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The Soul and its Mechanism - The Seven Centers of Force
These centers vary in activity according to the evolutionary status of the individual. In some people certain centers are "awake" and in others the same centers may be relatively quiescent. In certain types, the solar plexus center will be active or dominant, in others the heart, in still others the throat. In very few as yet, is the head center active. Speaking largely, in savage people and the little evolved, the three centers below the diaphragm - the center at the base of the spine, the sacral center and the solar plexus center - are alive and dominant, but the centers above the diaphragm are "asleep." In average humanity the throat center is beginning to make itself felt with the head and heart centers still asleep. In the highly evolved human being, the race leader, the intuitive philosopher and the scientist, and in the great saints, both the head and heart centers are making their vibrations felt, priority between head and heart being determined by type, and the quality of the emotional and mental consciousness.

According, then, to the development of the man these force centers become alive and dominant, and according to their aliveness various types of activity make their presence felt. The centers below the diaphragm govern the physical life of the material form and the animal psychic life, found both [120] in man and in the animal. Those above the diaphragm concern the intellectual and spiritual life and bring about those activities in which man demonstrates that his status is different to, and higher than that of the animal, and that he is climbing upward on the ladder of evolution.

Such in brief is the teaching of the East with regard to the seven centers of force or chakras. When we compare the Eastern Doctrine of the seven centers with the Western doctrine of glands, we find first of all a striking fact with regard to locality. The seven centers of force are to be found in the same region where the glands are located, and each center of force might well be (and according to Indian teaching is) the source of power and of life for the corresponding gland. The following comparative table shows this identity of location.

CENTERS - GLANDS

  • Head center - Pineal gland
  • Center between eyebrows - Pituitary body
  • Throat center - Thyroid gland
  • Heart center - Thymus gland
  • Solar plexus center - Pancreas
  • Sacral center - The gonads
  • Center at base of spine - Adrenal glands

A second fact, even more striking than the first, is that the force centers which are awake conform to the glands whose functions are known and of [121] which most of the secretions or hormones, have been discovered. The centers that are asleep or awakening in advanced members of the race, conform to the glands whose functions are relatively unknown and whose secretions in the main have not been isolated. It will be noted for example that Dr. Berman states that the secretion of the pineal gland, one of the two in the pituitary body and the thymus gland, are listed as unknown, as is the secretion of the cortex adrenal gland. These conform to the sleeping or awakening heart center, throat center, center in the head, and at the base of the spine.

Is this an interesting coincidence? Or are we faced with the fact that in each case these glands with the undiscovered hormones, are allied to a center which is asleep, not yet awakened in average humanity?

I believe it will eventually be established that the glands have been brought into being through the energy of the centers, for those centers which, in average humanity, are awake and functioning seem to be related to glands, whose peculiar secretion has been isolated, and its action in relation to the bloodstream known, whilst those centers which are as yet asleep and undeveloped seem to be allied to glands whose secretion is only partially known or totally unknown. It is in any case worthy of consideration.

The Occidental psychologists are consequently right when they state that a man is what his glands [122] make him, and that we are no better or worse than our peculiar endocrine system. But the reason for this may lie in the correctness of the Oriental theory as to the force centers. The condition of the glands and their super-activity or subnormality, and their right or wrong functioning may be determined by the state of those centers. The glands are only outer symbols, the visible, material aspect of a far greater and more intricate system. They are determined by the character of the soul life which plays through them, and the soul which controls and dominates all.

The state of the centers, then, is dependent upon the type and quality of soul force vibrating through them. In the undeveloped person it is simply the life force, prana, which is active and registers. This nurtures the animal life and brings the lower centers (the center at the base of the spine and the sacral center) into activity. Later, as man develops, the consciousness, soul-aspect, gradually makes its presence felt and brings the solar plexus center into activity. This center is the seat of the lower psychic sentient life both in man and in the animal, and is often referred to as the instinctual brain. Bhagavan Das teaches us that:

"It is worth noting that in Sanskrit literature the navel is often treated as more central and almost more essential to the organism than the heart. Indications of the importance of the heart are not wanting, it is true... but it is probable that physiologically the 'navel' was the more vital organ in the earlier stages [123] of evolution, and is even at the present Stage more essentially connected with desire proper than the heart which may perhaps be regarded as connected with the actional subdivision of desire."
- Das, Bhagavan, The Science of the Sacred Word, Vol. I, p. 82, footnote.

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