Monday, 1 October 2012


"Ode to Creativity", handmade collage, copyright Vivi-Mari Carpelan 2008.
This piece doesn't require a lot of explanation  but interestingly, it's the most popular piece I've ever made.
Wonder why? It's not hard to figure out how the colours speak to our desire for joy in life.
This is not meant to be a treatise, only a short account of my own observations. I did a chakra test online just for fun, knowing all too well that someone was trying to sell me something at the end of it, but though I think the test itself was rubbish, it made me think a little about the state of my own chakras right now. The test consisted of three questions per chakra, which is ridiculous. My chakras came out as being either weak or strong, presumably strong if I got two "right" out of three questions. You can't determine anything so complex on the basis of just three simple questions about your attitudes to life! 

For one thing, as soon as you involve the mind, things change. Can you honestly say exactly how you feel about life in this very instant? The attitude that comes to mind may be dated, or it may be a newly discovered insight.  In the first case, it's no longer valid and in the second case it may not yet be very mature... I know for instance that in my own life, there are times when I fear power and money because of what people are doing with these, while other times I may feel quite empowered, focused and content with the idea of having financial security. It can be difficult if not impossible for me to say which is more true to the way I view life in general. In life, nothing is simple, and the chakras certainly aren't a simplified symbol of life! They are "living and breathing" just as much as you are, because the are you! 

I can't really give you any facts about chakras, because what I know is mostly hearsay. I have heard people repeat "facts" about chakras like parrots, without real insight. I really hate the commercialization of chakras, something quite sacred; the chakra industry as I call it. Nonetheless, I will offer you these viewpoints which I personally take as "facts", and you can ponder whether you feel the same. What I do know is that I can feel things in different ways in my body and thus determine which chakra is involved. When you know what they represent in terms of aspects of life and living, it can help you decide what to do about a specific issue and how to liberate that energy. I'm not saying that you can't involve the mind in this process, only that it's precarious. It mustn't be the sole thing you rely on for answers. You can ask yourself, what am I feeling or going through right now on a deeper level, and the answers may come to you in the form of words, images, sounds or sensations in the body. It could also come in the form a very abstract insight which requires no words, because it's an intuitive knowing. If you feel compelled to analyse your issues with your mind because you're the cerebral type, do it as a complement to other ways of knowing. Sometimes a train of thoughts sets off an emotional liberation that can usually be felt in the body, sometimes the undoing of an emotional block sets of a whole train of analytical thoughts about cause and effect. 

One book on chakras I had said that every second chakra turns counter clockwise, and that it's the opposite in men and women. Boy what a complicated "fact"! For years, but occasionally, I've picked a suitable piece of jewellery that I could use as a pendant and "checked" my chakras. To this day I don't know how accurate the readings are, but one thing is pretty certain; they all turn clockwise (I've tested this on men too). How I know this is that I can feel when a chakra isn't doing too well and the energy is either blocked, erratic or even negative. When the circle is wide and energetic and running clockwise, I also have a sense of freedom in respect to the issues represented by that particular chakra. Remember that chakras are alive, so they change all the time! Sometimes the changes happen from one minute to the next, and you can also affect the way they react with the sheer force of thought. This is another way in which you can rest assured that your thoughts matter. Test it yourself!

Yes, chakras also correspond with the spectrum of consciousness (as presented by Ken Wilber), the wavelengths of colours, sounds and so on. However, manically wearing a certain colour isn't going to make that much of a difference. It's also perfectly alright to wear black sometimes (though I have to admit that nowadays I don't enjoy wearing it that often). It's just a colour! I have heard people who called themselves spiritual healers scream in protest of the colour black. It has it's place here on Earth just as everything else, and it can be a nicely comforting colour at times. Trying to be jolly at all costs and at all times is counter productive. On the other hand, a saffron coloured bedroom may be more conducive to sensuous feelings than a blue one. Use your intuition and do what feels right. You will certainly be drawn to some colours more than others during times in your life when something in a specific chakra is under development. Following your attraction to certain colours can be an interesting way of self-observation.

I don't personally believe in obsessive meditation on the state of your chakras but everyone has their own favourite method, of course. If I meditate, it's not about control but about letting go of control. It's highly submissive and an intention to liberate tensions wherever they may be (admitting that I don't know everything about myself...). I'm not saying that you can't follow a CD that helps you go through you chakras and clean them, that's fine if it works for you. But I still need to find such a CD with music that actually speaks to me! I much rather just pick something I like and feel attracted to in that moment, and play it while meditating.

Update: I have had great success in opening chakras by using these three methods that I devised for myself:
1. hold the palm of your hands on the chakras and imagine them being healed
2. Visualise the colour of the chakra and/or something that represents the colour. For instance, I think of big juicy oranges when I visualise my second chakra.
3. Hum the notes from C upwards. Doh Reh Mi Fah Soh Lah Doh. You can hum the scale sliding upwards while imagining the energy rising to your third eye.

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