Mass shootings every other day, judges threatened and shot for verdicts handed down, masks ripped from the faces of those who need protection, coups plotted, police and military infiltrated by far right extremists. Enough of the list. I know I am nearing the end of my rope when I stop reading a work of fiction, or stop watching a drama which features a selfish, arrogant, seriously wounded character. Too much reality for me right now. The stakes are too high.
Somehow this insight from Ursula K LeGuin in her translation of Lao Tzu : Tao Te Ching : A Book About the Way and the Power of the Way gives me a way to cope:
“…values and beliefs are not only culturally constructed but also part of the interplay of yin and yang, the great reversals that maintain the living balance of the world. To believe that our beliefs are permanent truths which encompass reality is a sad arrogance. To let go of that belief is to find safety.”
Perhaps, I am wondering, this moral upheaval is part of the process of reversal, and the outcome will bring us a re-visioning of communal values and beliefs. The way I see things now is morphing into how we see things, although at a painfully slow pace. It is given to me to live with integrity while paying attention to what is emerging. I pray to remain open, making every effort to understand.
“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement.”
T.S. Eliot The Four Quartets
The Roundabout and the Still Point
Under clear blue sky
in Central Park carefree
girls and boys hop
onto a roundabout and spin
each rotation carrying them
away from the nascent secret
we conceal from them and ourselves:
the sky has fallen
yin has become yang.
clinging and cleaving to roundabouts
forged by fear.
Our grip is slipping now
and we are falling
by default into that Still Point of is-ness
where we embrace the yang
until our yearning for yin
puts the sky back in place
and the children back
on the roundabout…
“Salmon Berry Blossom on Black Water” Lynn Schooler
The impetus for this post was the beauty of our solar eclipse with its dramatic changes of light.
: pictorial representation in terms of light and shade without regard to color
: the arrangement or treatment of light and dark parts in a pictorial work of art:
the quality of being veiled or partly in shadow
Inside every living thing, no matter how beautiful, if opened fully enough was darkness. A Trick of the Light Louise Penny
If you have ever spent time in the company of the dark emotions, you too may have received subtle messages from friends and strangers alike that you were supposed to handle them and move on sooner instead of later. Some of us have even gotten the message that if we cannot do this on schedule, we may not have enough faith in God. If we had enough, we would be able to banish the dark angels from our beds, replacing them with the light angels of belief, trust, and praise. Greenspan [Healing Through the Dark Emotions by Miriam Greenspan] calls this “spiritual bypassing”—using religion to dodge the dark emotions instead of letting it lead us to embrace those dark angels as the best, most demanding spiritual teachers we may ever know…The emotions themselves are conduits of pure energy that want something from us: to wake us up, to tell us something we need to know, to break the ice around our hearts, to move us to act.