Reported by John-Peter Gernaat
This series of talks is divided in the three covering the historical understanding of the Chakra Path, how the Chakra Path has evolved and current movements in the Chakra Path. These talks were presented on 3, 10 and 17 June 2022.
The Chakra system, such as we understand it, is a described as seven wheels. Chakra means wheel in Sanskrit, and these wheels are also referred to as lotus flowers, that exist in the energetic body of the human being. This traditional Chakra system starts at the Root Chakra and ascends to the Crown Chakra that appears above the head. This means that there are six Chakras within the energetic or subtle body and one crowning above the human being. When we go to the ancient scriptures of Hinduism, the Vedic scriptures, we do not find the Chakra system described there as we know it today. The Vedas were written almost as an encyclopaedia of their time, covering everything human beings needed to know about life, from diet to health to an understanding of the Divine. They covered how the human being should manage themselves meditatively and religiously. They were written down as a body of wide knowledge coming from the sages, the Rishis, and had been passed down for centuries before being written down. Then there are the Upanishads; the Upanishads are a commentary and analysis of the Vedas as well as documenting a wide variety of "rites, incarnations, and esoteric knowledge". The Vedas and the Upanishads have been incorporated into the canon of Hindu scripture as have later epics and stories; Hinduism has an incredible capacity for incorporation. The Chakra system that we are familiar with is an interpretation of elements that are described in these scriptural texts. The Chakra system popularly known today is a much later interpretation that translates the wisdom from the Vedas and Upanishads into an understanding for life. The picture that this lecture presents is an interpretation that is archetypal. It must be noted that the aspects that we associate with the Chakra system such as the colours of the Chakra wheels, and in some writings the associated gemstones, date to the 1920s and later.
In the Vedas and Upanishads we learn about four principle yogas in a whole world of different yogas. Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word, Yuj, which means to join. Yoga has something to do with joining the human being back to the Divine. This means that Yuj is the Sanskrit equivalent of the Latin Religare. Religare comes from two Latin sources: re which means again and ligare from which we get ligament; which is to join. Religare thus means to reconnect, re-join or re-bind. From this Latin word we get religion. Therefore, yoga is Sanskrit for religion. The yogas are therefore a path or a way to reconnect.
The first principal yoga is Jñāna yoga which is the path of intellectual discrimination that leads to spiritual realisation. It is the path of the academic; the path of the scribe, of reading and understanding from the reading of other wise sages what the world is all about. This is a path of reconnecting with the Divine through study.
Next, there is the path of Bhakti yoga which is the path of devotion, of personal devotion.
Next, Karma yoga which is the path of action and social service. It is the selfless service to all beings. It is a path of worshipping God by loving one’s neighbour. It is the path of Mother Teresa.
Next, Rāja yoga, which is the path of concentration and meditation. One can see in the young prince Siddhārtha Gautama that it would have been a path that he followed and then deepened to enlightenment as the Buddha. To accomplish Rāja yoga one must practice Hatha yoga which is the stilling of the body. Hatha yoga is a way of aligning the body so as to make it possible to sit and meditate.
For clarity of understanding the Vedas and Upanishads describe three bodies: the gross body or the physical body, a subtle energetic body and a seed body. These bodies can be aligned to different states of consciousness: a fully awake state of consciousness for the physical body, a dreamlike state of consciousness for the subtle body and a deep sleep consciousness for the seed body, which is for the future.
The esoteric Buddhist practice has a five-wheeled Chakra system. There are people who follow a path of Rāja Yoga who have a six-wheeled Chakra system. The seven-wheeled Chakra system we may think of as traditional is, in contrast, rather modern.
Here are the seven Chakras of the seven-wheel Chakra system and the symbols associated with each Chakra. In the subtle body we have an energy that is referred to a prana which in other cultures is called chi or ki and in Anthroposophy is part of what is referred to as the etheric. It is a formative force. The Sanskrit scriptures tells us that there are channels that allow the prana energy to flow. The word in Sanskrit means riverbed which suggests that these channels are the channels along which the water of life can flow within the human organisation. The word is nadis. There are about 72 000 nadis in the subtle bodies. There are three of the principle nadis worth mentioning: one that flows to the right of the spine, one to the left of the spine and one that flows up the spine. The spine in the human being becomes a picture of a rod with an uprightness. The clearest image of this comes from a libation vase dating to 2120 BCE. This libation was given to the god Ningishzida by King of Gudea of Lagash in Southern Mesopotamia. On this vase we see two rampant dragons, these are mushkhushshus, supporting the god Ningishzida who is a two-headed serpent intertwined with a rod that bears two wavy branches. This is the “Lord of the Good Tree”.
The image of Ningishzida has place for six nodes.
We can imagine that the six Chakras were derived from the image of the “Lord of the Good Tree”. The two-headed serpent became the right and the left serpent and are the symbols for Shakti and Shiva. These are representative of feminine and masculine and are both incorporated in each person. They are the two ends of one reality and we can include all polar opposites in this reality. We live with both polarities. The Lord of the Good Tree represented a future image of the human being in the subtle body.
The translation of the Chakra system for this series of talks is one of spiritual development. This does not negate the translations (interpretations) that use the Chakra system for other representations, but it is not to be confused with the translation (interpretation) that these talks present. We begin with the Root Chakra because the energy of the traditional Chakra system flows from the Root Chakra upwards. Note in the diagram below the number of petals and the symbols drawn inside of each Chakra. The Chakra are wheels which means they must revolve. They have spokes or lotus petals.
The Root Chakra has four petals and has within it a square and within the square a triangle. The geometric forms have meaning:
The Heart Chakra (known in Sanskrit as the unstruck Chakra) is a twelve-petaled lotus flower that contains the symbol of the intersecting descending triangle and the ascending triangle that, in the Judeo-Christian tradition is called the Star of David (Magen David). This is a pattern of the past and we will see it transform as this series of talks unfolds. This Chakra is interpreted from indications given in the Vedic scriptures. In the Vedic tradition of the trinity of gods: Brahman, Vishnu and Shiva, there is, one could say, a definite association with Father, Son and Spirit and Vishnu, the preserver, is the Son, the heart. This is linked to the third Noble Truth of esoteric Buddhism which is that the only way to stop suffering is to become non-attached, the heart must let go.
The Throat Chakra is a sixteen petaled lotus flower and within it a descending triangle and within it a circle: the heavens within the descending fire. This represents a point of grace in the meeting of something that is rising and something that is descending; the material earthly trying to lift itself, the heavenly, spiritual trying to come down. One can imagine that in the ascending energy the enlivening of the eight petals is connected with the eight-fold path of Buddhism and in the descending energy it is connected with the renewed, Christian eight-fold path. This Chakra is linked to the fourth Noble Truth of esoteric Buddhism which is that to become non-attached is to follow the eight-fold path. Hence the clear connection of this Chakra to the eight-fold path.
The esoteric Buddhists have a fifth Chakra meaning that after achieving the four Noble Truths there is one more reality before achieving enlightenment. It is the reality of meditation. “It is clear from the eight-fold path that control over the mind is the most important way to achieve non-attachment and become enlightened. This is because Buddhism teaches that individuals must discover the truth that lies within themselves about the nature of human experience. Buddhism teaches that through meditation techniques such as sitting, walking or lying down while focussing on the object of meditation using techniques like control of the breath, that people are able to develop mindfulness or clear awareness of the body and mind in the present moment. It is believed that it is this mental focus or mindfulness that will help people to gain the insight and wisdom that is that is required for enlightenment.” This Chakra is the meditation Chakra for the esoteric Buddhists, the Chakra that helps one out of the Four Noble Truths achieve the meditation that will lead one to enlightenment which is the opening of the crown Chakra. This Chakra has a lot to do with our mind. An understanding that there was something in the physical body around this space that has to do with pathways that enable a recognition of thought. It is not where we think, but it is where we have the capacity to organise thinking; it is called our brain. This is a two-petaled lotus flower that repeats the Solar plexus Chakra with a descending triangle within the wheel.
Finally, the Crown Chakra is a wheel surrounded by a thousand petals, known as the infinitely-petaled lotus flower. It does not lie in the subtle body; it is beyond us. It is an achievement, a place to arrive. The image of the Buddha is one of the Crown Chakra having opened so far that in comes down onto his skull almost like a many-petaled skullcap. It has opened up completely and enlightenment was achieved by the Buddha. Because the Buddha achieved enlightenment it means that everyone can achieve enlightenment on the ascending Chakra path. This Chakra is no longer there in the descending path of the Chakra system as described by Rudolf Steiner. We now bring the energy of the enlightenment, enlightened by the fire of the Holy Spirit, down, first to our Brow Chakra, then to our Throat Chakra and we are now bringing it down as far as our Heart Chakra.
Michaël is of the opinion that this Chakra system naturally arises and develops in a healthy child. It comes into its own when the child is able to grow naturally and well, sustained by loving parents and a wonderful education. No child gets this because parents are human. Naturally we recapitulate the ascending Chakra path as we grow. They are recapitulated in the cycles that Rudolf Steiner describes in the naturally growing child in a healthy way. We are born and are Rooted. We are born with all the seeding that we need: a fire within an earth body. It is a beautiful description of the Divine within the human: the spiritual body held within the physical reality of the earth body. Then the child develops to a stage where it gets some of the qualities of the second Chakra, the Sacral Chakra: a time when the child has a sense of itself. The Sanskrit word for this Chakra is ‘where the self is established’. This is the age when the child becomes determined to do things themselves. It is the time from three-years of age to six years of age. We arrive at this through a natural development so that this Chakra becomes enlivened. At the age of six the child begins to enliven the Solar plexus Chakra. At the age of nine the child achieves a real separation from the mother, a cutting of the cord at the navel. It is at this age that the child realises for the first time that it will die. It is a realisation of one’s own mortality; a falling out of paradise. At the age of twelve the child arrives at the Heart Chakra. Twelve years of age is the heart of childhood. The child can now do something new; the child can use instruments as an extension of themselves. The fifteen-year-old arrives at the Throat Chakra. It is a time when the fifteen-year-old loses the ability to speak. The passage of the fifteen-year-old is finding a new voice. The passage from fifteen to eighteen is the capacity for a new thinking. Finally, we have the passage from the “all-knowing eighteen-year-old” to twenty-one and beyond, coming into the “I”-organisation. We naturally enliven the Chakras in our development, but the degree to which the Chakras spin is dependent on whether the growing child encounters problems in their natural development. When a person in wounded at a particular point in their development it is possible that the Chakra does not spin as it should, and the individual gets stuck.
Rudolf Steiner suggests that this ascending Chakra path is one we no longer need to work on, it is one we have inherited as modern human beings, it will of its own accord lift and rise. The work we must do is to bring a new energy on the way down.
(Editor) The following two talks will appear here page in time.
The Chakra system described above is an interpretation that draws from the ancient Vedas and Upanishads, but as an interpretation it is only a few hundred years old. The representation of the Chakras with the energy that rises to the left and to the right of a central flow that connects the Chakras is very reminiscent of a proto-Sumerian god, the ‘Lord of the Good Tree”. We can thereby sense that we are working with something that has been in the human imagination for a long time. The Chakras are energy centres within the subtle body (etheric body) of the human being and are imagined as wheels (direct translation of Chakra) or lotus flowers. The symbols contained in these energy wheels are also interpretations. The Rishis who inspired the Vedas and the authors of the Upanishads were clear that what is being described here was about the energetic body, the subtle body and not the physical body. It was about a spiritual development that represented an ascent from the Root Chakra to the Crown Chakra. However, the esoteric Buddhist system contains only the Sacral Chakra to the Forehead/Brow Chakra in which they connect as the first to fourth Chakra with the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. Having reached the Fourth Noble Truth, which is that the way a person reaches enlightenment and breaks from the cycle of the earth and ascends into the oneness of all things, is by following the Eight-fold Path which leads to the Fifth Chakra. The Fourth Chakra is the Throat Chakra which is a sixteen-petaled Chakra of which eight of the petals are enlivened by the rising energy of the Eight-fold Path of Buddhism. The Eight-fold Path includes Right Concentration which takes one to the Brow Chakra and is the act of meditation. This leads to enlightenment. This the Buddha achieved, and it is represented as the fully opened Crown Chakra of infinite petals so far open that they look like a skull cap over his head. Rudolf Steiner revealed that when the Crown Chakra opened it revealed an etheric heart.
When the Buddha had achieved enlightenment, Steiner said that this prepared the human being for the descending path. There is pause, in which, as a consequence of the enlightenment achieved by the Buddha, Greek philosophy was able to flourish. The great Greek philosophers were able to begin a new way of thinking, of working with the Brow Chakra, preparing the human being for the etheric heart to begin descending. The descent of the etheric heart comes under the flame of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Whitsun / Pentecost allows this flame to be drawn into the human being to Christianise Greek thought (that was the work of Paul and we can read it in his letters). The human being then draws the etheric heart and the flame of Whitsun to the Throat Chakra where it requires a new Eight-fold Path to enliven the other eight petals of the lotus flower. It is a Christian Eight-fold Path. Then the human being draws the etheric heart and the flame of Whitsun down to the Heart Chakra which is the work of the Consciousness Soul era.
The ascending path happens naturally, as described last week, in the development of the child from birth to twenty-one and beyond in the three-year stages of development. The lifting of the serpent-like energy made the human being ready for what the heavens had to offer. This was what the human being who had fallen to the earth needed to do – to lift itself back up towards the heavens, which was the impetus for the building of the Towel of Babel – but could do only to a point at which the human being had to be graced by the heavens so that something new can enter into the human being. This creates a vortex at the Charkas. The lifting energy spun the Chakras in one direction and the descending flame of Whitsun spins them in the opposite direction.
The understanding comes not only from the Vedic scriptures but also from Dante in his Divine Comedy. In the third part Dante writes about the journey into the heavens. He describes the Spheres of Heaven which at the time every reader knew. He presents a real image with which we can work. In our ascent into the heavens we go through planetary spheres, which was clearly understood until very recently.
The first sphere, from which we departed into birth on earth, and is the first sphere we enter after death, is the sphere of the Moon. Thereafter we ascend according to the esoteric development of the planets rather than the astronomical naming we currently have. Thus we ascend to Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
On the descending path we have lost the planetary sphere of Saturn because the Crown Chakra disappears once it has opened. A new Chakra appears as a kind of resonance of the Heart Chakra. It appears between the ascending Venus and Mercury. We have a shift in these vital Chakras in terms of the alignment to the planets.
On the descending path the first Chakra that is encountered was established, one could say, by Greek philosophy. The Greek philosophers laid the foundation for the enlivening of the Brow Chakra. They did the groundwork so that our thinking could be grounded on something.
There is an enormous shift in the human being that happened with Abraham. Rudolf Steiner helps us understand this shift. Abraham was called because he was able to do brained-based thinking. This is the insight that Steiner provides. This was a new capacity that was beginning to develop in humanity and Abraham was the first human being to have it fully developed. It was for this reason that he was called out from humanity for a specific task. Abraham was no longer open to a thinking that poured into the human being without any effort on the part of the person. One could say that the fontanelles of his skull had closed. He now had to manage thinking for himself; he had to think things through with his own effort. He could still hear the voice of YHWH (Yahweh of the Elohim) but he now had to consider for himself what that meant and how he would respond. He was required to create the whole of the cosmos in his brain, to have the whole of the starry sky reflected within his own physical framework in order to be able to pioneer something. It is this that went through his genetic line to his descendants. It was this that had to be sacrificed by the ram so that his son Isaac could carry it. Isaac could pass it to Jacob who became Israel and had twelve sons of whom through Judah the line could continue until there was a human being who could step into the Jordan, Jesus of Nazareth, and could open himself up from that closed state for a new impulse to enter into human evolution.
What Abraham developed became available to all humankind and the Greek philosophers developed within this brained-based thinking logical, sequential, consequential thinking. Euclid could combine all of geometry – the measuring of the earth – not based on a Cartesian plane model (and x-, y-, z-axis model) thus that which can be called free-floating circular and linear geometry – the geometry of circles and triangles – that refer back to the symbols contained within the Chakras. Euclid could combine all of this geometry into one work that has become the most read mathematical textbook in history. Euclid did not invent this text, but he combined all the knowledge such that we have not been able to find a single thing to add to it in two-thousand years, it was complete. That is an extraordinary development in brain-based thinking. St Paul then Christianised Greek thought. The common idea is that the Greek world Hellenised Christianity, but the reality is that Christianity Christianised Greek thinking. Christianity takes hold of the framework for what may be described as the first theology, Christology, the first understanding of the operation of Christ in human history.
Then the descending path descends to the Throat Chakra. The descending path takes time. Taking hold of the Throat Chakra is evidenced with the Mystics into a way of speaking that is infused with something more than just logical, sequential, consequential thought, and it grew from there. The speaking was now infused with Christ forces. Steiner speaks of an eight-fold path that can enliven the Throat Chakra.
Here follows a brief summary of the Buddhist path and the new path that is a Christian path as it is described by Rudolf Steiner.
This is the new eight-fold path. Rudolf Steiner suggested that the human being who reached this new eight-fold path within himself most beautifully was Francis of Assisi. Francis of Assisi lived in the late twelfth, early thirteen century and was then that the Throat Chakra was fully developed for the human being on the descending path. Steiner suggests that we are still able to develop the Throat Chakra through the eight-fold process described above.
The planets on the descending path begin with Jupiter. Saturn does not play an influence on this path. Mars still is connected with our speech and the way in which we speak. We may speak of speech and of action, but our speech is action. Our words carry weight, possibly greater weight that our physical action. Thus, we have idioms in all languages that affirm this such as “the pen is mightier than the sword”. The rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me” is completely false. The damage of sticks and stones heal but the harm caused by words cannot be undone and will live on into the life of the individual. Our words have power to heal and to harm. The sun is connected with the Heart Chakra. The Solar plexus Chakra connected with Venus moves upward. Then a new Chakra appears below the Solar plexus and becomes connected with Mercury. The Sacral Chakra becomes connected with the Moon and the Root Chakra is now connected with Earth. The descending path is one that earths us.
The new picture is no longer of the rising serpent but of the restful lamb. We descend to the lamb of the earth. There has been a tremendous development in the picture of Aries as a constellation through the centuries from ram to lamb and then, as described in the Book of Revelation, to the little lamb – the new-born lamb. The nursery rhyme “Mary had a little lamb. Its fleece was white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go.” should spring to mind. In this rhyme the person reciting the rhyme is the person referred to as ‘Mary’. We now bear the little lamb within us. It is not a growing lamb; it is still the new-born little lamb. It is the seed of what is to develop. (Refer to the Contemplation in the Newsletter of July 2022.) Our understanding of the constellations has again changed. The constellation of Aries moved from ram to lamb to little lamb. The picture for the constellation of Aquarius has moved from a mighty lord who is the bearer of the Water of Life to us bearing the Water of Life in us. The constellations that were an expression of mighty gods have become an expression of the God-in-us. This is a path that will be explored in due course.
The symbol that appears in the Heart Chakra (see above) is the merged ascending triangle with the descending triangle.
The picture of the Hearth Chakra comes about by having an ascending triangle and a descending triangle:
The triangles can continue to ascend and descend:
When the Buddha achieved enlightenment and the Crown Chakra opened, Rudolf Steiner said, it revealed an etheric heart, a formative heart, a heart of formative forces. This cannot stay as the guiding light in our Crown Chakra, it must become incorporated into the human organisation. The incorporation began with the great event of Whitsun. One can imagine the Flame of the Spirit being drawn into the human constitution with the etheric heart.
One can imagine the upward path energetically surrounded by the rising Kundalini energy, which in its very appearance is connected with the ancient proto-Sumerian image of a god, the Lord of the Good Tree: a two-headed serpent entwined with a rod that spreads itself out above the heads of the serpents. It represents an idea of a Tree of Life and was held by Sumerians and retained by the Babylonians. It is possible to describe this as the upward path of soul development.
We are now engaged in a downward path of spirit incorporation. In the talk on the development of the Chakra System (above) the energetic movement had descended through the Brow Chakra and the Throat Chakra and that humanity is now engaged in the Heart Chakra. There are still Chakras into which the spirit will descend: the new Chakra above the Solar Plexus that is strongly connected with the Heart Chakra, the Sacral Chakra and the Root Chakra. There is still a lot of development until we come to the image of the restful lamb, no longer a rising serpent.
We are still able to work on the Throat Chakra although Francis of Assisi was able to live the whole Throat Chakra development in the fulness of his being. The work on the Heart Chakra is still in process and no one has yet stepped forward as the exemplar of the fullness of the Heart Chakra development.
The view that we study as the downward path of the present development is but one view of the development of the Chakra System that we can incorporate into a full worldview. If we imagine the descending path having started, not with the enlightenment of the Buddha, but rather after a hiatus, with the Mystery of Whitsun, the arrival of the baptism-of-fire in the Spirit. At Whitsun we can celebrate the arrival of the Spirit into the human being and into the thinking of the human being.
It is possible to identify the enlivening of the Throat Chakra with St John’s-tide. The previous talk contained a description of the development of sacred symbols that we can see as possible understandings of the eight diamonds that are presented on the back of the St John’s chasuble in The Christian Community. When John the Baptist was asked to self-describe he could have said that he was Elijah or the Prophet, as both would have been true in a sense, yet he chose to identify with the words if Isaiah and he self-described as “I am a voice crying out urgently in the desolation of existence. Make straight the way of the Lord (create a straight path)” for the kingdom of God (the reign of God) is close at hand. As a consequence of this, John exhorted people to change their whole conscious way of feeling, thinking and acting; undergo a full change of soul capacity. It is therefore reasonable to identify the Throat Chakra with the Eight-fold Path in the light of Christ (not as a Buddhist Eight-fold Path) but as a Christian Eight-fold Path, with the festival of St John. The festivals just mentioned are the festivals of future development, of living now and the development into the future of the human being. These festivals are not festivals of remembrance because Christianity does not end with the Resurrection, it begins with the Resurrection. There is now a whole new way of moving forward.
Towards the end of Revelation there is an incredible passage that is a description of the picture the Buddha held in his enlightened meditation. We will come to a stage in the unfolding of the human story where “every tear is wiped away, all grief has ended, all suffering has been relieved, and all death has come to an end”. The human development arrives at a place where the human being is relieved of pain and suffering, and death has ended. This is the point at which the Buddha arrived in his meditation. However, Revelation tells us that “a voice says, ‘And now I make all things new’”. Everything begins again.
Our working on the Heart Chakra, one can imagine, aligns with the festival of Michaelmas. These are the three festivals of the Spirit, of our future development: Whitsun, St John’s and Michaelmas, that call the human being to know that we are still in process of unfolding and not merely resting because it has all been done for us. It is not the case that the human being has been saved and now all is good and has ended. We are on a path that is true and real and that requires us to keep going.
Rudolf Steiner introduces six exercises that may also be considered as attitudes and capacities that the human being can develop for the Heart Chakra. This is a twelve petaled lotus flower and six petals were enlivened on the ascending path, and we are now encouraged to enliven the other six petals on the descending path in opposite spin creating a vortex around the heart. This vortex around the heart is being created as the formative force of the heart, the forces that form the compassionate and conscious heart thinking that is connecting to our physical organ in the space where the heart operates and responds. It is an important understanding of the physical heart: it is not the heart that moves the blood, it is the flow of the blood that moves the heart. Therefore, the heart is a responsive organ. It is an organ that responds to the flow of life. The flow of blood has been understood by every civilisation as connected to the concept of life, what it means to be alive; understanding that when the blood stops flowing the person has died. Embryologically the flow of blood appears before there is a heart organ. Little blood islands begin to pulse and connect and flow before the heart organ has developed. The heart is therefore not a pump but more easily described as an hydraulic ram. The heart is a responsive organ, not only physically but also spiritually.
The six attitudes, habits, virtues (in order to not refer to them as exercises which may sound like unnecessarily hard work for many people) that become a way of being and enlivens each day. They are often summarised and not always viewed in their full reality. First the summary:
The first three habits follow an order that is a little out of the sequence in which we might usually place them: thinking, feeling, willing. Instead they are thinking, willing and feeling. Brow Chakra – thinking, the action of our words, willing – Throat Chakra, and the compassion of our thinking heart (Heart Chakra) – a new form of feeling that is not sentimental. The order brings us into the heart-space.
The next three are a transformation of the first three. They may be viewed as taking hold of feeling in a new way, taking hold of willing in a new way and taking hold of thinking in a new way. The new way is the way of Consciousness Soul thinking. We manage our thinking, willing and feeling and then we manage our feeling through conscious thinking, manage our willing through conscious thinking and manage our thinking through conscious thinking. Conscious thinking that resides in the heart-space.
Plato and later in more detail, Aristotle, describe two levels of soul in the human being. The first level of soul we share with animals. The second level of soul is unique to the human being. The first level of soul they described as Sentient Soul. With a Sentient Soul there are things that the individual knows by virtue of having a soul life. Teilhard de Chardin, mystic of the twentieth century, said that animals know, while humans know that they know.
The Sentient Soul is moving on the downward path in the Brow Chakra into the Mind Soul that Aristotle described. This is the human being knowing that it knows. Something of the Sentient Soul is developing into Mind Soul. In the enlivening of the Throat Chakra the Mind Soul is opening itself up to a new level of self-understanding: knowing that we know and now being able to reference it back to ourselves essentially, with a consciousness that opens up a relationship to self, to the environment, to others and to the Divine. The soul opening to consciousness is the essential enlivening of the Heart Chakra. In the Heart we are in the unfolding of the Consciousness Soul. We are developing something of a conscious thinking, a conscious soul capacity to develop and control our thinking, to develop and control our actions and to develop and control our feeling and then to take hold of our feeling through conscious thought, take hold of our willing with conscious thought and take hold of our thinking with conscious thought.
Now follows a deeper description of the six habits.
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