Merc retros are good for reviewing things, taking a breather and rethinking the circumstances of the moment. Too bad they don’t entirely suspend the action, as well. We could use a freeze-frame about now. Surely what it good and expansive could bask in its own glory for awhile, harmlessly, while what is destructive and painful could time-out for a bit.
There are any number of things I’d like to pull the e-brake on, just to break the momentum. For instance, the drought in the mid-west is exponentially worse in just one blistering week. Some of the crops that might have been saved with a little cooler, a little wetter weather are done for. In world news, the civil war in Syria* has become a blood-letting that seems destined to destroy much of a generation and who knows what else, now that talk of Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile is on the table. And the drip-drip-drip of political manipulation and financial chicanery has taken on the power of Chinese water torture: just their mention makes us tremble and quake.
So, respectful of your political PTSD and my own, I’d like to approach the situation differently this week. To my mind, two things are always true, no matter what we’re talking about: politics is personal and vice versa, and everything occurring in our lives is an ongoing and holy experiment in spiritual awakening. On a weekend when we can warm our creativity in the glow of a grand trine in fire and take pleasure in the trappings of the 2012 Olympics* — one of the few global enterprises that captures our collective interest and binds us all within our highest aspirations — let’s look at how to defuse political (and other) peril: within us, certainly and perhaps without. I will link you to politics, today, but we shall examine ourselves instead.
In the past — twenty and more years ago — when seekers showed up at my door looking for a spiritual sponsor, I would give them a slim volume by Richard Bach and tell them that if they would take it all in and make it their own, that would launch them on the beginning of their journey. If, after reading it, they came back with a twinkle in their eye and enthusiasm for the path, I welcomed them as part of my clan. No, I’m not talking about the seagull. Jonathon Livingston Seagull was a lovely tale but not ‘mine.’ It was Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah that resonated with me, its wisdom and encouragement wrapping around me like a warm hug from a familiar friend.
A dear one and I were recently discussing her restlessness, her current feeling of being overwhelmed by extraordinary challenges and an apparent inability to reconcile emotional needs with physical desires. She is Cappy with Pluto making its way toward her late Sun, and as a Sag — having already survived this transit of transformation to both Sun and Merc, along with opposition to my natal Uranus … and lived to tell — I recognize and empathize with her anxiety as her life-platform takes a frightening, if necessary, shift. Worse, while feeling this structural wobble down to her toes, she finds that she’s also outgrown the meager selection of spiritual groups available in her area, finding no place to comfort herself with a communal celebration of the wonder and inspiration within conscious unfoldment.
I suggested that sometimes, in desperately seeking “the next thing,” we don’t realize that we’ve already finished the book: we know what there is to know, or, rather, we’ve been reminded of much of the critical insight and instruction that we’d hidden behind our out-of-body purpose. Once we realize that we’ve reconstructed that internal compass, it’s time to fully inhabit the information, not as something to DO but as something to BE. Life would be so much simpler, wouldn’t it, with an instruction sheet?
“Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers. ”
In Bach’s story, the characters questing for enlightenment ponder snippets out of a notebook entitled, Reminders for the Advanced Soul: Quotations From The Messiah’s Handbook. It’s been years since I read Illusions, but while storyline details have begun to fade, the quotes remain with me to this day, some more vivid than others. In this period of history, for instance, I find myself repeating this bit, mantra-like, at least once or twice a day (regarding those who drag their feet or try to justify their viewpoint with a long list of fearful or narrow absolutes, those who complicate the process with rigid rules or jot-and-tittle details):
“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”
Of course we need to be self-reflective humans in order to embrace such a truism, and many of us aren’t (studiously so, I might add.) If we want to withstand the discomfort and quiet the chaos of our current unfoldment, we must strive to develop an ear that quickly recognizes when we think or speak in error. We must offer our willingness to self-edit (i.e., shut up!) A full time job, that, but a practice that eventually weeds out negativity, and not because it’s a bad thing, but because it’s not our authentic voice. While this period of instruction may leave us lonely for awhile, it won’t take long for us to notice those around us who are on a similar sliding scale of self-awareness. Those who aren’t will stand out like a sore thumb, and if there is one difference between those of conservative mind and those who are progressive, I think that’s it: self-reflection.
As with astrology or any other course of study that reveals us to ourselves, it is first met with ego-interest. Yes, the world truly IS all about us. We’re the ones calling it forth in an act of (mostly) unconscious creation, but our ego demands self-protection first, requires that we view ourselves through a shadowy scrim of self-importance and self-righteousness. We are unable to actually reflect ourselves to our inner eye until we’ve found the courage to give up on the need to defend or justify our behaviors. As we begin to simply witness ourselves, our lives and our attitudes, we begin to notice what doesn’t work. This is Real Life 101 – no harm, no foul – and until we gain some perspective on our inner journey — stuck making up fabulous and entertaining dramas to contend with, full to brimming with people and things that go bump in the night — we cannot behave authentically in our outer life.
From the Messiah’s Handbook:
“Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.”
“Perspective – Use It or Lose It. If you turned to this page, you’re forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that.”
Once we have established our ability to detach from much that is impersonal (but which our ego has personalized to keep us stuck in a web of self-interest and self-protection) we are able to better assess everything around us, including relationships and responsibilities. Fulfilling our own promise is our primary goal, finding the joy and the creativity of our own journey, and yet keeping that to ourselves, for ourselves, will quickly diminish it. We must share if we are to grow and bloom. As Edgar Cayce told us, we serve on this plane or we suffer, and as service takes us out of our own self-absorbing problems and continuous mind chatter, we relieve our own suffering as we give of ourselves to a waiting universe. We must fill our own well before we offer water to others and conversely, we will find our joy reflected back to us as we are able to extend it to others.
“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah.”
In contemplating politics this week, Romney’s foot-in-mouth disease is noteworthy, giving some of us reason to vote “Anglo-Saxon” and others of us — including the Brits, it seems — a reason to despair his “Palin-esque” performance. Dubby was embarrassment enough for one lifetime, seems like, but few of us suspected that Mitt’s handlers would allow him to appear as vacant as he actually is. The vulture capitalist is being compared to both Sister Sarah and George W. — the idiot savants of the Republican brand — and not content to leave well enough alone, Mitt has now insulted freedom fighters in the mid-east by insisting that the Arab Spring could have been avoided by Bush’s “Freedom Agenda.” All of this caused one observer to tweet: “Mitt Romney makes George Bush look like Aristotle,” followed by another, which reads: “Dear Great Britain: Yeah. We know. Sorry. Welcome to our world. Signed, America.”
Oh, be still my wounded pride! Can we bear yet another assault on our international reputation, already in tatters? And we can’t seem to change the channel on idiocy, can we? We continue to endure the rigor of what Phil Rockstroh calls “late stage capitalism,” our nation divided and our future shaded by the smoke of political spin and the unyielding nature of the fearful and ignorant around us. Four months out from the 2012 election, things are too close to call and political pundits say all but a slim demographic has already made up its mind. And yet — deep breath! — perhaps it’s no more than scribbles and hash tags, quickly erased and redesigned once we change our minds.
It remains our choice to offer the world more spin and exploitation, or compassion and collaboration, but whichever we decide upon, we must remain mindful that we came to grow into a better version of ourselves, one more harmless and loving. More real. In the discovery of our own collective darkness, we are learning how to give up nihilism. In the belated appreciation of what is slipping from our fingers, we are discovering what is precious. In the face of hatred, we are yearning for love. Each new thing we experience tips the evolutionary balance.
“The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages.”
“The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
And while we have a good deal of benign energy going on at the moment, nobody can convince me it’s not “amping” out there (I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck nod in agreement.) We live in a time of chaos and change. Between the transits we so thoroughly discuss here at Planet Waves and months of impressive and intense solar flares, we’re mixing a heady brew of potent possibility into summer’s end. In the next few days, the Olympics will be capturing the attention of millions if not billions of souls, here on planet Terra. Once every four years, we come together to celebrate our commonality, not our difference. That’s transformative, healing energy and while I’m not a sports enthusiast, I am going to make an attempt to watch more this year; to extend an intention of peace and collaboration, good-will and mutual respect out into the morphic field of this ancient ritual. As Eric mentioned, holding it in light is worth our time and from my point of view, perhaps even more productive in this year of Shift than we can know. To truly see ourselves as one, for even an instant, can heal the world!
“Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect.
“Then be sure of one thing: The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.
“The original sin is to limit the Is. Don’t.”
* By the way, United To End Genocide is protesting Russian steel tycoon, Vladimir Lisin, who is functioning as Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee while continuing to ship arms to the Syrian regime. Some 17,000 + people have been murdered in Syria, yet Russia will not be moved in their support of Assad. It’s too late to prevent Lisin from participating in the opening ceremonies, but if you would like to protest his further attendance, you may sign the petition here.