THE COSMIC CHAKRAS AND WAY OF RADIANCE
In the energetic work of various Tantric systems we come across work with the Subtle Body. Just as the Physical Body could be thought of as being made up of various substances, tissues, organs, vessels, and nerves, etc. the Subtle Body is composed of energies, condensations, channels, and energy centers known as chakras. These chakras can be thought of as the organs of the Subtle Body, which perform various key functions and are linked together with each other by the various channels, condensations, and energy flows make up a system much like the physical body.
The legacy of Rudi is best represented in its wholeness by his teaching on the Cosmic Chakras. The Cosmic Chakras is also the foundation for the Way of Radiance. This work is so inclusive, that it serves as a Master Key to all of the various spiritual efforts of humanity. It is non-dogmatic and in the truest sense non-sectarian. It is based on the human design and can be used by anyone willing to make the effort. It does not demand that one identify with any "ism" or promote any particular system of explanations or beliefs. It does demand Conscious Work and the commitment to the true freedom that transcends all limits.
In the Body of Light, John Mann, and myself explored the recurrent image of the Subtle Body in various spiritual traditions of humanity. We also mentioned the Three-Body Model that occurs in various forms in major systems of Spiritual Work.
THE THREE-BODY MODEL
An explanation of our basic dimensions and the Three Body model will make the explanation of the Cosmic Chakras much easier. With this model many useful distinctions can be made. First consider that we have three dimensions that can be defined as Form, Energy, and Space. Within each of these dimensions is the capacity for the creation and development of a Body. A "Body" in this case is an identifiable distinction with its own characteristic way of functioning. The corresponding Bodies are the Physical Body for the Form dimension, The Soul or Subtle Body for the Energy dimension, and the Spirit or Space Body for the Space dimension. The creation and development of these different bodies varies in the amount of awareness and conscious effort required.
Form Dimension and Physical Body
Within the dimension of Form is the Physical Body. The nature of the Form dimension is definition of entities by boundaries. The Physical Body comes into being through biomechanical process without conscious effort or awareness. Given the right nutrition, shelter, and stimulation, it will grow to maturity automatically. Its maturity is demonstrated by its ability to survive and operate in the physical realm, and to be capable of sexual reproduction. When conscious effort and awareness are applied to the development of the Physical Body many skills can be acquired that are not inherent in its design. This includes many of the tasks we may take for granted like driving a car, to the extraordinary physical skills demonstrated by musicians, athletes, artists, dancers, surgeons, etc. Through conscious work the Physical Body can become the vehicle for the expression of higher energies than those necessary for its development and maturity. When the Physical Body is properly trained to express a higher purpose it is known as a Dedication Body or Emanation Body.
Energy Dimension, Soul, and Subtle Body
Within the dimension of Energy is our Soul or Subtle Body. The nature of the Energy dimension is interaction. The maps and models of some esoteric schools have a number of "bodies" as distinctions within this dimension. When examined their common denominator is interaction. One aspect of this dimension is the interaction of various energy patterns and forces. Another aspect that occurs for the human being is these interactions capturing time as symbols and metaphors. This is the level of our being that gives us language, emotions, biosocial adaptations, dreams, and other forms of communication. In this dimension, we are more of an US than a ME. The Soul potential of an individual arises as an energy pattern much like a wave rising on the surface of the ocean. Depending on the intensity and structure of the energy pattern, it may associate with or even animate a physical form. When it animates a physical form, it is the Life Force and Second Body of that individual.
Given the proper environment and stimulation, our Second Body will develop to almost half of its maturity automatically. If the Soul matures or actualizes its potential as an embodiment of structured energy, it operates as an independent -interdependent force in the ocean of the Great Soul. If the Soul or Subtle Body potential is not realized, it is recycled in the Energy dimension much like the Physical Body in the dimension of Form.
To develop our Second Body (Soul or Subtle Body) to full maturity takes conscious effort and awareness. This kind of conscious work includes: incorporating mythology into our own personal mythology; dreamstate work; mastering the conscious use of our speech; invoking resources through deliberate use of imagery, ritual, and metaphor; exercising the will in such a manner as to bring about changes in one's state of mind and body; and Subtle Body practices involving the use of imagination and sensation to open chakras, channels, and energy flows, etc. Maturity at this level is evidenced by: lucidity in dreams and metaphoric states; the ability to transform emotions into virtues and other higher expressions; transverbal communication; the transference of subtle energies to another; control of one's mental programming; the ability to shift states of consciousness deliberately; the ability to consciously separate the Subtle Body from the physical; and freedom based on creativity, responsibility, and choice. By maturing in this dimension, we resurrect our Soul, with all of its treasures, from the reactivity of mundane existence. The treasures of the individualized Soul are a pipeline to the collective treasures of the Great Soul or Energy dimension itself. These treasures become gifts that we share with others as we fulfill our purpose in life. Until maturity is reached, there is still the danger of our potential being consumed or killed off on social and subtle levels, much like a child deluded by a false sense of maturity and independence can wander off into the wilderness to die of exposure or be eaten by dangers it cannot comprehend. A mentor at this level of development is most desirable if not necessary due to the capacity of humans for self-deception and delusion.
When the Subtle Body is fully mature it can survive, operate, and reproduce in the Energy dimension with the facility of a physical adult operating in the physical dimension. The variety of activities the Subtle Body is capable of has a greater range of freedom and possibility than the activities of the Physical Body. To assert that it can only function in a certain way, as some dogmatic traditionalists do, would be similar to saying the Physical Body was only designed for swimming and to ignore the experience of the rest of humanity. For the most part I have found that most schools are correct in what they assert and limited by what they deny, like the blind men and the elephant. When the Soul is resurrected from the cycles of reactivity and has become embodied in the Energy dimension, the need for physical rebirth is extinguished and one's growth and freedom can continue to evolve in the formless dimensions of existence. One can elect a conscious return to the dimension of Form to accelerate one's development and benefit others.
Space Dimension, Spirit, and Space Body
Within the dimension of Space is our Space Body or Spirit. The nature of the Space dimension is one of quality. Value is to the Spirit what air is to the lungs. Description of this dimension is always a little tricky given that communication in the descriptive sense belongs to the Energy dimension. The Spirit is like a Divine Spark or potential for the expression of the Essence that is inherently free and complete. It is also our True Self in the sense of the Living Moment. The only way Presence or the Living Moment can be increased is by intensity. This Divine Spark could be a Divine Flame, then a Divine Blow Torch, then a Divine Forest Fire, etc. The quality of the Presence or Spirit would always be completely present. The intensity of its expression would be the difference. For the Spirit to develop in the sense of embodiment and maturity demands conscious effort and awareness. In fact whenever we make a conscious effort and utilize awareness we are exercising the Spirit. The structure of the Space Body is made up of the Wisdoms, Virtues, and Perfections. When one is with someone embodied at the level of Space, one feels encompassed by an atmosphere of a given quality. Being with H.H. Dilgo Khyentse, Rinpoche was to be in an atmosphere of kindness. With every breath kindness entered your being. Even after the death of His physical body, when I visited Bhutan, His Presence was the space and atmosphere we breathed and moved through.
The vast Spiritual Mechanism that includes the Dimensions of Space, Energy, and Form; the Three Bodies - the Physical, Soul or Subtle Body, and the Spirit or Space Body; and the connections between them is the Cosmic Body.
The equivalent of chakras and channels in the Cosmic Body are the various dimensions of Spiritual Work. Rudi defined these as the Physical Horizontal, the Spiritual Vertical, and the Spiritual Horizontal. These levels flow into each other, each producing the basic fuel for the next. Each level is vital in its development and content independently and their collective functioning is essential to full development and transcendence of the individual into a State of Being and Beyond. Developing each Body and its corresponding dimension is much like developing each chakra in Subtle Body work. Developing the connections between the Bodies and Dimensions such that they feed each other is like the Channel and Condensation work in the Subtle Body.
THE PHYSICAL HORIZONTAL
The first of these Cosmic Chakras is involved in the alchemical process of consuming the "Daily Bread" of our physical existence in such a manner as to refine the higher creative force from our daily experiences. This higher creative force then awakens, develops, and frees our Spiritual Self. This is marked in the development and maturity of the Subtle Body and our ability to operate in the energetic dimension. This in turn feeds back into our physical existence in terms of creativity and freedom from the reactivity of daily life. The different forms of spiritual work that develop awareness, creativity, chakras, energy flow, non-attachment, and transmutation of emotional energy, etc. belong to this Cosmic Chakra and level of work. In this level of work it is important to develop increasing responsibility in our physical existence and to develop the Subtle Body in terms of its chakras, stations, channels, and condensations of energy. Most importantly is that the functioning of this Cosmic Chakra is the connection between the Physical and Subtle Bodies and transforms the raw material of our physical existence into the development of our existence on the Energy dimension of the Resurrected Soul.
THE SPIRITUAL VERTICAL
As the Subtle Body matures the second Cosmic Chakra can come into play. This is the Spiritual Vertical. At this level of work the energy refined from physical existence is then put into "flight". In flight one detaches from the physical and its time sense into a more intensified NOW that rises from the tensions of the world into the higher atmosphere of the more refined energies available beyond the mundane preoccupations of our surface existence. This is much like if one was to take a rocket out of a noisy polluted city into the higher purer atmosphere with the air and light available in increasing purity and strength as compared to what was available back on the surface of the planet. As one works on the Spiritual Vertical, the higher forces contacted feedback into the Physical Horizontal bringing about an acceleration of one's Spiritual Growth and Development. Rudi said that one's rate of Spiritual Growth is accelerated a minimum of tenfold by the work on the Spiritual Vertical. This acceleration provides ever-increasing fuel to the Spiritual Vertical. This produces increasing freedom and allows ever-greater contact with creative energy of a "higher octane" than that available in our daily existence. As this level of work matures one is truly "laying up one's stores in Heaven."
THE SPIRITUAL HORIZONTAL
As the third Cosmic Chakra is opened, one enters the dimension of Time and Space work. At this level the fuel is Nothingness. One is working beyond the constraints of their individual lifetime and burning the karmas of previous lives and contacting the vortexes of energy that represent great beings and civilizations. One opens to the vast space inside and the vastness of space outside. Hovering between these inner and outer dimensions, boundaries dissolve in the realization of the vastness of the inner and outer spaces as one. Here the rules are to make no sudden moves. As various spiritual manifestations occur special chakras are used to absorb the freeing nourishment and the manifestation itself is dissolved by abiding in a zero state.
From here one opens to the Beyond, the Unknown, and the Unknowable, or operates in the lower two dimensions of work with the Spiritual Horizontal as a home base, much like a space station controlling operations down on earth. At this point one could be located anywhere and in anytime. Not only is one abiding at the Source of Possibilities, one is also being Spiritually Worked by that which is Beyond Possibility. To try to speak too much of this ends up sounding silly. This is where the State of Being ripens and one can realize that Essence beyond Self and No-Self, Being and Non-Being.