Sunday, 31 May 2009
On "Opening" the Chakras
When I was beginning my paths in the spiritual and metaphysical studies 15 years ago, talk of "opening" the chakras, or energy systems in the body was much more common than it is today. Another symptom, quite possibly, of the shift in quality of information available. However, it is just as well that this particular body of information is not expounded anymore, for the way it was usually taught - supercharging the energies of each power center to open it up and grow it, was potentially dangerous.
So why am I bringing it up today? I believe the chakra system can be very useful. And, unlike many who went before me, I will focus on the lower three chakras, rather than the upper four. For those who need a basic run-down on the seven major chakras, Google and Wikipedia are always a good place to start. I will get straight to the point.
The lowest three chakras are important to start at because they are very root level causes of suffering. Their messages, at least in distorted form, mix together and form the Gordian knot of psychoses, which we then attempt to slice using thought (a function of the third, or solar plexus, chakra). Or, the Buddhist version is to develop compassion - relative by "training" in emptiness, using all four lower chakras, and absolute by using the higher three. I have no objection to absolute compassion or even relative compassion. I am presenting an alternative way of dealing with it.
The trick here is to realise the individual madness each chakra contains (when it's running mad).
The root chakra, the lowest, is the chakra governing survival. Unsurprisingly, it produces the spiritual equivalent (and perhaps even the physical one) of fight or flight. It says, "I want security/to survive."
The sacral chakra, the next one up, is about the energy developing a way of relating to people around it, and so it governs emotions and sex. It goes into action saying, "I want approval/acceptance."
In the solar plexus chakra, the energy mutates one more level, becoming intellectual. This is where the Renaissance idea of "I think, therefore I am." comes from. It becomes more cunning, and more intelligent. This is where schemes are elaborate and more manipulative. It says, "I want to control/be in charge."
Now, in any one single psychotic tendency (and if you think you don't have them, you are just defining psychosis differently from me), at least one of the three will be present. These are the chakras in their "closed" form. They are "closed" because they are focussed on the "I" and its preservation. To attempt to deal with all three energy centers at once is tricky, and so we use the method of dividing to conquer.
And to conquer, the most direct route, although perhaps not the easiest one, is through the sacral chakra. We have evolved too far in the solar plexus chakra to defeat our thinking easily, although Byron Katie's Work does it very effectively. However, sticking with the emotions of the sacral is another way to do it. It is very simple - remove all the labels and thoughts in a situation, and just sit with an emotion, no matter how yucky it is. It is the counter-intuitive move - to allow ourselves to feel precisely that which we do not want to feel. Yet, in doing this, the energy collapses, because we make the sacral "realise" that there is no emotional threat. It may happen immediately, or it may take awhile. It depends on the level of psychosis and the level of skill. However, in my experience, if you know what you are doing, it is a quick surgical cut and then it is done.
Once the second/sacral realises that, it "opens". It no longer feels the need to protect you from your emotions, and so it stops struggling. That immediately helps, because in the energy loop, it is in between the root (survival) and the solar plexus (mental). The buildup of energy is released. From there, if it is a minor issue, you may apply The Work to the thought processes, thus showing the loopholes in mistaken thinking generated in the mental chakra.
For major ones, I would go down to the first, the instinct for survival, and again sit with it. Sitting in the fear of fight or flight, it eventually disappears. Leave the thoughts out of it for awhile. Make the root the focus.
It is the same attitude a mother takes when disturbed from soothing her crying baby and the older child tugs at her. "Later!" is the snarl, the same one you give to thoughts that come a-knocking. Then you go back to sitting in fight or flight. When that is resolved, releasing the mistaken thinking is easy. Try to think clearly when the first two chakras are also in the mix is about as effective as whispering in a hailstorm.
This may seem like painwork, but it is the most direct path.