The 3 levels of the chakras
Introduction to the different stages:
In his work Shai defined 4 levels or stages in the development of each chakra: dysfunctional, functional, balanced and awakened.
The chakra test focusses on the first three stages. You will soon share more with you about the potential of the awakened chakras ...
When you calculate the final results in each chakra, check how many a's and b's you accumulated. The a's and b's indicate a high or satisfactory level of balance. If you accumulated more c's and d's in the chakra, this means some level of imbalance or even an extreme imbalance. Chakras which have two c's or d's show some level of imbalance, while chakras which have three or more c's or d's show a high level of imbalance.
The dysfunctional first chakra dreads change and resists pain. It aspires for an uninterrupted flow of routine, in which all fixed objects of the mind remain just as they are for eternity. This aspiration is quite problematic in the face of the nature of life itself: since life is impermanence, there is actually nothing that can remain solid and stable until the end of times, and since at least half of life is pain, pain has to loyally accompany every brief moment of pleasure and convenience. the imbalanced chakra by its very nature cannot accept change and pain, and is tremendously hesitant in putting its two legs on the shaky ground of the earth. This level has a lot to do with avoidance from life, and with every moment of trauma or shock the brain, along with the imbalanced chakra, only confirm and re-confirm conclusions of danger, despair and horror: at any moment everything can turn upside down and there will be no safe ground to stand on.
We are able to create for ourselves and for our dear ones a shelter and to produce work, money and food. We can maintain family, marital or any other long-term committed relationships, and we develop healthy routine patterns. We possess the natural qualities of patience and endurance, which are highly needed for any genuine building process in the material world. We do not escape life's challenges, even when they are hard and evoke within us many psycho-physical reactions.
Although our brain is clearly over-active, we manage to overcome its high level of worry and stress. We may experience life as an ongoing battle, and we may experience a constant existential tension, yet we support ourselves by empowering concepts and possess strong will to life. We are able to realize that food is meant, before anything else, to nourish us, though some level of addiction and attachment in relation to food is still clearly present.
Our fundamental experience of life is positive. A deep 'yes' bubbles within us in response to the challenge of life. We take full responsibility for our suffering, as we realize that suffering is caused by an absence of presence in which we create irrational conclusions about life, people and ourselves. Our major traumas are resolved and we learn to develop full presence in the body at all times and circumstances.
We agree to feel everything without contraction, including physical agony. When a major shake-up comes, we welcome it without resistance or anxiety, thanks to the realization we have acquired that great turning-points are gateways of transformation and growth. We are able to become proactive and invite changes into our lives, 'live with death' and accept and love endings. Our oneness with the constant stream of change enables us to immerse in the now, so we never look back clinging to past memories, experiences and people.
Morality and religious ideas, the first major blockage, inevitably lead to the feelings of sin, guilt, shame and fear of punishment. It makes us fear our own natural energies, feeling that they are unpredictable in nature and might lead us to dangerous and humiliating situations or to shocking discoveries, and as a result we begin to limit the flow of life's juices within us and outside of us. On the psychosomatic level, this causes a very little flow of energy in the second chakra, and might result in both depression and problems with the flow of water and liquids in general in the body. On the mental level, it leads one to rigidity and dogmatism as a way to escape from the sensual dimension.
In the other extrem we might suffer from some level of addiction to pleasure and the habit to perpetuate moments of joy. Our brain is not adapted yet to make a clear distinction between pleasure and happiness. So there is a great lesson for us all in the second chakra which may not be an easy one: learning how to allow our life force to move freely and naturally upwards, until it is alchemized in a spiritual transmutation.
We are generally quite happy and allow life's juices to flow within and without. Mostly we are capable of avoiding the bottomless pits of depression. We are willing to experiment from time to time and to be curious and adventurous, even when there is some fear of danger shadowing our experience. We are not too rigid, and are able to have a good laugh or get a little wild. Of course, sometimes we get hurt, but we are able to rise up again, willing to re-experience without dramatic conclusions about life. We may have some addictions and obsessions for pleasure, but they don't prevent us from functioning in daily life and most of the time we maintain balance.
We can enjoy sexuality and feel quite sexual ourselves. Generally we feel at home in our bodies, even though negative body-images might still overshadow the physical ease. We are able to appreciate beauty and aesthetics, fine arts and good style, and cherish moments in nature. There is at least some amount of creativity in our lives: children, arts or initiative of projects.
We have an impressive level of non-causal joy. We enjoy moments of pleasure without the effort of obsession and the struggle to preserve. We are quite free from the workings of restless desire, so our minds are clear from images of pleasure that pretend to be images of happiness. We are willing to experiment at any time, are not afraid of the consequences, and light-heartedly enjoy the new sensations that new experiences bring about. We don't take unnecessary risks, only when we feel that this experience is important for our evolution.
We feel no limitation in regard to life's countless experiences, and yet we choose consciously and freely out of them. We are joyful even when nothing happens, even if we sit in a corner and do nothing. We have no addictions whatsoever. Sexuality is wonderful, and yet we can live without it when it's impossible to have a healthy and natural expression of it. We are deeply receptive in encounters with true beauty and aesthetics, such as moments of sacred union with nature. There is a high level of creativity in our lives, not only creative action but also creative mind and attitude towards situations that demand our attention.
This kind of people will be troubled with issues of self-image and self-definition. Who is the true 'me'? And what do I really want? Mostly, they will seek answers for these questions from the outside, hoping to be relieved through the confidence of an accepted authority, such as priests, channellers, experts and gurus.
The most common reaction of a weak third chakra is trying just to hang on, forever waiting to develop enough power to act.
The weak third chakra persons are easily pressured and are quite afraid of what society might think of their acts and deeds. 'How will people react?' is a tremendously important factor in their decision-making. They will also be extremely vulnerable to pressures and stimulants, like others' anger or dissatisfaction, and will feel powerless to defend themselves against feelings and demands which surround them.
When our third chakra is functional, we have a proper level of self-identity. This measure of self-identity is enough to enable us to have our own views, inclinations, choices and ambitions. Thanks to this average feeling of power from within, we are able to face pressures and outer demands, and can stand up for our individual beliefs and sometimes even separate from the crowd to represent a very unpopular position. We also feel that we have some degree of influence on life's events, and are quite able to monitor our basic urges and drives – enough to lead ourselves to wake up early, go to work, fulfill our duties and responsibilities, and complete long-range missions. We can surpass our laziness.
Generally, we are quite reliable thanks to our medium level of integrity in our minds. Yes, we do have our moments of complete rage and loss of control when things don't happen as we expected, and yes, we do have issues with power, such as fear of authorities and dependency on stronger minds. We can also be very critical and aggressive towards others' choices and actions, and have inferiority or superiority tendencies. But generally we know how to suppress these issues when we are called for action.
Our feeling of self-existence is rooted not in doing and outer identities, but rather in being. Even in the face of physical or emotional contraction, we can still maintain this solid presence. We are also able to easily surpass lower impulses of desire such as food and sex. We begin to develop the true spiritual self, which transcends all known identities and is independent of time and circumstances of life. This self is powerful but not in the familiar sense of power: it is not forceful and also not defensive; it doesn't need to protect its own individuality, and it knows how to flow with life while fulfilling harmonious ambitions.
This powerful spiritual self cannot fall into rage, because it doesn't have frustrated ambitions. It is just in the middle line between being and becoming, ambition and flow, individuality and service, resistance to pressure and total openness, self discipline and spontaneity, confidence and humbleness. It can have tremendous and world-wide visions, and yet move only through the harmonious channels quite effortlessly. It uses its power only when it is needed for creativity, constructive manifestation and staying loyal to one's authenticity. There will be almost no drive of self-enhancement but rather ambitions which can actually serve humanity as a whole. Whenever it finds itself in authoritative position, it will demonstrate authority which does not lean on force.
A sense of lack and emptiness in the heart chakra can bring on two main psychological reactions: focusing mainly, if not only, on my self, or tending to focus only on the other. In both cases this is a result of an emotional dependency on outer completion through another.
The general idea of love for the damaged self is the experience of total dependency on another. Sometimes we fight it and try to escape this dependency by creating all sorts of more independent communions – for example, an 'equal' relationship based on give and take - and yet even then we cannot escape this vast range of violent emotions; violent either towards the other or towards oneself. Only by owning an inner sense of wholeness can we actually escape this emotional vicious circle.
We are able to commit to long-term relationships and we do not escape from the hardships and the burden of relationships. We are able to express gratitude and regret, to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. We are also able to experience true intimacy and deep emotional exchange. It is possible for us to let go of our own urges when an act of selflessness and sacrifice is required. Of course, we might drown from time to time in emotional needs, but we can overcome these floods through the realistic understanding that life is not about us and we are not the center of creation (although that could have been nice, at least from time to time).
We have our share of service in the world, since we understand that as a part of the whole our meaningful existence is about what we can contribute to the general web of life. Our understanding of love is still mostly limited to biology, sex, romance, family and friends, but we can also show acts of compassion towards people who do not belong to our inner and immediate circle of caring. We are tolerant and pluralistic, and we aspire for peace in our surrounding and in the world in general.
We experience wholeness in our hearts, so we are quite free from emotional materialism and attachment. Our arrow of attention effortlessly turns outwardly. We feel ourselves overflowing with non-causal emotions (which can be regarded as soul-qualities), and this leads us to an ecstatic sharing and a great capacity for true intimacy with many people. When we meet someone, our attention and energy naturally turn to listening to his needs and understanding his perspective. Selfless service is our natural attraction, and we actually feel it is inseparable from our definition of the meaning of life.
We feel both passion – an emotional engagement with life as a whole – and compassion – the feeling that our hearts can never be closed and sealed in the face of other's misery. This compassion might even involve pain, which is our ability to empathize deeply with the pain of the other. Some form of activism in the world is very natural for us. There is a deep heart-knowing, the result of a spiritual connection with the divine, which links us with the feeling of the meaning of life; this heart-knowing remains lucid even when our mind forgets and becomes confused. We experience a constant flow of spiritual longing, an attraction towards merging with the wholeness of life.
Two polar personalities grow out of the dysfunctional fifth chakra: the introverted and the extroverted.
The introverted personality, which chooses to suppress its voice, will 'express' itself in taciturnity and withdrawal. It will be unable to communicate emotions, either positive or negative, which turns intimate relationships into a problem. Each and every kind of an over-expressive gesture seems dangerous to this personality, since this will expose it to the others' reaction and will commit it to stand, even for a short while, in the front stage. The person will find solace in the fact that he can understand himself. He will be extremely cautious when demanded to take a too-clear stand just about anything – after all, this might engender a great turmoil. He will have a tremendous stage-fright, and his heartbeat will reach an unbelievable pace whenever the crowd's eyes stare at him, waiting to hear what he has to say or to demonstrate. Leading others will be an impossible task, considering the required level of visibility to the crowd.
On the other side, the extroverted personality seems to connect its very self-existence with constant communication. It over-uses communication since in every gap of silence and aloneness there lurks the dread of death and nothingness.
This kind of personality cannot regulate the flow of expression from the inner world to the outer world. Thoughts and emotions come out quite uncontrollably. It simply cannot edit itself, so while the introverted personality buries deep inside both authentic and inauthentic selves, the extroverted one will externalize almost every passing and unimportant emotion or thought, as if it was an essential self-expression.
Our ability to edit and translate our inner world is sufficient for creating quite harmonious relationships in our lives. Others can understand what we try to convey. We have an ability to express our needs and wants clearly. Our personality is somewhere in the middle between the introverted and the extroverted personalities, with a little bias towards one of the two. Mostly, we demonstrate a satisfactory level of self-control: feedbacks from our environment tell us that we usually know when to keep silent and when we should say something, and that our habit of criticism and gossip is not too destructive.
We even demonstrate an ability to transcend our fears in communication (such as stage fright) and our demand for justice (such in intimate relationships) in order to attain real interaction. We can express very warm and soothing words, directly from our hearts, and almost never repress them. Of course, from time to time we do suffer from outbursts of an imbalanced expression (tears or rage), but we can quite easily come back to ourselves.
The balanced fifth chakra: We reach a state in which we have freed ourselves from the compulsive need for self-expression, so we can actually use our voice as a tool and never for the manipulative power of our own agendas. We don't need to 'sell' our truth and we speak directly and honestly. We take full responsibility on our own needs and externalize them only in harmonious ways. This makes our expression extremely non-violent: on the one hand, we mostly use our voice when we are actually needed, and on the other hand, we are able to express our own unique voice, without enforcing ourselves. Most of the time we are silent, and we use the voice either when we are asked to or when it can be used for creative and constructive aims or for further mutual development.
Essentially, we have a feeling of transparency, as if there is only a thin line between the inner world and the outer world. We express a natural spontaneity, an effortless flow of sharing, and our voice is sweet and calm. We possess an impressive ability to translate ideas and abstract feelings, an ability which can be beautifully expressed through the various arts and even leadership. Although we mostly convey ourselves harmoniously, when there is an important collision between our authentic voice and environment, we will be willing to express unpopular ideas and at the same time accept the fact that we might not be heard as we would like to.
The first aspect of the imbalanced sixth chakra, which is the confused thought, creates disordered vision and general inability to cling to one solid truth. Being unable to separate oneself from the stream of thought and silently and intelligently observe it all, makes it quite impossible to trace the false portions of thought (irrational impressions pretending to be rational thinking) and the true portions of thought – the intelligent, higher parts which can integrate and connect all other six chakras into a unified being. Without the ability to observe and discern, one becomes in every moment whatever his thought stream presents to his mind's eye.
The confused thought will manifest itself as a very hesitant personality, which is easily influenced, both by inner and outer impressions. It is a weak mind, which has no center, no strong opinions and worldviews, and no systematic course of action. This can lead to dependency on stronger minds, looking for the help of Gurus and other authoritative guides, and a life that has no direction and a solid sense of purpose. It requires an outside agency to tell it what is real and what is false, but even the effort to systematically follow this external truth will be almost impossible – the moment doubts and fears from the lower chakras capture its attention, it is helpless to overcome them and to obey one voice.
The other aspect of the imbalanced sixth chakra, which is the domineering mind, turns the brain and thought into a sort of a 'closed system'. This means that thought continuously reinforces its known and familiar structures, while forcefully pushing away everything that might negate or destabilize these structures. While the confused thought is incapable of producing wisdom out of experiences because of its distorted interpretation, the domineering mind is incapable of doing it too because it imagines it already knows everything.
We have a good measure of rationality, which enables us to control and restrain all irrational structures within us. We have a good level of logic and reasonable thinking. When we need our thought for decision-making and processes of understanding, it is coherent enough and can maintain lucidity. It is possible for us to give a coherent interpretation for our experiences, both inner and outer, and we can mentally translate and digest them. Our perception of reality is consistent, and if our inner experience contradicts the objective reality, we can let go of our subjective experience.
When needed, we are capable of disassociating ourselves from our thoughts. We are quite ready to receive new information and knowledge, and do not block it with arrogance and reactivity. We can assimilate a more complex knowledge, and in general we are able to listen to other perspectives and worldviews. Our level of concentration is good; we can maintain focus as long as it is needed. We still suffer from the restless stream of thought, and we do get caught from time to time in the fake rationality of untreated impressions, but still we are able to demonstrate a good level of consistency and reliable personality.
We continuously realize that we are not thought, by developing a total listening to the entire world of thought, without identification or judgment, as if we were an equal-visioned researcher. This realization enables us to avoid the automatic responses of memory-based thinking; to holistically listen to all that happens and to observe what is without the interference of mental interpretation. Our brain simply listens, and out of that listening there is much flexibility in our response, choice and action. We develop a higher spiritual authority, which transcends rational thinking and only uses logic but doesn't identify with it.
There is a new master of spiritual intelligence, and all other six chakras have to align with his knowledge and worldview. Indeed, all impressions in the other six chakras go through a process of cleansing in the light of this new mastery, and as a consequence, the brain becomes clearer with every decrease of untreated impressions. The inner eye opens to get in touch with a subtler view and understanding of reality. There is a deep understanding that objective truth is not to be revealed in the visible world, since the visible world is a realm of impermanence. There is a great attraction towards the transforming and liberating knowledge of the absolute and transpersonal truth of life, as revealed in scriptures and higher wisdom.
The first type of psychological reaction of the imbalanced seventh chakra is common to almost all men and women on this planet: it is the development of the clinging self, which holds on with all his might to the limited and short-lived experience of the personal 'I'. The clinging self does anything in its power to banish death from its reality, since death holds within it the recognition of the impermanent existence of the personal drama. The best way to banish death from reality is total denial. But for the more vulnerable clinging self, death creeps in, filling the mind with horror and despair.
And yet, in both cases of denial or fear, there is a great holding on to the seemingly uninterrupted continuum of personal drama, as if there is no death at the end of the road, as if it will go on forever.
The clinging self does anything to strengthen the sense of a separated self, and in fact many of our actions and responses in life stem from this drive. The most important thing for this kind of self is self-definition – identity. By creating and supporting in thousands of ways the self-identity, it feels structured and safe by its own limitations. Having a limit to oneself, defining that 'here is me and this is where I end and the other begins' makes one feel extremely safe.
We move slowly but steadily through the spiritual journey. We are filled with appreciation towards enlightened masters and traditions, and yet we are not seriously interested in an actual transformation for ourselves. Intellectually we understand, and even agree, that the separated sense of self is an illusion, and we also feel and recognize that God is not an external phenomenon, but our spiritual practice is not radical enough to realize it in the depths of our being. This does not mean that we cannot get it touch with states of emptiness during profound meditation – we can even do that without an excessive fear and without loosing the ability to come back to the ground afterwards.
We are also able to retreat for days in silence and deep meditation. But at the same time we take care not to cross the boundaries too much, and in a way we use the spiritual dimension in order to balance our minds and our life. Our egoic experience still fascinates us very much, and we feel that there is much to go through before we are able to discard it and move into unknown realms. We carry within us earthly desires which are our strongest drive, and we balance them with the frequent experience of meditative bliss.
We are spiritually mature human beings, and the first indication of this maturity is our ability to feel and recognize clearly that the contracted self is suffering and the expanded consciousness is bliss. This recognition totally overcomes the fear of self-dissolution, and our spiritual longing to loose all barriers can no longer be limited by fear and doubt. The evolution of consciousness becomes our focal point, and spiritual masters become our role models. We experience an uninterrupted attraction towards merging with the divine. We know in our hearts and minds, and out of countless direct experiences, that God is not a somebody or a something but rather a state of consciousness.
In meditation we are capable of entering into very deep meditative states, and for long periods of time we find ourselves saturated in the divine light of Samadhi (self-absorption). Our seventh chakra continuously opens up to receive cosmic energy. We love being alone and leaving the whole world behind – this is not because we dislike life but because we are totally attracted towards self-absorption. We no longer depend on feelings as a way to define ourselves. Our experience of self is very refined, as if our 'I AM' is transparent, nearly non-existent. Our earthly desires steadily diminish. Death seems like an ecstatic dissolution or expansion. In fact, in this balanced state of the seventh chakra, the only thing that keeps us separated from the divine is our inability to conduct too much light through our nervous system, both physical and subtle.
What are the next steps?
You have got an overview about basic tendencies of your chakras and their current stage of development.
Now the question may arise: What are the next steps to take?
How can you start to activate your chakras, balance and align them and by doing so activate more of the hidden forces inside you?
The journey to complete self-fulfillment has just begun ...
More in this very soon.
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