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Chakras and Levels of Self

Like most modern western esotericists, Ann Ree Colton describes the chakras or as she calls them the "soul-gates" [p.26] in detail and even devotes a book (Amazon com Kundalini West) to the subject,  And as with all her material, her account, although often original and stimulating, is also unsystematised, pious, and difficult reading.

The standard seven chakras of the Shakta system presented by Woodroffe in his book The Serpent Power are referred to.  As in the Shakta/Woodroffe account, each chakra has its own mantra, or, as Colton describes it, an "atom-point (or) Bija-seed vibrating" in its centre [Kundalini West, p.70].  Just as "the soul is Eternal", so "the chakra wheels in each person are as old as the soul...When one dies, the chakras automatically become part of the living body [i.e. the spirit body] after death."  [Kundalini West, p.48]

A distinction is made between lower and higher chakras.

The three lower chakras below the heart support the instinctual life.  They are dynamos "for the pranic life-force energies supporting the flesh life of the body, the unclarified emotions and the lower mind."  In contrast "the higher supersensing superconscious chakras above...the solar plexus are the dynamos for soul-life and spiritual powers." p.42].  "All chakras below the heart are power chakras.  All chakras above the heart are transcendental chakras" [p.55]

Each chakra has its own specific powers.

"Through the first chakra, one is read to master the forces of matter - and thus becomes materialistically involved in physical life through the play of the senses within the kinetic forces of the earth.  From this, men become blind to spiritual laws..."  p.31

In the second chakra, Duality law "binds the life-force to the cyclic law of limitation" as to the length of life [p.57].  So "one must master the second (or pelvic) chakra and move beyond the fatalistic demands of mortality - done by selfless service to God" [p.58]  The deity ruling the second chakra is a rather negative Jehovah. "He is the deity influencing propagation of races; he also...stirs men to war..."  [p.189]

The third or "Solar plexus chakra is the power chakra...the matrix of desire for the emotional body." [p.87]

Although there is the distinction between the three lower and four higher chakras, there is also the distinction between the seven conventional "initiatory" chakras, associated with "the lesser yoga teachings" [p.38], and "the five active chakras beyond the seven initiatory chakras", pointed to by the "illumined souls of the Royal Yoga line" [pp.38-39].

  "These chakras are involved in...Samadhi...and only the rarest of souls have higher degrees of Illumination.   super-conscious unable to articulate or put into words experienced....
  The five higher chakra Soul-portals, or Superconscious chakras, are opened to those who are illumined under the Absolute or Unconditioned God ["Atma Light"].  Untapped Archetypal knowledge is experienced....These five ultra-energy Superconscious chakras are now to be explored and mastered by the illumined souls of the West"

[Kundalini West, p.39]

The idea of a series of higher chakras above the Sahasrara or Crown chakra is also encountered in the Radha Soami teachings of Huzur Swamiji, and it is this school that seems to be the source of Colton's teachings (whether first or second hand, unless she discovered the same realities independently).  These chakras represent a higher, superconscious zone of existence beyond the ordinary realms of being.

The Radha Soami school however divides the chakras not into seven lower and five higher, but six lower and six higher; the Sahasrara being the first of the higher chakras, rather than the last of the lower ones.  (however, this was modified by later teachers of this tradition, see e.g. Cosmos as Copy for a list of chakras and levels of self). And elsewhere, Colton says the same thing, in the context of a three-fold classification of chakras and associated levels of consciousness:

 "The three lower chakras below the diaphragm, controlling the senses, unceasingly energise procreation.  They also activate the desire to cling, to crave, to have and to possess.  The chakras of the soul and the higher mind are centred from the heart upward to the point between the eyebrows.  The chakras of the Spirit start between the eyebrows, moving upward to the crown of the head, and finally upward as far as the hands can reach, where the Higher Self overdwells the ego.  Thus there are...twelve chakras: six to the eyebrow centre, and six beyond." [p.51]

Finally there is the Higher Self, the individual Divine principle; the "Psychic Being" of Aurobindo and Mirra, the "Holy Guardian Angel" of Thelemic Qabalah, and the Ayn Thabita of Ibn Arabi.

 "At the apex...of the chakras, the Eternal Self shines into the soul overdwelling the four bodies.  Shining in transcendent light...the great Eternal Chakra or Eternal Sustaining Atom over-seas the will and mind in their work of imaging and creating....The Will of God within the Higher Self or Eternal Atom Chakra gives to each one in the earth the power of creation through willing." [p.51]

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