Monday, September 27, 2010
Virtue – CREDO CXXVI
When I was a teenager, the summer I spent with my grandmother in La Jolla, California, I had an early intuition: Virtue is really enlightened insight! Many years later, after a not especially virtuous life, I began to see the profound wisdom of this. I had grown up with religious assumptions of sin, guilt, if not hell, and that being virtuous was a trade-in for Brownie Points to heaven. This was the standard cultural background for being “ “good.”
Today, almost 88, and a lot wiser, I have learned that if one takes the message on its own worth, eliminating all religious aspects, it becomes a matter simply of common sense. Cause and effect! If you lie, you won’t trust anybody. If you hate, you will make enemies. If you steal, you will fear loss, etc. On the other hand, as I have written elsewhere, “A mistake is a loop in consciousness made to expose a greater surface to experience.” A tree does not grow like a telephone pole; it needs leaves, which grow on branches. It’s as if each leaf, exposed to the Sun of wisdom, is an Aha! helping the tree of life to grow.
So the concept of virtue noted above has to be redefined. The word’s origin comes from vir, Lat. for man. According to the dictionary, Plato distinguished four cardinal virtues: prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice. Christians apparently termed these the “natural virtues” and added the supernatural, theological, or Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity, or virtues infused by God.
All of these smack of Pollyanna, and, as I suspect, Jung would point out, ignore the Shadow of the opposites in the unconscious. This very day, yet another spiritual “Bishop,” a pastor, with a congregation of 25,000, is accused of sexually deviate behavior on the sly. This is a common theme, alas, and from the sad tale of the Roman Catholic priests, it seems to be a warning to all of us. Christ gave it the term of being a “whited sepulcher.”
Perhaps, such religious leaders start out sincerely and, as the kundalini force starts rising, it gets stuck in the first two chakras, which rule sex. Come to think of it, there are plenty of such characters who misuse the third chakra of “power”! The Inquisition is a collective example of that: In trying to exorcize the “Devil” in sinners, the “Devil” entered them! There is a huge difference between good and “good”. . .
Jung put it in psychological language but pointed out essentially that trying to be too “good” is bad for you. So what are we to do!! Perhaps the answer is just to be kind. That word in Old English was kinde and Dame Kinde was Mother Nature! In short, be natural, humble, and thoughtful of others – no Brownie Point agenda.
Not namby-pamby, mind you. “Tough Love” can also be kindness. We need to remember the Milk Stool Principle” (CREDO XXXVIII), that trinity of Love, Wisdom, and Power. Power actually can be a force for good when guided by Love and Wisdom. Think of Jesus chasing the moneychangers out of the temple.
Astrologically, Taurus (money) and Scorpio (sex) are opposites, and Jung advises us to try to balance all opposites, positive and negative, consciously. If we don’t, the rejected one falls into the Unconscious and gets projected out onto someone or some collective group and causes havoc.
If you imagine that I know the answer to all this, think again! Honestly, I only can raise good questions. But here is a prayer:
O Holy Sophia, Holy Wisdom, Holy Joy
hidden for so long
come forth and reveal yourself in the world
and in our souls!
Help us to see with a loving eye
Help us to hear with inwit and intuition
Show us how to be natural and kind
Show us how to find ourselves in one another
Lead us from who we think we are
to who we really are
Let us learn from the flowers
that we need not strive so hard
Teach us to allow that Light from within
to unfold us as a gift like your Rose.
P.S.: I realize that I may have referred to some unfamiliar concepts and terminology in this Credo! Note the words and google them. You won’t be sorry! In his autobiography, Jung refers to his curiosity being the words Why? and How come? which led him from passive acceptance to positive understanding. And look at the results!
Posted by IonaDove