The Axes Of Awareness


The Axes Of Awareness: How Centers of Awareness Function
(The Body/Instinct/Mind and Feeling/Instinct/Mind)

By: Eleanor Haspel-Portner, Ph.D.



Two distinct axes through which humans process information for cognitive interpretation have been documented through research and clinical experience in Multidimensional Human Design at Noble Sciences™. Three awareness centers process information through the body’s nervous and neuroendocrine systems. These three awareness centers, the Splenic Center, the Solar Plexus Center, and the Ajna Center (Mind) were conceptually described in the Human Design System. All body centers function in multidimensional human consciousness and organize information through interpretive as well as through physiological pathways. By understanding their flow of energy you have a key to understanding yourself.

The three awareness centers form two axes that must be integrated at the core of all layers of being in order for balance and flow to be optimized in your life. These two axes show the way information impacts you. You constantly experience stimuli in your world and respond to it. Moreover, the world impacts you physically and emotionally both consciously and unconsciously all the time.

In all mammals, neurological functioning operates either through the autonomic nervous system (beneath the level of conscious control) or through the central nervous system (partially available to conscious control). The complex neurological pathways run through your nervous system to bring information for response that requires highly complex interpretation. From the standpoint of experiences, however, how you function is relatively simple to understand.

What makes humans unique, as a species, is their capacity for cognition and language. Humans are capable of describing their experiences and of interpreting them. You use your body chemistry for feedback in situations to which you are exposed, and you also use complex needs, wants, and desires that affect your chemistry. By learning to understand the two axes of information, it is possible to gain a deep understanding of your own internal process and by so doing you can begin to alter the deeply ingrained patterns that have outlived their survival value for you in your body chemistry.

The phrases Body/Instinct/Mind (BIM) and the Feeling/Instinct/Mind (FIM) describe the integration of the Splenic Center (body), the Ajna Center (mind), and the Solar Plexus Center (feelings/emotions). The Sacral Center (instinct) functions as a motor that anchors life force survival needs through its responses. If you look at the picture below (Illustration 1), the Splenic side of the body energy map would be considered the BIM axis. It traces a pathway that involves the Splenic Center (body), the Sacral Center (instinct), and the Ajna Center (mind). The Solar Plexus side of the body energy map would be considered the FIM. It traces a pathway that involves the Solar Plexus Center (feeling), the Sacral Center (instinct), and the Ajna Center (mind).

Another way to look at it is that the Splenic side deals with your instinctual (Sacral) responses regarding your body or physical perspective in the current moment while the Solar Plexus side deals with your instinctual (Sacral) responses from a feeling/emotional perspective, also related to body or physical perspectives but more importantly operating in a cycle over time. It activates the needs, wants, and desires of your organism in an emotional way. The feeling/emotional perspectives that involve needs, wants, and desires may be physiologically mediated but also may be quite intentional. The Solar Plexus functions as both an awareness center (emotions (feelings)) and as a motor center that drives you emotionally (feelings) to fulfill your body’s needs, wants, and desires.

Two Experiences Describe the Two Axes of Interpretive Awareness:A Body/Instinct/Mind Experience

The Snake Flight: “In one of my early California hiking experiences, I came upon an almost dry streambed. There had been little rain for two years. I moved ready to take a step onto a rock, when I heard a rattling sound. The next moment, with no consciousness of how I had gotten there, I found myself on the other side of the streambed. I had lifted into the air like a helicopter, flew four feet and I landed in safety, all in a split second. My heart was racing, my mouth was dry, and the bright sun suddenly flashed into my dilated eyes. I turned to see a rattlesnake next to the rock I had almost stepped on.

This profound experience of instant flight in the face of danger is an example of the essential life sustaining Body/Instinct/Mind (BIM) consciousness in operation. My brain/mind had learned the meaning of the “rattle” (it is well-known to hikers in California that rattlesnakes “hang out” near water during times of drought). The flight-fight response involves the Splenic Center’s “now” awareness that connects to the Sacral and Root Center’s instinctive reactions. This link involves the forceful motor/fuel activation of two powerful energy centers in the body. The hormones released by the adrenal gland in response to hearing a “rattle” was mediated by the brain with the integrated reaction of all the muscle power needed for me to “fly,” yet without my conscious intervention. The autonomic nervous system activated the heart and blood system bringing instant fuel and oxygen to my reacting tissues. My breathing and heart rates were thus sharply increased, my mouth was dry, and my pupils dilated. All this happened in a split second!” (Marvin M. Portner, M.D.)

A Feeling/Instinct Mind Experience

A Train Ticket to Munich: In order to reach Munich (my feeling (need) – solar plexus) by 5 pm I needed to take a train from Karlsruhe at 2 pm because the trip takes 3 hours. Store A sold the train ticket at a cost of 5 dollars whereas the store B sold the same ticket at a reduced rate of 3.5 dollars. Because I had the desire (feeling – solar plexus) to save my money and to get the “best deal” I could find (instinct for survival), my mind (Ajna) compared the different options to find what would best serve me and make me feel positive (feeling-solar plexus) and I then was able to find what would serve me best (survival). My instinct was to get the most for myself to preserve my resources and my need allowed me to wait for the knowing I needed in making an “informed” decision rather than just jumping with the first instinct I had to get the first train I could get. Had my need been to get to Munich faster and to have extra time, I would have factored that into my mental equation and interpreted my desires and needs differently. (Yoshi Suzuki).


The sacral "gut" feeling is the seat of our life force energy. It is the instinctive seat that protects us during sleep and during life threatening events. All living beings have an instinctive mind that lives in its "gut" and responds automatically to things. This "gut" life-protecting response connects to the Root Center and to the adrenal glands in mammals for “flight or fight.” However, in humans the Ajna (Mind) Center mediates as it becomes aware of our responses and it determines, over time, how to interpret circumstances as they affect survival. Thus, the mind is able to use cognition independently to make judgments. Needs, wants, and desires are also interpreted and anchored, as in the case of what and how often we eat, based on basics of our physiology and interpretation of it for our survival. The need, want, and desire to be at a certain place at a certain time, or to buy something for a certain amount of money rather than another is generated by the likes, dislikes, attractions, and responses to things that have the capacity to make life more or less enjoyable or enhance one’s life and community in some way. Different orientations in human awareness components can be viewed as Body/Instinct connecting from the Sacral Center to the Splenic Center and as Feeling (Emotional)/Instinct that connects from the Sacral Center to the Solar Plexus. In order to function in a cognitively intelligent world as a higher form (human), we use cognition and intelligence to reinterpret information we receive. It is processed through our physical vehicle. What comes in to our organism physiologically either comes in through autonomic nervous system pathways (body/instinct – Sacral to Splenic) or through central nervous system pathways (feeling/instinct – Sacral to Solar Plexus- like hunger, desires, or emotions).

We have the capacity to impact both sides of our selves. One axis connects the Splenic Center to the Sacral Center (body/instinct) and links to the Ajna center (body/mind) for interpretation. The other axis is the Solar Plexus Center connecting to the Sacral Center (feeling/instinct) and then linking to the Ajna Center (feeling/mind) for interpretation. Because of the nature of the Sacral Center, and its capacity to function in the awake as well as in the sleep state, it has a great deal of complexity. The way the Sacral Center activation operates in an individual in different layers of being affects their capacity, ease, and manner of decision-making. The way information is interpreted and especially its timing also determines when and how the Sacral Center turns on and off. Someone, for example, like myself, who has Sacral activation relating to my inner way of knowing things, must wait for that inner knowing before I can manifest in the world, despite the fact that I am someone who may be considered in my waking world to be a Manifestor (The Five Types). On the other hand, many individuals, who are Sacral beings (Generators) in their waking world, have their Sacral Center turn off on their inner layer and thus, often lose a sense of what their “gut” response is when they go to sleep at night. This turning on and off of the Sacral Center is very important in knowing how someone functions because awareness is multifaceted and multi-determined.

The Sacral Center, The Splenic Center, and the Solar Plexus Centers all function in all worlds. In order for an individual to feel the kind of optimal congruity and authenticity at the core of their being that most people seek, it is essential that balance between these axes of awareness be integrated in the body, in the needs, wants, and desires, and in the interpretation of those components.

When an individual misinterprets information in the mental, spiritual, emotional, or physical world, they experience dissonance and disharmony that drives for correction. Thus, the axes always find a pathway in individuals telling something about the way that person functions. In meditation, we connect in multiple ways on multiple layers so we can transcend the worlds and use our higher intelligence. We are then aligned and in touch with our deep still Self in multidimensional ways.

About The Author

Eleanor Haspel-Portner, Ph.D., clinical psychologist (License #: Psy5297) and master coach, passionately synthesizes clinical applications with esoteric wisdom and scientific discovery. Her Ph.D. from The University of Chicago, Department of Comparative Human Development, uniquely qualifies Eleanor to integrate Social Sciences Research (psychology, biology, anthropology, sociology) with a wide array of esoteric studies.

Eleanor helps people transform their lives using the principles and tools she developed and statistically validated (cf. Throughout thirty-five years of private practice work as a clinical psychologist and master coach, Eleanor worked with thousands of individuals, couples, and groups to synthesize life experiences in practical ways for living healthy, successful, and creatively fulfilling lives. Eleanor founded the Multidimensional Human Design System™ and Noble Sciences Sacred Synthesis™ Tools. She is currently the only individual qualified to decode the Multidimensional Human Design System™ of analysis that she developed and tested.

Eleanor, an extensively published author, remains an active member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, American Psychotherapy Association, International Coach Federation, the Relationship Coaching Institute, Southern California Society for Clinical Hypnosis, and the Reiki Alliance.

Contact Eleanor: Telephone: (310) 230-7787, Email: