Chakra Psychology

As I’ve been writing the first 22 posts on this blog, I’ve of course been experimenting with the techniques that power my viewpoint, most of which are now organized around the ideas of Glenn Morris — yet I find I’ve hardly talked about him. Glenn was a genius and hard to categorize.

He wanted to make a way that would survive him, and he has — the people over at KAP (Kundalini Awakening Process) are the most obvious inheritors, that is Susan Carlson, Santiago Dobles and Tao Semko. They have now taken on a new guy as a regular teacher called Paul Densmore, and seem to have trained several others too. There’s also Rob Williams, who is affiliated with them but teaches from his position as Soke of Hoshin Budo Ryu, the martial arts lineage Glenn established. Then you have others such as Robert Morgen, and Susanne Williams who is still turning up with useful stuff. (Thankyou, internet). And so forth, they all are continuing the same Glenn methods with their personal emphasis, tuning and sculpting.

Glenn was one of the great American mystics. When he does choose to write about the non-physical world, there isn’t a sniff of convention, of mealy-mouthed light and “ascension” stuff from some new age channelling tract, of anything reliant on calculation, of any disingenuousness in it. It just spills out in mythic colours. His spirituality is as full-blooded as his words are subtle. (I hope the literati discover him one day). If you are trying to tread incautiously in his footprints, respect is recommended — yet he makes it all sound so natural. He has been there, and he knows how to write about it:

The woodcuts of Blake resemble the dark holographic hollowness of the shape-changing energy beings… The gods can be treacherous and were forged in very different times… If your fundamentals are not in order, they will show you to a very glorious death. Some people have strong needs to be crushed into oblivion. The ladies of yin are very well versed in crushing.

Plato’s Republic lacks a variety of roles necessary for a valued, meaningful, fun life in a complex modern society like the U.S. His model, however, is popular with the dragons from whose cave he stole it… It’s breathtaking.

Even female lions will support a philosopher king, as was demonstrated by the pride at Florida’s Budweiser Gardens in the late 1960s when they kept killing the males introduced by their keepers to replace “Old Charlie” who eventually died in the saddle. The goddesses are waiting in their pure gardens starved of affection, and bored after waiting a few thousand years for a prince to show up with a kiss and an encyclopedia.

(from Chapter 13, “Denizens of the Deep”, in Shadow Strategies of an American Ninja Master)

This being a tiny flavour only. There’s plenty of weirder stuff, all written with a cheek recalling Heinlein’s or Cabell’s heaven-storming clever grins.

But the reason we take this from Glenn is that he is also a man of practicality. He doesn’t always talk crazy. Glenn had a Sc.D. in Psychology, of which his favoured branch was the Humanistic, and when it came to his meditations, he was determined to use it.

One of the greatest results is his chakra psychology. Well that’s not an uncommon thing to write about nowadays… Indian texts describing the chakras themselves evoke states of mind as well as the more mystical symbologies. And Jung ran with the latter, to some good effect. But not all the work done with chakras nowadays has that level of seriousness. (I’ve noticed, for example, material that attempts to relate the chakras to developmental age bands in a psychodynamic manner, on absolutely no evidence.)

Here, Glenn was completely different. The use of chakras was a psychological matter to him, and when it came to psychology, you were talking about science. We all have chakras, whether we are mystically inclined or not. Glenn focused his research on ordinary members of the public and, using the traditional four-elements-plus-void attributions of the chakras, tested the character traits of over 5,000 people using instruments and personality inventories of his own, as detailed in the posthumous e-book, Quantum Crawfish Bisque. The result was a personality system of real value typologically — and also mystically. The traditional elemental chakra attributions (Earth for base/muladhara, then Water, Fire, and Wind, with Void for the top three chakras) formed both an initiatory system and a psycho-ecology which fed the energy and body and inner imaging.

So one could look at the chakras and see subconscious motivators. For example that extraordinary mix, so exactly right in practice, of the earth chakra: leadership, sex, practicality and sensuality, manifesting, growing, teaching, protecting — and negatively sexual obsession, repression, bullying, etc.

But also, adopting the positive attitude of the chakra helped to awaken it and to conquer the negativity in it as one went through one’s psyche. If you want better earth energy and an open earth chakra, work on being strong but flexible, sensual but not lazy, practical; tighten up your use of sexual energy without being judgmental, and speak the truth; look for where you’re overly loose and not consistent in these areas and you will see the specific change you want. Do it with impeccable intent.

And to cap it all, use this to open up the system in meditation. The apotheosis of earth if you like. Attitude and affirmations (and perhaps some symbols appropriate to your personal way, more on that another time) that you have already used for healing can be brought in. You may, if interested in movement for art or fighting purposes, already have ‘walked the walk’ of the element concerned. Now you sit, still the mind, smile, open the tan tien, maybe run an orbit or two. Then take the attitude of the element and imbibe it deeply — for earth it would be that mix of steadiness, lovingness, confidence, practicality, uninhibition, truthful words, enjoyment of body, use of anger to right wrongs but never initiate, etc. (See Shadow Strategies, p. 46).

Hey presto, you are the earth chakra. You are listening to it and it to you. Now when you use your energy skills and then circulate the chi, that is going to do something — it’s going to open you up, change you, reinforce you, in that particular earth way. Your body is already awakening and healing, and your mind is learning to master the positive and negative manifestations of this node. Then you’ll string the whole series of these elemental attitudes together, water next and so forth through the pillar… and as the energy responds (within control) you’re already at Lesser Kan and Li. Your system from Light down to feet is starting to play a unified alchemical symphony in harmony with your environment, and your physiology is changing. (Then you have to learn to surrender.)

The sheer genius of this idea is that it makes a chakra initiation a series of psychological and emotional states, in a general enough way that we can all apply the idea. It’s that old topic I’ve mentioned before on this blog — inner multiplicity. As Tao Semko points out in a recent video, there are plenty of initiation systems designed to awaken kundalini. But apart from the actual techniques of meditation and breath and energy, they give stuff on the mental and emotional levels. They give you an attitude and a set of beliefs, and that commitment necessary to awaken the energy. If we take the set of elemental attitudes, plug in what we know about psychology and real life, and test it — suddenly we have an updated version of something that started off in the bronze age. Psychology and a certain artistic intuition will do the work that religion or philosophy used to have to try and do on its own. You use the ethic that makes sense for you and then you learn by feedback with the life force itself (If you get it wrong, you will be corrected.)

I’m going to continue this series with a little comparison of Glenn Morris’ to Franz Bardon’s system, which also uses the four-plus-one elements approach. See you then.


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