Vishuddha Chakra : Communication Centre
An emotional place :
To go to when explaining or expressing (ideas, feeling, reactions etc) and for exploring and finding things out.
Primarily concerned with:
- Information, communication, testing and trying things out.
- Regulation and purification of the flow and rhythm of things (e.g. fluids, information, energy).
Connects to :
- The world / space around and within.
- Interfaces, boundaries and connections (e.g. between :- “me” and “not me”, personal and universal, thought and action, mind and heart , and internal and external ….).
Space / ether
- Strongly associated with throat, neck, voice, face, and hearing.
- Space and interfaces between different types of space and flows across the interfaces (e.g. “space” inside and outside body cells and the cell walls and the transfer of water and ions across the cell walls).
- Expressive, connected, attentive, inquisitive.
- Within and outside one’s own area. One may explore outside one’s own areas by extending one’s awareness (data gathering and use of instruments) out to outside one’s areas (while staying inside one’s own area) or by adventuring outside one’s own area (in person as it were).
- Finding things out and testing and checking (ideas, information, theories, objects). (Exercising discrimination and discernment).
- Creating organizational structures of information and thinking.
- Formulating distillations of information that sum up the essential aspects of original data. (E.g.. précis, mathematical formulas, syntheses of ideas into symbols …).
- Finding, creating and evolving different modes / means of connecting things including via communication.
- Creating patterns.
- To check validity, accuracy and reliability of information / things – often with meticulous care and attention to detail (cf. scientific experiments).
- Looking for the “ring of truth”.
- With different modes and means of connecting things including via communication and perhaps especially with language.
- Seeing and creating connections between bits and groups of information (which may appear to be quite disparate).
- Gathering information (from as wide a range of sources as possible) but with careful checking of veracity (truthfulness), accuracy and reliability of information.
- Storing, structuring and organizing information into a coherent (harmonious within itself) body of thought.
Activity / doing
- “Controlled”/ careful risk taking.
- With care and caution – conscious of the possibility of making mistakes and errors and so taking care to avoid them.
- Co-coordinating and organizing activity and action (cf. conductor of an orchestra) so that things happen in an appropriate sequence or synchronization.
- Control, regulation and filtering of communication / information both within oneself and between oneself and non-self.
- Connecting new information / understanding to what one already knows / understands.
- Aided by having or being offered/shown an organizational or theoretical structure into which to slot or attach new information / understanding.
- The attitude is one of doubt and caution – things might not be as they appear. And this doubt (at least to some degree) extends to all things
(all pervading) to include “the sacred” and orthodoxy. Richard Feynman’s discussion of doubt in “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.
The best short works of Richard P. Feynman” (Pub: Penguin) is very illustrative of this attitude.
When acting skillfully from this place:
- One’s actions and expressions are directed and relegated to be in harmony with both one’s aims and desires and the world around one.
- One is likely to be perceived to be : - articulate, discerning, tactful, courteous, alert, attentive, receptive, sensible, restrained, good listener, moderate, prudent, communicative, eloquent, meticulous …. And so on.
Issues that may occur when acting unskillfully from, or when stuck in this chakra or when it is too dominant :-
Distrust/ Skepticism / Lack of Trust / Doubt / Overly Cautious
Some degree of doubting and questioning of things and ideas protects one from trusting in things that turn out to be
untrustworthy. But in the end one needs to trust something at least to some degree, if only on a temporary basis – otherwise
one ends up paralyzed by fear and indecision.
Working with Muladhara (to develop a sense of things as reliable and stable) may be helpful.
Compulsive Disorders / Compulsive Behaviours
This can relate to the above – one feels a need to check and recheck or clean or re-clean because one does not trust the quality or purity of
something (usually something to do with oneself). Another form of compulsion can come from trying to satisfy something that cannot be
satisfied – trying to fill the space that cannot be filled. An obvious example of this is trying to fill the emptiness of the throat (or heart) with
food – satisfaction (fullness of throat or heart) never comes so one keeps on eating (compulsively). Either way, working with Swadhisthana
is likely to be helpful (in the former case, to develop an acceptance of things even when imperfect or impure and,
in the latter case, to become aware of one’s real “hungers” and so more accurately satisfy them).
Rejecting / Dismissing / Un-receptive / Unadventurous
This is where the gate-keeper (as opposed to the gateway) side of Vishuddha is so dominant that too much is rejected as inappropriate,
accurate, unreliable or “impure” (etc). In terms of food, it would mean there was only a limited range of food one is prepared to eat. In
terms of ideas, it would mean only those views that are obviously close to one’s current thinking / understanding get considered as possibly
having any validity. This obviously limits ability to absorb new ideas or having paradigm shifts in perception.
Working with Swadhisthana (to develop a more accepting attitude) is likely to be helpful.
Restrained / Inhibited / Reserved
This is again where the gate-keeper side of Vishuddha dominates – acting to keep inside those thoughts, feelings, actions and expressions
that might be harmful or have harmful consequences. Obviously, it is useful and helpful to filter and edit to some degree one’s impulses to
act or express oneself – but, if taken too far, one risks finding oneself inhibited or disinclined to act or express just in case one might do harm.
Particularly with regard to feelings and thoughts, one becomes unexpressive both to oneself (internally) and to others – one can
become literally or figuratively voiceless. To others this may well seem (incorrectly) as if one is cold, unfeeling, uncaring and so on. Working with
Anahata (to develop a greater impulse or motivation to act or express) is likely to be helpful.
Self divided / Restricted connections
The connections or channels between different aspects of oneself can be strong and unblocked but also closed or highly constricted.
Usually this happens for a reason as a protective mechanism, but when this sort of state persists it can of itself be highly damaging –
both to the connections and the parts / aspects of oneself that have become in effect disconnected. This is to some degree a very
common issue for the connections and communications between Ajna and Anahata – very often because the perceptiveness of Ajna
is in someway painful or discomforting to Anahata. Another thing that can happen is for Ajna itself to become divided because what
one perceives is in some sense too unacceptable to even be thought let alone voiced or given expression. Working with Muladhara
(to develop a sense of safety) and Swadhisthana (to develop ability to allow) is likely to be helpful.
Refined / Rarified / Correctness / Precision
Meticulous attention to detail, careful attention to accuracy and courteous politeness are all useful and in some situations essential. But,
taken too far, this can distill out of oneself and one’s life a sense of playfulness and joyfulness and eliminate the possibility of spontaneity
and serendipity. Where this is an issue, working with Swadhisthana (to develop in relaxed spontaneity
and playfulness) and Manipura (to bring a sense of warm expansiveness) is likely to be helpful.
Issues that may occur when one inadequately accesses this chakra or when it is weak :-
Excessiveness / Immoderation / Lack of Restraint
When the gate-keeper (as opposed to the gateway) aspect of Vishuddha is weak or ineffective then impulses to act or express are
allowed to turn into action or expression without checking the sense or appropriateness of the impulse. For example, one might eat
just because the thought of cake seems nice rather than because one feels hungry – which of course, if repeated regularly, is
likely to lead to weight problems. This sort of weakness can make one vulnerable to addictive behaviour (e.g. drugs, alcohol,
cigarettes etc.). It can also give one social problems if one’s impulses happen to lead to actions or expressions (e.g. tactlessness,
rudeness, bombastic or aggressive behaviour) that others dislike or find uncomfortable. Working with Vishuddha (to develop greater
self-regulation) is likely to be
very helpful. Working with Muladhara (to develop in self-discipline) is also likely to be helpful.
Erratic / Temperamental / Unreliable
This is similar to the above but relates to the regulation of activity (and expression) rather than checking that the activity is desirable.
This is likely to relate particularly to regulation of activity or stimulation of Manipura chakra – so that one alternates between being highly
active and exuberant and exhaustion and despondency. Erratic or inexplicable moods swings or fluctuations in energy levels are suggestive
of this sort of issue. Working with Vishuddha (especially with regard to control and regulation) is likely to help but this may be difficult.
Working with Muladhara (to develop in self discipline) and
Swadhisthana (to develop greater smoothness in one’s emotions and moods) may also be helpful.
Disordered / Chaotic / Un-coordinated / Fragmented
Poor communication between different aspects of one’s being leads to them acting in conflicting directions – without harmony or
fruitful synchronization or sequencing. This tends to lead to a frustrating ineffectiveness of activity. In addition to working
with Vishuddha, working with Ajna (to plan and organize one’s activities) is likely to be helpful.
Inarticulate / Incoherent
One feels the impulse to express or communicate but has difficulty distilling and structuring what one desires to express sufficiently for
it to be understandable. One might say a lot but somehow not succeed in getting the key message across. Working with Ajna (for pre-planning
and pre-organizing one’s expressions) in addition to Vishuddha is likely to be helpful.
Verbosity / Pontification / Tactlessness / Inconsiderate
One has no difficulty with expressing oneself, perhaps very accurately, but fails to apply discrimination in one’s expressions or consider the
likely implications or effects of one’s expressions. This tends to cause social problems as one either is offensive or inappropriate or weird.
In addition to working with Vishuddha,
working with Anahata (to develop in feelings of caring about others) is likely to be helpful.
Naïve / Gullible / Overly Accepting
The gate-keeper side of Vishuddha is weak or ineffective with regard to what one lets into oneself. Basically, one lets any old rubbish into oneself
without any consideration to its potential usefulness or dangerousness. With regard to food this would be eating off food as readily as fresh
food (and so risking food poisoning). With regard to thoughts and ideas this would be believing (and trusting) whatever one hears or reads
without considering the reliability of the source or testing against the knowledge and understanding one already has.
In addition to working with Vishuddha, working with Anahata and Ajna may well be helpful.
Unobservant / Unaware / Ignorance
The information gathering and sorting side of Vishuddha is weak or under-developed. This may relate both to what is happening inside
oneself and what is happening outside oneself. There is a lack of transfer of information and a lack of relating information. In addition
to working with Vishuddha, working with Swadhisthana (to develop a greater awareness of one’s sensations and experiences), Anahata
(to develop a greater feel for the significance of things to
oneself and one’s concerns) and Ajna (to develop understanding of things within their own context).
Clumsy / Incautious / Prone to Accidents / Sloppy / Error Prone
This relates to not taking due care (as opposed to not caring). Sometime, perhaps most of the time, not taking a lot of care does not lead to
problems. But being unable to, or neglecting to be careful and attentive when one needs to be, can lead to a lot of difficulties – and there are
times / circumstances when it is actively dangerous. In addition to
working with Vishuddha, working with Anahata (to develop a caring attitude) is likely to be helpful.