“Still greater difficulty attends the development of the six-petaled lotus flower situated in the center of the body, for it can only be achieved as the result of complete mastery of the whole personality through consciousness of self, so that body, soul and spirit form one harmonious whole. The functions of the body, the inclinations and passions of the soul, the thoughts and ides of the spirit must be tuned to perfect unison. The body must be so ennobled and purified that its organs incite to nothing that is not in the service of spirit and soul.” ~Rudolf Steiner
What Mr. Steiner calls the six-petaled lotus is better known as the sacral chakra. This energy center is located just above the root center and is associated with the color oranges and the reproductive organs. While it sound like Steiner is placing great importance on this chakra, in other places he makes it clear that he considers the development of the heart chakra more so. This development of the six-petaled lotus center is also going to aid in development of the heart center.
Mastery of Self
Whether you believe in energy centers or not, virtually all real spiritual schools teach that mastery of self is necessary for significant spiritual development. Some individuals, and even some spiritual schools, teach that it means turning completely within and ignoring the external world entirely. That simply turns people into sheep who let the forces of darkness run amok in the world. If enough of that happens, we will lose and the darkness will control this world permanently.
Hermes taught that both the internal and the external are important with his well-known quote, “As within, so without”. So mastery of self does mean looking within, but it doesn’t mean ignoring the external world. You don’t get a harmonious whole by looking at only a part and ignoring the rest.
Steiner, and most other spiritual teachers, say that one of the goals of spiritual development is to get the body, spirit, and soul functioning together as a harmonious whole. We would add mind to that giving the four points of a cross with harmony at the center.
Some think that spiritual development means ignoring the body and mind. That is simply not true. While we may occasionally see a spiritual person who is physically weak, or apparently so, that doesn’t represent the typical adept.
The spiritual student cares for his body. He doesn’t eat junk simply because it tastes good, or is popular. She eats what is healthy and nourishing. He exercises to keep his body strong, but without become obsessed with it. A harmonious whole starts with a healthy body.
Development of the mind is not ignored by the sensible spiritual student—or anyone else who is sensible, for that matter. A strong body doesn’t do much good if it is under control of a weak or ignorant mind. So spiritual students, read and study. They learn as much as they can. Even though intellectuals are often the enemies of the spiritual, we cannot overcome their attitudes without knowing what they know and showing that we are intelligent as well as spiritual.
Last, but certainly not least, is development of the spirit and soul. The first step in this is to awaken them from the dormant state they are in when we enter this world of matter. That is done using the Light of the Spiritual Sun. We use a method commonly called “sun-gazing,” although most practicing it are looking at the physical sun, not the spiritual. More that simply gazing at the sun is required to take in the higher Light of the Spiritual Sun.
While it is easiest to describe this as a step-by-step process. In reality we must do all of it at the same time. By which I mean that you can work on your body for part of the day, your mind for another part, and your spirit and soul in a third part. Not simultaneously, but all in one day. If you want to reach those advanced spiritual levels, you have to work at maintaining that harmonious whole. And we need to awaken all eight energy centers (chakras) so energy flows through them on all levels as well.