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For the Week of March 19 - 25:  Levels of Man
Leonardo da Vinci, Vitruvian Man 1490
When I see your heavens,
the work of your hands,
the moon and stars that you set in place –
what is man that you are mindful of him,
woman that you care for her?
Yet you have made them little less than gods,
crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works
 of your hands, put all things at their feet. …
O Lord, our Lord,
how awesome is your name
through all the earth!
- Psalm 8:4-7, 10
 
We now begin Part 2 of our year's curriculum which is an in-depth look into the nature and being of humanity – mechanical, awakening, balanced and evolving. This portion of our Work together is by far the largest section wherein we discover what the Work has to say about the state, conditions and possibilities of humankind here on earth.
 
In this Work, humankind is not taken as being all on one and the same level.
 
Imagine a room full of people gathered for a special event: seemingly, we see the same things, hear the same things, sense the same things. Yet, the experience of what is perceived varies dramatically from individual to individual. Why is this?
 
"Man is divided into different categories. Quite different kinds of men exist. There is, first of all, the circle of mechanical humanity, as it is called, in which number 1, number 2 and number 3 men exist. They are respectively men in whom mainly one center is used – the instinct-moving center in the case of number 1 man, the emotional center in the case of number 2 man and the intellectual center in the case of number 3 man. These instinct-moving men, emotional men and intellectual men, because they are mainly 'one-centered,' see everything differently, each from one side, from one center. They form together the circle of mechanical humanity which is characterized by the fact that people belonging to this circle … do not understand either themselves or one another. It is called sometimes the circle of 'confusion of tongues' or Babel, in which misunderstandings, quarrels, strife, persecutions, and war of every kind must always exist without leading to anything different. Next comes an intermediary circle formed of number 4 man. This circle does not arise in life but as the result of work. Number 4 man is developed in all the ordinary centers so he is not one-sided and so is called 'balanced man.' Number 4 men begin to be able to understand one another and begin to overcome violence in themselves. Then comes the conscious circle of humanity formed by numbers 5-6-7 men* who understand one another, who are not based on violence, and who are not only developed in the ordinary centers but who have the power of being conscious from a lesser to a greater extent in higher emotional and higher mental centers. These centers transmit influences to which mechanical humanity – that is, sleeping humanity – are insensitive, or rather, which they cannot 'hear.'"
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "On A, B and C Influences," Vol. 1, pp. 33-34
 
*Christ was number 8 Man (see Commentaries, "Notes on Lower and Higher Centers," Vol. 5, p. 1691). Remember, when the Work speaks of Man, we mean all of humanity.
 

David Hawkins affirms the different levels of humanity through his map of consciousness.  The map of consciousness describes these levels, but also indicates the possibility for awakening and evolution through intention and work on oneself. In the Work, we first aspire to balanced man.
 
What is balanced man?
 
"Balanced Man
  1. has permanent center of gravity;
  2. has contact with higher centers;
  3. works for a Work reason;
  4. has real conscience awake in him;
  5. knows real aim and how to attain it;
  6. uses all his centers, and all of a center;
  7. can remember himself at essential moments.
 
To achieve this state, the first essential step is self-observation."
-Beryl Pogson, The Work Life, p. 179
 
Balanced man can use the right center in each situation and do everything that his/her centers make possible.
 
"This Work says that your undeveloped functions, whatever they may be – namely, your undeveloped centers – must be made to grow before you can approach the state of being called number 4 man. That is why the Work teaches you to consider whether you are sure that you are approaching a situation with the right center. So if you have to pick up a match off the floor you have to use moving center. Suppose you think someone else ought to do it then you are using the emotional center and you will not pick up the match or you might drop it, especially if it is not a match but a tea-cup or plate. And then of course you will utter the usual modern complaint: 'Why should I?'. … [B]ut suppose you begin to see that whatever your job is you have to do it yourself and not pretend to be what you are obviously not, then you can begin to understand the Path or Way to become balanced man. I said the other day that a man of great being is a man who never complains and therefore a man or woman who is always complaining has small being. What is small being from the Work point of view? It means that you do nothing from yourself by seeing the necessity of it from yourself. Once you get to this way of dealing with life from yourself you begin to move towards number 4 man or balanced man … the beginning of trying to live more consciously."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "The Idea of Balanced Man in The Work," Vol. 4, pp. 1409-1410
 
In the Work, we begin to learn how our centers are lined up in terms of development and emphasis. In other words, one person may learn she is mechanically a 123 person (body first, emotions second, intellect third). Once we have learned this, we can begin to focus our Work accordingly.
 
"Now to conclude this paper on this mysterious figure called balanced man which can only be reached by constant effort in everything we do, let us take all three types of mechanical man as follows:
 
123   132   231   213   312   321
 
"All these types have to develop to move towards balanced man. 123 has to develop 2 and then finally his most undeveloped function 3, and so on."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "The Idea of Balanced Man in The Work," Vol. 4, pp. 1409-1410
 
How might one conceive of a conscious woman or man?
 
The wind blows where it wills,
and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from
or where it goes;
so it is with everyone
who is born of the Spirit.
- John 3:8
 
"We suppose a conscious man to be some sort of greater and more impressive ordinary man. We cannot at first easily realize that he is another kind of man – a completely new man. … We can understand that to be 'born of the Spirit' has to do with being born of another neutralizing force than life. Now a conscious man can 'hear' higher centers, and so can follow their unusual intimations and directions. He will not be predictable as is the life of a mechanical man. … His lower centers are both 'purified' and 'balanced' so that they are now tuned in to the fine vibrations coming from the higher emotional center … and the vibrations of the higher intellectual center."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "Notes on Lower and Higher Centers," Vol. 5, pp. 1691-1692
 
How can one begin to open to the meanings streaming down continually from higher centers?
 
"Only by work on oneself. Then it is recorded. You are doing something special. You are not working for a life-reason, but a Work-reason. You are using momentarily the neutralizing force of the Work and not that of life. You are diminishing personality a shade. That is why it is special and that is why it is recorded. It is recorded in inner divisions of centers and thus begins to open them up. Higher centers – which are in us – know us and understand us; the higher level perceives and understands the lower. That is why every genuine Work-effort is recorded in a special place – that is, in inner divisions of centers. We need not fear it has not been noticed. We are fully known and transparent to those at a higher level who communicate through higher centers."
Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "Notes on Lower and Higher Centers," Vol. 5, p. 1693
 
Centering Prayer, as a receptive, nonconceptual practice, also opens us to the influences of higher centers, or the Holy Spirit.  Each consent, each return to one's sacred symbol, is an opening, which deepens our capacity for receptivity, stillness and deep listening.
 
A stepwise guide to becoming balanced man: 
  1. We aspire to enter the Kingdom of Heaven: 
"The Kingdom of God is the circle of conscious humanity. It means the circle of those who have evolved beyond violence, of those whose knowledge is practical – that is, what they know, they will, and so do – of those who understand one another because they speak a common language (and let us remember that we, in this Work, are learning a common language). 
  1. We start to work [which includes the practice of Centering Prayer and other contemplative practices]: 
"The Work begins to teach you what to do.  To awaken – that is the object of this Work. And for a man who awakens even to one single thing that the Work teaches it means that he is no longer the same man … the Work changes us. 
  1. Then, higher centers come to us: 
"The Work is to get in touch with higher centers. But they work in their own way so changes have to take place in a man. A man cannot produce these changes himself for he knows nothing of the new connections necessary … what is trying to enter from above a man brings this about when the conditions are right. Once brought about, the man is a different man. His feeling of 'I' is different. His ideas and thoughts, his reasoning and his actions are different. He has undergone the self-evolution latent in him. He is 'born again' as the phrase in the Gospels puts it."
- Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, "On A, B and C Influences," and "Man is Not A Unity but Multiple," Vol. 1, pp. 35, 36, 38
 
As we begin to intuit the magnitude of the changes being wrought in us by the Work, it's important to remember that our part is mainly continued attention, perseverance and consent. It is not we who are transforming ourselves; it is God.
 
Jesus looked at them and said, 
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

- Matthew 19:26
 
Homework:
 
- What is your Work to become number 4 – or balanced – man? Each day consciously aim to use the right center for the purpose at hand. 
 
- All are encouraged and welcome to attend tonight's class via Zoom only at 7pm Central time for a review of these teachings and how they are landing in you. Note that everyone attending via Zoom will now have the opportunity to share and ask questions.
  1. Click on this link and Zoom should open automatically on your laptop or tablet: https://zoom.us/j/254442699, or
  2. Open Zoom, click on Join Meeting and enter this meeting ID: 254-442-699
Resources for Review:

- Read the selections referenced in this session in their entirety.

- The class content archive is organized by class and class date.  If you click on the title of each class, you'll find the associated content, which may include a video/video transcript (if one was included in the session), a free mp3 of the class recording and class notes. 

- Definitions to specific Work terms are linked within this email and a complete list of terms discussed thus far may be found here in the glossary archive.

- An archive of previous emails may be found here
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