A Thanksgiving Musing

I would like to venture into philiosophical realms on this Thanksgiving Day. We take a moment to contemplate “Thanksgiving” and some may be challenged to feel the theme of gratitude in these challenging times. The ego feels overwhelmed, maybe overshadowed, and cannot easily see what is worth giving thanks for. Yet, we must transcend that which overshadows us and find a handhold onto the truth that lies beyond. In truth we will find gratitude.

I ask the question often these days, “what is happening here in our country in these last years?” One of the expressions I find accurate and darkly humorous at the same time is, “The country is having a nervous breakdown!” Many believe our foundations are failing. There’s nobody to look to for leadership. Capitalism or materialism fails to take care of us. And we are left with great fear. And fear freaks us out!

Certainly, the Bush years promoted reactionary fear-based responses. Greed became ever more frequent as the ego said, “I have to get mine!” Our deep, core issues of separation/judgment increasingly polarized our interpersonal relationships and in extension, have created the most political polarization that we’ve seen in a long time. Fear also summons deep karmic themes from the inner darkness. It’s that first chakra survival theme that’s kicked into full expression. When the threats of losing one’s home, or not being able to care for one’s family, the result is we lose our sense of groundedness. The ego is threatened severely. Add to that the mass consciousness of this collective triggering of deep emotional energies, we will often project blame outward. President Obama becomes the target. Government becomes the target. And all of us that have acted unskillfully, or that have expressed our fears in harmful ways transfer/project those karmic responsibilities onto those that are “supposed” to take care of us. It becomes their failure, not ours. So we fire them and bring in a new collection of political hopefuls. It will not solve the deep issues underlying our collective neurosis.

In the sixties we had a similar astrological t-square configuration with Saturn-Uranus-Pluto. It was a time of war, revolution against the establishment, and innovation that changed our consciousness. A new spirituality emerged, especially in the west, when Eastern spirituality began to interface with western beliefs.  From India, Japan and China ancient knowledge was re-formulated for western audiences. I see it as a seeding of new ideas, new techniques of inner discovery, a catalyst that sparked fertilization of new spiritual possibilities. Out of the darkness of fear came a revolution that changed all of us. I believe that the current heavenly t-square configuration is catalyzing in the same ways. It is taking us through another revolution against the establishment. This time led by the right-wing. Fear is still the big issue. Fundamentalism is always pushed toward more extremism when fear is paramount. If there is a sense of threat to one’s belief system, one’s religious life, or to the status quo, there will be an active defense put into motion. Change becomes dangerous to the ego. The ego’s job is to defend one’s sense of self-definition: to maintain control of who I think I am and my personal reality. However, the soul may have a different agenda. The soul does not care about your belief system, it only cares about that growth-experience that moves you to liberation. For that matter, all of our souls are putting us through these times and these opportunities to help us learn how to care for ourselves and each other so we can come home again. If that means to enlightenment or back home to God/dess, then the inner work must accomplish that goal. As in the sixties, growth-producing innovation can become grounded in available forms. At this time in history there is more spiritual knowledge available than ever before, more schools of the soul, more techniques for inner work, and many competent, inspired teachers. In the midst of revolution, pathways of healing and transformation are available.

If we adopt the belief that God/dess is greater than human beings can conceive and that we may not always understand or agree with the mysterious journey we are passing through, we are asked to pay attention in the midst of our incomprehension. To keep the awareness open and to the best of our ability, to strive for non-attachment to the dramas we experience. To cultivate a faith in Spirit that keeps the spiritual energy in motion which will act like a compass to navigate the storms. There is inherent meaning on this journey through our lives. There is inherent meaning in our personal roles and in those relationships we have chosen willingly or unwillingly. There is inherent meaning is our being. By taking time to dwell within, that meaning will permeate your awareness and more easily be demonstrated in your life. This is one critical function that helps to ground us to our beingness. When we are grounded, fear cannot pull us out of the present moment into the uncertain future. Fear loses it’s power over us. Change is no longer a threat. The ego relaxes somewhat, transcendence becomes more spontaneous, and we come home to ourselves.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to come back to ourselves. We give thanks for the mystery. We give thanks for our lives and all of those that have served us for our betterment which includes everyone. Because we are all in this moment together, as One, as that collective force that has a profound intelligence to move us toward Liberation. May we bow our heads and open to That and give heartfelt thanks.

OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,

Rick Phillips

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