The Path of Yoga
Yoga teaches us that human beings go through stages of development throughout life. According to Yoga, human beings have seven main energy centers, the chakras. During the first half of life, they evolve thru the first three centers, which correspond to the basic impulses of mankind – (1) staying alive; (2) procreating; (3) conquering and subduing others. The evolution through these chakras is innate and usually is done in the first half of life.
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra, and it is not automatically attained. Human beings must consciously work to achieve it. Sometimes life (the Self, according to Jung) forces us with obstacles and sufferings to embark on this journey of consciousness.
If a human being does not arouse his consciousness for this fourth chakra, he is stuck at the level of animal impulses. The present situation of humanity – wars, struggles for power, pursuit of money, etc. – puts us at the same level of animals. Asthasastra – The Indian Manual of the Art of Winning – says that men, when not controlled by virtue (dharma) turn into wolves of man. Unfortunately, many human beings, especially politicians, don’t seem to progress beyond the third chakra,
When Jesus preached the religion of love, he was speaking from this chakra. (Matthew 5:44) “But I say unto you, Love your enemies.”
It is clear that Jesus, like all enlightened beings, did not stop at this chakra, but evolved on, becoming aware of all seven centers.
To complete the transformation of personality, we must continue our growth, working to get to the top three chakras. Yoga teaches that the fifth chakra is cognized by the spin of energy – redirecting all the aggression and wickedness of the third chakra, not outside, projecting them on enemies, or trying to fix the world, but redirecting it to the inside of the person himself.
Jesus also said this: (Matthew 7:3-5) ” 3. Why do you look at the straw that is in your brother’s eye and not the beam that is in thine? . 4 How dare you say to thy brother, Let me pull out the straw from your eye, when there is a plank in your own? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and so shalt thou see to take the straw from your brother’s eye.”
According to Jung, this step involves the realization of our shadow, avoiding its projection into others.
The other two superior chakras are difficult to achieve. At this stage, we should understand what is known as ” God.” To reach them, Yoga suggests meditation. Meditation on deep levels. These last two chakras are met only by saints and illuminated human beings.
I dare not talk about them for lack of qualifications. I will end with a quote from Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-1328) the famed Dominican mystic, almost excommunicated by the Inquisition (he died before the end of the process) “The last and highest step for man is to exchange God for God.”