In the previous labor, we related hay harvest to work on our physical bodies. May — the month of our symbolic calendar in which hay grew spontaneously — was dedicated to observing the instinctive center. June — the month in which it must be harvested, bundled, and preserved — will be dedicated to observing the moving center.

The moving center governs movement. Its mechanical part enables us a wide range of automatic and imitative actions crucial to daily functioning, such as walking, picking up objects, opening and closing doors, handling basic tools and utensils, and navigating spatially without bumping into people — to name a few. Its emotional part experiences the joy of movement as in sports, driving, gaming, etc., as well as the frustration at being slowed down. Its intellectual part is able to visualize abstractions as in spatial planning and invention. “The moving center has many useful and useless functions,” says Peter Ouspensky. “We think that the intellectual and emotional side is more important, but actually most of our life is controlled by instinctive and moving minds. ”

The moving center plays a big role in the energy leaks discussed during the March labor. It eliminates energy through unnecessary haste, unnecessary talk, internal humming, and many other superfluous movements, physical or abstract. Through such unintentional movement, it also sustains a psychological momentum that inhibits consciousness, because it is impossible to Be while submerged in a current of unconscious action. Therefore, the labor of June invites us to observe unconscious actions, eliminate those that are unnecessary, and find creative ways to perform those that are necessary more consciously.

If habits are an unconscious collaboration between centers, then the labor of June is also an opportunity to examine the role of our moving center in the predominant habit of daydreaming. “The inclination to daydream is due partly to the laziness of the thinking center,” explains George Gurdjieff, “and partly to the tendency of the emotional and the moving centers to repeat to themselves, to keep alive or to recreate experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant, that have been previously lived through or 'imagined.'” That the moving center plays a role in daydreaming also means that daydreaming can be stopped through the moving center. The halting of unnecessary movement or the slowing down of haste in themselves are often sufficient to stopping daydreaming. In other words, by pushing the break on our chariot, we force the horses and driver into alignment. This is one potential harvest of our moving center.

What else can we harvest from this center? Share your observations in the commentary below.

Responses

  1. Myrto

    I am watching the relation of my moving center with the factor of time.
    Yesterday, at the moment I got home after an evening walk, my husband had already started dining in the kitchen. Out of an almost automatic emotion, I thought that I would like to catch him and dine together. Immediately my moving center submitted to the mandate of rushing to get prepared.
    My movements became so fast and nervous, that I saw myself in a stressed state, wondering why I am putting myself in this condition.
    I changed the pace of my movements and decided that it’s not really so important to catch my husband.
    It feels like my moving center, submits automatically to some time adaptation goal, and blindly follows the goal, without even caring if such rush would put myself in the danger of an accident.
    Pulling back the reins of the chariot, and slowing down, helped to control the reins of the original (intellectual?) process of time goal setting.

    1. Asaf Braverman Post author

      This is a useful observation of how the emotional part of the moving center introduces identification. If you think about it, almost any form of haste is a manifestation of this, where our moving center sets a “time adaptation goal” (as you call it) and promotes the illusion that we must attain that goal at all costs.

  2. Maria

    During the last week I spent a lot of time in different airports, mostly standing in many waiting lines. I observed myself very inpatient, trying to find the best way to go through, with negative emotions if the neighbours-line was faster, etc. The following thought slowed me down: if I reduce this waiting time now and find a way to be the first in a plane, I must wait there longer. In any case we all will arrive at the same time!
    From this point it was easier to be patient. But yesterday in the Sankt-Petersburg-Airport I have noticed that my Moving Center compensated this patience with many small invisible movements I never observed. Changing the pose, crossing feet, drumming with fingers, and more. I tryed to illuminate them, but it was not possible for the first time.
    I never thought it is so difficult just to stay and wait a couple of minutes without any movements!

    1. Asaf Braverman Post author

      Thanks for sharing this, Maria. Impatience is a negative emotion generated by the emotional part of the moving center (we spoke about this in person during the Jerusalem gathering). Your finding a ‘thought’ to help you slow down is a very good example of the driver (the mind) pulling the reins on one of the horses (emotional part of the moving center):

      “Work on oneself must begin with the driver. The driver is the mind.” – George Gurdjieff (In Search of the Miraculous)

  3. Goran Djukleski

    My body has a deep rooted habit of holding some object in the hand and touching it with the fingers. I observed that this habit affects the emotional center in a way that it is comforting for it, and the intellectual center is numbed. It takes a big effort for me to stop this habit and do nothing with my fingers, and when I do stop it, immediately I am more present.

  4. Jim Vander Noot

    A few times last week I worked on resisting the automatic movements of the morning to pull out my phone and start scrolling through distractions. It was quite difficult, and the impulse arose every time I was not otherwise moving. Eventually, a legitimate reason to use the phone (bringing up the local map to plan our sightseeing route), and the machine reacted with a sense of relief. Apparently several “I’s” had been satisfied.

  5. Jack

    Yesterday, I spent several hours watching a PGA golf tournament on TV. I was pulling for Tiger Woods to do well. I observed my moving center tensing up my body muscles when he was putting as if it could control the putt. It would also make quick movements, jerks, when he would make a bad shot. I started making conscious efforts to relax my shoulders and arms and breathe slowly while watching his shots, telling myself to just enjoy the game and quit trying to control it. At first I was partially successful but with repeated effort more successful in controlling my moving center. When my directed attention faded I found the attempt to control the event returning. I have observed this in myself in other areas of my life where I want to control others or an event.

  6. Evgueni Z

    I noticed a while ago that going for a walk calms down the internal chatter of my imagination. After about 20 minutes of brisk walking, my head “clears up”. I was puzzled by this phenomenon, because back then I would expect moving center to produce some monotonous mechanical effect in other centers. Now, when Asaf highlighted that significant role the moving center plays in daydreaming, I have a better understanding of my moving center and its parts.

    1. Lazaros Lazarakis

      Greek ancient philosopher Epictitos had written about the phenomenon you mention above that:When you walk,the thoughts (imagination of the intellectual center) stay behind and the spirit (presence) arises.Also this is one of my favourites exercises for provoking inner peace and calmness.

  7. Jack

    About 2 weeks ago my lower self, specifically it’s vanity, had a strong reaction to a statement from a family member. Internally it was saying how could they say that after all I have done for her. For almost 48 hours it kept coming back up internally. I did not want to have those thoughts or feelings but I kept struggling with the snake. I did not realize until thinking about our current exercise, especially daydreaming connected to the emotional center,and reading Asaf’s statement ,”partly to the tendency of the emotional and the moving centers to repeat to themselves, to keep alive or to recreate experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant, that have been previously lived through or ‘imagined”, that I had experienced this. I was trying to think if I ever experienced this and then it flashed into my mind what I stated above. That was my emotional part of my moving center replaying the earlier event and even adding new script to the play. I had thought earlier it was just negative emotions. I now understand a little better the emotional part of the moving center.

  8. Leonardo Greco

    Overcoming the rapids

    The exercise was to force ourselves to check the phone only in a sitting position.The idea that it was only a matter of interrupting a mechanical gesture similar to a Pavlovian stimulus seemed immediately an illusion. As much as thinking that it was an easy labour.
    The many times you catch yourself in failing the exercise, holding the phone while in a position other than sitting and always busy doing something else, even it’s simply walking, you immediately understand that “mechanicality” does not capture all the “I”’s that crowd around us in a blink of an eye.
    There is the mechanical, Pavlovian “I” who takes advantage of the moment of absence of self-remembering to activate the body by taking the phone, entering the password, entering the messaging app, finding ourselves with eyes on the messages in a second.
    In addition to this jack-of-spades-related-“I”, another “I” certainly appears, linked to the pleasure and enjoyment that we get from this movement: with the phone in our hand, me (“I”) so busy, me (“I”) so connected, me (“I”) so social, me (“I”) so accepted by others . Vanity me (“I”).
    It seems like we are in the reign of the Queen of Spades.
    We are so sure about our “multitasking” ability – not reasoned, but taken for granted almost as an axiom – which is actually difficult when one of the actions is acquired and becomes mechanical (driving or walking while reading messages on the phone), it becomes impossible when both actions would involve the Kings of our centers (talking to someone while reading the messages on the phone, for example)
    Is there an intellectual overestimation by the King of Spades in this, maybe?

    We resist to all these “I”’s who crowd in that single second when we gain awareness of it, creating the friction of the Milky Ocean.

    And at a certain moment it happened: I found myself beyond the rapids. For a short period of time the distance between me and the phone, the messages, the “social” life has increased to the point of losing that sense of urgency that dominated me, which triggered the mechanism. It has not increased so much to lose sight of the device, it is always there and its function is not denied. But I dominate it, not vice versa.
    I was lucky enough to exercise on this and another mechanical behavior in the same week, and I had the same experience with both. For a short time, then I fell again. But I peeked at least the Shadow of the Light …