Chakras are structures of spinning light. They are located within the light body and their purpose is to create a gateway into higher or lower dimensions of consciousness. The light body is made up of many dimensions of light but to incarnate higher consciousness (spirit) into this light body a certain type of vortex needs to be created. These vortexes are the chakras and each one is a gateway to a certain aspect of higher consciousness. As discussed earlier the highest dimensions do not contain light but only pure consciousness. From this consciousness the dimensions of light are created. The higher dimensions of consciousness are the source of the dimensions of light. Now for an individual consciousness from the very high dimensions to explore through the dimensions of light, astrality and physicality it must do so through some kind of structure. The chakras are the main gateways through which consciousness incarnates into the light body.
The spinning light of the chakras form a vortex or dimensional gateway through which consciousness enters the light body. If the chakra stops spinning the aspect of consciousness that it opens to will be blocked. For instance if the Heart Chakra stops spinning, the aspect of love will be blocked. If all the other chakras continue to spin it will feel like a loss of a part of oneself (the loving part) while the rest of the person is still there as it was. However, when one chakra is blocked or not spinning properly all the others will be effected as well. The longer the Heart Chakra is not spinning the more the entire light body will be affected. Other chakras and structures of light are bound to break down and cause problems.
So the chakras are essentially structures of spinning light which form gateways into higher dimensions of consciousness or lower dimensions of material forces. It is important now to understand what happens to these structures during incarnation and between lives.
In between lives the chakras are spinning freely, allowing for the various aspects of consciousness to enter and come together in the light body. In this state the Higher Self is who you are with nothing to block its experience. The higher selves above are in clear communication through the chakras and other structures of the light body. Various large Samskaras from previous lives are contained in the light body but are not greatly felt. They do however affect the type of life chosen and how soon the next incarnation may occur among other things. The point here is that they do not affect you in the same way as while incarnated on Earth. On Earth they may become the center of your awareness, disconnecting you from your Higher Self but in between lives this is not possible. They are like a tiny speck or blemish on your being and do not have the power to affect consciousness to any great degree.
During earthly incarnation the chakras are drawn into the astral body and thereby into the etheric and physical bodies. It is not the entire chakra that is drawn into the astral body but a large part of it. It does take many years for this to occur and it is only complete at around the age of 28. As the astral body becomes crystallized and at the same time the chakras and light body are being drawn in, the chakras are affected. They begin to spin more slowly and become chaotic as the crystallized astral impacts upon them. This leads to a state where they are not creating the dimensional gateways needed to incarnate higher consciousness and so various parts of your self become blocked or disconnected. This is the typical state of our chakras although the degree of chaos and slowness of the chakras differs among individuals.
The lower chakras (Base and Sex) are part of the light body but also open up gateways into the Lower Self which comes from the lower dimensions. The Lower Self includes the instincts which are more than most people assume. Most people think of instincts as automatic processes but they are actually more like a separate being that has a personality of its own (the Lower Self). The personality of this being is one of joy, playfulness and curiosity and it is one with the earth and all of nature. As a child we are all intimately tied with this being and indeed it makes up a large part of our early personality. All children are playful and curious and what they do is largely automatic. They do not think like adults, they have not structured their ego yet and are basically running on instinct. In fact the Lower Self is just like a child and always will be. If you have lost your childish playful nature you have been disconnected from your Lower Self. Some people when on a spiritual path may find their connection to the Lower Self and assume it is the Higher Self. Although high states of consciousness have been achieved it is not the Higher Self, but it is a necessary step on the way.
Most adults become very disconnected from this Lower Self as the astral body crystallizes and the lower chakras slow down and become blocked just like the higher chakras. We forget how to play and to simply be joyful with our surroundings as life has become complicated and the constant disapproval of our parents and shame of our sexuality has taken its toll on our lower chakras. The Lower Self has been disconnected. In times of need the instincts still kick in, such as adrenalin when we must run from a would-be attacker, the autonomic nervous system still works (food is digested, breathing occurs, the heart pumps etc) and we desire sex but our intimate connection with the Lower Self with all of its joy, enthusiasm and personality has been badly severed. Sex is one of the only times that some connection still exists and is the last playtime left for the emaciated adult. Sex is extremely important in reconnecting with the Lower Self and should always have a playful element. So many people are disconnected from their Lower Self that sexual issues and dysfunctions have become epidemic. All sexual dysfunction comes down to the closure in the Sex and Base chakras due to emotional trauma and various Samskaras.
As the chakras incarnate through the astral body which in turn incarnates through the etheric, both of these bodies are affected by them. The astral body and etheric body both have centers of energy that correspond with the chakras, so it could be seen that the chakras have an astral and an etheric part. This is true to some extent as these corresponding astral and etheric centers must be free and open for the chakras to function properly and allow for their incarnation into the physical. The physical body also has counterparts to the chakras. It is very common for Samskaras to be in the area of the chakras as these astral centers have greater sensitivity. Because of these Samskaras the etheric energy points are also likely to be blocked at these points and so the physical counterparts are affected as well. A good example of such interaction is that of the pineal gland. This gland is the physical counterpart of the Crown Chakra and in most humans it begins to shrivel up to a pea sized gland at a very young age. It starts out as a very healthy gland producing many hormones needed for the growth and health of the body but as the crystallized chitta blocks the action of the crown chakra the pineal shrinks to a pathetic version of its former self. Only through a thorough clearing of the astral body and chitta, the raising of sexual energy into the brain and the activation and incarnation of the Crown Chakra can this physical gland become healthy again.