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Erroneous Functioning of the Five Centers

Today, we are going to continue our talk about the Three Brains. We will be discussing some basic factors in Gnostic psychology, and essential information that Gnostic students need to understand in order to really apply this teaching.

Gnosis is, in its heart, a form of practical knowledge. What that means is that it is not limited to merely a concept or an idea; it is the form of knowledge that has to be applied. It has to be used and worked with, within oneself. This is something that is not easy to accomplish; it requires a great deal of discipline, a great deal of energy. Perhaps, even more than that, it takes sincerity.

Sincerity is a virtue, a quality that has to be developed. To be sincere means to be true, to be truthful, to be honest. Someone who is insincere feels one thing and says another, or knows one thing and does another. That is the definition of insincerity, if you look it up in the dictionary. So, in that sense, you can say that Gnosis is really the path to achieve true sincerity. It is a means, a method and a practical tool that one uses in order to achieve real sincerity, which is also the same thing as integrity. Thus, sincerity is to have an integral consciousness, unity; what we call in Gnosis, real individuality. To be a real individual.

Today’s lecture is a rather long title, The Erroneous Functioning of the Five Centers. When you study Gnosis, you will hear a lot about the Three Brains. The Three Brains are machines that we have in our psychology. We break these down as the Intellect, or the Intellectual Brain; the Emotion, or the Emotional Brain; and the Motor- Instinctive-Sexual Brain, which has three parts. Each of these three are a kind of machine which function in a specific way. Each one has its particular functions, its particular capabilities and limitations. Each one of them is a sort of device or engine that can be used by any form of consciousness that we have. It is important to understand this clearly, because, as a machine, it has a particular function, but it can be used by different drivers or different users.

Different people can get into a car, drive that car, and go to all kinds of places. Each driver will have their own will, their own intentions, their own ideas. Now, in Gnosis, we understand that those drivers can be our own egos. Egos that we would call pride, or fear, or vanity, or shame. The driver can also be the Being, who is that divinity within us. So, the job of the Gnostic student becomes making sure to only let the right driver behind the wheel to use the machine of our human organism, of our human consciousness.

We organize that machine according to three aspects, but we can also break that down further and look at the parts of that machine. That is why we call it, “The Five Centers,” because those three brains are really much more sophisticated than a simple analogy of three. That human machine breaks down into a lot of different parts, each having its own function, the same way you look at the engine of a car. It is an engine, which is a collection of parts, but all of the parts in that engine have their own purpose. Moreover, each one requires different types of energy or different types of fuels or fluids in order for them to function properly. When we examine our own psychology, it is very important for us to look at how to use that machine in the right way.

The Partkdolg Duty of the Being

In Gnosis, we hear about this phrase, “Our Cosmic Duty,” in some cases it is called, “The Partkdolg Duty of the Being.” That term, which was used by Gurdjieff, according to what I have been able to find out so far, is a derivative of either a Tibetan or Mongolian term. I do not have any real details about it yet, but since Gurdjeff traveled in that area of the world, and got his teachings there, we can assume pretty safely that is where that word comes from.

The teaching behind Partkdolg Duty suggests that we have a certain responsibility, a cosmic duty, which transcends the limitation of our physical life. This Cosmic Duty has five aspects and about this, the Master, Samael Aun Weor says:

“The first aspect is to not allow intellectual concepts to pass through our minds in a mechanical way.”

This means that we have to become conscious. In other words, we have to be aware of the functioning of our own intellectual center, where our thoughts occur in the mind. We have to process all the data, or information that passes through the intellect in a conscious way. The more you study Gnostic psychology, the more you understand that we normally do not do this.

The second aspect, is that we have to become conscious of all the activities in our Emotional Center, and about this the Master says:

“It is lamentable to see how people are moved by the impulses of the Emotional center in a completely mechanical form, without any control.”

From this, it is understood that we are typically being motivated and moved by emotions and feelings. We react to and act on an emotional impulse, without any real conscious control. An example of this: if someone criticizes us, we automatically react with feelings that are hurt. We instantly and mechanically form a kind of reaction, or an action in response; it maybe vengeance, it maybe resentment, it maybe self-hate. All these are mechanical processes that have nothing to do with the divinity inside of us. It has nothing to do with the Being.

The third part of our Cosmic Duty is related to the Motor Center. About this center, the Master Samael says:

"The habits and customs of the Motor Center. We must become self-cognizant of all our activities, of all our movements, of all our habits, and not do anything in a mechanical manner."

The Motor Center is located at the top of the spinal column. This is where we find our habits and customs, along with those acquired activities or actions that we learn with the physical body. This includes actions like, learning to walk, run or ride a bicycle. However, we tend to act mechanically in relation to this center and thus we need to become conscious of all of our movements, all of our habits and all of the functions of our physical body.

The fourth aspect of our Cosmic Duty is to be owners of our own instincts; meaning, we have to understand, comprehend and consciously manage the instincts of the physical body, which is not an easy task. About this, Master Samael says:

"We must become lords of our instincts and subdue them. We must comprehend them in-depth, integrally."

The fifth is connected with the Sexual Center. The Cosmic Duty of the Being associated with this center is to use the sexual energy in a conscious and potent way, with willpower; to not be a mechanical and unconscious person, driven by sexual impulses, but to have conscious responsibility relating to sexual energy, as Master Samael says:

"We must transmute the sexual energy. We transmute our creative energies by means of certain alchemical procedures."

These five aspects of our Cosmic Duty are obviously related to our five centers. Furthermore, we understand that when we study this Cosmic Duty, we can see very clearly that we are not doing it, because, when we are sincere with ourselves—when we are honest with ourselves, not hiding anything from ourselves—then, we can grasp that we are acting mechanically in all five centers, all the time.

We have thoughts that are occurring and processing mechanically, constantly. As new information is coming to us from our environment, we are reacting to that mechanically, on a continual basis; not merely with thoughts, but with feelings, and with physically with our impulses. That is the root or the core of Gnostic psychology: learning how to perform our Cosmic Duty by learning how to manage the Human Machine. This human machine, of Course, has these five parts, five centers. In order for us to really comprehend, it is important that we understand who it is that in Gnosis we call, the “Being.”

In some religions, the Being is God; some might call it “The inner Buddha” or they might call it, “The inner Christ” or our inner angel or our Real Self. In truth, these are terms that have no real relationship with what the Being actually is. The Being is what the word implies: an energy that is present and active. When one is being, one exists, but in an active way. This is not something passive or conceptual, this is something energetic, that is not trapped in time. That is a very important thing to begin to see, time has nothing to do with the Being. So, it is a grave misconception to believe that, in time, we will come to know who our Being is, as time has nothing to do with it. The Being is, but we are trapped in time, because of the wrong functioning of our psyche.


How to manage the five centers properly, with conscious will, while at the same time we are learning how to be, to be present, to be active as a consciousness? That is something very profound, something that cannot be written or even explained. It has to be something that we live, something that we know, through action in ourselves. One can only discover that in oneself, it cannot be done for you. It cannot be transmitted, passed on, explained or given as a gift. It is something that one has to activate by one’s own effort.

The means to arrive at that kind of knowledge or gnosis, is by learning about oneself. Through observing oneself, by getting to know the five centers, one learns how the psyche works, and how to manage that psyche. In that process, one begins to grasp that we are trapped or caught within a lot of different competing desires. In Gnosis we call each of these an “I” or “ego,” which is the Latin word for “I.”

Each one of these aggregates or defects has its own will, its own identity, its own way of seeing, thinking, feeling and acting. So, any given “I” has three brains in that sense, or you could say, any given “I” uses the three brains. We say that because a particular desire, any kind of desire, has its own thoughts that will process through our intellectual center; any desire has its own feelings and will process through our emotional center, and any desire has its own will, or its own intention to act, which will process through our Motor-Instinctive-Sexual center.

This has to be something that we find in ourselves and know through observation. It does not take long to verify this if one is sincerely observing oneself. As an example: If you are insulted, or if you are criticized, new feelings arise, new thoughts arise, new sensations arise. A whole new person shows up inside of you: it is anger, or shame. That new person inside of you has new thoughts, or different thoughts than were there before the criticism arrived. Also, new feelings arise that are different from what was there before the criticism arrived, as well as impulses to act, or will to behave in a certain way. If it is anger that comes as a result of criticism, we will think, “How can they say that to me? It is not true!” As a result, we will feel hurt, we will feel enraged and we will feel wronged and betrayed. As a sensation, as will, we may feel the urge to avoid the situation completely, to abandon that person and shut them out of our life, or, depending on our personality, temperament, and ego, we may feel the urge for revenge, to get back at them, to confront them.

Each of these “I’s” is a person, having its own thoughts, feelings and intentions. This is why Gnostics say that there is no real individuality, because we have so many different “I’s” or competing wills; we do not have a singular will. We do not have an intention that is consistent and can weather any storm. The one who has that is the Being. When we unite ourselves with him, we begin to understand what it means to have real will. to have real willpower, which does not contradict itself from one moment to the next. This is something that we really have to meditate on in order to comprehend, because it is very deep.

The root of this is obviously in how we work with our own psyche. To comprehend the nature of individuality, the nature of ego, the nature of the Being, we have to observe ourselves and we have to meditate. To meditate means to abandon the processes of the mind and to use the consciousness, free of ego, free of any “I,” in order to perceive the truth. Any “I” is actually a lie. Every “I” is a liar, and as long as we are encased inside any ego, we do not see the truth.

On a superficial level, it is relatively easy to see when we have anger, when we have fear, when we have pride, because these color or qualify our vision. They filter it so we no longer see things as they are. You may see this in yourself when you pass through a difficult situation. Then, sometimes you look back and realize how mistaken you were with the way you were seeing it at the time. Hindsight is 20-20, right? We have to develop that vision during those difficult times to be able to see objectively, without the influence of our own pride, or shame, or our fear, or our gluttony.

Developing that vision comes when we understand exactly how the Five Centers work in ourselves, when we understand why we suffer. Have we ever really considered that question? Why do I suffer? When we consider that question, who answers it? Is it your own mind, or is it your Being? When you ask yourself the question, “Why do I suffer?” Be sincere, because if you justify yourself, if you blame others, if you wash your hands of any wrong doing, it is not your Being.

We suffer because of our own actions. We suffer because we allow our own thoughts and our own emotions to interfere with our lives. To be more specific, we allow the thoughts and emotions of the ego to interfere with our lives and that is because we still do not grasp the difference between the Being, the consciousness and the ego. We do not see that and we do not see that because we do not observe ourselves. To observe oneself is to use the consciousness in an active and direct way; it is to be attentive. Consciousness is attention.

In Sanskrit, the word for consciousness is, Vijnana, which has two parts. The first part is, Vi, which is related to vision, or insight. The second part is, Jnana, which is knowledge. So, it’s vision through knowledge, or the knowledge you gather through vision. That is the beauty of Sanskrit, the components of the word can have different meanings. Consciousness or Vijnana is how we perceive without ego, if it is free, but if that Vijnana or that consciousness is trapped in ego, then that knowledge becomes filtered. That information that we gathered is filtered, no longer objective, but now subjective, or rather a false piece of data or datum. It’s false knowledge.

When we sincerely and honestly look at the entire view or panorama of our life, and back even further; if we look at the panorama of this entire humanity, we find that all of the suffering of humanity. In our own personal lives and in all the lives of all the other billions of creatures who call themselves human beings, all of their suffering is because they do not understand what the consciousness is, what the Being is. If that understanding was there, we would not hurt each other, we would not punish each other, we would not seek revenge. We would not try to attack another person or feel resentments. There would be no wars. There would be no starvation, no rape, no murder.

We Become What We Think

Consciousness is the beauty and light of the Being. However, when that consciousness becomes trapped in an ego, that ego controls the Five Centers which causes us to perform wrong action. When we use any of the Five Centers through the ego, we acquire results or consequences for those actions. In other terms, this is called, “Karma.”

Unfortunately, when we answer that question for ourselves about suffering, we blame our circumstances. We say, “I suffer because of my problems”; “Because I have problems in, in my marriage”; “Because I have problems with my family”; “Because I am not doing enough to help other people, and I see other people suffering around me. I am failing to do that, to give them what they need, so I am suffering because of that.” Or, “I am suffering because of my job; my job is too hard, too demanding.” Or, “I suffer because of where I live, or I do not have enough money.” All of that is a lie. It is insincere. It is a lie because we suffer because of who we are, not because of where we are. If I had no pride, I would not suffer. If you criticize me; I would not care. If I had no fear, why would I worry about poverty? Why would I worry about anything, if there was no fear in me? If I had no envy, why would I try to corrupt or have revenge against my friends or my family? If I had no jealousy, why would I feel hurt for the friends that my spouse has, or the love that my spouse has. All suffering is rooted in our own mind, without exception.
The Buddha said, our minds create our lives. We become what we think. Just as a cart follows a horse, so suffering follows wrong thinking. And just as a cart follows a horse, bliss and Nirvana follow right thinking.

We have to look for the answer for suffering within our own mind, in our own heart and in our own actions. You can work for the next thirty years to change your external circumstances, but you will still suffer. You can compete with Donald Trump and try to knock him off his throne, and you will still suffer. You can try to become the most educated person that exists on the face of the earth, and you will still suffer. Suffering is removed when the ego is removed. When the ego is no longer there, what remains? The Being. The Being is, and that is that the Being is perfect happiness, which is unfiltered, without limitation, beyond anything our mind can ever conceive of. Yet, we ignore that because we are trapped in desire.

The Intellectual Center

We start learning how these Five Centers work in the intellect. We have what we call thoughts. Thoughts are not vague, empty forms, they are a form of matter. They have a concrete reality, although we only perceive a certain aspect of that while we are here in the physical world. However, thoughts are real, because we have them, we sense them, we know they are there. But where are they? Thoughts are not limited to the physical brain. Thoughts are a product and process of the mental body, which is another aspect of our own psyche.

The mental body is a form of energy and matter, which processes what we call thoughts. Those thoughts arrive in our Intellectual Center and process there, in what we experience as thinking. The proper use of that center is difficult to achieve. We tend to misconceive the functioning of the intellect. We confuse two very important terms: intellect and intelligence. What we think, is not necessarily intelligent. What we think of now as mind, or as our real self is really a stream of thinking. It is just thoughts, and we are always trying to build that capacity; the power of thought or the power of mind.

There are thousands of books written about mind control and mind power. This also relates to attempts to develop a very robust intellectual understanding of things or intellectual knowledge. So, people memorize books, they memorize information, they study a lot of different things in order to build that, because they feel that is what life is for. This is merely intellectualism. All intellectualism is merely a way of playing with data, or playing with concepts, that is all. Intellectualism is really just a battle between thesis and antithesis. It is the battle between yes and no.

Let me tell you, if you have not already discovered it, no matter how perfect your intellectual concept may be, there will always be an opposing concept which is just as brilliant. No matter how strongly you develop your intellectual brain, it will always be contradicted. The reason? It is because it is a simple machine. That is all it is, a machine that works in duality: yes and no, positive and negative, good and bad. That is all. It is a machine that has a particular function, which is to receive and transmit intellectual data, ideas, concepts, but intellectualism has nothing to do with intelligence.

Intelligence is the capacity of the Being. Intelligence is conscious knowledge, but it is not limited to conceptual or theoretical knowledge. It is a kind of knowledge that is beyond the capacity of the intellect, strictly speaking. The word “intelligence” in Hebrew is “Binah.” Binah is the third sphere of the first triangle of the Tree of Life. Binah is related to the Holy Spirit. In Hinduism that is called, “Shiva.” That intelligence is the fire that creates life. It is a kind of knowledge or understanding which is so profound and so deep that our mind, our brain, cannot even begin to understand what it is. The only way for us to really access that intelligence is if we are a good servant of our own Being; meaning, we have the vehicle to receive that kind of knowledge.

We can say, the intellect is like the engine of a little remote-control car. The intellectual center on its own is a small engine, so it has a certain capacity, no more. Intelligence, is like the power of the sun. Now, how can a little engine of a remote-control car compare to the power of the Sun? There is no comparison. Yet, if you build the proper kind of device between the two, that little car can use the power of the Sun. Right? It can harness it, and be driven by it, but only if the right device is there. In Gnosis, that device is called the “Solar Mental Body.”

That device must be created through the right use, the right functioning of the Five Centers. It becomes necessary for us to understand the difference between intellectualism and intelligence because, pure intelligence can still arrive in us through intuition, through visions, through subtle understandings, which comes through the consciousness. Little hints, a little comprehension, a little understanding; that knowledge can arrive inside of us if we use the consciousness in the right way, and if the consciousness is managing the function of the Intellectual Center. How do we do that? Simple: do not let the ego use the intellect. When you have thoughts arising, separate from those thoughts, observe them, do not act on them all the time; doubt them, question them. Investigate them, find out where they came from. What are they driven by?

The Emotional Center

If you have thoughts arriving in your intellect, watch your heart too. If you are feeling some discomfort emotionally, your thoughts are probably driven by that emotion. If you are frustrated, your thinking maybe driven by that frustration; that is not coming from the being, that is not real intelligence. If you are examining a problem at work, perhaps you have a difficult situation that you are facing that makes you feel frustrated and a little angry, How is your Being going to give you the right answer to your problem? He cannot, because you are allowing that ego of anger and of frustration to control the Five Centers. These Five Centers are vibrating with the energy of that desire, which is anger.

So, if these Five Centers already have a driver in the seat, the Being cannot get in the car. That car is already going and it is going wherever the anger wants to go, and we as a consciousness are allowing that, because it feels normal, because we agree with the anger. That is our problem.

We have to self-criticize. Not to be cruel, not to punish ourselves, but to control our own mind. We have to be clear, who are we allowing to drive our own machine? Who is in control from moment to moment? Everyone is seated, relaxed and listening, hopefully. But, are you daydreaming also? Are you thinking about something else? Are you remembering yesterday, or last week? Are you thinking about a problem? Are you imaging tomorrow? Are you fantasizing about having a Mental Body? If you are, then you have got egos that are fighting to control your machine; egos of desire, pride, envy, jealousy. It takes conscious willpower to establish moment to moment control of the Five Centers.

Observing the emotional center, we see that we have feelings, all kinds of feelings that arise and pass through the course of the day, even in the course of an hour. It can be such a variety of things that we feel. Some people believe that emotion is driven by God. Some schools and some religions believe that whatever we feel emotionally is good. Some schools and religions teach that we should express our anger, that we should express our pride. We should be proud of our race, of our religion, of our culture. Some teach these things but they do not teach, what the Being is, nor the ego.

Emotion is a very powerful force, a very potent kind of energy, which drives the vehicle in its own way. To control the impulses of the emotional center is very difficult, because when our heart is vibrating with a strong feeling, it is very hard to go against that, to control that. We all have our own particular weaknesses in that area.

What we have to realize through, is that there is another form of duality in the Emotional Center. Emotions can be positive or negative, for or against. We have love and hate. We have avarice and generosity. We have a lot of different emotional qualities that we pass through, that are a duality in the Emotional Center. What we clearly need to understand here is that there are negative emotions and positive emotions. We call a negative emotion: any emotional state that is produced by an ego. It might feel really good, but it is still negative. When we are praised, admired and envied, we love that feeling! It feels really good, when everybody likes us, but that is a negative emotion because it is pride. In that praise we are receiving there is no recognition of the Being. It is all about me, all about myself, “I.” When we look at a movie or television, and watch a romantic episode, we feel very inspired with the romantic feeling that we observe, and become identified with. That is a negative emotion. It is a form of desire in the heart.
There are positive emotions also. Positive emotions relate to the Being, such as spiritual longing or spiritual anxiety, which actually can be very painful. These, however, are positive emotions because that is the quality of consciousness, of the Being who is ringing on the bell of the heart for us to wake up! That longing, that pain is beautiful, even though it hurts.

Our tendency is to avoid this, rather than trying to find the right antidote for that spiritual emptiness. We seek to obliterate it with lust, by trying to cover it with desire, or passion for someone. We mistake our spiritual loneliness for an emotional need that will be satisfied through another person, or through masturbation, or something like that, which is a crime. Or perhaps, we seek to fuel that spiritual void by switching centers and filling the mind with intellectual information. Maybe we listen to music, so we can become happy. We try to do something in order to change the vibration of our heart, but in a negative way, and that is unfortunate.

The spiritual longing, spiritual anxiety is the Being crying out for us to return to know him, to know her. This is what we need, instead of getting ourselves identified with the praise of others, with fitting in with society, with being admired. Or, having all the toys that we want, or completing our CD collection, because that will make us feel really good. Or trying to get a better spouse because we do not feel satisfied emotionally. What we need to understand is that emotional satisfaction and emotional equilibrium only come from the Being and it comes through work.

What I am trying to express to you, is the difference between mechanical suffering and voluntary suffering. Roughly about 97% of the emotions that we know now, are emotions that the ego produces in us; meaning, they are all negative emotions. Everyone of them is a form of suffering, even those that feel good. They are a form of suffering because they separate us from our real identity, from the Being. They are all what we call “mechanical suffering,” because those qualities, those states, those emotions are the result of Karma. Karma for having an ego and the Karma of having produced wrong actions. So, we suffer from the consequences of that. Moreover, we become identified with those emotions, we revel in them, we think they are who we are.

Many people are so absorbed in their emotional experiences that they totally ignore the other centers. People such as; artists, actors, sensitive people in that way become so fascinated and identified with emotion, but it is really negative emotion. Even what is called “love,” is really just attachment. For most people love is simply desire masquerading under another name. Real love is a quality of the Being, and the Being has no attachment. The Being has nothing to do with time, past of future, the Being is and time is. Read the Bible passage in 1 Corinthians 13 about love, and you will understand what I mean. Replace the word, “love” with “Being” and you will understand what I mean.

Mechanical suffering is our life, what we experience in this painful world is really just mechanical suffering, even though sometimes we enjoy it. However, that enjoyment is just that brief moment when we are fulfilling a desire, then that moment passes and we feel empty again. Then, we want more, we want that desire to be filled again. So, we seek new relationships, new friends, new movies, new music, new books, a new job, new places to live; all because those desires are not satisfied.

We are very much attached to our own suffering. We love to tell our story, how we suffered. “No one has suffered more than me, and not in the way I have…and let me tell you why.” We love that! We do not even realize how much we love it. We love how much our parents made us suffer, because now we can blame them. We actually love how much our job sucks, because then we can complain about it. If we could not complain, we would be bored, it seems.

This kind of suffering is 100% harmful, because the longer we remain identified with all these negative emotions that process in our Emotional Center, the more we deepen our suffering. When that envy arises in our heart, and we want what the other person has, that is suffering, because we are not satisfied. “How can I become famous? How can I look as pretty as she is? How can I be respected, like he is?” And we suffer. Then we begin to act on it, even if we do not realize it. “Oh, my job is embarrassing compared to that guy. I need a better job so I can at least be at his level and look like him, then people will like me.” Then we begin to act on it with our Motor-Instinctual-Sexual-Brain. That is suffering!

You see, we are not acting on the will of the Being, with the intelligence and positive emotions of the Being through right action. We are acting on negative emotions and wrong thinking and wrong action and that is what produces Karma. More suffering is produced, and worst of all, that desire becomes stronger. It is very simple: if you feed the tiger, he will grow. If you feed the tiger meat, he will grow strong. The tiger in this example is your own mind, and the more meat and blood and energy you give him, the more dangerous he becomes. Yet, we love him, he is cute! He is all we got, as we do not know the Being. We only know our anger, our pride, our shame. Our suffering is all we know; we love that. The very idea of abandoning it terrifies us; “If I abandon my suffering, who will I be?” “Who am I?” This is terrifying to the ego. We have to stop feeding the tiger by consciously analyzing and understanding what is processing within the Five Centers. When that envy arises, we see, “Oh I really feel envious of that lady; why?” “Why should I envy that person? I have my own Being. I have my own qualities, my own gifts, my own intelligence inside, from Him, why should I admire anyone else?” “I should respect them, yes; I should treat them properly, yes, but there is no need for envy, hate or resentment, they are all lies.”

The Motor and Instinctive Centers

In the Motor Center, we act on those sufferings. What we do not understand is, if we want to transform ourselves, to really overcome suffering, to be free of suffering, we have to sacrifice our suffering. That is not easy. To sacrifice our own suffering is to transform it into conscious or voluntary suffering. That is the kind of suffering that is meant by the third factor in Gnosis. There are three factors, right? Birth, death and sacrifice. That sacrifice is referring to sacrificing our own sufferings, or in other words the desires of the ego.

To sacrifice the desires of the ego is also a form of suffering. When we give up chocolate, even though we love it, is a kind of suffering; granted, it is superficial. When we give up the desires of our lust, that is a huge sacrifice. When we renounce the desires of our anger, that is a huge sacrifice, and it is painful and we suffer. We suffer because, part of us is trapped in the ego and that ego is suffering when we deny it food. This means that the tiger gets really mad. We are used to just feeding it what ever it wants, anytime: “Yeah sure, you want to use my intellect? Have at it, have all the energy you want in my intellectual brain, here you go.” We feed the tiger, and start thinking, and thinking and thinking, and daydreaming and fantasizing all day long. The tiger wants food through the Emotional Center, the tiger wants food through the Instinctual, the Motor and the Sexual Centers, and we give it, and we suffer, but we do not care.

To stop feeding the tiger, we start renouncing mechanical suffering, which means we activate positive suffering. We begin to sacrifice our own egotistical intentions. So, when we are criticized, we do not react. When we are accused, we smile. When we are crucified, we kiss the hand of the one who drives the nails into our own hands. We have to receive with gladness all the unpleasantness that our fellow man will give us. That is what Jesus suggests, when he said; “Turn the other cheek, and offer it.” That is real sacrifice. It does not mean that we just take abuse for the sake of suffering. It means, we renounce the reactions of our own mind, as they appear in the Five Centers, and we control them with conscious will. How is that conscious will directed? How do you know what to do? How do you know when to act, and when not to act? When to speak and when not to speak? To know that, you would have to listen. Not to the mind, not to the intellect, not to the emotions, but to the Being. Consequently, the Being will speak through the intellect, through the emotions, with intelligence, with positive emotions; but through the consciousness, not through the mind. That voluntary suffering is what leads us to stop feeding the tiger, the egos, the “I’s.” What happens when you stop feeding them? They begin to die, slowly and steadily.

Now, the Motor Center has many activities and Master Samael Aun Weor explains some of those activities that includes mechanical imitation. If we can remember, when we were growing up as children, we imitated our parents, our siblings and neighbors, in order to learn how to behave. From this, we learned good things and bad things.

We continue to imitate now. If you observe yourself, you will see that very clearly. If you move into a new environment you will begin to imitate the other people in that environment, in order to fit in. You will probably not even be aware of it unless you are looking. Your vocabulary will change, the words use, the way you use them, the way you speak, the way you walk, the way you interact, and the humor you use. All of these things will be modified, because of the Motor Center. The ego that wants to fit in, that pride wants to be liked and accepted in the group, uses the Motor Center in order to adapt or imitate its new environment, and there is no real need for that, it is mechanical.

The Motor Center is also involved with the creation of the Self, of the self-image. We all have a concept or picture of who we are. Of course, we think a lot of things about ourselves which are not true. We may think that we are a kind and generous person, patient, loving and compassionate. However, we do not see that, in truth, we are vengeful, rude, critical, arrogant, boastful and full of hot air. That self-image does not include those things, generally speaking. Although, nowadays, we find that many people are proud to be boastful, and they are quite proud to be angry, as we think anger is a virtue. That creation of self-image, is made in conjunction with fantasy, with mechanical imagination.

Also related to the Motor Center, are habits. We have millions of habits; the way we sit, the way we talk, the way we brush our teeth, the way we eat, the way we talk on the phone, the way we walk to work, the way we drive a car; millions. They are all mechanical.

In the Motor Center, we also have unnecessary muscular tension. How many people are tense right now? Why? Why should there be tension, when you are sitting and listening? Yet there is. That is because something is vibrating in the Motor Center producing tension, which is unnecessary and a waste of energy. Unconscious movements like, tapping your feet, scratching little itches, changing your posture… these unconscious movements are related to the Motor Center and have nothing to do with the consciousness. Constantly fiddling with our hair, playing with a button, tapping with a pen, all unconscious activities of the Motor Center.

The fifth activity of the Motor Center, according to the Master, is insubstantial words and ambiguous gossip or speaking for the sake of speaking. So, what he is indicating is this tendency to talk incessantly, to talk, and talk, gossip, chatter and talk about nothing. This is related to the Motor Center. It is an ego, vibrating in the other brains, but using the activities of the Motor Center to express itself and to fulfill its desires. In some people, it is fear; some people talk constantly because they are afraid. Some people never talk because they are afraid. The way to manage this is to remember to be present, remember to be here and now; to be in the body and conscious of the body’s actions from moment to moment. Each movement we make should be consciously directed, not mechanical. This is difficult to achieve.

Self-remembrance is to be aware and present in oneself, and also to remember one’s Being. To know that he/she is there inside, with us. If we really do that, remember ourselves, why should we ever be afraid? Why should we ever feel lonely? Why should we ever have doubt? To remember oneself means to reject the identification with any of the Five Centers. It means to be present and to transform impressions.

Now, we abuse this Center in many ways. We do it through violent sports, through repetitive activities. We can also develop this Center in positive ways, through different kinds of conscious exercises and practices, like meditation with vocalization, but most of all, by relaxing. Relaxation is necessary to self-realize the Being. Sounds simple, right? In order to self-realize the Being, we have to relax, but we are tense all the time. In the mind and in the body. So, we have to start here and now to learn to relax and to remember ourselves.

In the Instinctive Center, we have all those qualities of the physical body, which are performed automatically for us. We have our digestion, our circulatory system, we have breathing; we have all kinds of instincts relating to self-preservation. In truth, these becomes conscious activities, as well, where the consciousness learns to dominate how our instinct is handled and processed. This is something that takes a great deal of development in order to acquire. What we can know is this; begin the process of learning that by learning about sensation.

We know very well that every ego, every ‘I” is rooted in desire and every desire is related to sensation. Our envy to have something is really related to a sensation, but we have to find out how it is related. Even our Cravings for certain kinds of situations in life and our avoidance of certain things in life, like death, are related to sensation. To perceive that requires discipline, but, inevitably, we find that sensation is a vibration of energy and matter. Thus, desire is the craving for a particular vibration of energy and matter.

To understand that relationship and to control that requires a great deal of development and discipline. We begin that now, by observing what kind of sensations we are drawn to and addicted to. We get sensations from television. We get sensations from certain kinds of foods, from certain people that we interact with. Why? What are the sensations that we are craving and why?

The Sexual Center

Lastly, we will talk about the Sexual Center. Again, we have positive and negative here, as we have in all the centers. In the Sexual Center, we have the battle between Eros and Anteros; in other words, Lust and Chastity. This duality is expressing the duality within the Being: the Being and the ego. The Being has nothing to do with the lust. It can never mix with lust, but the Being is the root and force of chastity, in other words, sexual energy directed in the right way.

All of creation occurs through sexuality, on every level. God Him/Herself is the implementer and activator of that form of creation. In that way, we understand that sexuality has a very positive aspect. At the same time, we see in our lives and in our cultures, sexuality has a very negative aspect, also. That is when that intelligence of Binah is trapped in the ego. Trapped in desire. It may sound contradictory to you, but pure sexuality is free of desire. We do not understand that, all we know is animal desire; but, real and true and divine sexuality has no desire, it is pure.

To comprehend that requires that we learn how to work with the Sexual Center in the right way. This means taking control of the sexual force and directing it towards a positive function. We learn how to do this through White Tantrism, in other words, Alchemy. That is the process to harness that divine energy and to use it in the right way, free of desire, free of ego, free of craving, free of aversion, but used in a natural spontaneous, perfect way. Now, regarding this, the Master Samael Aun Weor said:

“Each center of the machine should work with its own energy, but unfortunately the other centers of the machine steal the energy of the sex when the Intellectual, Emotional and Motor-Instinctual Centers work in the wrong way. They steal the energy of the sex and then sexual abuse exists. Sexual abuse ends when we establish within ourselves a permanent center of gravity.”

In this sense, in Gnosis, when we say the words “sexual abuse” we are not talking about the way we understand that term in our materialistic culture. Sexual abuse, in Gnosis, relates to the abuse of the energies of the Sexual Centers.

Now, back to our example of the motor, the engine: each of these centers is a different part of the machine. Each one has its own function and its own energy. Each one vibrates in a different waym and at a different rate of speed. The fastest vibration is, naturally, in the Sexual Center; it has a very fast vibration. The slowest is the intellect. Between them we find a range. What happens though, is because we become addicted to intellectualism, we exhaust the energy of the intellect. In each given day, we have a certain amount of energy available for us to use. In the teachings of Gurdjeff, these are called the “Bobbin-Kandelnosts,” but we call them “vital values.” They are Vital, because they are energy and values, because of a particular measurement.

So, these vital values are like a certain amount of fuel or energy of particular types. In an engine we have gasoline, we have anti-freeze, we have oils. We have a lot of different types of energies or fluids, which work in different places for different reasons. In same way, each of the Five Centers have their own form of energy that they require.

In the beginning of each day, having rested, we have a certain amount of energy available for each of these centers. However, when we are addicted to intellectualism, instead of having a day’s worth of energy to expend, it is exhausted within a couple of hours. Still, we keep using it where is it going to get the energy to keep driving it? In every case, the centers that become exhausted of their own natural energies, steal energy from the Sexual Center, which is the most potent energy we have, but because the fuel for the sexual center is very high octane, we feed it into the intellectual center and what happens? We destroy it. The intellectual Center becomes disequilibrated, out of balance, over heated, over used, exhausted. What is the result of doing that day after day? The machine stops to function properly, and we go crazy. And we wonder why, wandering around in our big cities, there are so many crazy people.

We abuse the Emotional Center by being addicted to sensations related to the Emotional Center. We exhaust the vital values, normally there on a given day. That Center becomes empty of fuel, steals additional fuel from the Sexual Center and destroys itself. The ego, so hungry to feed itself, demands to use the Emotional Center during the day; it uses it too much because of its bad habits. Thus, little by little, we begin to destroy the Emotional Center. That is how we develop potent and difficult emotional problems, which are now normal.

Even the materialistic psychologists will tell you that the majority of people now days suffer emotional and mental problems... the majority, not the minority. It is not a small number of people that are locked away in some place off in the distance, it is everybody! The disequilibrium that we have in the mind and the heart is because we do not understand how to use the Centers in balance. The same applies to all of the Five Centers. When we abuse them, we exhaust their natural energies and then we abuse the energies of the Sexual Center, which in turn, destroys the Human Machine. This is what is called disequilibrium, a very important term in Gnosis.

The Fourth Way

As we know from previous lectures, in order for us to acquire the creation of the Solar Body, the “Soul,” we have to move out of being one of the three inferior types of personalities. Those inferior types of personality are: the Intellectual type of person; the emotional type of person, who is habitually using the emotional brain all the time; and the Motor-Instinctual-Sexual type of person, who is abusing that brain. Each of these three types are the Tower of Babel. Each of the three types of personalities are in disequilibrium, because they are abusing one aspect more that the other, not developing balance.

In order to transcend that and to achieve the creation of the Soul, we have to become the fourth type of personality, that person is equilibrated. We must have psychological equilibrium, which is what we achieve when we know how to manage the Five Centers consciously. It does not mean we have eliminated the ego. It does not mean we are perfect. It means the person who achieves psychological equilibrium knows how to observe themselves; knows how to remember themselves, knows to always apply conscious control over the Five Centers, as best as they can. They are still asleep. They still make mistakes. They still have egos; they still suffer. However, they are learning, and that learning is again balancing these Centers in order to be in equilibrium. That is something, that is defined from moment to moment and is achieved through great emotional crises. Why?

Why do we have great emotional crisis In Gnosis? Why is that important? We need to boil the water in order to remove the impurities of Alchemy. You have to boil the metals, to heat them in order for all the impure things to come out, in order to purify that entity. The same is true of our own psychology. We apply heat to the Human Machine through ordeals, through difficult situations, by being presented with contradictions. Through that, we become defined. What is meant by defined is whether that the state of equilibrium is reached or not. If it is not reached, then nothing is achieved; we keep feeding the ego. What that means is, when we face painful or difficult situations, we have to respond. If we learn how to observe ourselves and remember ourselves, we manage the Five Centers consciously, then we know how to respond consciously, responsibly, to the best of our ability, without acting mechanically. Through that, we have comprehension. Comprehension is the understanding of our own psyche. When we have that comprehension, that water has boiled out the impurities, and thus we passed through that crisis a better person.

In Alchemy, the traditional symbolism is to take an impure metal and to cook it, in order to extract the impurities. That is why it is so perfect as an analogy for this teaching. That is why those ancient alchemists, who were trying to transmit this Gnosis, used that idea as a vehicle, as a symbol. Of course, the common people misunderstood and thought they literally meant, “Let us take lead and turn it into gold.” That is not the real meaning. That lead is the ego. That lead is our own mind, and the gold is the Being.

By applying heat to the Five Centers, by facing difficult problems, painful circumstances, seemingly insurmountable issues; we define ourselves. We define what in us is impure and what in us is pure. Let us make the difference and choose which one we really want.

It is astonishing to observe spiritual students, Gnostic students, students of any tradition, who face difficult situations and yet become identified. Who face circumstances that are there just for their benefit, yet cause the ego to react in a very powerful way For example: the leader of a movement will suddenly finds himself in a situation that totally contradicts, on the surface, what he has been teaching. This leaves all his students in shock and they forget that it is for their benefit for them to understand their own mind, who had become attached or dependent on that leader. Or, they project their own ideals upon that person who is just a man or a woman.

When reality arises that circumstance which is painful, contradicts the ideal, and the student suffers. If the student does not remain in self-remembrance, meaning, remaining in equilibrium, he or she will become identified with the ...(Inaudible)... and never come back. In fact they will become its enemy and hate it. The reason is, they love their idea, meaning they are trapped in time. They are trapped in a structure in their own mind. They do not perceive the reality of the facts. This is so common as to be lamentable.

All students of Gnosis, where nothing is as it seems, when we walk this path, we walk a path of initiation, which is a path of being tested, constantly. The tests are for our own good. The tests are given by our own Being, and we all fail, because we love our desires too much... we all fail. Those who persist will face the ordeals again, and again, and again… Until they get it. Others give up and walk away, and that is their right.

So, to be sincere in Gnosis is to be honest, and to not have a contradiction between how we act and talk and what we feel. If we speak of Gnosis, if we want to be a serious student, if we want to really know who the Being is, we have to act that way. What I am saying is we need to have equilibrium in the Five Centers.

In order to have individuality we have to have the Five Centers in union; unified under one will, which is consciousness. A real ordeal, a really good ordeal, will make us have contradiction in all the Five Centers. When we see that, then we know, “Here is my chance to prove myself.” There is pain in that. That pain is that positive suffering, so long as we are renouncing ourselves.

In practical terms, this is one of the most difficult things that we could ever do, because it means, we face contradictions, when we face suffering in life, we have to go against our own ideas. We have to go against our own point of view, our egotistical point of view, our conceptual point of view, our emotional point of view, our mechanical point of view and that can be a “Gnostic” point of view, very easily.