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.
The instinctive center is responsible for preserving our physical body, both on a day-to-day basis and on the scale of our lifetime. On a day-to-day basis, it ensures we eat, drink, breathe, rest, and so forth, to maintain our body’s proper functioning. On this scale, its activity can be observed by photographing ‘I’s of hunger, thirst, fatigue, vigor, etc. However, if these ‘I’s are not promptly appeased, they soon affect the rest of our psychology by generating moodiness, frustration, impatience, etc. These indirect consequences of our instinctive center are more subtle and difficult to observe. Subtlest of all is our instinctive center’s broader sense of preservation by monitoring our energy expenditure, calculating with whom it might be beneficial to associate, and in general, determining how to go about our lives from a survival point of view. Here, it readily encroaches upon the jurisdiction of all the other centers, prompting Ouspensky to conclude that the instinctive center is the “mind behind all the work of the organism, a mind quite different from the intellectual mind.”
“Generally speaking, we miss the opportunity of making small efforts,” says Peter Ouspensky. “We disregard them, do not consider them important enough, Yet we can increase our capacity for making efforts only by making these small efforts which we disregard.” By this token, the April labor invites us to expand the discipline we established during March, into other patches of time that comprise our day. These will be patches of unassuming moments, moments of routine, of transitioning from one chapter of our day into another, moments we might normally discard as unimportant. But the farmer’s acreage is limited and so is our time. We must prudently cultivate each corner of our being in order to change our level of being. “Events of trifling appearance are often pregnant with high importance,” said Sophocles; “The prudent man neglects no circumstance.”