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The Instinctive Center

BY PHILLIP WITTMEYER

The Neutral Center is the Instinctive Center. It is the combination of all the other Centers, so one never knows where a person in this Center is "coming from". People in this Center respond impulsively to situations they may react mentally, emotionally, or behaviorally, but there is no rhyme or reason to their response. There is no figuring out what their motivation is, because it does not come from the conscious part of the personality. It comes from the subconscious part, and, according to neurologists, that is in the limbic or medulla parts of the brain. These are the so-called "primitive" areas of the brain, which developed in the early evolution of our reptilian and mammalian ancestors. A person in the Instinctive Center is functioning somewhat like an animal in that they are following preprogrammed behavior. However, the "program" makes no sense to the conscious mind, either of the person who experiences it, or of others who observe Instinctive responses. People in the Instinctive Center can come up with bizarre, idiosyncratic, and erratic behavior. In more extreme forms, the Instinctive Center can appear as mild craziness, or actual insanity. In any case, an Instinctive person appears to be flaky and weird to other "normal" people who have weak Instinctive Centers. The strength of this Center compared to the other Centers is an indication of a person's "strangeness coefficient".

The best that can be said about this Center is that the person in it is close to the elementary source of his awareness. He is in touch with his natural, primordial urges. Perhaps the reader has heard of "primal therapy" or the "primal scream". These are psychotherapeutic techniques consisting of such things as imitating the behavior of and sounds made by animals. This seems like suitable therapy for people in the Instinctive Center. The Instinctive Center often results in obsessive behavior in people they do things repetitively but do not know why. Primal therapy can help to break the patterns by consciously accessing the subconscious program.

At this point I would like to make a distinction between "impulsive" and "compulsive" behavior. Impulsive behavior from the Instinctive Center is motivated from within by a "program" that is inborn, inherent. Compulsive behavior is motivated from without by a "program" acquired since birth. Recall that the latter is called False Personality, and was discussed briefly in Part One. When observing the behavior of others, and seeking to understand them, it is useful to make this distinction.

The Counterpart of the Instinctive Center is the Pragmatist Attitude. Both are Aspects of the Assimilation Process, so they are similar in that they both concern the overall function of an entire system. They are different in that the Pragmatist sees the overall function of the outer world. The Instinctive Center is the overall function of the inner world.

The Positive Pole is called +Spontaneity. Some students of this personality system call this Pole "atomic" .I believe they refer to the unpredictable behavior of subatomic particles. Radioactive decay is an example of this chaotic behavior no one knows when an atom will expel a particle. Some people are like this. They express whatever pops into their heads, their moods are capricious, and they follow whatever whim strikes their fancy. These people like surprises, and they are full of surprises for others. They do not like to plan their lives they "ad-lib", or "wing" it. They would rather follow their hunches than live according to their feelings or their intellect. They "take a notion" "out of the clear blue sky" most of the time.

People in +Spontaneity often have convictions which they cannot account for rationally. Some people in this Pole who are metaphysically or religiously inclined may think they are in touch with higher sources of information they may believe they are psychic or inspired. Some people actually hear voices or see images, but are still able to function just fine in reality. These type of phenomena are most likely "messages" from the subconscious Instinctive Center to the Intellectual Center, and they are relatively harmless. Some people's brains are "wired" in such a way that the primitive portions are connected to the more advanced portions. On the other hand, there is actual insanity, which neurologists are increasingly discovering to be caused by biochemical imbalances in the brain. It is well that the reader distinguish between these when trying to understand the Instinctive Center.

The Negative Pole is -Sensuality. Some other students of this personality system call this Pole "anatomic", referring to the anatomy of the human body. This Pole concerns bodily impulses, in contrast to the Positive Pole which has to do with psychological impulses. People in this Pole are very much aware of and concerned with the state of their bodies. Does the body need food, exercise, rest, sleep, or comfort? Its demands must be met or it makes the person miserable until they are met. People in this Pole are also attuned to their sensory input touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell they are sensual. They want to satisfy their sensual appetites, and may go to extremes in this regard. Not only are they overly involved in their bodily functions, but -Sensuality works the other way also their bodies are overly involved in their mental, emotional, and activity responses to circumstances. They have a "gut reaction" to everything. When something goes wrong in their lives, some people process it in their thoughts, others in their emotions, others in other places. These people process external problems in their bodies, and come down with a psychosomatic illness. In extreme expressions of this Pole, there are forms of insanity, such as autism, where the person seems to be functioning entirely in his body like an animal, with little or no higher mental activity.

This Center is maligned in the thinking of some people, since it can produce quirky or fickle personality phenomena. However, it should be noted that the so-called primitive part of the brain, often called the subconscious mind, recognizes and processes an enormous amount of information from the senses that does not get to the conscious mind. It is possible to get to this storehouse and put it to good use. One way to tap the capacity of this Center is to stop all other activity (mental, emotional, and physical) when facing a decision, and pose the question to your self: "Shall I do this?". Turn inward and tune in to your psychological state (+Spontaneity) or your body state (-Sensuality) while considering the question. Comfort or discomfort there will give the answer. With practice, one can gain increasing proficiency in this exercise, and make fewer and fewer decisions which offend the deeper sensitivities. This will increase the harmonious functioning of the entire mind-body system. This is the use to which this Center should be put.

 
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Phil Wittmeyer is a longtime Michael student and scholar of the teachings.  He can be reached at: wittmeyer@hotmail.com

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