Planet Waves Daily, June 10, 2002

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Today's is the last daily in this series. Thank you for reading.
It's been an adventure.

Above: Starlight by Christopher Grosso.

Interview with God

A Special Episode of Star Trek

Monday, June 10, 2002 | For the Faithful

Wake now, discover that you
are the song that the morning brings

- Grateful Dead, 'Eyes of the World'

READERS WHO HAVE BEEN hanging out with Planet Waves for a few years know we take eclipses seriously around here. Seriously, like a really good rock concert, or like an investigative reporting assignment, or the Golden Gate Bridge. Seriously, like a night with a beautiful lover, a once-in-a-lifetime journey, or a rare opportunity to make a substantial improvement in our lives.

There is a solar eclipse today (Monday at 4:46 pm PDT, or 7:46 pm EDT, and Tuesday at 12:46 am BST) which will create an unforgettable scene for those people on islands or aboard ships on the Pacific Ocean who happen to be in its line of view. But for all of us in the world, this eclipse marks an equally strange and beautiful threshold, or more appropriately, a junction. One of the old names for eclipses is conjunction, the joining of the Sun and the Moon in an exact alignment. Astrology has long feared and revered these events for their power and their unpredictable effects, and the sheer number of people who can be involved. But in contemporary times, we have new models to help understand their process.

In astrology, the Sun represents our identity, what we create, and the central source of power that both fuels life and holds life together. The Moon represents what we need, what we know intuitively, and what we feel in our bodies. The Moon is our inner child; the Sun, our inner adult. You could reasonably propose that all our problems in this world originate with the difficulties that these two elements of self have relating to one another, or with our selective refusal to honor one or the other.

In an eclipse, we get a moment of perfect alignment. When these two aspects of self align, a door opens, and we can go through that door.

Imagine if we could feel what we truly need, then apply our strength to making it happen. Perhaps we might not have to live with the feeling that our planet is going down the chute.

Imagine if solving the issues of global destruction and personal suffering were about being of one mind on the matter of what it means to be alive right now, with all its problems, privileges, stresses and awesome potential. Imagine if we could access what we think of as 'subconscious', such as our deep feelings, our fears, and our sense of grief and alienation, and raise them to awareness. Then, we could look these things in the light, and make decisions about our healing to which we're truly committed.

We might actually get someplace.

To be sure, however, we have a lot more to think about than ourselves right now. Our small world is shaken by menace and violence, and now stands poised on the brink of a meaningless war. One war? India and Pakistan; Israel and the Palestinian Authority; the Western world versus the Islamic world; not to mention the endless war by the northern hemisphere against the southern, light-skinned against dark, rich against poor, which has been at various times called Vietnam, Central America, the War on Drugs or the Manifest Destiny. But today, as nuclear powers gather on battle plain and promise endless retaliation, and as use of chemical and biological weapons are considered real possibilities, world leaders would be wise to spend some time with astrologers. Wouldn't that be great? Astrologers could explain that this is a really stupid time to be rolling the exploding dice, raising such endgames to a fever-pitch. The Saturn-Pluto opposition (related story at left) has woven a brutal history through the ages, and once again we get a chance to do it again, maybe getting it right this time.

These wars are scenarios which we all know are driven, on another level, by that petty, smug thing known as ego. Sure, we all have an ego; it's just that some egos have bigger budgets and better armies than others. And some are more desperate.

In all sincerity, I don't even think that supporters of our world leaders genuinely trust their capacity to make sound decisions, and most of us know they are just glorified thieves. A lot of people are merely hoping for the best. A lot of others choose to zone out, or to stay lost in the maze of what feels like personal necessity. A fairly large contingent is feasting at the table of global hegemony and environmental disaster, not daring to speak a word.

I don't have statistics, but then there are many who are awake, alert and wondering what they can do to help. Yet there are a significant number of people, even here in the lavish western world, who struggle to make it through the day, be it as a result of disease, pain or poverty. But for the most part, the capable, the well-supported and the educated feel like they have no power whatsoever.

We might well ask what it is that keeps us in such paralysis. I hear people say that the problem is so big, they can't possibly do anything about it. Others say we're past the point of no return, so why bother. I hear people say they are scared, for example, of what might happen if they take a stand. Many claim they have no time to help out.

But what if the issue were wholly psychological? The world psychological is the rough equivalent of spiritual, since the psyche is the soul.

I want to propose two possibilities for why our souls might be in a state of near-perpetual seizure. First. We were raised, as little kids, as bigger kids, as young adults and as grownups, to be terrified of authority. It started the first time a parent raised a hand to us, then continued in church, where most of us were told we would suffer in hell if we didn't do certain things, or did do others, like express our passion. (The rest of us who didn't get it from church got it by rumor, or from various Say No campaigns.) Then, onto the Principal's Office or threats thereof, passing through divorce court or a few DUI checkpoints, and ultimately winding up with banks, utilities, and corporations threatening or controlling our lives.

The common belief is if we challenge any of this, we're in deep doo-doo. You know, resisting arrest, failure to comply, getting fired, the bad credit report, and the like. So, if you please, just shut up and do what you're told.

Now, it's not that anyone is actually saying this to us. It's really that we have absorbed these authorities or their images, and viciously run their trips on ourselves.

Take this rather pervasive, hobbling mentality and factor it into what it would require to stand up to the problems the world faces, all of which involve some seemingly external power. But it's clear that any solutions first involve mustering the courage to stand up to those inner voices of authority. I think the fear, if I may give it some imagery, is that one version of Big Daddy is going to slam us if we have too much fun or get out of line, but promises us the world if we behave (i.e., the American Dream, or was it Enron?). Meanwhile, another version of Big Daddy feeds us poison and steals our lives. Mommy, meantime, stands by helpless; they tell us the Goddess has been crushed. We know otherwise. But in the end it's all very literally a cycle of abuse quite comparable to what we experience in many of our families, and often resulting directly from that.

Number two. Guilt. If you've been suffering from guilt for a few decades, I hate to be the one who breaks the news but... guilt doesn't make you a better person, just unhappy. Still, it's extremely popular. In some way, we feel we deserve the pain that we sense coming on. We've done some bad things, we haven't really taken care of ourselves, we've been feeding the problem for years on end and, for whatever other reasons, there is this nagging sense of somehow being wrong lurking in our souls. Shit, you probably work for a corporation and throw out plastic and get turned on by people. Think of all the pine trees that have been sacrificed for all the toilet paper you've used. Think of what so and so would think if they knew your fantasies of so and so. Imagine! Thus, we may feel we have no standing to act to make our lives, or our world (same thing) a better, healthier or saner space.

With guilt lurking in the corners, we may feel we have no power to reclaim our stolen sexuality, which is one of the most clear and direct ways we get to feel really, really alive. After all, the moment we explore sex, guilt can kick in viciously.

So, imagine little kids reading some future history book, which might say: the people of the early 21st century had personal hang-ups they didn't deal with, and they didn't really feel alive, so meantime, they allowed corporations to destroy the planet. People of that era felt so guilty that they thought they shouldn't make saner lives for themselves.

Now, with all due compassion, let's remember we have to contend with this while the world feeds us a constant stream of fear through the media, while the chemical industry feeds us happy pills that shut us down, while the liquor and cigarette industries feed us intoxicating, addictive poisons that grip our minds and make us sick, while agribusiness feeds us food without nourishment, and while the economy threatens to cut us off from our lifeline at any second. Adding these bits of data to the equation, we can get a picture of a truly hopeless situation.

But what if there were a big election and the whole world, or the voting population, got to cast ballots for what happens to the planet? How would you vote? What if voting yes were essentially making the commitment to live your life as fully as possible, and as honestly as possible? What if that vote were the promise to yourself to be happy, and in the process, to stand up to your fears, and tend to your psychic injuries?

One thing I can tell you about eclipses is that they are opportunities to make choices, but with the added power of full alignment. The Sun, the Moon and the compass pointer of the soul's quest known as the North Node gather in a time when intention has ten or one hundred or one thousand times its usual power. That time is now -- today, this afternoon and evening, and the coming few days. These next two weeks are a time of concentrated reflection, inner searching and decision supported by strength and leverage.

They are a time when action counts for a lot. If you do what you really want to do today, you will have all the more opportunity to keep doing it. If you ask for healing today, you will very likely have the strength and integrity to allow it into your life.

In all, no matter what the world may be looking like or what rumbles in the future, we are standing in a time when it's really possible to move past hopelessness. There is more than enough love to go around. But remember, the opposite of hopelessness is not hope. It is faith. ++

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