I was thinking about the irony of some old names. A common name for the upper gut is the Solar Plexus, for example. That term can also refer to an autonomic nerve plexus behind the stomach, scientifically known as the Celiac Plexus.
Plexus come from the Latin for braid. Celiac is from the Greek for belly. They concluded that Solar comes from the radiating pattern of nerve fibers at this plexus.
Personally, I find the last explanation suspect as the plexus has little resemblance to the sun. It looks more like a highway interchange. But it does have a relationship with the 3rd chakra, the solar chakra. In Sanskrit it’s called Manipura or “jewel city.”
Different traditions have assigned different colours to the chakra but as with the others, it’s a variety of colours that shift and swirl with changes within.
For most people, the gut is experienced as the place of digestion and indigestion, perhaps of anger, control, or anxiety. Some people experience it as a place of intuition or “gut feelings.”
The 3rd chakra is mainly about powering the mind and the ego drive to feel in control. It is also home to the fire element and associated with sight, willpower, and transformation. As such, it’s about digesting not just food but all of our experiences. It is our highest chakra associated with individuality.
In an amusing coincidence, the Sanskrit seed mantra for the chakra is “ram” (the semi-vowel) and the animal associated with it is a ram, an English word.
After Self-Realization, there is a winding down of remaining mistaken ideas about self. However, we may still see old thoughts arise. We’re just no longer entangled by them. Then presence descends further, down into the heart. The energetic drivers bringing those thoughts up are then resolved, along with emotional noise.
Finally, the descent reaches the gut where we discover a core grip or identity. This grip is a grasping to a sense of small-self that began long ago when we lost our connection to the divine. Finally, it can be resolved.
For a while, I associated this gut release with the Unity shift and the end of a separate inside and outside. Adyashanti talks about this similarly with “head, heart, gut.” However, I’ve since met people who had the gut release with the Brahman shift or hadn’t had it yet post-Brahman. They still have the seed of a separate self within.
I’ve seen some references to a “solar chakra” above the 3rd but I suspect this is an experience of a higher value of the third, much as the heart has higher values.
Once we clear enough of the crud around the solar plexus, it takes on another form, that of a golden sun. It is the literal home of the sun in creation within the cosmic body. This sun is much larger than our universe and is its source. It is an embodiment of Divine power. And there it sits inside our belly.
Funny – I used to think there was just a physical body here, filled with bones, guts and blood. Turns out there’s a lot more going on than I could have imagined.