Marching as Sacrament, Finding One’s Voice

There is a collective voice, a prophetic voice (pro-pheto means to speak out in Greek) when one marches in a group process.  Grace ensues.  Mantras occur, chants that tell the truth in one’s guts and hearts: “Black Lives Matter!” “Remember George Floyd!” “Justice Now!”  and much more including a Litany of the names—a very long litany—of those black men and women murdered by policemen.

Black Lives Matter protest chant, London. Photo by Étienne Godiard on Unsplash

Marching can be a sacramental act as well as a political one.  It is an art form, a way of gathering the moral outrage of a people who want an end to Injustice.  It makes our television sets in the evening news broadcasts and thus spreads its message, its “good news” to far away places. 

Today marches have occurred in more than 500 cities and towns in the United States as well as numerous cities the world over.  Maybe there is a commonness to humanity after all.  Maybe we still have deep within us a yearning for justice that we are born with.  Maybe we can create a new kind of human being and a society that mirrors our better selves: Beings committed to justice, love and compassion.

There is a deep metaphor it seems to me in the murder of George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for eight plus minutes.  Why is that? 

“Your foot on my neck” Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

The neck is the throat; it is the fifth chakra.  The fifth chakra is the prophetic chakra.  It is through the birth canal of the fifth chakra that we put our heart and mind, our wisdom, into the world.  It is the source of our speaking to others about what’s in our fourth chakra (our hearts) and our sixth chakra (our minds). 

The murder of Floyd by kneeling on his neck/throat is another instance of Dominance; of shutting someone—and all his race?—up.  Of gagging.  Of ending the truth-telling and sharing—and the beauty of song and poetry and words that pass through the birth canal that is our throats once and for all.  An ultimate act of Dominance: Silencing others.  The ultimate act of Dominance: Murdering people by sitting on their throats.

And this is surely one reason why these processions and demonstrations by marching speak so profoundly to the situation at hand.  The silencing of others is the ultimate goal of human desire to dominate.  “Shut up,” we say.  “Gag yourself or we will do it for you.” 

“I can’t breathe” Photo by David Ramos on Unsplash

The sacramental character of marching in solidarity with others chanting litanies of “No” pierces that shadow in human consciousness and societal oppression.  Marchers are turning round the reality of kneeling on the neck/fifth chakra and are finding a voice that was meant to have been silenced and speaking it, chanting it in mantra-style, so that all the world can hear.

Floyd’s attempted silencing has birthed a louder voice, a megaphone heard round the world.  His death has perhaps begun a resurrection of a culture dead to its racism and injustice.  A new paradigm may be born from this death-birth-resurrection story.

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. 317-326.

Banner Image: “Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis, Minnesota December 4, 2014.” Photo by Fibonacci Blue on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you sense a new paradigm being born from the current death-birth-resurrection story that began with George Floyd’s killing and is moving people to protest and to think differently?

Recommended Reading

See the recorded replay of this special free video event!
Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

6 thoughts on “Marching as Sacrament, Finding One’s Voice”

  1. Avatar
    Margaret Rose Hess

    As Matthew Fox teaches in this morning’s meditation, “kneeling on the throat” is a way of choking off the truth telling. Thinking about all the various ways that truth telling is choked back, I came across an article posted today by a Black mother who felt compelled, with great reluctance but out of love, to lie to her son. It is very poignant and I choked back tears reading it. Indeed she does feel the heavy weight of a knee on her neck:

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Yes, Margaret, “‘kneeling on the throat’ is a way of choking off the truth telling.” And truth-telling is what we should be all about! And thank you for the article you attached.

  2. Avatar
    Margaret Nuccio

    The prophetic chakra…..that gives me chills! So infinitely more than apt!
    Thank you Matthew
    Margaret Nuccio

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Yes indeed, the throat chakra is the prophetic chakra, it is the place where we find our voice and are motivated to use it. Rabbi Abraham Heschel said that the role of the prophet was to “interfere”–and isn’t that just what is happening–people are interferring with the system of racial injustice by protesting the injuistices.

      1. Avatar

        Distortion of the meaning of the prophet to conform to futuristic predictions of the end times (benefiting only the select few) is another hijacking by the “religious” people of the Bible. It is much harder and more thought provoking to see prophecy as speaking the truth to power and criticizing the status quo.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: