Astral Body Chakras (Astral Plane)
AC 432: December 26, 2010 (Part 2)
[In part 1, I visited what I call the astral plane ashram and met up with an Administrator, a level of human consciousness evolution beyond that of Facilitator, which is itself beyond that of most embodied humans. She explained the concept of transcendental souls, which is an alternative term for incarnated Facilitators–those who come back to Earth to learn various lessons, to teach, and to act as grounding agents for energetic overlays designed by the Overseers (the highest level of human consciousness evolution) who guide the development of our planet.]
I looked around again, taking in the oddly combined characteristics of rest area, welcome center, gift shop, and movie theater. “Where is this place?” I asked.
“You’re still exploring the energetic functions of what you call the astral plane ashram,” the Administrator replied. “You tend to think of this ashram as a distinct location–what you would call a subzone–of the highest level of the astral plane. But what you’re really experiencing is an image for the functions of the highest level of the astral plane as a whole.
“These function include: rest for weary Facilitators, especially those who are incarnated in physical reality, who come here in dreams; welcome for Dreamers [people currently alive on the planet who visit the astral plane in dreams] like the young girls you saw here a moment ago–which is to say encouragement to become sufficiently lucid to experience and remember their visits here; and explanation of the special gifts people bring with them to help them fulfill their life purpose.
“Most people don’t have access to the causal body where such information is stored, so they come here for information about their life purpose. Thus you could call this area an outpost of the causal levels. This is the capacity in which I serve.
“You last met me on the highest level of the mental plane, the administrative level. Just as the highest level of the astral plane makes up the astral subplane of the cosmic physical plane, so the highest level of the mental plane makes up the mental subplane of the cosmic physical plane. We Administrators move on the cosmic physical plane, so it’s an easy jump for us to pass from one subplane to another of this plane–which means from jumping from the highest levels of each of the planes as you normally experience them.
[All seven planes of our reality/learning system make up the cosmic physical plane. So our astral plane is the astral subplane of the cosmic physical plane. Likewise, our mental plane is the mental subplane of the cosmic physical plane. Our astral and mental planes each have seven subplanes of their own and the highest or seventh subplane of each participates directly in the cosmic physical plane. The other six subplanes are closed off from the cosmic physical plane. So it could be said that our microcosmic plane system (physical, astral, mental, etc.) is enclosed within a macrocosmic plane system of a higher order of reality (which includes the cosmic physical plane). Since the end of 2009, my adventures have been helping me understand the nonphysical bodies that operate on the cosmic physical plane, which are an order of magnitude more focused and useful than those that are limited to the astral and mental plane we usually experience.]
“So it’s not just a matter of your descending as low as the astral plane,” I said. “You skip the intervening subplanes entirely. It’s like moving between the subject headings of a collapsible outline, ignoring the mass of subheadings beneath these headings. The headings would be the subplanes of the cosmic physical plane, the subheadings would be the subplanes as human consciousness normally experiences them.”
“Yes, you could say that,” the Administrator replied. “However, your use of the phrase ‘descending as low as the astral plane,’ could be considered misleading.
“In theosophy, this plane is called the seventh subplane, if counting ‘upward’ from physical reality–which is to say going from most to least dense. Some systems call it the first subplane, counting ‘downward’ from the Source.
“In nonphysical reality, you can measure psychological distance either way, as distance from or closeness to the Source. When speaking of the process of involution or the creation of the planes, it can be useful to refer to distance from the Source. That manner of expression tends to emphasize the increasing materiality of each plane and subplane.
“There’s a danger in doing so. Thinking in terms of distance from the Source leads certain souls to melancholy over the ‘burden’ of being in the physical body or frustration over being unable to experience consistent levels of lucidity in the astral body. The identity-based types often get impatient to return to oneness with the Source and try to force the evolutionary process to go more quickly than it should, sometimes resulting in physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual breakdown.
[There are two paths back to the Source: the identity-based path, which emphasizes the development of the self over the development of connection to (union with) others; and the union-based path, which tends emphasizes the development of connection with others over that of the self. Each is equally valid, though both have advantages and drawbacks. The identity-path can become overly based on control of others to serve one’s own needs, creating negative karmic consequences. On the other hand, the union-path can become too selfless, resulting in taking care of others to our own detriment. The ideal is a middle-way blend of both paths.]
“When speaking of evolution back to oneness with the Source, it can be useful to refer to nearness to the Source. That manner of expression emphasizes the decreasing materiality of each plane.
“This is a healthier approach. It emphasizes the sense of joy and liberation that accompanies movement into higher subzones and planes. The more union-based types tend to experience growth in this way. It seems slower, but there’s a feeling of accomplishment in having mastered the chakras of each energy body from bottom to top, and of mastering the subplanes associated with these chakras. The next step becomes more apparent and doable. Otherwise, you may just want to be done with the whole thing at once and destroy yourself in the process by trying to skip important steps.”
“You mention a correlation between the chakras and the subplanes,” I said. “I’ve suspected they were related but haven’t been able to put my finger on how.”
“Good question,” the Administrator replied. “Perhaps the best way to approach it is to think of the whole process of rising from subplane to subplane and from plane to plane toward the Source as one of stripping away perceptual biases. Such a manner of thinking is a time-honored tradition of yoga and Buddhism, spoken about as the process of discerning the difference between the unreal (perceptual biases) and the real (oneness with the Source). Perceptual biases lead to an experience of the self as limited. Oneness with the Source leads to an experience of the self as unlimited.
“What you call the witness platform allows you to monitor the process of transforming the limited self into the unlimited self. That process can be said to pass through seven stages, corresponding with the seven chakras. The task is to liberate yourself from the needs associated with those chakras in each of the energy bodies. So there’s a process of seven stages associated with the needs of the etheric body, and those of the astral body, the mental body, and the causal body. The process is no different in the higher bodies. For the sake of this discussion, I’ll limit myself to the astral body.
“The needs of each astral body chakra limit you to a certain experience of the astral plane. These are the perceptual biases you must liberate yourself from. Some theosophists say that your astral body draws in matter from each of the subplanes of the astral plane with which your emotions and desires resonate. If those desires are primarily selfish, you draw in matter from the lower subplanes. As the motivation to serve others increases and selfishness decreases, you draw in matter from the higher subplanes.
“This is not a bad analogy. You can see why life purpose would become a focus on the highest subplane, since it involves an expression of self in service to others.
“The matter of which your astral body is composed determines what you’re able to perceive on the astral plane. If your body is made up only of the matter of the lowest subplane, that’s all you perceive. If it’s made up of the matter of the first three subplanes, you perceive a significantly wider view of the astral plane and a corresponding ability to move within this range.
“In a similar way, the beliefs through which you view life in the physical world construct your image of that world. Facts unsupported by those beliefs will not be a part of this image. If you change your beliefs, you change the facts you’re able to perceive and your image of the world changes as well.
“However, matter is not involved in this process. That’s why I speak of perceptual biases in connection with the subplanes of the astral plane.
“It would be more accurate to say that the consciousness, energy, and information to which you’re able to respond determine the levels of the astral plane you’re able to perceive. Desire itself would be a perceptual bias that confines you to the astral plane. Degree of selfishness within that desire would correspond to the perceptual biases of each subplane of the astral plane, along a line of decreasing selfishness from the lowest to the highest subplanes.
“In order for you to understand the relation of the astral body chakras to the subplanes, you must know that each chakra represents a particular state of consciousness. It sheds a particular light over the scenes, dwellers, and phenomena of the astral plane. It is, as it were, an embodiment of some set of perceptual biases. But it also is a fundamental and necessary way of perceiving the contents of the astral plane.
“For Shades [the dead], only one of these states of consciousness can be perceived at a time. The movement from one to the next is progressive. As the set of perceptual biases associated with a particular subplane is dissolved by the realization Shades make at that level, they rise, as it were, to the next level–which is to say they become aware of it because a new state of consciousness allowing them to perceive the next higher subplane has dawned upon them.
“The same thing is true of Dreamers (who by definition in your scheme of things are not lucid). They can only experience one subplane at a time. They will be on this subplane for the duration of a single dream, a single night’s dreams, an extended period of nights, or for their entire lifetime. This depends on their level of spiritual evolution and flexibility of consciousness.
“Less evolved souls could be said not yet to have developed a certain chakra and therefore can’t rise to higher subplanes. More evolved souls may have sufficient flexibility of consciousness to move between several levels from night to night or within a single night’s dreams, depending on their need for certain kinds of dreams. I’ll explain more about this later.
“Rangers [embodied explorers of nonphysical reality], who are sufficiently lucid to explore the astral plane with conscious intent, are usually reclaiming the abilities associated with the chakras of the astral body. They self-remember until reaching the leading edge of their growth, which could be a particular subplane/chakra of the astral body or of a higher plane and body.
“The self-remembering process doesn’t always occur in a sequential fashion, rising from one chakra and subplane to the next. In fact, it’s possible for a Ranger to have access to only to, say, the first, second, third, and sixth chakras or subplanes of the astral plane. Such an individual will have a sense of the astral body and plane (first and second chakras), mobility on the astral plane (third chakra), but no perception of or ability to identify astral entities (fourth chakra) or to communicate with them (fifth chakra).
“Because the sixth chakra tends to create a unified perception of whatever information Rangers are able to pick up about the astral environment, a Ranger with this configuration of chakras may not notice that two important chunks of information are missing, and will tend to believe his perception of the astral plane complete. Others who see things differently because of a different configuration of chakras will be perceived by this Ranger as limited and wrong–even when those others are operating from complete astral chakra systems.”
“I understand now why there can be so many seemingly contradictory presentations of the astral plane,” I said. “I often have the experience of coming up against people with these limited perspectives who are unable to believe that my more complete perspective is even possible. I must have invented or made it up.”
“Just as with the development of the physical body or the mind,” the Administrator said, “there can be deficiencies in the development of the chakra system of any of the energy bodies that lead to recognizable syndromes. These deficiencies must be corrected to ensure normal development of the energy body. They may not hold Rangers back from exploring the next higher body, but they will prevent the establishment of consciousness as a new base of operations on that next higher level.
“When Rangers elect to master the astral body, they often need to correct such deficiencies–and a series of simulations for that purpose will develop. Sometimes, though not always, that series may unfold in a sequence that correlates with the order of the chakras. The development of the seventh chakra usually comes last, since it involves liberating yourself from all the perceptual biases associated with the astral body.
“The traditional Western attributes of the chakras are clues to these biases. But you must see beneath the cultural patina built up over the true functions of the chakras before you can make a direct correlation between the chakras and the subplanes of a particular plane.
“The Western chakra system tends to overlay and confuse the functions of the etheric body and the astral body chakra system. Hence, the functions of the chakras are perceived as having to do with physical and emotional health and well-being. The system you developed in Music and the Soul is a passable description of the mental body chakra system. The Eastern system taught in the ancient scriptures of tantra yoga deals primarily with liberation and could be said to reflect the chakra system of the causal body. This is why it seems to be the most abstract.
“I’ll now discuss the correlation between the subplanes of the astral plane and the chakras of the astral body. It should then be easier for you to extrapolate from that information to the chakra systems of the physical, mental, and causal bodies."