Visuddha (Air element)

  (The) next form we reach is visuddha, which is the ether center. 

(In visuddha) one reaches a sphere of abstraction.  There one steps beyond the empirical world, as it were, and lands in a world of concepts. 

Or say psychical psychology; that would express the science of psychical things.  The reality we reach there is a psychical reality; it is a world of psychical substance, if we can apply such a term.  I think we get nearest to it when we say it is a world of psychical reality.  So another point of view to explain the series of the cakras would be a climbing up from gross matter to the subtle, psychical matter.  

But we do not yet trust the security of psychical existence, so we have not reached visuddha.  We still believe in a material world built of matter and psychical force. 

Therefore collectively we have not crossed the distance between anahata and visuddha.  So if one speaks of visuddha, it is of course with a certain hesitation.  We are stepping into the slippery future right away when we try to understand what that might mean.  For in visuddha we reach beyond our actual conception of the world, in a way we reach the ether region. 

It is the world of abstract ideas and values, the world where the psyche is in itself, where the psychical reality is the only reality, or where matter is a think skin around an enormous cosmos of psychical realities, really the illusory fringe around the real existence, which is psychical.  TPoKY 47 

The concept of the atom, for instance, might be considered as corresponding to the abstract thinking of the visuddha center.  Moreover, if our experience should reach such a level, we would get an extraordinary vista of the purusa.  For then the purusa becomes really the center of things; it is no longer a pale vision, it is the ultimate reality, as it were.  You see, that world will be reached when we succeed in finding a symbolical bridge between the most abstract ideas of physics and the most abstract ideas of analytical psychology.  If we can construct that bridge then we will have reached at least the outer gate of visuddha.  That is the condition.  I mean, we will then have reached it collectively; the way will then be opened.  But we are still a long distance from that goal.  For visuddha means just what I said: a full recognition of the psychical essences or substances as the fundamental essences of the world, and by virtue not of speculation but of fact, namely as experience.   

A thinker whose ideas show an activity that is independent of the events of daily life could say that he is in the visuddha, or almost in the ajna center.   

The next, Cakra , is visuddha.  The word means “purgation,” the purging of the merely animal, physical system.  Or rather, not purging it so much as sublimating it, making it open up, so that through its experiences the transcendent can be experienced.  Cakra 5 is at the throat.  The petals are of the same dark, threatening color as those of Cakra 3.  In other words, and here’s the whole secret, the energy that was formerly projected out to conquering others is now turned back against yourself.  This is called the turning about of the shakti.  The shakti, your energy, is not facing outward anymore, but facing inward.  These representations of the Yab-Yum, the male deity in embrace with the female, are the turning about of the shakti.  It’s all right here.  They say that God created the world in order to enjoy himself, and the world must turn toward him.  So there we are. 

   We had the red fiery yoni in Cakra 3.  Here it is of ether, and our elephant has come on up.  The syllable is ham.  Having come to Cakra 4, we’ve taken the energy of Cakra 3 and pulled it up to Cakra 5, against ourselves. 

   We have the deity putting down the physical man.  That’s the sense of these things in Tibet and China and Japan, wherever we have Mahayana.  The necklace of severed heads means “We’re cutting off the body.”  We have weapons and the flower of the new life that comes from having killed the old. 

   Our highest god is our highest obstruction.  It represents the consummation of the highest thoughts and feelings you can have.  Go past that.  Meister Eckhart says, “The ultimate leave-taking is the leaving of god [that is to say, the folk god] for god [that is to say, the elementary idea].”  This breakthrough is very difficult.  In her hand is the head of Brahma, the creator of the world.  We’re going past that, al all its values. 

   Kali also appears with nine elephants on her shashlick, impaled human beings on her tusks, and her hand raised in the abhaya mudra, meaning “Do not be afraid.”  We address her thus as “Our dear Mother.”  Shiva is sometimes represented with five heads, the five senses brought to a point.  TMTT 166