Each process of life, every act, whether it is physical or mental, requires energy. Therefore, as students of spirituality, we must understand the right use of energy.
We have four lower centers, each working with energy. Each center gives us the capacity to enjoy life in different ways.
The intellectual center allows us to enjoy life through the use of thought. It is the rational side, the logical part of the brain. It gives us the capacity to enjoy logic and philosophy, to use critical and analytical thinking.
We also enjoy the world through the emotional center, the art of relating. This moves us to seek out and give each other emotional nourishment. It is expressed in the beauty of feelings a mother has for her child, a lover for the beloved, and a son for his parents. When we participate in this behavior, it gives us a feeling of security. It is the feeling we get when we connect with someone on a deeper level. There is also the pleasure of the feeling of the self–just the awareness of ‘I am’. The emotional center includes the aesthetic side of life as well, where we enjoy the arts–from painting and music to the plays and literature of the great artists.
Through the instinctive center, we enjoy all that is connected with the body. The wearing of fashionable clothes, perfumes, going to a restaurant and enjoying fine food—all of these fall into this realm. It includes all the qualities of the senses as well–to touch, to see the variety and beauty of life, to enjoy the smells and tastes.
Through the moving center, we enjoy travel. We feel all the small muscles that relax and tense when we perform certain actions like driving a car.
It is through these five centers that we extract enjoyment from life every moment of every day.
For these centers to work, not only do they need energy, each one needs energy of a different density or level of vibration or speed. Each center has two minor accumulators (like storage tanks) that amass and supply it with the particular kind of energy it requires.
Suppose you are studying for an exam. The intellectual center is drawing energy from one of these accumulators. When the accumulator empties, we feel tired and want to take a break.
In the midst of demanding mental work, it usually takes forty-five minutes for the accumulator in the intellectual center to empty. This is why classes during our school days usually last for forty-five minutes.
If we take a break for a few minutes when one accumulator empties, the center connects to the other accumulator, and we feel a sudden flow of energy. We can then continue with the demanding mental work for another forty-five minutes.
However, we must remember that it takes time for the accumulators to replenish themselves. After the second accumulator is depleted of energy, if we reconnect to the first one when it has only half-filled, it will be depleted in just twenty minutes.
So, when both accumulators are empty, we must stop working. If we continue with hard intellectual work, we permanently damage the accumulators and the center, leading to disease in the body. We may get a headache, feel palpitations, or our nerves may feel so stretched that we cannot remain at peace or even sleep.
Similarly, if we go trekking, the accumulator in the moving center depletes after a while. We then feel tired and need some rest to allow the center to connect to the second accumulator. But if we keep trekking after both accumulators are empty, then we are destroying our system.
All the small accumulators of the four centers are connected to one large accumulator that fills them up with energy when they’re empty. This large accumulator is also called the sex center. This large accumulator has a nearly endless supply of energy. In higher yoga practices, certain pranayamas or mudras enable the small accumulators to swiftly fill up with energy from the large accumulator.
When both accumulators of a center are totally depleted of energy, it leads to a state where that center just stops working. That is to say, it becomes very difficult to experience through that center. I have experienced this, many times when I visit an art gallery. For about two hours I can see and appreciate the paintings. But thereafter, nothing seems to register, and I have to take a long coffee break.
Of course, we must also understand that we must use the energy of the centers every day. Otherwise, if left unused, the energy becomes stale and begins to damage the center and the body. Energy has to flow for it to remain fresh.
Suppose someone comes home very tired after a long day at the office. He says he is too tired to do anything. Which means his intellectual center has been depleted, likely from doing mental work throughout the day. But he feels he is tired overall and says so. The reason for this is that since his intellectual center does not have much energy, it cannot work at an optimum level, this keeps the person from being able to see which center needs replenishment. So, he stays home and watches TV, hoping to ‘switch off’ for a while in order to feel better. This activity draws energy from the emotional center. However, the accumulators of the moving center are still full. Unless he goes for a walk or engages in exercise, the moving energy will not flow, and it will begin to atrophy. All of this leads to ‘wrong’ working of the centers.
At the moment, this is the case with most of the world. To remedy this, when we are tired, we must perceive in which center we are tired and act from the other centers. To begin with, instead of saying ‘I am tired’, we can say, ‘I am only mentally tired’ or ‘I am mentally tired but since I haven’t moved much, I should take a walk’. You must use your own judgement.
As mentioned earlier, each center works with energy of a different density or level of vibration or speed. However, since our ‘thinking’ is a very mechanical form of thinking, our intellectual center uses a very gross energy compared to the moving center. However, if we can open higher parts of our intellectual center and learn to think in a different way–in fact, completely opposite to how we think at present–we will then be able to tap into an energy much finer than the gross energy we use in our everyday thinking.
The emotional center works with an energy that is much faster than the intellectual center. Every moment our emotional center is saying ‘I like it’ or ‘I dislike it’. However, it happens so fast that by the time our consciousness becomes aware of it, it has already happened. If, through conscious effort, we can bring about a pause between the reception of life and the labeling of “like” and “dislike” by the emotional center, our emotional center will then be able to tap into higher, finer, subtle energy, taking us to a very high level of consciousness. But this takes effort to be consciously attained.
Under normal circumstances, the sex center works with the finest of all the energies. But mechanical man wastes this fine energy of the sex center in negative emotions, unnecessary fidgeting, worry, and continuous mind chatter. We have to learn to hold this fine energy as well.
In a future article, we will go even deeper into the working of energy and how to use energy to awaken from the dream of life.