Centers of Consciousness: The Chakras
Western civilization has focused so heavily on the intellectual capacity of the human being that it has overlooked other regions of consciousness in the human body. If we think of the energy centers of the body, we can see how those are also connected to the different layers of consciousness (Figure 5). The root chakra, the sacral, and the solar plexus all function in the area of the awake mind, active memory, and personal unconscious. When the energy is only flowing in that part of our human system, our ego, intellect, our attachments and insecurities, and things that have to do with our sense of survival in a material world become energized.
If we can activate the energy centers in our heart and in our throat, then we can move into a broader understanding of the human unconscious because those things activate parts of us that change our perception and our consciousness of things like love, affection, compassion, our sense of social justice, and the beginnings of our feelings of the continuity of life where other human beings are not so much a threat to us. At lower levels of consciousness, when we’re trapped in specific cultural realms of consciousness, we can be very tribal. Anyone who is different from us can be seen as a threat to our survival, a threat to our culture, or a threat to our understanding of the world; but as we move deeper and those other parts of our body and our consciousness are activated, then we have a more broad understanding of who we are as human beings.
The sixth chakra, what people call the third eye, corresponds to the collective unconscious and Christ consciousness. It’s our ability to see and understand on a very expansive level, not only being human and the continuity of life, but the purpose of life and the purpose of our own work in the world, our understanding of how we are in relationship to other people, how those higher purposes and things are functioning in relation to our ego, intellect, our will, and our imagination.
Above those are what might be called the crown chakras, but there are more energy centers in the body in the crown area of the head, which is why it’s called the crown chakra (like the many points on a crown). We can think of that area as where we have the potential to receive the awareness and consciousness that is God, that is the life force and love that becomes manifest in us. That area of potential, for most people, is unconscious, but if we can reach into it in some way, we begin to understand how that energy flows into us. That energy is the expression of what we call love, and there is an understanding of truth that goes with it that helps us function in a much higher capacity.
If we understand this to be the system, and how it works, and if we understand that God consciousness helps us function in our most complete, healthy, and most aware form, a form that gives us an experience of bliss, it’s a different understanding of how we perceive time and all aspects of life. When we get to this level, there’s an unfolding of energy and consciousness that continuously erupts and feeds into our awareness—it is part of each one of us, and also part of all of us. When we’re most connected to that awareness, our understanding of who we are is different from our egoic consciousness. Instead of identifying with the material parts of our self or self- generated ideas of who we are, we begin to identify with higher forms of consciousness and energy, we understand our true spiritual nature, and we are connected to a much higher form of consciousness and energy.
Another way to think of consciousness is that it is very absorptive and flexible. God consciousness can descend into what we’re calling the material or lower realms of consciousness but we have to open up a channel in a way that shows we’re ready. It’s not going to come, or descend, until we’re ready and we have to do things to show our readiness. There’s a process of learning and growing into who we are that is required. We can experience any part of this consciousness at any time because God is always present with us, but it’s a different thing to turn toward God, using our will and directing our ego and intellect, surrendering to the power and love of God inside of us. This is a different process, and when we do this, we are demonstrating a higher level of consciousness and awareness.
From the Readings
2014-117 One must understand that the three lower chakras work together almost simultaneously, and that the four higher chakras also work together almost simultaneously [see Figure 6]. Where there is perceived to be three, there are actually four. So we consider the four upper chakras to be in the throat—corresponding to the thyroid—the pineal, the pituitary, and the fourth opening, the fourth wheel of energy is the hypothalamus. But the pineal, the pituitary, and the hypothalamus are in such close proximity that the vortex of energy or the wheels of light are sometimes difficult to distinguish even in the subtle body of the individual. Then there is the heart, which is almost like mediator between the upper four and the lower three. The heart is like the intersection. But we must always remember that our descriptive words tend to be perceived in two planes of existence: an up and a down, and a forward and a back, but these exist in multiple planes, and so we have a truly holographic model. If one were to see these in the third dimension, there would be intersecting spheres overlapping in the body.
The middle range of consciousness corresponds to the heart; conceptually, these function from a spiritual perspective and are felt and absorbed at highly emotional levels. The higher realms of consciousness corresponding to the four upper chakras that seemingly function in the unconscious, and then the lower chakras which correspond to the more conscious aspects of the living system, these correspond with daily life: survival, material concerns, material well-being. Now here is an important understanding—and that is what most human beings see as a process of discernment, see as a process of differentiation, description and understanding—while they feel like they function in the mind, because of the physical location of cognitive processes, the differentiation occurs at the lower levels of consciousness and is facilitated by the energy centers of the three lower chakras. These realms are managed, controlled, and often manipulated by the ego, because the ego likes to appropriate attachments and fears for its own use. It likes to use the attachments and fears associated with survival and material well-being. But as the energy and the consciousness rises up in the system, remember that we say "up" in a relative sense, we might say as these things rise or come closer to higher and greater realms of consciousness and awareness, that the process of oneness is a dissipation of that same differentiation, that cataloging and describing of the ego-directed conscious mind. It is important to understand that this dissipation at its highest spiritual levels is what is understood as the vastation, the emptying, of all conceptualization, all attachment and aversion, so that the light and awareness, the consciousness, pure consciousness flows down through the higher centers (and we always must remind you, that higher and lower are relative terms that the mind uses to organize its understanding of the process). We might also say that all of this light and energy emanates from these higher centers, as if these are the points of entry of the light and life that you understand as God. Because these are in the center of the being, again, thinking that higher is just a conceptualization, the life force moves out into the material realms.
2014-118 As the consciousness moves toward the intersection (again we say that moving is relative, you can think of it as an unfolding), all of the layers between the universe and the living system of the being are removed. This corresponds with the dissipation and the emptying, and the primordial consciousness that is a field of energy with very highly absorptive capacity. This part of the being actually merges with the object of its perception. The next stage of understanding the living system (we are choosing these words over a single word “being” because what you perceive as a being is truly a living system) and its perception is that the object that is being perceived is understood in its essence because the living system is functioning from an understanding of its own essence. You might say that the material barrier or the boundary has been breached in such a way that the object of perception is no longer seen as an object but is understood as an essence emanating from God, such that God in one living system recognizes the God consciousness that exists in the object of its perception. God sees God. There is a unification, and the highly absorptive consciousness experiences the same highly absorptive consciousness in a mutual process. If the consciousness does not go inward (in a relative sense of direction) toward its own essence, and chooses instead to move out toward the object, because the living system does not understand its own essence and cannot recognize the essence of that which it is perceiving at a grosser vibrational level, the consciousness will not hold the perception. Ultimately it fails in one fashion or another because the consciousness does not exist in the system to hold the mutual understanding. The living system holds this simply by opening itself, accepting itself, recognizing itself.
2014-119 All of this process of consciousness and awareness is enhanced through meditation and prayer. Meditation and prayer facilitate the movement of consciousness toward its own essence and destroy all conceptual structures, all constellated objects in the consciousness in the being or the living system. We will speak to this further, later when we talk about how the Christ ideal embodies the consciousness that holds all the experiences that lead to the opening that we described that exists between the lower chakras and the higher chakras.