The three lowest chakras and the energies they manifest

In this talk from their 2019 online course, Crazy Wisdom, Doug and Catherine discuss in detail the three lowest chakras and the energies they manifest. This recording is a continuation of an earlier introductory talk that gave an overview to the topic. You can find that episode by searching for Season 3 Episode 14 in the podcast feed.
The ideas in today’s talk are explored in detail in Doug and Catherine’s bestselling book, Wasteland to Pureland: Reflections on the Path to Awakening. The third section of the book is entitled Crazy Wisdom and covers a wide variety of topics, including The Shadow, Tantra, and Money, Sex & Power. Podcast listeners can download a free chapter from this section of the book by visiting


Podcast Transcription:


Host:  Welcome to Dharma if you Dare. Today’s recording comes from Doug Duncan, and Catherine Pawasarat’s 2019 online course, “Crazy Wisdom.”  In this talk, Doug (Q) and Catherine (CS) discuss in detail the three lowest chakras and the energies they manifest. This recording is a continuation of an earlier introductory talk that gave an overview to the topic. You can find that episode by searching for season three, episode 14 in the podcast feed.

 The ideas in today’s talk are explored in detail in Doug (Q) and Catherine’s (CS) bestselling book Wasteland to Pureland: reflections on the path to awakening. If you’d like to read more about these ideas, you can visit to receive a free copy of the related chapter entitled “Money, Sex and Power.”

And now, here’s today’s recording.




Qapel:  Let’s take a closer look. 


So there are some strong archetypes that show up when we talk about money, 


Catherine Sensei: Lucky to live with a money coach


Q: We live with a money coach and Deborah Price wrote a book called The Heart of Money.


And so we’re going to list some archetypes, We’re just going to run through them quickly. There’s the Warrior who sets out to make money happen. 


CS: The Fool who thinks money just shows up 


Q: The Martyr,  who works diligently for almost nothing.


CS: It’s a common one for spiritual practitioners. The Innocent, who thinks someone will take care of it.


  1. The Creative Artist who feels they are above money. I don’t need money. I’m an artiste.

CS: The Victim who blames their lack of money on someone else.


Q:  The Magician who understands money and how to make it, how to use it, 


CS: and The Tyrant who needs to be in control of the money for themselves and probably for everyone else.


Q:  So when these archetypes are unconscious, they are  in our shadow. You need to be able to be all of these. If you’re integrated, you can manifest any one of these archetypes according to need and situation. And if they’re in shadow, our relationship to money can be very neurotic.

In fact, when we’re unconscious in any area we are by definition, neurotic So the whole point is to become more conscious.


CS:  Right. So we know if we’re getting very combative or very sensitive and reactionary, we know that… 


Q: Expositions 


CS: …probably something unconscious is being triggered. 


Q: To put it in a bigger perspective, the minute you try to stop the stream, you’re neurotic. And so we go back to those three chakras being in the flow. So, the minute you try to hold it a minute, try and nail it down, the minute you’re trying to fix, the minute you’re trying to keep a position…


CS: …build a dam… 


Q: …any place where you try to find your whatever, you’re being neurotic.


CS…start trying to divert all the water somewhere else.


Q: That’s a little different. Anyway, so, if you want to learn more about these many archetypes, we refer you  to Karen McAllister and Evangelos Diavolitsis who are many coaches, they’re also dharma practitioners. So they have that slant on it. 


CS: or Deborah Price’s book. 


The Second Chakra: Sexual Identity


Q: Let’s Look at that second chakra. 


CS: Okay, so back to the second chakra, and for shorthand, we’re going to talk about it in terms of sexual identity. So this is another very strong force in our psyches. 


Q: There are other measures of identity, of course: occupation, social networks, religion, age, race groups, nationality, hobbies. There are a lot of other measures, but they tend not to reflect the shadow as much as sexuality. Sexuality really has it on its own basis more because they’re more root. It’s more central to the core of our being.


CS:  Sexual identity is more closely linked to our identity, and we can think of this in terms of when we first left our parent’s home. That was often a time of our sexual identity really being central to our idea of who we were and and and part of how we individuated from our parents. 


Q: Who we are on our own is after you leave home.


CS: And we include with a sexual identity that our sexual identity may be to be asexual. So, think of this very broadly, right? 


Q: Yeah. When we are pre-pubescent our concerns are like, who’s my best friend or what group of my do I belong to? But post-pubescent after pubescent, the whole sexual energy comes in and that’s a colossal force. It’s like a tidal wave to the previous consciousness coming forward.


CS:  It’s pretty complicated, isn’t it?


Q:  It is 


CS: Who I have sex with? 


Q: Under what conditions?


 CS: or who don’t I have sex with?


Q:  or with me. 


CS: And why not? 


Q: Why not? Who am I attracted to? And why?


CS:  Who’s attracted to me? 


Q: Why are they attracted to me? What model do I follow? Do I follow the church? Do I follow the T. V. and the movies?


CS: What my parents say?


Q: My parents? Or a rock star’s model? 


Because you follow somebody’s model. In everything you do, you follow somebody’s model. So, sexuality is no different. Do I emulate TV stars? Social media? Am I getting my sexual identity from what social media tells me is right or wrong or good or fits in? Or doesn’t? Where is this coming from?

 Typically we don’t take the time to reflect on it because we’re busy making money. 


CS: or being in a group of hormones right when you’re teenagers and your brain is still forming and everything. 


Q: Have you ever noticed sexual energy can sort of taking over? You know, you kind of go duh, like what’s my name? I don’t know. I don’t care. 


CS: One of the reasons we’re so keen to address this is because it’s a very strong force. I remember when I lived in the Amazon, that was while I was being celibate and I felt like I was the only organism not having sex.So I was like surrounded by organisms having sex in the jungle. 


Q: The jungle is rich. So for many teens and adults long before we discover who we are, we’re having sex. We are engaged in sexual identification before we even know who we are. The average age of sexual encounter in us is 17. 


CS: For most of the world it is pretty similar. So Israel, Iceland and Scandinavia are about a year younger, 16,  and Malaysia is the oldest at 23. So when we’re 16, 17 and we don’t really know yet who we are or even who we want to be. And they found, right, our brains are still forming until 25. 


Q: Right Up until 25, we don’t know who they are. So how old are you supposed to be? Depends on your culture, who you can or cannot have sex with depends on your culture, 


CS: and conditioning.


Q: What is normal or abnormal? Depends on your culture. What are the terms of engagement? Depends on your culture. All this is usually defined by other adults, not by the actual people involved. So Ginger and Alfonso are having sex, they’re not in the room alone. They’ve got their church, their parents, their religion, their culture, the social media, their friends, they’re all telling them what’s on what’s off, What’s right? What’s wrong? Identity. The sex drive can take over. You can have no rules or too many rules. 


CS: And once again, it’s that drive for those chemicals, I guess natural chemicals. The dopamine, the oxytocin, the serotonin, and the endorphins. So it’s pretty simple. We just want to feel good. That’s not a bad thing. 


Q: And not to mention that at this age, 17, 18, sex is a real secret. Probably. You’re probably in a culture where it’s all secret. Nobody talks about it, right? So you’re kind of trying to figure out all the rules and all the conditions and stuff. You’re not talking about it to anybody. You’re just taking it on and trying to figure it out. And as Catherine said, earlier, your brain’s changing. You are like in a typhoon with a cork for the boat; it’s all over the map. 


CS: So it’s pretty challenging to feel like, you know what is what with these drives, especially at that age when our sexuality is really emerging very powerfully, and we still haven’t figured out how to talk about it yet at that age or feel like we’re not supposed to. So this really can create a very unbearable tension in the being. 


Q: What are the signals? What are the assumptions? And what do I expect in return for sex? Do we ever talk about it? I’ll have sex with you if you give me or I give you? When was the last time you had sex, you sat down and negotiated your contract? Okay, I expect this and this and this for my penis. I expect this and this and this for my vagina. And if I negotiate for more of this, if you want that… anyway. We have to work really hard to bring it out of the shadow. 


CS: That’s right. So it’s no small wonder then that this all leads to some very questionable decisions and sometimes some unpleasant consequences. Well, not sometimes there’s always 


Q: When you link it with that, it’s fun. It’s exciting. It is desire mind. It’s ecstasy. It’s bliss. It is union. It is transcendent in its scope. You’re playing with fire. So making it conscious, bringing it into consciousness, being clear about it, having conversations about it, seeing what the shadow is doing with it.


CS: So one of the reasons we’re talking about sex so much is because we’re trying to avoid having to work so hard to get from secrets and, mixed feelings and tension and anxiety and shame to this place where sex can be transcendent, right? We shouldn’t have to work so hard to get from one to the other. So we’re trying to get everybody comfortable talking about it. 


Q: Exactly. At least at the very least And we have one more problem because the dose is so strong, we tend to underestimate or ignore or avoid all the other issues around it until down the road when the identity is challenged on other issues about control and power and maybe resources, then all of a sudden this dose thing that got us into it may crash because the other things are unaddressed.


So if you address all these other things in the shadow then the dose won’t crash when you have the problems that come in a normal relationship. The dose will remain powerful. But if you’re focused on the dose and you haven’t dealt with these issues and these issues are going to crash the relationship.


CS: To put it another way. Sex alone can’t carry a relationship. Not even really good sex. 


Q: Yes, and if you haven’t dealt with the shadow bit, then what will happen is either end the relationship based on the other issues or the sex will stop you’ll stop having sex because all the other issues are dominating the system. 


Alright, so in the same way that unconscious money patterns can wreak havoc in one’s life, so can unconscious sex patterns, with practical calamities and emotional devastation as a result.


CS: So yeah, it’s funny how with sex all of a sudden one day you’re like, oh my God, how did I get here? What happened? It just can change so quickly. So the key element to avoid that from happening is to just try to make as much of it conscious as possible. Easier said than done. So in other words, we can avoid calamities and devastation by making all of this conscious. 


The Third Chakra: Manipulation and Control


Q: Anyway, the third chakra controls life functions through manipulation and control. Each one of us is always doing that. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, you have to navigate our world and our life with seven billion people in it, and you’re not always going to get your own way. So we have friends, and our relationships are based on who are the people who are going to get our ‘own way’ with, the most, or by extension, who are the people who have the same ‘own way’ I do.


So my friends are the people who have my same ‘own way’ and my enemies are the people who have a different ‘own way’ than mine. So this defines a lot of our relations. We can also cooperate of course.


CS: And we like to cooperate because it makes us feel good, and to feel good, we need to choose to make that choice. And choice is another form of manipulation and control, right? We’re manipulating and controlling the situation, or people around us, and ourselves. 


Q: So how do we become unconscious of the desire nature? How does that happen in the lower three chakras?


CS: It seems to happen without much effort.


Q: It gets pushed down by our parents and our culture,  trained and raised and threatened to behave in very specific ways and clearly defined ways by our culture at the cost of annihilation, abandonment, being evil, or going nuts. So this is where you get your four fears. These desires are driven underground, and you behave or you pay the price.


CS: And let’s be clear, we’re not blaming anybody. You know, every parent does their best. But this is just how society works and how religion works. You know it’s a lot about everybody being able to get along. And so then you need rules and you need people to behave in a certain way and there you go 


Q: And it happens by osmosis. Your parents don’t sit there and give you a list of, you know, things to do and not do particularly, right?  You’re influenced by their behavior, you’re influenced by how they relate to each other, how they interact, what do they do when a sexy scene comes on TV or something like if they get uptight, you’re gonna get uptight, if they have a particular thing, then you’re gonna have a particular thing. None of this has been talked about. Very little of it is talked about anyway. It’s all just taken on into your system. When you’re so young you’re vulnerable. You don’t even know you’re taking this stuff on, and thus it’s unconscious.

* * *

So, many of our fights may be about sex and money, right? An old married couple, friend of mine, a student actually, said the things that we fight about as couples were money, resources, how to raise the kids, and sex. Shadow, shadow, shadow. But really what they’re not saying and what it’s really about is that all three of those fights are about control. Who controls how you raise the kids, who control how the money is spent, and who controls the sex. There’s a school of thought that says the person with the least desire controls the subject.


CS:  It’s called the principle of least desire. And this shows up in anything. You give the example of food. Controlling food a lot is very similar to controlling sex. So if Madeline likes to eat a certain kind of food and Carlos does not, he is probably going to determine where they eat because if Madeleine wants to be with Carlos, then she has to cater to his lesser desires.


Q: And if she pushes her greater desires on him, he’ll feel controlled and manipulated and he’ll shut down. So the least desire controls there. In any relationship, not everybody has the least desire. Somebody might have the least desire for sex, somebody else might have the least desire for food. Somebody else might have the least desire about managing the resources. So these are gonna be where the fights are. The fights are gonna be between least desire and most desire. 


Host: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Please rate and review Dharma if you Dare on Apple podcasts to help more people find and benefit from these teachings. And don’t forget to subscribe to get episodes and bonus content sent directly to your device. Today’s episode covers ideas that Doug and Catherine explore in detail in their bestselling book Wasteland to PureLand.

The third section of the book is entitled “Crazy Wisdom” and it covers a wide variety of topics including the shadow, tantra, and money, sex and power. Podcast listeners can download a free chapter from this section of the book by visiting See you next time and may all our efforts benefit all beings.