Did you ever flip a coin to make a decision and then when head or tails came up, you discovered that you really didn’t want that option? I’ve often used that technique to discover if I were hiding my own preferences from myself.
Some folks say you shouldn’t WANT things. If you don’t want anything, you’ll never be disappointed if you don’t have it, you’ll never want what someone else has. There is a problem with wanting something without having done anything to earn it, sometimes. You can follow the line of thinking to work out when it’s OK, and when it isn’t. If you take something someone else worked for when you didn’t, that’s not good. If someone gives you something because they want you to be happy and getting it makes you happy, that makes them happy, so that’s good. It’s OK to want, to admire, to appreciate beautiful, wonderful things. Better than that, if you want something, whether a bike, or a video game, or a car, or the ability to make your own decisions, that wanting, that longing for something you don’t have yet may help motivate you to doing the things you need to do to get it. You may want to fit into that dress without the seams straining, and want it more than you want those cookies. You may want to read that book enough that you stay home when others are headed for a night out- or you may want to have friends around you more than you want to read the book. One of the most important skills you can learn is to know what you want, and how much you want it. Sometimes you may have to lead yourself through a string of questions to figure out your options and test the strength of you wanting.
Don’t assume that any wanting is greed. You may be wanting someone to love you and you love. You may want money- but what you WANT is to know that you have earned that money. (Be careful not to set the intention for a wretched job because of an unexamined belief that if you don’t suffer for it, you didn’t work hard for it. Be careful, you may have picked up some really odd and untrue beliefs before you even knew you were learning them.)
Change can be very good, and your intentions- your wants- will direct them. Accept that what you want may be what is going to bring you fulfillment, and learn to embrace that energy as a way to overcome the fear of reaching for it. Fear isn’t automatically bad. Fear of being hurt keeps us safe. But want isn’t automatically bad either. Accept them as signs that help you find your way to your best life.
I’d already scheduled this post, but given the shooting on Wednesday, I feel a need to revise, to defend the concept a bit. It would be easy to see “Things happen for a reason” as a platitude or blaming what happened on God or Fate or some divine plan.
Things happen for not just a reason but many reasons. One reason was that the man was angry, and whatever he was angry about, there is no excuse for his killing those students and teachers. I’m sure it didn’t do anything to fix the problems that made him angry. Later many people will try to figure out his motivation, but that’s not why it happened, in either a cosmic sense or a practical one. We are in a high stress, angry culture, and some parts of it encourage violent behavior. Many others do not.
Change is inevitable. Things always change, and we hope that changes will be for the better, not the worse. We do not embrace the terrorism, but we can embrace people helping each other. People are coming together to try to direct change in the right direction. Many people are outraged, and determined to prevent more tragedies like this from happening. Compassion Fatigue is a real thing, but this incident may be the tipping point where people will refuse to simply “think about something else”, and insist on making policies that reflect good research that shows us how to prevent more shooting. Terrorism is always about using other people’s fear to make them do what you want them to do: to move out of your town, or country, to allow you your bigotry, to see how awful conditions are and do something about it. It’s not a good technique, but it is does get our attention.
Climate Change is a change- but people all over the world are working on turning it around. Every news story whether on climate or on terrorism adds figures into existing data and changes the direction of the probabilities we are facing. We don’t ever travel in a direct line. We change our paths. We are creatures of earth and of stardust, of matter and energy, and we are capable of so much! If we decide to use that energy, and our actions to change the world we are in. In every little thing we do, we can make the world a better place. When something awful happens, the best we can do is not accept it, but seize the energy of our outrage and use it to power our will to change the world for the better.
Another way to think of it is going with the flow. If you use all your energy trying to stay where you are, you aren’t going to have any left to direct your movement. Go with the change and ride the wave to a farther or higher place than you could reach without the wave pushing you along. Think of the line from Macbeth: “There is a tide in the affairs of men that taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”
When you find yourself in the midst of change, learn to feel for the flow of the energies around you. This is one of the reasons we use divination, to find the paths of least resistance, so we may flow easily in a profitable direction rather than exhaust ourselves fighting the tides of time and the universe.
Sale along the crest of the tide of time, rather than fighting it, and getting it up your nose.
Thus us an unusual graphic for the CTCW blog, but at the same time, when I tripped over it while looking for images dealing with change, it occurred to me that it might still be applicable. This year our theme is change. “Change as Opportunity: Rising to the Challenge” Change can be bad or good, although even when good it can also be scary, and I expect we will look at a lot of aspects in change in this year’s conference. Sometimes a big change is better than gradual change- if your leg needed to be amputated, would you rather do it an inch at a time?
One of the things we are trying to change with Changing Times- Changing Worlds is to help the world to accept the value of some studies (Metaphysics/ Paranormal) that have been dismissed as impossible, and incompatible with science. Alchemy is one of those studies. It argues “As above, so below” It tells us that the way things work in one system, often work similarly in another unrelated system. We can use science to help us understand change. The way science describes change may help us understand what about changes is good or hard in our lives.
The Greek symbol delta Δδ is used for change. Entropy in general (as opposed to thermodynamics) means a tendency for things to move toward disorder and chaos. In other words, chaos is the natural state of the world and it takes energy to maintain order. I think we can see that in our lives. You may have seen people wearing the 8 pointed Chaos Star. As we are learning to look at and understand darker aspects of spirit, some people are embracing Chaos. Certainly it is one of Winter’s lessons that without winter composting and breaking down last year’s old growth, new life would be impossible in the Spring. We may enjoy and wish for the more pleasant aspects of the changing year, but all parts of the cycle are needed. So let us not look at science as the enemy of the paranormal, but simply another way to understand it.