Photo Credit: James Marvin Phelps
John of the Cross interpreted the sin of luxury as one of sensuality, with sexual overtones (lust), and of entitlement. Recognizing that he was writing for monks 500 years ago, I’ve reinterpreted the dark passion of luxury to reflect challenges of the ego.
Self-entitlement positions you to believe that life revolves around you. That belief has hundreds of offshoots, such as believing that all things should work out in your favor, that you are always right, that justice has your name written on it, that bad things should happen only to other people, and that other people were born just to take care of you.
Self-entitlement sets you up to have unrealistic expectations of others and to be endlessly disappointed, not to mention bitter. In an exaggerated form, self-entitlement becomes the right to use others or anything you want to achieve your own ends, be they pleasure or power.
Most people never become genuinely comfortable with their own sexuality. Sex and sexuality become a shadow part of their lives, perhaps the cause of despair in their relationships. Luxury is the dark passion of the third chakra, which is the center of self-esteem and personal power and corresponds to the solar plexus. Numerous physical and emotional dysfunctions arise from stress related to the lack of self-esteem, such as eating disorders, gastric and colon problems, diabetes and pancreatic conditions. Self-esteem is the cornerstone of personal power, without which we walk shoeless on the rough paths of this earth all the days of our life.
- What do you believe you are entitled to in this life? (We all think we are entitled to something, even if it’s as mundane as not waiting in long lines.)
- How much of your frustration and anger is due to things not working out as you thought you were entitled to, such as the “perfect” marriage or a successful career?
- What sexual issues do you struggle with?
- What makes you uncomfortable about sexuality?
- What have you learned about yourself through this dark passion?
(Excerpt Defy Gravity: Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason, Caroline Myss, p.98)