MCTB The Energetic Models



In nearly the same vein as the Power Models are the Energetic Models. They tend to involve ideals that imply that enlightened beings will have all their energy channels clear, their chakras or energy centers all the right shape and color and all spinning in the correct direction, their aura large, regular, and some nice color such as white, gold or violet, and in general have perfected their energetic system, regardless of the particular energetic system model being used. The simple fact of multiple models and visions of what a perfected system should look like is already a red flag for anyone paying attention, as the various traditions can't even agree on how many chakras there are, much less the rest of the details. I have noticed that these things are very scriptable, meaning that one’s concepts of what is supposed to be happening can influence what one perceives in these areas. These models also leave much to be desired, and generally are referring to things that happen in the A&P and the fourth jhana, as are the powers models.

Kundalini phenomena, where all the energy (prana, lung or chi) blasts through the central channel (shushumna), are very common in the A&P Event. Some traditions associate this event with awakening, though I consider this erroneous and premature, though I can understand why these stages impress people so much. It is during the A&P that some practitioners with a bent or talent for doing so may perceive energy channels, sometimes in outrageous detail, and be able to see chakras and the like. However, anyone who can do this in a sustained fashion will note the following: that in the Dark Night the channels are a mess in most people, and that in High Equanimity the focus shifts to experience itself, not nearly so much what is in that field of experience, and thus the channels can be difficult to perceive or a secondary background aspect of what is going on. Further, enlightened beings cycle all the time, their moods and health and other factors change all the time, and so what their channels are doing and how they perceive them will change all the time, leading to nothing resembling the stable, clean, orderly, perfected, predictable energetic state promised in the energetic models.

Thus, the energetic models are another example of a transient side effect of some people’s practice being incorporated into an ideal of awakening. While energetic practices are very interesting and may lead to lots of insights and other nice effects, that is not the same thing as an enlightened being having stable, perfected energetic systems. My friend Kenneth has asked me to add that there is something good that progressively awakening does to the channels and energetic system, and I have to agree. However, defining exactly what positive changes are made is difficult, and none of the models I have seen really do an adequate job or contain enough flexibility to accommodate how dynamic our energetic systems are. Suffice to say, this is one more set of models that is getting at something but contains much that needs revision.

MCTB The Specific Knowledge Models

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