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Sunday, July 29, 2007
In Patanjali’s arrangement, the crown chakra is the highest center in the body, the kundalini having risen up the spine, moved through the brain to the brow, and culminated at the opening of the crown. In Revelation 3:11, the Spirit actually mentions the “crown” in reference to this center. In Cayce’s arrangement, the energy flows up the spine to the base of the brain, then to the center of the brain, where the pineal gland is located. Stimulating the pineal opens this crown chakra. If we fully awaken this center, then the Self promises to make us “a pillar in the temple of My God” and we will “never go out from it again.” The Spirit will also write the name of God, God’s city, and the Spirit’s new name upon us. Opening of the crown chakra is also associated with experiencing the Holy Spirit. How did the Holy Spirit appear among the disciples? In the form of tongues of fire on the tops of their heads, above the soft spot. The event is described in Acts 2:2-4: “Suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house. There appeared tongues as of fire and it sat above each one of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit.” Prior to this experience, at the Last Supper, Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon the disciples and explained, “The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send ... he will teach you all things.” In the early times of the Hopi, legend says that some of the people strayed and stopped cooperating with the Creator. Others remained loyal and at-one with the Creator. To these the “Great Nephew” appeared, telling those that were still seeking to cooperate and that they were to be a Chosen People to inhabit a new world that he was about to create. He told them that the center on the tops of their heads would guide them to this new world. This inner wisdom would give them the sight to see a certain cloud which they would follow by day and a certain star which they would follow by night. It is fascinating how similar this part of the Hopi legend is to that of the Israelites. Recall how the Lord told the Israelites that they were to be a Chosen People, and led them out from among the others to a promised land, instructing them that His presence would be with them in a cloud by day and a column of fire by night. When the great Nephew had finished instructing the Hopi Chosen People, all over the First World the Chosen People disappeared. Their villages were empty. The houses, temples, and fields all empty. Many of those left behind called out to them, “Where are you going?” To which the Chosen Ones replied, “We are following the cloud and the star.” The others laughed and said, “We see no cloud or star.” The Chosen People explained to them, “This is because you have lost your inner vision that came from the tops of your heads.” The top of the head is the crown chakra, a most important spiritual center. Cayce identifies it with “the mount,” and states that only those who have experienced “the rejuvenation in the mount” may know the truth and enter fully into the Creator’s presence to receive the resulting guidance. He goes on to say that as this center is awakened and our soul’s memories return to consciousness, stating that this event is what is referred to when Jesus said “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things....” -John 14:25. Let’s ignite again our crown chakra. Let’s ascend to the mount of higher consciousness. Let’s open the soft spot, through which our soul first entered this body, and receive the inner vision, the inner guidance. The Hopi prophecy says that soon a new stage of life will begin, a stage in which only those who are open at the tops of their heads will be able to hear and see and know the way.
The Hi-Jacking of Thought: The Paradox of Fear and Death
In spiritual work, we hear a lot about the so-called 'false self'. We may then decide, based on our new found information, to distance ourselves from this 'self', and look for something else we have heard of : the real 'Self'. This splitting of our 'selves', sad to say, becomes just another trap of the mind to keep us lost in the realm of thought. After some honest self-observation, we may see that we have invented a problem so that we might continue unabated in our love affair with thought. Fearing a loss of continuity of thought, which we equate with death, we enter a new 'spiritual' realm in which we can become lost for years, perhaps lifetimes. Let us take a look at this realm of thought and its various selves, and see why we worship it so, this paradox, this trap of mind and fear from which few escape.
Let's take a look at a man involved in ordinary life, and see how the circle of his mind works. He has a bad day at the office, where his boss berates him, causing a loss of self-esteem. He returns home and starts his daily meditation practice, intent on regaining some peace of mind after the trauma of the day. He meditates on things holy, on the words of wise men that tell him he is immortal, infinite and serene, and that it's just that false self thing that is troubled and disturbed. His body calms down, and he finds a bit of energy, feels renewed, and the holy words of how he is Everything and One pump up his deflated ego until he feels he can face life once more. He is now reassured that the self he seeks through his spiritual ambition is the real one, and the false self the one that was deflated in daily life. He has convinced himself that one day he will make the real self permanent, and ditch the false one for good. But come later that night, his wife points out some fault of his, the kids are being kids, and he finds himself back in the dumps again. His resolve to be the better self is forgotten amid the onslaught of circumstance.
Now, if your goal is just to be a better person and get by as best you can, this all might not make sense, but if you've had the intuition that life, in thought alone, is a zero-sum game, let's take a look at the basis of our man's dilemma. He has, first off, become lost in thought, and secondly, believes that more thought will somehow release him. His ego has split itself into several objects. One is the judging, critical man who resolves to change, and dumps all problems on the heads of the others, including his false selves. These unlucky saps are the pairs of polar opposite selves, including the everyday man of action, whom he calls his 'false self', and its twin illusion, the 'real self' he aspires to, projected as innocent, perfect, and always just out of sight. The common ground of this menagerie is thought. All are patterns of thought. In any valid sentence structure we have a subject, an object, and a verb. It is the same in our man with one difference: he is lacking the verb, and changes from subject to object at the drop of a hat. The subject/object is the ego, or self, which splits and changes according to circumstance, and the missing verb is our basic seeing, the observer.
Our man's subject/object thought-patterns can be seen as two movies: one an inner drama of thought, memory and concepts, being basically reactions to the other movie: the outer world of the body. When the outer world, say the man's boss, delivers a negative shock, an affliction to the man's individuality sense, he is then forced to counter this in the inner drama with positive thoughts in order to maintain his ego. This is the real function of his so-called meditation; an attempt to get his ego back on its feet, and reaffirm his sense of existence. This cycle is self-perpetuating and circular; it never ends of its own accord. It is simply thought maintaining a belief in itself, through the fear of thought coming to an end. It is not spiritual, good, bad or even real. It will only end when we no longer fear its end. Only when we can face the moment alone, without running headlong back into the realm of thought, do we have a chance of facing our self, much less actually going within.
This pattern of identification with thought is rationalization of fear and desire; it is not proper thinking. Thinking has been hi-jacked and is now used to keep the idea of our 'self', itself a thought, alive. It is lying to one's self to keep the storyline intact. Thought is used to manufacture a 'real self', which we aspire to, or believe in. We then reject our present state, the 'now' of seeing, the verb, in favor of an illusion that we desire, or an image we are running away from. Thus we are unreal, a thought. A thought endlessly forced to modify itself to avoid the present moment, for that would bring the facts into play and end the continuity of thought, which is seen as death. If we could just look, or observe, rather than thinking about what we think we see, we could 'sit with' or accept what we see. This is to go within, rather than the seeking to bolster the 'self' by thinking our way out of the moment. Thought is hi-jacked through fear, the fear of the end of thought. What a paradox, and what a trap, one in which the only true escape is through the very death of the fear of the end of thought. This dis-identification with our own mind will usually be considered only if it is forced upon us, by utter failure or trauma, baring intense true earnestness. We must uphold our pride in order to avoid facing the end of thought, our basic fear, and thus until our pride, our knowing, is so badly shaken that we can once again see clearly, we will not consider anything outside of our pride in our mind.
As U. G. Krishnamurti points out, we can never return to our natural state of enlightenment by the rearranging of our thoughts: psychological mutation. We must actually change what we are, our basic identity, and thus leave thought aside. We return to our true state, that of seeing rather than thinking. But how? The trap is almost foolproof. Any effort on our part is just more thinking, an unreal self trying to catch it's tail, going ever faster until it flies up its own you know what. Some teachers tell us that earnestness is the key, that we must become so earnest in our search that we become a living vector towards truth. True, but definitely the exception to the rule. For most of us this lies farther down the road, and a little convincing might be in order first.
To gain this conviction, this earnestness, we can do two things. First, we take care of ourselves. We save our energy, however we can, and lead a simple, directed life. This gives our intuition a chance to mature, and our reason a chance to purify. Secondly, and here's the hard part: we learn to look, to listen, to observe. We learn to return our thinking to what it does best, which is running the practical matters of life, such as earning a living and fighting spam. Then, free of plotting and planning our future victory over the universe and ourselves, we instead take up the arduous task of self-observation. Life will give us plenty of opportunities for this, if we are brave, and learn to sit in the silence within. We can't look directly within at first, we would only be indulging in fantasy and escape. But we can learn to look at our sense of 'self', when life threatens this sense. Next time you feel a threat to your basic sense of existence, to the thought of who you are, instead of running away or countering it with another thought, simply look at it. Thus we retreat from thought, backing within, in an oblique manner. This also gives one a sense of direction, of where 'within' really lies. When thoughts arise and the spin of thinking comes rushing back, don't go with it, but sit quietly and just look. Accept the pain of the ego in its fear of death, and look at its root. Look at the fear, the need to run away into distraction and thought. Stay focused, quiet and brave, and allow yourself to be in the moment. After a time, you will come to know this direction, the way within, and will come to look at your troubles as opportunities for further meditation. The sense of being the doer or subject will fade, the attention will be freed, and thought will be seen for the reaction it is. Motion and mind will no longer be your 'self', and listening with attention will be valued more than plotting. This is true meditation, and the road Home.