This is a fascinating book. It was printed in 1920 and has surfaced on many web site listings. It discusses another expression of the “Double” concept.
The book’s description of the Solar Plexus as a physical brain is a good and fascinating idea.
Is the Solar Plexus the seat of what Dumont calls in the later part of the book the “Instinctive Brain.”
Well, why not?
No matter what you think of Dumont’s link between the Instinctive Brain and the Solar Plexus (I am not convinced) the method he gives for contacting this “Brain” are worth a read and may be useful to you.
I have edited heavily, cutting down the many of the old fashioned ‘round about’ terms, the triple explanations of the same ideas I have cut out. I have tried to retain everything that may be useful to someone on their quest for understanding and using the workings of human consciousness.
THE SOLAR PLEXUS OR ABDOMINAL BRAIN
By THERON Q. DUMONT
The Four Brains of Man
The Cerebrum is the higher and front portion of “the brain’ it takes up most of the space in the skull. It consists of two symmetrical halves, which are connected by a broad band of white substance.
It is called the old brain or reptilian brain. It is beneath and behind the Cerebrum, and is about one-seventh the size of the latter. It is composed of white matter in the interior, and of gray matter on the surface.
The Medulla Oblongata.
The Medulla Oblongata is the upper and enlarged end of the spinal cord; the extension and prolongation of the latter into the cranium or skull. Its substance resembles that of the spinal cord in its structure of gray and white matter; The Solar Plexus, or Abdominal Brain, The
Solar Plexus, or Abdominal Brain.
It is situated in the upper part of the abdomen, behind the stomach, in front of the aorta or great artery, and in front of the pillars of the diaphragm. Its place is popularly known as, “The pit of the stomach”. It is near the back at the point where the ribs begin to separate and spread to each side.
The Solar Plexus is the great plexus, It is a network of nerve-fibers, a mass of nerve-sub- stance. It is composed of both gray and white nervous substance (or brain-matter) similar to that of the other three brains of Man.
It is the great power- house of physical life-energy. The bodily functions cannot be performed without it; when it is injured the entire physical well- being is at once seriously affected; and when it receives a severe shock, death often ensues, a fact which the history of prize-fighting amply illustrates.
The Solar Plexus both receives and transmits nerve impulses, just as do the better- known brains of Man. Its distributed filaments contain both afferent (inward conduction) and efferent (outward conducting) nerve-fibers, just as is the case with the other three brains. Its ganglia (series of knotted nervous substance) are true nerve-centers, and from them emerge and pass the filaments of nerve-force distribution to the involuntary muscles of the organs under its control, and to the secreting-cells of the various glands, etc., which depend upon it for their nerve supply.
Dr. Byron Robinson, who first applied the term “The Abdominal Brain” to the Solar Plexus, says of it that: “By the use of this term, I mean to convey the idea that it is endowed with the high powers and phenomena of a great nervous center; that it can organize, multiply, and diminish forces.”
It is easily seen why an injury to the Solar Plexus seriously disturbs the life-processes, and why a severe blow so paralyzes the vital organs that death ensues almost immediately. A man may survive a serious injury to any one of his other three brains; but a serious injury to the Solar Plexus, or Abdominal Brain, strikes right to his seat of life.
The Emotional Centre
One of the great facts concerning the Solar Plexus, or Abdominal Brain, that it is the seat of the emotional nature of Man.
Professor James made the following statements supporting this position : “We feel sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, afraid because we tremble, and not that we cry strike, or tremble because we are sorry, angry, or fearful.”
Moreover, the close relationship of emotional feeling and the great physical organs regulated and supplied with energy by the Sympathetic Nervous System, and not by the Cerebro-Spinal System, clearly indicates that the “seat of the emotions” must be looked for in the great “brain,” or nervous energy-center of the Sympathetic Nervous System. That “brain,” or great nervous center, as you have seen, is none other than the Solar Plexus, or Abdominal Brain, — the center of life and life action,
Solar Plexus, or Abdominal Brain, is the great center and seat of the feelings and emotions ; the source and origin from which all of our strong and elemental feelings and emotions arise and from which they flow.
That the emotional nature may be regulated, controlled and directed is a fact known to all persons who have escaped the bondage of elemental and instinctive feeling, and who have learned that it is possible to exercise control over their passions, emotions and feelings. Such control, in fact, is necessary in our civilized and social life.
But in most cases this control has been effected by a sheer effort of will — this effort tending to hold back, restrain or control the action naturally tending to follow the rise of the emotional feeling. Very few persons realize that there is possible a far more direct method of controlling and directing the emotional feelings.
In ordinary cases, this interchange of messages and orders, from one system to the other, is performed unconsciously and instinctively by the nervous mechanism of the individual — he is neither aware of the process, nor does he consciously will its performance. But the ancient occultists discovered, many centuries ago, that the individual could consciously and deliberately send messages from the Cerebrum (the thinking brain) to the Solar Plexus (the feeling and vital-process brain).
The “thinking brain” exerts a tremendously strong power and influence over the Solar Plexus, or “feeling brain.” It is able to dominate the latter to a great extent, and the latter may be easily trained to accept its “suggestions,” its demands, and its commands.
In order to exercise this control of the Cerebrum over the Solar Plexus, it is first necessary to arouse the dormant conscious- ness of the Solar Plexus. The Solar Plexus ordinarily exists in an almost “sleeping” state; or, more correctly, in a state similar to that of the person “walking or talking in his sleep”. Only in case of great danger to the individual – in cases of threatened danger to both nervous systems and both “brains” — does the Solar Plexus “wake up” for the time being and “get busy” in overcoming the obstacles and averting the danger. The important fact is that the Solar Plexus can be awakened under certain circumstances.
In Chapters V and VI, of this book, we shall give you the details of the methods of ‘Awakening the Solar Plexus’, and of influencing and directing its activities in general. We defer this explanation and instruction for the present.
Having awakened the Solar Plexus, and having learned the art of suggesting ideas to it, proceed as follows: Tell the Solar Plexus, (the feeling brain) just what you wish it to do for you in the matter of arousing or repressing emotional feelings. Tell it what emotional feelings you wish it to develop and en- courage, and which you wish it to restrain or repress. Say to it, at the appropriate times: “I wish to feel Happy, or Cheerful; I wish to feel Courageous and Confident, etc.,” as the case may be. Or, on the other hand, tell it: “I wish you to prevent the feeling of Fear, or of Depression, or of Excitement, or of Anger, etc. As the case may be. You will find it a willing helper, and a helpful friend, once you have awakened it properly, and satisfied it of your real relationship to it
Vitality and Health
the Solar Plexus not only sends the vital force to these important physical organs, but it also exercises a control over them in a way so closely resembling a mental control that many writers have spoken of the presence of “proto-intelligence” being manifested in the performance and direction of the vital processes.
Not only do these “unconscious mental forces” direct the activities of the organs of the physical body, but they also perform important healing work in case of disease and wounds, acting just as would a force that was “proto-intelligence.” This healing power inherent in the organism has been called “the healing power of nature.”
An exercise of faith, as a rule, suspends the operation of adverse influences, and appeals strongly to the inner and underlying faculty of vital force.
The practitioners and students of ‘mental healing’ and ‘suggestive therapy’ direct their efforts to “reach the mind” of the individual, in order to “set the mind to work” in the direction of restoration of normal healthy functioning and activity. But what “mind” should be reached for this purpose? In what brain does that “mind” function and have its seat? Not in the ordinary “thinking mind,” to be sure — for the vital processes are not under the control of the Cerebrum (the thinking mind). No; the only logical conclusion is that the vital processes and physical organs are under the direction and control of that “mind” which may be called the “instinctive mind” (because it is possessed by the lower animals as well as by man) — The Solar Plexus (the great center of physical life and organic control) which has control of the instinctive activities of the physical body.
The importance of the above discovery lies in the fact .that just as the “brain-minds” of all living things can be aroused and appealed ^to, so can the “brain-mind” of the Solar Plexus, or Abdominal Brain, be aroused and appealed to, if one proceeds properly. The “brain-mind” of the Solar Plexus, once aroused, become amenable and subject to appeals, demands, commands, suggestions, etc., properly made to it.
Here, then is a method so simple, so direct, and so effective, that anyone may apply it, and any organ may be reached without physical methods. In the following chapters on “Awakening the Solar Plexus” and “Using the Solar Plexus,” you will be given further and more detailed particulars concerning methods of this kind.
But, first of all, you must thoroughly grasp the fundamental principle involved – (1)that the physical organs are controlled by the “instinctive mind; (2) that the “instinctive mind” has its seat in the Solar Plexus, or Abdominal Brain; and (3) that the “instinctive mind” may be reached and appealed to, when the Solar Plexus is aroused and awakened into a state of conscious attention. This is the whole matter in a nutshell — the rest is merely finding effective methods of manifesting the principle.
Awakening the Solar Plexus
The “instinctive mind” of the Solar Plexus is not asleep or semi-conscious in the sense of “being asleep at the switch,” as the phrase expresses the idea. On the contrary, it is “on the job” to such an extent that it is practically “dead to all the world”. It is a most faithful and tireless worker.
Let us get right down to the practical, every- day description of the methods employed to “Awaken the Solar Plexus.” In the first place, you must proceed just as you would in the case of a man who was so wrapped up in his work, so much engrossed with his task, that he is unaware of his surroundings.
But, we cannot, so to say, “Tap the shoulder of the Solar Plexus”. But we can substitute a physical method which proceeds along the same lines, and which will produce a similar result.
Here is the method :
(1) Take a few deep, regular breaths; and then finally, after you have established a regular breathing rhythm, hold the inhaled breath instead of exhaling it — but only for a few moments, just enough to interrupt the established rhythm, and,
(2) At the moment when, according to the established rhythm, the breath should be ex- haled, you must, instead (while holding the breath), employ your abdominal muscles so that you will (a) press downward and out- ward upon the “pit of the stomach; and then (b) while exhaling the breath, draw in the same muscles so as to reverse the preceding motion. This outward and inward motion (accompanied by the breathing) to be per- formed three times. Then breathe normally for a few minutes, resting yourself. Then repeat the process, several times; but use moderation and do not tire yourself. This process, for certain reasons, serves to arouse the attention of the “instinctive mind” in the Solar Plexus — just as “the tap on the shoulder” arouses the man wrapped in concentrated thought or meditation.
(3) While performing the above breathing- method — the “tap on the shoulder”you must also give the “instinctive mind” the equivalent of the verbal command to “Wake up,” or “Come out of it” which would have been used in the case of the meditative friend who was wrapped in thought when you wished to get his attention.
You can do this by concentrating your Directive Thought on the “pit of the stomach,” and sending the mental message: “Wake up, Solar Plexus; Give me your attention !”
You will probably find that you can send a more forceful mental message by actually forming the words with your lips and tongue, just as if you were softly whispering them. In addressing the “instinctive mind,” proceed just as you would if the Solar Plexus were a separate and distinct entity — an individual being with mind. The more nearly you can carry out this idea of addressing the Solar Plexus as if it were an individual, the more effective will your demands, commands, and suggestions become.
Having Awakened the Solar Plexus, and having secured the attention of its “instinctive mind,” you should proceed to establish harmonious relations with it. And, above all, do not lose sight of the fact that you are to address that “instinctive mind” of the Solar Plexus, just as you would another individual; the more nearly you can do this, the more earnest you can carry out this idea, the better you can carry out this idea, the better you can “throw yourself into the part,” the more effective will be your results.
Now then, you are ready to calmly address yourself to the Solar Plexus — that is, to its “instinctive mind.” The following illustrative “talk” will give you the general idea of the way to proceed:
“Hello! Solar Plexus! Listen to me! This is your friend the Thinking Mind talking to you. We are co-workers, you know. You work down in the engine room, keeping the machinery going, the fires burning, the boilers in good condition^-the whole body depends upon you for efficient work in your department. I work up here on the deck; keeping the boat steered properly; keeping a sharp lookout for dangers; keeping you well supplied with proper fuel for your furnaces, sufficient .water for your boilers, and sufficient oil for your machinery. Each of us need the other. I need you to keep the machinery going; and you need me to steer the ship and to look out for dangers. Let us work together with a better understanding. I promise to send you nothing but the best fuel, and to refrain from sending down to you anything which may cause trouble with your fires, or clog up your grates. I will pay attention to any messages of disapproval which you may send me; and in short will treat you properly, according to Nature’s requirements and laws.
“On the other hand, I want you to pay attention to my properly-worded requests for improved service by any of the organs which are reporting trouble to me here above deck — I want you to get busy and get such organs in better condition, so that they may render better service. I also want you to help me to restrain and restrict undesirable emotions — you can do this by regulating the physical expression and excitement connected with emotional feeling; and I want you to aid me in having and expressing helpful and beneficial emotional feeling. I also want you to help me in other ways of which I shall tell you later. Now then. Solar Plexus, let us pull together, so as to attain better results for both of us. Let us have confidence in each other — let us trust one another — let us get busy and strive for better results for both of us, and for the entire organism.”
Using the Solar Plexus
Before proceeding further, we wish to impress upon you that this idea of “talking to the Solar Plexus” is not a mere fanciful notion. It is “auto-suggestion”; but it goes far further than ordinary auto-suggestion, for it really establishes an actual connection between our two most important brains and minds
Now then, having become acquainted with your Solar Plexus, and it with you having established mutual harmony, confidence and coordinated effort — you may proceed to give the Solar Plexus more definite and specific directions and suggestions. In doing this, however, always try to keep in mind the idea that you are really talking to another individual entity; and, accordingly, proceed to ex- plain matters, and to point out means and ways of action.
The Solar Plexus may be called upon to aid you in either arousing or repressing emotional feelings. By exerting a control upon the physical organs concerned with the expression and manifestation of emotional feeling.
You will find this co-operation very valuable in cases in which you wish to stimulate and increase the feeling of Courage, and to repress and restrain that of Fear. Likewise when you wish to restrain and restrict the feeling of Gloom, Depression, and Discouragement, and to increase that of Confidence.
The Solar Plexus can be called upon to aid you in either stimulating the action of any physical organ which may have fallen into a habit of inactivity (probably because of ill-usage or lack of proper treatment on your part) ; or in restoring normal and healthy functioning in any physical organ which may have become affected from any reason.
In such cases, however, the Solar Plexus should have its attention positively and clearly directed to the imperfectly functioning organ, and to the nature of its shortcomings — together with an understanding of the undesirable effects to you arising from the malfunctioning.
Vital Force and Physical Energy.
The Solar Plexus is the source of Vital Force and Physical Energy — the great storehouse thereof, as well as its generator. You may call upon it for an increased supply thereof, and when it becomes convinced of the actual necessity therefor, it will respond.
The Solar Plexus, through its “instinctive mind” may be called upon by you for an abundant supply of Vital Force or Physical Energy — and it will respond quite as well as in the cases previously mentioned. Tell it what you want, and why you want it — and it will begin to “get busy” to supply you with it. Co- operate with it by maintaining the vigorous, vital mental attitude— by seeing and thinking yourself as filled with Vital Force — by confidently expecting the flow thereof into your nervous system from the Solar Plexus.
There is another phase of power inherent in the Solar Plexus, “Psychic Power” is meant that peculiar force, power, or energy which when manifested by human beings is called “Odic Force,” “Human Magnetism,” “Vril,” or “Prana”. It is the force which underlies all forms of manifestations in which the Directive Thought of man seems to take upon itself a physical form.
Psychic Power may be obtained from the Solar Plexus in precisely the same way in which one obtains Vital Force or Physical Energy from it— or as one causes it to act in the direction of the control of the emotional feelings, or in the restoration and preservation of physical health and normal functioning of the physical organs. The general principle of Awakening the Solar Plexus, and of then inducing it to send forth its latent and inherent powers, forces, and energies in the direction indicated by you, is the same in all of the cases. Understand the principle, and acquire the “knack” of setting the subtle forces into operation, and you have the whole principle at your command.
You are herewith warned, however, that the use of Psychic Power for improper and base motives, i.e., for instance, of psychically influencing others against their own interests and welfare, in order to gain an unworthy ad- vantage over them, will bring about its own punishment
Solar Plexus Breathing-Exercises
The following Breathing Exercises will be found useful by you in your work of arousing the forces of the Solar Plexus, and of applying the energies thereof. There is a peculiar relation between the process of breathing and those of the Solar Plexus.
Abdominal Breathing Stimulation
In this form of breathing, the abdomen is pressed outward in front, and at the sides; and the lower part of the lungs are filled with the air, instead of the latter being allowed to merely remain in the upper part of the lungs. It is difficult to closely describe the movements of this form of breathing, but you will gradually acquire them by following this general idea, i.e., (1) Breathe deeply, and (2) at the same time “bear down” gently in the region of the pit of the stomach, thus dis- tending the abdomen in front and at the sides.
Practice this form of breathing, occasionally, a few minutes is enough. Never strain unduly and never tire yourself out.
The physical exercise should be accompanied by Directive Thought … thought directed to the Solar Plexus with the idea of arousing, and stimulating its activity.
The Invigorating Breath
The following exercise, accompanied by Directive Thought applied to the Solar Plexus, has been employed with excellent results in the direction of invigorating the whole system in a certain indescribable manner which must be experienced in order to be appreciated. It produces a stimulating reaction and invigoration, akin to that one experiences after a cold plunge followed with a good rubbing-down with a coarse towel.
(1) Inhale a full breath, through the nostrils. (2) Pucker up the lips as S you were going to use them in blowing a comet or other brass wind-instrument — do not distend the cheeks, however, as in the case of the use of the instrument, (3) Exhale the breath, through the puckered lips, with a strong “blowing” motion and action just as if you were trying to get a good, strong, clear note it a horn. Repeat several times; but do not over-exert or strain yourself, nor tire yourself out.
The Stimulating Breath
The following exercise has also been found quite stimulating, and many have discovered that it has improved the richness of the sound of their voices, and has given a new “tone” to their speaking and singing voice. It should be accompanied by Directive Thought applied to the Solar Plexus, as before de- scribed.
(1) Inhale a full breath, through the nostrils. (2) Open the mouth wide. (3) Then exhale the breath, “puffing” the air out of the mouth in one great “puff,” like a locomotive, putting some life and vigor into the movement, though not straining yourself. Repeat several times; but do not tire yourself, nor employ the exercise too violently.
The “Nerve Force” Breath, the Quieting Breath and the Grand Psychic Breath
The above are complex breathing systems which are described in the original book. The book seems readily available on the web in a variety for formats. Consider http://imaginecells.org/?p=3263
Much in Little
In this book we have given you the essence, substance, gist, and spirit of the best teachings concerning the Solar Plexus, or Abdominal Brain, — teachings both Oriental and Occidental, both ancient and modern. The instruction has been condensed and compressed into a small space, and, therefore must be most carefully read and studied in order to obtain the full contents thereof.
I have done considerable cutting to make the book more readable – and so more useful.
Please forgive me if you feel I’ve been too harsh J Steven Guth