With the recent sudden deaths of animals around the planet, the general environmental chaos we’re in and the closing in of 2012, many people are thinking in terms of “the last days” or Armageddon. I do not really believe in the classical concept of an Armageddon, but I do sometimes feel as if we are right in the middle of one. And I do think we are heading for a big change – we must change our societies to survive, and I believe we want that change to be towards safer, freer and more loving co-existence.
With all this in mind, I stumbled upon an old, favourite text of mine, which by coincidence yesterday. It is what Carol Bridges writes, in the sincerely enlightening book which comes with her The Medicine Woman Tarot Deck, on a contemporary view on the seven deadly sins under the headline:
“Threats to your power”
Lets get the worst out of the way. It is true that someone could take your life, abuse you sexually, give you a lobotomy or make you a slave. These are the vilest of evils we can imagine. Every religion has strict taboos against acts that severely violate the personal space and conciousness of another human being. Yet we have seen gross failures to adhere to these common principles. How do these failures come about?
Both questions have the same answer. The way is cleared. To tolerate smaller abuses clears the way for greater abuses to occur. On the other hand, at any point, to grab the reins of power and begin to make your stand clears the way only for more of that power to manifest through you.
In the Christian tradition, there are what it known as “The Seven Deadly Sins”. Reinterpreted to fit our current word usage, the sins are as follows:
1. Rape. Traditionally, this was called “lust”, but our current understanding of the essence of this sin is simply to want without regard to the wants of another. In modern language, this is rape. It is the death of respect for another and eventually for oneself.
2. Greed. This means taking without giving anything in return or without regard to the consequences. It is the death of generosity and cooperation.
3. Over-consumption. The traditional word for this poison is gluttony. We have come to identify that word with food, but in our industrial/technological society, food is but one of the things over-consumed. The sin is in taking all resources and leaving none for future generations. It is the death of the planet.
4. Arrogance or Pride. Now “pride” has a positive meaning in our language, but the sin to which it once referred was superiority and prejudice, the feeling that “I deserve everything and you deserve nothing”. It is the death of civil liberty and peace.
5. Envy or Covetousness. This is a desire for what others possess while feeling a resentment that they possess it and you don’t. It is directing negativity toward those who appear happier and better off than oneself. It is the death of self-motivation and growth.
6. Sloth or Powerlessness. Though in today’s frantic world idleness may be considered a virtue, the sin that these words tried to point out was that of not taking care of one’s basic needs. It is the idea that you should give to me so that I don’t have to work to get what I need. It is the death of personal responsibility. It is a complete lack of will or personal power. It is the consciousness of victim, the sufferer. It is the death of the power of “I will”.
7. Murder or Avarice. This is not simply killing, for we kill each time we swat a mosquito or weed in the garden or use a tree to build a house. It is killing out of spite, hate, greed, gluttony, lust or envy. It is the slaughter of the scapegoat for one’s own deadly habits. It is the projection and attempt to kill the shadow of one’s own failings.
It is the extinction of the species.”
The Medicine Woman Inner Guidebook
pages 139 – 141
Published with permission from Carol Bridges – www.sacredarts.info
The “fat text”-passages/words are chosen by me!