01 November 2005

Enter the Chakra

The East, land of mysticism, oriental land of subtlety and enigma. Yogic mind and body control, buddhist meditation, acupuncture, subtle body energies and chakras. Exquisite control of motion in the tea ceremony, or the aikido throw. Mastery of the self.

Westerners scoff at anything that cannot be seen, measured, and visibly manipulated. That attitude has served the west in its dominance of the planet. Yet westerners are running headlong into the fractal nature of reality. Getting from here to there is no longer accomplished by traveling a straight line. Brute force cannot accomplish many of the necessary intermediate and long term goals. More subtle means of sensing the flow of knowledge may be necessary.

Information science and other problem solving disciplines utilise indirection and lateral thinking in solving complex logic problems. Such methods begin to stray from the stereotypical western "straight-on" approach. Chronic pain has so burdened employees of western enterprises, that western physicians finally accepted acupuncture as a valid discipline. Acupuncture lacks the dependency problems that often come from the pharmaceutical treatment of chronic pain.

Western music has often been a path to the mystical, from medieval monastic chants, to modern new age and trance music. Manfred Clyne, a neuroscientist and musician, discovered a path to spiritual regeneration when researching emotions and their connection to music. For westerners, Clyne's method of exercising and purging the emotions would be an extremely useful practise.

The eastern concept of chakra is another portal through which westerners might possibly step into fractal reality. The act of visualising various energy centers within one's body could conceivably tap into the body's proven [PDF]neuroendocrine axis. Since white blood cells carry neurotransmitter and hormone receptor proteins, the immune system is part of the same axis. Norman Cousins explored the territory in his own battles with serious disease.

Western civilisation has developed amazing tools for analysis and exploration. The overwhelming dominance of the western world attests to this. Even China, center of the eastern world, has only been able to shake itself partially out of its age-old slumber through adopting many western methods in finance, engineering, and science. It is past time to admit that the western world is capable of learning from other civilisations. Matter without energy is inert. Energy without mind is blind. Mind without spirit is futile. Spirit without freedom is despair. Update: Aristides
demonstrates that freedom without spirit is also despair. Many thanks.

Reality is fractal. To understand and deal with reality, the west needs the east. The straight on, brute force approach must be supplemented with indirection and subtlety. The mind must make peace with the body, and emotions, each working with the others. Together they must reach out to something higher: a possibility, a dream.

By embracing a larger complexity of life and possibilities, humans can incorporate a larger portion of enchantment into their realities.

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