“Ultimately, to acknowledge the life of the body, and to affirm our solidarity with this physical form, is to acknowledge our existence as one of the earth’s animals”
– David Abram
Vegetal, Instinctual, and Rational
Aristotle once wrote that the human soul is a rational soul. He observed how plants possess a vegetal soul, focused on growth and nourishment. On the other hand, animals possess the soul of instincts: survival, cunning, and the like. He also posits that humans possess both, but with a rational soul that sets them apart. Here we turn our attention to the psyche and soma connection once more. Notably, the soulful experience can be encountered in each of these three dimensions. Often, as reflective and rational beings, we must come to terms with the rational facts of our poor connection to the sensuous and wise experiences of nature and animal life. In fact, often enough it is not the rational mind that needs the mending. Rather, it’s the liberation of the animal and the natural relationships to life and presence.
The Sensuous Fields of the Present
The mind thinks itself into existence and one great danger to the soulful life would be to dismember the thinking existence from the rest. Should we become convinced that our thinking defines our existing, we gravely miss the simple pleasure of existence.
The simplest of things often are the most complicated. The mind whines, demands, and even tantrums as the high-chair tyrant. Self-importance and endless attempts at total domination make it so. Yet looking toward the expressions and experiences of bodily notions begin to open and engage the sensuous fields of the present. Such glimpses bring us profoundly into the dimensions of soul that we found ourselves starving to call home.
Awareness of the Sacral Chakra
This week we turn our attention both sensationally and psychologically to the sacral chakra. Seated above the root chakra between the frenum and the navel, the sacral chakra gushes with orange swirling hues. This chakra is the energy center of all creativity, relationships, sexuality, and feeling. When out of balance the sacral chakra is a dangerous place. Should we live unconscious to the underactive or overactive energy in this center, we find ourselves deprives of vital enjoyment and personal power on the one hand or, on the other extreme co-dependencies, cravings, compulsions. The sacral chakra is the seat of our addictions and ultimately gluttonous behaviors. Should we work to balance this energy center, we discover a world of joy rather than sensory overload.
The Place for the Sacral in Life
We seek to balance the sacral chakra. This week, pay special attention to their sense of things. Smell, taste, longings. As we spend time opening up to the realm of guilt, pleasure, and joy, let us all keep in the mind the animal and vegetal soul. There is a natural and worthwhile place for the sacral in life. The instincts may be wilder than we want and this is why the root chakra needs to be opened first. Dealing with fear, the root chakra grounds our experiences in a place of balance and security.