Updated: Sep 20
THE THREE CENTERS OF KNOWING
Many thoughts and feelings can become ingrained within us that are not true concerning us and the world.
Sorting through the data is important.
That is the purpose of our Being Centers.
If our Knowing Centers, especially The Mind, are too dominant, they can darken and disconnection us from our deeper identity as founded in our Being Centers. "I think therefore I am," is not a good foundation for identity or truth. The rise of mental health issues is evidence of that. "I am therefore I think" is a much better statement.
The more we can detangle and distinguish our Knowing Centers, from each other and from our Being Centers, the more balanced we will be. It's important to know what is coming from where. Heart data, Mind data, and Body data are all different, telling us different things, and should be interpreted and filtered accordingly. When each of our Knowing Centers can operation within their proper space and function, we can find greater balance in our whole person.
THE MIND: The Rational Knowing Center
The function of the MIND KNOWING CENTER is problem solving.
The Mind is the most abstract center, the most disconnected from concrete reality. The Mind has the most ability to go into the past or future, to imagine and create things outside of, and sometimes contrary to reality. We often think of our Mind as the most grounded and clear, the most able to pierce through to truth and reality. This is not always true, especially when the Mind dominants our other five parts. When the mind is over-dominant, our other parts can shrink and become more dormant.
The Mind is good at creating theories around reality. It is very creative, and able to lead to many good truths, when focused properly. When the mind is the most open to a wide variety of experiences through all Six Centers, it can form good ideas about reality, which can lead to good discoveries. The Mind has its own form of intuition and feelings. In connection with the other Centers, it can come to many good conclusions about the world in connection to others and God.
THE HEART: The Feeling/Connection Knowing Center
The function of the HEART KNOWING CENTER is connection through empathy.
The Heart Center is very intuitive. It can follow deeper intimations towards truths which don't make sense to the rational Mind Center. But it also needs to be connected and balanced by all our other parts. The Heart Center can chase feelings for the sake of feelings, and end up stuck in the murky world of interior darkness, lost and overwhelmed. Depression, anxiety, anger, apathy, disillusionment, and the like can create great dysfunction when the Heart Center is too dominant, and not pursuing its emotive function with measure and balance.
The Heart Center brings great wisdom, especially concerning community and relational connection. The Heart Center knows how to make people a priority, and takes care to give the proper space to others feelings, thoughts, and bodies.
The Heart Center brings color and flavor to our lives.
From the Heart Center comes poetry, music, art, and stories. The Heart Center knows how to dance, feel the moment and suck the marrow out of life. It knows how to stop and savor the goodness of life, and leads us to balance concerning our darker desires for ego-affirmation and control. The Heart Center balances the Mind's need for dominance, and the Bodies need for protection. Without the Heart Center all can become function and survival.
THE BODY: The Physical Knowing Center
The Body Knowing Center is the most grounded in reality and the present.
Of the three Knowing Centers, the Body is the most concrete. It is grounded in present, material reality. But it can be the most consumed with survival, and can thus easily feed into the Minds desire for control and dominance. The Body Center can fall to either side of the spectrum, towards the Heart's desire for community or the Minds desire to isolate and insulate for the sake of control.
Like the Heart Center, it also craves connection and community. It delights in the pleasure and joy of experiencing the world and other people. The Body Center forces us to reckon with the reality of our connectedness to the earth and other humans. It knows, intuitively so, that we are connected, and that the good of the one does not outweigh the good of the whole. Because the Mind is so abstract, when it is over-dominant, it can lead the Body into great fear and separatism. But so too can the Body and Heart help lead the Mind back out. The Body is good at reacting in the moment to the moment, but not at balancing momentary actions with long term consequences. The Body needs a proper attachment to the other five centers in order to be well balanced and healthy.
THE THREE BEING CENTERS
We are grounded, or meant to be, through our Three Being Centers. The proper order of all our parts is Spirit leading Soul leading Flesh, and then Mind, Heart, Body, filtering through the Soul to the Spirit. We are meant to process and understand everything in light of our Spirit Center, because that is the part that connects our whole person to God. And it is God, through the Holy Spirit, who alone can guide and give meaning to our lives. The goal and purpose of every human being is to find their being in the being of God, spirit to Spirit. We are most human when we are closest to God.
THE SOUL: The Conscious Being Center
The Soul Being Center is like our Mind Knowing Center, only with a higher purpose and function. The Soul is the true center of our personhood. It connects all the other parts to each other. As the Soul rises and expands, it gives us the ability to have the proper space and connection between all the parts. It is the conscious Being Center, but it's way of "thinking" is in conjunction with God.
The Jewish idea of the soul was as a third part created when God breathed life into mortal flesh. It is the bridge, not only between our Flesh and Spirit, but between the Being and Knowing Centers. The Soul rises as the Mind Center learns to be quiet. To get in touch with our soul, we must let go of our own desire for dominance in our personhood and begin to reach back towards God. The first step in that process brings us back to our Soul. But the next step brings us back to our Spirit, through our Soul.
THE SPIRIT: The God-connection Being Center
Spiritual reality precedes and supersedes Physical reality. This is why our Spirit is our highest part, and meant to lead all the other parts. Our Spirit is eternal and indestructible. The more we connect with our Spirit, the more we step into the reality of true life and thriving, of life without the sting and shadow of death. Just as our Heart Knowing Center's function is connection, so too our Spirit Being Center. But the Spirit leads us to a higher connection to God, and through God to all things as they should be.
Thought our Spirit Center is the most ethereal and intangible, it is still our most grounding and important. What we easily see is the small. What we struggle to grasp is the big. It's easy to see ourselves and the immediate surroundings of our little world. Our Spirit helps us connect to the bigness of life and the biggest arena. When we walk with God, we see not only the largeness of the entire cosmos moving in harmony under one will, but even the smallness of our purpose and identity within the larger plan of God's will for us. We will naturally see ourselves as too big when we see the world too small. Our Spirit Center opens us up to the true reality of all things connected by the Life and Will of God.
THE FLESH: The Will Being Center
The idea of The Flesh represents our own strength and ability. The Flesh is not synonymous with our physical bodies and the physical world, but derives its energy from physical reality in separation from the Spiritual.
All we see in the physical is cause and effect. What we do matters, and who we are is what we do. Our will to move through the world dominates this reality. In this paradigm, the whole world is moving under the will of individuals. But when it comes to God, our will is powerless, and only useful for the opposite of what we've trained it for in separation from God.
In spiritual reality our will cannot dominate. We cannot will our way to God, or will against the spiritual forces and principalities of darkness in the heavenly realms. God created us with a will, but not with the ability to will apart from Him. God created us to live in harmony with Him, our will subservient to His. Our will does not work independently. To fall out of the direction of God's will is to come, not under the control of our will, but under the guidance of the will of Satan and his purpose for the world.
The essence of The Flesh is simply our own will. The dysfunction of The Flesh is independence from the will of God. The proper functioning of The Flesh is our will tethered to the will of God.
Integration: a wholistic approach to personhood
Life is a bold tapestry of many colors. It is meant to be lived in the wonder and beauty of our whole person fully integrated in ourselves, and in the world. When we are fully alive, we will experience a full life. To be fully alive is to have all our parts working properly and integrated fully.
So often one or more parts can dominate, and others can shrink back.
Some people can tend to more in their heads, others more emotive, and others more embodied. Some can seem to be more worldly, others more spiritual. But the goal is to grow to the point of having all our parts fully engaged in every moment, so that we can pull from any part as needed. Some moments may require more heart, and less mind. Others may be better enjoyed from the body center. Having all our parts fully engaged, integrated, and available leads to a more beautiful and balanced life. And that is the goal.
God created us to enjoy life in the world in community with Him and others.