- the voice and the chakras -

Dr Bernard Auriol

translated by Béatrice Bonzom-Gourc
reviewed by Swami Saradananda


From the empty space came out the Voice that made itself Word by cutting down . Then the being would be came into the relative world, the one of the relationships. In this hurly-burly we can set apart some areas that is called by the Indian tradition chakras and by the Kabbale one “sephiroths”. The voice and the body are made up of one fabric!

The vertical axis

We state that the upright posture is one of the cardinal signs of the evolutive process of the human being. It is not surprising that this axis takes a specific value, setting towards the top the most abstract and humanized representations, towards the down the earthly and concrete data. This lead us, over and above our culture, to consider the real itself that set up our head, nodal centre of the thought at the top of the bodily structure, whereas the organs of the excretion, of procreation, of nutrition are arranged below.

This valency of the vertical axis concerns also the inanimate world that, always today sets up the wind, the sun and the stars above the earth and the sources. The biology also lends its support to this symbolic connivance : the little man is living turn upside down in the uterine cavity so as to discover at his birth, both the air and the light then, during the months, the “good sense” of the upright posture.
Therefore takes place an universal symbolism of the verticality that, so as to set up its archetype, does not require any hypothesis different from the previous observations.

The space, in which the subject moves by his look and gesture, seems universally structured in human body form : made up of a top and a down, a right and a left, a forward and a back, which meanings, are closely akin to the ones that we assign to the head and the foot, to the right and left sides.

Especially the yogis, but, in a more rustic way, most of the spiritual and mystic traditions, have refered to the vertical axis and have complicated it : they do not content themselves with a roughly opposition of the top and the bottom ; they add an middle floor then other steps. The number of levels is often around 3,5 or 7.

A lot of authors have considered a relationship between these levels setting apart differents areas of study :

o physical
o physiological
o psychological
o spiritual

The yoga carries the idea according to which there would be a deep unity between these different points of view. For instance, the Freudo-Lacanian drive areas that belong to the psychoanalytical theorization would find their physiological correspondents in some anatomical and neuro endocrinal groups.
The projective and refractive psychometric approach (the tree, the village, AT9, graphology tests, etc.) uses for decades a “space symbolism” that attributes a psychological meaning to what it is drawn, written or set at the “top”,”middle” or “bottom” of the sheet of paper or even of one letter such as the small “f”.

Within the daydreaming “the idea of movement induces an association of images that takes place spontaneously with the steadfastness of a law :

o The idea of rising, is tied up with more and more luminous images with euphoria, serenity and optimism feelings ;
o The idea of going down is tied up with dark images with dislikes, fear or anguish feelings
(...) ".

Short notions on the chakras

The Hebrew Kabbala purposes us within the ten sephiroths - of which some are arranged by two on a same level - seven steps going from the head to the foot.
The Eastern Christian mysticism (St Jean Climaque) or the one of the Western (St Thérèse d’Avila) also describes some scales, degrees, residences.

The yoga describes some wheels of power, the Chakras. These wheels are represented by several lotus, linked up between them with “discerning” duct of power.

We compare these centres to the respective « branch of body » that they govern. They form a compound organized in hierarchy system in line with the supposed steps of the spiritual and drive evolution. They integrate an anatomical topology in which the top is enhanced against the bottom (which is more or less subordinated in a similar way to the Jackson, Janet, Ey patterns,etc.) and an ontogenetic point of view for which the beginning is located at the bottom and the final objective at the top.
A such system greatly exceeds the anatomy, physiology and psychology, even if they integrate these subjects. In fact, it refers to a comprehensive conception in which the frontiers between physics and metaphysics disappear. This point of view allows then new distinctions, esoterical by our culture : the mere opposition between the soul and the body gives precedence to the linking of various entities of intermediary ontological status.

I ) The « Sahasrara »

The top-most chakra relates to Transcendent Unity, the Absolute. As it does not have an immediate phenomenal translation, all I say is that it is symbolized by a Lotus with a thousand of petals located above the top of the head.

II ) The « Muladhara »

The name of the chakra means “root”. Located at the bottom of the body, it carries the fundamental power “kundalini”, which we can connect with the Libido.

It is here (and under the chakra that follows) that the executive centres of the urinary, anal and seminal tracts are located.

Materialism, taking root, suggestibility, the impulses of fusion , the need for security, and the attachment to places and to living conditions are characteristics of the personality linked up to this centre “of basis”.
The Kabbala calls it “Malkouth”, the Kingdom.

At the psychoanalytical level, it relates to the first relationships of the newborn with his mother, whom he recognizes by her smell. His mother carries, touches and nurses him. (“Holding and “Nursing”)

III ) Swadisthana

This is where we can find our centre of gravity (“hara“ in Japanese). It is located slightly higher than the previous one and corresponds to the oral drives, to the desire to bite and the fear of being gobbled up, to spiritual and physical thirst. By extension, it is tied up with all kinds of eagerness directed to an external object (feeding, copulation), to non-channelled hyperactivity and to pure spontaneity.

The Kabbala calls it “Iesod”, the «foundation ». According to Theresa of Avila (1577) this second house includes the risk of hedonism.

The hand is the organ of action, with the taste as the organ of knowledge

IV ) Manipura

This “house of pride” is dedicated to jealousy, sulkiness, sensitivity, the cult of appearances and to self-assertion. This centre manages the “solar plexus” area. It is above all else the metabolic area with the regulation of the digestion (stomach, liver, pancreas) and the final use of food (pancreas endocrine, liver).

From the psychological point of view it is concerned with the question of self-expression, such as : asserting one’s property, producing and giving a performance, and making a spectacle of oneself. The desire to win is here, also the desire to dominate, competitive assertion, anger, fear, amazement, pride, voyeurism and exhibitionism – from both the anal and “scopic” drives.

According to the Kabbala, two sephiroths are located here: Hod (honour ) and Nizah ( victory ). The third house of Theresa of Avila’s castle , involves the temptation of being admired, standing in contempt of others, and being overly-sensitive to criticism.

V) Anahata

This centre synthesizes the others that lie above and below. It’s name means “non-struck or not hit”.

Located at the thorax, dorsal vertebra, Anahata controls the heart, lungs and thymus. It plays a large role in the defence against animals as well as microbes.

According to the Kabbala, we find here “Beauty” (Tipheroth).

The fourth house of Theresa of Avila allows your to find “the difference between understanding and the imagination” (Symbolism discovery).

The organ of perception is the touch, the organ of action is the lingam ( <=> phallus). Anahata exemplifies the shrewdness in yogis, capability of anticipating, what S. Freud described as the “phallic stage” and “symbolic castration”. It is the place of self-expression, of the specific identity of the self , Oedipus structuration, etc.

For Freud, and Jung as well, human being is bisexual from the beginning, at both the embryologic and psychological level. Freud underlines that phallus is imagined by child as owned by its mother as well as by its father. For yogis, there are several phallus symbolically linked to several chakras. Regarding anahata, phallus is seen as a "knowledge organ", a "perception organ" for males AND females. So there is an impressive conjunction between the very ancient conception of chakras and the modern psycho-analytical point of view.

VI) Vishudda


This term means “all white, very pure, exonerated, discharged, justified, completed, well-determined, this and not that”!

The centre of power is located in the neck, from the lower part of the face down to the shoulders. We find here the thyroid and the parathyroid, which regulate the temperature of the body, speeding up or slowing down metabolism, modulating the quantities of calcium circulating, etc.

It is linked to affection, sadness, respect, devoutness, satisfaction, resignation, changes (“métanoïa”), choice of life-style, relation to the existence, etc.

The Kabbala describes here two sephiroth: Pechad (fear) and Chesed (forgiveness).

The “métanoïa” side is emphasized inside Theresa of Avila’s castle by the silkworm metaphor :“ugly and deformed, is destined to die so as to transform itself into a white and beautiful butterfly”.

The organ of perception is hearing; the organ of action is the vocal organs.

VII) Ajna


This word means “to hear someone say, to arrange, to express authority”. Located in the “third eye” region, it is linked with the sinuses, nose and head. It is the place of relationship with the guru, and all kinds of authorities. It brings together the forbidden and idealization authorities (superego, the self-ideal).

According to the Kabbalists we find here intelligence (Binah) and wisdom (chochmah). Theresa (1577) speaks of Jupiter images where “God calls using a clap of thunder” with a speech that “brings a power and an authority to which nothing can resist”.

The perception and action organs are para-psychological in nature (telepathy, influence).

Table 1

chakras sanskrit
sephiroths (Kabbala) drive
0 Sahasrara Kether mystic self
I (VII) Ajna Binah /
epistemic super-ego
VI Vishudda Pechad / Chesed invocant shadow
V Anahata Tipheroth Psychanalyse & Psychothérapie Dynamique des groupes Eléments Personnels

© Copyright Bernard AURIOL (email : )

February, 15, 2008