We are meditating on what it means to be human and employed the 10C’s of creation spirituality to do so. We are discussing that “C” called character.
One fresh way to conceive of character development is to borrow language from the East which has identified the chakras of our bodies and psyches as important center points of healthy power. I do this in my book on evil, where I contrast seven chakras of the East with the seven capital sins of the west to arrive at a new language for talking about Evil. I think that the results speak for themselves. The elders task and parents and educator’s task can be seen as educing authentic power and wisdom and ability from each child. We need to educate ours and our children’s chakras, therefore for they can represent the powers we carry within us.
The modern age put all education into just the head chakra, in fact in the left hemisphere of the brain which is the sixth chakra narrowly conceived. Rationality abounds. Tests and exams multiply. Values, which Einstein declared to be found in the intuition (or right brain) are excluded in rationalistic setting. This is why Einstein said “I abhor American education.”
The pre-modern age did not restrict education to the head alone. Monastic education, for example, incorporated working the fields and chanting and meditating along with intellectual studies. Native American children learned in the woods, along with the animals and birds, trees and fauna. Sitting in desks is not the sole way to learn. We need to make room for educating all the chakras. Consider this.
1st chakra: educating for cosmology and healthy pride (and against couchpotatoitis or acedia; and arrogance such as racism, sexism, homophobia, anthropocentrism). The first chakra relates to the earth we walk on and to the whole universe–all vibrations of the universe (cosmology)
2nd chakra: educating for balance and the generativity that results (and against power trips that employ lust as a weapon or that preach a repression and fear of our bodies and sexuality.)
3rd chakra: educating for strength, grounding and positive use of anger and moral outrage (and against violence and injustices of any kind)
4th chakra: educating for compassion and justice-making; for forgiveness and courage and magnanimity and overcoming of fear
5th chakra: educating for speaking out and telling one’s wisdom (instead of gluttony and its postmodern equivalent, consumerism that stuff one’s wisdom back down one’s throat)
6th chakra: educating for intuition and values and for intellectual analysis (and against one-sided rationalism masquerading as intellectual life and education)
7th chakra: educating for community with all beings (and against envy)
A person of character is one who has developed virtues or practices for living out one’s values. Naming the chakras or power points we carry inside us can assist our character building.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human., 141-145.
See also: Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. 183-374.
Queries for Contemplation
Which of the seven chakras alluded to here seem to you to be the strongest in yourself? In your culture? Which do you think need the most attention at this time?
The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human
The A.W.E. Project reminds us that awe is the appropriate response to the unfathomable wonder that is creation… A.W.E. is also the acronym for Fox’s proposed style of learning – an approach to balance the three R’s. This approach to learning, eldering, and mentoring is intelligent enough to honor the teachings of the Ancestors, to nurture Wisdom in addition to imparting knowledge, and to Educate through Fox’s 10 C’s. The 10 C’s are the core of the A.W.E. philosophy and process of education, and include: compassion, contemplation, and creativity. The A.W.E. Project does for the vast subject of “learning” what Fox’s Reinvention of Work did for vocation and Original Blessing did for theology. Included in the book is a dvd of the 10 C’s put to 10 video raps created and performed by Professor Pitt.
“An awe-based vision of educational renewal.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.