In modern parlance the word psyche means mind. Thus words such as psychology and psychedelic refer to "mind-study" and "mind-manifesting" respectively. Derived from Greek language, the term psyche referred to the soul. In accord with this language derivation, I maintain that mind and soul are ultimately the same thing and that for all intents and purposes the terms may be used interchangeably. What is the mind or psyche? As discussed previously, we can say that the psyche is energy...not just ordinary, random energy...but rather energy that follows a particular order or pattern. The philosophy of ancient India...the same philosophy that proposed a sun-centered universe some 2,000 plus years before Copernicus...believes the energy of the body, and ultimately the mind/soul, is organized into a series of chakras, or centers of energy, which ascend through the spine from the most basic level of the life at the root chakra to the highest at the crown chakra. There is much to be learned and explored in this system that is beyond the scope of this particular work. However, it gives us a picture of the mind/soul or psyche which extends beyond the realm of "the brain." Here the psyche can be seen as a series of seven individual but overlapping and interacting mind-centers which combine to form the greater overall phenomenon which we call mind, and ultimately experience as life. From bottom to top, these chakras are called root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, brow and crown. Each has its own color, qualities and characteristics. All together these comprise the "rainbow body." The question as to whether these chakras are truly seperate phenomenon or not, is as challenging to ascertain and answer as the question whether anything in this universe is truly seperate. And perhaps equally ir/relevant. My own thinking tends to go with the seperate but whole approach...simply accepting this paradox as a byproduct of existance. Thus, as with all parts in our universe, the chakras or mind-centers may be viewed as interconnected individuals of a continuous whole...an idea leading to the subject of holon theory which I'll get to at some point. What's important to know now, is that in following this chakra system of body-mind-soul, it is believed that health and harmony of the body-mind-soul involves a certain opening, tuning, and balancing of energy both within the individual chakras and between and through the entire chakra system. It is this process of opening-tuning-balancing which maintains the integrity of the chakras and the system they comprise. With all that said about the individual psyche, what can we say about its relation to the world...that is, the relation of part to whole...of self to environment? I think it's entirely reasonable, especially in light current scientific understanding---ie. holon theory and holographic models of the universe---to picture (or model) the "whole" as a larger reflection of the "self" and visa versa. Likewise, just as maintainence of health and harmony of self requires opening-tuning-balancing amongst the different chakras, so too health and harmony between self and environment requires opening-tuning-balancing energy between the two systems. How is this accomplished? Again, I think the philosophy of India and its "medicine" for the chakra system may guide us. For now, I suggest it begins with "opening"---in extreme cases recreating---a channel(s) of energy exchange between self and environment...operating by simple presence and movement, communication and other interaction. In other words, developing ways of relating with one's environment.
1. How might the influencing layers discussed earlier---society to culture to parents---hinder this process of opening-tuning-balancing energy exhange between self and environment? How might these influencing layers promote the process?
2. How might these influencing layers themselves be compared to or viewed as chakras?
If the "self" is composed of chakras or energy centers...and the self and whole can be viewed as reflections of each other...how might you describe or compare the chakras of the "whole" ?
The Fine Art of Dreaming 101 and Beyond...
Energy Dynamics of the Psyche