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Sloth

March 9, 2010

Sloth

Photo credit: James Marvin Phelps

Sloth refers to laziness with a tendency towards procrastination. So many people suffer from living in their minds, from imagining all that their lives could or should be, but find that they can’t make their bodies cooperate with the actions required to make their ambitions come to fruition.

Getting off the couch, getting to the gym, returning calls and messages, and developing disciplined work habits are all that stand between us and making those dreams a reality.  I’ve listened to so many people tell me that they “know” they are meant for something great, but just what that is – um – they can’t figure out. I can.

They are waiting for someone else to make their dreams come true, someone who isn’t afraid to work hard and take on the responsibilities that go along with making decisions. Some people prefer life “in the mind”, where it’s easy and safe and nothing really happens. That’s the shadow of the passion of sloth. Life goes by and nothing really happens.

  • As one of the deadly sins, sloth implies inactivity in the practice of virtue. That it should be the dark passion of the seventh chakra strikes me as extraordinarily perfect. The seventh chakra corresponds to the crown of the head, the “thousand-petaled lotus” that is said to explode like a fountain of light at the moment of enlightenment. But the lazy spiritual mind is one that maintains awareness of God through books and thought rather than through spiritual action; the slothful mind does not push beyond reason into the deeper waters of the soul, but gives up at the first indication of discomfort. It might know what the right thing is, but does not proceed to actually doing it.
  • In what area of your life is laziness most destructive?
  • Where do you give up spiritually? Do you prefer to meet your spiritual life in books or does your spiritual life include soul devotion?
  • In what ways does slothfulness affect your health?
  • Do you ever feel that your life is just slipping away and nothing at all is happening? Review the choices that you make each day that contribute to a lack of movement in your life as opposed to choices that create change.
  • What have you learned about yourself through this dark passion?

(Excerpt Defy Gravity: Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason by Caroline Myss, p. 103)

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