Michael channeled by Shepherd Hoodwin
January 10, 2010, BlogTalkRadio chat
Transcribed by Gloria Constantin
Our intention is to communicate with you not just through words but through what
we sometimes call your higher centers. Every person has seven centers, or
gateways of experience, that give you information. Three are higher, or
cardinal; three are lower, or ordinal, and one is neutral. Of course, you have a
body, an intellect, and emotions, which can be pointed at your necessary mundane
experiences. These are the three lower, or concrete, centers, which are
practical expressions of the universal forces of beauty, truth, and love. Your
body or physical center is a gateway to all sorts of physical excitations; it
lets you know when you are thirsty or hungry, for example. Your intellect frames
your experiences in concepts; for instance, it lets you remember what time it is
so that you can go where you need to. Your emotions provide the content (rather
than form) of your daily experience; one of their functions is to let you know
how you and others feel about what is happening, how it is affecting you.
The neutral center is the instinctive center. It is the gateway into what is,
more or less, automatic in your life, such as your habits and breathing. For the
most part, you may be aware of your instinctive center acting, but you don't
often have much to do with it consciously.
Then there are the three higher, or abstract, centers. By higher, we do not mean
superior in value--all the centers are intrinsic to the whole. However, they are
gateways into your less earthbound experiences, even though they are part of
your human makeup. They can provide more direct experiences of beauty, truth,
and love, which are the building blocks of the universe.
The ordinal centers are sensory; they are on the front lines of the physical
plane, sensing what is there to be experienced. The cardinal centers work to
place experiences in a larger context, ultimately of the eternal. The whole
purpose of human existence is to further the eternal through specific
The higher version of the physical center is often called the moving center. You
have mundane experiences of physical movement in which, instead of having a more
localized experience in the body, such as feeling hungry, you move your whole
body. However, that is just the beginning of how the moving center can impact
your life. For each of the centers, there is a spectrum from ordinary to
extraordinary experiences, especially in the higher centers. (There is also a
spectrum from muddy to clear, refined experiences.)
In the moving center, there are ordinary experiences of, say, walking, all the
way to the exhilaration you might feel when you are dancing or moving
athletically in "the zone." This is also the center where more profound sexual
experiences can occur, although they normally start in the physical center
through the stimulation of the body. The most refined experience in the moving
center is one of exalted spiritual energy as you attune to a higher (faster)
Various terms have been used for the action-axis centers. The original pair was
sexual (ordinal) and moving (cardinal). Since "sexual" was often understood in
an overly narrow way, this channel substituted "physical" for it. Other channels
use moving (ordinal) and higher moving in order to line up the terminology with
those of the other pairs of centers. In addition, the original terms have, at
times, been reversed, with moving referring to mundane actions, and sexual, to
more exalted action experiences. Each term has its merits. The point is to know
what is being referred to.
The words we speak are themselves of the intellectual center; they are ordinary.
However, it is our intention in this series of lectures that the words help you
activate experiences in your higher centers so that you more fully comprehend
and know the true meanings of the overleaves. When you understand something only
as words, words explained by other words, they are not very useful. When the
words generate awareness in other centers, then you start to understand.
The higher or cardinal version of the intellectual center is called the higher
intellectual center. This is where you form ideas, context, and philosophies. In
the intellectual center, you might balance your checkbook; in the higher
intellectual center, you might see the patterns, not only from this month's bank
statement but from previous ones and your various other financial experiences,
and formulate them into an overarching budget. That is an ordinary higher
intellectual experience. As the energy of the center becomes more refined, there
come more subtle philosophies about life. In the most thrilling experience of
the higher intellectual center, you have revelations of truth in which you see
new meanings and importance in your life.
An ordinary experience of the higher emotional center might be crying at a movie
that portrays someone dying, helping you empathize with the suffering of others.
This not necessarily revelatory, and could even result from being manipulated by
the movie. It is a higher center experience because it is abstract; it is not
directly related to something in your own, local life, although memories of your
own grief, which are of the (ordinal) emotional center, might also be triggered.
The most refined experiences of the higher emotional center uplift you out of
the illusions of the physical plane and help you feel unconditional love, or
agape, for all things.
A sense of the eternal and infinite is the hallmark of the most exalted
experiences in all three higher centers. Your personality becomes subsumed by
your essence, the part of you that knows that all is well. Your lower centers
often have difficulty remembering that because they are on the front lines of
what can be a harsh existence.
In the Michael Teachings, we speak about balancing the centers. If one were too
much in the higher centers, there would be a lack of practicality. Such a person
might be said to be a dreamer, unable to function in daily life. However, most
people are imbalanced in the other direction--they are all too aware of their
bodily appetites and their mundane thoughts and feelings. It can be hard for
them to remember beauty, truth, and love.
"Overleaves" are a combination of personality traits that help shape your
experience of the physical plane. Everyone has all seven centers, but in terms
of the overleaves, one is your primary center, the main gateway to your
personality, and another is your secondary, or "part" of center. As a soul, you
choose them before you embark on your life task; they are part of your life
Although the soul pretty much decides before incarnating what the primary and
secondary centers will be, they don't solidify in the personality until the
second year of life, giving the soul time to change its mind if it wishes to.
For example, if it turns out that there is unexpected brain damage that will
make intellectual centering problematic, there is still time for the soul to
choose instead to be in the physical center.
Out 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.
People with emotional centering predominantly experience their reactions first
emotionally. In an intellectually centered culture, like the one in the United
States, there are many people who look down on emotional centering. However, an
intellectual reaction can be unreasonable, and an emotional reaction can be
reasonable; again, all centers can be muddy or clear. Your emotions inform you
of the content of incoming experience, as opposed to your intellect, which
informs you of the form of that experience. Of course, you need both, and they
need to work together.
Your emotional center tells you what is happening within you; your intellectual
center may then verbalize it, accurately or not. If you, as a soul, set it up to
have a lifetime working more with form, maybe words, you might (but might not)
feel it most useful to be intellectually centered. On the other hand, if you are
going to be focusing your life on the internal, the content of experience, you
might choose emotional centering. For example, if you are going to be a musician
or were planning to take care of children, emotional centering might be more
useful because it makes emotions immediately accessible. However, we do not want
to generalize too much; you do not have to have an emotional primary centering
to be in touch with your emotions, and having primary emotional centering does
not ensure that you will be accurate in discerning your emotions or those of
others. Some souls are better at emotions than intellect, or vice versa, and
some are better at action.
There are seven essence roles, or types of souls. In general, the inspiration
axis roles, server and priest, have a natural affinity for emotion. Not
surprisingly, the emotional and higher emotional centers are also on the
inspiration axis. They all have to do with the internal. Artisans and sages, on
the expression axis, resonate with the intellectual and higher intellectual
centers, respectively, but as creators and communicators, they are accustomed to
conveying outward what is within, so they also tend to have a good connection
with emotions. (This also depends on the individual's history.)
Warriors, kings, and scholars are considered solid (as opposed to fluid) roles
because they have one psychic input, making them more focused and down-to-earth.
Warriors and kings, the action axis roles, can have particular trouble with
emotions because they are farthest from them: they focus on the outer world, and
emotions are about the inner. For example, a king who is emotionally centered
might still be rather mystified by an unusual show of emotion, whereas a priest
who is not emotionally centered may have an inherent understanding of it.
Warriors and kings can be quite adaptive in their use of the intellect for
sizing up a situation and planning their strategy; however, they can be
suspicious when it is used in more subtle ways. The intellectual creativity of
artisans and sages may seem dishonest or less-than-straightforward to them.
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.
It would not be practical to choose your higher emotional center as your primary
gateway. It would not allow for living a normal human life, even though having
that center well developed is a blessing. Similarly, you would not use your
higher intellectual center as your gateway for day-to-day experience--you would
be too cut off from the mundane things that you have to deal with. It would be
redundant to have your instinctive center as your primary center because it is
already working automatically; it does not need your conscious intention to
However, you can use either your physical or moving center as your gateway,
although, with the moving center, the cardinal of the pair, you would not use
its more exalted aspects for reacting to everyday life. If you are moving
centered, you tend to react to things with a whole body response. That is useful
for people who are going to be in motion a lot, such as athletes, dancers, and
those who do physical labor. A moving-centered person would probably be
particularly coordinated, or at least that is a gift that is especially
available to her, whether or not it is developed. Such a person doesn't have
continual day-to-day experiences of the most exalted moving-centered kind.
Obviously, she would not, for example, be in constant orgasm or in a continual
runner's high--that would be impractical. Such experiences might be more
accessible, but that is not what is meant by being moving centered.
Someone who is primarily in the physical center reacts not with his whole body
but from within his body, such as having a gut reaction to his environment.
Someone physically centered may be turned on sexually more easily, and may exude
sexuality more easily to others. However, it could be something as simple as
reacting with heat or cold when something first happens.
The soul seeks a variety of experiences on the physical plane. If you are a
warrior or king soul, you already have a natural affinity for physical
experiences. If you have, in addition, a moving or physical center, you are
underlining that tendency; you are focusing more on the physical. On the other
hand, if you are a priest soul choosing one of those centers, you are seeking to
round out your experience, to be less internal and more physical.
With all the overleaves, there is a mechanism called "sliding." Sliding means
that there is a structure that allows for easily moving to another overleaf that
is connected by reason of being on the same axis. In the case of the items on
the far right-hand column of the Michael chart, the assimilation axis (which is
not divided into ordinal and cardinal), one can slide to any of the others.
That's not really applicable with the centers, since people are not centered
full-time in the instinctive center. However, if you are emotionally centered,
you can more easily slide to the higher emotional center. Therefore, your
mundane emotions can more easily become more exalted, profound, and overarching.
Crying because of an unresolved emotion might give way to a sense of loving
connection to the divine for no other reason than that you happen to open to
essence (your soul), so you are using that gateway to open yourself up more.
Someone who is intellectually centered may fairly easily stumble upon a truth
that delights and expands her. Someone in the physical center may start to move
his whole body that leads to a profound gestalt that feels liberating, such as
on the dance floor where his body seems to be moving itself; time seems to stop.
This can work in the other direction, too, such as when you have a great
intellectual realization that your (lower) intellectual center starts making
sense of, finding applications and examples.
Once your primary centering is set, it usually does not change throughout your
life. It is not a problem that your first reaction is from the same center most
of the time; it is useful for the soul to have a practiced reflex. It's only a
problem if you get stuck and your reaction doesn't flow well to your other
centers as is appropriate.
Your secondary center, or part of center, is also habitual, but less so. Let's
say that you are in the emotional part of the intellectual center. You might
primarily react intellectually 95% of the time, but go into the emotional part
of the intellectual center only 60% of the time. The rest of the time, your
thoughts might directly manifest in your body instead, or may simply stay in
your intellectual center if an emotion or action is not called for. So there is
more leeway in where you go after your primary reaction than in your primary
reaction itself. Some people are very fluid in this regard.
If you are in the emotional part of the intellectual center, your emotions
reflect your thoughts much of the time. You react intellectually, and then your
thoughts, as soon as they are formed, manifest emotions. If you're having
unpleasant emotions, deliberately changing to more positive thoughts (for
example, through affirmations or visualizations) may help your emotions feel
better. However, in a minority of instances, making your thoughts more positive
might instead directly result in feeling better physically, if you're currently
using the physical part of the intellectual center.
If you are in the physical part of the emotional center, your bodily symptoms
tend to reflect your emotions; if you improve your emotions (perhaps by
listening to beautiful music or communing with nature), you will probably feel
better physically. However, sometimes, your emotions instead directly manifest
in your thoughts, perhaps moving into your body after that, as a response to the
thoughts that formed. When all your centers are open and well developed, your
reactions will flow from your primary center to the others in whatever way is
If the part of the center becomes "trapped," it means that it tends to feed back
into the primary center in a "tape loop"--you fall into a rut. It doesn't spread
out into the other centers appropriately. This is a problem when a person is on
automatic pilot. If you are in the intellectual part of the moving center, your
thoughts form as a response to the way you are acting and moving. If you are in
your trap, that leads to more movement rather than an appropriate emotional
response. This is compulsive behavior--your body's unease leads to uneasy
thoughts, which stimulates still greater unease in your body. The key to getting
out of your trap is to do something different with your secondary center to calm
it. In this case, instead of intellectualizing about your compulsive actions,
you might distract your intellect with a crossword puzzle until you are calm,
and then engage with your emotions, which is the weak link here.
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
The emotional center has a positive pole of "sensibility," which is a
well-fleshed-out ability to feel. "Sentimentality," the negative pole, suggests
the emotions being a little purple, aggravated but not enriched. The higher
emotional center has a positive pole of "empathy," which again puts it all
together: empathy is accurately knowing in yourself the whole of an experience
outside yourself. Empathy, incidentally, is not the same thing as sympathy.
Sympathy is more like the negative pole, "intuition." Sympathy resonates with
just a part of an experience outside yourself--the pain--without necessarily
understanding it, although caring. Similarly, intuition, as we are using it
here, receives part of an experience without grokking the whole.
Words like "intuition" and "sympathy" are defined and used differently by
different people. We are, obviously, under the necessity of using words, and
words are limited, so we suggest that you receive these words with your whole
being, with all your centers, so that you can understand them in this context,
as we are defining them, rather than using the words to form limited concepts.
The positive pole of the physical center is "amoral"--not "immoral" but amoral.
It doesn't sound very positive if you think of it as a person who doesn't have
any morals, but what it means here is a full-bodied physical experience without
censoring. You fully feel the aliveness of your body without constriction. The
negative pole is "erotic," which tends to conjure just the sexual, but we mean
it as more than that. Erotic simply suggests that the body has been stimulated,
which is fine, but it isn't the complete experience of even just the body; it's
like scratching an itch. Again, there's nothing wrong with it, but it is not
what the fully alive person experiences in the body.
The positive pole of the moving center has been called "enduring"; it is
"energetic" in the negative pole. These terms are a little problematic also, but
perhaps you have a sense of the endurance of the moving center when you are in
the zone and feel like you could go forever, whereas just being energetic might
not last, mean anything, or go anywhere.
The instinctive center has a positive pole of "atomic." You might think of that
as taking you all the way to the Source, to the place where physicality emerges
from the Tao; the atom is source of all form. In its most healthy alignment, the
instinctive center is in the flow of everything, whereas "anatomic," the
negative pole, suggests more mechanical experiences of the anatomy that's trying
to keep itself alive.
Balancing the centers is a different experience for different individuals. If
you are intellectually centered, it is normal for you to be more oriented toward
intellect, and this is also generally true if you are a sage or scholar,
especially, even if you are not intellectually centered--you tend to use your
mind a lot. So balancing your centers does not mean you have to have an equal
experience of each. It does mean, however, that you have an equal availability
of each so that you can use whichever center is appropriate in the moment. It is
common for people to start relying too much on whatever comes easiest to them.
An example is the stereotypical nerd who is great with numbers and other
intellectual endeavors, but who is totally nonathletic; he may feel embarrassed
by his inability to do things with his body, and retreat even further into his
intellect to the point where he has very little physical capability.
When the centers are balanced, the person feels good; when the centers are
unbalanced, the person doesn't feel good. A nerd doesn't have to become a great
athlete to be balanced, but he might feel better if he has some comfort with
doing physical things. Therefore, it might be a good choice for him to
deliberately develop his body a little more, even if it's not easy, and that
could actually improve his intellect further.
Your third area of centering is weakest, and that is what you most need to work
on in order to be balanced. If you are in the intellectual part of the emotional
center, your weakest area is your body; you might want to work on your sexuality
or athleticism. Someone in the intellectual part of the moving center is likely
to be strong with action, and not bad with her intellect; she may want to work
on her emotions, which are her weak link. Since emotions are, by definition,
formless, a large number of people, even some with an emotional center,
misunderstand their emotions--they don't really know what they are feeling.
Those whose weak link is the intellect don't tend to stop to think; they may not
like analyzing, or don't want to let facts get in the way of their feelings or
plans of action. If that's the case, that is what they most need to do in order
to be balanced.
What does it take for you to be balanced? If you are highly intellectual and
don't do physical exercise, you could benefit greatly from just, say, three
hours a week of it; even though that is far less time than you spend focusing on
intellectual things, it could go a long way toward balancing you. When you
balance your centers, you are firing on all cylinders; everything works better
in your life.
Developing your intellect is not just about improving your memory or your
ability to do math problems; it also has more subtle manifestations. A
well-honed intellect can help you see what is true, just as a well-honed
emotional center can help you know what is loving and not just what you happen
to be feeling at the moment. And well-honed physical and moving centers can help
you have health and beauty; they can help you appreciate the aliveness that
permeates all creation.
Let's say you have a brilliant intellect, but you are cut off from your body.
Eventually, this impacts your ability to know truth because your direct
experience of beauty is diminished. If you build up your body centers, your
experience of truth can also increase. Truth cannot be separated from beauty or
love, so this is a good reason for balancing the centers. Of course, the health
of your body also affects your brain's function.
Q. Do younger souls choose moving or physical centering
Yes, but it also depends on the culture; for instance, younger souls in the
United States choose intellectual centering more often. However, generally that
is the case because when you are an incarnating soul, you have to know about the
physical side of things before you can know about how the intellectual and
emotional sides manifest in the physical.
There may not be much point to choosing intellectual centering if you are in a
culture where there is little intellectual activity. If you are living in a
survival-oriented tribe, for example, that focuses on the moving center, you
will not fit in very well if you are intellectually centered, although that
could be by design. You might choose to be intellectually centered in that
situation so that you can become the tribe's herbalist, studying and teaching
the medicine of the tribe. If you have a physical disability and cannot move
very well, then perhaps the tribe will make an intellectual place for you.
Emotional centering could work well in a moving-centered tribe, too, being
useful for making music and dancing. Dance is a moving-centered activity, but
when an emotionally centered person dances, it is an expression of his emotions;
this can be powerful in building community.
Pay attention to your centers. See if they are balanced, or if you have an urge
to balance them more. Maybe you are feeling drawn to listen to emotional music,
or to work your mind. Maybe you are feeling that you want to express yourself
physically, that you want to dance or otherwise move your body. Notice what
sounds sweet to you; that is what will balance your centers.
Q. I am a healer, and am in the emotional center, but
would like to become more intellectual. Would I be able to do this?
can do anything. You are not limited by anything on your Michael chart. You have
an intellect and a body in addition to your emotions. As you exercise your
intellect, its capacity grows. Your centering is how you react to stimuli first
and second, but all your centers are available to be used and developed.
However, as a healer in the emotional center, your strong suit is your empathy
as you slide into your higher emotional center. Often, grasping the emotions of
a person's illness gives clues for healing. You would probably not take a purely
intellectual approach, such as simply going down a list of herbs, but would feel
into the whole situation; your intuition would guide you. However, increased
knowledge, such as of herbs, could help you target your intuition better. All
the centers can complement one another.
Q. Lately, I've tried to stay balanced, but because of
stress I've been feeling I cannot. I'm wondering how I can keep my
balance in the midst of extreme stress.
of the keys is to go into neutral gear, meaning to step out of your normal
situation in any way that you can. A great way to do that is to get out in
nature; for example, taking a walk.
Another technique, if you are struggling and are stuck in any of your centers,
is to do something that you don't normally do. Let's say you're a person who is
not using your intellectual center very much, but you enjoy museums and sense
that visiting one would be satisfying. Just getting out of your routine,
whatever that is, is useful. If you don't feel that you have time for that, then
try to do what you are doing in a different way. It could be as simple as taking
a different route to work or shopping. Wake yourself up out of the trance of
This is a very challenging planet. You have, particularly in the current era, a
great deal of stimulation continually being thrown at you. Most of you don't
even get away from it much when you sleep. In part, this is because the
airwaves, both physical and energetic, are filled with all sorts of stimuli.
They can come at you without your even knowing that it's there.
You might particularly notice this after a collective trauma. 9/11 was an
intense example of that, but there have been many others. If there is something
negative in the news and a lot of people are reacting to it, it can generate an
energy that you react to. If you are intellectually centered, you might find
your mind racing, but that doesn't mean that you won't also feel emotions as a
result of these energies, particularly if a lot of other people are feeling very
emotionally stimulated. You have your own seven centers, but you are also part
of collectives of increasing size, such as communities and cultural groups, that
also have seven centers. So even if you are intellectually centered, you may be
part of a nation that has a strong tendency toward the emotional center. In any
case, you have emotions, and if there are strong emotions around, your emotions
If you go to a hospital, your body is likely to feel the compromised experiences
that pervade the hospital. This is especially true if you are the more sensitive
type. Some people tend to contract their auras tightly around them so that they
don't pick up much from other people, although they still pick up some things
without knowing it. If you are a highly sensitive type, you may pick up a lot of
things. If you have a loved one who is ill, you might take on some of her
symptoms out of an unconscious desire to help her. Some husbands even manifest
their wife's symptoms of pregnancy.
A poet said that "No man is an island." You cannot entirely escape picking up on
the energies of others, whether they manifest as emotions, thoughts, or
sensations. What you can do is learn to discern when what you are feeling is not
from your own personal life. That simple recognition may calm your reacting
"Mob mentality" refers to how quickly a group of people can come to share the
same exaggerated emotions, and how the energies of the moving center can take
over, such as a group of bigots who become riled up and start moving as one to
lynch someone. If your centers are balanced and well-developed, you have a lot
of the defenses against inappropriate group reactions: you can analyze whether
something is reasonable, feel whether it's loving, and sense whether it has
beauty and goodness in it. And you can cross-reference these reactions, so that
if something doesn't seem intelligent, but your emotions are strong, you can use
the balance of your centers to check one another. If there is not balance, one
center is more able to go to an extreme. Your emotions can go off the deep end,
or you can rationalize something that seems logical but is actually prejudiced,
or you can act out your anger without checking it.
Many acts of violence are committed when a person is under the influence of
alcohol or drugs. These substances suppress the intellect's ability to be a
moderating influence. They let emotions or anger take over in ways that can
create karma or be otherwise harmful. Anger is not so much an emotion as a
reaction in the body to emotions; it is an uncomfortable energy in the physical
center that wants to do something in an unrefined way in order to be released as
quickly as possible. A more mature approach is to use it as a catalyst for
growth, gaining greater understanding.
On the 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.
In the centers, we see, perhaps more than anywhere else, how everything fits
together, how you cannot have one thing without the other, how one quality of
creation is not superior to any other, but each is an important part of the
whole. In the children's story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," perhaps
Goldilocks represents the personality, and the three bears represent the body,
emotions, and intellect. Goldilocks learns that the key to life is finding not
too hot, not too cold, but just right; not too much, not too little, but a good
balance. However, finding balance in life can be very challenging.
We mention that one tends to rely on one's strong suit. As you ignore the things
that you are not good at, they become weaker and weaker. After a while, they may
atrophy and be hard to get back. Perhaps you have made a New Year's resolution
to exercise more. This is one of the first times in history when such
resolutions would even have been needed, because most people used to get plenty
of exercise in the course of surviving, unless they were unusually rich and
privileged. It's an interesting time to be alive, when you have to actually make
a choice to move your body. In the past, the problem was more often moving it so
much that you exhausted yourself.
It is also unusual for so many to suffer from intellectual overstimulation. A
few hundred years ago, there were hardly any books around. There might have been
a little bit of intellectual stimulation at your house of worship, but that was
The simple life tends to have a pretty well-developed emotional component,
particularly for those who have families--there is usually emotional content by
reason of having children around, if nothing else, and also when loved ones die.
So the circle of life tends to offer some emotional stimulation, but now, with
hyper-stimulation of all kinds, people are feeling overwhelmed and many try not
to feel. So this is a good time to focus on what inspires you to feel love, as
well as to appreciate beauty and to know truth. Simply having the intention to
balance your centers will help you do so.
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