Monday, May 26, 2014

Notes on the Chakras: Sahasrara

In the terms of the classical system, the seventh chakra, Sahasrara, is the finish point. It resides at the top of the head or in some observations, just above the head and it's visualized as a thousand petal lotus that shines with the radiance of pure spirit. It is the point of connection between us and the Universe. In theory, if all the chakras are spinning and the seventh is open, then you are in tune with the cosmos and open to her wisdom.

I won't say much about this one and not because I don't have much to say. I could wax on about definitions of divine and the interconnection of things or even delve into the quantum revelations of modern science and the effect the observer has on the observed just by the effort of observing. It's heady stuff and I love it but I hesitate to discuss it openly.

I don't like messing with a person's idea of God, the Goddess or the Divine. It's a very old rule of mine that states "Thou shall not tamper with another's faith." If I am approached and questioned, I am willing to have a guarded discussion about faith and dogma and religion and so on. But I don't think it's right to hold up banners claiming to know anything for certain when ideas concerning the divine and spiritual matters are constantly evolving in even the most faithful.

This chakra is about your personal relationship with whatever you choose to call the energy that is greater than all of us. But that's just it. It's personal. If we choose to talk about it in a quiet setting over coffee and a simple dessert, there will be an agreement concerning open minds and a lack of judgement. And I may even get it in writing.

I wish it wasn't this way actually. I wish we could talk freely and openly and have nothing to fear about discussing the various ways that everyone sees their own spirituality. But, alas, it cannot be. We just haven't made it that far as a species yet.

You see, people hate each other over the perceived differences in spiritual perspective. People kill each other over perceived differences in spiritual perspective. Think about that. Wars are fought, atrocities are encouraged over differences in spiritual opinion.

So, I'm sorry but we just can't talk about it. It's too subjective, too dependent on personal experience and the dogma that was shoveled onto tender young minds. How can we threaten that? Those are traditions, mind you, passed down through generations with prejudices and preconceived notions intact. We can't threaten these with new ideas or evolving notions. It's just too much.

But it's a shame though. Even a passing glance at some form of comparative religions studies will leave most with the impression that a thousand different cultures were all trying to describe the same thing with different words and at different times. It's like they were standing in the museum staring at the most beautiful painting that was ever created and then they were asked to describe it.  Words fail, of course, and opinions form about what they saw, or what they think they saw. But the painting is still there, somewhere and some seek it out through the corridors of the self, hoping for just a glimpse at perfection, a personal communion with all that could be without the dogma and the prejudices and the notions.

But we can't talk about that. Because, what would we say, really? I mean, I could point out that the painting may not even exist. I could bring up the fact that a thousand sages across a thousand ages have all agreed that its not the painting that is important, but the journey to the painting that brings wisdom and enlightenment. But if a thousand sages said it all those times and so few listened, why would I just rehash what no one wants to hear? Active spirituality is work. The answers are not easy and forthcoming. And sitting in a pile of dogma is so comfortable and easy.

So I won't say anything. I leave this chakra to be explored by the willing or ignored. And I will just have to hope that those brave enough to explore will have the sense to realize that what you bring to this chakra is what you will see. Be careful with what you carry, be wary of the mask you wear when you step into this light. In many ways it can be a mirror, a reflection of yourself within and without. This is one of the reasons the ancients sought to clear the lower chakras before opening this window to the divine so that their vision would be unfettered with the expectations of this physical plane.

And, see? Now we are just getting into crazy talk and I just won't go there. This is me, holding my hands up, gently stepping away. I have to have faith that you will find the path that you intended to find. There is a plan, after all, or I have faith that there is a plan. Or I have some inkling that time is a construct of perception and that everything that will ever happen has already happened and we just experience it in a linear fashion in order to get the most out of it. That is an interesting thought, though. Everything has already happened and we just have to get there. Or is every second birthed from the second before? Or does it matter either way?

Maybe not. It may not matter at all. Which is why you might notice that the "enlightened" have a tendency to shrug a lot. Does it matter? Eh, we'll see. Live in the moment. Answer to the now. Breath and wait without expectation.

We'll see.

And that could be the perfect answer to everything.

But enough of this. I leave this here at the end that can never end and hope that I haven't said too much. Not just about this particular chakra but all of them, the entire system. I feel the need to offer a disclaimer that these ideas and impressions are my own and there are much more qualified authorities on such matters that should be referenced and cross referenced. In the age of the Internet, the first rule is "Find three sources for everything". This project was my own attempt to clarify my own impressions and filter years of study. I have much more to learn and I can even admit that I have no idea what the next step in this journey is.

I guess, we'll see.

Notes on the Chakras: Ajna

What is real?

What is the definition of reality?

For most, this isn't even a question. "Real" defines itself. "Reality" is proof of reality. I'm here, aren't I? How much more "real" can you get?

But what if we remove the filter of subjective perception? What's left? What are we actually experiencing in the midst of this crazy mishmash of energy and matter? Our brains take the perception of various wavelengths of radiation through ocular nerves and process that mess into a coherent vision of a local reality. But what if our nerves or brains or eyes were different? Would reality be different?

Questions such as these bring us to the sixth chakra. It is called Anja and its job is to mitigate the illusion.

Some would immediately argue that point. Some would say that Anja is meant to see past the illusion, not mitigate or control. This is the most glamorous chakra, after all, often touted as the gateway to enlightenment and an obvious focal point for meditation. It's location is at the brow point between the eyes which is why it's referred to as the "third eye", an apt description that has easily leaked into popular culture. It's the source of wisdom and the intellect, intuition and the conscious and unconscious mind. Open this chakra and you see things as they truly are.

"As they truly are..."

I have issues with that phrase. I think it's misleading at best and dangerous at the far end. It implies that we are all in the thrall of a collective psychotic break, that reality is not what it seems at a base level and if we try real hard, we can see what "real" reality looks like.

Well . . . Maybe? As a fan of fantasy and science fiction, I am very open to the idea of other realities and universes and the idea that there is more above and below this realm of experience. But I also realize that the core reality is just that. The core. The base. The collective experience that we all can agree on.

Some of this inherent confusions come from the eastern concepts of maya which can be translated as "illusion" or even "delusions". A lot of the older texts discuss overcoming maya and using the sixth chakra to do it. This is one of the many instances where I would love to be able to read the original text in the original languages in order to draw my own conclusions. The western ideas of maya translate into the idea that the reality itself is the illusion to be overcome and that may be the case but I am beginning to believe that it's not reality that's the illusion but our perception of reality that's not real.

It goes back to that filter of subjective perception. The word "subjective" as defined buy Google means "based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions." How many of us can say that we view reality without the influence of feelings or opinions based on past experiences?

Imagine your mind as a video recording device that started fresh and new and free of any preconceived notions. Now imagine that any experience you have is represented by a tinted glass, a filter than can fit onto the lens of your recording device. Your begin recording and each experience adds a filter to the lens. So the perception of your reality is tinted by the filters of experiences to the point that you may not even see reality for what it truly is.

So, maybe it's not reality that's the illusion. Maybe it's our perception of reality that is the illusion.

The sixth chakra is the lens to our recording device and it holds the filters we've placed their throughout our lives. Let's keep in mind though, that we may have come into this life to collect some filters and experience things from a particular subjective viewpoint. But to have control of the filters, to see with clarity and a heightened sense of spiritual awareness is a noble goal. A lot of chakra work has to do with clearing up issues so that one can act consciously as opposed to reacting subconsciously. Being able to perceive a situation or person clearly is a huge step toward such goals.

So what is real?

Does it really matter? If you choose to embrace the filters that tint your perception then your reality will always be your version of reality, your version of "real". If you choose to let them go, then you see reality for what it is and go from there. To a degree, your filters define you as a person. The collection of experiences, both painful and joyous, created the personas we cling to like driftwood in a turbulent sea. To let them go means you might have to sink into unknown waters and find yourself swimming with the real you.

And I can't imagine it getting more real than that.