Although every book that I own on the charkas is very valuable, each one has something special that sets it apart. Mercier's book is no exception.
The introduction explains the concept of auric energy fields and the next chapter discusses the focused energy fields, the vortices within these fields that are the chakras and how they are connected to the endocrine and central nervous systems and the spine.
The Indian tradition is discussed next, with reference to Yoga, and then each chakra is investigated in depth with beautiful illustrations and the appropriate meditations.
The book includes a chapter on charkas and sound - each chakra responds to the primal vibration of sound through mantras, chanting, toning, singing, musical scales and specific instruments.
The chapter A New Awareness explores beyond the 7 well-known chakras into a new state of consciousness. Here the additional charkas are discussed: Earth Star, Navel (hara), Causal, Soul Star and Stellar Gateway that exist as potentialities within the sequence of the seven.
The chapter Chakras and Sacred Stones looks at the correspondences with crystals whilst the last chapter deals with healing the body and mind.
The text is richly enhanced by brilliant paintings, photographs and illustrations, including illustrated exercises, and the book concludes with a bibliography and index.
Before reading this book, I had at best a passing interest in the subject of the chakras. Many of the other books I considered purchasing that dealt with this subject, were dense and difficult to understand. This book however is neither.
The Chakras is a concise yet comprehensive treatment of the topic of the chakras. It is written for your modern day person and draws information from a variety of different teaching systems and cultures. The result is a synthesis of the most important and well-studied "new age" ideas and concepts. This is much more than a book about chakras and touches upon diverse subjects including the use of color and sound for healing, as well as shamanism. The illustrations are simply gorgeous and the text includes many useful techniques for meditation and visualization. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in expanding their perceptual horizons and learning about the chakras.
FYI- Knowledge of the chakras is critical for the understanding of shamanism and Toltec sorcery. I also recommend: 1) Shaman, Healer, Sage-Alberto Villoldo. This book gives a shamanic description of the chakras and explains how this knowledge fits in to the healing practices of shamans.2) The Path- Esmeralda Arana. Explains how knowledge of the Chakras plays a role in sorcery.