Wisdom From Shirley
The seven churches and seven candles are, I believe a methodology of opening the energy centers in each human being. We must each do the individual work for ourselves now. No church or state can discover what we will know about ourselves; therefore, they can't direct us any longer. It is a simple matter to take the time every day to stop all activity and meditate (focus) on the seven energy centers within the SELF. Just acknowledging that they are there causes an opening. The more acknowledgment, the more opening.
When the first base chakra (the fight-or-flight energy center) is open, we take more accurate evaluation of what it is that frightens us. When the second chakra (the sexual creative energy center) is open, we understand more accurately what we are doing or not doing with our sexuality, and therefore our creative expression becomes more balanced. When the third chakra (the personal power energy center) is open, we are more fully in touch with our sense of control and how threatened we are if and when we don't have it. The ego mechanisms of the third chakra become less mechanical and manipulative.
When the fourth chakra (the heart chakra) is open, we become more compassionate, loving, and sensitive to others. It is also the resting place of the soul itself. The heart chakra of nearly every human being I know (except for children) is fairly well closed because of fear (first chakra) and concern for personal power and welfare (third chakra). When the heart chakra is open, one must be prepared to have a more trusting nature and all that such trust involves. But the dividends of having a high value for trust in one's life gives us a heart-centered intelligence, and using that condition wisely is a consciousness-raising growth process.
When the fifth chakra (the throat chakra of communication) is open, each person speaks his or her own truth, and it is no mystery what progress we could make in the world if truth were the means of communication, even when there is dire disagreement. When the sixth chakra (the vision center in the middle of the forehead) is open, the vision that each person has for peace in the world and for his own life can be more fully realized. Visions are thwarted these days out of misconceived necessities. If we can visualize something, we can make it happen.
When the seventh chakra (the energy of our spirit connected to God) is open, we feel we are indeed guided and protected by the loving power of our creator, and if our intention is pure and in service to our better angels, we feel we will never be harmed.
In her book, Sage-ing While Age-ing, Shirley MacLaine talked about many things. She foresees a spiritual awakening, which is something I've not really thought much about. I grew up going to my parents' church and, although I really enjoyed the people there, I never really felt connected to the message. This whole Bible/chant/sit-down/stand-up thing seemed really, well, cult-ish, actually. And I rarely listened to the message of what they were saying.
Even though church wasn't for me, it doesn't mean I don't believe in some sort of higher power. It's hard for me to believe that all of the beauty in this world is completely random. But it's just as hard for me to believe all these crazy Bible stories that are meant to be taken literally. But Shirley's insight offers a more muted approach. Instead of religion, she talks about spirituality. She isn't saying anything that I haven't been introduced to before, but she puts it in a way that is meaningful and relevant to me. She explains it for the layman. And she doesn't PREACH; she shares her experience. I think that's how I learn best – when I'm being talked to, not at.
Anyway, the above passage really resonated with me and I think that it's something I should try to re-read as often as possible to keep fresh in my mind. If I keep the thought of opening my seven chakras at the forefront of my mind every day, it will help me to live a more balanced, happy, and peaceful life. That's the ultimate goal, isn't it?
Another passage in the book that really resonated with me is this:
When will we stop revolving ourselves and our enemies around religion and begin to look more seriously at the exercise of expanding our own consciousness? We would be able to transcend our conflicts if we understood that we are spiritually and scientifically interconnected. We would then have a paradigm shift in thinking and behavior. "Do unto others as we would have them do unto us" would shift to "Do unto others because they are us." We need to learn more about what consciousness really is. It has emotions, perceptions, attitudes, and ultimately worldviews that come from spiritual beliefs.
Do unto others because they ARE us. Wise words, Shirley. Wise words.