Sabian Symbols: A big bear sitting down and waving its paws
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Aquarius 23 (22° - 23°)
THE DISCIPLINE OF SELF-CONTROL
The more we learn to control our animal nature
the more we can have it available as a resource
In each of us a powerful animal nature exists, and if left unchecked would cause unhelpful and antisocial outcomes. Yet life is nothing more than a series of training exercises and examinations through which we learn to tame the beast. It requires not only obedience to imposed discipline, although this is how the training starts, to be effective it must truly lead to full acceptance of the imperative of self-discipline. When we are self-controlled then we may safely employ whatever animal power we can access.
A BIG BEAR SITTING DOWN AND WAVING ALL ITS PAWS
A big bear sitting down and waving all its paws
Power and knowledge come only when animal passion and spiritual passion unite
A big bear sitting down and waving all its paws – the powerful bear represents a person’s animal nature – it is seated, so passive, and yet gesticulating, so expressive. This illustrates the conviction that the passionate spirit of the red-blooded human, when tamed by the higher self, is a source of great power.
By struggling to gain absolute mastery of our own lower nature, we find that nothing is beyond our capacity. We could use our emotions in frantic efforts to gain and hold attention, as so many people do. But it’s better to use it to cultivate an appetite for life, by following the desire nature to the point of crisis, and then in full awareness, resolving the issues arising – of darkness and light.
Before we can participate fully in any grander reality, we do need to show the worth of our own specific gifts – worldly skills to address worldly goals. It is pure nonsense to expect to reach high spiritual states without first coming to terms with ordinary life – and that also includes dealing with dark psychological imbalances we have inherited and internalised.
Our desire for spiritual experiences shows in a willingness to dramatise our potentials whenever opportunity presents itself. This may well involve challenges and even conflict, as we test our new ideas out in practice, often going against established habits and social norms.
Knowledge about ultimate reality is of no consequence unless it can be satisfactorily shown – by our tangible life achievements – to be a workable life principle in material terms.
Our soul work follows on from our demonstration that we have an aptitude for worldly life – and an ability to bring every function of life to a high personal fulfilment. How can a spiritual principle be valid if it does not bring such abilities? That which does not survive the robust tests of life on earth has no place in life on earth – this surely is self-evident?
The soul finds itself through the excellence it makes and re-makes out of the very fabric of itself. We are here to experience the endless options available, through which we may further examine each separate aspect of our eternal being, in a never-ending process of self-expression and self-discovery.
A big bear sitting down and waving its paws
Commentary from Richard Grey
N - a big bear | animal nature | self-expression
H - we learn | self-discovery
G - training exercises and examinations | the point of crisis
P - spiritual passion
S - discipline | self-control | tamed by the higher self | soul work
Is this about the beast within (N), taming it (G), or it behaving in a tamed way (S)? I think Sorry.