This teaching divides our thoughts, emotions, movements and sensations into four sharply defined groups, each of which is controlled by a separate mind or “center.” In this tutorial, we will explore these four centers, their location in the Micro-cosmos, their peculiarities and their speed of action. We will superimpose these centers onto an image of the Last Judgement as portrayed in a Russian icon, to see their relation to our aim to “Be,” and understand how the Physical Body relates to the Astral Body. And we will use our new knowledge of our Micro-cosmos to observe the many “I” more intelligently, separating them from real “I” by assigning them to each of the Four Lower Centers.


  1. Maurice Nicoll

    We have to observe ourselves aright, from a definite starting-point, in a definite direction. First, that we are not one, but many. We are a thinking man; an emotional man; a moving man; an instinctive man who feels hungry, thirsty, hot or cold, well or ill.All these are separately controlled by what the Work calls
    Intellectual centre controls our thinking, and emotional centre controls what emotions we feel; moving centre controls all the movements of the body, and instinctive centre looks after all the inner workings of the body, such as the digestion of food, the circulation of the blood, breathing, and sensation.

  2. Gwynne Mayer

    Excellent connection to all four centers and especially speaking of the ‘wastes’. I notice when I ‘react’ rather than simple sense/observe my inner state, that I lose the observation and simply become one more small ‘i’…..interesting.

  3. Dean Whittingham

    Asaf brought it to attention in previous workshops and tutorials two aspects of the emotional center which I did not know before…

    a. that there is always an emotion present
    b. that boredom itself is an emotion

    I was very surprised by this because I do struggle with boredom a lot, but I never saw it as an emotion, and I still struggle to see it as one. However, accepting this on faith for the time being I decided that if boredom is an emotion, then I must have some expectation regarding life itself which when not met is culminating in boredom.

    I still do not know what this is yet, however yesterday morning I experienced something I have rarely experienced before. I was eating breakfast with an aim to eat slowly and observe the tastes and sensations, and then I included observing the sounds of the birds out the back, and then I decided to feel gratitude for this meal – at this point it seems is when all of a sudden many more sounds became observable from all directions, I could not only hear the birds but the traffic from out the front, and all these extra sounds were much louder or clearer so to speak – I felt elevated for a few seconds, and although it did not last, I surely did remember it.

    Later on in the day whilst driving (which is an extremely boring job at various times), I reapplied this sense or feeling of gratitude a couple of times when I remembered to do so, and it was aimed at nothing more than a gratitude for having the means to be able to sense, observe, learn, verify and understand – or put another way, a gratitude for the fact that there exists the ability to learn and grow.

    I cannot verify boredom as an emotion from this experience, nor the fact that emotions are always present (although intellectually this has intrigued me) but what I can verify is that even if I am unable to determine what any emotion is at any given time, there is always present the ability to invoke an emotion of gratitude, which from these recent experiences seems to trump all other lower emotions

    1. John F. Walz

      Hello Dean, great observation, and yes, Gratitude is a great antidote for Boredom.
      I experience boredom as a negative judgement on the moment.
      It seems to me, as I observe it in myself, that it is from an aspect of Vanity that expects to be entertained or attended to by others constantly.
      When I bring gratitude to the moment, any moment, it counteracts the boredom, creates the right friction to energize my efforts at rising above it to Self Remembering. Then, a bowl of plain rice can be a feast of Presence.

  4. Myrto

    In many situations, it seems there is a pattern in the way my moving center reacts mechanically. An external event, triggers a subconscious emotion, which in turn, at the speed of light, triggers an almost automatic movement. Because of this high speed, there is not awareness of the interim emotion. On the surface, it seems as if the external event has been the direct trigger of the automatic movement.
    Example: My job, has a constant flow of information, tasks and issues I have to take up. They come to my attention, by emails, phone calls and people stepping in my office. Though I start my day with the aim to follow a specific plan of tasks, all this flow distracts me, and I end up in a situation, switching from one subject to another, exhausting my brain, unable to focus and complete tasks that require concentration. In the first place, I thought I should accept this as part of my role and the job environment. Today, I’ ve realized that the cause of this messy distraction, is not the so much demanding external environment, but just myself! More specifically, the series of external events, trigger emotions like fear to lose control (miss some important mail or call), curiosity and anxiety to hear about the recent developments of a project, fear to be late… My hands respond automatically. I answer the phones, I click on the mails and so on. In other words, my attention is attracted and I passively succumb to this attraction, with my moving center acting at the commands of my fears. So, I end up engaged in a task, which is not in my priorities of the day.
    Observing the emotion of fear, as the real driver of my moving center, has been liberating and temporarily suspended the automatic reaction. However, I think this must be repeated many times, until I obtain a permanent belief and attitude of ‘surrender’ (no need to control everything).

    1. Asaf Braverman Post author

      Myrto, I have observed a similar chain reaction triggered when my inbox exceeds ten or so emails. The pressure to respond builds up and spreads disproportionately. You are right to detect the root of the problem, not in the external environment, but in yourself. jack’s and queen’s lack relativity. When we are in those parts of our being, insignificant issues seem disproportionately big. Kings of centers have relativity, so it is a matter of relocating within ourselves, rising from jacks and queens to kings.

      If you haven’t already, take a look at this workshop: The Driver, Carriage, Horse, and Master

  5. Marlene

    Very good! My main thought is the internal dialogue that happens when one of these centers is triggered. My concern is the example of imagination being wasted engery. I do understand the value of focus. Isnt imagination properly used a tool of succeeding towards a goal? Building a better mousetrap?
    So for example, a frustrating situation, would not imagination be the intellects way of solving the emotions communications? As they speak two different languages. And the degree of focused imagination would be the goal of training that part of self. An example being, an office worker who has to answer the phone, but has other things that must be done also. How could this be resolved? Invent cordless headsets and voice mail. (Versus an imaginary romp to a foreign place)

  6. John F. Walz

    Hello Marlene,
    the imagination that we are referring to is the constant internal words and phrases, internal monologue, images, and associative emotions that are consistently going on internally. There is also a form of imagination which involves a ‘picture’ of oneself that does not correspond with the reality of what others perceive about us.
    It seems you are talking about “Creative Visualization” which is quite different than imagination. That is an intentional process which artists and architects use to create profound sculptures,paintings, beautiful music or to sketch buildings. Its also what great chess players can do regarding “seeing the board in time” several moves in advance.
    Now, if the great 60 year old architect is sitting at her drawing board and visualizing herself to be an astronaut on the Space Station (having had no training in such a thing), this is imagination.
    Imagination is only wasted if you are identified with it. We can use imagination and negative emotions as a type of fuel if we separate from it, and observe it. This is called “Doubling Impressions”. We use this ‘mental waste energy” for a good purpose-somewhat like conscious recyclers. Once observing it, we can then return to what is actually before us in the moment and Observe ourselves in that moment. This also Doubles Impressions.
    Getting back to our architect, even when she is at her table writing down the building she sees in her mind, if she is rushing to get done by a deadline that she thinks is really unfair that her boss has imposed on her, unaware of her surroundings, unaware of her muscular tension and posture, unaware of her emotions and thoughts, basically unaware of her higher self-she is not in imagination but she is also psychologically “asleep” in a state called identification. Even this needs to be separated from.