A LOOK AT THE SEVEN CHAKRAS

 We may think of the first seven chakras as seven levels of energy and consciousness associated with specific locations in the body. (Other chakras are in aura.)
 

                Chakra 7 -- the Crown Chakra -- Sahasrara -- on top of head
                                     entry into no boundary consciousness -- non-dual --
                                    no subject and object thinking (Ken Wilber’s Unitive Consciousness)

                Chakra 6 -- the Third Eye Chakra -- Ajna -- just above and between eyebrows --
                                    union with deity -- direct experience of non-ego reality of Self (linked
                                    with Wilber’s Subtle or Saintly realm)

                Chakra 5 -- Throat Chakra -- Visuddha -- region of throat --
                                    psychical reality -- has to do with sound and hearing -- a listening and
                                    observing in stillness.  Taking responsibility for  thought as well as behavior.
                                    Increasing forgiveness, free from greed, hate and pride. (Wilber’s Psychic realm)

             Chakra 4 -- Heart Chakra -- Anahata -- in the heart region, above diaphragm --
                                air and subtle fire -- subtle energies of spirit -- (Wilber’s centauric consciousness --
                                integrating mind and body)

                Chakra 3 -- Power Chakra -- Manipura -- fire -- located in solar plexus or upper center of
                               abdomen -- balance point in martial arts -- power, will, intentionality -- one is
                               still not free -- fear and desire for control -- ideology -- “what we all believe --
                               high value on logic and reason and running things -- motivation is achievement --
                               something of territoriality here also.

                Chakra 2 -- Genital Chakra (sometimes called Spleen Chakra)  -- Svadhisthana --
                                   associated with sexuality or general life-expansiveness -- represented by water --
                                   a sort of “you and me” consciousness in which relationships are central  --
                                   motivation based on desire for approval or love from another person --
                                   at this stage sex and spirituality are differentiated and tend to be experienced as opposites

               Chakra 1 -- Root Chakra -- Muladhara -- located in perineum -- associated with survival and
                                  represented by element of earth -- looks to basic material needs -- safety, food, shelter --
                                  a very "me centered" consciousness. Often linked with magical thinking --  fear is dominant emotion --
                                  fear of loss of physical health or material possessions.

Further commentary on the Chakras:  (from John E. Nelson)

 First Chakra, the "root" chakra (Muladhara).  The first chakra guides the development of the fetus and infant before it forms a bounded self. Its primary mode is survival as it prepares an amorphous being for personal individuation.  For people centered at this chakra, relationships with others are dependent and clinging, based on need.  The Muladhara chakra is traditionally depicted at the base of the spine in the lower pelvis. [relates to brain stem -- McLean's reptilian brain]

 Second chakra, the [“spleen” chakra or ] "typhonic" chakra (Svadhisthana).  [the Typhon was a mythological being -- half human and half serpent]  The second chakra operates throughout early childhood as self-boundaries gradually wall off a separate identity within the Ground, but are still far more permeable than those of most adults.  It is characterized by a magical world of wish-fulfilling fantasy and a relatively free flow of conscious energy between individual and Ground, which is gradually diminished by social living. [Think of Calvin of "Calvin and Hobbes," think of Ego Chant and magical thinking.]  The primary modes of the second chakra are unbridled desire and free-form sexuality.   Relationships with others are idealized and tinged with fantasy.  The 2nd chakra is physically embodied below the navel. [think limbic system of brain -- McLean's old-mammalian brain with Four F's]

 Third chakra, the "power" chakra (Manipura).  The consciousness of the third chakra infuses a young adult throughout his quest for a career and suitable mate as he establishes himself as an effective and competent force in the world.  It is characterized by maximum individuation,  . . ., and prideful striving to fortify the ego.  Its primary modes are power and control.   People centered at this chakra are uncomfortable in the company of anyone operating at higher levels.  Relationships are competitive and manipulative.  Many -- perhaps most -- individuals in industrialized societies never progress beyond the third chakra.  The Manipura chakra is centered over the solar plexus.  [relates to neocortex and especially to frontal lobes]

 Fourth chakra, the "heart" chakra (Anahata).  The fourth chakra rises above attachments to the material and social worlds and towards an impassioned union with humanity, indeed with all sentient life.  In its capacity to lift the self above the ego and initiate a gradual reopening to the Source, it is the first spiritual level.  It is characterized by compassion, empathy, and devotion to goals that go beyond self-aggrandizement.  Relationships are selfless and magnanimous.  Its primary mode is universal love.  The Anahata chakra is located in the midchest.  [Nelson sees this as reintegrating neocortex and limbic -- roughly thoughts and feelings]

 Fifth chakra: the [“throat” chakra or ]"inspiration" chakra (Vissuddha). The fifth chakra .  .  .    seeks creative expression through an expanded self.  The level of majestic wisdom, access to universal symbols, surrender to divine power, and partial detachment from specific worldly outcomes.  Its primary modes are grace and creativity. Relationships are characterized by shared commitment to higher goals.  .  .  .  .The 3rd chakra is centered over the throat. [Nelson sees this as extending the integration so that neocortex and limbic and brain stem are all harmonized.]

 Sixth Chakra, the [“third eye” chakra or] "shamanic" chakra (Ajna). The sixth chakra provides the means to gain control .  .  .   so as to alter consciousness and reality at will.  This is the level of benign sorcery, visionary power and prophecy.  It is characterized by expanded vision and direct access to universal knowledge.  Its primary mode is insight.  Although sixth-chakra capabilities may "leak" into lower strata of consciousness -- often disruptively -- this level is fully realized only after prolonged involvement in spiritual practice, usually in the context of monastic life.  Hence there is a partial withdrawal from worldly commitments and relationships.  Sometimes called the "third eye," the Ajna chakra is traditionally located in the midforehead.

 Seventh chakra, the [“crown” chakra or] "reunion" chakra (Sahasrara).  The seventh chakra marks a return of self to Source, a voluntary dissolution of self-boundaries, a merger of a fully developed soul with its divine essence.  It is the culmination of a life exceptionally well lived, the fulfillment of humankind's highest potential.  At the present level of human evolution it is rare for individuals to reach this plane of consciousness, although many glimpse it transiently.  Characterized by unconditional surrender to the Ground, its primary mode is unity.  Occasionally, people centered at lower levels experience fleeting breakthroughs of seventh-chakra "mystical" consciousness.  These are unforgettable moments, sufficient to permanently transform a life.  Most traditional charts portray the Sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head, or a few inches above.

 from John E. Nelson, Healing the Split: Integrating Spirit into our Understanding of the Mentally Ill, 2nd ed. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994), pp. 163-164
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The Chakras correlated with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

First chakra correlated with Maslow's Survival Needs
Second Chakra correlated with Maslow's Security needs (longer time and children)
[no parallel to 3rd chakra]
Fourth chakra correlated with Maslow's Belonging Needs
Fifth Chakra correlated with Maslow's Esteem Needs (especially with regard to fame, making a name for oneself)
Sixth Chakra correlated with Maslow's Self-Actualization Needs
Seventh Chakra correlated with Maslow's Self -Transcendence Needs

Furthermore, Maslow's lower needs are deficiency needs; his higher needs are being needs.
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The Chakras correlated to our Model of the Five Seasons:

RESPONSIBLE ADULT
3rd Chakra consolidated


                                                     YOUTH                                                              ELDER
                                                       start of                                                      4th & 5th Chakras
                                           "closed down/ grown up"                                               opening
                                                 3rd chakra

                                                    CHILD                                                             SAGE
                                          2nd chakra consciousness                                      6th & 7th Chakras
                                                                                                                                   opening
                                                   infant to young child
                                                           1st chakra consciousness
 


DYNAMIC SOURCE
here and everywhere




                                                                                (c) John G. Sullivan, Elon University, August 15, 2003
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