I want to be clear—I don’t want you to believe that the chakras don’t exist.
I cannot be sure of their existence myself, as no one has been able to “measure” these energetic centers in the body. But just because science hasn’t been able to prove their existence, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
There are certain implications about the existence of chakras that need to be explored.
For starters, there is no unified theory of the chakras.
There is no consensus as to their shape, size, color, meaning, location, related organs and emotions or even how to balance or clean them if such a thing can be accomplished.
Sure, you will find book authors and teachers, many of whom speak about the chakras with such authority as if they had been present when God Herself invented them.
But the truth is that many people who claim to be enlightened or claim to see and feel the chakras with detail, or both, have spoken about them in terms that are nothing short of contradictory.
Some systems have 7, 9, 13 or however many chakras. Some say the third eye is blue, others purple and others say gold. Some say the root chakra is in the perineum, others in the anus, and the discrepancies only get bigger as authors add more details to their theories.
What is in the scriptures?
We can find most of the mentions of the subtle system in the Upanishads (very old yogic texts). They usually mention seven chakras, and along with their names, sometimes you can find location (not always the same for each chakra), their “bija sound” (seed sound or mantra) and their number of petals.
The colors? They began to appear in Western literature not that long ago. The idea that there is a strong relationship to our different organs and body systems or to different stones or affirmations is even newer.
Don’t even get me started on which poses affect which chakras.
Who’s telling the truth?
I would contend that if there is no way to measure them, at the very least the experience of the chakras should be somewhat universal.
What I mean is: the experts who claim to see and feel the chakras should have much more agreements about the way they experience them.
If the chakras do exist, and have a specific color, shape, and amount, then why is there so much disagreement among those who claim to know them authoritatively?
I consider three distinct options:
- Nobody knows the details, and our minds “fill in the gaps” of our knowledge about them.
- Only a few people know the chakras in the “right” way. Everyone else is wrong.
- The chakras don’t exist, and we have a case of massive delusion and placebo effects.
Does it matter?
This is, I believe, the ultimate and perhaps most important question of this subject. I use the chakras because they serve me and my students. They are a great way to describe our different needs as human beings and to tie them to a physical sensation, so it’s easier to access in a more tangible way.
To me, it is irrelevant if you are actually cleaning the chakra or if it’s the placebo effect helping you create more balance in your life. What matters to me, is that it works for you.
And I have seen it work, regardless of the color or whatever detail you may assign to the chakra. What seems to make a difference is how much you believe in what you are doing, both as a facilitator and as a student or client.
What is missing?
I believe we are missing some humility in the way the theories of the subtle body are taught.
Just because you were taught a system that works for you and your students, doesn’t make it an absolute, universal truth. Just because you can see the chakras one way, doesn’t mean that someone else might experience them differently, yet in a completely valid way.
So I suggest that you teach the chakras the way you see them, not the way “they are.” Treat the chakras with respect by allowing them to be true in the relative terms they have come forth to each one of us.
This way, even if the chakras turn out to be a myth, they will remain a very useful and valuable one.
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Assistant Ed: Paula Carrasquillo/Ed: Bryonie Wise