“Learning to see is a matter of learning how to look and of having the patience to look long enough to find what you are seeking” (Anodea Judith).
The sixth chakra, the third eye chakra, is located in the center of the forehead above the eyebrows. The orientation is self-reflection and the main function is seeing, intuiting, imagining, and accurate interpretation. In this chakra, we aim to break open our internal wisdom and see at a deeper, more perceptive level. We do this through our third eye center which is located between the eyes and is the organ for inner perception. “The third eye witnesses the internal screen where memory and fantasy, images and archetypes, intuition and imagination, intertwine on endless display. By watching the contents on this screen, we create meaning and bring it to consciousness. The purpose of the sixth chakra is to see the way… Opening the third eye allows us to see the big picture, transcend our egocentricity, and find the deeper meaning inherent in all things. As inner sight develops, illusions are shattered, dreams are integrated, clarity begins, and consciousness extends yet another step beyond what was available through the lower five chakras alone” (Anodea Judith).
As we make our way up from the root chakra and out the crown of the head, we are gaining insight and delving deeper into our internal reality. Our actions become not only significant and purposeful, but also thoughtful. This road to thoughtful action, is pattern recognition: when we learn to recognize a pattern and let it be our guide for responding and acting appropriately. “In the recognition of patterns, we find our way to insight. Insight is the ability to see within, the “aha” of recognizing a pattern, seeing where it relates to the larger picture, seeing what it means. It is within the self that the information from our experiences has been gathering and is stored in our memory. It is only by seeing within that we can cross-reference that information and recognize meaningful patterns” (Anodea Judith). We want to break free of the patterns that exhaust our well being and hone in on the ones that add meaning and depth to our lives. We can do this by also learning to recognize what our archetypal identity is.
We can find our archetypal identity by learning more about the archetypes and seeing what we identify most with. We want to make the archetype an ally instead of a dictator and ultimately give experience meaning beyond our immediate suffering (Judith). We can dive deeper into more thorough explanations of the archetypal identities at a later time and I also encourage you to do further reading and exploration into myths, symbolism, and dream exploration if you are interested in studying more.
Archetypal Identities of the Chakras
Chakra One: Earth Mother/ Provider
Chakra Two: Lover
Chakra Three: Hero
Chakra Four: Healer
Chakra Five: Artist
Chakra Six: Seer
Chakra Seven: Sage/Master
Another means of recognizing patterns in the sixth chakra is through intuition and clairvoyance or “clear seeing”. Intuition is needed to understand the true essence and mystery of things and clairvoyance is “a matter of learning to focus internal attention on something long enough to illuminate its patterns.” The element of the sixth chakra is light; in following our intuition and seeking clarity, we light the path for spiritual growth and inner wisdom.
lIllusion is the demon of this chakra, which makes sense since the the basic right is TO SEE. Illusion is a perpetual fixation on an inaccurate idea or image that runs the risk of turning into an obsession. We develop illusory ways of thinking (and displace our energy) when we subscribe to what we think something should be or make an assumption about a scenario we are uncertain of. This can quickly turn into an obsession when we invest too much time and become attached to the illusion. Since the sixth chakra also focuses on strengthening our inner perception, we can also fine tune our external perception as a means of further avoiding illusion. Does our coworker really dislike us (our illusion/misperception) or are they simply impersonal and possibly exceptionally shy? Even the way we perceive ourself can be a dangerous illusion/ misperception.
The sixth chakra is where we learn to interpret, perceive, see, understand, and recognize ourselves and the world around us both accurately and authentically. In committing to more meaningful levels of self-reflection, we can free ourself from the demon of illusion and learn to perceive patterns, follow our intuition, and see things as having a more sacred purpose. We ultimately discard distorted ways of thinking and start to command clarity and integrity in our lives. Interesting to note that the Sanskrit name for this chakra is ajna which means both to perceive and to command. How are you choosing to perceive reality? Are you commanding your reality or are you allowing for it to be distorted?
Some wonderful healing practices for this chakra are creative arts, visual stimulation, meditation, dreamwork, and hypnosis. After Chakra seven, this ends up being a perfect segway into our next meditation challenge which is Yantra meditation (creative visualization).
When the sixth chakra is balanced:
- we are intuitive and perceptive
- we have healthy imaginations
- we have strong memory and dream recall
- we are capable of symbolic thinking and visualizing
- we are insightful
- we have the ability to recognize patterns and what effect they have
- we do not subscribe to illusionary ways of thinking
- we have the ability to predict what direction life is taking us
When the sixth chakra is excessive:
- we subscribe to delusional thinking patterns
- we have difficulty concentrating and taking in factual information
- we have nightmares and reoccurring headaches
- we tend to live in a fantasy world
- we have farsighted visions and are blind to the realities of the present moment.
When the sixth chakra is deficient:
- we have poor memory and vision
- we aren’t able to see the future or imagine what it could be or what we would like it to be.
- we live in a state of denial and can’t see what is really going on
- we are monopolarized which means we believe there is only one right way of doing and thinking.
- we have difficulty recalling our dreams
- we show a lack of imagination