Sabian Symbols: A gang of robbers in hiding
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Libra 19 (18° - 19°)
THE POWER OF GROUP DISSENT
Laws do not always preserve justice; demonstration against unfairness is futile alone and requires group involvement
Though we may feel outrage at injustice strongly enough to take action, this is entirely impotent against the great forces of crystallised structure unless we act with others towards the same goal. The ability to collect together a group that we inspire and direct is an aspect of our journey. Rebelliousness in an individual will be enough to break away from conservative habits yet insufficient to build anew anything substantial.
A GANG OF ROBBERS IN HIDING
A gang of robbers in hiding
Occasionally, we must assert our freedom against external threats
The image of robbers in hiding is almost certain to be judged as negative. ‘Robbers are criminals and they are hiding from justice’. But there is another perspective – they could be part of the forces of revolutionary change that eventually will unseat a corrupt government. All depends upon what is in the consciousness of the gang.
There is a Sufi story. The local gang leader, who was also a dervish, attended his sheikh one day to ask for a spiritual practice. Asked what qualities he wanted to develop, the thug declared his desire for great command to dominate the region and expand his power-base. Kindly, the sheikh offered him the wazifas Ya Mutakhabir Ya Qahhar, to help overcome obstacles. Years later the Mafioso returned with a similar request to deal with personnel problems within his mob. He was offered Ya Majid this time, and began to take on an aristocratic demeanour. His followers fell into line, and he was able to expand his influence. Time passed, the country’s wise old sultan died and was succeeded by his feeble, self-indulgent son. Inevitably, one day the realm was under attack, from an enemy tempted by the perceived weakness. By this time the dervish robber had perfected his skills, and was the only person capable of pulling together a military force. He defended his country and deposed the young inadequate sultan. He became the nation’s legitimate and admired monarch, and saved his people.
There are occasions when authority’s threat against individuality is a real and present danger against the core purpose of our existence. Demands against the person are a constant force enacted by laws and customs, and we have to be alert to every illegitimate or immoral threat if we are to maintain and celebrate freedom.
However, this has to be balanced with the quite reasonable expectation the community has to limit individual behaviour, at least to some extent, in order collectively to create something worthwhile. So a constant kneejerk mistrust of every imposed discipline is not appropriate.
Also, we have to be careful not to indulge too much a disturbing capacity to take any antisocial tendencies to the level of perversion. No gain will come by prostituting ourselves just to make a point.
The real challenge here is to learn to differentiate between intelligent, imaginative detours from normality, on the one hand, and unsustainable flights of fantasy, on the other. Our divergence from normal attitudes is a fact of life – yet it doesn’t have to lead to unhappiness.
The goal is to locate a path into the future that is unique, sustainable and sacred. This takes great powers of initiative, the expectation of meeting and circumventing challenges, and the ability to shift perspectives in ourselves, and others. This degree is neither easy nor straightforward – the path of freedom never is.
A gang of robbers in hiding
Commentary from Richard Grey
Goodbye - the realisation that each member of the gang has (or is likely to have) the same opinion (hence the gang), followed by individual and collective decision to act. We do not know (are not told here) whether any individual would act alone based on his/her own convictions.