The Cabala and the Chakras
Something comes through and the challenge is using words. But even though most of us have been misled and overly externalized through the use of words and symbols from the "real thing, words and intellect can also be placed in synergistic harmony (or otherwise mesh) with non-dual Reality as long as balance, context or perspective is maintained. Is that what wisdom is made from (or is it love)?
The teacher (authority) is inside and all authentic spiritual teachers reflect that and help us realize it. They await us in the Heart (the Center of the Universe). We receive good feelings and strength from those who speak and act from/in the Heart.
So here is a small dose of the Cabala (from Jewish mysticism), It closely parallels the energy body system of yoga and attempts to remedy the patriarchal and earth negative tendencies of orthodox Judeo-Christian thought.
It is difficult to find much nature positive stuff in that predominately patriarchal and "alien god" oriented system, but yes if you know what you are searching for it is there, especially it the marginalized traditions which were not "state" sanctioned. This was true in both Judaism and Christianity. But like most religions, a corruption has become institutionalized -- i.e., they have left the garden and no longer allow for direct discourse with God.
In the Cabala there indeed seems to be a system of correspondences which parallels closely this requisite dynamic inter-relationship between spirit and nature. It seems over simplistic to solve the "problem" of embodiment (existence) by advocating escape or withdrawal. The "trick", rather, seems to be how to live a creative, loving, and fulfilling LIFE.
So the Cabala necessarily goes back to the feminine (Shekinah) in order to re-establish balance and harmony and this relationship is facilitated between Kether and Malkuth primarily.
The Kaballah is extraordinarily similar to the ancient Indian system. Although originally an imbalanced patriarchal system, the kaballah attempts to achieve balance through the emphasis placed upon the idea of the Shekinah or female mate of God. This is similar to the placement of Nature in relationship to that of Spirit, the differentiated as opposed to the undifferentiated, and/or the resolution of the apparent dichotomy between earth and heaven through the Intermediator of the divine human body, Adam Kadmon (Quadmon), which is considered by the kaballists to be the energetic template of the spiritual man (or embodied spirit).
We will not go into the voluminous and specific teachings of the kaballah (written mostly in Hebrew and Aramaic) and its most eloquent and "authoritative book, "the Zohar", here other than to show how its chakra system (called the Tree of Life) relates almost exactly to that of the Indian system.
The tree of life can be equivocated to that of the energy body connected by the psychic channels (called nadis in Sanskrit). On top is Ayin -- nothingness -- the unlimited, undifferentiated infinity. On the bottom is Shekinah, differentiated reality, Divine immanence, or Everything. On the very top above the tree of life resides Ayin, which is male, God, and Spirit while at the very bottom below the tree resides Shekinah, which is female, earth, and great abundance. The template is the Uniter, channel, temple, vehicle, and Intermediator,
On top of the tree of life proper is Kether (the crown) which lies directly below Ayin and represents pure divine will. This is the equivalent to Sahasrara chakra.
Next is Hokmah, or the wisdom point, which is the equivalent to ajna chakra. Then Binah (understanding) at the throat center or vishuddi chakra.
The heart chakra (anahat) is a combination of Gevurah or justice (symbolized by the left arm and red in color) and Chessed (love and grace) symbolized by the right arm and the color, white.
The manipura (jewelled center) chakra at the navel corresponds to Tifferet or beauteous splendour which corresponds to the sun in kaballah and the fire element in yoga.
Below Tifferet (splendour) is Yesod which is the generative, seminal, and sexual center which is linked to Tifferet above both directly and through Hod and Netsah.
The root chakra (muladhara in Sanskrit) equates to Malkuth of the Kaballah where the Shekinah can enter. It is said that the secret of fulfilling the mizvot (the epitome of all good deeds) is the mending of all the worlds and drawing forth the emanation from above thus balancing Shekinah with Ayin Soph.
To recapitulate the equivalencies:
In addition the two cabalistic centers, Hod and Netsah, assist the connection between the lower two chakras (Yesod and Malkuth) and Tifferet. The Kaballah and Zohar is a rich literary source along this vein and this short introductory is by no means complete other than to show a corresponding western tradition which found itself in a patriarchal and sterile morass, but which freed itself through the formation of the idea of balance through honoring the Shekinah.
The ten spiritual centers in Hebrew are called Sephirot instead of chakras and are related to the major arcana of the tarot (a scan be found in many books on the subject).
BACK to Ongwhehonwhe Home
To Heartmind Yoga Pages
The Long Body: Portal to Earth Based Spirituality (includes "TWO TREES" by W. B. Yeats)
Indigenous Legends of Sacred Trees and Dragons
The Sacred Tree by Brain Bates
Energy and Chakra Healing (primarily utilizing yogic, Chinese, shamanistic, and Huna approaches)