Human Spirituality and the Earth Constitution

Glen T. Martin

May 2022

This essay attempts to show the key role of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth in the actualization of human spirituality and the grounding of our physical existence within the depths of our sacred Cosmos. Out of a wealth of literature regarding spiritual growth that might be drawn upon, it uses the seven chakras of ancient Indian spirituality as a template for its argument. The Earth Constitution is not only a political and economic tool for enhancing human liberation. It also makes possible spiritual realization.

Scholars of mysticism and spirituality such as Ken Wilber have correlated stages of human spiritual development and growth among the many thinkers who have attempted to map out these stages. Wilber himself draws a correlation between the work of Western psychologists Lawrence Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan and the stages of self-realization depicted by the ancient Eastern wisdom of the seven chakras (2006). An entire discipline studying the higher stages of consciousness has developed called “transpersonal psychology.”

All the world’s great traditional religions cultivated spirituality and the process of growth and awakening to the ground of Being (God, Brahman, Allah, Tao, Dharmakaya, etc.). There have been many different practices and kinds of meditation developed to aid the process of growth and awakening. The chakras are one set of metaphors, one model among many—all of which have broad similarities and resonances with one another. There are many paths up the mountain—many ways to God.

In the imagery of the seven chakras there is a purpose built into the fundamental energy of the cosmos and its manifestation in human physical, mental, and spiritual existence. That purpose involves a self-aware creature who can harmonize with the whole and express the deep consciousness of the whole through its rhythmic and harmonic living. This is the goal of human development and human history.

Spiritual teacher Anodea Judith, for example, links the developmental psychology of Abraham Mazlow with the seven chakras of Eastern thought (2004). She finds that the Root Chakra (physiologically located as the human tailbone or tip of the spine and hence the physical energy that connects us with the sacred Earth upon which we walk and live) connects with Maslow’s lowest level of human physiological needs. The second chakra, called the Sacral Chakra, includes the human sexual organs and stomach, which she links with Maslow’s “safety needs” (that is we need not only food, water, etc., but security and immediate physical well-being, including pleasure and physical satisfactions).

Our third, “Solar Plexus Chakra,” centers on the solar plexus associated with Maslow’s “belonging needs.” We need to be accepted as part of a community where we belong and are respected and recognized. The center of our body corresponds to our need for centeredness in the community and the connection between ourselves and the energies of the Cosmos. The fourth chakra is the Heart Chakra, which Judith links to Maslow’s level of self-esteem needs. The heart is connected with love, compassion, and forgiveness and with our ability to love not only others but ourselves, to emerge from selfish and isolated egoism into compassionate relations with ourselves and the world.

The fifth chakra is the Throat Chakra, normally associated with language, self-expression, and communication. Judith relates this to Maslow’s next higher level of “self-actualization.”  We actualize ourselves through our communication, our speech and actions within our human, planetary, and cosmic worlds. Above the throat chakra is the Third Eye Chakra, the eye in the center of the forehead that opens to the depths and mystery of the cosmos that gave birth to us and to which we return. 

The seventh chakra is the Crown Chakra at the top of the head. Here is where the brain and the nervous system open to the cosmic intelligence and the divine Atman (the deep self that is identical with Brahman, God, the deep, unsayable oneness and selfhood of the cosmos).  Judith links these two highest chakras with Maslow’s highest need that is called “self-transcendence.” We transcend beyond ego to a transpersonal harmony with all of existence and the ground of Being.

The purpose of living is not to leave the lower chakras behind, since we are microcosms of the macrocosm, as many ancient Greek philosophers also affirmed. The purpose is to link the earth harmoniously with the depths of spirit and the cosmos.  The purpose is live fully in this incredibly wonderful body that has been gifted to us upon this marvelously wonderful Earth that is our planetary home, a home inseparable from the cosmic energy of the evolving whole.

For most of human history social and ethical thinkers focused on the individual person in his or her quest for spiritual growth and inner illumination. There was very little critical analysis of society, its assumptions and power dynamics, until about the 19th century when critical thinkers began to realize that the self-justifying rhetoric of those who governed societies could be seen as covering up social realities very different from what appeared on the surface. Today, it is taken for granted by serious thinkers that critical social analysis is fundamental to our attempts to seek truth, justice, peace, protection of human rights, or any other ethical goals.  Despite the efforts of many reformers and good people, societies seem to elude the good and mire in corruption, greed, and injustice.

Yet even today many spiritual traditions of the world operate in a sort of vacuum, oblivious of the hidden structures of societies that foster injustice and corruption. There are thousands of books, websites, and videos directed toward self-realization, meditation, harmony of living, and spiritual self-help. There are exceptions, of course, such as liberation theology inspired by such books as Ethics and Community by Christian thinker Enrique Dussel (1988) or Gustavo Gutierez’s A Theology of Liberation (1988). Yet today, as the world careens toward complete climate collapse and/or terminal nuclear war, the forces that would transform this system of corruption and injustice are few and far between.

Many top climate scientists, such as James Gustav Speth (2008), social thinkers such as Naomi Klein (2014), or philosophers such as Joel Kovel (2007), have identified capitalism as a key component in the on-going destruction of our planetary environment, but mainstream thought remains oblivious, still talking about endless growth on a finite planet.  Nation after nation becomes mired in violence and war, and the world as a whole spends nearly two trillion US dollars annually on these horrific initiatives and those who teach about spiritual development claim to be “non-political,” perhaps assuming that the world will save itself if everyone can ascend the holarchies of chakras toward enlightenment.

They fail to realize that the world system itself defeats spiritual development and breeds violence, corruption, and environmental destruction. We need a world system beyond capitalism and beyond the militarized nation-states if we want to promote the spiritual growth of humanity. Social, economic, and international relations can foster harmony and growth or they can defeat them, and today’s chaos clearly defeats spiritual development for most of humanity.

Using Anodea Judith’s correlations above, at the most basic level people must satisfy their physical needs for food, clothing, and shelter.  Does our world-system provide this for the human population?  Not even close. The system cultivates greed, competition, corruption to the point at which 1% of the planet’s population owns 50% of its wealth while at least one billion people have no way to satisfy their basic needs.  Considering the ascending levels of chakras as correlated with satisfaction of our human needs we find that the world system, and the social systems within most nations, do not provide a framework for self-realization. 

Do global capitalism or the nation-state war-system cultivate the fourth Chakra of love, compassion, and forgiveness? Not even close. Capitalism often involves vicious competition and cultivates egoism and lack of compassion in the rich, in those successful within the “rat-race” to the top. Militarized nation-states cultivate hate, fear, paranoia of official “enemies,” and obsession with “security.” How are human beings going to reach the heart chakra level when their basic needs such as food and security are not even satisfied by this system?

In the chakra system, the Heart Chakra is the center (of ourselves and of the cosmos of which we are microcosms) with three levels above and three below. It is the fulcrum, the turning point, the key level for opening us to connection with the higher levels of being and the fullness of cosmic existence. Love, as all the great religions have taught, provides the connecting link between heaven and earth, between the ground of Being and our physical existence on Earth.

Yet our dominant world-system defeats love at every turn. It divides humanity into some 193 militarized entities in competition economically and militarily, which is intrinsically a war-relation. Human beings need a unified world-system based on our common human and planetary welfare, not a fragmented chaos of waring nation-states. This is why we need the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  This Constitution, written by hundreds of world-citizens and some of the world’s best legal minds over a period of 23 years and completed in 1991, unites humanity under the principle of unity in diversity (see Martin 2021).

The Constitution elaborates a democratic world system of agencies and governmental organs premised on human well-being, satisfying everyone’s basic needs through a market-system regulated for the common good of all and through protecting everyone’s universal human rights. These rights include not only the right to have one’s basic needs protected, but the rights to health-care, social security, education, environmental quality, world peace and freedom from violence, as well as governmental respect and concern. Here is clearly a major key to human liberation.

Under the present world system that actively prevents spiritual growth and development for the majority of human beings we will likely destroy themselves and become extinct long before reaching spiritual illumination. Yet according to all the great religious traditions, an illumination connecting heaven and Earth is our cosmic destiny: for example, Jesus commands us to “bring the kingdom of God to Earth.” The Constitution for the Federation of Earth creates democratic world government and institutionalizes the mandate of government to care for the good of the whole within the framework of inalienable rights for each.

The Constitution therefore establishes something truly unique in human history—it unites humanity for the common good of all and future generations. Yet at the same time it brings forward something as ancient as the Greeks of the 5th century BCE—democratic theory basing society on a community of respect and concern for each within the unity in diversity of all. Here lies one fundamental key to human liberation.  We must work to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth if we have any concern at all for the spiritual growth of humanity or the welfare of future generations.

As the chakra system tells us, human beings are a link between heaven and earth, a microcosm of the macrocosm, a keystone in the scheme of things. The Earth Constitution makes possible the actualizing of that linkage by restoring heart to our world system. Neither capitalism as we know it, nor militarized nation-states, have heart. They know only power, blind economic growth, greed, fear, and possible aggression. Once we have a world-system based on serving human needs, protecting human and environmental rights, and working for the good of future generations, the heart will more easily open to love, compassion, and forgiveness and lead humanity to the higher chakra realizations: genuine communication from the Throat Chakra, the opening of the Third Eye to the awesome mystery of existence, and the awakening of the Crown Chakra into our connection with the ground of Being.

The Constitution addresses satisfaction of the three lower chakras precisely because it embraces unity in diversity, the whole of humanity. This is clearly a form of love.  To a very real extent love can be institutionalized.  The heart chakra, the turning point and connecting point between the higher dimensions of energy and the physically apparent dimensions of energy must be there if we are ever to realize our cosmic destiny. The Earth Constitution is one vital key to that destiny. We need to work together now to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

Works Cited

Boswell, Terry and Christopher Chase-Dunn (2000). The Spiral of Capitalism and Socialism. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publisher.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth: with Historical Introduction, Commentary, and Conclusion by Glen T. Martin. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2010. Also found on-line at www.earthconstitution.word and

Dussel, Enrique (1988) Ethics and Community. Trans. Robert R. Barr. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Gilligan, Carol  (1982). In a Different Voice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Gutierrez, Gustav (1988). A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation. Trans. Robert A. Krieg and James B. Nickeloff.Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Judith, Anodea (2004). Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self. Berkeley: Celestial Arts Publisher.

Klein, Naomi (2014). This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Kohlberg, Lawrence (1984). The Psychology of Moral Development: Volume Two: The Nature and Validity of Moral Stages. San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers.

Kovel, Joel (2007). The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World. London: Zed Books.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.

Maslow, Abraham (2014). Toward a Psychology of Being. Floyd, VA: Sublime Books.

Speth, James Gustav (2008). The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wilber, Ken (2006). Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World. Boston: Integral Books.