Monday, May 26, 2014

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.

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