The Tables Of Chartres – An ancient key to collective awareness

The mind polarizes and reaps division,
The heart sows love and reaps unity.
The mind cannot grasp unity,
But the heart can integrate the mind.

Janus Head: Allegory of a Holistic Consciousness
Janus Head: Allegory of a holistically perceiving consciousness

The Tables of Chartres

The Tables of Chartres are referring to a visual archaic meditation technique or brain training that balances the activity of our two cerebral hemispheres in a very immediate way. This can lead to the development of our full potential of consciousness and perception, resulting in a holistic view of ourselves and the world. Just as the inscription at the ancient temple of Apollon at Delphi says:

“Know what you (really) are”

The two experiential accesses to self-awareness – heart and mind

In spiritual circles you can often hear about the so-called “Self”. This describes a universal holistic experience of existence which reaches far beyond the limited perception of the mind. It seems that our two cerebral hemispheres are responsible for our respective experiential accesses as well as their scope.

In a simplified model we might say that our left hemisphere represents the individual mind, as well as our external sense organs, while our right hemisphere represents conscious access to the heart and internal sense organs (chakras). Because our object-oriented thinking mind is responsible for our individual experience within the three-dimensional world, this access could therefore also be called “object-consciousness”.

In parallel to the “object-consciousness” of the left hemisphere, there is another dimension of experience which can be accessed consciously, which is mostly hidden in our unconscious. This is the collectively or holistically experienced dimension of our inner senses and the heart. In our heart we are consciously the space itself within which our three-dimensional individual existence appears. This “space-consciousness” is known by different names in different traditions such as samadhi, tao, kingdom of heaven, now, emptiness, nirvana, etc. and is probably represented by the right hemisphere of the brain.

As soon as object and space consciousness consciously unite within us, one speaks of the conscious experience as Self. The Self is what WE really are – our true nature as a conscious observer of the all containing  space of consciousness. As Self, we are directly experientially one with everything, because there is only the one Self, which experiences itself consciously and / or unconsciously through all of nature (individuals).

Awakening means to consciously recognize oneself as the ONE Self and to be and act from its perspective through the individual being.

As an individual within the Self,
As the One within the multiplicity,
As the collective WE ARE!

Conscious Self

In the immediate experience as Self, the inner unity appears as the primary universal basic state of all being. In order to make an individual experience possible within this ocean of consciousness containing energies, vibrations and information, it needs an instance of consciousness which allows all these frequencies to appear as apparently separate from each one another. This instance is the mind, with and within its projections (thought constructs) modern man has unfortunately identified and lost himself.

As Self, the world does not appear split into an inside and an outside. There, in the unity of all being, we are the space that has become conscious of itself, “within” which the 3D world appears as a reflection of our collective consciousness. This mirror directly reflects our self-image back to us in form of a dynamic three-dimensional world-image. However, from the perspective of a mind isolated from the Self, this reflection appears as a 3D external world which seems to be existing separately from it.

Ideally the human being experiences its existence both as an individual (object) and at the same time consciously as space. Simultaneously this same space is perceived as a surrounding as well as internally. This synchronous, holistic experience of existence appears as the I AM, which is located in the middle between the two poles of the continuum. On one side there is the formless space-consciousness (Samadhi) and on the opposite side there is the object-consciousness with its individual personality.

The separation of the mind from the Self as the primary cause of the global symptoms of our time

Now modern man has dropped out of exactly this center and experiences himself predominantly blindly identified with the individual mind. His resulting one-sided self-image is now also reflected as a corresponding 3D world-image and becomes the primary cause for the out-of-balance conditions on earth. Unconsciously lost in the identifications of its own projections, the separate mind now creates a dangerous skew in the 3D mirror image of its own consciousness. Not consciously perceiving that it itself is this reflection.

Based on this realization it becomes clear that the only way to really end this imbalance sustainably can only be to become directly aware of our true nature as Self again.

Because as soon as the human being is united within itself, its holistic self-image will reflect as a holistic world-image in the third dimension in return.

Therefore on the way into a holistic harmonious age, primarily only one activity would be collectively purposeful for each individual: To uncover and establish the conscious access to the Self in one’s own awareness. Or with the words of the psychology: To unite the conscious with the unconscious consciously so that we become aware of it again.

Only as Self we are able to recognize our true nature and experience ourselves directly as collective heart space and that unconditional all-embracing love, which We are.

Only as Self can we succeed in lovingly integrating the mind into our true being as our best companion during our individual experience on earth with all its apparent imperfections.

The Tables of Chartres – Key to the universal Self

With The Tables of Chartres a very immediate access key to experience the Self was handed down. It could not be more precious in our time for the reasons mentioned, because the within thought processes (projections) imprisoned mind cannot possibly free itself by any way of thinking from thinking itself. For correcting that misalignment which has been caused by the minds separation from the Self, it needs a key to open the door of this cage. The Tables of Chartres provide such a key for us to lead us directly into the silent, heavenly heart dimensions of the Self, resulting in a holistic experience of being human.

Historical background of the Tables

After centuries of secrecy the Tables of Chartres were handed down by French Gypsies and shared publicly again only a few decades ago. According to their legend, the Gypsies received the Tables from one of the three Maries from the close circle of the family of Jesus. The Maries were fleeing from the war in Israel at the time and went ashore on the French Mediterranean coast. The place named after this event, Saintes Maries de la Mer, is still the central sanctuary of the Gypsies today, who were able to preserve the Tables, which they called “the Gardens of Initiation”, even through times of religious persecutions.1

The Tables of Chartres
The Tables of Chartres

We also find the Tables hidden in the new testament, where Jesus shares the collective “Body of Christ”, symbolized by bread and wine, with his disciples at the Table of the Last Supper.3 The Tables also appear in the Grail´s legend of the “Knights of the Round Table” told in later centuries.2 And anyone who studies the geometries of Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings will also make an astonishing discovery.

The Tables of Chartres have also been preserved in the floor plan geometry of most Gothic cathedrals.3 This is also the case in Chartres Cathedral which became the eponym for the Tables. The builders of those cathedrals, who called themselves the “children of Solomon” (Old Testament king) and went down in history as the Knights Templar, knew about the enormous importance of the Tables as a heart key to the collective dimension of the Self, which had been lost in the human unconscious. Apparently they tried to establish a so-called “Gnostic” Christianity based on immediate inner cognition (holistic perception) throughout Europe. At the beginning of the 14th century, however, the Knights Templar fell victim to a conspiracy.

As modern archaeology knows today, the Knights Templar did extensive archaeological excavations inside the temple mountain during the occupation of Jerusalem in the 12th century. They were apparently searching for the lost Ark of the Covenant. The legend says that this search has been successful and that the Ark was brought to Chartres. In that place the event was carved in stone at the entrance portal of the cathedral, where it can still be seen today.

The earliest written references to geometrically identical Tables are found in the Old Testament Book of Exodus, in the events described about the Pharaoh’s step-son Moses and the exodus of the people IS-RA-EL from Egypt. Moses is said to have received the two “tables of the covenant between man and God” himself on Mount Sinai, which were kept in the eponymous Ark of the Covenant. The geometries of the Tables are apparently also closely related to the Great Pyramid of Giza.1

Photo: © pixabay.com

Meditation research

Modern brain research gives this “covenant” now a completely new interpretation perspective, because corresponding neuroscientists who deal with the effects of meditation on the brain have discovered a characteristic of the brain which is called synchronization in relation to this. The striking thing about this condition in EEG measurements is that the same signal can be seen at all measuring electrodes, with a simultaneously above-average electrical neuroactivity. From this can be concluded that during this experience also the two cerebral hemispheres cooperate synchronously with each other.

However, these are in direct connection via only a relatively narrow nerve connection, the “corpus callosum”, which seems to be completely open in this state, apparently acting as a bridge between the two hemispheres. In some traditions, the corpus callosum is also referred to as the “gate of heaven”, which provides conscious access to the heart dimensions of the Self, and thus to inner wholeness. And for every gate, there is also a matching key.


On this path of harmonization and connection of our two hemispheres, everyone experiences his or her own individual inner journey into the thoughtless, silent heart spaces of the Self. This can also lead through hypnosis-like states of being, in which we can consciously encounter our unredeemed or split-off individual parts. At the same time, the view of the Tables acts as an anchor of consciousness that gives us a secure hold in case of possible cathartic discharges that may occur.

The dissolution of the traumas, themes and conditionings of the individual personality, which are always represented neuronally, really cannot be easier. Simply take the theme/emotion that becomes conscious with you in front of the Tables, look and let it flow. However, the decisive factor here is the appropriate gaze technique so that, due to the anatomy of the visual centers, both hemispheres are also addressed synchronously during the meditation. With every split-off part brought home in this harmonious way, the access to the Self and thus to the heart space which we collectively embody, becomes more and more conscious again.

Because of this immediate neurophysiological effect, the Tables of Chartres are almost unique among meditation practices and are now even called the “royal road”  by corresponding neuroscientists who deal with the effects of meditation on the brain and the nervous system.

Meditation instruction

Enclosed is the appropriately detailed meditation instruction (download) including meditation template (Tables) to print out yourself. The following illustration shows the Tables on the left when viewed normally. The illustration on the right shows the Tables in a stereoscopic view, whereby a virtual third row appears, which serves as a meditation object and anchor for the meditator.

Meditation Artwork: © www.st-soulsite.com

Meditation instruction – English (PDF Printout)   

Meditation Tip:

It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to tune into the Tables and for the brain wave patterns to adjust accordingly. I recommend up to 3x per week, between 30 – 60 minutes per session.

A personal word in conclusion

When I started meditating with the Tables a few years ago, I could hardly imagine that I was embarking on the greatest adventure of my life. I knew nothing of the Self and its heart dimensions, which until then had remained hidden from me. Step by step, however, in front of the Tables, almost imperceptibly, more and more of my then still existing conditioning, beliefs, convictions and identifications dissolved, of which I believed that they would make up my personality and thus my individual existence.

In retrospect, however, I recognize in these patterns, which were unconscious at the time, exactly that veil of consciousness which isolates the apparent I (mind) from the Self. The dissolution of this veil could thus also be called personality dissolution, whereby our true nature, the Self, is given the opportunity to emerge in us and to become aware of itself directly through us.

In this state of consciousness of unconditional all-encompassing love and bliss, we are immediately perceptibly ONE with all Being. From this perspective of experience, we become aware that the only existing place in which “world” takes place is perceiving consciousness. We are part of the one universal consciousness on it´s way to self-awareness whose essence and nature is love.

Within this state of being, the human being is moved by only one desire: to share this love and harmony, which WE collectively are with all fellow human beings and fellow creatures, in order to thereby also become a chance for others to recognize the heart dimensions of our true nature in the universal Self. It is solely from this motivation that my comprehensive writings came into being. May they be a light for those hearts which are longing for love within Oneness.



Meditation instruction – English (PDF Printout)   
Meditation instruction – German (PDF Printout)   

Literature on the Tables of Chartres / References

[1] Pierre Derlon: Die Gärten der Einweihung, Sphinx Verl. Basel 1978
[2] Robert de Borron: Die Geschichte des Heiligen Gral, Ogham Verlag, Stuttgart 1979
[3] Louis Charpentier: Les Mystères de la Cathedrale de Chartres, R. Laffont, Paris 1966
Robert de Borron et al.: Der Prosaroman von Josef von Arimathea, Georg Weidner (Hsg.), Eugen Franck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Oppeln 1881
Bildband: Merveilleuse Notre Dame de Lausanne, Editions du Grand Pont, Lausanne 1975
G. Pennington: Die Tafeln von Chartres (German), Patmos 2020
G. Pennington: Chapter 1 of the book „The Tables of Chartres“ – English   
G. Pennington: The Tables of Chartres – Meditation Template A4 Cardboard, Lenzwald Verlag
G. Pennington: Kleines Handbuch für Glasperlenspieler, Lenzwald Verlag 2017
G. Pennington: Vom Schielen und Schauen, Lenzwald Verlag 2017
G. Pennington: Die Tafeln von Chartres – eine archaische Meditationstechnik und ihre Bedeutung für die moderne Bewusstseins- und Hemisphärenforschung, in: Psychiatrie des rechten und linken Gehirns, Hsg. G. Oepen, im Dt. Ärzte Verlag, Köln 1988
G. Pennington: Das Geheimnis der alten Kathedralen, in „esotera“ 4/86, S.25ff, H. Bauer Verlag, Freiburg


The Tables of Chartres – Hemispheric balance as a Key to inner Unity
George Penningtons Website – Materials on the Tables of Chartres – English
German Version: Die Tafeln von Chartres – Himmelsleiter ins kollektive Selbst- bzw. Herzbewusstsein

© copyright of text content by Michael Berstecher / version: 1.6 (04.2024) / publication date: 03.2022

© Meditation Artwork: www.st-soulsite.com

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