Originally published in
The Heart, the Body, the Crown, and the Seven Stages of Life
The physical heart is the epitome of the entire physical body. And the states of consciousness, or psyche, associated with the general region of the physical heart, epitomize the entire consciousness of the human individual.
Thus, the lower section of the physical heart corresponds to the range of physical functions just below and above the physical heart-the solar plexus or “manipura chakra” (which is also directly associated with the anus) and the region of the throat (or the “vishuddha chakra”).
The lower section of the heart lies to the left of the median of the chest. And the state of consciousness associated with the lower section of the heart is the ordinary “waking” state, including the living and responsive gross body consciousness (associated with the solar plexus) and the verbal mind (associated with the throat and the mechanisms of speech and discursive thought in the brain). The state of waking consciousness is felt to be associated with the heart in the left side of the chest, because it is actually associated with the lower section of the heart (which lies on the left side of the median).
Just so, the middle section of the physical heart corresponds to the general realm of functions in the midsection of the body-including the physical heart itself, and the lungs-or the blood circulating and breathing cycles. In itself, the middle section of the heart is the “anahata chakra,” the wheel of the psyche. It also corresponds to the creative dimension of life and consciousness, associated with the sex organs (and the “swadhishthana chakra”), the hands, and the brain core (or “ajna chakra”).
The middle section of the heart lies directly behind the median of the chest. And the state of consciousness associated with the middle section of the heart is the “dreaming” state, including both the subconscious mind (associated with the emotional-sexual functions, below the heart), and the superconscious mind (associated with the superconscious functions in the brain core). It is the realm of dreams and subtle visions, or subtle knowledge, both low and high in the scale of Nature. This state of consciousness is felt to be associated with the central region of the heart, because it is actually associated with the middle section of the heart.
The upper section of the physical heart corresponds to the range of physical functions extremely above and below the heart – or the crown of the brain (the “sahasrar”) and the lower root of the body (including the perineum, the “muladhara chakra,” and the feet) prior to all association with activity in the psychic centers or “chakras” that lie between the two extremes (or the upper and lower terminals of the body).
The upper section of the heart lies to the right of the median of the chest. And the state of consciousness associated with the upper section of the heart is the “deep sleep” state, which includes not only the unconscious “mind” (associated with the pure elemental or sheer physical state itself, prior to self-conscious awareness) but also the Transcendental Consciousness, prior to all forms of psycho-physical experience or experientially defined self-conscious awareness. This state of consciousness, in both its conventional and its Awakened or Transcendental forms, is felt to be associated with the heart on the right side of the chest, because it is actually associated with the upper section of the heart.
Therefore, the process of our Awakening and self-transcendence in Ecstatic God-Communion must ultimately be considered in relation to the heart, the epitome of the whole and entire body, the epitome of the psyche or mind, and the epitome or “doorway” of the soul. It can be seen, by the description I have just given, how the waking state, even in its verbal or conscious mental associations, is the most superficial dimension of human awareness-even though it is conventionally the most obvious and the one with which we feel most bound and identified. And the internal or subjective dimension of dreams and mystical knowledge is only subtler than the gross dimension of the body-mind. The interior and the exterior are a play of high and low, “mind” and “body,” mutually causing effects in one another. But the realm of subconscious and superconscious dreams is, for all of its glamor, nothing more than the compound of self-conscious energies-the inwardness of the psycho-physical self (or the “covered” soul). Therefore, Truth and Bliss are Realized only in the case of Transcendental Awakening, wherein the upper section of the heart becomes the instrument for the Enlightenment of the Whole Body and the Translation of the Free soul into the Divine Domain.
In the first stage of life, the lower dimension of the heart and brain and body is born and brought to Life. It is the living physical stage of adaptation, corresponding to the ordinary waking state of physical consciousness, associated with the solar plexus, the mouth, the anus, and the cycle of eating (assimilation-elimination).
In the second stage of life, the middle dimension of the heart and brain and body is brought to Life. It is the primal emotional-sexual stage of adaptation, corresponding to the ordinary, dreaming (or subjective) state of relational feelings, reactive emotions, and sexual sensitivity, associated with the sex organs, and the cycle of breathing (reception-release).
In the third stage of life, the lower dimension of the heart matures in its higher functional realization-or the development of the will, the attitude of self-control, and the elaboration of the mind of verbal associations.
In the fourth stage of life the middle dimension of the heart becomes dominant. The psychic principle becomes the master of the mental and physical principles. The lower functional range of the body-mind is turned about, or reoriented toward the subtle etheric and astral mechanisms upon which they depend. (Thus, the Bodily Current of Life is activated, apparently rising from its motionless and unconscious state at the muladhara chakra, and expanding upward, to energize the swadhishthana chakra, the manipura chakra, the anahata chakra, and the vishuddha chakra.) And the moral disposition of self-transcending relational love becomes the center of individual existence, producing the life of service to others and of Love-Communion with the Living God, intuited and felt from the heart or psyche of the body-mind.
In the fifth stage of life, the middle dimension of the heart matures in its higher functional realization-or the development of the superconscious mind, the ascent of attention into the Sky of Wisdom above the brows (the regeneration of the Bodily Current of Life at the ajna chakra).
In the sixth stage of life, the upper dimension of the heart is Awakened in its own Root, the Foundation of the body-mind, prior to extended or experiential awareness. It is the stage of exclusive Self-Realization, or the Awakening of Consciousness while the body-mind sleeps.
In the seventh stage of life, the upper dimension of the heart is Awakened beyond qualification, in its Free State, wherein no conditions of experience (or the body-mind) are either excluded or demanded. Thus, in the seventh stage of life, the whole and entire body-mind, extended between the sahasrar and the muladhar, is Enlightened by the Radiance of the totally Awakened heart, head to toe. The heart Shines in all directions. Therefore, since the heart epitomizes and indeed is the body-mind, the body-mind itself is entirely Illumined by the Radiance of the heart. And as that Radiance intensifies, through Transcendental love, or Heart-Freedom in Bliss, the body-mind is gradually Outshined. At last, that Shine is felt only between the upper right of the heart and the extreme terminal of the sahasrar, or the crown of the head and brain (since the upper terminals of the heart and the head naturally correspond to one another). Then, in sudden Ecstasy, all conditions Dissolve in Love-Bliss, the Radiant Sea of Divine Glory in which the body, the heart, the mind, the brain, and the Infinite World of Experience are floating forever-undifferentiated and unknown, unless there is the illusion of noticing.