#16. Psychology Of Time

Introductie in het gedachtegoed van 'De Vierde Weg'
op basis van fragmenten uit "Psychologie van Men's Mogelijke Evolutie"


The relativity of time, space, and matter is a scientific conversation best known for what Einstein coined to the matter, expressed in his theory of general relativity. As one comes to study the system, some other very interesting esoteric points of view come into the picture and can evoke some additional transformations in the way you perceive yourself in relation to these phenomena. As you will soon discover in studying the centers, which are hidden from us, their functions are quite open for our investigation.

Functions are the phenomena by which we can identify the work of the different centers, and by observing these functions, we will notice some remarkable properties, which until now, have never been fully taken into account by traditional psychology or physiology.

Observation is the usual course in the scientific approach in physics, chemistry, astronomy, physiology, as when we often cannot reach into the objects directly, we have to begin with an investigation of their results or traces.

All centers have much in common and, at the same time, each center has its peculiar characteristics which must always be kept in mind. One of the essential principles that must be understood in relation to centers is the great difference in their speed, that is, a difference in the speeds of their functions.

Intellectual center, which is so overvalued in our society, is the slowest of minds we have. It doesn’t come close to the speed of the instinctive center, which does almost all of its complex work in the background of our lives at incredible speeds. The functions of moving center are often mistaken for instinctive functions, because they operate when learned, at a similar speed as the instinctive functions. Maybe much to your surprise, the fastest center of all is the emotional center. It is even more surprising to consider that emotional center, in our ordinary state of ‘waking sleep,’ is working nothing close to its possible speed and therefore generally ‘only’ works with the speed of the instinctive and moving centers.

Like stated before, at some level, we know this difference of speed of centers, but it has never been explained in a way that seems to make sense. One example of the fact that we do take the speed of centers into account is found in a court of law, where actions are judges very differently if they were executed in an emotional upheaval or planned out beforehand. There’s more and more evidence that the roots of all our decisions are fundamentally based on emotions and that it takes a lot of time to realize why we did what we did. This is, in essence, the art of self-remembering.

For now, it is important that you try to find evidence for this difference in speed of centers in your own life. Try to observe yourself when you have to perform many quick simultaneous movements. You will see at once that you cannot observe your movements intentionally, you will even risk an accident if you persist in observing. There are many more examples to be found in your behavior, but only very rarely do we know the value of our observations and experiences. Only when we see the principle do we begin to understand our previous observations.

Although it is tough to measure the difference in speed of centers, the system, which stems from a time that science had no means of verifying these properties, teaches us that instinctive center operates at a speed that is about 30.000 times faster than the intellectual center. Emotional center, when it works with its proper speed, is even 30, 000 times faster than the moving and instinctive centers. That means that each center has a different sense of time. Time becomes relative to the function of the center it relates to. It means that, for every kind of work that a center has to do, it needs the same amount of time, only according to its scale.

For instance—a man drinks a glass of brandy, and immediately in no more than a second, he experiences many new feelings and sensations. The body responds to the stimulant very quickly, almost at once. An impression has an even quicker emotional response than that. We experience something, and the feeling is already there long before the intellectual center has come up with the realization of that emotion. But we are so accustomed to these phenomena that we rarely think about how strange and incomprehensible they are. From the point of view of ordinary physiology, these phenomena look almost miraculous.

Ouspensky says:

“It means that the instinctive center has not one second, but about eight hours of its own time for this work, and in eight hours this work can certainly be done in an ordinary laboratory without any unnecessary haste. So our idea of the extraordinary speed of this work is purely an illusion which we have because we think that our ordinary time, or the time of the intellectual center, is the only time which exists.”


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