I found the chakras first by combining the Hindu orBuddhist system of 6 or 7, (I am not aware of an 8 chakra system and would be interested in where the extra one is on one's body) with the 10 chakra jewish system. That did not get me very far as the two systems had the same up and down locations, except that the jewish system omitted the chraka at the middle eye. But it did suggest that each up and down level manisfested at points perhaps in a circle around the body.
A big step forward, so I think, is when a young lady from England visited the ashram in the Catskill mountains of New York, USA where I lived for 6 months. She practiced a method of activating the chakras by touching them with her fingers until her fingers pulsated with each beat of the heart. Sorry, I cannot remember her name or the name of the system she practiced.
In addition, this system introduced me to two more chakras, one on the nose and one on the forehead at the hairline. Maybe it also included the one on the chin at lower teeth level. So that would make 10 vertical levels; and if each level had 3 points around the front, and from symmetry 3 around the back, that would be 60 points where chakras could be activated.
Anyway, I decided to do a more or less scientific investigation of the whole front of my body. At an ashram there is nothing to do at night but read or meditate. So I would lie in bed and run the ashram mantra in my head while doing four-fold breathing (pranayana) and gradually move my fingers over my body trying to find all the locations where they pulsated.
What I found is that on your body, or more precisely on my body, there is one extra chakra in between every of the 5 hindu chakras from the base of the spine to the throat. So I found 9 levels of chakras on the body all together. And as mentioned above these manifested at various points on a circle around the body at each level.
On the head, the English system, as I call it for lack of its real name, already seemed to include the inbetween chakras from the chin to the hairline. I found an additional two between the hairline and the top of the head chakra, for a total of 7 levels on the head, or 16 all together body and head. With 6 points around the body at each level, that makes a total of 96 points of activation.
So I have assumed that the chakras possess symmetry. It is not necessary that each level contains the same number of points. In going around at each level, sometimes it seemed like there were more than just two, one on each side of the central point. But I finally just settled on the 96 system, mostly because that was consistent with the 96 names of god mantra system I had later developed for my own practice. But that's another story. One that I've already told on this forum.
The 96 point system, as an applied mathematician and optical scientist, made me surmise that the chakras are a finite Fourier-Bessel series representation of an image, perhaps the image of your soul. Alexander will understand this concept if he is still reading this far.
Intuitively I also believe, but do not know, that the chakras may correspond to the 16 dimensions in 26-D string theory that had to compactify to make 10-D superstring theory, and thereby make matter. The primordial unified field contained no matter- just energy. I, at times it seems alone, believe that the unified field is 26 dimensional, and a collection of closed strings that are entirely Bosonic. I also believe that it exists in the central singularities of black holes where baby universes are generated.
I am encouraged in these beliefs by the jewish Book of Creation, supposedly written by Abraham, which speaks of both the 10-d system compacting to our 4-d spacetime and a 22-d system corresponding to the hebrew alphabet where each letter has spiritual significance. Then since our 4-d space time is not likely to have spiritual characteristics, the addition of 22 plus 4 makes the 26-d string theory model.
So the bottomline is that the spirit or perhaps what Harv calls the divine order probably resides in the 22 compactified dimensions of our universe.
But the first 16 to compactify are probably the most spiritual and give rise to the 16 levels of chakras, most likely on every living form. Then the next 6 compactifications are superimposed on the 16 at each level perhaps to allow what I would call spiritual energy to run around the body at each chakra level in a circle, and also to run up and down the body in 6 pathways, the principle 2 being on the spine on one's back, and up and down the center front of one's body.
I hope some of you find this to be interesting reading. Belief is unnecessary as far as I am concerned. You all have your own beliefs and should stick to them including athiestic beliefs.