Sorrow is the term used to describe the alteration in body chemistry created by a loss. This loss of energy (or pressure) creates a state of depression in the organism. Sorrow and joy represent two ends of the emotional continuum. Joy is a state of expansion, extroversion, and elevated vibrations; sorrow is a state of contraction, introversion, and depressed vibrations. In both, the sense of time vanishes, and the moment seems eternal.
In sorrow the breathing is constricted and repressed. The blood is drawn inward to the vital organs. The complexion is one of pallor. In joy the breathing is unrestrained and fluid. The heart opens and blood courses throughout the body. The complexion is glowing, vibrant, vital.
Sorrow is a blanket, which wraps the player in its folds and blinds his vision. He cannot see anything outside the blanket. No ray of hope and no light can penetrate. The more the player fights to extricate himself, the deeper he finds himself entangled. He feels himself weak, helpless. He is torn between his intellect, which tells him there is a way out, and his feelings, which proclaim the state eternal.
All that is required of him is to stand up and throw off the blanket once and for all. There is clear sky outside; but within the heavy woolly karmic blanket there exists only confusion and the complexes created by fantasy. Like a child afraid of the dark, cowering under his blanket, he imagines dark terrors lurking just outside, ready to consume him if he but shows himself.
Sorrow can be a temporary state, as in the sorrow created by the seemingly senseless murder of a child, the innocents slaughtered in war. Or it can become the way of being, a permanent imbalance in body chemistry created through the mechanism of suppression.
When suppression is at work, the player knows there is an aspect of himself he does not choose to confront. Confronting it means loss of identity, acceptance of the unacceptable. Yet suppression creates pain. The blocked energy must express itself, and pain becomes the medium. Here sorrow is the dragon that swallows its own tail. Expression of the inexpressible would create pain and loss of identity. Nonexpression also brings pain, confusion, and the loss of identity.
In sadhana, following a spiritual discipline, sorrow can be a manifestation of the awareness of separation between devotee and deity. The third chakra is the plane of identification. The aspirant seeks to identify with his deity. Repeated failure brings him to sorrow. The player feels an awareness of the Divine, and craves nothing more than the realization of that Divinity within himself. Yet the separation seems an impassable chasm. He sees the first - and second - chakra problems that repeatedly trap his energy. He senses the Divine yet feels himself unworthy, unable to know it.
There is a way out, and selfless service, the next square, offers hope.