Honoring the 7th Chakra & Steeling Ourselves For Facing Evils

Yesterday, we celebrated Walt Whitman’s birthday as a “Bard of 7th Chakra Numinosity.”  One valuable reason for comparing the seven chakras and seven capital sins is that to do so empowers us to face evil and not flinch or run from it. 

What are the values we want our society to demonstrate? Image by Matteo Paganelli on Unsplash

As we saw in yesterday’s meditation on Walt Whitman, to hold to a vision of an inclusive and celebrative community—the work of the seventh chakra–is to resist temptations to narrow “isms” that tempt us.  Community–the community of all light beings including ancestors, angels or spirits, and other humans committed to building community together—is the medicine for that which tears community apart: Hatred, Self-hatred, Violence, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Adultism and so much more.

Let us turn to the healthy seventh chakra therefore even while we name and lament the unhealthy or off-center seventh chakra.  There we will be nurtured and strengthened. 

Among indigenous peoples the community hold primacy over notions of individualism.  Identity comes from one’s relation to the whole.  To cosmos.  To the tribe.  To the whole community, local and distant.  As Vine Deloria puts it, 

“Community Dance” of the Piscataway Nation at the Anacostia Trails Heritage Center. Photo by Anacostia Trails Heritage Area on Flickr.

The possibility of conceiving of an individual alone in a tribal religious sense is ridiculous.  The very complexity of tribal life and the interdependence of people on one another makes this conception improbable at best, a terrifying loss of identity at worst.

Community is another word for Creation.  If all creation is made of light—which is what today’s physics is telling us—then all community is in some way the gathering of light, the relationship of light beings to each other.  The gathering of light and sending it out is the work of the seventh chakra.

So much community has been lost in the modern world where parts and not the whole were emphasized.  Loneliness abounds.  To survive, our post-modern times must rediscover community.  Science is helping by reaffirming for us the interdependence and interconnectivity of all things—such teachings that mystics have known for centuries.  But our institutions and professions from education to law to business and economics and politics is often stuck in modern modes of individualism.  Post-modern values would return community to the fore. 

A short explanation of the differences between conventional, organic, and regenerative agriculture: the latter builds a community of plants, animals, and soil organisms to restore the land and sustain its beings. Video by Jimi Eisenstein.

Communities exist everywhere in nature.  Wes Jackson, director of the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, speaks of the relationship between soil and the human.  

Soil is a placenta or matrix, a living organism which is larger than the life it supports, a tough elastic membrane which has given rise to many life forms. 

But soil is not being acknowledged for what it is.  “It is itself now dying.  It is a death that is utterly senseless, and portends our own.”

To ignore community is lethal.  Deadly. 

Adapted from Matthew Fox, “Community and Interdependence,” in Fox, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths, pp. 92, 80f.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Baltimore Ceasefire Peace Walk March by communities calling for an end to gun violence, 8/6/2017. Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you feel the tension in trying to move beyond modernist individualism consciousness to a post-modern (and pre-modern) sense of community and interconnectivity?  The move is not easy or quick, is it?  Is soil part of your community?

Recommended Reading

One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths

Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.“Reading One River, Many Wells is like entering the rich silence of a masterfully directed retreat. As you read this text, you reflect, you pray, you embrace Divinity. Truly no words can fully express my respect and awe for this magnificent contribution to contemporary spirituality.” –Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

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12 thoughts on “Honoring the 7th Chakra & Steeling Ourselves For Facing Evils”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, Today you present us with the following Queries for Contemplation: “Do you feel the tension in trying to move beyond modernist individualism consciousness to a post-modern (and pre-modern) sense of community and interconnectivity?” Yes, I feel the tension intensely. But we do need to build an inclusive and celebrative community–a community of all beings, which must resist the temptation to accept narrow “isms”–a community–that includes the ancestors, angels or spirits, humans and all beings who are committed to building community together—that is the medicine for that which tears community apart: Hatred, Self-hatred, Violence, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Adultism and so much more. And thank you for this reminder: “Science is helping by reaffirming for us the interdependence and interconnectivity of all things—such teachings that mystics have known for centuries.”
    “Is soil part of your community?” Yes, very much so. My wife and I live in the foothills on the way up to Lake Tahoe, and it is a fairly small town–small enough that you bump into people you know in stores, etc. in town. We have a lot of rural areas that surround our town as well. So the community is grounded in the earth and the earth is tended to by the community…

  2. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    I really appreciated the video clip included in today’s DM, on regenerative agriculture. It portrayed so beautifully the interconnections between soil and humanity in a brilliant numinous way.

    What came to my remembrance was a teaching I heard long ago, during my apprenticeship within Indigenious Spirituality… which is… knowledge doesn’t become wisdom until it’s practically applied to life. The tension that we are in the midst of, regarding many of the challenging issues of crisis we are facing… is I sense, this movement from knowledge to wisdom.

    Humanity has been creatively inspired with knowledge to deal with some of these crisis issues… as conveyed in the regenerative agriculture video. What’s needed is the practical application… which if followed through on… will reduce the tension of the crisis itself.

    Sadly, the endless folly seen, unfolding and evolving… throughout this neccessary collective movement is so excruciatingly and painfully slow… which just adds to the tension… due to the fact that humanity complicates it so… when in reality the simplicity of these creative numinous solutions, offers such a common sense approach… which if practically applied could indeed become the emergence of wisdom that results in healing and rebalancing humanities relationships with the all and the everything of creation, as well as our relationships with ourselves, each other and the Great Creator, the Great Mystery of all that exists.

    My concern is… is that time is not on our side here… for it’s DO or DIE… a slow and painful death.

    1. Avatar

      You have summarized what I see and feel. Having grown up on a family farm in Missouri when recognition for soil conservation practices let the community see “best practices,” I am saddened for the earth as we see greed in big agriculture controlling the use of soil. I see the chemicals applied to control weeds seeping into the ground water that will reach the aquifers and poison the only drinkable water as a threat to life. Fracking for oil and gas uses excessive amounts of water and causes earthquakes that have been happening throughout the Dakotas and Oklahoma for years.
      We are destroying the earth in “living for today— at all costs.”

  3. Avatar

    I think of the physics of light and understand it in the way that Matthew suggests: And science today is telling us how light and matter are the same thing. So light is at the heart of all matter.” This leads me to think of Pentecost and Jesus’ promise to bring ‘fire [light]to the earth’.

    Hildegard Von Bingen expresses the role of light in healing the wounds that separate us as individuals longing for authentic community:

    Holy Spirit, bestowing life unto life,
    moving in All.
    You are the root of all creatures,
    washing away all impurity, scouring guilt, and anointing wounds.
    Thus you are luminous and praiseworthy,
    life, awakening, and re-awakening all that is.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Gwen, Thank you for adding the Via Creativa with your poem–so beautiful and helpful to remember…

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    Maybe when you start to see clearly the meaning of Industrial “progress,” you eventually gravitate to consideration of the soil. For several years I’ve been on that path. I have several books on my shelves and have read several others from the library about soil and how to keep it healthy and thriving. But the Authorities don’t look at soil as a priority. In my area HOAs are hostile to various permaculture methods of improving soil on your own property (I don’t like HOAs and think they violate property rights—but that’s another story); but there is at least one family in town—and whether their neighborhood has an HOA, I don’t know—but they have a lovely old house across from a beautiful city park. They have converted the entire yard into a food and flower garden and it’s beautiful. I’ve seen little kids playing on the sidewalk grab a tomato and eat it right there! Apparently the people don’t mind if this happens.
    For myself, I have to fight the HOA and the water Authority which looks at my weeds (read about invasive plants healing soil inadequacies) as a nonproductive use of water, to do the minimal natural soil amending!

  5. Avatar

    Yes, Matthew, the limited consciousness and values of individualism is modern, but you’ve also reminded us in past DMs that it goes back thousands of years to the beginnings of patriarchal societies with toxic, unbalanced masculine values and the oppression of the feminine and feminine values. This continued imbalance in mostly males, society, institutions, and spiritually we know has had destructive effects on humanity and Mother Earth, including much suffering, to our present day. However, there seems to be a growing spiritual awareness in many individuals (lightworkers) that will hopefully transform our societies and world before it is too late. We have to maintain our faith, contemplative/meditative prayers, compassion with one another, and openness to God’s Living~Wisdom~Healing~Creative~Justice~Compassionate… Spirit Present within and among us, even through spiritual multi-dimensional beings and Angels within and among us, Loving, Guiding, and Empowering us to do God’s Will of Diverse Loving Oneness in the Sacred Process of the Eternal Present Moment… co-Creation~Evolution/Divine Love/Cosmic Christ Consciousness….

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