Archive for the ‘money’ tag
It’s summer solstice today and I am writing this at approximately two hours past the peak of the solstice. I found this image as a representative image for the solstice, an image of the masculine. As most who follow symbolism are are aware, the sun is symbolic of the masculine where the moon is symbolic of the feminine. The summer solstice is all about the sun.
Solstice is representative of the midpoint of a man’s life in as much as it represents the midlife of the annual journey of the earth around the sun, the point where man is at his peak, the moment when the sun is in the sky longest in the year. It is the time when a man is the most conscious of the fact of being a man, most feeling the power of being male.
If a man has truly worked at becoming conscious, he comes to a point of crisis as he realises that the life of spirit, of logos doesn’t fill him. All that has been believed, all the effort, the struggle now seems to ring hollow. At this moment, a man “knows” that he has peaked and that it he is now engaged in a journey back to darkness. If he is lucky, he has a guide to help him descend from the peak.
With a focus on what has been attained in the work of being a man, the fact that reaching the pinnacle of his essence as a male has not resulted in a sense of fullness, but of a paradoxical emptiness, a hollowness, a man is graced with the opportunity to move towards balance, the balance of light and dark, the balance between his masculine aspect and his feminine aspect.
And it is this embarking on a new journey that is to be celebrated at the solstice, the end of the honeymoon and the real work to come, the real work which will give life meaning and purpose. Those who resist this journey get lost in addictions which promise meaning: sex, power, money, dominance of others.
It doesn’t make sense to the objective world that it is in a descent into a subjective world that one finds purpose and meaning in the outer world. But who said it has to make sense in a “logos” kind of way? Too much of one thing leads to burn out, to a searing of the soul.
Though it might seem a time for mourning of one’s ego, a time for anger and resistance; midlife is a blessing if one can only dare to continue a journey of individuation, a journey in which one learns to embrace the feminine, the soul.
In this photo that I took, the intention was to get an image that showed countryside in which lotus farming was featured. I passed this field and those around it three times and noticed this house. At first I thought it was just a field building that was used for tools and such, but this photo taken on my second time passed the field when I stopped for photos captured the fact that the building was actually a home. I saw the people living in it and the signals that declared it a home. They were not landowners, but farm help who made themselves a make-do home where they found work. Their pay was minimal, but it was enough to eat and buy the essentials. The village school not too distant from the fields was enough to build hope that their children would have a better life. And, their mood was mostly positive and they smiled at life.
Attitude. Often one cannot change their life conditions too much and must live the life they find themselves within. Depending on belief system, this could be a “chosen” adventure for the constantly reappearing soul, an act of reincarnation or it could be simply a matter of chaotic chance. What does one do with one’s lot in life? It isn’t only about poverty either. Many born into lives of privilege are dissatisfied with their situation wanting more and more and more. Some with riches beyond counting still feel cheated as if there should be more as the empty feeling refuses to go away. Poverty becomes an issue of spirit, of soul rather than an absence of money and material stuff.
I know that I am wealthy, perhaps wealthier than I deserve. I have the technological tools to engage in my passion for writing and photography and communication with others. I have a place of safety where I can sleep in comfort each night. I have a work that is not hard and that is rewarding as well as giving me money to pay for all the things I want yet leaving me with unspent money. My children have their own jobs, their own families, and careers that allow them to meet their needs. I travel and I continue to learn and marvel at the world and the people along the many paths that I take in these travel adventures. But, my wealth is not in terms of money. Others I meet during these travels have significantly more money, stay at better quality lodgings, eat at better restaurants and engage in all manner of divertissements that are available to those who have deeper pockets. Many of them weren’t happy with their experiences, complaining of the climate, the culture, the world in general. Though they wandered through these travels like royalty and were treated as V.I.P.s by all, dissatisfaction left a taste of bitterness in their throats. They experience a real sense of poverty, a poverty of spirit.
During the time spent in Cambodia after three weeks of wandering around Vietnam and Laos, I got to see a serious side of poverty. It seemed that everywhere I turned, the face of poverty was there looking back at me, looking deep into my soul. It left me feeling overwhelmed and powerless for the most part. What could I do as an individual, a person within the lower middle class of the western world, to make a difference? The “money” I had would soon be exhausted with negligible effect on the lives in IndoChina.
It didn’t take me long to see that the poverty was deeper than the lack of money. If that was the only problem, throwing money at the problem would solve the problem. The time I have spent on reserves and in rural areas of western Canada where First Nations poverty is a real fact had proven to me that the infusion of money, more often than not, worsened the problems creating more dependency, adding more tension between the givers and the receivers of the money.
All I could think of was somehow opening doors to education, an education which would allow those hungry enough to claim the knowledge and tools to reforge their own lives. But even that is not enough. What about the little ones like this little girl who is trapped by geography, culture, family poverty, and by history? How does one change the mindset of a nation which is governed by the shadow of the masculine? Revolts against the shadow erupt all over the world, but those revolts are more instinctual than they are based on consciousness. The results of these revolts that promise change only end up with a different set of faces continuing to govern unconscious of the roots of the real problems of their communities.
So, I am left with hoping that what I am doing here as a teacher, as a guide through the dark sides of the human psyche, will make a difference.