“What happened in Paris is what is happening in Syria several times a day. This is what the Syrians and Palestinian refugees are fleeing. The refugees are several nationalities, all fleeing US and UK perpetuated wars. Imagine if 9/11 happened every single day on US soil. Syrian lives are exactly the same importance as our lives.”
An Orison for the City of Lights, The Paris Yod: November 13th, 2015, 9:16 pm (Central European Time)
The headlines could be read around the world delivered with glaring horror and reality to the dark mirrors of our age. 129 dead, 200 injured, 99 critically, after ISIS claims responsibility for the attacks in revenge over the French military backed bombings of Syria. ISIS claiming that Paris was a key target in their operations. ISIS claimed responsibility in very short order after the events were seared into collective memory. It was the result of crises occurring shores away in Syria which of course has been an intense flashpoint driving many of the geo-political tragedies we are seeing of late.
The City of Light cast in a shroud of darkness, consumed in the madness that is touching all shores of the world. To think that this could touch a city of such humanity and celebration of life, tainted now by violent death and fear. It seems almost vulgar that it should so shamelessly be broadcast all over the world and yet similar tragedies seem to disappear in the news cycle with impunity, it reminds us all we cannot turn a blind eye, just because our human family is a world away from us in time and space.
An event so closely mirroring the one that befell Paris removed only by a day prior in time. Occurring in another city that reflects Paris in myriad ways, the Lebanese city of Beirut, the Paris of the Levant.
The terrible numbers clocking in at 43 casualties and 200 injured. The horror really sinks in when the target of the attacks is perceived. Burj-el Barajneh is dense residential and commercial district just off the main thoroughfare leading to Beirut’s Airport. It is here that two bomb blasts occurred inside of two minutes, causing the district to sustain pervasive damage, as families were gathering after the days labor in the late afternoon. The bombings coincided with major Hezbollah aggressions occurring at the time in Syria (a driver of the refugee crisis there). This tragedy weighing equal in intensity to what transpired in Paris, was generally invisible in the world news feeds, with the exception of Al Jazeera. Two Paris’ each alike in dignity, and the real tragedy was that the sister city was cloaked in silence. This is not to assign blame or criticize it is to call attention to the reality that this is the world we are living in now and that no suffering can any longer be ignored.
These attacks mirror others that have occurred since 9/11, Bali in 2005 which claimed the lives of 20 Australians, the London attacks in the same year which claimed the lives of 52 Britons. The Charlie Hebdo attacks earlier this year which claimed the lives of 12 French citizens, and finally the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis which has claimed and continues to claim countless Syria lives, all of them weighing equal in their preciousness and meaning. Endless conflicts by foreign power grabs, religious fundamentalism armed with weapons of destruction, environmental stressors from mis-managing of resources, and failed states infested with the corruption of totalitarian regimes. The two stories follow the same narrative. t
Back and forth this conflict seems to endlessly go fueled by the greed of corporations, the implication of governments vying for supremacy and the chauvinism and fundamentalist praxis of literalist religion certain in its interpretation of its own perceptions that it bases itself on such a fragile conclusion that the thing called G_d can ever be offended, damaged or denigrated (but how, for G_d is just another word for All That Is).
The question now as we grapple with our collective grief over these two prominent events which sadly are but two on a very long list of horrors that occur each day on our planet, is “Where do we go from here?”. There are no simple answers to this crisis of faith, but there is a very good place to start, and that is examining the underpinnings of our religious conceptions and ultimately of our cultural prime directive.
The Planetary Mind
There are two important things to note about each chart notice how Chiron which signifies how we experience wounding is in the sign of Aquarius which s a symbol that stands for the human masses, that this was an attack on everyday people and directed at a group of people for decidedly ideological reasons. This praxis has deep Aquarian roots, and represents the wounding of humanity, ISIS is largely the result of the War on Terror a potentially ill advised policy instrument that has done very little to diminish terrorism in the world and may have in fact exacerbated it. In a nutshell this aspect represents the wounds that humanity inflicts on itself for whatever reason but usually an ideologically motivated one, call it the dark side of the Aquarian archetype. The fact that Chiron in Aquarius sits in the 9th house in the Paris chart means that it will be known all around the world, and it figures considering that the Internet a decidedly Aquarian technology can broadcast events happening a world a way within hours or seconds of them happening. In the case of the Beirut offensive the Yod apex sat in the twelfth house and largely has been unacknowledged by much of the media and press at this time with scant global coverage, representative of both the obscuring nature of the twelfth house and an indictment of the world media for favoring more easily recognized western locations and people and an expression of an unacknowledged and unconscious ethnocentrism.
Ethnocentrism is a perceptual defect that can no longer be given a pass in an increasingly globalized world that requires a higher perspective wherein all people everywhere are seen as belonging to a single tribe with a myriad of cultural expressions. This is perhaps the bifurcation we are attempting to heal through the Neptune in Aquarius, Uranus in Pisces transit signature, to finally acknowledge our common humanity and our oneness with each other in spite of slight variations between us. It is essential that we humanity begin to rise to a planetary perspective and begin to see the suffering of distant lands as intimately as a wound in ur own body, which is to say this is not “their” suffering it is “our” suffering, simply, in that the reality is there is no “their” we are the only human species on this planet, and our regional and cultural differences are not significant to meaningfully divide us. The essence of the Uranus Retrograde period in mutual reception to the Neptune in Aquarius development is to elucidate the vision of a common humanity recognizing its terrestrial home as the common ground upon which it stands,
There is a dark side to all archetypes, the symbol Uranus (not the planet) is no exception. The abrupt changes this archetype is known for can be disruptive (ultimately creative), destructive (ultimately part of renewal), and sudden in the extreme. It can speak to the worst in the human psyche, in this case the deluded madness of religion unconstrained and armed by atavistic tribalism, and modern weapons technology. Uranus in Pisces may deal with the emotional impulse for autonomy it also deals in the underworld of the Piscean archetype. Pisces concerns itself with the cosmic vision, essentially our most religious and deeply held mindsets about how the Universe is and what its nature is. (Pisces can be wrapped up in a single image: The multiverse). Science can describe the architecture, functioning, and physiology of the Universe, but it has been Religion (as there is no other contender) that has attempted to explain what it all means and to give a meaning to a universe that by all observation remains obstinately stochastic (that is random and devoid of any inherent meaning or purpose). It is quite possible the Universe has no meaning, and our attempts at trying to find one are futile, it could be that because “nothing is true, everything is permitted” and we are free to create an anarchy of meanings to suit the experiences of each observer. It is possibly why so many different religious visions have emerged and had the extreme audacity to suggest they are singularly true. It is this chauvinism which has led to the madness we see in our world, as it gives rise to fundamentalism, and the notion that all other viewpoints must ultimately be wrong.
It is from this grandiose and deluded perception that all of the wars, tragedies, massacres, holocausts, repression, torture, and terrorism has emerged, fueled ultimately by the ancient vendettas these wars have created among groups of humans occupying differing perceptions of the Vajra of G_d, little realizing that their’s is one of a myriad faces of the same Cosmos. Ultimately it is here that our moral focus must be put, and the reformation of our collective values must begin.
The very simple perception is this: Religious bigotry in all of its guises must be eliminated from the human experience. As a species that now wields the power to re-shape the entire planet and alter life on Earth through the push of a button or the turn of a key, we can ill afford ideologies so divisive as the ones we have seen perpetuated in religious dogmas that have not been scrutinized. The hour is getting late for our species, approaching the eleventh hour and the Doomsday clock will keep ticking to midnight if we continue to persist in our collective delusions.
This is the crux of the moral evolution that needs to occur, it does not spell the end of religion but it does signal the completion of a process, where once religion perceived of a cosmos that did not go beyond the tribe, village or city it now has to include the perspective of a planet, a myriad of life-forms, and a cosmos teeming with 100 billion planets, and an origin story more profound than anything religion has yet imagined. Another point of clarity religion does not have a monopoly on this more cosmic vision, it is just that religion has thus far been the purveyor of collective morality, religion need not hijack the concept of the Supreme, the other human disciplines can certainly have their role in the formation of a cosmological consciousness.
There is a strong political dimension to this quest as well beyond the more ephemeral concerns of what could be termed spiritual. Policies have been problematic in not addressing some of the economic and cultural factors that underlie this crisis they are best summed up with this graphic:
Beyond these amazing suggestions for a better international policy that can be pursued by some of the more influential economic players in the world, there can be an avenue that will better build upon this framework. First of all, there is a strong need to transition away from current economic arrangements which have created vast stratification so profound they can no longer sustain us. Namely, the assumption that a growth economy can continually indefinitely without running into planetary restraints, or that human beings will submit to being stratified into artificial classes indefinitely. I would suggest a Resource Based and Non-Scarcity economics that uses need as its predication and not monetary value, and ultimately that will keep a strong focus on equitable sharing of resources and sustainability as its central focus. Granted the above cannot occur without first undergoing the moral evolution (the two work in tandem and cannot be separated from the other, as it is the moral qualities that are the foundations of the political and cultural mores), and disabusing ourselves of the concept of a fixed human nature. Our natures are incredibly plastic as history has borne out and we are capable of a great deal many human natures (being organisms heavily shaped by cultural processes).
Religious fundamentalism of any kind has no place in a pluralistic global society where there is an experience of an array of diverse cultures, religions, mindsets and worldviews. The Uranus in Pisces challenge is to look deeply into the shadow of our religions and to exorcise the demons that lay there. Religion will not disappear but like all things it will be subject to change, it will become something else. I imagine a time in the distant future, perhaps a century or two from now where humanity has passed through this crises of faith, this dark night of the collective soul, and I see that religions have gone from being rabidly myopic, to mutating into a vague agnostic mysticism. The religions still exist but have been subject to intense selective pressures. Stripped of their claws and tamed of their predatory nature, they continue to persist but in new form. Stripped of their literalist interpretations and seen more as symbolic truths (a soft-theism) that speak to a reality that is so ephemeral it cannot be seen. Retaining their cultural roots, but united in a vision that the Universe can be a panoply of multiple meanings to fit specific contexts and that the thing called “G_d” can wear a billion different faces. I imagine at this time the word G_d is no longer used and instead we refer to it as the mystery or perhaps we call it Starmaker, (to borrow a term from the author Olaf Stapledon) long recognizing that it is the Cosmos itself.
To be fair in this future, we are not the human species we are now. We are less prone to the weaknesses in perception that lead to religious supremacy in the first place, and possessed of a much more articulate critical faculty, long journeyed into space to visit the points nearest us (Alpha Centauri), spreading the virus of life. It’s a transformed Earth, thoroughly reminiscent of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. (I am still entranced by the idea that the planet Earth is an organic spaceship flying through space and all of our political national distinctions are merely other compartments or rooms in a common home, and it is literally our life support system).
Humanity long ago developed a new civilization one that remembered how to live in balance with the planet that hosts it. An economy where resources are equitably shared and held as a commons open to all, and resources are regulated in a manner to assure their conservation and long-term sustainability while avoiding the usage of those that would have long-term negative consequences upon the planetary ecology and the life-forms that are supported by it (i.e. Petroleum). It is likely at this stage of development the monetary system long ago transitioned or collapsed, eliminating the concept of classes and artificial distinctions at long last humanity is united in a common language and purpose and no longer at war with itself, and yet we are as diverse as ever, a myriad of cultures, creeds, and people united in a common humanity.
This is the ultimate religious vision one free of bigotry and tribalism and imbued with a vulnerability to salient mysteries and built on the premise of inter-connection as seen in the web of life, and what is G_d if not the Multiverse itself?
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