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Sahasrara Chakra

The crown centre is located at the top of the head corresponding to the position of the pineal gland. It is the seat of the highest frequency of energy vibration in ourselves. This vibration is often depicted by artists as a halo surrounding the head of highly evolved or holy people.

Statues or pictures of the Buddha usually show the crown chakra at the top of the head.

The tonsure practised by monks had is origin in the functioning of this centre.

Christian tradition refers symbolically to the twenty-four elders who for ever cast their crowns before the throne of God. This also refers to the outpouring of spiritual energy through the crown centre.


The Mystical Marriage.

At the mental level there is the experience of objective thought impressions or images arising in the mind. At the spiritual level, there is only the pure subjective experience of I am without an objective side. In terms of the Trinity or three gunas, one has discarded or withdrawn from the second and third principle and has centred oneself entirely in the first principle. When this has been done, one has achieved yoga or union. The lower self has been united with the higher by transmuting the energies from the lower centres to the highest. This is the Mystical or Alchemical Marriage. In Hindu terms, it is the Union of the Purusha and the Prakriti.

It is this experience which is referred to in so many of the mystical statements such as 'I am the way and the light'; 'Be still and know that I am God'; 'I am all things to all men'. At the spiritual level there is only the experience of I am, but because one has identified oneself with the spiritual or universal principle within oneself, one can speak from the universal level. One can say I am and know that the I is the whole of life because one has universalized one's consciousness.

'Lo I make all things new' also expresses the sense of newness, sometimes referred to as a sense of wonder, experienced at the spiritual level. It is cnnsrinusness at the crown chakra which is this experience of the indescribable bliss of union with one's own source - the divine reality within one's own consciousness. It is the mystical experience of all religions. This state has been beautifully described as one of 'isolated unity' and it is truly the experience of aloneness. But, paradoxically this aloneness is All-one-ness which is of course really the origin of the word. At this level one realizes unity with all life; in terms of the symbol of the wheel used in Chapter One, one is at the centre of life and separateness based on objective experience has disappeared. So in order to become one with all life at the spiritual level, it is another paradox that one must move away from it at the outer or personality level.

Many people do not have the courage to renounce attachment at the personal level because they feel that they are separating themselves from life. Only when this renunciation is made does one realize that the only thing one has given up, in fact, is the illusory limitation of the lower self. In doing so one emerges into a higher realm where one is closer to all beings in a unity of a deeper and more real nature. In order to find one's true self one must give up one's lower or illusory self. This finding of the true self corresponds to the transmutation of the energies from the lower chakras tothe crown.

Time, which we have seen is the experience of relating mental images to each other as the mind produces thought forms, does not exist at the spiritual level where all is now and yet at the same time ever new.


Reality and Illusion.

In terms of Vedanta the spiritual experience is Advaita or non-duality, because the objective polarity of life ceases so long as one is centred in the subjective Self. Can one remain eternally in this high state? Here we come to one of the subtlest metaphysical questions that can ever be debated. Seen from the standpoint of the time world there is a continuous vibration or rhythm between the poles of spirit and matter and therefore we cannot stay in spirit any more than we can stay asleep all the time. We must always experience the rhythm of sleeping and waking, of inbreathing and outbreathing, birth and death, and all the pairs of opposites which go with the objective world of time and form. It is these rhythms which give us the tattwic tides which is the same thing as the cyclic or periodic law in all manifestation.

Anyone who has meditated will know that he cannot remain for ever in meditation, but after he has contacted the higher levels within he will eventually have to bring these down and express them through creative activity in manifestation. When this expression has been completed he will feel the urge to again return into himself. The bliss of union with the divine principle within is perhaps as relative as any other experience in that its significance lies only in relation to the opposite state - objective duality. Water is only delightful to drink to someone who is dry, heat to one who is cold, and cold to one who is hot.

But looked at from the standpoint of the spirit, can one not say that in reality one never leaves it? This seems to be the traditional Vedanta viewpoint: that the objective world is Maya or illusory in that nothing in it lasts but its forms are continuously appearing and dissolving like the waves of the sea. Only the I am consciousness is eternal and changeless.

However, can one not say that even an illusion is real to someone at the time he experiences it? In the Indian parable of the rope and the snake a man mistakes a piece of rope for a snake and is afraid. When he realizes that it is a rope his fear disappears. In fact it was an illusion because it never was a snake. But is it really true to say that it never was a snake?

To the experiencer of the illusion its snakeness was perhaps as real at the time as the subsequent experience of it being a rope. The problem when solved appears simple, but for someone who has solved it to keep telling those who have not that it is simple may not be very wise. If someone asks you the way to Hyde Park Corner and you reply that when he gets there he won't need to know the way you are refusing to admit that two standpoints can exist.