In the initial stages of transformation, understanding the three brains, a concept I discovered in the Fourthway Work is necessary.
We have different ways of accessing information and interpreting our life in the form of thought, feelings and our body. Gurdjieff actually referred to more brains than this, namely the Instinctive center and the sex center. He makes a clear distinction however between centers and brains. The higher centers in which we gain access to broader worlds of perception, the higher emotional center also known as the Heart Mind in Buddhist circles, and the Higher Intellect are another stage in our development. Those higher stages require the integration of our “lower brains”. We experience the three brains separately and often compartmentally until we intentionally practice bringing them together simultaneously. As we work in this fashion, something becomes apparent that was not before. We often strive to be in two brains at once so they “gang up” on the third brain and bring it into the experience. When I first heard of this idea, I could only relate it to my experience as a musician in which I often strove to integrate the technique of my body, the focus of my mind to keep track of the music and at the same time feel the music. If I have to concentrate on the notes and fingers, then I am less available to feel the music. With more practice, my body brain is able to take over that particular task, leaving my mind to anticipate what is next. I have more space to relax the body and feel the music. I have experienced wonderful concerts in which i was truly integrated in body mind and feeling simultaneously. That is when something more could move through me.
It is similar with self transformation. We predominantly use one of our functional brains more than others and our aim is to live in all three simultaneously.
Moving center people are oriented in their body and display traits like coordination, tendency to exercise, risk takers, kinetic, and receive messages about the outside world from signals or sensations in their body. Feeling center people interpret the world through their emotions, tend to be very empathic, connective and carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They can be impulsive and very intuitive. Thinking center people tend to access the world firstly through concept, analysis, and organization. They are the “intellectual” type and can get bogged down in decision making. They love the “ideas” and their explanation in the work. The drawback is that their knowledge makes them believe they already understand the concept and keeps them from actually understanding it fully.
To experience serious transformation and use self-observation, we must use specific techniques to unite the three in order to see something new about ourselves.
If we can bring that in as a practice of expanded awareness, we have begun the process of integration. Eventually we will work out from which brain we are acting. We can realize how our identification with thought was what we thought was our emotion. From an integrated perspective, we start to see how mechanistic we are and how limited our experience is. What we thought was real is now understood as illusion. Our consciousness becomes more unified and we start to actually observe ourselves.
Eventually, we develop the ability to be here now which can translate to being in all three brains simultaneously.
How are you experiencing these three brains? Which one are you in predominantly? Knowing this can be life changing. Love, Molly