Tag Archives: Manipura

Chuck’s Place: Narcissism On The Way To Love

Even as the sun rises over Mother Earth each day so are we, her children, charged with rising our consciousness... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Even as the sun rises over Mother Earth each day so are we, her children, charged with raising our consciousness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Freud rightly identified early childhood as the stage of Primary Narcissism. We are born into this life with but the seed of an individual personality planted in the fertile soil of this world, what the Hindus identified as the first chakra, Muladhara, at the location of the perineum at the base of the spine. The spark of awareness at this stage, amidst the vast unknown dark soil of this world, is simply the needs of the body and the relief of those needs from somewhere. The infant can hardly differentiate itself and its needs from the world and from who attends to its needs. All is experienced as one narcissistic Me.

For Freud, this need state evolves into the Pleasure Principle, the prime mover of all stages of life through its myriad of mature civilized permutations, what Freud came to understand as civilization and it discontents, ultimately a variety of sublimations under which lies the libido of narcissism.

Jung introduced the two primary trends in nature, introversion and extroversion. In human nature the introvert looks to the inner self as the final arbiter of truth and rightness. By contrast, the extrovert is open more to the greater external reality and adapting to it as the basis for survival. From this perspective, the introvert, though perhaps more self-reliant, can also be seen as more self-involved or narcissistic. The extrovert, more keenly in tune with the needs of others, can on the one hand be seen as more related to the other yet on the other hand self-negating or codependent. The truth is, however, that both natural introverts and extroverts are likely to be equally driven by narcissism as long as their maturity is limited to the first three chakras: Muladhara, Svadhishthana, and Manipura.

These first chakras, in fact, all exist in the realm of narcissism. Despite outer appearances these three chakras are extremely self-involved, essentially in establishing the ego in the areas of basic security, sexuality, and individual power. These three chakras are bathed in narcissism at their core, simply a fact of development at those stages. These are necessary chakras in the foundation of the ego/body self, which then serve as the ultimate launching pad for the discovery of the spirit self in the fourth chakra, Anahata, located in the region of the heart.

It is only at the level of the flame of consciousness at the heart where an individual is truly freed from the dominance of the pleasure principle, the primary motivator of the animal part of the self, which dominates the first three chakras. It is only at the level of the heart that an individual can grant another autonomy and independent value, separate from their value as a need-fulfilling object, which is the perspective of the world at the first three chakras. At the lower levels, whether introverted or extroverted, the outside world is colored through the lens of what’s in it for Me, whether that be in the form of food, sex, or power and control.

Rising to higher consciousness... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Rising to higher consciousness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

However, once kundalini energy rises to the level of the heart, narcissism undergoes a mighty transformation, as one becomes truly capable of love for another. While narcissism once narrowed the energy of love to the self and how the world could support it, true love at the heart level grants the other and their needs a place in one’s own heart. Thus, at the heart center the way of narcissism becomes the way of love. Of course, the body is included in this new mix, but it must acquiesce to the greater objective need the heart accesses, beyond the narcissistic orbit of Me only.

The journey from the lower chakras to the heart center is many-faceted, involving many explosions and implosions as the world increasingly refuses to gratify the entitled expectations of the narcissistic self. This may result in repeated cycles of failed relationships, but over time, with knowledge accrued, it eventually becomes clear that the main culprit behind the failures is the compulsive drives of the narcissistic self.

With this point of self awareness one learns to contain the leaking of emotional frustration in the form of blame and develop an introspective posture that reveals the prejudices of the narcissistic worldview and begins to mold the objectivity of the heart center that acts from the place of truth vs blind need. And with this accomplishment, narcissism transforms and finds its way to true love.



Chuck’s Place: The Ark of Emergence into the Fifth World

In Hopi cosmology the world we presently inhabit is the fourth incarnation of previously destroyed worlds. Like our own, those worlds were composed of the same primary elements and life forms of plants and animals, as well as populated by peoples challenged to responsibly handle their own natures.

With a mythology nearly identical to that of Noah in Genesis, Hopi legend—or history—recounts the failure of human nature and thus the gathering of the worthy few to be saved, as each successive world is destroyed and created anew, for a fresh start led by the wise, saved ones.

Hopi prophecy predicts that the Fourth World we presently inhabit is in its final stages, with the process of destruction and transformation to the Fifth World quite apparent in current world events. In Book of the Hopi by Frank Waters, on page 33, the Hopi spokesmen state:

“The Fourth World, the present one, is the full expression of man’s ruthless materialism and imperialistic will; and man himself reflects the overriding gross appetites of the flesh.”

The Hopi view of the energetics of the human body is remarkably similar to the chakra system of Eastern mysticism. The Hopi focus on the spinal cord as an energetic pathway with energy centers beginning at the crown chakra. The energy center at the solar plexus or the navel, what the Hopi call The Throne of the Creator, is the place of dominant fixation in our current world. This chakra in Eastern mysticism is called Manipura, the place of personal power.

This center, from a psychological perspective, focuses on the ego/Self dilemma. The Hopi designation, Throne of the Creator, acknowledges that true power ought rest with the Creator, God, Self, or Tao. With the birth of ego consciousness man must learn to exercise personal power in alignment, and in respect for, this higher power. There are many trials and challenges to arrive at this correct alignment.

At one end, the challenge is for the individual to discover, claim, and exercise legitimate power. This is about self-acceptance and self-confidence—emergence from fear, shyness, dependency, and meekness onto solid footing.

The challenge at the other extreme of this chakra is the complete usurping of the higher power of the Self by the ego, the ultimate hubris: I am Man, the Creator. We see examples of this attitude played out daily now on the world stage: man the bully, abuse of power, greed, rape of woman and material world. This is masculine power, dominant and out of control.

This week, IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, known as “The Seducer,” is charged with sexual assault. Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Mr. Universe,” separates from his wife as he admits to a love child. The shadow of Senator John Ensign’s sex scandal extends to other Republicans, and Osama Bin Laden’s apparent porn stash is exposed. In one week the sexual abuse of masculine power by some of the most powerful men in the world is revealed.

In that world view, of man as entitled to do what he wants, the feminine exists for the use and abuse of the masculine will, as well as to feed the sexual appetite of narcissistic men possessed by their own sense of absolute power. That world can never know anything of “the magnitude and splendor of the bliss and ecstasy of a clean, uninhibited and fully abandon-packed sexual union [that] could never contribute to anything derogatory to human dignity.” (From Yoga and Sex by Pandit Shiv Sharma, page 29.)

This quote describes a full union of complimentary opposites: a meeting based on commitment, trust, and mutual respect; the Tao of love. In this union, power is expressed in upholding these tenets to channel the full energy of divine primal love.

The IMF chief is an apt symbol, as well, of a power-based organization that has turned nations into indentured servants to serve the greedy few. Witness the plight of Jamaica when the IMF destroyed Jamaican industry and agriculture whereby undermining Jamaica’s ability to remain a self-sufficient economic entity. This debacle is well-documented in the film Life and Debt.

Beyond the IMF is the complete rape of the feminine physical earth, of its natural resources, purity, and balance by unbridled greed. We see now, every day, the reaction of Pachamama to these abuses in the earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, swollen rivers and floods.

The Hopis prophesized that the revolutionary energies of destruction/transformation of the Fourth World would arise from the peoples who first received The Light of Divine Wisdom in the countries of India, China, Egypt, Palestine, and Africa. We indeed see, every day, the revolutionary stirrings in those lands.

Carl Jung was fond of telling the true story of the rain-maker, told to him by his dear friend Richard Wilhelm, a German scholar and Protestant missionary who immersed himself in the study and translation of the I Ching while living in China. Here is the story, as Jung describes it in Mysterium Coniunctionis, page 419-20:

“There was a great drought where Wilhelm lived; for months there had not been a drop of rain and the situation became catastrophic. The Catholics made processions, the Protestants made prayers, and the Chinese burned joss-sticks and shot off guns to frighten away the demons of the drought, but with no result. Finally the Chinese said, ‘We will fetch the rain-maker.’ And from another province a dried up old man appeared. The only thing he asked was for a quiet little house somewhere, and there he locked himself in for three days. On the fourth day the clouds gathered and there was a great snow-storm at the time of the year when no snow was expected, an unusual amount, and the town was so full of rumors about the wonderful rain-maker that Wilhelm went to ask the man how he did it. In true European fashion he said: ‘They call you the rain-maker, will you tell me how you made the snow?’ And the little Chinese said: ‘I did not make the snow, I am not responsible.’ ‘But what have you done these three days?’ ‘Oh, I can explain that. I come from another country where things are in order. Here they are out of order, they are not as they should be by the ordinance of heaven. Therefore the whole country is not in Tao, and I also am not in the natural order of things because I am in a disordered country. So I had to wait three days until I was back in Tao and then naturally the rain came.’ “

Wilhelm’s experience dramatically validates the principle of synchronicity, but even further demonstrates the far reaching effect of one individual who finds his way from a state of disorder, like that of our current world, back into the Tao. This is a story of empowerment, the story of how to find one’s way onto the ark of emergence into the Fifth World.

The Hopi spokesmen point out:

“It is only materialistic people who seek to make shelters. Those who are at peace in their hearts already are in the great shelter of life… Those who take no part in the making of world division by ideology are ready to resume life in another world…” (Book of the Hopi, page 408.)

The rain-maker demonstrates the truth of our holographic universe. In a hologram, every minute slice of the hologram actually contains the full picture of the entire hologram. We are all holographic slices that contain within ourselves our entire world. Like the rain-maker we reflect the disorder of our entire world. If but one of us truly restores order within the self we can, like the rain-maker, profoundly influence our world.

What does it mean to restore order, to return to the Tao within the self, in the chaos of this Fourth World we currently inhabit? We must individually address the issues connected to the fixation of this world on the Manipura chakra with all its challenges and how they play out within our personal lives.

What is our relation to personal power? Are we meek, like beggars seeking permission to be in this world? Are we bullies with no regard for our interdependent world? Are we seducers who use and abuse, or lovers fully capable of meeting? Are we in alignment with powers greater than our individual ego, like the Self or Pachamama, or do we rape the planet of its resources for our own greed? Do we care for our bodies, our nourishment, or do our appetites make us ill from greedy overconsumption?

If we can find our way to balance in alignment with spirit, Tao, Self, in all of these questions, then nature will release us onto the ark of emergence into the Fifth World.

Let’s meet in the Tao,