What is sight?

Which is the major chakra associated with sight? My gut instinct would be to pick the Ajna chakra (based on physical proximity) but this is a trick question. The chakra associated with sight is the Manipura chakra… Dammit. I knew my gut was right. Or wrong. Lol.

When we first talked about the chakras in class, I didn’t pay too much attention to the sense organs associated each of the first five chakras. It sort of made sense and I automatically filed it away as information to “know” rather than to “understand”. That was my mistake. Now that I am intrigued, as I am sure you are, I decided to dig a little deeper.

This description I found in “Your Body: Gateway to the Divine” by Josephine Chia really resonated with me:

“Very interestingly, the Manipura Chakra, rather than the chakra located near your physical eyes, is associated with the sense of sight. Sight is a very powerful sense which we use to act upon the desires of the lower two chakras. In fact sight often leads to desire being generated. […] On another level, sight is seen as insight, the ability to see beyond the ordinary. Although insight begins here and is rudimentary, it becomes far more developed in the 6th chakra or the Third Eye Chakra which is located between your two eyebrows, near your physical eyes. At the manipura level, insight as such is instinctive, a more animal level.”

There is nothing that illustrates the power of the instinctive mind quite like sight. A classic experiment in the physiology of vision has volunteers wear goggles that invert the field of vision (see https://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/nov/12/improbable-research-seeing-upside-down). Remarkably, it takes just days for one’s brain to adapt to the change and begin perceiving reality as if nothing has changed! More sinisterly, patients with visual field defects due to eye diseases (e.g. macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy) are often unaware of the problem until the damage is significant, due to the ability of the brain to compensate for the “gaps” in the images received from the retina. In a similar way, we may not be aware of the “gaps” in our non-physiological “sight” unless we purposefully venture beyond its confines.

The first and second chakras are concerned with basic needs (Muladhara) and the self (Swadhishthana), which are inward-facing. In contrast, the fourth and fifth chakras associated with compassion (Anahata) and communication (Vishudda) respectively are outward-facing. As befitting of its transformative fire element, the third Manipura chakra directs the lower inward-facing points, but also informs the higher outward-facing points. We can only develop true insight by responding to and sharing with others, and by having others respond to and share with ourselves. This then becomes the key that will open the sixth (Ajna) chakra of insight.

For example, a “rational” decision made by myself based on my perception of a problem may not seem as rational to another person with a different perspective. However, if I respond to the incongruence and explain why the decision was logical to me, and have the other explain why he/she thought otherwise, then the both of us will gain a more complete view of the problem. Now repeat this process with different people. Only by gathering all these different perspectives can we gain true insight into the problem at hand. Then, and only then can we say that we’ve reached the level of “sight” associated with our Third Eye. Just for that one problem.

All the best for the rest of life’s problems! ^^/

Namaste.

~ Allyson

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