Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Toys, Games – Chaos, Order, and Motion: Sophia’s Devices IV – CREDO XCIV
“The unexamined life is not worth living” could have been one of Jung’s mantras, and I learned early from him to ask the simple question “why?” or “how come” and then look for a symbolic answer. And this is fun! What demonstrates chaos and order at the same time? How about a kaleidoscope? The Greek word translates into “a seeing device of beautiful image.” It is a toy and I hope you can find one. It is a colorful cardboard tube containing two vertical mirrors set at an angle. At the bottom is a cluster of small transparent tiny shapes of multi-colored glass or plastic held in a translucent bottom that can be shaken around. At the top is a peephole. When you look through the hole the bits and pieces form gorgeous mandalas of geometric shapes which change as you rotate the tube. Were you only to see the one end of random bits, you have chaos but reversed is breathtaking beautiful order in motion. The one I have is cheap, but I have seen more expensive ones made with real glass. I keep one in my office to prove a point now and then.
Another example that comes to mind is knitting, especially with different colored wools to make a patterned sweater. As you knit the right side it forms beautiful order but the inside or wrong side is a total mess of seeming chaos. When I could knit, and I loved to! before my stroke, I used to think that most of the time my self-estimation was of the chaotic mess, and I would hope that when I died, some pattern could emerge. I also remember my grandmother had a Chinese silk embroidered little hoop that was supposed to serve as a sconce for a wall light. The embroidery was the same on both sides! It was so fragile it eventually fell apart but not before delivering the message of an avatar’s example, a Buddha or a Christ, who wore a “seamless garment.
Children’s games are another source. Take Ring-around–the-Rosy (Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!). Nobody’s perfect. But from another point of view, when children hold hands in a circle, the energy is distributed and may reach a niveau of collective energy which helps the teacher. When grown-ups form a circle, I have already pointed out that each individual sees the same circle from a unique perspective, and I quoted Heraclitus saying With our eyes open we share the same world, but when we close our eyes each of us enters a separate world. Later I learned from the Stanford physics professor William Tiller, who discovered through biofeedback, that when two people hold hands the energy is squared! Then on Iona with a group of seventy two participants, I shared this, and realized we had solved the insoluble riddle that one cannot square a circle!! I probably am repeating this anecdote but in this context it shares an insight on Ring-around-the-Rosy, and further on the dichotomy presented by the coming 2000+ years of the Age of Aquarius!
Aquarius rules the “Common Man” and the global collective – we see this development happening all around us – the opposite constellation is Leo, which rules royalty and the imperial Self of the individual. In North Korea, when you see squadrons of men marching as one, that is Aquarian, and individual opinion seems difficult to come by. This was the ideal of Communism, but with time, the opposite, an elite (Leo), inevitably emerged. Technology is Aquarian: We get Social Security in an envelope but there is no love (Leo) in it. So a flashing light that says “Thank you! “is a poor substitute for gratitude. Now we have the Internet with Facebook, Twitter, etc., presenting the so-called civilized world with a “virtual life” rather than a natural, real one. It will take some time before the balance is restored. Obama is a Leo with Aquarius rising and undoubtedly used Aquarian know-how not only in trying to get elected but in trying to set our sights on a peaceful global community. Lincoln was also an Aquarian, I might add.
I hope I can be forgiven for repetition, but Sophia’s wisdom is at work in every candle. Each individual has the wick Jung calls the Self, but the flame on every wick is the same Flame!! So the Christmas season abounds in light symbolism. Why? What we forget is that for millennia we have welcomed the return of the Sun at the winter solstice on December 21 and that Christmas was consciously designated to replace the pagan festival of Saturnalia after Rome became officially Christian. Saturn rules Capricorn, the most material sign of the Zodiac, so the rebirth of the Sun coming at this darkest time, had symbolic meaning also for pagans throughout history. The Gospel of John speaks of Christ as that true Light which lighteth every one that cometh into the world.
Hanukah is a festival of light as are Hindu traditions involving floating lighted candles down rivers at Diwali.
In Gerald Schroeder’s masterful scientific book The Hidden Face of God, he describes the light in the subatomic world. He doesn’t have to preach. There is Light hidden in darkness, where Jung points out, One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but in making the darkness conscious.
Sophia’s Wisdom extends even further. I remember my ninth graders expressing boredom on an absolutely still day and using that to defend the use of “Speed,” a drug popular at the time. I stopped them in their tracks with the following information, which emphasizes her paradox of stillness and motion:
1. When you, like Newton, drop an apple or a stone, gravity seems to draw a straight line of descent; however, is it really?
2. Our earth is rotating at 1000 mph.
3. The earth is orbiting the sun at 60,000 mph.
4. The Sun and Solar System are moving at 481,000 mph in the Milky Way.
5. The Milky Way is said to be moving at 1,350,000 mph!!!, or so I have read.
I’d like to close with a funny dream I once had:
It is night and I am in a hotel. The manager is conducting me down a hall to show me the rooms. The odd thing about him is that his head is a small blazing sun. He proceeds to open the door to a closed room, sticks his head in which lights it up, and says “I can’t see anything dark in here!” He repeats this each time.
I woke up laughing and then realized a Solar God cannot know darkness, so the domain of Sophia’s feminine Wisdom of the Moon provides the dark in which the Sun’s light can be reflected and constantly changed during each mo(o)nth. If everything were light, we would not be conscious of it. The paradox is that sunrise is actually earthset! And vice-versa. The sun is always shining and steady, at least, in its centering of our solar system. Earth as a planet is the one constantly moving in orbit.
Today, the astronauts are able to move outside the spaceship as if nothing were happening, and yet they, too, are subject to orbiting the earth at 20,000 mph! Now if someone could explain to me who or what the Prime Mover was or how motion ever began!
As Galileo put it, E pur si muove and Heraclitus was spot-on when he remarked “Everything flows.” But, guess what, now I am going to stop!
Posted by IonaDove