Are we avoiding the dark emotions of the heart? Pt 2 The Chakra Perspective

Are we avoiding the dark emotions of the heart? Pt 2 The Chakra Perspective

Are we avoiding the dark emotions of the heart? Pt 2 The Chakra Perspective

 The chakra system was developed primarily through the vedic school of thought which came out of India. The Sanskrit word for the heart chakra is Anahata which translates as 'unbeaten' or 'unbroken', two words themselves which suggest a slightly less than loving personality to the space that occupies the heart.

With the initial training I was given in Kinesiology we had a list of associated key words linked to the Chakras but the entire list seems to lack a balance of dark and light. Developed by Jimmy Scott, Ann Parker and Jane Thurnell-Read.

Base Chakra - Desire, needs, want, grounded, demands

Sacral Chakra - Feeling, emotions, empathy, feminine, masculine

Solar Plexus - Fear, anxiety, tension, terror, frightened, apprehensive, panic

Heart - Loving, caring, sharing, giving, forgiving, warmth, open hearted, solicitous, accepting, goodness

Throat - Withholding, choked, holding back, reserved, restraint, secretive 

Brow - Understanding, appreciating, compassion, intuition

Crown - Knowing, connection, intellect, intelligence


When you compare the striking difference between the solar and heart chakras in this list there is a clear imbalance in the way these energies are perceived which is only continued as you move in to the throat and brow chakras. 

I do not think this is any kind of deliberate act to misrepresent the energies of those concepts, but perhaps a lack of deeper understanding of their patterns and significance mixed in with a good dose of Shadow projection about what they represent.

Looking at some of the other sources of information on the chakras that I have do suggest that not all is love and light in the heart. 

In Richard Jelusich's excellent book Psychology of the Chakras, he suggests that for people who's dominant chakra is th heart, that their lower aspects can lead to manipulation, procrastination, distraction by addictions and someone who maintains relationships with less powerful people to avoid growth. That as a human pincushion a 4th chakra dominant  will take on others negative emotions as a way of getting attention. He suggests the giving too much of the self can lead to loss of self identity and become emotionally needy. This can also make them self saboteurs who use negative self-reinforcement to validate outcomes and their negative beliefs. Which are not topics readily talked about in specific relation to the heart chakra.

In Anodea Judith's detailed and comprehensive book Eastern Body, Western Mind, she describes excessive and deficient energy characteristics of the heart chakra as relating to codependency, poor boundaries, possessiveness and jealousy (which correlated from the previous post on the meridian perspective), narcissism, isolation, over sacrificing, critical and intolerant of self and others, fear of intimacy and relationships, lack of empathy, demanding.

Her 'Demon' for the 4th chakra is grief which is developed through hurt to the heart and counteracts its lightness and expansion, making it feel heavy and closed. Judith also relates how different character structures can effect the heart chakra:

  • the Schizoid (fearing intimacy, aloof, armoured, non-demonstrative),
  • the Oral (attached, codependent, fears rejection),
  • the Masochistic (critical, negative, isolated, develops grief, afraid to risk autonomy, submissive),
  • the Rigid (feels unaccepted, longing for tenderness, afraid of involvement),
  • the Psychopathic (fears submission, need to dominate, defensive)

All as just different ways in which the heart can manifest its darker side depending on the dominant character structure of the individual. 

This all represents a much deeper and fuller picture of what can be taking place in the heart chakra and as a Kinesiologist gives me a much greater span of potential areas which can be worked with when there are issues of the heart. And for me this lack of span in the emotional range of the heart (both in meridian and chakra terms) is a concern for those who are being trained with what could be considered some strong and inappropriate bias towards certain emotional states.

Harish Johari in his introductory guide to the origins of the chakra energies and the vedic perspective only mentions that purgatory can be experienced in the heart chakra if negative karmas are enacted.

But the vedic perspective does account for the darker side of the heart; "Evil thoughts and misjudgements tend to create disharmony and conflict; this is especially true when a subject with an awakened anahata wills his mistaken thoughts and desires into full actualization. Negativity and
pessimism are obstacles to the awakening of the anahata." Swami Satyananda Saraswati quoted in Hiroshi Motoyama's excellent Theories of the Chakras. It seems that optimism as an emotion is a significant positive state of the heart chakra and I would suggest therefore that pessimism would be an appropriate negative/dark association to be considered with the heart. 

In all I have found it quite interesting to review a greater degree of depth in the emotions of the heart chakra than my humble kinesiology training would like to suggest. For me the absence of a positive emotion is not a reasonable enough assertion of the dark side of the heart. We shouldn't fear to look at the real darkness that exists within any part of ourselves. To suggest that it isn't relevant to us or that we don't contain those aspects can be a little innocent and not fully embracing of our shadow side. I run regular workshops on Embracing Your Shadow, please contact me if you would like to practicipate or arrange for me to run one at your location.

But I would love to hear your comments and thoughts on this topic. What are your experiences of the heart. Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Get involved in the discussion and lets see what we reveal about ourselves, our hearts and how we do and don't love.

Back to blog posts