Heart Chakra, Anahata

"Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being" - Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

We may be a culture obsessed by power, but we are driven by the need for love. The basic right of the heart chakra--to love and be loved-- is simple, profound, direct. Sadly, this chakra is easily damaged, diminished, or wounded. These wounds have profound importance as they wound both spirit and soul, affect both mind and body, and impact the very core of the self.

Why is love so elusive when it is so simple? Literature abounds with sagas of love and its loss, sagas we know only too well from personal experience. Nothing is quite so uplifting as the flowering of love, nothing so devastating as its loss. A deeply archetypal experience, love is the force that runs our lives.

We cannot live without it, yet the world is crying for a lack of it.

All forms of child abuse are, in fact, travesties of love. They are travesties because they are not a complete absence of love, but an absence of healthy love. How many children have been spanked and abused, sexually molested, punished severely, smothered, or overmanaged while being told, "This is because I love you so much." Travesties of love occur when the most needed element of life is twisted and torn, withheld and used as a means of control. Without knowing what healthy love looks like, we have a hard time creating it in our lives. We hang on to mere shreds of love, sacrifice ourselves on its altar, and run in fear when we find it.

Instead, we are turning toward the opposite of love: warfare and violence. Television violence models behavior for our children and gangs provide many of our youth with their only sense of belonging. On a single day in America, 270,000 children carry guns to school and guns are now surpassing automobiles as the number one killer. Is this not a travesty of love?

Political agendas cut funds for the downtrodden and needy, the immigrants and children, while the defense budget soars. It is alarming enough that our political leaders embody this value system--more alarming still to contemplate the number of people who support them. What kind of cultural mythos is driving such values?

Myths are the cultural stories of our origins and our purpose. Unconsciously, these stories influence and may even rule our lives. They define what is possible, shape who we are, and lead us to what can be. Myths are a statement of the primal relationships that exist between archetypal elements in the universe and their counterparts in our own psyches.

In the prevailing mythos, we are children of divorce. The Great Mother, a fundamental archetype of the psyche, was worshipped as a living deity for at least 25,000 years during the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of human history. She is archetypal ancestress to us all, her memory buried deeply in the collective unconscious. She mirrors our early childhood experiences of our own mothers and embodies the archetypal imprint of the mothering source-- nurturance, nourishment, containment, and connection.

In the collective mind of Western Civilization, she has long been forgotten. Removed from our predominant mythology, she is conspicuous in her absence. She is only beginning to resurface through the growing Goddess movement, recent archeological research, and the popularity of Jungian archetypal psychology. She is the Mother we have lost and are only just beginning to find again. She is the archetypal feminine at the primal origin of our cultural history.

In her absence, the Great Father has become the sole protagonist in our dominant mythology. He is strong and powerful, but distant and ethereal. He is without a wife or daughter and is estranged from all that the feminine archetype represents. His immediate son has been crucified, ostensibly for the sins of the children. In the divorce settlement, we are the motherless children who were taken to live with the father. In our new household, Mother was not to be discussed and became forgotten.

We have inherited the myth of a broken home. We are the motherless children in our distant father's house, trying to find wholeness in a world that is longing for the magic and mystery of love. This is our story. These are our parents. We are the children of an unacknowledged marriage.

No wonder we have such a yearning for romantic love. No wonder the myth of man-meets-woman-and-lives-happily-ever-after pervades our collective fantasies, rendering other forms of love unrecognizable. If we were children of an intact and loving mythical home, a partnership mythology, we might seek union from an experience of cooperation, rather than through a compulsive need to complete our diminished selves through another.

Our predominant myth is one of separation. We see ourselves as separate from nature, separate from each other, and separate from the divine. Separations are created by race, class, gender, religion and age. Individuals are endowed with the moral right, even encouragement, to do whatever is necessary to further their own individual needs. Wealth and class create more separation, more privacy and more individualism.

We have created vast separation between men and women, and further separation between women and women, and between men and men. Love, as the all-pervasive glue of the universe, is culturally restricted to the bonds of limited heterosexual dyads and their often lonely offspring. The model is obviously flawed, for our children are abused and our marriages repeat the pattern of our mythical parents--with epidemic divorce.

Collectively, it seems we are falling out of love with the world. We all know what deep pain we feel when we fall out of love. It pierces the very core of our being, carves a deep hole in the soul, and wounds and cripples the living spirit.

In our disconnection, we can barely relate to all the tragedies occurring in the world. Is it because the very art of relating is becoming a lost art? Is this because the time it takes to relate deeply, feel fully, and communicate and understand is no longer valued as time well spent? We are becoming alienated, hostile, defensive, self-centered, and compulsively consuming. The result is isolation, constriction, and limitation. The ground that holds us becomes shaky, and the energy that evolves us is restricted to traditional patterns that support the myth of separation. In our isolation, we are lost from our spiritual core, lost from the heart.

To cross the Rainbow Bridge connecting Heaven and Earth is to consciously reconnect severed parts of the world. It is to anchor the myth of individualism in the necessary grounding of self, while simultaneously expanding that self into a conscious unity with the world around us -- socially, ecologically, mythically. To access the divine and become as Gods, we need to recognize our own divine nature as part of the greater mystery of unfolding. To heal the heart is to reunite mind and body, the mystical and mundane, self and other into an integrated whole.

This is our task in the Heart Chakra as it is the task for every one of us that wants to heal this world and assure its future. Without love, there is no binding force to hold our world together. Without love, there is no integration but instead dis-integration. Without love, our Rainbow Bridge collapses in the middle and we fall in the chasm of separation below.

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