Sutra 1.40. Chitta Extension and Densification

We have analyzed sutra 1.40 in the context of cognitive aspect proposed by Vyasa. But there can be a different view on techniques the sutra proposes. This kind of energetic practices can be found in all major esoteric Traditions though they may come under different names. In our School we refer to them as “the techniques of chakras fields extension and densification”. But let us consider the subject step by step.
Person’s physical self-identity is rather obviously determined by the size of one’s physical body. Energetic self-identity is a more sophisticated thing that can come in a size larger or smaller than a physical one. There are many instances exemplifying the said. Everyone knows the sense of discomfort one gets from other people’s being careless about a thing one loves. A vehicle’s wheel getting into a ditch makes a motorist suffer from “physical” pain. The two of a loving couple have a distant sensing of each other’s feelings and emotions. A mother can feel her child’s state. Sport fans become down with their favourite team defeat. A company head has a feeling of the enterprise’s being in trouble long before it becomes evident, and so on. All given examples have one thing in common: a “physical” sensation of something that does not make a part of our physical body. Though if to put it right way, this is of course not physical yet energy-related experience, the type of sensations that turns energy into substantial category even in the eyes of a non-practitioner. These sensations can be explained by a concept representing chitta that we have defined as “substantialized self-awareness” to be localized not only within our body but to extend onto external objects we have integrated into our identity. Sometimes a person can be energetically “larger” than his real body. While in other cases the ‘body’ of one’s chitta can become smaller than a physical one. People lacking somatic awareness, like those of schizoid type [1], have their self-identity and, respectively, chitta located mostly in their head, and thus have problems with body control and coordination.
It is the ability of chitta to dwell in external objects that gives a clue to phenomena like objects of power and one’s dependency upon them. Like the one described in cases telling about a shaman who died after his drum has been stolen.
A non-practitioner is characterized by some regular “distribution” of chitta that an attentive reader can guess to correspond to his chakras density or looseness [2]. A person like this comes with almost minimized ranges of freedom as to his identity management. While they are essential. Starting from everyday situations – like the necessity to throw away a broken thing that is “dear to one’s heart” (i.e, an item with Muladhara energies imposed on it), and up to “spiritual best practices” like totalness or its contrary – the skill of disengagement from different real-life situations.
We can cite a number of instances showing the inability to “withdraw the energy” of this or that chakra to impair person’s life. After USSR breakup in 1990-ies many elders were not able to disengage from social roles that were once notional in the state that no longer existed. As a result, they turned less adaptive in terms of new time. Another example. Parents’ failure to timely withdrawal of energies from their grown-up child (what they call a “letting go” process in psychology) may result in a child’s getting a syndrome of “mamma’s darling” or “eternal bride”. Whereas parents who proceed to “live” the life of their “baby” emasculate their own lives by losing the ability to find personal ways and interests. Densification of chakra energies and making them “shrink” into one’s physical body help dealing with pain and suffering.
And on the contrary – there are many situations that require extension of one’s identity onto something new. We call it the extension of chakra field. For instance, adaptation to a new work environment (state, family) or undergoing a training (especially that with completely new methods involved). Empathy and infatuation are the natural states of Anahata field extension. While people with rigid chakras may face difficulties in extending their fields. It’s hard for them to let something new come into their life, to change their identity.
Changing the volume of chitta from extremely small to extremely large and one’s sustainable dwelling in the selected state is what Patanjali describes in sutra 1.40.
Notwithstanding my having given a number of everyday examples, the actual skills of chakras field voluntary densification and extension is a sophisticated art that is to be mastered under supervision of an experienced teacher. And when mastered, they provide with a wealth of real (applicable and verifiable) abilities (siddhis) and ranges of freedom.
[1] See Chakra Psychodiagnistics [the book is available in Russian]