We often think integrity is synonymous with honesty. And certainly, we can say a dishonest person does lack integrity because honesty is a component of integrity. But it’s not all of it. There is much more. Integrity also refers to being complete or whole. It means all of the parts are well connected and form a single functioning whole. When we, or any object or system, lack integrity, it means that our parts are not functioning well together, and that we are therefore weak and prone to failure. In our persona, we can examine our personal integrity chakra by chakra, and by examining our conscience, we can see where our integrity is broken and then take steps to repair it.
What does this mean? Consider a person who lies frequently to gain advantage or avoid negative consequences. We would say that such a person lacks integrity because they say things that are not true, and more than this, they are not simply wrong or mistaken, such a person, if pressed, would at least at some level know that they are being dishonest.
Consider this in terms of the Chakra system. The mind is the 6th chakra and the throat is the 5th chakra. A person who lies for personal advantage says one thing, while the mind knows that something else is the truth. There is a break between the mind and the spoken word. There is a break between the mind and the mouth. What we say, we do not believe, and so we are broken at this point in our system.
What about a person who says that they love you when they do not? The heart, or the fourth chakra, is the source of our emotional lives, and it is where we form and care for our relationships. When someone says they love you, when they don’t, they have a break somewhere. But this could be either between the heart and the mind, or it could be again between the mind and the mouth. A person who is confused about their own feelings, who feels guilty because someone has been very generous to them, may feel pressure to say “I love you too” when what they actually feel awkward and flighty. They say “I love you too” to dissipate the uncomfortable energy. Or maybe they say it because they want to manipulate their partner into doing what they want.
In one case, the break is between the heart and the mind, or the heart and the voice, and in other cases, the break is again between the mind and the voice. Whenever we have a disconnect like that, we have lost our integrity and we really cannot be very effective or happy in the world.
There are other important examples. Think of people who talk a lot about their big plans and aspirations, but who never actually accomplish any of them. Their minds think the ideas are good, the heart is all on board and behind the ideas, and the voice articulates it accurately. But they never actually take any action to do anything. They just talk about it. Where is the break in integrity? It is above the third chakra where we bring the top three chakras into material reality.
Further down we get to issues of addiction and hypersexuality. These are disturbances with the second chakra, and theses are connected to the third chakra. Most people who suffer from addiction also suffer from denial. They fool themselves. They will talk all about a healthy lifestyle and good relationships, but they suffer because they act to satisfy the cravings of addiction. To sex, to drugs, to gambling, to thrills, to adrenaline, to anxiety, to spending money, to whatever it is binds us in addiction. In this case, our integrity is broken at the second chakra.
Continuing down you find people who abandon their relationships, their family, their job, their tribe. They may occupy a position of importance for a while. They may charm everyone around them and rise very fast, but at the critical moment, they abandon. They are broken at the root chakra. Everything they do and say is undermined, because as soon as the pressure builds up from creating something great, they flake out and disappear, leaving others to clean up the mess.
A person with integrity flows through all the chakras. The examination of the conscience is the key to achieving this in the first six chakras. A person with material integrity is all one piece in what they think, what they say, what they feel, how they act, how they take care of their bodies and habits, and how they fit in and relate to their community. When all of our chakras are in alignment like this, and our energy flows, then we can have strong relationships, we can create good things in the world, we can enjoy good health, and we can enjoy strong bonds in our family, tribe and nation.
All of the above relates to what I call material integrity, because all of these aspects of ourselves are manifest here in the material world.
But there is still one aspect of integrity that remains, and that is spiritual integrity, and a break here is the hardest to diagnose. Imagine a very intelligent person, who is aware of the truth (and if he does not share the whole truth, at least he is aware of this), who speaks the truth and whose feelings and actions are in alignment. Such a person might have a very nice house, a beautiful family, a great job, a healthy body, and good standing in the community, yet remain very unhappy. Why?
When a person seems to have everything a person could want but still is unhappy, the break in integrity is at the level of the seventh chakra, which is the divine connection. The mind is very clever. It is very good at solving puzzles and obtaining what it thinks it wants. The problem with the mind, however, is that it really does a lousy job of deciding what it should want. It really has no frame of reference. Imagine a super intelligent robot shopping in a Target store. It can weigh the pros and cons of many different items. Such a device can compare different items and make calculations about them, but it cannot want a red sweater more than a blue sweater.
The robot needs some input. A program. You might assign points to different items. Items that are blue may receive more points than items that are red. Maybe you could tell the robot to get the most weight per dollar, and perhaps you could end up with a car load of canned tomatoes on sale. The intelligent robot is very good at figuring out how to get what it wants. It just lacks ability to know what it should want.
As humans, we are very very complex. We receive programming about what we should want from a very young age. The mind is filled with ideas from teachers, parents, peers, advertising, and now social media. We are repeatedly told that if we have a nice car, a thin body, a prestigious job, and a physically attractive spouse, that we will be happy as a result, and so we set off in our lives to acquire these things.
And to be most effective in the long run, we have to act with material integrity to get the most of what we think we want. But still we end up unhappy. Because the things we have been taught to want serve a purpose other than to make us happy. They make us good little economic engines–the producitive consumers that we are. We are sucked into a system to produce as much as we can so that we can consume as much as we can, and with the highest levels of success, we have zillions of followers who admire us and like everything we say, and long to be just a little more like us. More like Kim Kardashian. Please. More.
But if we have prayer, and meditation, and spirituality, then we can attain true happiness. The first step is to truly realize that YOU, the I AM force that lives deep inside you, is a spirit, and that spirit is having a temporary material experience. That spirit knows at a very deep level that it will ultimately leave behind everything that it accumulates in the material world. The only thing it takes with it is it’s KARMA, which is the sum total of all the goods and bads done over the course of the lifetime here. You might have great success in the material world, but for what purpose?
So what does the spirit inside really want? Well that gets to the question of why you came here in the first place. This is a very good question to ask yourself. Why did you come into this life? What are you here to accomplish, to learn? Who are you here to help? What is your mission? What is your purpose?
None of these questions can be answered outside yourself. None of these answers exist in the material. They exist in the spirt. And therefore, to have true integrity, you must connect the material chakras to your higher self through the 7th chakra. You must tune into the divine within yourself.
Once you connect to the divine within you, this channel will inform you about what you should want. Instead of a car, you may want peace of spirit so you can concentrate. Instead of a body that looks like a magazine cover model, you might want a body that actually feels good to inhabit. Instead of a trophy relationship, you might want someone who helps you stay on the straight path and who supports you in fulfilling your highest and best purpose.
A break in integrity at this level is the hardest to diagnose, because such a person can seem to be very perfect in the material world. Yet if someone is perfect in the material and still deeply unhappy, it is a lack of integrity that causes their suffering, and the break is at the divine connection.
Do you know people or have stories that illustrate this? Have you yourself started on a spiritual path to remedy a hollow empty pointless feeling in your life? If so, please share your experience.
A spiritual practice is very helpful to develop this facility. Meditation and self examination can illuminate within us when we are acting out of alignment with our highest purpose. Plant medicines, like cannabis, ayahuasca, and psilocybin mushrooms can definitely help us to engage in the sort of self examination that will set us free from a life of pursuing objectives that do not make us happy. All of these things awaken the divine within us. They are therefore entheogenic medicines and entheogenic practices.
Pick whatever works for you. The key is to open the conscious connection with your higher self, so that you can receive and act on guidance that you receive. And then all of your material chakras can align behind the task of creating the life that your really want.