The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, January 17, 2005

Chakra #7--Spirit

The seventh Chakra is called "Sahasrara" and floats just over the head, like a halo. It is, not surprisingly, the seat of spiritual growth. As such, it is the focal point for many meditators. There's a little problem, though: an old addage reminds us that we can "awaken the kundalini from the bottom up, or from the heart out, but never from the top down." What this may mean is that attempts to awaken spiritual powers before the lower levels have been mastered is attempting to create the world in the image of your ego. Very, very dangerous. I have known many people who followed gurus for years or decades and ended up with nothing. They now feel burned out and betrayed. The truth is that the guru did not betray them--they betrayed themselves. The spiritual path is not for sissies, and you ain't gonna meet someone who can do the work for you. "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him."
So what can we do? We can love our families, take care of our bodies, serve our communities, and prepare for the inevitability of our own deaths. It is in grappling with these puzzles and challenges that the truth will be glimpsed.
What of your character? What is his spiritual belief system? Where does he think we came from, and where are we going? What is the meaning of life? The ethical structure of the universe? Is he salt of the earth, or out to lunch? Traditional Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslem? Having some understanding of these different approaches to the same goal can be quite useful. I still find it astounding when I meet smart, educated folks who think that there are vast differences in core intent in these different disciplines. However, that's just me. You can take any position you want, but be prepared to defend it. And your character can take any position he wants, but it WILL have an effect on his behavior and outlook.
So...we have come to the end of the Chakras. Between the Chakras and the Hero's Journey, we've got better than 60% of the puzzle of human existence. At least, this is enough for the subconscious to grasp truths. I dearly wish it could all be put into clear language, but the suspicion is that that is simply not possible. What we're doing here is giving you the tools to begin to grasp it experientially...and that ain't too bad.

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