Development of the chakras
The chakras or lotus flowers are Man's higher or astral senses. These spiritual sense-organs or higher organs of perception appear in the shape of spiritual flower-forms budding forth from man and are therefore called ‘lotus-flowers’, or also spiritual ‘wheels’ or ‘chakrams’.
During incarnate life, Man's astral body is engaged in restoring the worked out physical body, and hence the forces needed to support waking consciousness in the physical world bring about a damping of consciousness. When a Man has died, his astral body no longer has this task to perform and as it is released from this task, the seven astral organs or chakras emerge and consciousness awakens.
In ancient times, with Man's natural clairvoyance all the petals of these chakras were enabled and turned from in the opposite direction to the hands of a clock, but in contemporary Man they they have ceased to turn. In the clairvoyant they move in the opposite direction (see aspects below).
Initiation or esoteric development enables these slowly through consistent practicing exercises for soul and spirit, which is part of the process (and more of a result) of Man's transformation and spiritualization. When all petals of a lotus flower are again fully enabled, the chakra starts to turn and this causes clairvoyance.
The third eye, throat and heart chakras (see Schemas FMC00.096 and FMC00.325 below) link to the faculties of perception called Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition, or: clairvoyant 'seeing' in the astral soul world, 'hearing' in the lower spirit world, and 'understanding' in the higher spirit world.
Lotus flowers or chakras
See schema's FMC00.325 and FMC00.096 for an overview. Sources include 1905-02-20-GA090B. Underlined the three most important to develop.
- crown chakra - connection with the spiritual
- two petalled lotus flower, or third eye or ajna chakra between the eyebrows
- This is more powerful than the 16 and 12 petalled: someone who has developed this can see in another person's karma.
- sixteen petalled lotus flower, or throat chakra
- In the past, eight of these petals were developped with bright shining colours, but later these darkened while Man matured to waking consciousness. When this is developed, one can see in the thought world of others.
- Rudolf Steiner gives eight exercises for this in KHW, but also links them to the Eightfold path of Buddha (and the beatitudes of the Sermon of the Mount.
- twelve petalled lous flower, or heart chakra
- Again in the ancient past, six of these were developed. Here too, the next six will start to rotate, and then the first six will move along. This gives astral vision and allows to see the sense world of others.
- Rudolf Steiner gives six basic exercises for this in KHW to master thought, feeling and will. This chakra develops with meditation exercises, based on six virtues of (1) tolerance, (2) serenity, patience, (3) belief and trust (4) love for freedom (5) control of thoughts and actions (6) concentration of thoughts.
- ten petalled lotus flower, or solar plexus chakra (10 petals, though sometimes 8 is mentioned)
- sacral (6 petals)
- root chakra (4 petals) - connection with the earthly, physical
- regarding the hrit chakra, see the note in Kundalini#.5B1.5D - Commentary on Schema FMC00.326
- in ancient times of Man's natural clairvoyance, all the petals of these chakras were enabled and turned from in the opposite direction to the hands of a clock, since then they have ceased to turn. Some of them are latent and need to be enabled, eg 8 of the 16 of the throat chakra.
- the forces which form the organs in man for imaginative consciousness come from the buddhi plane (also known as the World of Archetypal Images) (1910-03-28-GA119)
- Man's new organ for the Michael age and spiritual perception, see also process description on Kundalini, and for more on the pineal and pituitary glands also: Man past and future#Pituitary and pineal glands
- future development of Man's second spinal column - see Man past and future
- connection points of the nervous system and the astral body, see Schema FMC00.036 on I-organization
- physiologically the chakras, organs of the astral body, relate location-wise to the glands in Man's etheric body
- in contemporary Man the chakras do not turn, but once they start moving, they they rotate clockwise, and clairvoyant perception awakens
- attention regarding rotation in case of clairvoyance: 1905-02-20-GA090B specifies from 'right to left', 1906-06-06-GA094 specifies from 'left to right'
- the chakras are active organs holding objects in their grip (not passive like the physical organs that allow everything to act on them from outside) (1906-08-25-GA095)
- chakras are dimmed in kamaloka as long as the lower astral body is still connected to Man, but after the astral corpse has been discarded, at the entrance to the spirit world, these astral sense-organs awake to full activity and serve Man's consciousness in the spirit world (1906-08-25-GA095)
Schema FMC00.325 provides an overview from Knowledge of the Higher Worlds (KHW) or 1904-GA010
Schema FMC00.096 illustrates the major chakras and nadis.
Schema FMC00.464 describes the nature of the three main nadis or energy channels in the human body. In normal functioning, Man is always in a state of continuous flows (and a form of un-balance) through Ida and Pingala - see also FMC00.463 on Human breath. Through initiation and the diligent practice of initiation exercises, it is possible to attain a state where the energy is balanced through the central Sushumna channel, see Kundalini.
Schema FMC00.465 provides additional equivalences from the kriya yoga (middle) and yogic tradition (right). Combine with Schemas FMC00.463 and FMC00.464 (both on this page), and see also Kundalini.
Schema FMC00.092 sketches the natural timeline of anticipated development of the throat chakra. Note the link with the twelve subraces or cultural ages represented by the twelve apostles, that end with the second cultural age of the sixth epoch. And 1906-10-04-GA091 describes this exact period for the Christ to come fully into power and humanity starts to understand Christ. For the development of the faculty of memory, see 1914-03-07-GA152 on Walking Speaking Thinking.
Schema FMC00.129 links the development of the chakras to the stages of clairvoyance as a result of developing the human 'I' as part of Man's transformation and spiritualization. See also Discussion section below.
FMC00.463 shows the regular process of cosmic or fine breathing through the nadis or energy channels ida and pingala (see Schema FMC00.096), and through the reservoir of life energy in Man's base or root chakra (see also kundalini, eg Schema FMC00.353 on that page). Compare with the flow of the higher ethers ('life energy') on FMC00.015A on the Human breath page, showing how the organs and subsystems take up these energies as part of the fine breathing process. Diagram contents based on Shelly Trimmer.
The chandra chakra (moon) is also called 'mouth of God' and is like an antenna through which we draw in the life energy from the universe.
See also Etherization of blood for the two sun and moon chakras, (referenced by Rudolf Steiner through the pineal and pituitary glands), and The two etheric streams for the polarity of Moon and Sun influences.
Lecture coverage and references
In 1904-11-05-GA089 the development of the throat and third eye chakras is linked to the sixth and sevent root races (see schema FMC00.092 above). And 1909-10-26-GA115 connects the three chakras to imagination (third eye), inspiration (throat), intuition (heart). One could maybe apply rational logic and expect a 'logical" sequencing of chakras to clairvoyant capabilities, and hence expect imaginative faculty to develop before inspiration. However see the 1913-03-29-GA145 quote on the Human 'I'. The first transformation of the lower bodies is working the astral body.
.. in order to awaken in the soul world, one must have sense organs for this soul world just as one has sense organs for the material world. Like the body possesses eyes and ears, the soul and the spirit must possess organs to perceive the radiance of the soul realm and the soundings of the world of spirit. A person with experience in this field, who is clairvoyant, can actually perceive the process of development of such soul organs in a person engaged in inner training. They are perceived in his aura enveloped in a cloud of light. The aura of a spiritually undeveloped person is seen like a nebulous cloud formation. When a person sleeps, the aura hovers above the physical body because the astral body separates in sleep from it.
The aura's appearance is that of two entwined spirals like rings of mist. They wind around one another and disappear in continuous spirals into indefinable realms. When a person undertakes occult training, his aura becomes increasingly definable. The indefinable ends of the spirals disappear and the two entwined spiral formations become clearly organized. They become increasingly defined, compact structures. Certain organs appear in the aura that are called chakrams in esoteric language. These are the sense organs of the soul. Their structure is delicate and in order to come into bloom they must be cared for and guarded. Under no other circumstances can they develop. He who rails in this will never enjoy true spiritual perception. A person must suppress all negative sensations and feelings within himself in order to nurture these soul eyes. The chakrams cannot emerge if a person becomes angry at every opportunity. Equanimity must be preserved, patience must be practiced. Anger and fury prohibit the soul eye's appearance; nervousness and haste will not permit its development.
freely translated, not literally but focusing on content
The astral senses lie in a long shape from brain to breast, embedded as lotus flowers. Clairvoyance occurs when the lotus flower rotates.
- The two petalled lotus flower between the eyebrows rotates from right to left. How this is developed can only be discussed in very intimate circles. This is the most powerful of the three: someone who has developed this can see in another person's karma.
- Also the sixteen petalled lotus flower in the throat rotates from right to left. ... In the past, eight of these petals were developped with bright shining colours, but later these darkened while Man matured to waking consciousness. [hence the eightfolded path of Buddha to develop this]. When this is developed, one can see in the thought world of others.
- The twelve petalled heart lotus flower requires a different method to develop, with meditation exercises, based on six virtues of (1) tolerance, (2) serenity, patience, (3) belief and trust (4) love for freedom (5) control of thoughts and actions (6) concentration of thoughts. Again in the ancient past, six of these were developed. Here too, the next six will start to rotate, and then the first six will move along. This gives astral vision and allows to see the sense world of others.
- Furthermore we have the ten petalled, and a bit lower the six petalled and again deeper the four petalled
The ability to observe men that run two CoF [globes] for or after the current physical CoF of Earth requies one to observe in a condition of deep dreamless sleep, the one experiences what happens in the spirit world and can observe this. Though not in sleep, only clairvoyantly can one observe the two higher CoF.
[continues describing the future CoF and CoL in relation to Man's development and the lotus flowers]
The astral organs of perception are called the ‘lotus-flowers’ (sacred wheels, chakra). ...
The two-petalled lotus-flower beneath the forehead, at the root of the nose is as yet an undeveloped astral organ which will one day unfold into two antennae or wings. The symbol of them can already be seen in the horns traditionally represented on the head of Moses. ...
The lotus-flower with sixteen petals lies in the region of the larynx. In very ancient times this lotus-flower turned from right to left — that is to say in the opposite direction to the hands of a clock. In the man of today, this lotus-flower has ceased to turn. In the clairvoyant seer it begins to move in the opposite direction — from left to right. In earlier times, eight of the sixteen petals were visible, the others undeveloped. In future ages they will all be visible, for the first eight are the result of the action of unconscious initiation, the other eight of the conscious initiation attained by dint of personal effort. The eight new petals correspond to the Beatitudes of Christ.
The lotus-flower with twelve petals is situated in the region of the heart. In earlier times, six petals only were visible. The acquisition of six virtues will develop the other six in times to come. These six virtues are: control of thought, power of initiative, balance of the faculties, optimism which enables a man always to see the positive side of things, freedom from prejudice, and finally, harmony in the life of soul. When these virtues have been acquired, the twelve petals begin to move.
They express the sacred quality of the number twelve which we have in the twelve Apostles, the twelve knights of King Arthur, and again in all creation, in all action. .. We find these virtues expressed again in signs and symbols, for symbols are not arbitrary inventions - they are realities. The symbol of the Cross, for instance, as well as that of the Swastika, represents the four-petalled chakram in man. The twelve-petalled flower is expressed in the symbol of the Rose Cross and the twelve Companions.
[Chakras as higher senses in the spirit world]
How is this to be understood?
When a Man is asleep, his astral body leaves the physical and etheric bodies, and consciousness leaves him also. But that is true only while the astral body is engaged on its usual task of repairing and restoring harmony to the weary and worked out physical body.
When a Man has died, his astral body no longer has this task to perform, and in proportion as it is released from this task, consciousness awakens. During the Man's life his consciousness was darkened and hemmed in by the physical forces of the body and at night he had to work on this physical body. When the forces of the astral body are released after death, its own specific organs immediately emerge. These are the seven lotus-flowers, the Chakrams. Clairvoyant artists have been aware of this and have used it as a symbol in their works: Michaelangelo created his statue of Moses with two little horns. The lotus-flowers are distributed as follows:
- The 2-petalled lotus-flower at the base of the nose, between the eyebrows;
- The 16-petalled lotus-flower in the region of the larynx;
- The 12-petalled lotus-flower in the neighbourhood of the heart;
- The 8- or 10-petalled lotus-flower in the region of the stomach;
- A 6- and a 4-petalled lotus-flower are to be found lower down.
These astral organs are hardly observable in the ordinary Man of today, but if he becomes clairvoyant, or goes into a state of trance, they stand out in shining, living colours, and are in motion. When the lotus-flowers are in motion, a Man perceives the astral world.
But the difference between physical and astral organs is that physical organs are passive and allow everything to act on them from outside. Eye, ear and so on have to wait until light or sound brings them a message. Spiritual organs, on the other hand, are active; they hold objects in their grip. But this activity can awaken only when the forces of the astral body are not otherwise employed; then they stream into the lotus-flowers.
Even in Kamaloka, as long as the lower parts of the astral body are still united to the Man, the astral organs are dimmed.
It is only when the astral corpse has been discarded and nothing remains with the Man except what he has acquired as permanent parts of himself — i.e. at the entrance to the spirit world — that these astral sense-organs wake to full activity; and in the spirit world Man lives with them in a high degree of consciousness.
Now we find the astral body to be endowed with still more power when we learn that its astral substance enables it not only to push back what is outside, but also, when there is no outer resistance, to stretch forth, to eject, its astral substance through its own inner strength. If one is able thus to stretch forth the astral tentacles, so to speak, with no resistance present, then there appears what is called spiritual activity; the so-called spiritual organs of perception come into being. When the astral substance is pushed out from a certain part of the head and forms something like two tentacles, man develops what is called the two-petaled lotus flower. That is the imaginative sense, the eleventh.
In proportion to his capacity for stretching out his astral tentacles, man develops other spiritual organs. As his ability to thrust out astral substance increases, he forms a second organ in the vicinity of the larynx, the sixteen-petal lotus flower, the inspirational sense, the twelfth.
'Initiation and its Results' has a first chapter on the chakras (read in full); the extract below as an example about the form of the chakra petals
It must always be remembered that the occult teacher may not proceed very far with his instructions unless an earnest desire for a regulated development of the lotus-flowers is already present. Only mere caricatures of these flowers could be evolved if they were brought to blossom before they had acquired, in a steady manner, their appropriate form. For the special instructions of the teacher bring about the blossoming of the lotuses, but form is imparted to them by the manner of life already outlined.
The irregular development of a lotus-flower has, for its result, not only illusion and fantastic conceptions where a certain kind of clairvoyance has occurred, but also errors and lack of balance in life itself. Through such development one may well become timid, envious, conceited, self-willed, stiff-necked, and so on, while hitherto one may have possessed none of these characteristics.
It has already been said that eight petals of the lotus were developed long ago, in a very remote past, and that these in the course of occult education unfold again of themselves. In the instruction of the student, all care must now be given to the other eight. By erroneous teaching the former may easily appear alone, and the latter remain untended and inert. This would be the case particularly when too little logical, reasonable thinking is introduced into the instruction. It is of supreme importance that the student should be a sensible and clear-thinking person, and of equal importance that he should practise the greatest clarity of speech. People who begin to have some presentiment of superphysical things are apt to become talkative about such things. In that way they retard their development. The less one talks about these matters the better. Only he who has come to a certain stage of clearness ought to speak of them.
Imaginative consciousness is attained through the development of the lotus flowers in the astral body. Through the exercises that are undertaken for acquiring inspiration and intuition, certain definite motions, forms, and currents appear in the human ether or life body that were not present previously. They are in fact the organs through which man adds to the scope of his faculties the “reading of the occult script,” and what lies beyond it.
The changes in the ether body of a human being who has attained inspiration and intuition present themselves to supersensible cognition in the following manner.
Somewhere in the neighborhood of the physical heart a new center becomes conscious in the ether body, which develops into an etheric organ. From this organ, movements and currents flow to the various members of the human body in the most manifold way. The most important of these currents flow to the lotus flowers, permeating them and their various petals, then proceeding outward, pouring themselves like radiations into external space. The more the human being is developed, the greater the sphere around him within which these radiations are perceptible.
The center in the region of the heart does not, however, develop immediately at the start of correct training. It is first prepared. There appears, to begin with, a temporary center in the head; this then moves down into the neighborhood of the larynx and finally settles in the region of the physical heart.
Were its development irregular, then the organ of which we have been speaking might immediately be formed in the neighborhood of the heart. In that case there would be danger that the student, instead of attaining quiet and factual supersensible perception, would become a visionary and fantast.
As he develops further, the student acquires the ability to free the currents and structures of his ether body from his physical body and to use them independently. In doing this, the lotus flowers serve him as organs through which he brings the ether body into motion. Before this occurs, however, special currents and radiations must have formed in the sphere of the ether body, enclosing it like a fine network and making it into a self-contained being. If that has happened, the movements and currents taking place in the ether body are able to come into unhindered contact with the outer world of soul and spirit and to unite with it, so that outer occurrences in the realm of soul and spirit and inner events in the human ether body flow into one another.
If that happens, the moment has arrived when Man perceives the world of inspiration consciously. This cognition occurs in a different way from cognition in the sensory-physical world. In the latter we gain perceptions through the senses and form from them mental images and concepts. This is not the case with the knowledge derived from inspiration. What one knows is immediately present in the act; there is no reflection after perception. What sensory-physical cognition gains only afterwards in concepts is, in inspiration, given simultaneously with perception. Man would therefore merge with the environment of soul and spirit and would not be able to distinguish himself from it had he not developed the above characterized network in the ether body.
By working thus upon himself man consciously builds up that which the external world has otherwise accomplished in him without his aid, forming
- his brain out of the higher spirit world [World of Reason],
- his nervous system out of the lower spirit world [World of Spirit],
- his sense-organs out of the astral world [Elementary World].
He himself builds organs higher than the brain, organs which are not outwardly visible to normal consciousness because they lie in a realm beyond the physical. Just as the eyes have been formed out of the astral world, the nerves out of the lower spirit world, the brain out of the higher spirit world, go out of the buddhi plane [original text: World of Archetypal Images] higher spiritual organs are formed and moulded, organs which gradually enable us to penetrate into the higher world and to look into it. These organs simply represent a development and continuation of the activity carried out at a lower stage. These higher organs of perception appear in the shape of spiritual flower-forms budding forth from man and are therefore called ‘lotus-flowers’, or also spiritual ‘wheels’ or ‘chakrams’.
In anyone who practises such exercises, new organs may actually become visible to clairvoyant consciousness. For example, one unfolds like a wheel or flower in the middle of the forehead. This is the two-petalled lotus-flower; it is a spiritual sense-organ. Just as a physical sense-organ exists in order to bring to our consciousness the world around us, so do the spiritual sense-organs exist in order to bring to our consciousness the world which cannot be seen with normal physical eyes. These so-called lotus-flowers are forces and systems of forces which bud from man's soul.
A second organ of this kind may be formed in the region of the larynx, another near the heart, and so on. These spiritual sense-organs — the word inevitably implies a contradiction but there is no better expression in modern language which is coined for the physical world — these spiritual sense-organs can be cultivated by the patient and vigorous practice of immersing oneself in symbolic mental pictures which are not pictures of anything in the external world and which in this respect differ from the mental pictures of ordinary consciousness in that they do not mirror anything external but work in the soul and produce forces which can hold back the World of Archetypal Images just as eyes, nerves and brain hold back the other worlds that are around us.
[Activation of the spiritual sense-organs]
But to have arrived at this point is not enough. Anyone possessed of the faculty of clairvoyant vision can perceive these higher sense-organs in man. But these organs themselves must now be further developed. So far they have been formed out of a world higher than those worlds out of which our human constitution is otherwise built up. Now comes the second stage, the preparation for actual vision. The form taken by the process of preparation is that anyone who has attained Imaginative Knowledge through the development of the lotus-flowers and is conscious of having attained it, now passes on to something rather more difficult, to a higher stage of inner work and effort.
[meditation is explained to hold the impulses of the forces of thinking, feeling and willing.
[Thinking, last section]
As a fruit of such meditation one may look back over a great part of the life spent in the spiritual world between death and a new birth, before conception took place. But through this kind of meditation one can, as a rule, look back only to a certain point that lies before the present incarnation; it would not be possible to look further back into earlier incarnations themselves. To do this at the present time, as the organ referred to above has not yet developed in the human brain, another kind of meditation is necessary. This other kind can become effective only if feeling is brought into the meditation. All meditation as now described may also be permeated with feeling.
[Below is the last part by way of example, for willing.]
We can further permeate the content of our meditation with impulses of will in such a way that if we meditate, for instance, on ‘The Wisdom of the World radiates in the Light’, we may now really feel the impulse of our will united with that activity; we can feel our own being united with the radiating power of the light, and let this light shine and vibrate through the world. We must feel the impulse of our will to be united with this meditation.
When our meditation is filled with impulses of the will, we are holding back a force which otherwise would pass into the pulsation of the blood. It is easy to realise that the inner life of the ‘I’ can pass over into the pulsation of the blood when we remember that we grow pale when we are afraid and blush when we are ashamed; these are the signs that the soul-force is passing over into the pulsing of the blood. If the same force which influences the blood is activated in such a way that it does not descend into the physical but remains in the soul only, this is the beginning of the third form of meditation which we can influence through impulses of will.
[Three forms of clairvoyance]
He who achieves these three forms of occult development feels, when he liberates the power of thought, as though he had an organ at the root of the nose, these organs are described as ‘lotus-flowers’ by means of which he can become aware of his ‘I’ or self that extends far into space.
- A Man who by meditation has cultivated thoughts permeated with feeling becomes gradually conscious, through this developed force which would otherwise have become speech, of the so-called sixteen-petalled lotus-flower in the region of the larynx. By means of this lotus-flower he can comprehend what is connected with temporal things, from the beginning of the Earth's existence until its end. By means of this organ he also learns to recognise the occult significance of the Mystery of Golgotha, of which we shall speak in the next lecture.
- Through the soul-force which in normal everyday life would extend to the blood and its pulsation but is held back, an organ develops in the region of the heart [12 petalled]. By means of this organ the nature of the earlier incarnations of the Earth (known in occultism as the Old Saturn, Old Sun and Old Moon stages of evolution) may be understood.
As you will now realise, occult development is achieved by means of faculties and possibilities that are actually present in the life of the human soul.
- The first occult power that has been mentioned stems from a higher development of the power of thinking, the power that is otherwise applied only for thoughts connected with the external world.
- The second power is only a higher development of the force which in everyday life is applied by every human being through the body, in speech, in the development of the organ for the word.
- The third power is a higher cultivation of the force that exists in the human soul to cause the blood to pulsate faster or slower, to direct a greater or smaller amount of blood to one or another organ of the body; to direct it more to the centre when we grow pale, more to the surface when we blush, to direct it more or less strongly to the brain, and so on.
sketches Man during sleep, and describes the astral organs called Heart-eye to relate to the planetary worlds, and the Sun-eye to the Zodiac and world of the stars.
- .. no sooner have you passed over into the condition of sleep than the part of your astral body which belongs in waking life to your heart, becomes for you an eye, — becomes, in very fact, what we may call a heart-eye; and with this heart-eye you ‘see’ what is now taking place. For present-day mankind, the perception is a very dim one. Nevertheless it is more assuredly there; the heart-eye perceives the experiences of this first sphere of sleep. Very soon after you have fallen asleep, the heart-eye begins also to look back at what has been left lying in bed. Your I and astral body look back with the heart-eye upon your physical and etheric bodies. And the picture of planetary movements that you are now experiencing in your astral body, rays back to you from your ether-body; you behold a reflection of it in your ether-body. Present-day man is so constituted that as soon as ever he wakes up, he immediately forgets the dim consciousness that he had in the night by means of his heart-eye. There are however, dreams in which we can catch, as it were, an echo of it. Such dreams are astir with an inner movement that is reminiscent of the planetary movements. Then into these dreams come pictures from real life; but that is only when the astral body has begun to dive down into the ether-body, which latter carries and preserves for us the memory of our life.
- Man has therefore in this second Sphere what we might call a solar or Sun-perception. He perceives with the part of his astral body that is associated with the solar plexus and the limbs, — an organ of perception that can rightly be called a Sun-eye. And by means of his Sun-eye man becomes aware of his relationship, not now merely, as before, with the planetary movements, but with the entire Zodiac. The picture you see, is widening; or rather, man himself is growing out further into the picture of the Cosmos. And here again, man is able to behold a reflection of the experience when he looks back on his own physical and etheric bodies.
Every night it is thus given to Man, — that is to say, to the part of him that goes out of the body — to come into relationship with the whole Cosmos; first, with the planetary movements, and then with the constellations of the fixed stars. In this latter experience — which may come half an hour after falling asleep, or rather later, but with many people comes quite soon — man feels himself within all twelve constellations of the Zodiac.
Rawn Clark Q&A 2002-05-11
answers a question on IIH (SWCC)
How are chakras related to the exercises of Bardon's IIH system. They are briefly described on page 47 (IIH Merkur edition), where it is promised to explain later how to activate the energy centres. However, I cannot find where this is in the IIH book.
It is sort of misleading where Franz Bardon wrote: "In another chapter I will explain the awakening of the serpent power in the individual centers." But I think this is mainly due to our modern, popular perspective which considers work with the chakras a vital part of magical practice. However, if you take this in context with what he says about the correspondence between the elements and the chakras, it becomes evident that he did explain the awakening of the serpent power, but in the context of the elemental regions instead of the chakras.
Furthermore, from an Hermetic perspective, safely awakening the chakras is more complex than merely overloading them with energy. A large part of their natural awakening occurs as a consequence of the process of character development.
The chakras are not just physical energy centers. They also accommodate emotional and mental energy. Unfortunately, this is most usually not taken into consideration in western systems that work with the chakras directly. But in Bardon's IIH system, this is central and the work of character development precedes the actual work of accumulating the Elements and Fluids.
The transformation of character and consequent building of the Elemental Equilibrium, gently opens and balances these energy centers at the key level of the astral body. The subsequent accumulation of the Elements (Step Four) then ignites the serpent power within them, safely.
See also Kundalini and Kundalini#Rawn Clark Q.26A 2004-01-29
Chakra experience through initiation exercises
Chakras and nadis are only concepts, they are however to be experienced consciously. Initiation exercises of meditation and concentration cause a slowly emerging astral awareness of the chakra centers and nadi flow channels of etheric life energy emerges, as well as the breathing skin pores. As a consequence of initiation exercises, one becomes aware - over time - of each chakra, one after another, from the ajna chakra to the throat chakra, etc. This becoming aware may be at first very slight, but evolves further with consistent disciplined practice of the exercises.
Around the sequence of chakras and stages of clairvoyance
Different sources provide various perspectives that require further investigation to resolve the apparent contradictory statements. Below follow some examples to illustrate. This clearly represents an opportunity to deepen and improve the understanding in this matter.
1/ Schema FMC00.092 shows a projected evolutionary pathway for the development of:
- the 16 petalled throat chakra in the sixth epoch, pointing to further development of
- the 2 petalled chakra in the seventh epoch.
This schema sketches the path for humanity, that also takes place in Man during spiritual development: the gradual opening of the chakras, and their gradual development.
The current fifth epoch (editor contribution) is about the development of the 12 petalled heart chakra. See 1906-06-06-GA094 above for the link to the six basic exercises - see also Rudolf Steiner and initiation.
Rudolf Steiner focused mainly on the throat (16 petalled) and heart (12 petalled) chakras only. This may have to do with the spiritual maturity of Man and the developmental targets in the current cultural age.
From the above, one would say that the current epoch will bring imagination, followed by inspiration (sixth) and intuition (seventh epoch)
2/ Note however, it may be slightly confusing that 1909-10-26-GA115 describes the the imaginative, inspirational and intuitive senses as additional astral senses over and above the physical senses, relating them to the two, sixteen, and twelve petalled lotus flowers as the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth sense.
Schema FMC00.129 shows the different order for the above lecture, and the further apparent contradiction with the epochs and other lectures in that table, see also Man's transformation and spiritualization
3/ Then again, the extract from 1910-GA013 above connects the faculty of Inspiration to the organ in the area of the heart. That would be the 12 petalled heart chakra. This extract talks about etheric instead of astral organ, and also has the organ moving down in its development.
4/ And, for the current age of Michael and the changes with the emerging clairvoyance, Man's new organ focuses on the pituitary gland as a physical organ of perception. This usually links to the third eye chakra.
- Initiation exercises
- Man's transformation and spiritualization
- Stages of clairvoyance
- Man's new organ
References and further reading
- Barbara Brennan: Hands of Light (1987)
- Florin Lowndes: 'Enlivening the Chakra of the Heart' (- the fundamental spiritual exercises of Rudolf Steiner) (1998)
- in DE as 'Die Belebung des Herzchakra: Ein Leitfaden zu den Nebenübungen Rudolf Steiners' (2020)
- Mark Rich: Energetic anatomy (2004)
Various general info
- Wim Borsboom: The Major Chakras and their Petals
- Lam Van Kiet: Fundamentals of Chakras
- Shyam Sundar Goswamni: 'Laya Yoga: the definitive guide to the chakras and kundalini' (1980, 1999)
- Hiroshi Motoyama: Theories of the Chakras (1981) (PDF)