Friday, February 13, 2009
The Quick and Lively Word – CREDO XLVI
Words are eggs, as Lonesome, the rabbit guide in my The Beejum Book, and my friend analyst Russ Lockhart, who wrote about this, both agree. Why? Because they hatch out meaning. Quick, as in “the quick and the dead” originally meant alive, and to quicken meant “to give spirit to.” Which brings me to that enduring and ever more meaningful word:
The etymological root of this word comes from Lat. spirare, to breathe. So the connection between life and death of the material body depends on breathing. We come into this world at birth and take our first breath and exspire with our last. Inspiration hints at the quickening of an idea which may take perspiration to transpire or happen.
So, it seems obvious that breathing is essential to life and to the indwelling of Spirit. The process of breathing in astrology is ruled by Gemini and this sign rules the lungs, the brain, and the nervous system, all of which function through duality. The sign’s glyph is II, for the Twins, which Gemini stands for. So we have right/left brain, and sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and now comes the kicker: two ways of breathing!
We breathe on automatic pilot unconsciously but we can choose to breathe consciously so we can alter the level of our health and consciousness by yoga and holotropic breathing. Too little oxygen, we become unconscious; and too much can have the same results. I can remember as a teenager fooling around breathing deeply through a long hollow bamboo pole and almost fainting! We dared each other. Alas, today kids sniff more deadly fumes. As for Stan Grof’s holotropic breathing, a form of supervised hyperventilation, this technique accesses the contents of the personal unconscious.
By now, hopefully, you can see the connection of the ego to Jung’s definition as the center of consciousness, and its duality in being able to look out to the world of experience, the aforementioned “Looking-glass of Circumstance,” or inward to our individual psyche. Thus we have a choice to become conscious of the mystery we call Spirit or the Self (Divine Guest) through our awareness or “Quickening.” This makes sense of “Having ears, you do not hear; having eyes, you do not see.”
What is it that makes the difference? I venture to say it is when something ordinary suddenly becomes meaningful. Those rare instances, for instance, of synchronicities or “Sophia’s winks,” as I like to call them, when a glimpse into the unus mundus occur s, and for a moment we realize that there is another world and it is hidden in this one! It is a moment for the quickening “pook” of Spirit that can take our breath away or leave us breathless. It hints also at the “Peace that passeth understanding” and we move from thinking to knowing.
Thus there seems to be a proof that uniting the opposites (II) on any level has the potential for Jung’s “Transcendent Function” to lead us to such glimpses. Mercury (Hermes) is the ruler of Gemini. His process is personified as Psychopomp or Leader of Souls. Think of how meaningful lacing your shoes can be! If the laces go up without crisscrossing, your shoes fall off. (Think Obama!) Considering the obvious is a good place to start on finding the sacred in the commonplace. It is the key to having eyes and occasionally seeing.
Perhaps one of our readers can explain how physically vision is accomplished by the right eye going to the left brain and vice versa, and wrong side up becomes right side up in the end! Sounds like Hermes and his caduceus has a hand even there!
ao, still getting a kick out of life – Upon my Word!
Posted by IonaDove