The Intellectual Center
The Ordinal Expression Center is the Intellectual Center.
This Center, of course, involves mental activity. People who are strong in this
Center respond to their environment by thinking about it. They want everything
to make sense, and they do not rest their minds until it does. They are
preeminently reasonable — they analyze theirs and everyone else's feelings and
actions. The most basic function of this Center is to name and define
everything, to make it distinct from everything else — so that it can be
talked about or mentally processed. Reading, writing, and speaking are processed
in this Center. People who are weak in this Center often have difficulty with
verbal and mathematical matters. This may not be for lack of intelligence so
much as it is that their brains are not structured to handle information in this
The Intellectual Center is where people have their verbal
description of reality, because it has the vocabulary for everything. It also
chatters to them all day long with its verbal "stream of
consciousness" and "play by play" commentary. Consequently, most
people locate their awareness in the Intellectual Center. This is incorrect. The
seat of consciousness is not in any of the Centers, but is separate from all of
them, a neutral observer of all inner and outer experiences.
The advantage of having a strong Intellectual Center is that
it is good where the understanding and use of language is required, or where the
manipulation of any kind of symbol is required, such as in mathematics. The
disadvantage of this Center is that, like any Center, it is not always
appropriate to use it. When responding to the emotions or the behavior of
another person, it is best to deal with them on the emotional or behavioral
level, not the intellectual. Surprisingly few Intellectually Centered people
have noticed this. They will try to reason with a person who is having an
emotional crisis, for instance. Another disadvantage of the Intellectual Center
is that it is much slower than the other Centers in processing experience.
Experiences often happen too fast for persons in this Center, so they review
them in less hectic moments until they have it all figured out.
The Counterpart of the Intellectual Center is the Conceptual
Center. The two are opposites of each other. The Intellectual Center processes
data in a linear sequence. The Conceptual Center processes data all at once, as
a coordinated pattern. One way to clarify the difference between these two is to
say that the Intellectual Center processes in time, since time is obviously
sequential — we do not experience it all at once. On the other hand, the
Conceptual Center processes in space, since space obviously exists all at once.
Words are processed in the Intellectual Center. Images from the eyes and other
patterns are processed in the Conceptual Center.
Some readers may have noticed in this description of the two
Expression Centers what is generally called "left brain" and
"right brain" function. Neurologists have discovered that the two
hemispheres of the cerebral cortex of the brain have somewhat different
functions. The left hemisphere generally processes in a linear way, and is more
involved in verbal and reasoning functions. The right hemisphere generally
processes in a nonlinear way, and is more involved in holistic and patterning
functions. It has been found that different people use or don't use these
hemispheres to varying degrees. This is the same thing as the
"strength" of the Center in the System. The two Intellectual Centers
in the two hemispheres of the cerebral cortex store the information which
provides our internal "simulation" or mental model of external
reality. To the extent that either is weak or both are weak or the two are
unequal, then the simulation will be distorted, and the person will have
difficulty with actual reality.
Let it be noted that the strengths or weaknesses of a person's
Expression Centers are somewhat of an indication of a person's
"intelligence quotient" — IQ — but not an absolute indicator. A
person can be weak in both Centers and still be bright. Or, a person can be
strong in both and still be dull. The relative strengths of these two Centers
does indicate how the person processes mental data —
sequentially or holistically. A person with a strong Intellectual Center and
weak Conceptual Center is typically good with languages but lousy in art. The
opposite is typically true for a person with a weak Intellectual Center and a
strong Conceptual Center. There are different kinds of intelligence and mental
aptitudes. The strengths of these two Centers relative to the other Centers also
indicates how much processing is done mentally, rather than emotionally,
instinctively, or whatever.
A person who has a strong Intellectual Center enjoys games and
puzzles that make him think: scrabble, crossword puzzles, chess, and so on.
People in this Center are bored if they do not have something to process
mentally. They need a lot of intellectual stimulation from the world. On the
other hand, people who have a weak Intellectual Center have difficulty
expressing themselves in words, and don't like things that require analysis.
People who have strong Intellectual Centers but are weak in the other Centers
are regarded as "eggheads" because they have lots of ideas but few
emotions or actions.
The Positive Pole is +Thought. People strong in this Pole have
busy minds. They are always thinking, always processing data in their heads.
They simply have to understand everything rationally. They ponder and consider.
They intellectualize and rationalize. They ruminate, cogitate, cerebrate, and
contemplate. Sometimes they have difficulty shutting off their thoughts so that
they can sleep at night.
The Negative Pole is -Reason. This word does not mean that
people in this Pole need a reason for everything. It means they are overly
logical. Analytic thought is known as deductive reasoning. People in this Pole
are overly methodical in their logical formulations. When solving a problem,
their mental processes work in an intellectually rigorous step-by-step sequence.
Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame is a caricature of this Pole. Reasonableness is
rarely a fault, but people in this Pole carry it to an extreme. They have a
neurotic need to work out details to the nth degree.
Even though the Negative Pole of -Reason does not sound like
something driven by fear, in the System it is: it is the fear of irrationality
and ambiguity. The way to overcome this is to consider and apply the Positive
Pole of the Complementary Center, +Integration. Instead of picking every little
detail apart in an effort to eliminate ambiguity, step back mentally an get the
big picture. It is often necessary to get the overview of the matter at hand
before the details seem reasonable. Each of the tiny dots of color on a Seurat
painting may not make sense when viewed up real close, but if you stand back and
take in the entire scene at once, you see the meaning. People stuck in -Reason
tend to get lost in the details and forget the +Integration which gives meaning
to the details. Many problems are easier to solve by means of +Integration
rather than -Reason.
-- Phillip Wittmeyer
of the seven centers, there are four that can be used as a primary or secondary
centering: intellectual, emotional, physical, and moving. In the United States,
a lot of people have intellectual centering, meaning that the most direct route
into their personality is through their intellect, largely meaning words,
although visual input can also be intellectual, such as symbols for traffic
signs, lavatory facilities, and so forth. Pictures can stimulate emotions as
well, but if the basic idea of a picture is to stimulate a concept, such as
"Stop!" it's intellectual.
Intellectual centering is useful where there is a great deal of intellectual
stimulation to keep track of. The media are predominantly focused in the
intellectual center, other than music, which is more emotional, although it can
also be predominantly intellectual. A person who is intellectually centered
thinks first. Having a primary center means that you don't have to decide from
which center you're going to react, which would slow you down too much; all
centers are capable of reacting appropriately, so one is not better than
another. If you are intellectually centered, your personality almost always
processes incoming stimuli immediately through analysis, through parsing what it
is. Your decision more involves *how* you analyze them; your personality can
take charge of the process more consciously, or react on automatic pilot. Your
primary center is your personality's control panel, quickly passing on your
reaction to another center, usually your part of center, which may then pass it
along to a third center, and so forth, as you process the experience. This may
happen so quickly that you might not be aware that you had, in this case, a
thought that set the ball rolling.
Having a primary intellectual center does not ensure that a person is actually
intelligent--one cannot assume quality control. A person could be rather
unintelligent, yet still react to things through analysis, thoughts, and so
forth--they don't have to be perceptive or complex thoughts.
other hand, when intellect is too dominant, it can lead to ideologies that
suppress compassion and fairness. Furthermore, when people know only the hungers
of their body, it can cause them to run roughshod over both reason and feeling,
their own and those of others. So it is easy to see why balancing the centers is
so valuable. One cannot be truly kind, for example, if there is not both
emotional compassion and intellectual clarity. One cannot be graceful if there
is not both physical peace and emotional equilibrium.
As you might imagine, scholars, the assimilation axis role, excel at the use of
the intellectual center, particularly in a more neutral, computer-like way, but
also in magnificent ways as they build upon their knowledge over time. Scholars
are equidistant from all the centers; they could just as easily do their
assimilating in the emotional center, but tend to choose the intellectual center
more often; therefore, they also usually have less comfort with emotions.
There are no limitations here: any soul develops as it chooses to, so there are
always exceptions to any sort of generalizations that one can make. If you are
attuned to our communication through more than just your intellectual center,
you can gain understanding in a more complete way, sensing the pictures we are
painting rather than taking the words too literally.
Q. Why are "reason" and "telepathy" considered negative
poles (traits) of the intellectual centers?
positive poles of the centers reflect what happens in them when a person is
conscious and awake; negative pole experiences are automatic and less developed.
The positive pole of the intellectual center is "thought"; real thought is
organic, fresh, spontaneous, and alive. Reason, in this context, refers to
something that is mechanical, like a computer. You can get a reasonable
calculation from a calculator, for example, but a calculator is not alive. Of
course, there's nothing wrong with reason, but being the negative pole suggests
that it is limited.
The positive pole of the higher intellectual center is "integration"--in tapping
into the truth force, you form a view of things that grasps how the whole fits
together. In telepathy, you get part of the picture through subtle intellectual
communication with others. One might use the higher intellectual center for
verbal channeling and use telepathy to bring forth words from another place, but
it does not yet suggest an overarching understanding, only the possibility of
Phil Wittmeyer is a longtime Michael student and scholar of the teachings.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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