This is an exquisite time to be practicing alignment. The drumbeat of daily panic typifies a misalignment of the first chakra that our culture seems to take for granted, with “wellness” being pruned down to survival.
The spiritual adept Hilda Charlton used to say in such times, “This is your opportunity, kids!”
Well, an opportunity for what? Perhaps it is for understanding that seeming clichés like “we are all connected” are absolutely real, as Covid-19 defies all borders, or for simply becoming aware of how often we unconsciously touch our faces, or for getting a chance to observe the depth of our reactive natures. Over the next weeks, I am offering a “chakra by chakra” breakdown of ways in which we might develop increased clarity and compassion through the “corona event.”
Being responsible and taking care of yourself is paramount here. Somewhere between obsessive cleanliness and “What me worry” foolishness is a middle way of being fully responsible for your own space and resources. By taking care of your self: bolstering your immune system, eating and sleeping well, and the like, you are helping to establish a tiny beachhead of sanity from which the finer things may flower.
Along with the necessary hand washing and like practices, this is an opportunity to deepen our ground, to move rootedness deep into the earth and not allow ourselves to be “infected” by media hysteria or social alarm. Remembering that the opposite of abundance is panic, we can draw deeper strength from our earth connection and honor our responsibility to take care of all the details that need to be taken care of.
Perhaps one of these “details” is to revision the way we treat animals as objects of consumption or amusement. If the first chakra assumes its business is to dominate other life forms, then the cruel and bloody realities of confinement and slaughter are swept way under the table, but they are bound to emerge somewhere.
The mass run on toilet paper perfectly typifies this first chakra misalignment. Lemmings rush to buy an absolutely useless and environmentally destructive commodity that offers a cosmetic appearance of cleanliness while just spreading shit around. As long as I do not have to see it, it does not matter. This is the same first chakra misalignment that moves entire states to bury nuclear waste in containers that last for 25-50 years, imagining that because the ground they are buried in is not yet glowing in the dark, there is no problem. Perhaps, at the most base level, this virus-time is an opportunity to transform the way we wipe our butts. Years of living in India (where people clean themselves with water) have taught me that toilet paper is not a necessity. Moreover, one can now purchase an inexpensive bidet that attaches to your toilet bowl that will clean you very well without getting feces all over your hands and without contributing to our genocide of forests and their life giving oxygen.
The search for a vaccine as a panacea for the latest virus takes responsibility for one’s body and health away from the individual and on to government and “science.” While such treatment may be helpful for immune compromised individuals, the thought forms of dependency coupled with the desire to “quick fix things” can lead (and has lead) to vaccines and like medications that are neither scrupulously tested nor vetted and that wind up doing as much harm to people as good. If you take current practice to its logical extreme, people can wind up taking hundreds of different vaccinations for hundreds of different viruses (there are umpteen millions of viruses in the human body), and the pharmaceutical industry will only be too happy to oblige.
This mentality creates the current drug dependent society whose economy feeds upon ever increasing prescription medications along with absurd military spending, and the like.
I am not advocating extreme denials of the value and use of science, or medicine. However the widespread hysteria over a strong flu belies the first chakra’s true agenda of survival. Perhaps there are deep samskaras (inherited thought forms) around starvation and other forms of scarcity that push us into reaction. Here, a true first chakra depth can tolerate the first reactive wave and allow for more intelligent responses to threatening situations.
We need strength of will, intelligence, and cooperation to survive (all characteristics of alignment), but I can guarantee you, that you will die. This is a given, and therefore what is more important is not if you die, or even when you die, but how you die. Do you want to die with dignity and awareness or in a drug-filled haze of unconsciousness? Do you want to die in a walled fortress of fear or in the gratitude of offering your last breath back to the universe?
The corona situation is a first chakra opportunity to step out of fear and survival conditioning and into integrity, courage, and openness with our fellow beings; doing what needs to be done while allowing this situation to take us more deeply into our own power, integrity, and freedom.
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E. H. RICK JAROW, PhD
works as a Transformative Language Artist, astrological guide, and facilitator of interior journeys through meditation, poetics, depth psychology, and the therapeutic arts. He is the author of numerous books, including Alchemy of Abundance, Creating the Work You Love, and The Advanced Manifestation Program. He is professor of Religious Studies at Vassar College and the chairperson of the Carolyn Grant ’36 Endowment Committee on embodied learning and the mythic imagination.