Book II

Emptiness to Form, Soul Loss


Designed by Hiranya


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SpiritSong Publisher

© Barbara Stone, 1997

"What I most want is to spring out of this personality, then to sit apart from that leaping. I've lived too long where I can be reached."

-- Rumi

In the usual Yogic tradition, you are requested to take full responsibility for your life. That means the recognition that whatever may emerge from working with these lessons is part of your life and, therefore, is your responsibility. We all receive the lessons we need from one source or another, and our only choice is whether we attend to them or not. So, if you find yourself with this guidebook in hand with the intention to make your way through it, it is because you are meant to do this kind of self-investigation.

This material is not intended to be, nor to take the place of, psychotherapy. It is designed to assist psychologically healthy adults to more fully understand themselves and their spiritual journeys. These guidebooks do not diagnose or treat psychological disorders. If you are engaged in psychotherapy already and have doubts about whether you should work with them, please consult your psychologist and follow his or her advice.

If you are not willing to take complete responsibility in these contexts, please do not use the guidebook. Book II

The author, Hiranya Barbara Stone, EdD, is a transpersonal psychologist with specialized training in Yoga psychology and Buddhism. She taught developmental, educational and social psychology at Drew University for 18 years and is presently a mentor for the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Hiranya has had training and experience in human relations development and group dynamics at the National Training Labs Institute, and in the development of high trust community with the late Jack Gibb. She spent a year at The Naropa Institute, a Buddhist graduate school, teaching and studying in their Contemplative Psychotherapy program. Hiranya is a Yoga teacher certified by Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Bay, B.C. to teach Jnana, Kundalini, Hatha, Bhakti, Karma and Japa Yogas. She is the founder and director of House of Spirit Yoga and Retreat Center in Cedaredge, CO.

Emptiness to Form, Soul Loss


This second book of the series Return to Spirit has to do primarily with the mental faculty of imagination which is responsible for our ability to create mental images. This could be called form-making because it essentially makes something out of nothing. In terms of our personality growth and development, this chakra explains how we suffer soul loss due to our social conditioning during the preschool stage of development. Since the emergence of imagination also occurs during the same period of development, we will look to see if the two things are related.

As before, we will use the symbols of this chakra as a guide to other aspects of spiritual development that are facilitated in this context including feminine sexuality. This guidebook will give you an opportunity to examine the years of your life between two and five or six, a time when your parents or other caregivers were shaping your image of yourself and your self-esteem. This is the time during which the false self comes into being, and the whole Self is fragmented and rejected. You will be able to review your early life and try to reframe it in the light of your more mature, adult understanding.


  1. Experience the receptivity of an open mind.
  2. Discover how the breath links mind and body.
  3. Discover how the self-conscious mind develops.
  4. Recognize the role of speech in spiritual development.
  5. See the relationship between imagination and form-making.
  6. Develop discriminatory abilities.
  7. Examine female sexuality and maternity and their roles in creation and creativity.
  8. Learn how personality and ego development and identification construct the false self.
  9. Examine social conditioning and evaluate what to retain.
  10. Harmonize and balance personality.
  11. Explore the relationship between healing and wholeness.
  12. Begin to recover the authentic Self and recognize own basic goodness.
  13. Begin to refine the senses to higher levels of receptivity.
  14. Think about trust and surrender.
  15. Review ideas for developing a support system.


The following list of books is arranged by Unit, and is cumulative (book is listed only in the first unit in which you will use it) so you can see which ones to secure first. You may want to leaf through the exercises or outline if you are in doubt about how much each book will be used. If you prefer not to buy all of them, it is fine to borrow them through library loan at your local library. However, if you do this, be sure to give the librarian some lead time to find and get them there. Most libraries will let you have a book from interlibrary loan for a month. Several of these books were used in the first guidebook, so you may already have them.

Note that a name and/or date in parentheses in the text, e.g., (Whitmore, 1996), means that there is a complete reference to the source in the References section at the end of the unit or guidebook.

The Noetic Sciences Review which is used frequently in this book may be found in a library or online. If you do not have any luck locally, their address is: Institute of Noetic Sciences, 475 Gate Five Road, Suite 300, Sausalito, CA 94965, Phone: 415-331-5650, Fax: 415-331-5673. You can order single copies of the Review or join the organization and receive all of them free. The Institute of Noetic Sciences is a non-profit organization that extends scientific research into the areas of consciousness and mind, and has local groups that meet all over the country. Their work is fascinating.

Unit II. Receptivity

Anderson, Sherry R. & Hopkins, Patricia. The feminine face of God: The unfolding of the sacred in women. NY: Bantam, 1991.

Kazantzakis, Nikos. The last temptation of Christ. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1960.

________ OM Tara tape. Spokane, WA: Timeless Books, P. O. Box 3543. Email:

Unit III. Breathing into Life and Soul

Easwaran, Eknath (Tr.). The Upanishads. Petaluma, CA: Nilgiri Press, 1987.

Phillips, Rick. Emergence of the Divine child: Healing the Emotional Body. Santa Fe, NM: Bear, 1990.

Unit IV. Development of the Self-conscious Mind

Johnson, Robert. Inner work: Using dreams and active imagination for personal growth. San Francisco: Harper, 1986.

Pearce, Joseph C. The magical child. New York: Bantam, 1989.

Rama, Swami, Ballentine, R. & Ajaya, Swami. Yoga and psychotherapy: The evolution of consciousness. Honesdale, PA: Himalayan International Institute, 1981.

Unit VI. Imagination

Dossey, Larry. Recovering the soul: A scientific and spiritual search. New York: Bantam, 1989.

Johari, Harish. Chakras: Energy centers of transformation. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 1987.

Kornfield, Jack. A path with heart: A guide through the perils and promises of spiritual life. New York: Bantam, 1993.

Rinpoche, Sogyal. The Tibetan book of living and dying. San Francisco: Harper, 1992.

Woodman, Marion. The owl was a baker's daughter: Obesity, anorexia nervosa, and the repressed feminine. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1980.

Unit VII. Feminine Sexuality

Woodman, Marion. Addiction to perfection: The still unravished bride. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1982.1

Unit VIII. Identification and Soul Loss

Bercholz, Samuel (Ed.). The spiritual teaching of Ramana Maharshi. Boulder: Shambhala, 1972.

Bradshaw, John. Bradshaw on: The family: A revolutionary way of self-discovery. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, 1988.

Miller, Alice. For your own good: Hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence. New York: The Noonday Press, 1994.

Unit IX. Soul Retrieval, Healing and Wholeness

Dossey, Larry. Recovering the soul: A scientific and spiritual search. New York: Bantam, 1989.

Iyer, Raghavan (Ed.). The Gospel according to Thomas: with complementary texts. New York: Concord Grove Press, 1987. (This may be out of print, but the "Gospel of Thomas" may also be found in Robinson, James M. The Nag Hammadi library in English. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1977, pp. 117-130.)

Judy, Dwight. Healing the male soul: Christianity and the mythic journey. New York: Crossroads, 1992 (or Woodman for feminine viewpoint).

Whitfield, Charles L. Healing the child within: Discovery and recovery for adult children of dysfunctional families. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, 1989.

Woodman, Marion. The pregnant virgin: A process of psychological transformation. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1985 (or Judy for male viewpoint).

Recommended Supplementary Texts

______ Dark night of the soul by Saint John of the Cross. Garden City, NY: Image Books, 1959. (or any publication of this text as this one is out of print. There is one in print by Manly Hall.

Bartholomew. Journeys with a brother: Japan to India. Taos, NM: High Mesa Press, 1995. (If not available in your bookstore, write to The High Mesa Foundation, P.O. Box 2267, Taos, NM 87571 to order a copy)

Bugental, James. The search for authenticity: An existential-analytic approach to psychotherapy. New York, Irvington, 1989.

Campbell, Joseph. The hero with a thousand faces. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series XVII, 1973.Peers, E. Allison (Tr. & Ed.).

Gendlin, Eugene R. Focusing. New York: Bantam, 1988.

Ingerman, Sandra. Soul retrieval: Mending the fragmented self. San Francisco: Harper, 1991.

Matt, Daniel C. The essential Kabbalah: The heart of Jewish mysticism. San Francisco: Harper, 1995.

Schaef, Anne W. Co-dependence: Misunderstood-mistreated. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986.

Units                                            Exercises

Unit I. Second Chakra Themes 
A.  Form-making
B.  Soul Loss
C.  Interactions
D.  Second Chakra Themes

Unit II.  Receptivity (Crescent moon)           The Last Temptation of Christ

A.  Openmindedness & willingness to change
B.  Purification and self-examination
C.  Trust in the Divine One                     God as parent, paper

D.  Divination, Astrology, Projective           Projective techniques
       techniques, Finding the Way
E   Meditation, Stepping through the crack      Meditation, A Path with Heart, Pt.I
F.  Teachableness and humility.
G.  Goddess as model, Tara
H.  The deep feminine                           The Feminine Face of God, paper;
Unit III.  Breathing into Life and Soul (etheric body)

A.  Body-mind linkage
B.  Pranamayakosa, The astral body  
C.  Auras                                       The astral body, Emergence of the
                                                   Divine Child
, chs. 3-5, analyze
                                                   karmic themes, paper

D.  Pranayama                                   Pranayama, Prashna Upanishad    

E.  Cellular consciousness
F.  Soul, spirit and essence                    Centering prayer

G.  The Subtle body
H.  The Higher Self                             Taittiriya Upanishad  

I.  The Kabbalah                                Sephiroth diagram

Unit IV.  Development of the Self-conscious Mind

A.  The unconscious Ground                      Inner Work, Pt. I, Yoga & Psycho-
, pp. 127-30

B.  The Self-conscious mind, intellect          Shankara's Crest Jewel of Discri-
, Tracking memory,
                                                   Mind-watching, Yoga & 
, ch3 to p. 84

C.  Preoperational development                  Magical Child, chs 11-15, Concept
                                                   Task, Magical Child, Chs. 13-14
D.  Early learning
E.  The Buddhist skandhas                       Meditation

F.  The Void is awake                           Amritabindu Upanishad, Shvetash-
                                                   vatara Upanishad
, Extending the 
                                                   Model (holographic model)
Unit V.  Speech as Hyperlink

A.  Bridges to yesterday                        Self-valuing, paper & process

B.  Mental chatter                              Write out one of your monologues

C.  Listening and hearing                       Active listening exercise

D.  Silence                                     Go on silence three days-week

E.  Mantra                                      Chant mantra for month, 1 hr/day

Unit VI.  Imagination - The Great Form-Maker (water, makara)

A.  Image formation
B.  Form-making                                 Recovering the Soul, ch 8

C.  Symbolism                                   Yantra, Archetypes, Inner Work,
                                                   27-35, Soul collage, Religious
                                                   Symbol, Inner Work, Pt. III,
                                                   Active imagination/visualization

D.  The astral realm                            Tibetan Book of Living & Dying,
                                                   Ch. 7, pp. 214-222, Ch. 14

E.  Dreams                                      Inner Work, Pt. II, Dream analysis,
                                                   Yoga & Psychotherapy, pp 134-5, 
                                                   161-171, Mandukya Upanishad
F.  Artistic creativity
G.  Imagination and desire (makara)             Self-gratification, Path w Heart, ch                       
                                                   7, pp 83-88, Yoga & Psycho-                     
pp 232-8, Meditation on
                                                   Impulses in A Path with Heart,
                                                   Pp.100-101, Likes & dislikes,
                                                   Food preferences, Owl was a 
                                                   Baker's Daughter

H.  Discrimination (Taste)                     Clarity

Unit VII.  Female Sexuality

A.  Biological Cycles                          Chart cycles

B.  Maternity                                  Mothering, paper on mothering

C.  Sexual intercourse
D.  Abortion                                   Abortion mourning ritual

E.  The Pro-choice debate
F.  Sexual abuse and rape                      Self-protection

G.  Giving birth
H.  Creativity and sexuality                   Goddess meditation

I.  Feminine individuation                     Individuation, Addiction to                        
Unit VIII.  Identification and Soul Loss        
A.  Separation and the false self,             Chakras: Energy Centers of Trans-
duality                                    Formation, pp. 55-58, second 
                                                  Chakra drawing, Separation, 
                                                  Brihadaranyaka, Aitareya & 
                                                  Tejabindu Upanishads
, Twilight
B.  Identification and Soul Loss

    1.  Parental and familial contri-          Family dinner table, Bradshaw on
           butions                                the Family; Emergence Divine                            
ch 8-9; A Path with Heart,                       
                                                  ch. 19; paper on discipline;                    
                                                  Forgiveness meditation

    2.  Alienation from the Higher Self        "Song of the Pearl" in The Gospel                          
                                                  According to Thomas
, haiku
    3.  Ratna realm
    4.  Restlessness and confusion             Yoga & Psychotherapy, pp 152-7;
                                                  Path w Heart, ch 7, pp 88-101 & 
                                                  Meditations; Emergence Divine  
, ch 7

    5.  Victimization                          For Your Own Good, paper on
                                                  child abuse
    6.  Personality aspects
    7.  Individuation                          "Biology Revisioned," collage of
                                                  interior family

    8.  Roles                                  Fairy tales, Role-models

    9.  Who are you?                           "Who am I?" exercise; Path w                       
, ch 11; Spiritual Teachings                       
                                                  of Ramana Maharshi; Katha                       
; Exercise w other or                          
                                                  mirror; Journeys w Brother, ch 20

C.  Mindfulness training                       Spiritual practice - tuning in
Unit IX.  Soul Retrieval, Healing and          Either The Pregnant Virgin or
             Wholeness                            Healing the Male Soul                        

A.  Circle as wholeness and Self.              Healing the Child Within,                          
                                                  Emergence of the Divine Child,                          
                                                  Chs. 11-12 and exercises in                     
                                                  Appendix; Gospel of Thomas
                                                  Meditate for soul symbol

B.  Healing Principles                         Play and crafts; Dialogue with the
                                                  critic; Cleansing; Purification &
                                                  communion ritual; Renunciation
                                                  of control; Saying "No;" Release
C.  Trust the Flow of Life (water)
D.  Discrimination (taste)
E.  Spiritual practices                        Spiritual practice commitment

Unit X.  Spiritual Support

A.  Psychotherapy as a beginning
B.  Spiritual emergency
C.  Finding a teacher                          Paper on teacher, plan to find one

D.  Finding a support group                    Spiritual community, Universal
                                                  Dances of Peace

E.  Spiritual Practice                         Select a practice for the next three                       
                                                  months to do daily

F.  Closure                                    Write a paper outlining what you                           
                                                  have learned in this guidebook












Appendix A













  1. Form-making
  2. Soul Loss
  3. Interactions
  4. Second Chakra Theme
Materials Needed: Journal (probably looseleaf)


Take a minute and imagine that you are in bed just getting ready to drop off for the night. As you begin to relax, a sort of global feeling begins to arise from deep within your chest. There's a sadness around it, and it starts to mature into a deep-seated sense of loss and bereavement. A halo of grief surrounds it, and you feel a little bit like crying. But you haven't lost anyone. All is well in your world, at least superficially. Still, it's there. You'd like to be held - by someone who loves you - and comforted for that which is not there and yet pursues you, clamoring for recognition. Where is that One who loves you? Why do you feel so alone? So betrayed? So lost and unloved? It feels like part of you is missing. But that's just imagination. Isn't it? Just part of the dream you're getting ready to slip into. No, that isn't it. You're not asleep, yet. And you don't want to go to sleep if that is going to be the dream. Maybe you sit up and look around. All is as it should be - except for this uneasiness, this loss. Where are those parts of me that are missing?

This is the experience of soul loss, and also the experience of imagination, in the visualization you were just asked to do. It is usually not until we get quiet and our defenses are being lowered that we have these experiences of loss. But the secret knowledge of our missing parts waits always in the wings for an opportunity to make itself known. And it comes accompanied by grief and perhaps a sense of dread. All is not as it should be, and something in us knows that.

Every spiritual tradition has at least one myth about how the world came to be. We have the Genesis story in Judaism and Christianity along with the Garden of Eden. In Hinduism, it is Vishnu who breathes in and out, and who creates the world on the outbreath, drawing it back in on the inhalation. The universe is Vishnu's dream. And so it goes.

In each and every case, the myth attempts to explain how something came out of nothing. Often sexual analogies are used such as a marriage between a god and goddess with the universe or world as their offspring. These analogies communicate important information about creation to people. Since nearly everyone has sexual experience and many adults have given birth to offspring, the analogy makes sense to the human mind as a prototype of (pro)creation. "As above, so below" the old saying goes. The basic problem that needs to be explained is how something came into form where nothing existed beforehand. The assumption is made that, at one time, there was nothing. A second important assumption, is that there is an intelligent creator who existed prior to the emergence of the universe and all its accoutrements. Even Buddhism, which denies a godhead, tries to deal with the emergence of form from emptiness and must postulate an a priori awareness or consciousness that instigated the action of creation.


Form-making comes up as an issue in the second chakra because the manifestation of mind that comes to the fore in this chakra is imagination. Imagination means image-making, or putting something into form. If the psychologists who have studied imagery and imaginal coding are correct, imagination emerges in the years between two and five in most of us which matches the preschool period of development. Image-formation is a skill that develops some time between the initial emergence of perception and the subsequent mastery of concept formation at around age five to seven. It is basically the ability to create and visualize or hold on to images in one's mind; or, alternatively, to maintain sound patterns in the mind. It is important for mental development because it enables a person to represent something to him/herself and thus hold on to it for a while after the thing or sound has disappeared from immediate sensation and perception. Image-formation is critical to memory and information processing, to say nothing of the arts and musical fields of endeavor. How imagination develops is one of the themes in this guidebook which will be explained in detail in Units IV and VI.

Soul Loss

This is the second stage of separation as was described in the introduction to this series of guidebooks. It parallels the preschool stage of development. Soul loss is one of the outcomes of the social training of children that is conducted, usually, by parents or other caretakers of the young child. This training is often associated with more or less harsh discipline, which can take the form of physical punishment or psychological distancing or rejection, that is employed to insure that the child conforms to the social norms of his/her parent's social group. There is no question that everyone has to learn how to give up having their own way all the time in order to live amicably with others. So social learning involves mastery of such things as manners, self-regulation, toilet training, cooperation and sharing, etc. Socialization is often complicated by the presence of siblings and other family members who also want to have their own way. This may lead to sibling rivalry, jealousy, envy, hatred and other negative emotions as well as the potential and wished-for cooperation and altruism.

This is the period during which a child develops a self-image or self-concept which is tied firmly to self-esteem or lack of it depending upon how the training was handled by the parents. If the discipline was loving and gentle and the child was permitted to explore and develop a sense of autonomy and confidence, s/he will grow up to be a loving, compassionate adult. However, if the discipline was harsh or abusive, or if the parents withdrew their love as a form of punishment, the child will mature with the certain knowledge that love is conditional upon his/her performance and adherence to social norms as represented by the parents. This is the period of development when a child is most likely to be abused, both physically and sexually because s/he hasn't the power to resist.

Just because of the child's fragility and lack of defenses, this is a time of great soul loss. This means that parts of the Self are split off from awareness and actualization because they are not acceptable or are punished; and, consequently, a false self comes into being which complies with the social models of correct behavior. As the ego matures, the "unacceptable" parts of oneself are gradually repressed and lost to awareness. This is called soul loss, and it is experienced as a deep sense of loss, grief, abandonment and alienation which has no apparent source. Therefore, it is not generally amenable to recovery except through psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, shamanic or spiritual practices. In this way, the wholeness of Self is sacrificed for the sake of survival.

The term "soul" is being used in this guidebook to refer to that aspect of oneself that is engaged in spiritual development. It is the feeling agent (as opposed to the ego as the generator of emotions). You can experience the difference in your body. Feelings resonate in the heart center or fourth chakra, emotions in the solar plexus or third chakra. If the phrase, "no one wants or wanted my gifts" nudges something in you, that is your soul. The "gifts" are those precious parts of yourself that you brought into embodied life with you and, subsequently, discovered were not welcome in the home in which you found yourself. It is the soul that longs to go Home. It is the soul that feels disconnected from the Source, that yearns for the Divine One. It is the spiritual child, the Divine Child, whose awareness will gradually grow into enlightenment or liberation from the darkness of misguided identification, illusion and loneliness.

Your spirit, on the other hand, is the divine spark of life and intelligent awareness in you, a direct connection with the Source of all existence. You might want to think of spirit as the guide for the journey Home. The image I have of spirit is as shards of brilliant, white light that were scattered throughout the universe at creation time and that come into physical bodies at the time of birth. I associate spirit with truth and light and conscious awareness. It supports and informs the soul on its journey.


These two processes go together because the basic paradigm for soul loss is the splitting or separation of parts of oneself, the shattering of wholeness. That is precisely what form-making does. It separates something from its original matrix, the whole Self. What we are talking about here is duality. . . twoness as opposed to a single whole. In duality, there is a subject who perceives and an object that is perceived. And there is also the process of perceiving. In form-making, as we saw above, the action of creating an image and holding on to it keeps it apart from the empty void from which it came. It is separated out from its background or context, and it is then observed by the agent that did the separating. Duality. Subject and object.

Images aren't the first objects, family members are plus things and objects in the environment. But the child takes nearly two years to develop the ability to hold an image steady in the mind. And that includes an image of the mother when she is not present. So the ability to create duality does not mature until around age two or so. This process will be discussed later also.

Soul loss is simply a more sophisticated form of the dualistic process in which many parts are identified, evaluated and discarded; thrown away, so to speak, because they were felt to be valueless or because they were associated with pain and betrayal.

This guidebook will take you through the processes of form-making and soul loss to create an understanding that, hopefully, will facilitate the soul retrieval in which you might like to engage.

Second Chakra Themes

The main themes for this guidebook are based on the symbolism of the Svadhisthana (second) Chakra. In ancient times, the sages and teachers used symbols instead of words to explain their lessons, primarily because the written word was not yet developed, or was not available to them. It so happens that symbols are the forms that convey meaning in the intuitive mental system as compared to words being the forms that are used in the intellectual system. In your book, Chakras: Energy Centers of Transformation, Johari (1987) presents a description of the second chakra and color plates of the chakra symbols. This, taken with what you have learned from Book I, should give you a Yogic context.

The Yogic Second Chakra

Chakra II In the second chakra, we will be concerned with the symbolism of water, taste, the makara, circles, crescent moon, six petals of the lotus, a two-headed goddess named Rakini, the god Vishnu and Bhuvah Loka which is the astral plane of existence.

In terms of the Yogic model of the human being, this chakra deals with developmental issues associated with the etheric or energy body. This body, you may recall, pervades and is slightly larger than the physical body. The chakras are in this system as well as the nadiis or channels that conduct the energy flows. The main form of energy here is prana which is another name for the life force. It is associated with oxygen but is not synonymous with it. Prana may be drawn in through the chakras as well as through breathing. In fact, because breath is so important to the intake of prana, there is a whole unit on it in this book.

The level of existence associated with the second chakra is called the astral plane or the Bhuvah Loka. (Review Chapter 4 in Johari). A Loka is a kind of world, but not a world in the sense of an earthly planet. It is a level of form or existence that becomes increasingly less materialistic and more refined as one advances spiritually. All of the levels exist simultaneously both in individuals and in the larger reality, of course; but, since we are using the chakra system in a linear manner to guide our self-investigation, we will be thinking of them as separate levels for the time being. The Bhu Loka is the physical plane, not the earth itself, but the earth element. It represents the densest form of existence. The body and material things that are apprehended by the senses are part of the Bhu Loka. We dealt with that in Book I. The Bhuvah Loka that is associated with the second chakra is the next less dense plane which is why it is represented by the water element. The emotions, passions, and vitalistic existence are what are referred to at this level. They are characterized by a fluidity that is similar to water.

Themes in Book II

This guidebook takes each of the symbols in the chakra and interprets it according to the Yogic system of interpretation and also according to corresponding information about personality, ego and role development in young children between the ages of two and five years. The unit themes are as follows.

Receptivity. The crescent moon represents reflection and receptivity. So we will be looking at how to receive instruction both from human teachers and from divine guidance. Because the moon is often a symbol for the feminine due, no doubt, to association of monthly cycles with the moon, we will also look at the goddess as deity and as model.

Breath. The second chakra has to do with the etheric body and the astral plane (Bhuvar Loka). This is often associated with emotional lability. The breath is important because it links the body and mind. It brings in prana, or the life energy, which is mediated by the chakras. In fact, all of the chakras are part of the etheric, or energy body.

Development of the Self-conscious Mind. The self-conscious mind arises out of the unconscious ground of all Being. It is the result of psychological development and social conditioning. In fact, it is often called the conditioned mind. We think of it as intellect. It is believed to be one of the major obstacles to enlightenment, so it is important to try to understand what this mind is and how to control and to relate to it. Intellectual development begins in the preschool period after the senses and perception are in good working order. In fact, Yogis call this mind the sixth sense because of its ability to take in and process information.

Speech and Language Development. Language is a primary tool of the intellect as well as a necessity for social interactions. It is also used as a defense mechanism against the knowledge of who we really are. Mental chatter, the internal monologue that goes on continually, gets in the way of higher levels of communication with the Divine One and our inner guidance, so it is important to understand its origins and mechanisms. Silence is also important especially in meditation and contemplation. The six petals of this chakra indicate more facility in speech than the four of the first chakra.

Imagination. This is represented by both water, the element of the second chakra, and the crocodile or makara, the animal in the chakra. Imagination flows like water. Think of your daydreams and fantasies. The makara is a symbol for greed and refers to the role of imagination in sensual gratification and imagery. We will see how the imagination gives form to all sorts of flowing aspects of our mental life such as dreams, visualization, desires, and emotions. It shapes the basic life energy into all of its myriad forms.

Female Sexuality. This is represented by both the moon and water as the essence of life. Since child-bearing is primarily due to the efforts of the mother, it seems appropriate to deal with the feminine in this context. Male sexuality will be addressed in the third guidebook that is based on the third chakra. We will examine, not only maternity as creation, but also other aspects of female sexuality. We will meet the goddess again and conclude with a discussion of feminine spirituality and the influence of patriarchy on it.

Identification and Soul Loss. This is exempified by the two-headed goddess, Rakini, who is pictured in the chakra. And, in some images of the chakra, there is a double lotus flower called the kunda flower which represents duality. In this case the duality takes the form of a separation between the inner and external worlds, another case in point for soul loss. The second chakra is also known as the "dwelling place of the Self" (Johari, 1987, p. 55) which is that from which the soul is separated. Here, we will explore the psychological development of ego, personality and the social roles. We will look at the Buddhist realms and some of the Buddhist interpretations of personality and ego. There is an important distinction to be made between the normal functioning of ego and the employment of ego to block our spiritual perceptions. We will examine those in detail.

Soul Retrieval, Healing and Wholeness. The circle is an universal symbol for wholeness and there are three of them in this chakra as if to emphasize that point. Perhaps one is for Self and the other two are for the split soul. So we will look at some ways we can reverse the soul loss and social conditioning that is preventing us from valid Self-identification and Self-realization. The aspects of soul that are not available to us have not been destroyed, fortunately, but are only repressed. This means that they can be recovered and thus add new dimensions to our lives and spirituality.

Spiritual Support. Support is essential for the spiritual journey. There are points at which one needs a teacher because the ego is such a subtle opponent and defender of the dual status quo. A teacher helps us sort out and circumnavigate ego's manipulations. As well, a teacher helps us learn how to control our own minds and to put both ego and mind into the service of our Higher Self. A true teacher eventually will put you in touch with your own inner guidance which can then take over for you. A support group is invaluable, but difficult to find. We'll talk about formal and informal groups and how to distinguish valid ones from cults. Spiritual practices are offered then to assist in your holy work.

You are now ready for Unit 2. Receptivity. To learn, we must be receptive, open-minded and ready to learn. To tune in to the Higher Powers, the rational mind must yield to the intuitive process. Unit 2 deals with how to receive spiritual teachings.

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