Reflecting on a couple individuals who are in the same role in life, I noticed their contrasting attitudes toward their roles – one of total, consuming care and responsibility and one running away from that very same responsibility.
I was wondering why we always seem to be one extreme or the other. Why not a little of both?
If we have a sense of responsibility, we are responsible for everything. If we seek freedom, we are responsible for nothing. We might not be this way with all traits, but often are with the traits we identify most as our personality.
Where is the balance?
Often asking a question brings answers, or at least ideas. Watching the first Star Wars film in 1977 I wondered why it was so well liked – it was just same old boy saves princess story replete with supporting characters of evil man, wise man and rogue man. It was the same old struggle of good and evil.
I learned why we like Star Wars so much – we like the basic archetypes such as the hero’s journey and can watch it again and again. Archetypes and myths are the stories of our humanity – we never tire of them.
On the imbalance of the world, Jim Self in his little green book called The Shift explains it as the nature of the third dimension which is a “classroom of imbalance.” He believes our purpose is to “re-discover and master balance” which actually takes us into a different dimension – the fourth which according to Self is a more fluid, open state of being. The third dimension by nature is not balanced.
Aries – Libra
In the horoscope, Aries is the first sign (of twelve) and Libra is the seventh, opposite Aries. Aries is self and Libra is other. Aries is bold, impulsive, enthusiastic, self-starting (but not self-finishing) and assertive of self. Libra in contrast seeks relationship and reflects and molds oneself from the behaviors of others so is pleasure loving, intellectual and charming. Libra is charming to attract the other; Aries is combative which repels others and creates the stimulation of the fight.
The Aries-Libra axis is one of the six polarities in the horoscope. Polarities represent the extremes we see in our imbalanced world. Mastering a polarity is balance.
Aries as self wants definition. I’m the life of the party. I’m the most attractive person in the room. I’m the smartest person in the room. I’m the one who always has to clean up. These are “self” statements.
When we define self, we begin to believe we are these traits all the time which leads to the extreme. I must always be the life of the party, even when I’m feeling down. I must always be most attractive, even as I age and weaken. If someone else is smarter, I feel insecure. If I don’t clean up, then suddenly I’m not the responsible one and I feel guilty.
When we are criticized, possibly the sting comes from the loss of the idea of self. I’m the life of the party and you’re telling me I’m overbearing – that means I’m not the life of the party. What am I? I must be the opposite – the most unlikable person at the party.
The horoscope, everyone’s horoscope, contains all of the signs, all of the polarities, all of the elements, all of the modes. If we didn’t identify with specific traits, but carried them all for use at any time (like a full spice cabinet), would we be in balance?
If we are in balance, is there a personality? Is there a self?
Is the personality and identification with self the very source of imbalance in this dimension? Are we afraid to let go of our extremes for fear of losing our very selves? What would we lose if we lost our “self?”