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..:: Perspective ::..

By

Alan Schneider

                                                                                                                                       

              A term that has been used often in these essays, but never fully explored, is perspective. The purpose of this SYNERGY essay is to illuminate the function of our personal perspectives in determining the quality and content of the consciousness that we experience. I will approach this investigation using the Hindu Chakra System of classification, since this system is well known in the Mystery Theories, and generally understood by many observers. 

            If we begin at the First Chakra, Muladhara, the Root Chakra, and the logical starting point of our inquiry, we find ourselves dealing with what the Western Mysteries refer to as the Physical Plane of manifestation. Muladhara is concerned with material, physical survival and prosperity – issues that are focused in the perception of the body and physical senses. Although the net affect of the senses is to provide a composite of sensory perception, this phenomenon is processed through the ego as the psychological interpreter of experience, and our egos determine what will be the focus of our attention at any given time, at least on the Physical Plane of expression. This interactive focusing process, in turn, determines our perspective of awareness on the Physical Plane, and additionally involves the instantaneous access of the memory by the ego, which is actively cross-referenced to our momentary sensory impressions to complete the final element of the physical perspective of experience – our personal attitude toward that experience. Perspectives on the Physical Plane are rarely neutral, but tend to by evaluated as either positive or negative by the ego in association with the complex of information constituting those perspectives. All of this occurs as the direct result of the influence of the body on perception at the level of the Physical Plane – it is not unreasonable to say that the body is the determinant of perspective on the Physical Plane, if we include the supposition that the ego is functionally a part of the physical apparatus of perception, whether or not it is also treated as a mental construct. 

            In fact, there is much support for the contention that all of the first three Chakras operate with different aspects of physicality on the Physical Plane.  Muladhara concerns basic survival operations – making a living, shopping for necessities, moving through the world, and communicating, to name a few. The Second Chakra, Svadhisthana, is concerned with mating, family life, reproduction, and sexuality, all slightly higher functions in life that are presumed to follow the successful achievement of the survival requirements of Muladhara. And all of these are also elements of existence and expression on the Physical Plane. However, it is at this level that the consideration of Tantra becomes relevant. Although most individuals will probably choose the practice of Left Hand Tantra as the inevitable consequence of physical sexuality, the acculturated option for beginning the practice of Right Hand Tantra, the vehicle of spiritual Ascension, also exists, and will be identified by those sufficiently so inclined. This is the first perspective of Yoga, the path of spiritual reunion with the Logos.

            The Third Chakra, Manipura, is the focus of social activity and acculturation – the processes of educating the individual in the norms and expectations of the surrounding society and social systems – again manifestly literal elements of the Physical Plane.  Even if these processes are present in consciousness as mental constructs, they are demonstrated as physical behaviors with attached physical expectations for anticipated outcomes. And the ego, the personal pilot mechanism of waking consciousness, is ultimately a social phenomenon, constructed and reinforced through our interactions with each other taking place on the Physical Plane. The distinction to be made here is that of degree and implication – Manipura tends to involve the perspective of national, racial, ethnic, and civic perception – what we believe to be true and proper with regard to the social sub-groups we experience in the world, as opposed to our immediate family or partner at the level of Svadhisthana, or our personal circumstances at the level of Muladhara. Obviously, our perspective is quite possibly a matter of complex involvement of elements of all three Chakras manifest simultaneously concerning a given event, or events, occurring at a given time, but this is all referenced at this stage of consideration to Physical conditions on the Physical Plane. And, for the most part, these perspectives are mediated by the ego as the Physical Plane pilot mechanism. (2.3.4)

            We can exist as physical organisms with no more than the action of the first three Chakras in our consciousness, and, in fact, we can do quite well on the Physical Plane if our Karma permits this. We may never even hear the terms “Physical Plane”, “Karma”, “Chakras”, or “Reincarnation” in a given incarnation, and still do well in the material sense. But the human being is woefully incomplete who experiences no more than physical processing of physical sensation in this life which has so much more than that to offer! Beyond the collective perspective of the first three Chakras lie the remaining four spiritual centers of higher consciousness, each of which successively, exponentially dilates our consciousness through the addition of the spiritual perspectives to the perception of existence. 

            This process begins with the experience of Anahata, Chakra Four – the Heart Chakra. Anahata is the Seat of the Soul – or Atman in the Hindu tradition – and the gateway to the three additional higher Chakras beyond. Because the Soul as a condition of consciousness is inevitably concerned with moral sacrifice as the mechanism of compassion, working with Anahata can be very challenging. At this level, we must relinquish many of the material pleasures experienced in the first three Chakras as the price of the attainment of the selfless love and compassion that enables the spiritual recognition of all of the other Soul manifestations in life. Through this process, we are affectively learning a new acculturation that teaches us to view life and all of its elements as Soul Emanations – even rocks and trees are seen as Soul expressions apart from, and yet including, their material forms in this new perspective. This mode of perception expands all the way to the entire physical universe, which is perceived as having the Logos as its Soul, and all of the Soul Expressions are connected in a network of Love and Light within the Logos as the Supreme Absolute Truth of Consciousness. Compassion as experienced in the Heart is more than sympathy or empathy for beings and conditions that remain external in perception – it is the comprehensive inclusion of all life, all consciousness, and all experience in One Loving perception of the Unity of Being. This is life’s most challenging, and, at the same time, most valuable lesson to be learned, because compassion embodies the Truth, and that Truth will set us free as conscious beings to perceive our real spiritual nature as manifestations of Light

            Many individuals spend lives and lifetimes simply working at the level of Anahata to develop compassion as the foundation of the personal spiritual perspective. Once this goal is realized – and this process has an ongoing maintenance requirement through the performance of Dharma and Good Works – the gateway of the Heart is opened to the Chakras that follow.  These are Vishuddah, Ajna, and Sahasrara, in the order of their significance in Ascension Theory.  

            The Fifth Chakra, Vishuddah, or Throat Chakra, is concerned communication of spiritual vibrations, processes, and information across all of the Chakras and associated Planes of Expression. This includes chanting Mantras, singing hymns, preaching,  teaching, and conducting public presentations on spiritual themes, and other forms of Dharma and Good Works that express spiritual Love and devotion to the Logos. The Christian term for this level of activity is Bearing Witness for Christ, but every faith has an understanding of the essence of communication involved in Vishuddah.  By this time, Dharma to God has become the single most important process in the Aspirant’s life, long since eclipsing personal needs and conveniences on the Physical Plane. My gift of these words is Dharma occurring at the level of Vishuddah, the Chakra that I spend the bulk of my conscious time working with. Inasmuch as every thought, word, and deed on the Physical Plane expresses some kind of communication, we are always continuously reaching out to each other regarding our condition. Working in Vishuddah shifts the emphasis of communication away from personal coefficients and toward universal spiritual coefficients as the most positive possible use of our time while incarnate on the Physical Plane. The perspective of consciousness at this level amounts to sharing the perception of the Soul with the Soul wherever, and in whatever form, it may be – including, individually and collectively, other people, animals, plants, Angels, spirits, and the Logos of Love and Light. 

            Following Vishuddah is the Sixth Chakra Ajna, the Third, or All-Seeing, Eye. Ajna looks within, seeing existence as the Soul Expressions composing it. By looking within in this manner, Ajna achieves spiritual insight for the practitioner across all of the Chakras in much the same fashion as Vishuddah achieves spiritual communication.  This includes extrasensory perception on the Physical Plane of Expression involving the first three Chakras, spiritual visions of Love in the Heart, and inspired communication in Vishuddah. The Seventh Chakra, Sahasrara, the abode of the Logos, can be perceived as the Thousand Petaled Lotus of Light from the perspective of Ajna – spiritual visions and visualization of higher consciousness of all kinds are the focus of perception in Ajna. These visions communicate the Word of the Logos to the Soul as Divine Symbols and Archetypes of Light that require no further verbal or written interpretation. From the perspective of Ajna, the Soul can see God. From the perspective of Sahasrara, Chakra Seven, the Soul can take the final step in Ascension and be God. 

            Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra is the Seventh and final Chakra to be encountered in Hindu spiritual theory. Located above the physical head, it is outside the organism, and beyond all conventional perception. It can only be perceived at the level of Ajna, which is still nominally “inside” the body, and requires a profound leap of faith to attain, since one must be prepared to surrender all sense of physicality and personal identity – in a word, to die – to do so. This perspective of consciousness is referred to as Samadhi in Sanskrit, and means to deeply meditate. At such a depth of meditation, only the perception is that of the Presence of the Logos as a manifestation of omnipresent Pure Light, unconditional Pure Love, and the Supreme Absolute Truth of Consciousness.  At this level, the sufficiently clean Soul – that is, detached from all material, physical involvement – can experience full reunion with God in the state of Ananda – the profound spiritual Bliss beyond expression. It is significant that Sanskrit refers to physical death as Maha Samadhi – the ultimate depth of meditation and experience of complete spiritual reunion with the I AM Presence of the Logos. 

            The Hindu Ascension Theory, Sahasrara is considered to be the origin of all consciousness, all manifestation, and all existence. This Supreme State then radiates down through the Chakras, manifesting in successively more dense expressions as it does so, finally arriving at the most dense expression as experienced on the Physical Plane in the form of material sensory reality – at the level of Muladhara. Because God is Love, and loves completely at all levels of conscious expression, the Chakra Muladhara contains a small packet of the Divine Spark in the form of the initially dormant Kundalini Energy.  The practice of spiritual Yoga will activate this energy and send it progressively back up through the sequence of the Chakras in the process of Ascension, becoming more and more pure in expression as travels upward. After many lifetimes of Dharma and Sacrifice, the Kundalini finally reunites with its source at the level of Sahasrara.  Tantra refers to this process as Shakti, the Female Principle, seeking and achieving reunion with Shiva, the Male Principle, but couched in whatever terms, there seems to be an intrinsic process at work within human consciousness that seeks meaning and purpose in life at the highest, most universal level of expression.  As conscious Ascends through the Chakras, the myriad initial perspectives encountered on the Physical Plane become focused on the successively simpler, and for that reason more potent, perspectives of higher consciousness, culminating in the ultimate Potency of the Logos. So it is that we are all blessed with the possibility of Ascension by virtue of the gift of conscious perspective wherever and however it might occur!

                                          - With Love, Alan -

                                  (CR2008, Alan Schneider)

 

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