In our last post we learned that Jesus taught God is spirit, and it is through spirit, or consciousness, that we truly worship and draw near to God. Worshipping God through the human spirit means conscious choice and action. As we choose to live consciously, consciousness will be elevated, and an elevation in consciousness is direct evidence of worshiping God.
In today’s post we will address Caroline Myss’s belief that there is a correlation, symbolically, between the meaning of the seven sacraments of the church and our seven chakras.
On the surface this idea might seem ludicrous, right? Traditionally, the seven chakras are an ancient Hindu explanation of the human conscious-energy system, whereas the seven sacraments are of Christian origin and are believed to bestow divine grace on the individual. But Myss has nailed the connection between them by showing that they both symbolically represent the elevation of consciousness!
In ancient Hindu thought, each chakra contains spiritual life-lessons to learn so as to advance individual consciousness. According to Myss, since the chakras are vertically aligned from the bottom of the spinal column to the top of the head, it suggests “…that we ascend toward the Divine by gradually mastering the seductive pull of the physical world.”
Notice that Myss didn’t say we need to escape the world, but that we’re not to be seduced by it. Jesus indicated the same when he stated:
“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil” (John 17:15).
Jesus was praying to the father about his disciples. The evil Jesus is referring to is that which separates us from God, which is largely the seduction and illusions of the physical. As we expand consciousness, we gradually master its “seductive pull.” But we need to be in the world in order to incorporate higher consciousness through certain life-lessons. Myss agrees that it is through the life-lessons themselves that we “receive empowerment.” More on this in a moment.
The symbolic meanings of the seven sacraments really aren’t much different.
According to Myss, “…the seven sacraments were, and still are, sacred ceremonies that imprint the individual with—to use Christian language—specific qualities of “grace or Divine energy.”
In order to understand the connection with the chakras, let’s focus on the “Divine energy” bestowed on the Christian for a moment. What is this “Divine” energy?
In esoteric thought energy is the expression and movement of consciousness. This goes for all energy, but by “Divine” we mean energy of a higher vibration and frequency. The higher the vibration, the closer it is to its source, or God. God is the source (and oneness) for all energy and consciousness.
In the Christian sacramental system, the believer has faith in the fact that Divine energy is being bestowed upon them through God’s grace. What would be the purpose for this Divine energy other than for the purpose of spiritual maturation, to bring one closer to God?
One Christian writer connected with the Catholic Church has this to say about the sacraments:
“Through the sacraments we are nourished, healed, and made holy.”
How is it that one is healed and made holy? Many have faith that as they literally participate in the sacraments, the divine energy of God automatically heals them. I am not going to say that this isn’t possible, but I do want to point out the superiority of the symbolic meaning. As Myss states, “Symbolically, each sacrament…represents a stage of empowerment that invites the Divine directly into a person’s spirit.” This is another way of saying that the sacraments symbolically represent the Divine being invited into our consciousness.
The true importance in this symbolic meaning is that as we live life, we eventually come to express this divine energy or higher consciousness by expressing higher thoughts and emotions in day to day life. Accomplishing this is the evidence of fulfilling our spiritual (and physical) purposes on earth. Such a person chooses to live to the calling of higher consciousness.
The Symbolic Meaning of the Sacraments and Chakras Compared
Below is Myss’s comparison of each chakra and each sacrament. If you’ve never seen it before, I think you’ll find it interesting.
1) The first chakra: lessons related to the material world
Baptism: to receive or bestow and expression of grace representing gratitude for one’s life in the physical world.
2) The second chakra: lessons related to sexuality, work, and physical desire
Communion: to receive or bestow an expression of grace—in the form of a “host”—that represents holy union with God and with the people in one’s life.
3) The third chakra: lessons related to the ego, personality, and self-esteem.
Confirmation: to receive or bestow an expression of grace that enhances one’s individuality and self-esteem.
4) The fourth chakra: lessons related to love, forgiveness, and compassion.
Marriage: to receive or bestow a blessing making a sacred union with oneself, symbolic of recognizing and honoring the essential need to love and care for oneself in order that one can fully love another.
5) The fifth chakra: lessons related to will and self-expression.
Confession: to receive or bestow the grace to cleanse one’s spirit of negative acts of will.
6) The sixth chakra: lessons related to mind, intuition, insight, and wisdom.
Ordination: to receive or bestow the grace to make sacred one’s path of service.
7) The seventh chakra: lessons related to spirituality.
Extreme unction: to receive or bestow the grace to finish one’s unfinished business not just before death, but as a daily part of one’s life, thus allowing a person to love in “present time.”
Scriptural Support for Myss’s Interpretation
Isaiah and the Book of Revelation teach us that God has seven spirits. These seven spirits are also related to the chakras and what the seven sacraments symbolically represent. Consider the scriptures from Revelation below:
“And out of the throne proceedeth lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God” (Rev. 4:5).
“And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Rev. 5:6).
Obviously these are not literal descriptions. Rather they represent the one who has conquered the seduction of the physical world through sacrifice. This applies to all of us who are faithful to the spiritual path. But I want us to notice closely where these seven spirits originated from, and you will see the higher conscious connection.
The seven spirits originate as a prophecy about Christ in Isaiah. I quote below:
“And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:2).
It breaks down as follows:
1) Spirit of the LORD
2) Spirit of wisdom
3) Spirit of understanding
4) Spirit of counsel
5) Spirit of might
6) Spirit of knowledge
7) Spirit of fear of the LORD
Why is it that Jesus was declared worthy? It is because as the Christ he developed these seven spirits which collectively are the one Spirit of the LORD, which is the spirit of higher consciousness developed through the conquering of the physical world.
Even Jesus had to develop higher consciousness. A scripture from Hebrews states:
“Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered…” (Heb. 5:8).
This means that Christ learned obedience, which is BETTER than sacrifice, through life’s lessons. It is no different for us. This is also why we can faithfully say that Christ’s life represents our life as well. Jesus’ story is symbolically our story.
Remember when Jesus told us to be “perfect” like our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:48)? He was telling us to be whole and complete. Being “complete” is the meaning of the Greek word translated as perfect. In other words, in order to be complete, we must come to express higher consciousness on earth. It’s not so much about perfection as it is about being whole and complete both physically and spiritually (including emotionally and mentally).
This is also part of the true meaning of salvation. In fact the Greek word can also be translated “health.” We are to walk in health in all areas of our lives, not just in our physical bodies.
All in all, I think Myss has done an excellent job in revealing the deeper symbolic meaning of the sacraments by showing us how they transcend cultural boundaries and represent universal sacred truths. I recommend reading the rest of her book to learn more about gaining higher consciousness in our daily lives. It’s well worth the read!
For now, I give a few recommendations of my own to live consciously. Surrender to the present moment by accepting what is. Drop all resistance to life, and honor the NOW. Live from the heart, but also live ethically and lovingly towards yourself and your fellowman.
I also recommend daily meditation, which helps align us to our life purpose and lessons we are here to learn and incorporate into the human spirit. As we turn within ourselves, we draw near in stillness to God, giving us the chance to see ourselves more clearly.
I must also say that doing this post has given me a greater appreciation for the heritage tied up in the Catholic Church. I feel if the Catholic Church could only embrace (by teaching) the deeper symbolic meanings of this heritage, such as Myss has done, there would be more growth of the Christ within in all its members.
I am interested in comments from anyone on this post, but it would be especially great to get the perspective of someone who actively participates in the sacraments.