Sabian Symbols: A duck pond and its brood
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Aries 30 (29°- 30°)
FEET ON THE GROUND
Worldly competence is a spiritual quality
In Zen the monk is taught that chopping wood and carrying water are suitable activities to demonstrate and practise the inherent spirituality of life. We need to pay the rent and feed the kids despite our higher state of cosmic awareness. Spiritual insights that cannot be brought into daily life are not wisdom teachings at all.
A DUCK POND AND ITS BROOD
A duck pond and its brood
A duck pond and its brood
When we trust in the cosmic order, then everything falls into place
The image is of a very ordinary event: animals finding an environment in which to raise young. Yet a person is born to greater things. Of course we need to become a reliable agency of natural processes like nesting, breeding and feeding, but any tendency to accept such a life as meaningful is evidence of complacency and is wastage of human potential. Humans are said to be part angel, part animal. The animal nature teaches us about food and sex, fight and flight, whereas the angelic connects us to the Absolute.
The vast majority of people struggle to find even the same level of competence as the animals as they seek home, job, partner and kids, (and we do need to understand that these pursuits are all animal functions). Anyone who has managed this is already quite rare. Nonetheless competence in a human goes further, and has to do with finding a workable balance that acknowledges both parts of our make-up, angel and animal.
We learn how to establish our own world according to our unique needs and preferences, and mostly this is done automatically and without much self-reflection. Yet the inner self would gain much from understanding why these preferred qualities exist, because it is qualities rather than events that speak of the soul’s purpose.
Where do we fit?
All things are fit for purpose, yet we ourselves have a lot to do before we discover what that purpose is. Where do we fit? If life’s feedback shows a lack of fitness then we can try something else.
We need to push into life with a specific intention; the responses we get will be smooth and positive only if we align with our deepest goals. We may not grasp its fullest mystery but there exists a cosmic order and we have our own special place in it. Our life task is to find it – typically by following the spirit of our enthusiasm.
To function optimally within the cosmic order, we need to trust in our own inner aptitude and affiliate with it. Rather than seek it through an arduous process of analysis and strain, we can just sink into it by simply being true to ourselves in every moment. This is highly satisfying, and very empowering.
But what of the angelic dimension? The function of angels is to awaken within us resonance with the Divine, and we need to cultivate divine qualities in order to become a more competent human being. These are universally acknowledged – such things as love, creativity, truth and joy – and we each have our own special mix of them. We learn that by surrendering to something greater than ourselves, our own blend of these divine qualities brings us happiness. We then find that there is as much reliability in our spiritual competence, in a word, faith, as in our skilful worldly management.