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Hinduism and Psychology

Everyone has some experience with the Astral Plane, whether or not they are aware that such is what it is when experiencing it. It is tied to dreams and drugs, and is our capacity for an ecstatic trance.

Astral projection is our first encounter with the weird, a plane separate from the raw material plane of survival. If it is sufficiently deep, we wallow in the abyss, terrified. The way out of the Abyss is through the root chakra: our fear, caused by our astral movements, blocks us from grounding ourselves sufficiently. Those who cannot of their own volition escape to the first wheel are madly paranoid, and may require medicinal intervention.

The next chakra wheel is the capacity for pleasure. It is known as the "sacral chakra", and is blocked by feelings of guilt. These feelings of guilt make it difficult to live in a pleasure-seeking utilitarian mode. When one opens the sacral chakra, one experiences greater emotional range, and a deeper sense of connection with others.

There are parallels to yoga psychology in the West. For instance, the five stages of grief mirror the seven stages of chakra development, and Maslow's hierarchy also shows growth toward a particular end. It's difficult not to know in theory what the highest level of yoga practice is, even for a beginner. A person can understand the highest principles of non-attachment yet still not have a complete understanding. It takes a lot of development to go from student to yogi.

The top of the ladder, rather than hide it, should be recognized at the beginning. The goal of opening chakras is to awake one to the infinite. It is the loss of all attachment; a state of enlightenment if you will. From the base of the ladder it may seem magical, but it is anything but. To be falsely enlightened is, however, insanity. The deeper one sinks into false enlightenment, the more lost one becomes.

Certainly, this is to say that there are more than one states that are commonly referred to as enlightenment, and that all but one of these merits the title. Someone who is lost before opening the first chakra, that is to say someone who has never experienced any astral states (through drugs, meditation, or dreaming) lives in an incomprehensible world of schizophrenia. Likewise, someone who has never unblocked the second chakra wheel is trapped in a world bereft of pleasure. Medically, it is known as depression. It is easier to escape from depression than it is from schizophrenia, but it requires a careful re-examining of one's fundamental assumptions about one's relationship to the world.

Of course, there is a world of difference between academically grasping the problems that lead to depression and so forth, and falling between the cracks into a deep understanding. Someone who visits depression from an astral plane is tortured by their thoughts. Someone who passively thinks about, say, suicide, may as well have never experienced suicidal thoughts. There is something of a tragic hero in a man or woman who takes on the challenge of opening as many chakra wheels as possible, including the painful ones.

Unlike the second and first chakras, the third "solar plexus" chakra is active. It is where we choose the life we want to live, and where we build up the confidence to express our will in personally meaningful ways. It is where you recognize that we are all different and that the best life is one of balance, whatever that means to ourselves. It is blocked by shame.

The fourth, "heart", is an awareness of others and our interconnectedness. Love guides us through out lives. What prevents love from flowing through our lives is grief. One must be able to let love go to find new love. Here the goal of balance is in the foreground..

The last three chakras are less physical and more spiritual. The throat chakra expresses truth, and is blocked by lies. One has fully left the dark night of the soul and joined the human plane. The brow chakra expresse insight and is blocked by illusions. And the final chakra is the crown chakra: pure cosmic awareness, blocked by earthly attachments.

This post first appeared on The Iceman Cometh, please read the originial post: here

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Hinduism and Psychology


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