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Muladhara

Table of Contents

Muladhara, the base or root chakra. The first chakra is located at the sacrum at the base of the spine, near the anus. Associated glands/ organs are the ovaries, the testes, and the pelvic plexus. The traditional color of this chakra is yellow. An alternate color given for this center is red.7 Sometimes called the earth chakra, its symbol is prithivi, the yellow square of elemental earth. Basic survival needs are the focus of this center. Muladhara means “basic,” “fundamental,” or simply “root base.” This center is associated with the physical self, elimination of waste, and basic needs of the movement, sustenance, support, grounding, survival, and protection from danger. It also controls the function of sex, a role it shares with the second chakra. Bowel and sexual dysfunctions result from psychic ‘blocks” at the base center.[1]

Location: Base of the body

Element: Earth

Color: Red

Issues: Survival fear

Areas of Body: Eliminatory system, legs and feet

Balanced: Groundedness and safety

Excessively open: Extreme materialism, running to greed and hoarding

Blocked: Feeling insecure and disassociated from our body

Archetype: Earth Mother

Negative Archetype: Victim

Demon: Fear

Psychology of Kundalini [2]

Muladhara is characterized as being the sign of the earth; the square in the center is the earth, the elephant being the carrying power, the psychical energy or the libido. Then the name Muladhara, meaning the root support, also shows that we are in the region of the roots of our existence, which would be our personal bodily existence on this earth. Another very important attribute is that the gods are asleep; the linga is a mere germ, and the Kundalini, the sleeping beauty, is the possibility of a world that has not yet come off. So that indicates a condition in which man seems to be the only active power, and the gods, or the impersonal, non-ego powers, are inefficient—they are doing practically nothing. And that is very much the situation of our modern European consciousness. Then we have still another attribute which is not shown in that symbol itself but which is given in the Hindu commentaries—namely, that this chakra is located, as it were, in the lower basin, which at once gives an entirely different meaning to the thing. For it is then something that is within our body, whereas we had reached the conclusion that it was without—that is, our conscious world. That the Hindu commentaries put the conscious world inside the body is to us a very astonishing fact.

There are sleeping gods, or a germ, that might enable us, as it has enabled people at all times, to look at the Muladhara world from an entirely different point of view, that allows them even to put Muladhara right down into the bottom of the trunk where things start—meaning that in the great body of the cosmic world, this world holds the lowest place, the place of the beginning. So what we take to be the culmination of a long history and a long evolution would be really a nursery, and the great, important things are high above it and are still to come—exactly as the unconscious contents which we feel down below in our abdomen are slowly rising to the surface and becoming conscious so that we begin to have the conviction: this is definite, this is clear, this is really what we are after. As long as it was down below in the abdomen it simply disturbed our functions; it was a small germ. But now it is an embryo, or as it reaches the conscious, it is slowly seen as a full-grown tree.

If you look at the symbol of the Muladhara in such a way, you understand the purpose of yoga, in the awakening of Kundalini. It means to separate the gods from the world so that they become active, and with that one starts the other order of things. From the standpoint of the gods, this world is less than child’s play; it is a seed in the earth, a mere potentiality. Our whole world of consciousness is only a seed of the future. And when you succeed in the awakening of Kundalini, so that she begins to move out of her mere potentiality, you necessarily start a world which is a world of eternity, totally different from our world.

Now, if the yogin or the Western person succeeds in awakening Kundalini, what starts is not in any way a personal development, though of course, an impersonal development can influence the personal status, as it does very often and very favorably. But it is not always so. What starts are the impersonal happenings with which you should not identify. If you do, you will soon feel obnoxious consequences—you will get inflation, you will get all wrong. That is one of the great difficulties in experiencing the unconscious—that one identifies with it and becomes a fool. You must not identify with the unconscious; you must keep outside, detached, and observe objectively what happens. But you then see that all the events that happen in the impersonal, non-human order of things have the very disagreeable quality that they cling to us, or we cling to them. It is as if the Kundalini in its movement upward were pulling us up with it, as if we were part of that movement, particularly in the beginning.

Art by Carl Jung ” The Red Book “

It is true that we are a part, because we are then that which contains the gods; they are germs in us, germs in the Muladhara, and when they begin to move they have the effect of an earthquake which naturally shakes us, and even shakes our houses down. When that upheaval comes, we are carried with it, and naturally, we might think we were moving upward. But it makes, of course, a tremendous difference whether one flies, or whether it is a wave or a great wind that lifts one. For to fly is one’s own activity, and one can safely come down again, but when one is carried upward, it is not under one’s control, and one will be put down after a while in a most disagreeable way—then it means a catastrophe. So, you see, it is wise not to identify with these experiences but to handle them as if they were outside the human realm. That is the safest thing to do— and really absolutely necessary. Otherwise,  you get inflation, and inflation is just a minor form of lunacy, a mitigated term for it. And if you get so absolutely inflated that you burst, it is schizophrenia.

Of course the idea of an impersonal, psychical experience is very strange to us, and it is exceedingly difficult to accept such a thing because we are so imbued with the fact that our unconscious is our own— my unconscious, his unconscious, her unconscious—and our prejudice is so strong that we have the greatest trouble disidentifying. Even if we must recognize that there is a non-ego experience, it is a long way until we realize what it might be. That is the reason why these experiences are secret; they are called mystical because the ordinary world cannot understand them, and what they cannot understand they call mystical—that covers everything. But the point is that what they call mystical is simply not the obvious. Therefore the yoga way or the yoga philosophy has always been a secret, but not because people have kept it secret. For as soon as you keep a secret it is already an open secret; you know about it and other people know about it, and then it is no longer a secret. The real secrets are secrets because nobody understands them. One cannot even talk about them, and of such a kind are the experiences of the Kundalini yoga. That tendency to keep things secret is merely a natural consequence when the experience is of such a peculiar kind that you had better not talk about it, for you expose yourself to the greatest misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Even if it is a matter of dogmatized experience of things that already have a certain form, you still feel, as long as the original fresh impression of such an experience is alive, that you had better continue to cover it up. You feel that these things will not fit in, that they may have an almost destructive influence upon the convictions of the Muladhara world.


References

 

[1]. Charles Webster Leadbeater, Annotations by Kurt Leland, The Chakras, (Wheaton, Ill: The Theosophical Publishing House, 2013), p. 1- 5

[2]. Carl Jung, The Psychology of Kundalini; Lectures on Kundalini

 

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