Virtues and Sins Part III: Chastity vs. Lust
Happy Valentine´s Day!
Originating from Valentine of Rome, a priest who was martyred about AD 496 and buried on the Via Flaminia, Valentine´s Day is being celebrated yearly on February 14th in many countries worldwide. According to the Golden Legend, Valentine wrote the first “valentine” card himself addressed to the daughter of his jailer Asterius, who was no longer blind, signing as “Your Valentine”, the night before he was executed.
In Finland we call Valentine´s Day “Ystävänpäivä” translating into “Day of Friends”, thus not having a romantic significance but instead valuing and remembering your friends. Modified tradition used in many ways – like in WWF´s Valentine´s Day campaign.
Chastity (Latin: Castitas) refers to purity, knowledge, honesty, wisdom. Noble qualities for a leader, yet so few of us manage to fulfill these during our entire lifetimes. Is it worth trying, or just simpler to allow ourselves to be human and give in to lust (Latin: Luxuria) whenever tantalized by our egos? It is rare for a human being to completely avoid temptations, with exceptions like Mother Teresa.
To err is human; to forgive, divine (Alexander Pope).
If we all just tried just a little bit harder to value what is really important in life, the world would be a much better and safer place for all of us. This probably sounds very moral and to be honest, that´s exactly what it is. Economic motivations shouldn´t dominate moral considerations.
If you have practiced yoga and meditation you are probably familiar with the chakra system. Chakras are wheels of life, master programs in our bodies forming the coordination network of our complicated mind and body system. I warmly recommend literature e.g. “Wheels of Life” (Anodea Judith, Ph.D.) which explains the chakra system in a captivating manner.
Getting familiar with the system and stabilizing one´s chakras is one of the most effective methods of increasing personal levels of consciousness, to lead a more balanced life, to reach goals and to manage change in life. Just make sure to find a good teacher and make it a life-long journey. Chakras are very powerful so it is important to practice with knowledge.
Knowing how to balance one´s chakra system is directly related to the fact of being able to balance one´s life. Many of our daily problems can be solved by stabilizing our chakras, some of which may be under- or overfunctioning. According to some chakra experts and practitioners humanity, in general, is about to shift to the heart chakra. Good news for our planet, although a majority of the world´s population still need to struggle with the very basic needs of the root chakra.
Our chakras function separately, but form together a complete network creating rootedness, harmony, activity etc. in our bodies. It is through the chakras that the energy of life is flowing into us. The chakras enable us to communicate, to sense and to understand. Information flows both ways in our chakras, with each chakra having its own responsibility.
Root chakra: Closest to the ground. Through the root chakra we are connected to a natural and innocent state of being. A well-balanced root chakra can be identified e.g. through following:
– Calm and confident behavior
– Ability to enjoy physical activities
– Downright relation to nature
– Feeling of safety
– Ability to feel fellowship easily
– Strong family boundaries and respect for one´s roots
– Feeling of having deserved one´s place in the world
Sacral chakra: Above the root chakra. Center for creative inspiration, willingness to see and to experience new things and to meet new people. Also the center for sexuality. Qualities when well-balanced:
– Vivid imagination
– Feeling of being confident
– Approving oneself
– Ability to play/playfulness
– Not looking for correlations
– Ability to identify with others and to play roles
Solar Plexus: Center for ambition, personal will, competitiveness, autonomy and social skills. When the solar plexus is active, an individual needs to belong, to network and to achieve something. The individual is building relationships more consciously than before. Qualities when well-mastered:
– Reliability and precision
– Able to manage stress
– Normal ambition
– Mastering one´s life
– A strong will and inspiration to live
– Good ability to judge
– Favoring mental exercises
– Good memory
– Ability to build lasting relations
– Ability to take and give constructive criticism
– Ability to set goals
– Ability to work both as an employee and as a leader
– Knows how to take initiative
– Not afraid of taking responsibility
Heart Chakra: Center for love, relationships, and for the sense of justice. Directly related to physical health and healing. Center for compassion. The more developed, the easier it gets for and individual to practice forgiveness, both towards oneself as well as towards others. Qualities when well-balanced:
– A need to listen to and to understand others
– Love for nature
– Good health
– Ability to adapt easily
– Stable opinions
– Good judge of human nature
– Good relationships
Throat Chakra: A creative, expressive and imaginative individual has a well-developed throat chakra. This chakra is also related to various paranormal abilities, such as premonitions and clairaudience, developed visualization. Qualities when well-balanced:
– Good imagination
– Artistic capabilities
– Willingness to listen and to understand others
– Vivid dreams
– Good sense of balance
– Ability to focus well
– Ability to shut off excessive thoughts
– Spirit longs for deep relations
– Interest for spirituality
– Good self-expression
– Quick ability to come up with ideas and to take initiative
– Stays calm under pressure and catastrophes
Brow Chakra (Third Eye): The experienced world expands further. Spirituality becomes an even more significant part of an individual´s life. Discovery of immense inner potential. Things that feel irrelevant and consuming are no longer of interest. Strong third eye qualities:
– Sharp visual memory
– All kind of efficient visuality
– Broad view of the world
– Exceptional selflessness
– Healthy eyes and mind
– Ability to remain strongly focused even under extreme pressure
– Gift of intuition
– Telepathic ability
– Belief in the impossible being possible
– Mediumistic capabilities
– Borderless creativity
– Headaches very uncommon
Crown Chakra: The highest energy center. For a materialistic individual it is difficult to understand that if one gives something altruistically it would ever be given back. What is coming back to you doesn´t automatically come from where it has been given, but from elsewhere, through another way, even in another form. Altruistic helping and sharing is natural for the one whose crown chakra is sparking. The individual uses, shares, and continues his/her journey without clinging onto anything understanding that nothing belongs to him/her. Despite of this he/she feels like owning the whole world because he/she owns him/herself. For some people spiritual awakening happens more easily while consciously and radically giving up their fortune. On the other hand, even large fortunes can be wisely managed and directed with a good energy system. By denying money and fortune completely, an individual also denies taking part in the worldly system. It might not be wise that all spiritually awaken people deny materialism (money). It is possible to achieve good things with money as long as it is wisely managed. Qualities of the crown chakra:
– No fear of death
– Many-sided vision
– Personal worldview
– Uncorrupted confidence
– High level of unselfishness
– Ability to settle with just a little possession
– No fear for change
– Ability to stand strong even without external support
– Ability to forgive incomprehensible infringements
(Source: Aalto, M. 2006. Kivet kertovat. Jalokivet, chakrat ja meditaatio). 13.2.2014.
We all have the possibility to increase intuition and spirituality in our lives meaning that during our lives we may reach the highest levels of consciousness. This only requires us to be open to change, to listen to our inner voices and take the time for peace and stillness.
The better we balance ourselves and our chakras, the easier it gets to develop true leadership qualities including honesty, wisdom and knowledge sharing. Conversely to common beliefs, sharing knowledge and helping others is not harmful. Sharing knowledge is a win-win situation for everyone. In business, of course, it is useful to keep sensitive ideas to yourself, but also to practice collaboration rather than competing, and if competing, then foremost competing against oneself.
There are numerous great quotes about enemies. To borrow Buddha´s words: “It is a man´s own mind, not his enemy or foe that lures him to evil ways”.
“Your inner strength is your outer foundation” (Allan Rufus).