Link to this Article: http://www.llewellyn.com/encyclopedia/article/258
Sahasrara - The Crown
This article was written by Anodea Judith on May 30, 2002
posted under Chakras
Verb: I know
Attributes: Information, understanding, awareness, consciousness, pattern, meditation
At last we come to the end of our journey, climbing to the nectar blossom of our flower—the thousand-petaled lotus sitting at the crown of the head. This is the chakra of thought, consciousness, and information, our most abstract and versatile level of all the chakras. Like the Muladhara, which has its roots in matter, the Sahasrara chakra, which means "thousandfold" has its thousand petals of spirit reaching into the infinite cosmos. To the Hindus, thousand is a way of expressing infinity, and indeed, this chakra has no limits in its scope.
The element of Sahasrara is thought, a fundamentally distinct and unmeasurable entity that is the first and barest manifestation of the greater field of consciousness around us. Correspondingly, the function of the chakra is knowing, just as other chakras relate to seeing, doing, or feeling. It is through the crown chakra that we store and retrieve information and run it through our lower chakras to bring things into manifestation.
The crown chakra is most significantly characterized by a quality of "withinness," contrasting the external manifestation in time and space of the lower chakras. A single human brain contains some 13 billion interconnected nerve cells, capable of making more connections among themselves than the number of atoms in the universe. This staggering comparison leaves us with a pretty remarkable instrument. As there are 100 million sensory receptors in the body, and 10 trillion synapses in the nervous system, we find that the mind is 100,000 times more sensitive to the organism’s internal environment than the external. It is truly from a place within that we acquire and process our knowledge.
Withinness is a way of accessing a dimension that has no locality in time and space. If we postulate that each chakra represents a dimension of smaller and faster vibration, we theoretically reach a place in the crown chakra where we have a wave of infinite speed and no wavelength, allowing it to be everywhere at once and yet having no perceivable location. Ultimate states of consciousness are described as omnipresent. By reducing the world to a pattern system, occupying no physical dimension, we have infinite storage capacity for its symbols. In other words, we carry the whole world inside our heads.
Pattern implies order. To the Hindus, order is the one underlying universal reality, and that order is considered synonymous with consciousness. Consciousness, then, is a field of ordered pattern. Chakra 7 is our gateway to "cosmic consciousness" or "higher consciousness." These terms merely refer to awareness of a deeper, more encompassing order. It is the perception of meta-patterns, deep central truths about our cosmic ordering system. Manifesting our thought-forms into reality is a matter of following the lines of order we perceive.
The crown chakra is the place where we study consciousness itself, even though each chakra reflects a state of consciousness. It must be remembered in this study that what we are looking for is the very thing that is doing the looking. Intelligence is less a matter of finding the answers than of realizing who and what are asking the questions.
Thought is comprised of bits of information that we spend time organizing. Through our experiences, each one of us builds a personal matrix of information within our mind. From the first glimpses of our mother’s face to our doctoral dissertation, we spend our time trying to put information about our world into some semblance of order. The very act of thinking is the process of following lines of order. Our matrix structures become our personal belief systems and the ordering principles of our lives. Not only do we organize new information into our personal structure, but we also order the events of our lives that bring us that information.
Kundalini is the "force" of consciousness. As she rises and descends, she changes the internal order of the personal matrix, each time allowing a greater perception of the whole. Each of the chakras represents a level of organization, valid for the work on its particular level. Each time Kundalini rises, we find ourselves needing to reorganize our lives to match the higher order She brings us.
While each chakra is a disk, programmed with information relating to its particular function, the seventh chakra can be seen as the overall operating system for the whole biocomputer. It represents our belief systems, the way we categorize our information, and even our ability to be aware at all. Thoughts are things, and they are the seeds from which all manifestation grows. Like all seeds, they contain the pattern that shapes the flower as it grows.
Exercise for Following one’s thoughts
Lie or sit in a comfortable meditation position. Allow your mind to become relatively calm and quiet, using whatever technique is most effective for you.
Gradually let yourself pay attention to the thoughts that pass through your mind. Pick one and ask yourself where it came from—what thoughts preceded it. Then follow to the origin of that thought. It may be something that occurred years ago or something that is pressing on you right now. Then again follow that thought to its source and on to each thought’s origin. Eventually, we come to a kind of infinite source that has no objective origin.
Return and pick another thought that passes through. Repeat the same sequence, going further and further back. See how many of your thoughts emanate from a similar source—either an issue you’re working with in your life right now, a past teaching, or your own place of connection with the infinite.
Please note that the use of Llewellyn Encyclopedia articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions