17. ATTENTION AND INTEGRATION
We behave as individuals when our psyche is integrated. This will be explained later as referring to the psyche as a ˜container' which integrates the life processes, so that they can develop to contain new faculties and abilities. This, in its basic principles, is in some ways similar to the evolution and formation of our ordinary physical body, which only occurs when the psyche begins to be integrated, for it is only then that we begin to act as individuals.
When the psyche is fully integrated, this is because we have become aware of ourselves at a different level, that of self-consciousness. Before that is established, we get flashes of it, but the other element of the second body first comes into being when your solar-plexus comes to life. This often has to do with certain exercises, but that's not the only way to get to it. When that sort of thing happens as a result of exercises or prayer, so that one becomes alert in a certain way, this is what the philosopher P. D. Ouspensky describes as ˜like a cat', a creature whose actions and perceptions are properly integrated, a purely sensory form of integration, based on the sensory-motor center.
For us, we begin to find, when we are in that condition, that we have more awareness of ourselves, and are less subject to mechanical distractions. This is when the sensory motor process is properly hooked up to the nous and comes into control of the nous. But the difficulty of modern man (intellectual) is that we allow the reins to get slack (in the analogy of the coach).
Some kind of threshold must be crossed because this is an irreversible process, having nothing to do with life as we know it. After this, we would live in a world of fire. I can't say more about this, but if you could hold onto this condition, all kinds of things would happen to you. As one of our friends said recently, all of us are probably experiencing what M calls ˜the soul in conception', but it has not come to term yet. The soul is growing underground in us. When this is visible in a person, it shows as real irreversible changes, which you would have had to work very hard to reach. The higher centers are linked with the nous. One is emotional and works before we're fully conscious, and the other functions when the nous is open to and aware of the presence of God. The fact that it makes you forget." (Professor David Bohm “ ˜Thought as a System' - )