Most artist’s renditions of the chakras are a nice rainbow of 7 colours in a tidy row. But this is a very simplistic portrayal of our energetic underpinnings.
For one thing, the chakras are typically multi-hued and the colours they express vary some by person. They may be individually mis-aligned. Some talk about open and closed chakras but this may relate to either:
a) their degree of light or inversely, the degree of mud or sludge.
b) their open or closed state in relation to others energy rather than to each other.
This is also true of sushumna, the channel up our spine. It is never really blocked or we would drop dead. But there can certainly be resistance to it’s free flow.
Fundamentally, there is one set of chakras that is shared by all beings in this universe. This is the view from Anandamaya Kosha, the space the universe is formed in. At this level there are 7 equidistant wheels or vortexes having gem-like colours, not in a rainbow. (the rainbow relates to colours of physical sight. Subtle values don’t have the same limitations) This is the level of fine vibration, the origins of form.
At Vijnanamaya Kosha, we get the first individuation and more specialized structures. The subtle geometry that underlies the expression of our form. The guides we could say for the nadis (energy tubes).
At Manonmaya Kosha, the mind, we get the real individuation. I recently saw this described as the unique pattern or fingerprint for this expression. While fundamentally a field or cloud-like, it carries waves from subtle vibration we experience as thoughts. In other words, it is a medium for thoughts.
Related to this is the “chakra databanks“, unconnected nadis that radiate from the chakras marking our specific gifts and abilities. Also, attention flows out from the chakras into each level of form, forming a network of connected nadis that are the foundation of the physical. Where they meet, various sub-chakras are formed.
On this level, barriers are created by thought-forms (aka impressions) that interrupt the fingerprint mentioned above. They distort our pattern.
Finally, we have the Pranamaya Kosha, the home of prana, energy, or chi. This is where most people experience and describe the chakras in the apparent individual body. We experience this level as energy and emotions.
The dross on this level is formed by unresolved emotions that can solidify and block the easy flow of energy.
I described a number of ways the chakras may be experienced or symbolized on Chakra Symbolism. There are a myriad of ways they may be experienced: wheels, flowers, vortexes, spaces, and more.
Generally, the best understanding is the larger context or overview rather than debates about which is “more true”. Then personal experiences can be placed in a larger context and are recognized as relatively true, until some deeper value is recognized.
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