This is an excerpt taken from Dr. Cousens book Spiritual Nutrition
Chakras are either awake or asleep. This is not the same as the activity level of a chakra, which is primarily associated with keeping our organism supplied with vital life force for our general functioning. The awakening of the chakras is primarily associated with the development of more evolved spiritual awareness. Dr. Brugh Joy has noted that an awakened chakra functions on a different level and that it feels and looks different to clairvoyants.8 When a chakra is awakened, it is part of a spiritually evolving process in which the mind merges with the higher awareness stored in that chakra. In some cases, certain psychic abilities associated with the chakra are also activated. Psychic ability, however, is not necessarily a sign of spiritual evolvement or of a chakra’s awakening. Psychic ability is not the same as spiritual awareness. It is misleading to associate it with the spiritual awareness that is stored in each chakra and released to the consciousness of the awakened mind.
There is general agreement that each chakra has a spiritual awareness associated with it, but no simplified system for understanding this awareness is either found or agreed upon. A variety of esoteric teachings and descriptions of powers may be associated with the awakening of the different chakras, but these will not be part of our discussion. With the awakening of each chakra, there occurs a key transition from mundane consciousness to a more complete spiritual awareness. Just as the general energies of the chakras are linked, the awakened chakras function as combined units of awareness. The first through the third chakras are linked as one unit, with the heart chakra the pivotal integrator. The fifth through the seventh chakras comprise the second unit, and its relationship to the heart is also important.
The first three chakras are life force energies primarily concerned with issues of survival on the physical and emotional planes. The spiritual awareness associated with their awakening manifests in mastery of all the issues of living in the world. The awakening of the first three chakras is essential for integrating the knowledge of how to live in the world with a spiritually transformed consciousness. Without it, the more intense energies released by the spiritual awakenings of the upper chakras can throw us out of balance in our everyday lives. It is difficult to be stabilized in the higher awareness without integrating the awakened first three chakras into our daily lives.
The fourth through the seventh chakras are primarily concerned with spiritual life. Their awakening activates spiritual energies and the transmutation of mundane consciousness into higher consciousness. It is important to understand that development of higher awareness in the chakras is not necessarily linear; rather, it seems to be both simultaneous and spiral, yet neither. It is wholistic. Awareness of the different chakras seems to fuse at nodal points and to depend on the other chakras for a spiral, integrated, individualized, and simultaneous awakening at different levels of intensity. Once the Kundalini is awakened, there is an ongoing awakening of all the chakras simultaneously, but at different levels of intensity in each chakra at various times. An individual, for example, may be in the primary process of first and second chakra awakening but may also be reveling in the bliss of the Divine Communion of the seventh chakra. We often notice a new awareness or awakening when this awareness reaches a point of stabilization and integration in our conscious awareness. This is when our mind has fully merged with the total awareness of that chakra.
The first chakra is often known as the survival chakra. In its unawakened state, it is governed by the misconception that we are separate from Nature and need to conquer Nature in order to be safe and to survive. Its drive us to master the forces of matter. As a result, this limited awareness and lack of understanding allows us to become immersed in the material plane – fearing, doubting, and distrusting the environment. In this state, it is difficult to believe that there is a God. One’s own ego is one’s God. The awakening of the Kundalini energy that is stored in its potential state just below the first chakra often helps to shake us out of this limited awareness by giving us a taste of Communion with God. We learn that we are more than just physical bodies and that there is a higher purpose to life than simply making money and surviving on the material plane. This is the link between the first and sixth-seventh chakras, in which we become completely in tune with our higher vision and purpose. From fear, doubt, and non-belief, there is a shift to faith, trust, and belief in a higher force, or God. From disharmony with Nature, we move into a desire to be harmonious. We begin to understand the elements of Nature. Our sense of separation begins to diminish, and we seek to live in unity with Nature and the natural laws rather than to subjugate them. Trust in the illusion of one’s ego power shifts to a trust in God. Primary fear and survival is transmuted to the awareness that there exists a Unity with a Higher Force.
The second chakra is characterized by the drive to procreate. When awakened, a shift in consciousness allows us to overcome the control of our lives by obsessive, instinctual sexual desires. This does not mean we deny sex. It means we experience it on a higher level of Communion, Love, harmony, and creativity. Physical sexual activity becomes a choice. Life becomes a creative Communion. The primordial energies of procreation are transformed into more refined, creative, aesthetic, and artistic energies. In the awakened state, the raw procreative energies of the second chakra transmute into more refined spiritual energies. Creativity without understanding can create havoc because it can degenerate into a lustful desire to pursue personal creativity at the expense of others. Understanding in the first chakra is necessary to give a grounding energy to the creativity of the second chakra.
The third chakra is marked by an innate awareness of what is happening on all planes of consciousness, both in the environment and within ourselves on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level. It is a sensitive and perceptive ear to all forces. With its awakening, we transcend instinctual reactions to the psychic-emotional states of others. We become conscious of our reactive use of raw psychic-emotional power to attract, repel, project, magnify, and control others. We begin to operate in a balanced emotional state of reflection, discrimination, and sensitivity. We begin to develop a quality of sensitive perception of our inner and outer lives, to balance the raw forces of the first and second chakras and become interactors rather than reactors.
In the process of a full awakening, the solar plexus (third) chakra becomes harmonically linked with the heart (fourth) chakra. This linkage allows the information input of the solar plexus chakra to be interpreted through the Love of the heart chakra. The awakening leads to the fusion of the balanced emotion and power of the third chakra with the universal Love of the heart, or fourth, chakra. The fusion of the emotions with the Love-harmony of the fourth chakra gives us joy within, and we unite with one another in a moment of mutual sensitivity. It leads to a cooperative service between people. Ann Ree Colton metaphorically describes this fusion occurring when the lion initiate master of the solar plexus chakra lies down with the lamb initiate master of the heart. This fusion marks a full awakening. It may be what Jeremiah describes in 31:33: “I will put my Torah in their inner parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be My people.” This speaks to an attunement with an inner conscience or morality that is released into consciousness when the third chakra is awakened. As this awareness merges with the mind, judgment of self and others merges into an awareness of the spirit of the universal law. When the third chakra is harmonized with the heart, the awareness of the upper chakras manifests more easily as spirituality in everyday life. Another aspect of this awakening is the transmutation of the primordial desire/will power of the third chakra into attunement with the Will of God. It manifests as the awareness that whatever God does is for the best. It allows us to change the self-service of the first chakra to selfless service. It is another step in developing a trust in God. This awakened awareness helps us move from desire and attachment toward more sensitivity and less attachment to our desires. The awakened third chakra allows the life force of the first three chakras to be used as a strong healing power, the same power that shamans and bruhus use in their healing and magical work. A developed hara, which is the centering and grounding energy center focused on the martial arts and in some Chinese and Japanese religions, reflects the combined and integrated energy of the first three chakras.
The fourth, or heart, chakra awakens us to the experience of Love in any form in our lives. Eventually it awakens us to the experience of Universal Love. Its awakening helps us transform attached forms of Love associated with such emotions as lust, greed, pride, envy, infatuation, and even hate into a more peaceful, Universal Love. The raw instincts of self-preservation and survival are transmuted into full heart unity with all of humanity. It motivates us toward working for peace without oppression in the world. It is the Love that extends beyond the Love of our nuclear family to the one world family. An awakened heart acts as a balancing and integrating point for all the chakras. The conscience and virtue we develop from the awakening of the other chakras need Love as the energy to reach their full quality and power. It is with the awakening of this fourth chakra that we begin to experience ourselves and God as Love. Many people feel the Divine Self of all creation is centered in the heart. As the awareness of the heart chakra matured, this one regular1y saw and experienced a blue flame of consciousness within his own heart. This occurred both during meditation and in everyday activities. The opening of the heart is very special.
The awakening of the fifth, or throat, chakra has to do with expression and communication of the more sublime meanings of existence. It has to do with the ability to translate all thoughts in the mind into form and shape. It involves all forms of communication such as aesthetics, art, language, music, and dance. Salespeople, lawyers, advertisers, and artists often have well developed throat chakras. The awakening reflects a shift from using the power of communication for our own selfish purposes to the communication of true inner feelings, spiritual teaching, and Truths. Through our own forms of expression, we become mediators and manifesters of the Truth. Our Being disperses peace and good tidings.
The awakening of the sixth, or brow, chakra brings us into a higher state of vision of the Truth. The mind becomes spiritualized. Intuition and attunement reach a spiritualized and integrated state of development. In the Christian world, this chakra is sometimes called the entry into the Christ mind. It is the “eye of the needle”; when fully awakened, it opens to the crown chakra. In the awakening of the sixth and seventh chakras, we become fully connected with the Inner Guru, or teacher. The full awakening of the sixth chakra as it oscillates with the seventh chakra seems to be associated with a state close to Self-realization in which we experience the Truth of the Universal Self within. It is at this stage that we directly begin to know ourselves as this awesome Truth. It is the stabilization of the I AM consciousness, becoming our primary identity. We are no longer deluded by the multiple material gods of ego, power, sex, or form. We enter into a state of Beingness rather than doingness as our primary identity. We feel at one with the Will of God. All concepts and ego blocks have been sufficiently purified out of the system, and we are free to follow the Will of God.
The awakening of the crown chakra is very much interconnected with awakening of the sixth chakra. As this awakening matures, we go beyond I AM consciousness into Self-realization of I AM THAT into an oscillation with merging with the Godhead. It is a sense of total Oneness with all of creation. Dualistic thinking fades, and we rest in the Beingness of non-dual awareness. We become more and more stabilized into the awareness of all as God. There is no separation. We become the purpose of life that we vaguely feel with the awakening of the first chakra. It is with this awareness that the merging of the heart and the sixth-seventh chakra complex becomes clearer. The philosophical debate between whether universal consciousness is centered in the heart or in the sixth-seventh chakra no longer has any meaning, because these chakras are linked on the planes of spiritual awareness. We spontaneously feel great, unrelenting Love with all. We never stop loving, because there is no one not to Love. Separation ends, and only Love exists. This is not so much an opening of the heart chakra as the experience of the Self as Love, of the World as God. It is another spiral deeper into the meaning and experience of Love. It exists as our totality of experience. The awakening of the crown chakra also intensifies the link with higher levels of cosmic energy. We begin to directly experience the flow, or cosmic pulse of energy, into the system. We seem filled with this more refined cosmic energy, as though a barrier between ourselves and the cosmos has been lifted.
The awakening of the sixth and seventh chakras goes beyond our linear time-space limitations and our words. It is a simple, yet totally other, awareness. Time, space, I AMness disappear and there is only THAT, resonating simultaneously in the dual and non-dual worlds.