Sabian Symbols: People on stairs graduated upwards
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Aquarius 12 (11° - 12°)
WE ARE NOT ALL EQUAL
However spiritually inspiring it may be to think that we are all of the same worth and level of attainment, the truth is that it is not so
If there is to be personal spiritual progression then there must necessarily be steps upwards and a sense of hierarchy in recognition that others are more advanced and standing where one day we can stand. This spiritual hierarchy is in contrast to the egalitarian philosophy of democracy. Sufis talk of the democracy of the ego and the aristocracy of the soul. It is important to recognise honestly where we stand, and then we can help those at an earlier stage of evolution while emulating those more advanced.
ON A VAST STAIRCASE STAND PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT TYPES, GRADUATED UPWARD
On a vast staircase stand people of different types, graduated upward
Given the Moon today, we will ask for the Sun tomorrow
The image of people on stairs graduated upwards is one of progression. It shows how we all want to rise up, to achieve a better set of circumstances than we currently have.
There is no limit to the level of aspiration in a person – if we are given the Moon today, then we will ask for the Sun tomorrow. For most, momentary consummation is everything, and yet it is so short-lived. The modern world is typified by a general inclination to make frantic efforts to keep ahead of others – or at the very least to keep up with them.
Taken to an extreme, such an attitude creates all manner of difficulties, including stress, unpopularity, and self-disappointment. Yet, underneath the flurry and push of getting ahead, there is a very real and reasonable motivation – the common drive towards optimisation of our experience in all aspects of life.
Inner gratification is a very strong force – one which demands that we do the best we can for our family and ourselves, notwithstanding that others may end up with less than us. For example the idea of Communism seemed quite reasonable, even visionary in a spiritual way, yet it could not be expected to work sustainably, simply because people are rather self-serving and of widely ranging levels of talent and application.
The reach of our vision is as the horizon – it moves towards greater and greater dreams as we approach it. The most effective attitude is to expect to make the most of all of our prior accomplishments as we progress to the next level.
There are inherent differences among people; some people are simply better at things than others. This could present real issues to make cooperative involvement unworkable – especially when they prove significantly more or less competent than ourselves. Yet typically it does not, and this is because we are willing to find something of value for ourselves in every experience. It is this which enables us to share endeavours generally with fellows, even those of unequal ability.
No outer experience, however satisfying in the moment, can offer sufficient grounds for self-fulfilment. For that we need to turn within and locate the central axis of our inner being, and progress further and further within, until we truly and utterly know the depth of who we are.
People on stairs graduated upwards
Commentary from Richard Grey
N - not all equal | it is not so | no limit | stress | self-disappointment | inherent differences | self-fulfilment | the depth of who we are
H - philosophy of democracy | attitude | unpopularity
T - all of the same worth? | egalitarian ('democracy of the ego') | (the gift of) Moon today | inner gratification | (willing to find) something of value
G - recognition (realisation) ('aristocracy of the soul') | self-serving | application (completion)
P - Sun tomorrow | aspiration | optimisation | visionary | horizon | expect
S - spiritual progression | help those at an earlier stage of evolution | self-disappointment
Y - spiritually inspiring | widely ranging levels of talent
This symbol has many elements - all 7 of course. Which is the most prominent? The stairs (N) themselves (progression)? The direction the people on them are looking (P)? Whether they are helping (S) or being helped (T)? Does everyone (Y) on the stairs (N) know (H) they are on stairs? Does everyone (Y) know (H) there are people above and below them? What does each person on the stairs choose (N) to do (G) about their position? Do they know (H) and can they see (P) the direction in which they are headed? Do they wish to accept (Y) help (S) or not (N)?
We are not (living life) on a level playing field. Some are more (spiritually) advanced or better than others.