As part of the slow process of emerging snail-like from the tinsel shell of the Festive Season, and preparing to greet the new world of 2018, I returned, as I sometimes do, to Persian poet Rumi’s wonderfully wise poem “This being human”. Do read it, if you have not done so already. It contains great wisdom regarding the turbulent duality of light and dark forces which constitute not only human nature, but also Life itself. It also feels a very appropriate message from Saturn in Capricorn…
Light and dark are inseparably interdependent: maybe, Rumi is suggesting, it would be wise to honour them both, since those dark destructive energies which periodically sweep through, causing havoc personally and collectively, contain messages, guidance from Beyond, which are telling us something we usually do not wish to hear.
A year’s turn, no matter what our beliefs, brings with it a deeply-ingrained, archetypal need to take stock, reflect on the year gone by, and perhaps resolve to make some positive changes in the New Year emerging. As 2018 dawns, Saturn from his natural domain in Capricorn, will gather momentum in his work of reminding us both personally and collectively that we need to behave with as much integrity as possible and take full responsibility for our own actions as the next few years unfold.
I am not alone in having had Life hurl me against the same wall a few times before I eventually ‘get the message’, and with painful slowness begin the process of change which is being demanded of me by a deeper, wiser Self – that chip of divine light which is present in every one of us.
Writers offering comforting platitudes skimmed from a glide across the surface of life, or perhaps digging down a little, do not move me. My help comes from those who look unflinchingly into the world’s dark heart without underestimating in any way the destruction and cruelty to be found there, but who can balance what they see with inspiring affirmation.
Despite all the awfulness of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ which is an ever-present reality through the ages both personally and collectively, Life is full of opportunities to be ‘surprised by joy’, to seek and find meaning in even the most scouring of experiences. That is certainly what I have come to believe.
Some writers have a way, also, of reminding us of how we need to change by poking us where it hurts, just as Saturn does… Reflecting on the current dismal-looking state of planet Earth and its denizens as 2018 begins, I have been chewing upon one of my favourite anger-generating topics: how our need to be RIGHT – and its world-wide manifestations via religious, political and scientific fundamentalism – has probably caused more bloodshed, mayhem and havoc throughout history than anything else, when I recalled this short but pungent poem by the poet Yahuda Amichai.
With thanks to Monica Domino who published it last year on symbolreader, I offer you this as a New Year meditation:
“The Place Where We Are Right”
“From the place where we are right
flowers will never grow
in the spring.
The place where we are right
is hard and trampled
like a yard.
But doubts and loves
dig up the world
like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
where the ruined
house once stood.”