Anatomy of The Spirit

Excerpts from Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing, Carolyn Myss, Ph.D. Random House, Inc. New York, NY 1996.

Page 84:  First we must love ourselves, and our first marriage must be a symbolic one: a commitment to attend consciously to our own emotional needs, in order to be able to love and accept others unconditionally.  Learning to love ourselves is a challenge to all of us; one of us is born loving ourselves.  We have to work toward it.  When we neglect ourselves emotionally, we not only become emotionally toxic, we bring that toxin into all of our relationships, particularly into an actual marriage.

Page 85:  Surrender personal Will to Divine Will  Fifth Chakra


Page 86:  What am I meant to do with my life?  What was my purpose in being born?  These questions set the stage for aligning our will to the Divine plan – the most profound choice we can make.  That choice, made in faith and trust, allows Divine authority to enter our lives and reorder our struggles into successes and our wounds into strengths….Spirit and body alike require honesty and integrity to thrive.  For that reason we inherently need to rid ourselves of all distortions we have created. Confession is symbolic of purging all that is not honorable within us….We are meant to confess so that we can redirect our energy into positive actions and behavior, and release ourselves from the burden of negative and guilt-inducing emotions.

Page 87: Sixth Chakra Seek Only the Truth…the energy pulsating from this chakra continually directs us to evaluate the truth and integrity of our beliefs…When we act against this energy, consciously blocking deeper truths from entering our mental field, our perceptual system clouds over.

Page 88:  Hokhmah helps us learn to balance reason and judgment, to keep us aligned with truth, and to make decisions that create the best consequences for ourselves and those with whom we interact.

Page 90:  From the sefirah of Keter, symbolic of our connection to the world of the infinite, we receive the knowledge that there is no death; there is only life.  No one has gone before us whom we will not meet again—that is a divine promise.  We are meant to rest in the comfort and power of that sacred truth.

Page 108:  Nurturing bitterness toward the cultural tribe embroils our energy in a continual inner conflict that blocks access to the healing power of the sacred truth All Is One.


Page 110:  It is extremely challenging, and often very painful, to evaluate our own personal beliefs and separate ourselves from those that no longer support our growth.

Page 111:  Seen symbolically, our life crises tell us that we need to break free of beliefs that no longer serve our personal development….Once we accept personal responsibility for even one area of our lives, we can never again use “tribal reasoning” to excuse our behavior.

Page 132:  Further, any choice made from faith has the full power of heaven behind it—which is why “faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain.”…And any choice made from fear is a violation of the energy of faith.

Page 133:  Paradoxically, while the energy of the second chakra inclines us to try to control our lives, the lesson of the second chakra is that we cannot be in control  We are physical beings and energy beings, but since the physical world cannot be controlled, the task before us is to master our inner responses to the external world, our thoughts and emotions…We search endlessly for the onbe grand choice that will put everything in our lives into permanent order, halting the motion of change long enough to establish final control over everyone and everything.  Is that choice the right career?  The right marriage partner:  The right geographic location?  In seeking this one right choice constantly, we give form to our fear of the changing rhythm that is life itself.  In looking for this single external person or thing that will forever bring us peace, stability, love, and health, we dismiss the more authentic power that lies “behind our eyes and not in front of them.”…The challenge of the second chakra is to learn what motivates us to make the choices we do.  In learning about our motivations, we learn about the content of our spirits…Every choice we make contains the energy of either faith or fear…

Page 134:  Second chakra energy is extremely volatile because it seeks to create.  It is also linked to the issues of physical survival: sex, power, and money, the currencies of relationships….The shadow side of second chakra issues consists of our most prevalent fears: rape, betrayal, financial loss and poverty, abandonment, isolation, impotence, and the inability to care for ourselves.  Each of these fears has the power to control us and to direct our actions for an entire lifetime.  In the language of the Scriptures, these fears qualify as “false gods.”…In order to learn about our motivations—to discover our personal “false gods”—we need relationships.

Page 135:  Relationships generate conflict, conflict generates choice, choice generates movement, and movement generates more conflict.  We break free of this cycle by making choices that transcend dualism and the perceived divisions between ourselves and others, and between ourselves and God…Habit is a hell to which people cling in an attempt to stop the flow of change.  But creative energy defies the repetition of habit.

Page 136:  Second chakra energy is one of the primary resources we have for coping with the day-to-day events or our lives, providing creative solutions to mental, physical, and spiritual problems or issues.  Blocking this energy can give rise to impotence, infertility, vaginal infections, endometriosis, and depression.  It also interferes with our spiritual maturation, as if stating, “I don’t wish to see anymore, I don’t wish to understand any deeper, I don’t wish to interact with the learning processes of life.”  If allowed to flow, creative energy will continually act to reshape our lives and reveal more meaning for why things happen as they do than we could determine on our own.

Page 193:  He desperately wanted to be accepted by them, yet he knew that he had yet to accept himself….I suggested that he make a pilgrimage to the spiritual places about which he loved to read, and direct his spiritual intention toward accepting himself…At each place he performed a spiritual ceremony, releasing a painful part of his past and asking for the ability to accept himself fully.

Page 195:  Are you critical of others?  Do you need to blame others as a way of protecting yourself?

Page 197:  As children, we react to our circumstances with a range of emotions: love, compassion, confidence, hope, despair, hate, envy, and fear.  As adults, we are challenged to generate within ourselves an emotional climate and steadiness from which to act consciously and with compassion.

Page 198:  By releasing our emotional pain, by letting go of our need to know why things have happened as they have, we reach a state of tranquility.  In order to achieve that inner peace, however, we have to embrace the healing energy of forgiveness and release our lesser need for human, self-determined justice….the fourth chakra focuses on our feelings about our internal world—our emotional response to our own thoughts, ideas, attitudes, and inspirations, as well as the attention we give to our emotional needs.  This level of commitment is the essential factor in forming healthy relationships with others.

Page 199:  Because love has such power, we come to know this energy in stages.  Each stage presents a lesson in love’s intensity and forms: forgiveness, compassion, generosity, kindness, caring for oneself and others.

Page 210:  As a friend, I needed to tell her that she had become seriously invested in the authority of her wounds as opposed to actually healing them.  She told me that we needed to reconsider our friendship, and when we left the restaurant that day, we left our friendship as well…She was thoroughly entrenched in her wounds, so much so that she had converted her wounds into a type of social currency.  She felt she was owed certain privileges because of her painful childhood: the privilege of being able to call in sick at work whenever she needed to “process” a memory; financial support from her father because of what he did to her; and endless emotional support from all her “friends.”

Page 211:  Wounds as a language of intimacy have found an arena of expression within relationships as well as in healing support groups.

Page 212:  In short, a bond based upon wound intimacy is an implicit guarantee that weakened partners will always need each other and that we will forever have open passage to each other’s interior.  In terms of communication, such bonds represent an entirely new dimension of love, one that is oriented toward therapeutic support and the nurturing of mutual commitments to healing.  In terms of power, partners have never had such easy access to each other’s vulnerabilities or so much open acceptance for using wounds to order and control our close relationships….Wounded intimacy has found enormous support within the holistic healing community, particularly in the literature on the links between emotional pain and illness and between healing emotional traumas and the recovery of health.

Page 213:  Before the 1960s the definition of maturity and strength meant keeping one’s pain and vulnerability to oneself.  Our contemporary definitions, however, include the capacity to expose one’s interior weaknesses to another person….they (support groups) were intended merely to be a boat across the river of transition…But very few members have wanted to get off their lifeboat when they reach the opposite shore.  Instead, they have made a transitional phase of their lives into their full-time lifestyle. Once they learned to speak woundology, it became extremely difficult for them to give up the privileges that accompany being wounded in our fourth chakra culture….Without a schedule for healing, we risk becoming addicted to what we think of as support and compassion; we find ourselves believing we need more and more time to “process” our wounds…difficulty of telling someone that he or she has had enough support and needs to get on with the business of living….the strength to honor another’s suffering while bringing power back into one’s life. Because our culture for so long did not allow time for healing the heart nor even recognize the need for it, we have overcompensated for this earlier failing by now failing to place any time boundaries around that healing.

Page 214:  At present, we define healed as the opposite of needy. Therefore, to be healed means to be fully self-contained, always positive, always happy, always sure of oneself, and never needing anyone.

Page 224:  The spiritual test inherent in all our lives is the challenge to discover what motivates us to make the choices we do, and whether we have faith in our fears or the Divine.

Page 226:  The sefirah of Gevurah teaches us to release the need to know why things happen as they do, and to trust that whatever the reason is, it is a part of a grander spiritual design.

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