On Really, Really Seeing
The sixth Chakra is located between the eyebrows, at the “third eye” location, and also includes the “zone” containing the ears, nose and the pineal and pituitary glands. This is such an interesting Chakra, and its “skill set” embodies what we attempt to teach and practice through our Open Palm Solutions. The Chakra embodies clear sightedness, insight and conscious non-attachment.
In becoming conscious one is able to detach from subjective perceptions and see the truth or symbolic meaning in a situation. Detachment does not mean ceasing to care. It means stilling one’s fear-driven voices. One who has attained an inner posture of detachment has a sense of self so complete that external influences have no authority within his or her consciousness.
As Mary J. Blige tells us:
Mary J. Blige
Ooh, It feels so good
When you let go of all the drama in your life
Now you’re free from all the pain
Free from all the games
Free from all the pain
Free from all the stress
To find your happiness
I don’t know
Only God knows where the story ends for me
But I know where the story begins
It’s up to us to choose
Whether we win or loose
And I choose to win
For many people, having drama in their lives is like having smack in your veins. It’s a rush, a vibe, an overwhelming feeling. Their reaction to life (to the drama they are creating) becomes the be-all and end-all of their existence. I suspect that this happens, much like with drugs, because people confuse agitation and stress with being alive.
I had a client who had been through a series of setbacks, both with a lover and at work (the “lover drama” led to her stressing out and having to take time off from work.)
One day, her first back to work, she came in for a session. I asked her about her work-day. She said that it had been OK. Then, she mentioned that her ex had called and that this had “ruined her whole day.”
Within a second, she’d sunk into the couch, put her head down, began to pout and to sigh and to refuse to make eye contact.
Then she said,
“My life has been a total disaster ever since I met that guy.”
I said, “Would you tell me again how your work-day was?”
“I told you, it was fine.”
“So, your life is a total disaster except for the 8 hours you just spent at work?”
Her head came up and she glared at me. Then her face relaxed into a smile. She said, “I really do have to get over myself. After he called I talked to two of my friends at work and told them what was going on, and they said, “Oh, poor you.” I really liked that. I need to stop trying to make people fell sorry for me, or I’m never going to get past this.”
It really did happen that fast.
Clear sightedness is all about inner awareness. It’s about looking inside and staying present with what I’m doing in there. I talk about all of this at length in my booklet, The Watcher.
I just sent an e‑mail with a couple of great one-liners to a friend (hey, David!) and I followed one with, “God, I’m cute.” He replied,
Well, here we go — may you never lose your self-delusion around your own cuteness.
To which I would reply, “Of course it’s about how I see myself. Otherwise, I’d have written, “Aren’t I cute?” I am simply acknowledging what I already know about myself, in my opinion.”
The detachment piece takes into consideration the perspectives of others (Jock and Ben call my writing “perspectivizing” — I love that.) What it doesn’t do is give undue value to the perspectives of others. Detachment is about letting go of the need to create drama in order to feel charge, and is about self-reflection with feedback, without adopting, holus bolus, the opinions and perspectives of others.
Most people fail at detachment because they want to be noticed (and approved of) and/or they want to be right. This posture might be called “out-sight” as opposed to insight. It is a characteristic of the second Chakra. In a sense, it’s seeing with the genitals. Fitting in, leading, being important, becomes the goal. Drama becomes the tool. And in the end, the only thing actually going on is what you think is going on.
In the lyrics, above, Blige talks about being free from the games, pain and stress. Not to put words into her mouth, but being free, to me, is not the same as no games, pain or stress. In other words, pain, games and stressors will always be a part of my human existence. The question is: what will I do with them? Will I dramatize them, or let them go? If I let them go, I am free from the need to define my life in terms of pain, stress or games.
Ram Dass once said, as a metaphor, that being human is like being required to have a red-hot rock placed in your hand. Your choices are two: grasp the rock tightly and burn the whole hand, or keep your hand open and only burn a small spot. The wise soul holds life loosely.
The sixth Chakra is about wisdom and insight. It is about letting go. It is about seeking after truth — your truth — relentlessly and with verve. As Myss puts it:
Consciousness it the ability to release the old and embrace the new with the awareness that all things end at the appropriate time and that all things begin at the appropriate time. This truth is difficult to learn to live with because human beings seek stability — the absence of change. Therefore becoming conscious means living fully in the present moment, knowing that no situation or person will be exactly the same tomorrow. Pg. 241
As an aside, one thing I’ve noticed about the sixth Chakra area is what people “do” with it. In our culture, there is a tendency to want to have answers, to figure things out, to “get the right answers.” (Hint: there are none.) Many people fear letting go, dropping the drama and finding a place of detached observation. You can tell when someone is “going there” — they get a crease between their eyebrows.
Think of it like this: the third eye is like a ‘sixth sense’ (funny how the numbers match up, eh?) locator. What’s “really” going on, what Myss calls the “symbolic meaning” of events, is determined with the mind, and in a sense, through the sixth Chakra.
Now, here’s the analogy. Think of the skin as like a window. If the skin is clear and smooth, you can see through it easily. If it’s wrinkled like crumpled cellophane, it’s harder to see through it, and the data is distorted. Many people don’t want full responsibility for their lives, so they need to distort data to match their pre-conceived notions. Think of the client mentioned above. As soon as she went to “my life sucks,” she wrinkled her brow. Hmm.
This week, think about how you choose to perceive your own reality. Are you a drama junkie? Are you unwilling to drop the drama and the charge, lest (you fear) you’ll feel nothing at all? What does detachment mean for you? What would it be like to live life without judging others — without trying to change others? What would it be like to “hold the red-hot rock lightly?