The healthy first chakra, as we have noted, potentially picks up the vibrations and sounds of the entire universe. It is our grounding ourselves in the cosmos and the earth since “ecology is functional cosmology” as Thomas Berry teaches us.
Therefore, to wander off center from the first chakra brings up two “capital sins,” one being acedia and the loss of energy that we have been discussing in our recent meditations and which is so much a sign of our times that we have created a new word for it, couchpotatoitis.
The second capital sin associated with the first chakra is: Arrogance. (A much more accurate word than “pride” which was often used in the past—healthy pride is an important virtue that parents, schools and culture itself should be teaching children.)
Racism and sexism (one sex superior to another), colonialism and heterosexism, adultism and ageism (one age superior to another) are all species of arrogance and all connected to the first chakra.
It is this unhealthy pride or arrogance (what the Eastern spirituality calls “ego”) that is the basic problem.
In this sense, acedia and arrogance go together. Acedia’s indifference and coldness and uncaring—what Hildegard of Bingen called “drying up” and “carelessness”—flows from a rejection of the sounds of others—their dignity and stories as well as their cries for help. Ignoring their dreams, their despair, their rage, their hopes—all this settles in when humans succumb to acedia.
“O human,” Hildegard asked, “Where is your passion, where is your blood?” Again, a call for the red stuff—for blood. Red is the color of the first chakra.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, p. 202.
To see the transcript of Matthew’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: “Gentrification is Violence” Flyers in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles. Photo by Umberto Brayj on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you agree that pride is a virtue we should be instilling in our young? And that the word “arrogance” better names the capital offense against the promise of the first chakra to be inclusive and reach for the “whole,” for the cosmos and all of creation?