The Spiritual Function of Yearning

The first three chakras compose a unit; a triad of our animal drives. At this stage in our evolution, it is easy to observe that, as a species, humans are still controlled by these animal motivations. There are certainly many enlightened buddhas, saints, and prophets that have appeared over the millennia, but the vast majority of people are still centered within their animal heritage, though we can see that humans have certainly invented many complex variations of the basic animal instincts. This is why the animal experiments of Skinner can be applied to people. Stripped of our technology and with our rational faculties stressed, most of us still behave much the same way rats would. And, if possible, all too often we use the gift of our higher cortical powers to serve our animal instincts.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t fulfill animal needs as best as we can. Neo-Tantra often glorifies the senses, which are extensions of the body and animal in nature. Certainly, before we can turn our attention to the spirit, our basic needs must be met. This does include the need for pleasure. It is just that we are out of control, using our technology and mental power indiscriminately to sate our animal appetites. We most often do this reflexively, blindly, and with risk to ourselves, others, and the very planet we live on. Still, if one is acutely observant, it can be noticed that however accomplished we are at gratifying our animal natures, a hunger remains.

Beyond what is needed for basic and comfortable survival, the pursuit of material possessions, power, sensuality, and wealth cannot satisfy the desires of our higher consciousness. No amount of money or social status can satiate the spirit’s longing. Inflame the passions of the lower chakras? Perhaps. But liberate the spirit and fulfill the heart’s true desire? Never. Many try at this, all fail. The game of acquisition and dominance does not feed the soul. It can only drive us to conflict, warfare, an ever-faster rate of conspicuous consumption, and the intrigue of political, financial, and technological supremacy. This extends even to the point where we are willing to destroy our selves, individually or collectively, in one way or another. Perhaps this is one expression of Thanatos. Like the mythical rush of the lemmings, we would rather stubbornly fall to our deaths than give up this dance.

So, most people find themselves trapped in this box, the unconscious drives of the first three chakras. Physically this box is described in the lower half of the body. The “lid” of the box is the solar plexus. The life force inherent in both the emotions of pain, fear and anger, and the quests for money, pleasure, and power aspires to connect with the energies of higher consciousness. Yet our vitality seems trapped in this box that we so stubbornly defend, as if it were a great palace instead of the prison that it has become. To begin to join with higher consciousness in the body, life force must literally push off the lid of this box, and physically ascend through the solar plexus. It yearns powerfully to be allowed to do so. Moe information at © 2008 Keith E. Hall and . All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Rev. Keith Hall has taught Tai Chi, Qigong, Tantra, & body / mind modalities for 30 years & is a senior student of Prof. Yung-ko Chou, with permission to teach. He has studied at East West Schools across the world & with Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, S. Saraswati & others. He practices Bioenergetics, Bagua, Tumo, Vipassana, Zen, Spiritual Bodywork, various Yogas, & other East West disciplines. He has published articles on Tantra & Taoist arts in numerous journals & is the Founder of Jade Garden Tantra, 10 Minutes to a Healthier You! Tantric QigongSM, PresencingSM for Emotional Freedom and Enlightenment, and