Each cell in your body is individually alive. When you put them all together, the resulting form is also alive. “You” and the sum of all your cells live your life of work, family and friends. Nothing you do is directly what your individual cells do, yet they stay alive and so do you.
If we generalise that thinking, then all the plants and animals on the planet together might also add up to make a much bigger organism. The Earth itself might be alive, literally a planetary life form of its own. It certainly sounds plausible.
Where does the reasoning end? Well, if there’s life on other planets then – perhaps – all life everywhere adds up to a universe which is itself a form of life. What I’m getting to is that it’s at least plausible that a consciousness far greater than the human mind exists. Quite how it came to be…I don’t know. I’ve presented one idea, but that’s just an idea. Anyway, the point at which this greater consciousness (if it’s there at all) connects to its human counterpart is sahasrara.
Here’s another way of thinking about sahasrara. Our senses are limited. I can mistake what I see or hear for something else – we all do that. Well, the premise is that we don’t just mistake things sometimes. In fact, there’s a lot of stuff out there that we can’t see or hear at all. We all understand this – I listen to the radio playing music, but I can’t hear the radio waves that brought the music to the radio player. Fundamental reality – all the stuff we can’t see, or hear, or feel etc has a distinct connection to the reality we humans experience day to day. That connection is also sahasrara.
Our limited reality is like darkness, because it has very little discernible detail compared to the total reality. That total reality is like light, because literally everything can be known.
Yoga process will deliver an individual who is comfortable with his or her own personal reality, and is also aware of the vastness beyond his or her normal experience. By the way, that vastness is present at all times: we just can’t see it, or touch it, or access it any other way with just the five senses.
Guru translates to one who dispels darkness (among other things). Sahasrara is associated with the Guru, because it’s the point where “darkness” (normal experience) is obviously and only ever was “light” for the human practitioner.
In this context, Guru is you as your own teacher, you as a complete representation of the reality beyond your physical senses, you as the practitioner of and the result of your Yoga methods, and you as the best intentions of your own heart in your personal evolution.
Guru is often associated with a person. The person is important only as far as their role as facilitator goes. Someone has to impart ideas and encourage practice; that’s the role, and where importance ends, for the human guru.
What does all that have to do with everyday life? Well, the fact is that we all face struggles. Struggles with ourselves, with situations, and with others. Recognising that there is a bigger picture, in which I am not the most important thing, can help. It’s not going to solve any problems, but it gives the scope to consider them from a different angle. It’s even possible that my struggle with my perceived problem will reframe as just another expression of life in progress.