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The Journal Archives – Solid And Supple

October 2, 1997:
In this entry I quote The Astrologer’s Manual by Landis Knight Green:
In Buddhist and Hindu Philosophy the conscious sense of purpose is called dharma, the law for living and developing one’s own character through fulfilling the right duties.  A person’s entire horoscope is a key to understanding and defining these duties; however, it is the Sun that dictates the exact nature or heart of this conscious and mature relatedness.  The planets which form aspects to the sun show exactly how this is carried out.  Naturally, this refers mainly to a person who has developed self-awareness to a degree where he can determine many of the conditions of his present, as well as future, life.  In the I Ching, he is called a “Superior Man.”  Astrology, as it is being discussed here, would have little meaning for someone who is not assiduously seeking the truth about his being.

The solar individual is enlightened to the degree that he can utilize, direct, and project his energies and his will precisely there that life has the greatest meaning and value.
-L.K. Green

The conscious person (solar self) is even more receptive (lunar self) so that he can continue to learn the laws of life that make his survival easier while he develops himself spiritually.

October 5, 1997:
I want to ponder what is happening w/ my existence and how to react to it.  And, more importantly I think, what I want to happen and how to work towards that.  I feel like my life is 90%  (mas o menos) me struggling against the tide.

What are the lessons I need to learn?

In The Wisdom of Insecurity by Allen Watts, he talks about how we are all searching for comfort and stability, but that those things are illusions, so we are really just fighting off life.  Is that true?  To a certain extent I believe it is, but where is that line between building a solid foundation and being able to sway and bend with the wind.  If only I could solve maybe one mystery, maybe I’d get some confidence which would give me more energy to keep striving.

I am very happy, and grateful, to report that there is little struggle in my life these days.  Still plenty of challenges, yes, but I have learned (by much trial and error) that struggling against them is a waste of energy and serves no purpose.  I do a lot of “swaying and bending with the wind” while at the same time making that foundation ever more solid and stable.  I don’t think there is “a line” between the two.

Through meditation, mindfulness, reflection, observation, exploration, study, and practice, I have come to see that the foundation is our infinite soul and the more we are aware of it and honor/care for it, the more it will keep us steady in the worst of storms and serve as firm ground for our personal evolution.

I’m beginning to believe that the insecurity Alan Watts is referring to is a result of our clinging to and grasping (things, people, events, expectations, etc), not wanting to accept the inevitable changes of life.  But, with a strong foundation, supple body/mind/energy/spirit, and awareness of the infinitely fluid rhythm of life, we can begin to embrace it in all it’s magically mysterious glory.  So that’s what I’m going for these days, thirteen and a half years later.

November 3, 1997:
Life seems so short to me sometimes, oftentimes, so I want to jump in and swim and be carried by the stream – without checking to see how cold the water is or if there’s a big rapid or waterfall ahead or a rock or branch in my path.  I get bruised a lot.  Cuts and scrapes are inevitable, cracking my head open kinda sucks, for awhile.  If only I could figure out how to really apply this metaphor to my life.  Just because the water is warm when you jump in doesn’t mean it stays that way.  Life is not static.  I’m not sitting in tide pools very often (I don’t like pollywogs sucking on my toes.)  And how do I know if there’s a strong current up ahead – I can only see about 2 feet in front of me.  And, even if there is , is it worth the risk if I really want to get there and there’s no way around?  These are questions I can’t answer so I usually/sometimes decide that the only way to know is to find out.

Life is not short!  At the same time, though, each moment is passing, replaced by a new one.  The more richly we experience our Now, the more satisfying our life will be.  That river metaphor is a bit muddy but I do think that we all must find a balance, that works for us, of being safe and grounded and diving into the rough waters and getting banged up a bit.

I’m feeling pretty good about my balance these days.

January 4, 1998:
I’ve been feeling that I’ve been sacrificing and avoiding focusing on my inner reality and my future goals and dreams and my healthy.  Well, I would like those to be my new focuses – I believe they are way more important to true peace and balance than the exterior realities (distractions and diversions a lot of the time) and they have been sorely neglected for a long time now.  If the Universe is listening, I say a little prayer to be thankful for all I have and to ask for the strength to make these changes in my life and stick to my goals.

Thanks for listening!

The Journal Archives – Not the Same River

From my journal – September 1, 1997:
I think I’ve been avoiding writing on this page – starting a new book of my life.  I guess I was hoping I could time it right, so it felt like I was entering a new chapter of my life.  But life doesn’t work like that – at least not mine.  I don’t suddenly wake up one morning and watch all the pieces fall into place.  I don’t wake up one morning and watch everything fall apart.  It’s more like a river, a stream, always moving, but never quite the same.  Each corner, each bend holds something new – a challenge, a lull, a pool, a storm, a tide, a waterfall, a twig, a branch, a rapid, calm…


You cannot step into the same river twice.


And today:
That was 13 ½ years ago.  I haven’t read those words for a long time.  Strange to read my own writing from years past – years full of change and growth, full of falling apart and falling into place, and so on, and so on.  The river analogy is one which I continue returning to.  It just works.  Life – time and matter – are continuously moving and we are in that stream, either moving with it or against it, or temporarily at rest, while it moves around us.  I’ve experienced the forward motion, the backward motion, and the unmoving states.  And these past reflections on life offer me, now, a view of the waters I’ve traversed, my methods/approach on the journey, and what I have learned thus far.

A Manger in the Heart

Being in a new place, just starting to fertilize this ground and root down, J and I don’t really have local communities yet. Forming and contributing to them is one of our primary focuses in the new year. Like many people, though, I find myself craving that sense of connection/sharing/belonging during the holidays. And despite my choosing to release much of what I learned via a Catholic upbringing, and my distaste for any tradition/approach which emphasizes consumption, I love the holidays. I love them for what I see as their best and brightest qualities: time to slow down, reflect, celebrate our many gifts, and share love and warmth. We were blessed with a visit from a dear old friend for Thanksgiving and graced by many good friends, old and new, visiting our home for a holiday gathering/housewarming. And of the past 5 years, besides 2007 in our home in Lexington, this is the first year where we really feel Home for the holidays, like we did back in Kalamazoo. So we were content with the plan of a quiet Foust/LaRue family Christmas.

I loved having our live tree (a tea tree), with its twinkling lights, bring that living energy and warm glow into our home. I loved baking six batches of cookies (w/ J) to share and treat ourselves with. And I loved the anticipation of a cozy Christmas day. But there was still that longing to be part of something bigger than just our family. Growing up, Christmas eve was always special and magical feeling. We would dress up (and bundle up for a blustery New Hampshire night) and go to mass at the church where we would see friends and family. There were lots of wreaths and red and white poinsettias and candles glowing bright. We sang together and prayed together. Then we would drive down to my grandparents’ or aunt and uncle’s and the whole, extended family would eat, talk, laugh and be merry. In some ways, I think I enjoyed it even more than Christmas day – the feelings of tradition and connection really made an impression.

Beautifully, magically, as life so often does, when we let it, it brought forth what I was seeking. Awhile back I went to a workshop at a new, and great, local herb/natural health shop (which I’ll be writing more about.) It was a presentation of Dr. Hauschka skin care which is produced using biodynamic methods conceived of by Rudoph Steiner. One of the women who attended spoke of a local spiritual teacher/guide, Karen Rivers, who’s work draws deeply from Steiner’s insights. She mentioned a “beautiful Christmas circle gathering” led by Karen. And in my remembrance of those special times of the past, and wanting to rekindle that flame, I thought of that circle, contacted Karen and she welcomed J and I to participate.

The rain had stopped and the clouds parted to reveal the winter sun, shining down on the pastures of cows and horses, grazing on the lush winter vegetation of Northern California. We parked near a swift creek and made or way slowly along the dirt path to the barn, savoring the idyllic pastureland, so close to the place we now call home! Inside, the barn was lit only by the orange flames of the wood stove. As people took their seats, Karen and helpers lit the candles of the tree and that light was passed from seat to seat for all of us to light a candle to hold. Soon the whole room was full of candlelight and, along with the piano, we began singing. Together we sang many Christmas songs in that room all aglow. It felt so nice to use my voice, to hear J’s voice, and to join together with and enjoy the voices all around. That spirit of sharing and love, self expression and celebration brought tears to my eyes and made me very, very happy on Christmas eve.

Karen wished for us all to make a manger in our hearts, like the manger where the baby Jesus is said to have lain. I see that manger as a symbol of nourishment, safety, warmth, and love and am grateful for that Christmas eve gathering for lighting up my heart’s manger.

The healthy social life is found when in the mirror of each human soul the whole community finds its reflection and when in the community the virtue of each one is living.

-Dr. Rudolph Steiner

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