Sunday, December 23, 2012

man in temple

Let us then change our focus, and consider the combined role of the three nervous systems as the intervention of a triple creative power from a higher level -that is, from above the level of the blood-stream.

Equally with the blood-stream the three nervous systems pervade all parts of the body and connect all glands. But they have different routes. The cerebro-spinal system is chiefly confined to the cortex of the brain and the spinal cord, whence branches ramify to all members within man's field of sensation and control. The sympathetic system consists of a large number of separate branches and plexuses directly connecting individual vertebrae with some corresponding involuntary organ. The vagus, on the other hand, is a single nerve, which originates in the base of the brain, and after passing through heart, gastric and sex plexuses, rejoins the bottom of the spine.

These two latter systems remind us of the electrical circuit of a car or airplane, where each instrument is individually connected to the positive source of power, though the negative side of all their circuits can be completed simultaneously through the steel frame. In this figure, the cerebro-spinal system would then represent the driver or pilot, who introduces conscious action into the mechanism -but only at those points where controls are situated.

What is the actual relation between these three systems, and what is their potential relation? In the first place we must suppose them working with three different energies at three different speeds. The slowest is the cerebro-spinal system, which can only work as fast as we can think. Next faster is the sympathetic system, which enables the complicated instinctive processes of digestion, tissue building and so on, to be carried on much faster than we can follow. While fastest of all should be the parasympathetic, or vagus system, which carries the immeasurably rapid impulses of intuition, self-preservation and sex. This latter system, however, ordinarily works at only a fraction of its proper power, and from the point of view of its potentialities, we can almost regard it as unused.

According to our table of speeds of diffusion, the three energies concerned belong respectively to Category III (1/3 to 30 kilometres a second), Category II (30 to 3000 kilometres a second), and Category I (3000 to 300, 000 kilometres a second).

Now we have already seen that wherever three forces interact, they can manifest in six different combinations or orders. So these three nervous systems, combining in different ways, subject the human body to the six cosmic processes which we have discussed before. Some of these processes -resulting from the dominance of thought or instinct, that is, of the cerebro-spinal or sympathetic system -are familiar to us in ordinary life. Others, produced by the dominance of the vagus system, working with its proper energy, are unknown to us or very rare. For they occur only when the highest kind of emotion becomes the motive force for the whole organism.

It is, however, still another possibility which concerns us now. There is in fact a seventh combination of forces, normally incomprehensible, but which is theoretically possible, and which raises the cosmos in which it occurs to direct connection with that above. In this combination, all three forces work simultaneously at all points.

In the ordinary way the three nervous systems operate more or less independently, in sequence, so to speak; their different energies being confined to the functions for which they are most suitable. And when small amounts of these energies do leak from one system to another -as when a man tries to think when full of instinctive excitement, or on the other hand when he tries to reason about some deep emotion -only bad results are produced. Yet these three systems are arranged so that, in certain circumstances and at one particular point in the brain, a connection could be created between them. In this case all three energies would run freely through all three systems. With what result? By the general circulation of intellectual energy, a man would become conscious in all his functions. By the general circulation of instinctive energy, all his functions would act to his best advantage and in harmony. By the general circulation of emotional energy, all his functions would work at the intensity of fear or love.

Such a condition, in which instinctive processes were as conscious as thinking, in which thinking was as fast as attraction, and in which reason, emotion, and action combined as harmoniously as breathing and sleeping, is at present unimaginable.

We can only say that the human machine is in fact designed to make it possible.


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United States Police Hub said...