The Chakras or Energy Centers
As popular as the chakras and metaphysics have become, the subject of human energy, the chakras and their existence, let alone their effects, currently endures an extremely slow and resistant acceptance by the proponents of the scientific method who are so deeply rooted in the tangible world. Yet, one can only wonder that with such a rich history of experience and documentation in the ancient world of so many cultures why such a resistance still endures. Tangibility is the preferred medium of the discriminating mind. But all action emanates from something more than just the mind. The judgment and the categorization that the mind performs is an after effect or residue of something else that has proceeded it. The movement of our feelings and the “surfacing” of our thoughts come from deeper and more subtle origins. To put it into words limits us to a level of perception that only the mind is able to
discriminate. It’s a lot like telling a blind man what light is. Even though the blind man is surrounded by light, he is unable to experience it as a sighted person might. This is similar to a fish in the ocean being unable to perceive the water as a separate quality until it is able to experience the land that surrounds it enough to “see” or perceive a difference. Another way to understand this, especially for those of you with a scientific temperament, would be to compare this to the workings of an electromagnet. It’s easy to see and feel its tangible qualities; the metal, the wiring, but to perceive the field that surrounds and permeates it; you must first realize that it is there and then you must have a tool and some reference to measure it against. Those of us who use our feeling as our gauge for reality will find it much easier to accept this “intangible” dimension than someone who uses their mind as their template for reality. Nevertheless, the tree falling in the forest does make a sound but only for whomever else is listening. For those of you who are feeling oriented, you know where I’m going. For those of you, who are of the scientific orientation, please, if you can, withhold judgment until you have heard me out. The framework I will describe is solid and cohesive but extremely difficult to measure without tools specific to this kind of energy. Perhaps, future scientific methods will develop measuring tools sensitive to the domains I will describe. Let’s move on to describing the energetic “landscape.”
In the same fashion that we have nerve plexus’ conjuncting at various areas in the body, we also have energy plexus’ that overlay those junctures. In metaphysical traditions these areas are called chakras. The word chakra comes from the Sanskrit meaning wheel. Hence, the points in the body where the chakras are positioned are also called vortices. Since sound, light and energy travels in cycles, these serve as good examples for how energy moves in the chakras; also spinning in cycles. The faster they spin, the “higher” the frequency. The slower they spin, the “lower” the frequency. In the same way that it can be determined which way the energy will flow through an electromagnet (by changing the polarity); we also have the capability to determine the direction the energy will flow cycling in the chakra (projecting or receiving). Suffice it to say for now that if the spin, from our vantage point, is counterclockwise, the energy will be moving toward you. If moving clockwise, away from you. Hence we can say it is moving inward or outward. For example, to take this concept further; when we are speaking, the energy will flow clockwise and away from us (outward). When we are listening, the energy will be flowing counterclockwise and toward us (inward).
The chakras are “connected” to many different references, qualities and aspects of all life. These correspondences are endless since they permeate and include every aspect of human existence. To delineate them here would be a monumental task that can be covered better by the multitude of books currently on the market. My aim here is to describe the “head space” and cognitive perception of an individual who “operates” on each of the levels. To this end I will endeavor to build an awareness of an individual’s perspectives by referring back to the “Sequential Progression of Awareness” chart covered previously.
Before covering each level, it’s important to understand the building effect of moving from one center to the next. To do so requires us to move through them sequentially. That is, we cannot “skip” one center to move to the next. What is contained in each center must necessarily be ingested and integrated in order to comprehend and use what is being offered through the next center. In a sense, we can call this a chain of command. To skip the experience needed to develop the capacity inherent to the next sequential level in order to “move up the ranks” leaves us at a deficit for what must be understood before we can apply our skills effectively. In business, this is called the “Peter Principle” where an individual is promoted beyond his capabilities. In a grosser comparison, might say that one who crawls needs to learn to walk before they can run.
Additionally, when I describe “where” the chakra or center is located in the body, I will give the location to which it has traditionally been applied but we must realize that when a center is actively assimilated and integrated, that area will extend outward. How far it extends or, more appropriately, how intensely the field may be developed depends on the maturity and awareness of the person the field emanates from. Its emanation is a function of both the projective and receptive capacities of the individual. So a person who has only recently begun to work with the center may only appear to resonate within a mere point in the body, where a person who has integrated the qualities may “broadcast” well past the borders of his body. We should also realize that though a person may have assimilated and integrated the energies of that center, it is not a permanent condition and that the individual may easily regress toward a prior more limiting perspective of life based on grosser desires and the gained abilities may go dormant until the perceptive state is again achieved. The only difference between one who has lost capacity and one who has just gained is the ease and speed with which that center is then again resonated with. Understand that when I say resonated with, I am referring to returning at a state of perception more broadly centered than the center the individual has recently “graduated” from.
Each chakra brings perception of a differing "mode" producing specific types of rapport with how we perceive and live our lives. Let's now look at each individual center and how they integrate our lives.
Adapted and excerpted from:
Maerz, John L., (2012) A Mile in Your Shoes: The Road to Self-Actualization Through Compassion. Lulu Publishers.