Sabian Symbols: Shellfish groping and children playing
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Taurus 14 (13°- 14°)
There is wisdom in finding a balance between work and play
Now when we play as children do, it is more for relaxation and recuperation than before and, rather than being an unsophisticated 'play and learn' joyfulness, it is contrasted to work and stress. We then philosophise about play, promote the idea of it and explain its importance to each other, rather than naturally default to it whenever we feel like it.
ON THE BEACH, CHILDREN PLAY WHILE SHELLFISH GROPE AT THE EDGE OF THE WATER
On the beach, children play while shellfish grope at the edge of the water
Shellfish groping and children playing
When we improve ourselves, then others also do the same
Whether we think of shellfish groping around in murky depths or kids making up games to learn skills, at all levels of existence, the absolute imperative of individual survival is self-sufficiency – even if the ‘individual’ is in fact an individual group or species.
This degree speaks to us of the importance of the community as a field of potential for the emergence of the balanced individual. We need to resist foolish teachings that suggest that self-abnegation is the only true spiritual path. It is doubtful whether at this period in human evolution it is a true path at all. We are hard-wired for survival of the self – for good reason. Perhaps when we have learned how to be authentic and unique individuals, then an advanced level of awareness would permit altruism as a spiritual expression. Without such a high degree of enlightenment, this behaviour cannot be authentic, and therefore strikes a false note.
Lower orders have a wider perspective on ‘self’: the ant identifies itself with the colony, and expresses self-sufficiency of the colony, even at the expense of the particular ant. The cell of a human body is equivalent. By feeling the connection between lower and higher, we grasp that the individual's path of self-expression is not separate from the group's process of evolution. Each is not only interdependent, but is an aspect of the other.
The emergence of the individual
Evolution unfolds not as step-by-step ascension of a ladder, but rather like the mist clears, in a non-linear fashion – and at different times certain cells or individuals lead off in a new way. This is self-discovery and is seen as the emergence of the individual coming out of the group. The experience of high profile has a special quality that requires a clear statement, since the individual is subject to constant group pressure.
They stand for a while, then fall back to allow another centre stage. The group shines its light of attention onto its current hero, who elevates one and all, and is later brought down by the general population.
Masters do not waste energy by attempting to raise the group; such a divergence of focus would diffuse their will. They wait at the pleasure of the mass until opportunity arises, then strike out for themselves clear and strong, drawing support from those around who develop beside them.
Being ourselves is the highest service we can offer the group and the universe. Yet the self has rhythms: now active, now passive. They vibrate in order to sound our true note, adding to the harmony of the whole. People who believe they are behaving altruistically are deluding themselves; there is always a selfish motivation underlying the apparently humble aspiration to serve. Our current task is to find a way to be who we are, and to use our community as a means to that end. As it happens, there is no better way to serve our fellows.