One of the most powerful symbols of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus. In demonstrating that he could return from the dead, Jesus proved that the light body exists and that the experience of it is, therefore, potential in every human being. It is ironic that almost 2,000 years after the fact, Western science and medicine has yet to accept this reality even though it is the keystone upon which the entire faith of Christianity is built. But to the soul, Jesus's resurrection was a symbolic representation of the existence of our own light bodies. Somewhere inside each of us, is the knowledge, or remembrance, that we are unconditioned spirits composed of the light that pervades the entire universe. Hence, we are not just physical bodies - we are also light bodies. To the ancients this light body had a pattern or specific form, this is the principal idea behind mandalas. The soul knows this, even though we may not be aware of it on a conscious level. The means by which we are connected to this light body is a system of energy centers called chakras. There are seven of these chakras. These seven chakra, or light body, energies, are symbolized in the beginning of the book of Genesis as the seven days of creation. This same correlation may also be seen in the following quote from the Book of Revelation, chapter 1, verse 4:
John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;"
The references here to the seven churches of Asia and the seven spirits before the throne of God are direct correlations to the seven chakras of the light body. I encourage the reader is review this biblical passage in its entirety.
The drawings in figure 1 & 2 represents the seven chakras of the light body, symbolized as the seven spirits of God in the Book of Revelation. This is the first in a series of circles that provide the basis of construction for entire the New Jerusalem mandala. It is these seven circles which set the entire mandala's pattern into creative expression. Interestingly enough, later we will see that these first seven circles relate directly to the Svadisthana chakra, or reproductive center.
The word chakra is an ancient Sanskrit term which means; sacred wheel. Any circular form could be considered a Chakra. In fact the planet earth is a Chakra, a living sphere of energy, which we are all apart of. Within the ancient yogic traditions the "Chakras" refer to a living energy system within each of us. This energy system is traditionally viewed as a Lotus Flower with 7 Chakras (or spheres of being) consisting of 50 petals. The imagery of the innerself as budding Lotus is primary to a yogi's understanding of themselves and their roles in the outer world. Within this ancient cosmology we find our higher selves or spiritual being manifest as a flower within a garden of flowers. It is through this method of visualization that we can begin the transformative journey from human beings to transcendent beings.
The Chakras are assembled into a vertical structure which extends from the tail bone to the crown of the head. They are not a system which is visibleto the untrained eye, therefore Western medicine often dismisses the yogic systems which incorporate the Kundalini as a intricate part of the human anatomy. The closest physical component to the Kundalini system that one can find within the physical body is the nervous system. Where the nerves are closely bundled together there is usually a Chakra location.
In the Hindu tradition, there are many teachings that describe the location and general meanings of the chakras. Some of the chakra systems detailed in this tradition list six, seven, eight, even 32 chakras. Today, in fact, as the Western world begins to investigate the world of chakras and the idea of a light body form even newer systems are being put forward. One could easily lose perspective among so many systems. For our own purposes, therefore, which are to explore and foster an understanding of a better cosmological view of the roots of Christianity and the links between the chakras system and early Christian symbols, we will remained focused on a more traditional seven chakra system.
Here is an overview of the seven chakra system with their Hindu names (the descriptions have been aligned with the corresponding chakra. The graphic to the right is the classic yogic rendering of the chakras as Lotus Flowers. This rendering dates back to 3,200 BCE and has a unique correspondance to the Sanskrit language.
The diagram of seven circles is also the most efficent manner by which to construct a Star of David (figure 3) or six pointed star. This symbol also appears at the Anahata or heart chakra in the Hindu Tree. It is representative of the entwined female and male aspects of energy, symbolic of the marriage of heaven and earth.
Traditionally, the Kabbalah or Tree of Life, as shown below in figure 4-shown below is an esoteric Jewish teaching. It makes sense that it would be tied to the Book of Revelation and New Jerusalem. St. John and most of the disciples were Jewish mystics. However, I had never anticipated that the connection of the Kabbalah to the New Jerusalem pattern could be presented so clearly. In Anatomy of Spirit I found confirmation for what I knew to be true.
The Kabbalah itself is a very ancient teaching dating back to the very beginning of the Hebrew Bible. In the very first chapter of this text, Genesis, God creates the world in six days and rests on the seventh. As we previously stated, this symbolizes the seven chakras. As the story continues in Genesis, God then shapes Adam from clay into a likeness of himself and breathes his own breath into him. God then creates Eve. Later a snake appears, tempts Eve, and Adam and Eve fall from the garden of Paradise. This point, where the snake appears, marks the symbolic origins of the Kabbalah. Amidst a host of angels, the Kabbalah is given to Adam to help him find his way back to the Garden of Eden. Let us now explore the relationship of the Kabbalah to the chakras and the corresponding breath pattern that develops within the New Jerusalem pattern.
There are ten sefirot that make up the Tree of Life in the Kabbalah. The word sefirot has it roots in the word 'cipher' or 'number' and can also be translated into the word sapphire.
The divine act is visualized symbolically as follows, from AYIN SOF OR, the Endless Light that surrounds the void, there emanated a beam of light which penetrated from the periphery to the center. This, the Kav or beam of Divine Will, manifest in ten distinct stages of Emanation. This event is echoed in the another rabbinical saying, that the world was called into being by ten Divine Utterances. Since the Middle Ages these ten stages have been known as the Sefirot.
The ten stages are related to the ten divine powers of the creator, or the archetypal energies that contain attributes of the primal being. These ten archetypes are perceived to be held in a specific pattern or arrangement defined by the three Hidden Splendors, or Powers, that emanate from the void. These are defined as Primordial Will, Mercy, and Justice. Will is perceived as holding the balance between Justice and Mercy. The nature of Mercy is to expand, and the nature of Justice is to contract. The three are held in an energetic arrangement emanating an energetic pattern known as the kabbalistic structure (see figure 24). Hinduism contains a similar creation story, or pattern, referred to as the three gunas. They are Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. It is from the three gunas that the thread of the cosmic web is woven. The Kabbalah also has an esoteric link with the Tarot. These connections were first revealed during the early 1200's AD. For more information on the Tarot connection to the Hindu and Jewish Trees of Life visit the Tarot Pattern section. The basic meanings of the Sefirots are listed below.