Excerpt from A Name To The Nameless
The Manipura Vortex
The Svadhistana Vortex’s main function is to secure the emerging sense of identity from the womb of unconsciousness and blind instinct, which characterize the pre-conscious and pre-human mind at the Muladhara, Sensory Mind. Once a secure base for the personality is established in a balanced Svadhistana Vortex, the personality can begin to expand and encounter new qualities and experiences. Here we see the continued expansion of artha vrtti and the effort to expand the Conceptual Mind so as to acquire a greater degree of meaningful psychological development. The higher expressions of artha are unable to express themselves completely in the Svadhistana due to the primary activity of maintaining and securing the psychological grounding of the identity. Once there is a stable emotional foundation the personality can flourish and expand.
The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word artha is relief or alleviation. It refers to the relief one gets after the struggle to find the name of an object whose name is unknown. This unknowing creates a tension in the mind that impels the mind to seek equilibrium by finding the meaning of something in order to give classification to that which is not understood. When the meaning or definition is found there is a sense of relief as the mental equilibrium is restored. In other words, artha is the willful endeavor of the intellect to acquire form and meaning for both the self and its world, an activity not quite possible for the second vortex due to its occupation with primary self-establishment. The fundamental need at the Manipura Vortex the need for novel, creative self-definition. This need is directed toward social and creative activities instead of being occupied with basic emotional and existential security.
The path toward self-definition begins to qualify the growth and development of artha. The Aham intelligence of the personality is confronted with new challenges that force the mind to seek creative and resourceful ways to face these challenges. Development is not though contracted, defensive emotional instincts as with the Svadhistana. The Manipura mind desires qualities and has conceptual capacities beyond the mundane Conceptual Mind and self. In the 2nd vortex there is a drive toward basic, psychological self-preservation, while with the Manipura there is a vigorous outward, drive toward self-definition and expansion. The second vortex utilizes the Conceptual Mind, while the Manipura refines this basic conceptual power with the qualities of creativity and innovation. The Aham grows by internalizing and digesting more and more of its desires for the objective, external world. It is at this stage that the Aham begins to have more control over the chitta as it attempts to manipulate and maneuver the external world with its creative intellect. In this process the personality acquires more clarity of experience and with this knowledge is capable of even further expansion. Here it is important to mention the relationship between the vrttis embedded in their respective vortexes and the layers of mind associated with their respective vortexes. The expressions of the vrttis correspond perfectly with the functions of the mind of that level. The cognitive aspects of the vortexes can’t stand apart from the emotive ones. A mind trying to establish itself in the world of the Conceptual Mind needs stout emotive tendencies to hold it’s ground. And it is quite necessary for a mind that reaches the dynamic creative layer to have powerful attractions and drives toward that realm. This relationship between the propensities and the mental layers, or between emotive and cognitive factors, is a constant relation on all mental levels.
The creative mental layer, or Atimanasa Kosa, is the level of mind that perceives the emanation of form from the “luminous factor.” The luminous factor is an invisible form field, or “morphogenic field,” that imposes a certain order and form on the material world. Form is something mental and spiritual that manifests physically. All things that exist have a subtle form field upholding their physical being. Just as there is a unified field of “liquid” energy behind matter, there is a “luminous” form field behind both the liquid and solid factors. At the creative mental level the Aham itself is a form, with a ideal form of a person embedded deep within. The forms in the mind are archetypes of creativity for the Aham that are guided by the Macrocosmic Mind. Recall that Macrocosmic Mind has always guided the evolution of the microcosmic mind. It has guided the evolution of physical instincts in the first vortex and the primal thought forms of the Conceptual Mind at the second vortex. The creative intellect begins to perceive these archetypal, creative impulses and find ways to express them in its person. These forms resonate with the mind and guide it in a particular cognitive and emotive direction. At this stage of mental evolution, Aham is struggling to arise out of the mundane Conceptual Mind and trying to enlighten itself with a creative and conceptual understanding of form. “Without vision a people perish,” states the Bible. The Manipura needs a deep vision and outlook to be fully functioning, otherwise it is like a sick organ. Only broad, universal ideas keep the Creative Mind out of trouble. Any ideology or vision of life that isn’t based on universal principles that promote universal love will block the vigorous expansion of the Manipura. By nature, desire for expansion will always be egocentric, but it is possible for the ego to be aware of this and try to convert selfishness into selflessness. Such is the path to human happiness. Slowly, the binding, impulsive remnants of animal life begin to be transmuted into conscious awareness. The creative layer of the mind guides us to the illumination of things once dark and obscure.
When these fundamental needs of the Creative Mind are not fulfilled, then the emotive vrttis attempt to force and impose meaning and form for the struggling, unfulfilled ego. The luminous, fiery element of the Manipura gives this vortex its fiery, impassioned ability to psychologically enlighten inner, conceptual forms. The Manipura has tremendous power and creativity but also tremendous capacity for conflict and even destruction when the person hasn’t found their own vision and instead seeks substitute gratification in mundane forms. Manipura literally translates to the ‘city of jewels’.
The creative Manipura mind is a whole new faculty for the evolving, Conceptual Mind. Gradually, the basic concepts of the Svadhistana acquire more elaborate color and form at the Manipura. A strong, developed Manipura has learned and accomplished many things and therefore has a little practical knowledge of existence and more self-confidence and definition. A less developed Manipura will be frustrated, ambitious, fearful and feel compelled to follow the superficial forms of social convention instead of one’s own creative, innovative desires. The consumptive and ambitious tendencies of the weak Manipura Vortex are concerned more with the attempt to acquire externally rather than to actually realize the true meaning of self. This emerging personality in the Manipura blindly fixates on selfish attachments and ambitions. Therefore, the outward and vigorous development of the Manipura is not just expanding toward something greater, but is compensating for the psychological inferiority and limitations of the Svadhistana. Here we see how the active and passionate qualities of the Manipura Vortex compensate for the entropy, dullness and lethargy of the Svadhistana. Due to the nature of these drives the mind is driven more toward external form rather that inner, spiritual symbols. It may grasp an intimation of infinity with the understanding of subtle ideas but still projects its infinite desires into the material world. The propensities that distort the Manipura, Creative Mind must be purified by the cognitive abilities of the Creative Mind for the Aham to develop. A balanced Manipura Vortex gives one a vital and very refined Creative Mind that can perceive itself much deeper and resolve in a creative manner its limitations and challenges. Such a person has a healthy passion for life, is active in pursuing his/her desires, is in constant need for new and meaningful experiences, and is incessantly working at self-improvement and transformation. Such a well-balanced person will naturally resonate with positive, expansive thought forms and will have an authentic, sincere vision of life. The Manipura mind shines with brilliant gems. If we go after a few particular gems, we lose site of the whole. To conceptually comprehend the great purpose of one’s existence and have the confidence and heart to follow it is the greatest gift of the Manipura, Creative Mind. This is not the realization of the Self as Shiva, but rather the realization of the Aham’s particular purpose as a human being in a human world. It is a stage in the journey as only a sturdy, confident ego can let go of its limitations and begin to peer into the Infinite window within.
The 10 Manipura Vortexes
Shame bears a resemblance to the vrtti, lack of confidence, in the second vortex. The difference between them is that with lack of confidence there is a generalized, pervasive inferiority regarding one’s fundamental self-concept. Shame is a contraction of the expanding Manipura personality due to a disruption in one’s self-image. The punitive and oppressive feeling of blame and the corresponding self and/or social judgment of the ego being inferior, a failure, unworthy, ill, base, sinful, etc. are due to activities and interactions of the ego that have transgressed social forms or boundaries or have failed to meet the expectations of the social environment. Shame is an ugly image of all of the negative judgments and transgressions from others that one has identified with. They begin to overpower and convince the ego. One’s very own Aham suffers the imposition of others but this affected Aham continues imposing the same negative judgments upon itself with shame as the result. For example, most victims of racism must somehow believe that he/she is inferior to actually feel shame. An external thought form has been internalized and painfully felt due to the inability to deflect it and not accept it internally. The Aham begins to live by a negative form of another that imposes on the weak self-image. Shame is also generated internally by failing to meet one’s own expectations. The Manipura mind lives by an image, whether one’s own image or a socially imposed one. If one falls short or transgresses one’s own values and beliefs, then the mind is no longer nourished and inspired by the positive image. There is a rift between the real self and the ideal form of self. Shame enters and one feels an emptiness, lack of meaning and a distinct sense that one is ineffective in life.
Shame, whether generated from within or without, is essentially the failure of the ego’s activities to meet the demands of its ideal form or pattern of behavior, its conscience. Initially conscience is an imposed guiding pattern of behavior determined by external, social forces, but as the ego develops conscience becomes more of a thought form that guides the self towards greater realization of its potentialities in accordance with certain psychological and spiritual ideals. Shame can be induced by a transgression of the personal, subjective conscience as well.
Shame functions in few positive ways. It can be a compensatory system of checks and balances for antisocial behavior or behavior that goes against ones own ideals. The feeling of blame and transgression and their effect of inhibiting the negative activities can actually keep one from persevering with such harmful behavior.
While shame can serve a positive purpose by keeping impulsive behavior in check, most often it has a crippling effect on the motivational powers. This is especially limiting when the social conscience is very rigid, strict and punitive, thereby making it very difficult for the individual to meet those imposing expectations. It is the same with self-judgment within the individual as well. All too often it is the rigid subjective conscience of the individual that perpetuates its own sense of shame by setting up unreal expectations for him/herself that can’t possibly be met. Whether induced from within or without, they both lead to an entropy and contraction of the evolving personality.
Shame is often the great demon behind the monstrous face of a really negative personality. When one feels unworthy and base, then the mind will naturally gravitate toward what is low and base. Nobody wants to feel the weakness of shame and to feel empowered one may use manipulative and aggressive means that aren’t necessarily helpful. One may resent the positive qualities of others because of their own sense of inferiority and can become aggressive, competitive, invidious, and hateful. Or perhaps narcissism and vanity will try to cover up one’s self-disgust. Looking behind all of the masks of the negative aspects of the ego the demon of shame projects and controls the negative self-image.
The shame complex, like any other complex, is resolved when one finds a true form and meaning for the personality. Instead of feeling bad, low, and unworthy, one must find a vital, creative and healthy self-image to put one back on the path of balanced growth.
It has already been mentioned that the Manipura Vortex directs the vigorous outward expansion of the mind. Here the will endeavors to acquire a certain power and mastery over the objective world. When there is some sort of frustration to this power drive the mind seeks a way to overcome the obstruction in order to make the will stronger than the impediment. Slander is the attempt to negate the fear, doubt, and insecurity caused within the subject by the force (another person or group of persons in most cases) that obstructs the connection of the subjective will to the objective environment. This negation takes the form of berating and belittling the self-created “enemy” in an attempt to psychologically weaken the impact that this enemy actually has on the ego. In this process the fear evoked from others is distorted and projected. While the will is attempting to overpower the crippling effect of the offending parties, the slandering ego feels that by defaming another that they are actually negating and weakening them.
With this tendency the mind is still very deeply entrenched in a very marked and dualistic self/other dialogue. The slanderer derives a mental momentum and empowerment from its slander by feeding off the negation of the other. This negation functions as a defense mechanism to keep the dynamism and power of the will and self-confidence intact. However, the potential for positive expansion out of strife and conflict with others is hampered. The ego is basing itself upon a negation of others. This cycle of conflict continues until the Creative Mind seeks refuge in a higher order of intelligence and insight. This perspective isn’t reached until this marked dualism is overcome with judicious discernment at the Anahata level. It is not just this particular vrtti of the Manipura that keeps one confined and bounded to the world of external form. Rather, all of the vrttis of the Manipura with their willful ego-oriented power drives are associated with a weak ego image. An effort of will guided by a very positive idea is needed to overcome these weaknesses and fears that cause conflict with other egos.
Jealousy is always related to shame. Behind jealousy is the belief that one’s own qualities, abilities, performance, etc. are inferior to those of others. If one were to simply notice the positive qualities of others without thinking of them in the context of one’s own desires, then there would simply be a recognition of another’s qualities and abilities. But because the mind at this level of development is so preoccupied with its own ambitious tendencies it makes a comparison to itself. Seeing oneself as lacking these desirous qualities, one desires them for oneself. Instead of creating a novel self-image, the weak Manipura Vortex with jealousy derives its significance by emulating the image of another.
This vrtti is related to and can induce so many other tendencies. In many cases a latent lack of confidence (second vortex) affects the thought processes in such a way that one’s thinking is always about what one doesn’t have. It is this lack of self-worth that very often makes one susceptible to jealousy. Jealousy affects and activates other tendencies of the Manipura as well. Jealousy is so often responsible for hatred, fear, and slander. Once the feeling of jealousy arises in the mind it is all too easy to begin to passionately hate the adversary that you’ve self-constructed, and who is there better to slander than those you hate? And does not this negativity and sense of comparison and competition with another induce even more fear as well? Perhaps you won’t ever match up to the other. And perhaps an underlying sense of fear was responsible for the jealousy in the first place.
The jealous, invidious mind must find the strength to value and respect its own qualities and process of growth. With jealousy one is completely disregarding oneself as a creative process. The person is a microcosm with a definite plan and purpose, evolving in the path toward union with the Macrocosm. Within the person are all of the latent qualities and forms of intelligence to help find a sense of dignity and self-respect.
4 and 5. Staticity and Melancholy
When the will projection of the ego at the Manipura level is unable to link itself to its environment and thereby sustain its psychological economy, there is a devitalizing effect on the mind. The energy accustomed to moving outward loses its objects of desire, its chain of gratifying objects. Since the identity of the ego is so externalized on objective forms outside of itself, the loss of this object of desire and meaning (artha) for the ego is experienced as an actual loss of self. The causes of this are numerous- excessive stress, illness, other psychological issues disrupting balance and harmony in the mind, existential crisis, to name a few. All of these occurrences that create a rift in the economy between internal desire and external gratification, can lead to the feeling of inertia and staticity. In this state the mind lacks the vitality to seek its pleasure and happiness because of this split. This is staticity.
When this condition becomes more intensified or is prolonged melancholy ensues. Melancholy can be likened to psychic stupor in the 2nd vortex as they both are generated from the ego’s inability to make a link with its environment. While psychic stupor is a reaction to a stressor that can uproot the entire psychological foundation, melancholy is a more refined expression of this in that the devitalizing of the mind is caused more by a loss of personal meaning. The mind at the Manipura is more refined and complex than at the Svadhistana and therefore the disruptance of the mind at that level is caused by the mental associations at that level and also respond with a reaction based on that level of cognitive and emotive functioning.
Melancholy, according to Kristeva, is asymbolia- the loss of meaningful symbols and forms that the personality has been attached to in order to define and orient itself. The depression is due to the fact that the ideas that have supported the personality are no longer functioning in the same ways. There remains only a void. This can be caused by a disruption in the environment or social world or by a change within the personality that makes it difficult to adjust in the customary manner. In both ways is the personality is at a loss of how and where to reorient itself to a meaningful identity.
As mentioned previously, the psycho-evolutionary step toward the Manipura level of mind represents a much-heightened degree of self-consciousness by means of a more refined Creative Mind and a drive to expand it toward the external world. Here the psyche itself actually begins to be a somewhat conscious object for the intellect. We saw that in order to have shame, slander, jealousy, inertia, etc. it was necessary to think of the ego and its qualities as reference for the ego image. This concern is certainly present, however it is greatly obscured by the other ego-centered, impulsive and impassioned tendencies and therefore the pure and lucid contemplation of the personality is not yet possible. However, it is quite an achievement for the mind to be making an indefatigable though impulsive effort to overcome the torpor of the Svadhistana.
With the propensity of sadism there is a very thorough but mostly unconscious recognition of the limitations of the ego along with a feeling of self-hatred and disgust. One unconsciously sees all of the limiting tendencies of the 2nd and 3rd vortexes and looks upon oneself as a pitiful nonentity. Instead of consciously recognizing these self-perceptions they are displaced and projected onto others who have these same complexes. Therefore, the complex that is so unconsciously despised within oneself is consciously recognized in another along with all of the corresponding self-hatred. With this defense mechanism the tension arising from self-disgust is directed toward another and that other thereby becomes the scapegoat for one’s own shortcomings. Hence, the old maxim that one really hates most what one sees in oneself.
Sadism, this tendency to inflict harm upon another in order to protect oneself, is expressed in various ways ranging from violent, physical aggression to contemptuous remarks and teasing, to witch hunts and Auschwitz. Like slander it is a defense mechanism that feeds off of others in order to try to maintain a psychological equilibrium. It bears a deep resemblance to resentment at the Svadhistana but is a little more psychologically complex in that now the fiery Manipura tendencies add even more fuel to the fire of hate.
- Blind Attachment
The propensity of blind attachment serves the same function of compulsion in the second vortex but at a higher stage of mental development. Again we see how the propensities recapitulate themselves in a higher, more consciously evolved form. At each successive stage of development there is a variation and evolution on a psychological theme, a variation in the protection, sustaining, and expanding tendencies of mind in accordance with the increasingly refined and more conscious stages of development. This evolution of the mental structure arises not just through clash and cohesion in the mind but also due to an innate guiding faculty deeper within the mind. Ultimately, the all-attractive power of Consciousness leads all minds back into their Supreme Subjectivity.
Blind attachment gives an unquestionable and rigid sense of certainty to the Aham. Here the ego has moved into newly acquired territory that isn’t thoroughly mastered and controlled. The social world with all of its complex ideas is a great challenge to the mind that was so previously immersed in its more native, primal instincts. In order to secure a niche in this more complex world of image and form without confusion and self doubt as to whether one has the vigor and fortitude to face the challenges of a higher order, the mind clings to either to its previous achievement or the ideal modes of being that it sets for itself. The name and form of the ego or the ideals of the superego are rigidly, even fanatically upheld. But why must this be blind attachment instead of simply another lighter attachment. It must be blind so as to be unquestionable. The impulse is like a photon that after having been released through fusion in the suns core bounces around in the body of the star colliding with other forces until, after millions of years, it finds its way to the surface where it is free to pursue its momentum in a vaster space with less hindrance. The birth of consciousness must move forward, never backward, and this blindness secures, at least for a while, this forward momentum. Again, viewing this tendency from a higher, calmer, discerning perspective makes it seem limiting, but blind attachment certainly has its place for the insecure ego. However, as we expand our creativity and awareness it is necessary to overcome our irrational insistence, demands, fanaticism, and manipulative tendencies that blind attachment fosters.
Although one may be blindly attached to another person or social group for a sense of security, in the end one is always attached to one’s own image. Our own sense of identity and worth is still determined by being recognized by others. Blind attachment is not yet love, because it seeks out of desperation and takes more than it gives. However, everyone calls it “love.” A good friend of mine once said “What is love but repressed hate?”
Any image casts a shadow. Shame and fear and suffering are in this shadow. And, in most cases, this image is sustained by a vague expectation how you think others should see you. So much fuss over what is not even your own! If one must hold to an image, then it must be as light as possible. Truly, one is free to live by or create any image possibly conceived by the mind. The problem is that any image created in this microcosmic existence in time and space is that the finite image always bounces up against the eternal flow of your immortal existence. It is much better to flow with Tao, the cosmic moral order, than against it. You can’t hide from your Self forever. At the base and essence, behind fear and trembling, we know it is all just a story and that we haven’t get began this new, inner life. The life of the separated ego image is determined to receive reactions according to how one’s image has shifted, metamorphosed, or distorted the natural flow of expanding human consciousness. There really are inner laws of harmony which we must learn not to transgress, but rather complement and further them. The vain ego image, because of its very nature and place of inception, will always suffer reactions and this shame will always bind one to the concept of a limited and mortal identity.
Fearlessness is the only path to wholeness. The wise who see beyond the limits of the Aham and into the Mahat are the only ones who could play the game of the image correctly. Without escaping life, they move right through it. The personal, spiritual self is but a name to the nameless, an image given to you to help you function in this world so as to eventually free yourself. “Time is a moving image of eternity” said Plato. Only within this relation to the infinite, eternal, nameless being, do we find our own true name and nature within time. Spontaneous, natural and free, the inner, mental reflection of Self (your true image) flows really well with life because one could never presume upon it. Love and sincerity are much more real than any appearance to mask suffering by putting on a fine show exhibiting limited qualities. Being sustained and ensured by the Infinite, the realized soul puts fear and worry aside and lets life be lived care-free, as a joyful channel for the Infinite.
Ambition is the continuous propulsion for the mind toward physical and mental forms for the purpose of expanding its arena of activity and understanding. The Sanskrit word for this vrtti, trishna, literally means thirst. It is an insatiable thirst that underlies the ego’s desire to be something greater. Ambition is the focus of will on desired goals and the unswerving dedication to realize them. Like shame, it is one of the few tendencies in the Manipura that can actually be growth promoting, even when viewed from a higher level of psychological development. Ambition want to make what is outside inside, what is ideal real as the Aham acquires personal significance and social recognition by these achievements. For ambition not to be a force that consumes the Aham, it must be guided with a pure desire for growth and expansion that is not rooted in forcefulness and aggression. Ambition is misplaced desire for expansion and purpose. One wants to build castles in the world by worldly means and completely ignores the vast potential of intelligence and meaning that is within. So often ambition takes one contrary to this path which is finally a path to liberation from suffering and delusion. Infinite desire is only satiated with an infinite object of pleasure, which obviously doesn’t exist as a possibility of experience for the human mind at the Manipura. Our misplaced notion of infinite desire projected into the external world is actually a projection of infinity from within. Only that which is unstained and unmoved by any vibration is infinite, anything else is a finite wave with a beginning and end. It is only deep within the subjective witness of the mind that we find the ever-present Shiva. This Supreme Subjectivity is always present behind the mind and ever ready to take the mind back to its source of awareness and bliss. The mind must be prepared for this by following the path of dharma, or inner, psycho-spiritual movement. This is so hard for the ambitious, externalized, form-oriented Manipura consciousness to understand. It is only when we find a true and meaningful purpose that takes us toward a higher level of Self awareness that it begins to be possible to contemplate the infinite within and live within its joy, its ananda. The growth and understanding that helps substitute love and optimistic expansion for selfish ambition and manipulation is how the person begins to have a sacred reverence for his/her own existence and respect that same sacredness in all.
A friend of mine was once seated in front of Anandamurti. Anandamurti was mentally scanning his Manipura Vortex calling out the propensities one by one and saying “very good, no shame, slander,” and so on until he mentioned “What is this, a little ambition?” He said that it was alright and that it could stay because he was channelizing this vrtti with a lot of social service activities inspired by higher propensities. His lesson from this experience was that as long as their exists external desires it is possible to channelize them toward something really positive with the creative power of the Manipura Vortex guided by noble intentions from the higher vrttis. This way, one fulfills the wants of the propensity of ambition in the Manipura while at the same time transmutes the selfishness of the desire into a more conscious goodness that is shared with all. It is certainly not easy, but it is really the only way out of the hell of selfishness and greed that forever suffers a delusion of controlled and confined happiness. As such, ambition converts into true expansion, a tendency in the Anahata spiritual heart, and leads one toward unbounded yet tranquil happiness in this world as well as the next.
Hatred resembles very closely the propensities of slander and sadism. The main difference between them, however, is that slander and sadism are active aggressive expressions while hatred is more of a deep, seething hostile feeling toward another that doesn’t necessarily have to express itself overtly but may stimulate these other these vrttis as well. It is a constant state of aggressive tension between the self and the other. It justifies all sorts of negative expressions in the personality toward another being that is constantly under one’s negative evaluation. A little bit of hatred may be repressed or ignored or may escape through passive-aggressive gestures or comments. Intense hatred may lead to terrible altercations and even aggression. Very often hatred is a constant and general attitude toward a world considered hostile or unjust. Every situation or person that threatens the ego is hated. Hatred is an armed assassin always ready to do some dirty work.
In a poem of Byron it is written, “he knew not what to say so he swore.” When the mind cannot assimilate a clash to the ego, the effect of the situation remains unprocessed and all of this raw, unprocessed mental tension remains inside, gnawing away. It is interesting to note that the vrtti of hatred escapes outward from the center of the Manipura Vortex directly towards the liver. Any form of hatred must be understood creatively to catch its blindness. Very few people are educated about emotional life. Normally, one learns how to manage negative emotions only after they have become a serious problem that requires major changes due to crisis.
Hatred is a lack of the creative abilities of the Manipura. If the higher, conscious parts of the personality are not vigilant, then hatred as well as other negative propensities will worm their way in. Hatred is so often one of the key culprits in the shadow of the personality. It remains there because one doesn’t know where else to put it. One tries to hide and suppress it, but it always finds a way out. Situations and people that provoke negativity will always exist, we can only change how we evaluate and react to them. One must learn to see the sequence of events, external as well as internal, that led up to the feeling of anger and reinterpret and channelize them in a different way. To begin overcoming hatred it is necessary to re-envision one’s being in a more harmonious manner that isn’t based on separation, fear, desperation and conflict. Hatred cannot exist well where there is love and understanding and all of the other mental alchemy that goes into the transcendent act of forgiveness. Hatred is often a reaction to a prior, unconscious interpretation of a difficult situation. This energy remains embedded in the mind perhaps an entire lifetime. Perhaps one still remembers insults from elementary school and while recalling them flushes crimson. Or perhaps one is frequently involved in imaginary arguments with a parent. And just imagine what happens if a real, present person moves into this imaginary space of projection! This person will receive the past hatred of the others history. The buried emotions that have festered inside may be violently vomited out while the ego seeks to resolve this issue by blaming another for its malcontent.
Fear is certainly the most prominent feeling that pervades human life. Much that was said about fear of annihilation at the Svadhistana Vortex is relevant to this vrtti in the 3rd vortex. Just as many of the foundational tendencies of the 2nd vortex are translated and transmuted into the expansive and vigorous tendencies of the 3rd, fear a more complex and conscious form of the pervasive fear of annihilation. Fear is not necessarily terror in such an unconscious and pervasive sense, but rather reaction to self doubt. One doubts the strength and ability of oneself to uphold the psychological projections, activities, and attachments that constitute the identity.
At this stage of development the mind has a clear degree of separation from the objective world (nature and culture) but instead of being motivated toward true transcendence of relative and finite bondages, it substitutes the potentially pure understanding and conception of form and idea with a limited and egocentric version that merely gratifies the ambitious and passionate appetites of the limited and separate self sense. Because the will enforces itself through blind attachment, craving, slander, etc., it is very unwilling (and yet incapable) to let go of its egocentricity. Behind all of these instincts for self expansion in the psychic and conceptual arena is the fear that the link between the internal, subjective will and its definitive external attachments will be severed. Fear is this perpetual concern over the loss of self, at least a self defined by its cravings and demands.
Fear has many forms and many faces. At the most superficial level, there is fear about the acceptance of the social mask, or persona. Once we find a little more confidence, authenticity and individuality there will still be the fear if this acquired image can be sustained. Even in the highest degrees of development where one begins to have a notion of dharma and the sacrifice of the individual will for the collective welfare there will still be the fear that the lower propensities may hinder.
The Manipura level is the realm of the self and world that is defined by an impulsive and egocentric will. It is not until the propensities of the Anahata compensate for these limitations that the self begins to intuit that the world and self are not held together only by its own will, but is directed by a divine and moral order. The Manipura can capture this idea. This understanding is the only way to overcome the fear of losing the grasping, craving and defensive separate self. The only way for the Manipura to be strong and healthy is to serve a master greater than itself. Only through knowing Brahma is there an end to fear.
Of course, the spiritual Warrior archetype is what manifests in the Manipura mental level to guide one toward the spirituality in the Anahata Vortex. Under this influence, which is a co-mingling of Manipura with Anahata and Vishuddha propensities, the mind’s selfish desires get transmuted into a greater effort to struggle to follow one’s conscience. Any Warrior needs a master and the spiritual Warrior archetype is so closely connected to the guru archetype. The Manipura Vortex still can’t let go of images of itself, so it is no surprise that the mind looks for an image or archetype for god. Instead of being lost in the heroic ego trying to free itself from lower worldly bondages, the mind seeks to understand a higher, internal meaning based on a nobler idea than those based on selfish desire, blind attachment and ambition.
In the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, the 10-headed demon Ravana is a symbol for the 10 propensities of the Manipura Vortex. The god Rama is the hero who slays this demon. The Creative Mind of the Manipura can grasp these ideals and put them into practice. The divine archetypes descend upon the mind according to time, place, and person. Although most people worship these internal ideas in the extroverted religious sense, the developed Manipura mind understands the true significance of these forms and that they have an archetypal, “guiding function” as Jung termed it. It is this deep understanding of conceptual forms that gives the creative, Manipura mind its genius.
When I was a boy I was very curious as to whether Christ really existed as a human being or was a deeper, more universal, spiritual archetype embedded in the human conscience. This curiosity disappeared as I began to meditate and understand that the divine grace is always present behind the tranquil mind. I understood that the divine was in the formless I-Witness of the mind. This is what yogis call the Atman. Words and concepts and even the highest philosophy cannot trap the infinite within their limits. What I longed for was this harmony and union instead of a standardized conception of “god” which always seems to go along with some kind of acceptance of religion, cult or tradition. Although I had so many dreams of my teacher Anandamurti in which He often told me very important things and even healed me, I could never allow my mind to get locked into concepts like “guru.” Perhaps I could accept this authority on the inside, but when people started speaking of “guru” in the social context, it was so often based on other people’s conceptions of what the guru is and not so much their own experience and deep realization. This is true in any form of spirituality: the masses follow set standards and concepts and don’t put much energy into realization. However, it was in the height of my realizations of the formlessness of the divine that I had so many experiences of divine forms! Anandamurti, in dreams or meditation, always guided me toward the formless, actual presence of the Atman and never said anything like “I am the only way.” These experiences always revealed what i saw as deep universal truths. My mind had connected with this particular form that revealed truths so far beyond form. There even once appeared to my physical eyes the luminous form of Christ after a deep meditation. I had no doubt there was a divine presence manifesting as a form. His form was translucent and the jade serpent that i had seen in my first kundalini experiences was seen just behind his eyes at the level of the mid-brain. I clearly understood that it was a symbol of the union of heaven and earth and of god and humankind. The “serpent power” of the kundalini, the divine energy latent in the base of the spine, awakens into the brain and transforms us into something inconceivable for the Aham. This serpent at the mid-brain was completely tamed and within the beauty of the totality of the beautiful head of the Christ figure. I thought of how such an enlightened brain must have incorporated the so-called reptilian and mammalian brains into the mystical, yet to be realized potentials of the human neocortex that has evolved above and around them. Christ is a symbol of this yogic perfection, at least in my experience. The vision was more beautiful and meaningful than anything I ever saw in the Louvre or any other museum in the world. When I recall it I return to that state of ecstasy in the present. As time goes on I understand this as well as so many other visions of true form as deep spiritual truths that one cannot normally grasp without the help of the medium of form.
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