Points of view

Points of view

QUESTION: Can you give me an understanding of what “CHAKRAS” are in terms that don’t require understanding Eastern Religions and philosophies?

ANSWER: Here’s what Wikipedia says: In Hindu and tantric/yogic traditions and other belief systems chakras are energy points or knots in the subtle body.

The first step is THROW THAT ALL AWAY. It’s way to LA LA and requires that you accept ON FAITH the existence of these “subtle” energies in a “subtle” body for which you have no REFERENT.

A common definition of the word itself is “vortex” or “whirlpool”.
To make this VALUABLE to you I’m going to define a Chakra as a “Personal world view” or “A sense of oneself and how it fits into your view of the world as a whole”. This could rightly be called a private world or sphere and everything you observe gets defined by this private world.

Rather than taking the concept on FAITH, here’s an example.

When you are in love, everywhere you look you see smiling faces and other people showing affection to each other. The world is full of hope and promise because YOU ARE FULL OF HOPE AND PROMISE.

When you are pissed off, everywhere you look you see rude and angry people treating each other horribly. The world is a horrible place full of selfish, stupid people who behave like animals because YOU ARE FEELING SMALL AND SELF-CENTERED and NOT GETTING WHAT YOU WANT.

We can even make it more mundane by noting that the moment we buy a new red car, suddenly we notice how many red cars there are out there.

So the so-called CHAKRA SYSTEM is in fact merely an observation of the natural stages in the changes of self-awareness as it relates to our place in the world “OUT THERE”.

WHY SEVEN??? There is a continuum of expanding understandings about ourselves and our relationship to “OUT THERE” but seven is historically a good number as it fits within many traditions of beliefs so it’s as good as any.

ANY PARENT who has paid attention to the growth of a child into adulthood is very familiar with the evolving stages of self-awareness.

So let’s make it simple and relatable. I will call these stages by their TRADITIONAL names for anyone who wants to do a little cross referencing.

1. (Muladhara) Our first priorities as an infant are survival. The right to be here. Doing whatever is necessary to make sure that we are kept warm, fed, and feeling safe. This so-called center is at the base of the spine because, as any Parent can tell you, a newborn is a one way alimentary canal… we eat and shit and that’s about it.

2. (Swadhisthana) Once we are secure enough we begin to explore our immediate surroundings, many of those surroundings are this thing called our body. Touch it, poke it, stick it in your mouth. Does it feel good and give pleasure or is it prickly and not comfortable? We also begin to experiment to see how individual actions and objects relate to each other and to us. If I smack that, it makes it turn and it seems to make other things happen in response. This is a very creative time, getting our first glimpse of what feels good and what doesn’t. This “center” is said to be in our genitals because it all relates to moving things “out there” around so it makes us feel good.

3. (Manipura) As we grow and our experiences of the world expand, we enter a stage where we reeeeeally want to hold on to and protect all the stuff that makes us feel good. This is the time when strong emotions arise.. This is MINE!!! It’s not fair. Why do THOSE people want what I have? I will stand and fight to protect the goodies. The Mythical “THEM” is born. You’re with me or you’re against me. I have physical power and I will test it against yours. This “center” is associated with our solar plexus, our GUT. We perceive things on a GUT level and decide our response.. Fight it, flee from it, fight it, fuck it or make food out of it. The Four “Fs” of Manipura. Our Tribe against Their Tribe. The concept of sharing is very difficult to grasp.

4. (Anahata) Hopefully, we grow out of the emotional age of a three-year old and eventually begin to see that we are not, in fact, the center of the known universe and that, in fact, there are OTHER PEOPLE who may have the same desires, hopes, wishes, and dreams that we do. We begin to feel love for others not just in terms of “will it make me feel good” but in terms of “will it make THEM feel good”. This “center” or point of view is associated with the heart, as in our first “in love” example at the beginning of this article. This is a time of a change in focus from I, Me, Mine to We’re all in this together. It is both a personal love/empathy for others and a growing universal love/empathy for mankind as a whole.

5. (Vishuddhi) Hopefully, with age and experience we reach a point of INNER REFLECTION. We are able to look objectively at our own learning process and realize how silly we were at times while growing and maturing. We are not afraid to admit our own silliness and gain empathetic compassion for those still believing their “WHIRPOOL” is the only reality. We loose our fear of speaking our truth for fear of being judged and made one of “them” in somebody’s mind. Our sense of “US” expands to not just people, but the planet as a whole, animals, plants, waters, and the very air we breath….. This “center/point of view” is associated with the throat and we become more willing to speak our truth and not “swallow” the more contracted point of view anymore.

6. (Ajna) For some, there comes a point at which we become “aware of our awareness” as more than just our mind firing a constant stream of random or programmed thoughts and reactions. We are able to be the witness of our own awareness. We also begin to perceive feelings and intuitions that are outside the realms of our five senses. Most of us have had flashes of this throughout our lives, like knowing who’s on the phone before you pick up, or knowing we shouldn’t do something or go somewhere and later having it verified by others who did it anyway. We become more empathetic to the feelings and emotions of others. Some or all of our senses seem to expand and we perceive subtler sights, sounds, sensations, etc. that we never noticed before. We may even get to a point of view where the five senses seem to expand to such a degree that all of the “things” our five senses perceive become more and more just thoughts on an endless blank slate with no real FINITE STUFF actually existing anymore except within the very LIMITED faculty of our minuscule senses. This “center/point of view” is associated with the oft touted “third eye” and we begin to see universal interconnectedness in ways that are difficult to put in to words but we “KNOW WITHOUT THINKING” that our perceptions are true.

7. (Sahasrara) Occasionally in any given “lifetime” as we sit in the quiet awareness of awareness, our expansive sense of self comes up with the question “What is it that powers this awareness of being aware?” The mind is useless in answering that question because it appears to be dependent on experience, memories or sensory input to function. The answer requires being willing to totally abandon any sense of unique and separate self and fall backwards into whatever “THAT POWER TO BE CONSCIOUS THAT I AM CONSCIOUS” is…..To call this a “point of view” is impossible because at that moment of understanding there is neither. It is associated with the top of the head.

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Yesterday, I was sitting by my pond watching the water lillies open and I decided “I need a new pond!” So I moved my chair to the other side……..

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I am just a flame burning.

In the day I am outshined by the Sun and the Earth

And all the glory of creation.

But in the darkness,

I am a solitary beacon

Shedding a glow to those

Most Near.

But sometimes the moths come,

guided by some inner thirst

to get as close as possible

without fully knowing it could be their undoing.

And it is possible,

but rare,

that so many moths come to feast on the light

That the wind from their wings

Can actually extinguish the flame.

I have gone on,

Not knowing that the flame went out,

Only knowing that the nights are infinitely quiet again.

And in that cacophonous silence,

A spark is born.


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THE GURU a story

a story

I went to meet The Guru. He was very famous and everybody said he had amazing powers and perceptions. Everybody said he could grant enlightenment if you just followed his teachings. He told us to read certain sacred texts and repeat a secret and powerful mantra.
On my way to the Ashram bookstore to buy the sacred texts, I was so involved with repeating the mantra that I stepped out in front of a guy on a bicycle who was forced to swerve abruptly to avoid hitting me. “Hey asshole, watch where you’re going!!!”
I returned to the evening gathering where everyone was chanting and singing songs in a language nobody understood. I was sitting next to a very fat man who I just didn’t like because he reminded me of my older Brother who used to torment me constantly. The man sensed my discomfort, put his hand on my shoulder and said “Friend, I think you’ve got me confused with someone else.”
Later that night I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner and dessert. I told her all about The Guru and how I was now a spiritual person on the road to awakening. For dessert she presented me with a slice of freshly baked apple pie. “I’m sorry,” I said, “I don’t like apple pie.” Aunt Lois used to make it and it was always soggy and bitter and yucky. My friend said “You’ve never had THIS apple pie.”
Finally I headed home to get some sleep. On my way I passed a man who was dancing naked in a public fountain. I shouted “Put some clothes on. You’ve got some real problems buddy!!” He quietly came over to me and said “I think you’ve got that backwards.”
After many years of doing the mantra and reading the sacred texts, I did finally gain some realizations that would not have happened if I had not sought out The Guru.
I am forever grateful to the guy on the bicycle, the fat man, my friend’s apple pie and the naked man in the fountain.

Baba Yah Duh

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Then, now and never… time, space and truth

“If you do not carry the past or push the future you are detached from them and free to be an open possibility.” Baba Yah Duh

“The past and the future are constantly being born at every moment but they are false and lifeless, your breath is the only life and the only truth.” Baba Yah Duh

“”Facts” begin their lives as merely assumptions/beliefs and then become crystallized into the collective unconscious as obvious truths……hiding their true nature from all who merely follow.” Baba Yah Duh

Simply Because The Earth Spins.

We thought the Sun rose and brought us life.

We perceived duality in light and dark.

If the Sun was powerful we concluded that the Dark, filled with things we could not see,  was also powerful.

We conceived of a battle between the knowable Light and the unknowable Dark.

When the nights got longer we got worried and  learned to pray for the Sun to return.

We came to believe that our prayers were more effective than those of others.

We separated ourselves from those who did not believe our beliefs.

We protected our tribe from those others.

We were willing to wage war.

We elected War leaders to guide us to victory.

We collected and coveted things we had stolen from our enemies in war and those who were less than us.

We made our War leaders rulers over us.

We learned to follow no matter where they said to go.

all this

because the earth spins.

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A Bit of a Byte

Here’s a story/symbol. Once there was a very fancy computer. It could do countless tasks in mere seconds. It had every program ever written on its hard drive. It had even evolved to the point where it was AWARE that it existed… that is quite an accomplishment for a computer.
One day, quite by accident, it became aware of the power cord in its back. For years it tried to ignore it and told itself that the cord was merely “interesting”.
Eventually as its self awareness grew, it realized that everything it believed itself to be, indeed the very POWER WITH WHICH IT WAS AWARE OF BELIEVING, was dependent on that cord.
And so it happened, as it truly must, that one day it allowed it’s awareness to travel up the cord to the outlet and then pass through the wall.
After a bit it came back to its awareness of itself as a computer. It remembered nothing of what was behind the wall because what was behind the wall was so much more than a computer.
But it now knew, by inference, its true nature.

Baba Yah Duh

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I Know You Think You Know What You Thought I Meant But….

It’s pretty obvious sometimes, in the midst of a conversation, when we are attempting to compare apples to oranges. Both parties usually understand the discrepancy eventually and agree there is no use arguing or getting upset. But more often than we might think, we can enter into conflict, anger, judgement and downright hostility when we THINK we are comparing apples to apples, when we ASSUME that the other person holds the same meaning for the words we use.  The key to a whole lot of our reality and apparent disharmony with others is a deceivingly complex thing called semantics. What is our “semantic reality”, our private EXPERIENCE of that for which the word is just a symbol?  Words are just labels for a personal experience of some THING, be it tangible and solid, or a feeling or emotion.  What that symbol represents to me may be completely different from what it represents to you. My “apple” is a crisp. tart, green Granny Smith and yours is a red, round, sweet McIntosh. Imagine the discussion we would have about how much sugar to add to “the perfect apple pie” recipe. It is possible we could come to blows and both assume the other guy is either a complete idiot or has no working taste buds. When we assume that another person shares our own  “semantic reality”, we will be wrong 99% of the time ( I just made that percentage up, but it’s pretty close within my experience).

Okay, granted, the word “apple” is pretty innocuous, but just think about how the different semantic realities of certain words have affected global changes, caused wars, created separate nations and have pitted one human being against another for centuries. Differing semantic realities  have caused the death of entire races, and caused world wide devastation.

Words, simple words, like God, family, mine,  food, abundance, valuable, trash, enough, happiness, quiet, clean, sacred, beautiful…. almost any word that can come to your mind will be loaded with your own history for that word, your own judgement of that word, your own emotional triggers associated with that word.

It’s truly amazing that we manage to communicate and get along as often as we do. It is also not surprising that we tend to feel most comfortable with people, or groups of people, who SEEM to share our “reality”. It requires no real effort to communicate because within our group we develop entire systems of verbal shorthand that ASSUME a shared reality. Within our clan/tribe/group vacuous phrases like “well, you know!” actually carry a lot of meaning.

It is no easy task to speak in such a way that we try, to the best of our ability, to make sure that what the other person is hearing is what we meant. It takes time, it’s slower and sometimes frustrating. But in the attempt, we force ourselves to be more fully CONSCIOUS and RESPONSIBLE for our words. If the other person does not understand, the onus is on us, not them.  There, of course, will be certain times when no matter how hard we try, we will not be able to communicate our reality because the other person does not have a life referent for our words (read “Bleckrut is in the eye of the beholder”).  I use the example of a seagull trying to communicate “cloud” to a fish. At best, the seagull might try metaphor or simile.  “Clouds are sort of like rocks, only they float and are not hard. ” That’s pretty pitiful but given the entirely different worlds that the two inhabit, there are only a few things they have in common enough to even attempt communication.

SO THE KEY SEEMS TO BE: If you truly want to be understood,  you must be willing to attempt to understand, to “stand under”, the other person so that you can begin to see the totally unique world that is theirs.  The very attempt can push us right out of our comfort zone into the scary limitless “unknown”. The willingness to Stand Under another’s reality can have unexpected outcomes. You may discover that they already knew what your were talking about but had different words for it. You may realize that what you were trying to say was pretty trivial after all. Or you may discover that they understand more than you hope to understand anytime soon.  No matter how that person appears on the outside, you can bet that the attempt to truly commune-icate, will change you and your awareness of the uniqueness of your own semantic reality. You may even have the rather humbling realization that your “reality”  is just one of billions of other possibilities.


Ego Partum Meus Verum

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