Sabian Symbols: An orangutan
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Virgo 16 (15° - 16°)
THE WILDNESS WITHIN US
It is futile and counterproductive to ignore that we all have a wild beast within, with which we must come to terms
The ideal to which humanity aspires is described by words such as goodness, truth, justice and loving kindness, yet within each one of us is a residual force of our primitive nature, the animal-self that has no sense of right and wrong, no conscience and little or no self-awareness. Thus arises all conflict in the realm of human activity - both the inner ambiguities and the outer clashings and bangings that make the news headlines. Until we face up to this honestly and deal with it wisely then there will be suffering.
IN THE ZOO, CHILDREN ARE BROUGHT FACE TO FACE WITH AN ORANGUTAN
In the zoo, children are brought face to face with an orangutan
Freedom and power can so often hinge on harnessing primal forces skilfully
The powerful primate reminds us of our primitive strength, and potential for animal violence – yet also the unthinking, instinctual, adroitness that we never lose. Processes of human evolution have brought such raw passions into check, but the thin leash of civilisation is all that contains the beast.
We simply have no idea what may occur in our lives, and there is a part of us that will never let go of our primal capacity to cope with whatever unexpected dangers we may have to face. We always have more strength than we normally realise – and it comes forth if called up by any threatening circumstances of Nature.
However much we try to build our lives to be safe and cosy, we may occasionally, unwittingly, attract challenges that stimulate the animal self into action – since as much as it is the creative life-force, Nature is no less a compelling force of decay and destruction.
Unavoidably, there always comes a time when we simply must let go of our civilised attempt to control it by transforming its essence-power into intelligence and conscious choice. Then, letting go, we experience our own nature stripped of conscience and the self-imposition of courteous behaviour; stripped to essentials, we stand capable and strong – and feel proud that we can.
In meeting the demands of life, each of us cultivates our innate force so that it can adapt to circumstances with dexterity. This is required to maintain any degree of influence and independence.
We are assisted in this self-refinement by the processes of social feedback that dissuade us from, and even punish us for, any self-justification in crudity or violence.
We learn neither to deny, nor to allow, the beast within. Our maturity as individuals is found through becoming able to access primal forces and apply them appropriately within a social milieu. In a civilized context, this is more likely to be the expression of the passion that when thwarted gives rise to violence, rather than the physical violence itself.