“We are spiritual beings having a physical experience”.
It seems that we have become a materialistic society because we experience the physical directly. The non-physical aspects of our existence are more mysterious. Many in the material model believe that our existence ends with death. This allows them to justify a society without a moral code – except that the end justifies the means. Other people have speculated about life before (reincarnation) and after (afterlife) death. This leaves a gap in our speculation about our non-physical selves. A reflection about what we are in the present moment would lead to speculation about what some have called our spiritual anatomy.
The expression “We are spiritual beings having a physical experience” has been tossed about but what does it mean. It suggests a spiritual consciousness before our birth and after our death. I do not want to speculate on reincarnation or what may happen to us after we die because for purpose of my topic – I am concerned with our life on this planet. The question about existence before and after this life is important and is a major reason that we each should work to create a society where we are free to ponder these questions and to live accordingly. As I mentioned in the chapter on health – individual liberty is the key to our spiritual health because if there is an afterlife we will be individually responsible for our actions here on earth.
As infants we can’t talk and it takes years to become assimilated into this world. Our parents and teachers spend a lot of time to indoctrinate us into the current social dogma. It reminds me of a Jethro Tull song from the 1970’s music album called Aqualung, seen in the box. I might rephrase these lyrics to say that we were born to humanity (innocent) but we were bred for society (materialistic).
As a child we seem to have an innate ability to sense positive from negative. I believe that we were each born with a moral compass and that our intuition clues us as to what is constructive and what is destructive. Doing emotionally positive things should be more rewarding than doing negative things unless we are given positive strokes for our negative actions. Life takes its toll and little by little our innocence is lost as we develop the skills we need to navigate in our societies. The rules of survival may tell us to act differently than what our intuition tells us. We learn to compromise our values and this has the effect of damaging our self-esteem. This loss of self-esteem is the basis of most of our physical illnesses in later life. A chain of events occurs with frustration leading to depression and depression to addiction and ultimately diseases. (See causes of disease) Also, this may account for the high number of suicides among US veterans from the Gulf War.
In the west we have a simplistic idea about our spiritual anatomy. When I was young the model for spirit was typified by Casper the friendly ghost. In my parents generation there was a television show entitled “Topper” may have been the model – since he could become invisible at will. More recently there was a movie called Ghost that came out in 1990 but it also dealt with spirit in the afterlife and the possibility with communicating with those who have crossed over. Ghosts can haunt people and places in our literature. There is fascination with ghosts but these are often fleeting images of something like a white sheet or something we suspect is there but cannot be seen. The spiritual aspect of a person in Western society only seems to become significant after they die when the spirit may have an afterlife somewhere. In the West we do talk of spirit and soul but they seem to have neither form nor any known connection to our physical existence. Even angels are part of a separate reality. Here in the Western countries we rarely think very deeply about the spiritual natures of each person while they are still alive. In the Eastern literature the spiritual nature of the individual is in the present moment. Chakras and meridians are not something that appear when we die – they are present during our lives as well.
Spiritual Anatomy: Chakras
In Eastern tradition there is a very detailed and complex system for understanding our spiritual nature. Apparently there is spiritual energy flowing through people and through the atmosphere. The Chinese call it Chi and Hindu’s call it Prana. This is most likely what Christians refer to as Grace. Each person also has spiritual centers, which the Hindu calls chakras and the Chinese call Tan T’ien.
What I am saying here is that in the East they have a detailed analysis of an individuals spiritual anatomy and its interconnection with our physical body because they think holistically whereas in the West we don’t even think about this very much because we think materialistically.
In India there was an attempt to understand our spiritual nature by developing a system of energy centers called chakras where there is an attempt to understand the non-physical aspects of human beings. They might be thought of as centers of understanding about different aspects of our lives. Most frequently they are used to discuss individual human development. However, on other levels they can also represent stages of development within society. It is a pattern which can be applied to expanding awareness within a family, a community, a nation or globally as well as to the personality.
Many are familiar with the chakra system described in Hindu texts. This has been written about extensively. For those not familiar with this idea, I will give my own personal synopsis on the issue. Basically, as an individual matures they pass through a series of phases. We might consider that they graduate from one level of awareness to the next in a series of steps. Generally it is described as seven centers of spiritual awareness but if you research the topic there are many secondary chakras also. I will focus on the basic 7 major chakras but if you research you will notice that people in the East have put a lot of thought into the subject of spiritual anatomy.
The chakras have been explained in many ways to illustrate different concepts – and these may be valid. I present this simple explanation of the individual chakras to illustrate my ideas.
Chakra 8 – Cosmic Consciousness; Nirvana
Chakra 7 – The Crown. Enlightenment
Chakra 6 – The Third Eye. Represents Wisdom
Chakra 5 – The Throat Center. Scientific Knowledge
Chakra 4 – The Heart Center. Represents Compassion & Love
(Christ Consciousness) At this point spiritual consciousness begins.
Chakra 3 – The Solar Plexus. social interactions & group activity
Chakra 2 – Sacral Center. personal relationship & dealing with one other person.
Chakra 1 – At the base of the spine. – dealing with self and survival skills
My opinion is that chakras 1–3 are limited to the physical reality. The top three are about our spiritual (non-physical) realities. The heart center represents a passageway (or a door of sorts), which connects the physical to the spiritual. I believe that society is familiar with the first three chakras because they represent our physical world. But since we have been indoctrinated into a materialistic social dogma – we are being blocked from advancing to the fourth level chakra. The Empire likes us to remain in the physical realm. The transition from the third chakra to the fourth chakra may be the paradigm shift that is frequently sought after but which has never materialized. If we are allowed think beyond the physical to explore our spiritual nature then we will realize that we are free. If or when we do realize this then The Empire will lose control because freethinking is the absence of control. This is why Christians have learned about Christ’s message but have never been able to assimilate it. It has been said that Christ came to teach and embody this transition to the fourth chakra or the heart center which some have referred to as “Christ Consciousness”.
If we want to reclaim our souls then we will have to make the transition from third chakra consciousness to the fourth chakra. This may be the same as when people talk about moving from the age of Pieces to the Age of Aquarius or if you prefer – think of this as being similar to anyone’s transition from grade school high school. In the material world we solve problems as barbarians – through war. It is a world of competition and conflict. As we move to the fourth chakra, we will see that we can transcend these conflicts and rise above them to an arena where cooperation and diplomacy allow us to become civilized.