Choosing your map of personal development
My first interest in the chakra system came from my Indian spiritual teacher who taught me about the energetic consciousness system, and how the chakras were a map representing various stages along a continuum: birth through enlightenment. Development of each chakra was supposed to bring out exceptional qualities (or siddhis) within the individual. Through specific meditations, and transformational energy practices such as Yoga and Qi Gong, or the direct pranic transmission from a teacher, spiritual seekers could make rapid gains in chakra development. The chakras, my teacher had explained, are the spiritual body’s equivalent of the physical nervous and endocrine systems, and are the vital links in manifesting our spiritual potential, or personal growth.
I learned from subsequent teachers how each chakra effects our psychological and emotional development. A functioning chakra will help us become happy and effective adults, whereas a dysfunctional chakra will manifest as personality or relationship problems. We can now see how the lower chakras and their functioning easily fits with current Western research into human development. Similarly, the middle chakras clearly guide our individuation from narcissistic infant into a caring and mutually-aware adult. The transition from infant consciousness into adulthood is an ongoing journey according to many researchers and theorists. Ultimately, the fundamental basis of living is to be happy, and to learn to have nourishing relationships with others. A healthy chakra system provides us with many of the resources to attain those goals, because chakras grow and develop conscious awareness within us.
We can work with the chakra system as a map in how to develop conscious awareness, to heal trauma and other hindrances to awakening, and thereby live up to our potential. A part of this map includes the linking mechanism between chakras: the chakra cords, or non-visible connective filaments. Chakra cords transmit information from one person to another. And, as that individual is also connected to others (or to an earlier generation in our family) we are impacted by those connections. I have found that heritage cord healing work - the clearing of family patterns passed down to us – has much more personal growth value than past life healing work. With past lives healing we are separated from the trauma from which we wish to heal by time and space; with heritage healing work we are always plugged into the family system, which makes the material much more easy for us to access.
My work with clients often leads me towards supporting their process of spiritual awakening. After we have become individuated as adults, and we have learned to live happy and connected lives with others, there is a natural tendency to move towards awakening into higher states of consciousness. The upper chakras (and their associated neural and hormonal connections) are a part of our development into spiritually-based adults. But we cannot evolve alone. All of us need a teacher (or teachers) to help us find a plan or map for self-development. Choosing the right “map” is important, because when you follow the directions on any map you should arrive at a certain place. The map you choose should lead your soul where it wants to go.
Choosing your Teacher
Maps of personal development need teachers to help us make sense of them, and to help us navigate through each stage of the journey. But in choosing a teacher (or ritual elder) to help us with our personal or spiritual growth we must learn how to differentiate the problem teacher with narcissistic and ungrounded fantasies from the truly helpful teacher: one who possesses an authentic – or initiated – experience of the material. This is not an easy task; everyone of us has unhealed narcissism, but here we are talking about degrees of the narcissistic challenge rather than the presence of it.
We can use two tracking systems to orientate ourselves in our search for the helpful teacher:
* Does a teacher’s spiritual awareness significantly rest on unhealed narcissism? Or, does is show up as the playing out of hidden agendas, leading to the exploitation of their students? You will need to study the basics of the narcissistic personality so you can recognize this major problem when you meet it.
* The teacher saying something impressive does not necessarily make it real; only observation and actual experience will provide us with verification that the teacher’s inspiring words – or their “map” of awakening – match up with their vision. The narcissist personality may dazzle you with descriptions of what they have done … but have you witnessed these results for yourself? Or, do you simply accept what they say, innocently, and at face value?
The good news is that we can learn from anyone, even from the problem (or misguided) teacher. But it is better to find teachers and ritual elders that are more healed than wounded, more educated than uninformed. In your search for higher consciousness and higher chakra development I wish you well in tracking down those who can help you flower into your potential, and I hope that you can avoid those who would waste your valuable time and money. Mae West, a famous actress from the Twentieth Century, says it best: “I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor. Believe me, rich is better.” Choose a spiritually-rich and generous teacher, a person who wants you to grow, and not someone whose actions exploit you for your riches.
© 2013 by Dean Ramsden. All rights reserved.