions:
• Where am I?
• What am I doing here?
• Could I be out of my physical body?

Thus one will awaken in the internal worlds…”

-Paraphrase from Ch. 16 of Esoteric Course of Kabalah

Self-Study and the Human Machine

In order to understand how to remember ourselves and awaken our consciousness, we must understand how it is that we forget about ourselves and this is done by discovering how we become identified and fascinated.

“With right methods and right efforts the human being can acquire control of consciousness, and can become conscious of himself, with all that it implies. Only after this point has been understood does serious study of psychology become possible. This study must begin with the investigation of obstacles to awakening consciousness in ourselves, because consciousness can only begin to grow when at least some of these obstacles are removed.

The greatest of these obstacles is our ignorance of ourselves, and our wrong conviction that we know ourselves at least to a certain extent and can be sure of ourselves, when in reality we do not know ourselves at all and cannot be sure of ourselves even in the smallest things.

We must understand now that psychology really means self-study. One cannot study psychology as one can study astronomy; that is, it cannot be studied apart from oneself. And at the same time one must study oneself as one studies any new and complicated machine. One must know:
• the parts of this machine,
• its chief functions,
• the conditions of right work,
• the causes of wrong work,
and many other things which are difficult to describe without using a special language, which is also necessary to know in order to be able to study the human machine.”

-Paraphrase from Lecture 1, Section 4 of The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
and Chapter 21 of Fundamental Education

Self-Study and the Three Brains

By studying ourselves and how we process information in our three Brains, we can understand that we become identified and fascinated through a particular pattern within ourselves.

“The human machine has three Brains:
1. Intellectual
2. Emotional
3. Motor (or Action)

The First Brain is enclosed in the cranium and is the thinking center.

The Second Brain is constituted by the sympathetic nervous plexus and, in general, by all specific nervous centers of the human organism. It is the Emotional Center.

The Third Brain corresponds to the spine with its spinal cord and all its nervous branches. It is the center of movement, commonly called the motor center.

In all the ancient Mystery Schools the pupils received direct integral information for their three brains through an intelligent combination of precepts, dances, music, etc. The theaters of ancient times used to be part of the Mystery Schools. Dramas, comedies and tragedies, combined with special movements, music, oral teaching, etc., served to inform each individual’s three brains. Therefore, students did not abuse the thinking brain and knew how to use all three brains in an intelligent and balanced way.

It is an problematic to inform only one brain. The first brain is not the only cognitive one. The three brains have three totally different sorts of independent associations. These three sorts of associations evoke different types of impulses from the being. In fact, this generates three different personalities that have nothing in common with each other neither in their nature or in their manifestations.

Gnostic Psychology teaches that there are three distinct psychological aspects in each person. With one part of the psychic essence we wish for one thing, with another part we desire something quite different, and thanks to the third part we do a completely opposite thing. In a moment of supreme sorrow, perhaps due to the loss of a beloved being or any other intimate catastrophe:
1. the emotional personality is in desperation
2. while the intellectual personality wants to know the reason why such a tragedy is taking place,
3. and the movement personality just wants to escape the scene.

These three different and often contradictory personalities must be intelligently cultivated and instructed by means of special methods and systems.”

-Paraphrase from Lecture 1, Section 4 of The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
and Chapter 21 of Fundamental Education

The Three Brains and the Five Centers

The process of becoming identified can be understood through the observation of our five Centers and our particular habits or patterns with those Centers. This is why we must define each Center, so that we can understand its functioning and how this relates to our patterns.

“The three-brained human being is a precious “Machine” with five marvelous Psycho-physiological Centers. The order of these centers is as follows:
1. Intellectual (or thinking)
2. Emotional (or feeling)
3. Motor (or movement)
4. Instinctual
5. Sexual

Each of these centers performs a specific function which must first be understood in all their potential manifestations, and later they must be observed in oneself. Besides these five there are two more functions which appear only in higher states of consciousness:
1. one, superior emotional function,
2. and the other, superior intellectual function.

As we are not in these states of consciousness we cannot study these functions or experiment with them, and until then, we can only learn about them indirectly from those who have attained or experienced them. Self-study must begin with the study of the five functions in order to understand them. Such self-observation, that is, observation on the right basis, with a preliminary understanding of the states of consciousness and of different functions, constitutes the basis of self-study; and this is the beginning of psychology.”

-Paraphrase from and Lecture 1, Section 4 & 5 of The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
and Chapter 10 of The Solar Bodies

The Intellectual and Emotional Centers

“Lets look at the first center, the intellectual or thinking function. All mental processes are included here: realization of an impression, formation of representations and of concepts, reasoning, comparison, affirmation, negation, formation of words, faculty of speech, imagination, and so on.

The second function is feeling or emotions: joy, sorrow, fear, astonishment, and so on.

Even if you are sure that it is clear to you how, and in what, emotions differ from thoughts, we should advise you to verify all your views in regard to this. We mix thought and feelings in our ordinary thinking and speaking; but for the beginning of self-study it is necessary to know clearly which is which.”

-Paraphrase from Lecture 1, Section 5 of The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution

The Motor Center

“The moving function includes in itself all external movements, such as walking, writing, speaking, eating, and memories of them. To the moving function also belongs those movements which in ordinary language are called “instinctive,” such as catching a falling object without thinking.

The difference between the instinctive and the moving function is very clear and can be easily understood if one simply remembers that all instinctive functions without exception are inherent and that there is no necessity to learn them in order to use them; whereas on the other hand, none of the moving functions are inherent and one has to learn them as a child learns to walk, or as one learns to write or to draw.

Besides these normal moving functions, there are also some strange moving functions which represent useless work of the human machine not intended by nature, but which occupy a very large place in the human being’s life and use a great quantity of his energy.

These are the formation of dreams, mechanical imagination or fantasy, daydreaming, talking with oneself, all talking for talking’s sake, and generally, all uncontrolled and uncontrollable manifestations.”

-Paraphrase from Lecture 1, Section 5 of The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution

The Instinctive Center

“The words “instinct”, “instinctive”, are generally used incorrectly. In particular, to instinct are generally ascribed external functions which are in reality moving functions, and sometimes emotional. The instinctive function in man includes in itself four different classes of functions:

FIRST: All the inner work of the Organism, all physiology, so to speak; digestion and assimilation of food, breathing, circulation of the blood, all the work of inner Organs, the building of new cells, the elimination of worked-out materials, the work of glands of inner secretion, and so on.

SECOND: The so-called five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch; and all other senses such as the sense of weight, of temperature, of dryness or of moisture, and so on; that is, all indifferent sensations which by themselves are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

THIRD: All physical sensations which are either pleasant or unpleasant. All kinds of pain or unpleasant feeling such as unpleasant taste or unpleasant smell, and all kinds of physical pleasure, such as pleasant taste, pleasant smell, and so on.

FOURTH: All reflexes, even the most complicated, such as laughter and yawning; all kinds of physical memory such as memory of taste, memory of smell, memory of pain, which are in reality inner reflexes.”

-Paraphrase from Lecture 1, Section 5 of The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution

The Sexual Center

“The sex center is stronger and quicker than all other centers and can be regarded as an independent center. Sex plays a tremendous role in maintaining the mechanicalness of life. Everything that people do is connected with ‘sex’: politics, religion, art, the theater, music, is all ‘sex’.

Do you think people go to the theater or to church to pray or to see some new play? That is only for the sake of appearances. The principal thing, in the theater as well as in church, is that there will be a lot of women or a lot of men. This is the center of gravity of all gatherings. What do you think brings people to cafés, to restaurants, to various festivals? One thing only: Sex.

Sex is the principal motive force of all mechanicalness. All dreaming, all day-dreaming, depends upon it. Mechanicalness is especially dangerous when people try to explain it by something else and not by what it really is. When sex is clearly conscious of itself and does not cover itself up by anything else it is not mechanical. On the contrary sex which exists by itself and is not dependent on anything else it is already a great achievement. But the evil lies in the constant self-deception!

What is this self-deception? It is when we do not realize how much of a slave we are of our sexual center and we justify this slavery to ourselves. But one can change one’s own position in relation to it and one can escape from this power of sex over people. Within the sexual center are included many different possibilities. It includes the chief form of slavery and it is also the chief possibility of liberation.”

– Paraphrase from Chapter 9 of In Search of the Miraculous

Self-Study and the Functioning of the Centers

“It is very important to remember that in observing different functions of the centers it is useful to observe at the same time their relation to different states of consciousness. Let us take the first three states of consciousness:
1. sleep,
2. waking (or vigil) state,
3. and possible glimpses of self-consciousness
and the functions of the five centers:
1. thinking,
2. feeling,
3. movement,
4. instinctive,
5. and sexual.

All five functions can manifest themselves in sleep, but their manifestations are unreliable; they cannot be used in any way, they just go by themselves. In the vigil or wrongly called “waking state of consciousness” or relative consciousness, they can be used to a certain extent for our orientation. Their results can be compared, verified, straightened out; and although they may create many illusions, still in our ordinary state we have nothing else and must make use of them the best we can.

If we knew the quantity of wrong observations, wrong theories, wrong deductions and conclusions made in this state (in the 2nd state of consciousness), we would cease to believe ourselves altogether. But human beings do not realize how deceptive their observations and their theories can be, and they continue to believe in them. It is this that keeps human beings from observing the rare moments when their functions manifest themselves in connection with glimpses of the third state of consciousness; that is, the state of self-consciousness.

All this means that each of the five functions can manifest themselves in each of the three states of consciousness. But the results are quite different. When we learn to observe these results and their difference, we will understand the right relation between functions and states of consciousness. But before even considering the difference in function in relation to states of consciousness, it is necessary to understand that functions can exist without consciousness, and consciousness can exist without functions.”

-Paraphrase from Lecture 1, Section 6 of The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution

When we observe ourselves and the activity of our 5 Centers, we will begin to gather the data necessary for proper analysis of ourselves. First we need to get that data and this requires that we observe. When we observe, we separate ourselves into Observer and Observed. We observe the Thought in the Intellectual Center, or the Feeling in the Emotional Center, or the Sensation or Movement in the Motor-Instinctive-Sexual Centers. In this way we will start to differentiate ourselves from the Machine.

We are an Essence, a Spark of Divinity, that has a “Human Machine” at its disposal, but right now: the Machine controls us, it tells us what to do and we obey. We are slaves of our Thoughts, Feelings, Sensations, etc. Therefore, in order to become Masters of ourselves, we must start controlling the Machine: distinguishing its functions and separating ourselves from it so that we can begin to become its Owner and Master.

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