Awakening to Life It is clear that the entire subtle anatomy system, which includes the seven major chakras, is imply not visible to the naked eye. We do not see electricity or magnetism either, yet these powers are now accepted. Imagine, however, trying to persuade medieval man to believe in the technology of the future. In many respects we are like medieval man. We too are trapped in the mind-set of our time unless we make an extra effort to understand the constraints placed upon our thinking. Western thinking is only just emerging from the straightjacket of the scientific revolution. We have become over-dependent on scientific rationalism and we have been indoctrinated to fear the irrational and the unproven. We have divided science from religion and spirit from matter. We are newly sensing the profound strength of a holistic framework which reunites all that we have fragmented through our divisive analysis of the world. Eastern philosophy has never suffered from the mixed blessing of the scientific hand. Accordingly Eastern traditions have retained an unbroken metaphysical understanding. Both Hinduism and Buddhism have preserved esoteric teachings which incorporate a working knowledge of the chakras. In the West, such knowledge has emerged sporadically through specialized esoteric currents such as alchemy, Kabbala and Theosophy; the West has failed to secure its esoteric heritage and now comes anew to old and universal teaching. The many world religions often appear, and indeed are, contradictory and exclusive. However, we need to remember that every religion offers both an exoteric and an esoteric. The exoteric face offers dogma and creed. It preserves and indeed upholds the outer form of religious practice. The esoteric face offers spiritual experience. Whereas the exoteric teachings are often divisive, the esoteric teachings are remarkably universal. As we approach the chakras through the ease of contemporary communication, we should not forget that this teaching derives from the esoteric tradition which is universal. The teaching that we now approach derives from the shared experiences of the awakened throughout the traditions of the world. We should follow in their footsteps with both humility and respect. We need to understand that what we contemplate as we review the chakra blueprint is nothing less than the unfoldment of our total being, spiritual awakening. This book is no more than a beginning, yet it may point out the goal. Undertaking the tasks and responsibilities intrinsic to this personal pattern is in truth a lifetime's work. This work may be seriously undertaken under the aegis of several systems, each with its own terminology, techniques and teachers. We may profitably examine the advice presented by the Tibetan through Alice Bailey. I longed to attain the condition of consciousness, said to be the ultimate goal of Yoga, which carries the embodied spirit to regions of unspeakable glory and bliss. -Gopi Krishna