Please don’t let me insult your intelligence if you have a working knowledge of the space time continuum. In fact you might just want to stop reading this article right now. But if you are like me and Interstellar is one of your favorite movies, then you might just love my anti-scientific approach to outer space and the chakras.
Anyway, I have been teaching classes on the chakras now for a few years. I don’t teach on the chakras because I have any great expertise or because I have much personal experience with the chakras that sets me apart from other people. But let’s be honest. Who else are you going to go to teach you more about chakras if not a Yoga Teacher?
So when I saw the need, I said to myself : those chakras sure seem interesting. I’d be willing to learn a lot more about them so I can share it with other people. And thus began my more in depth study of the chakras.
Why is it that we as a new age culture have such a fascination with chakras? Well, they are like gravity. We don’t really understand them but we are drawn to learn more about them and gobble up whatever information we are capable of digesting.
If you start researching the chakras, you will find a lot of information. Some of it will be conflicting and some of it will go into psychology and some information will talk about what sort of experiences you might have if you awaken the kundalini energy dormant at the base of your spine and start moving it up the chakra centers.
In Yogananda’s commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, he talks about how when Krishna and Arjuna are sitting in the middle of the battlefield,on the one side, which represents the ego, there is a tumultuous roar of noise before battle. But on the other side that is representing the soul, the warriors sound their instruments and there is a symphony of celestial sounds, like a conch shell and other things I can’t remember right now. Yogananda says these instruments represent the duality of the chaos of thinking on the ego’s side versus the awakening of inner sound in different chakra centers during the depths of meditation on the soul’s side.
This is actually a good representation of the difference between the chakra’s inner functioning and their outer functioning. Chakras are like black holes, said me- the girl who barely passed her astronomy class in college. Black holes form after the death of stars. They are massive holes in space that have such a dense amount of gravity that nothing that enters into them can escape from them, not even particles of light.
Black holes are mysteries. No one has been inside of one. Scientists continue to speculate about their nature. But despite the mystery of what is contained inside of them, we can measure their effect on the space outside and around them. Black holes are such dense gravitational centers that everything in space revolves around them. Similarly, the moon revolves around the earth, the earth revolves around the sun, the solar system revolves around a supermassive blackhole at the center of our galaxy.
It seems to be a natural law that all things seek some center around which to gravitate and establish a rotational force. This is probably one of Newton’s laws. And the human body is not outside of these natural laws. And within the body we have seven centers around which the physiological processes in the body revolve. Things like hormones and the spine and the heart and respiration and digestion and speech and thinking and elimination and reproduction and physical growth.
But let's say a little bit more about black holes. Black holes form as a result of the death of stars. According to wikipedia, some primordial black holes could have formed at the beginning of the big bang and so they have had a loooong time to accumulate matter and grow larger and larger and larger.
Did you know that there are primordial black holes (formed at the beginning of time), regular black holes (normal in size), super massive black holes, and then there are ultra massive black holes?
Anyway, if a black hole forms from the death of a star and then it continues to accumulate stuff inside of it for billions of years, eventually it becomes a charged black hole. When it becomes a charged black hole, it then generates a powerful outflow of new materials from its center. New stars can be formed from this material.
Now I see another parallel here between black holes and chakras. And by the way, maybe I didn’t overly specify what the first parallel was: the human body revolves many processes, both physiological and emotional, around the seven chakra centers. In outer space, entire galaxies revolve around black holes.
Here is the second parallel: let’s liken our sun to the cosmic energy that is transformed into human life through the miracle of the chakra centers. When the sun dies, it undergoes transformation and becomes a blackhole. Cosmic energy also goes through death of a certain kind. Because it has to give up its cosmic perspective for an individuated perspective. And the nature of the black hole is fundamentally different from everything surrounding it. But it informs everything surrounding it. Once the star becomes a black hole, it is as if it transforms into another dimension of existence which is operating under different laws than the matter that exists outside of it. It is so incredibly powerful that it affects everything around it and yet no one and nothing else can see inside of it to truly understand its power.
This is like a chakra center because chakra centers also inform and direct the actions of the physical body and the mind. Yet chakras exist in another dimensional reality than the physical body does. David Frawley, author of Yoga and Ayurveda, says that it takes twice the amount of energy required to run the physical body in order to awaken the first chakra. Then it takes twice that amount to awaken the second chakra, and so on and so forth all the way up to the seventh chakra.
I did the math in my head and I just want to put it down on paper for you so you can see the magnitude of energy required to awaken the seventh chakra. The first chakra requires twice the amount of energy needed to run the physical body. When we double this to awaken the second chakra, it requires four times the amount of energy, the third chakra requires eight times the amount, the fourth chakra requires sixteen times, the fifth chakra requires thirty two times, the sixth chakra requires sixty four times, and the seventh chakra requires one hundred and twenty eight times the amount of energy needed to run the physical body.
So now we could liken the first chakra to a regular black hole and the second chakra to a massive black hole and the third chakra to a super massive black hole and the fourth chakra to an ultra massive black hole. And I don’t think there are more names for bigger black holes. But we can make them up. The fifth chakra is “so freaking big massive black hole”. The sixth chakra is multiply the biggest thing you know times a billion and the seventh chakra is the biggest black hole that ever did exist.
Except the difference between black holes and the chakras is that the size is inversely proportional. Chakras exist within the subtle body structure of sushumna nadi. This is the channel of energy that kundalini energy travels upward through once it awakens. Sushumna nadi is said to be one thousandth width of a hair and the chakras exist inside of that one thousandth width of a hair span, yet they contain within them power greater than an atomic bomb.
When black holes finally emit energy and new stars are formed, we can relate this to the involutionary process of awakening our chakra system and reconnecting to the energy of the sun. I say involutionary and not evolutionary because we are returning back to our source and becoming one, not many. In this analogy, the sun is like the energy of spirit. It preceded the black hole but became it when it transformed into the physical body. And when we transform the energy of the physical body back into spirit, we generate enough energy to create another sun. In order to get back to the energy of spirit, a great transformation and energy charge has to occur within the chakra system and the body surrounding it.
But if we say to ourselves, how on earth am I going to summon 128 times the amount of energy required to run the physical body so that I can awaken the crown chakra, well then we are missing the point. The energy that awakens the chakra system is fundamentally different from the energy we use on a daily basis to run the physical body. Don’t we feel sometimes that we barely have enough energy to go to work and then do a workout afterward and then come home and make dinner? We can’t just make 128 times the energy of the physical body appear at will.
What is the fundamentally different energy? Well this is where the esoteric practices of Yoga and meditation come in. The fundamentally different energy is… Drumroll.... STILLNESS!!
Yes, stillness. So much of the mind is oriented around movement. Movement is a part of matter. Stillness is fundamentally different. This makes stillness one of the most difficult goals to achieve on the planet. Yet it is through achieving this goal that we can experience the healing power of the chakras. We reawaken the latent aspects of spirit. What do I mean by that? I mean that we spiritualize our life.
As a new age culture of yogis, we talk about unity all the time. But this is not the same as experiencing it. Within the awakened chakra system, we experience the fundamental sameness of all things in creation. We experience life on an elemental level. We see the building blocks of creation and know the presence of divinity within every cell of creation.
The frustrating part about studying yoga is that we read about the experiences of the mystics and the fruit of their samadhi (unitive experiences) but here we are still on ground zero, just trying not to throw a fit at our husband for leaving the dirty dishes in the sink.
But here is the comforting part… I don’t have to awaken my latent kundalini energy (thus summoning twice the amount of energy required to run the physical body and still my mind) in order to experience the profundity of a little stillness. My stillness doesn’t have to be full and complete. Even though the kundalini energy is lying dormant at the base of the spine, there is a fraction of this energy running constantly throughout the body supporting all of our life processes. This fraction of energy that is already available to us is in many ways actually not available to us. That is because we do dumb things like eat a 5000 calorie cake, not exercise, get emotionally upset at things we can’t control and then hold onto it, project our crap onto other people and don’t get enough sleep at night. All of these daily things that we fail to do properly create blockages within the regular flow of available energy. So then many of us are probably functioning on a quarter of the amount of energy that we have freely available to us. Therefore we feel like poo poo.
So, if we start engaging in practices that are going to improve the regular physiological and emotional processes that the chakras are influencing, then we can free up an incredible amount of energy that is already here but hiding. And if kundalini energy is awakened through stillness, then that fraction of energy that is already free within the human body gets super charged by our moments of stillness and inspiration and it feels like we have awakened one hundred and twenty eight times the amount of energy required to run the human body.
In conclusion, chakras are massive black hole mysteries. Yet there is a lot we can study about how they affect the body. There are many things we can do to improve the body’s functioning and find contentment in our lives. And along the way we might just get a little bit of bliss.
So, there’s really no excuse not to join my chakra reboot class! You will learn more unscientific principles about gravity, time and space, which then you will probably have to promptly unlearn if you ever want to really understand how that stuff works. But it won’t be a waste of time. Chakras are archetypes and road maps that can help us make better choices on a daily basis. I hope to see you there! Class starts Sunday February 21st at 11:15 am, online or in person.
And now for an average to low quality photo of me holding a candle holder shaped like a lotus that is reminiscent of a chakra center.