From Spiritual Seasonings: A Life Recipe Book by Lola Wilcox

Ying Yang

Reality is a canvas, we are the brush; we are free to paint any view of reality we want. Anything is possible. Reality is moving and, like the planet, only rarely in perfect balance. Reality is formed, unformed, reformed; it’s interactive, interrelated, and interdependent. This is how God gave us Free Will. It is our gift, not to be rescinded or denied. The Universe is Freedom Playground. 

Of course, there are a few real constraints by the planet herself: gravity for one, diversity of expression of life another. Step in an ant pile and be bitten. Twice a year the planet comes into balance, equal times of dark and light. 

Be still and know

That day and night

That dark and light

Are one holy circle. 

—song sung at Brother Timothy Frantzich Perfection Free Singing

But mostly we limit ourselves, and mostly create constraints out of fear or pride. I thought about adding greed as well, but believe greed is born in a fear of not having enough.

And as it is for an individual, so it is for a family or town, congregation or country. Winston Churchill said “We create our institutions, and then they create us.” We maintain our realities long past their usefulness, the reasoning behind the constraints lost in the passage of time.

Isolated, Closed or Open Options

A person’s reality can be a closed, open or isolated system. Isolated cultures, family systems, individuals reject the new, and defend against change at all costs. They drift away from any opportunity for balance. A closed system puts a lid on the environment, allowing exchange within itself, but limiting outside input.

When we catch a glimpse of another world-view we may fear that to accept it would mean undoing everything we understand ourselves to be, that we might become “converted” and need to change our way of life entirely. It often is easier, at least for a time, to continue as we are than to undertake any reconstruction of our definition of reality. We are choosing to become a closed or even isolated individual. 

When in an open system, person, family, and culture explores current reality as something that is being shaped and changed, and that is desirable.  Or is at least discussible. A healthy individual or culture considers what of past reality wants to be kept and brought forward. And multiple futures are researched and explored with the hope of choosing a balanced path forward. 

In terms of the Hero/Heroine’s Journey my husband suggests the exploration of past and current reality happens in the Temenos, after the Nigredo transformation. Individuals (and cultures) are on the way to the Gate Out, and putting in place what will be needed to stay in balance when they return to their Home, a home they have redefined in their Journey.  

What is Real in a Relative World?

If everything is subject to change, how do we know what is real? How do we know what choices to make? 

Some definitions may help: 

  • The word real is defined as “something that has an objective existence, is tangible.” 
  • To realize or to have a realization is “the act of becoming or making real.”
  • The word relative is defined as “relating or referring to, having a mutual relationship, connected to, having a relationship to the matter at hand.”
  • Relativity is “the fact or condition of being relative.”
  • The word relate as a verb means “to tell the story.”

When we say “I realize I am loved,” we are saying love is tangible, and has an objective existence in our lives. It’s the energy that is real. And we often express our knowledge by relating a story, so the listener can experience the energy as well. 

One can also say “I realize I am hated”, and that hate is tangible, and evidenced in murder, or living with constant caustic, cynical remarks, being unable to work to the level of one’s education, etc. To be hated is to be Objectified and cease to be seen, heard, experienced as a person (or wolf or forest or river or sea or farmland or neighbor…). 

Northern Vernal/Spring Equinox is a Balance Time

Red Tulip Bunch in Snow
Photo Credit: M. David Wells

Spring is a time associated with falling in love, with opening to new experiences. What’s been growing underground is surfacing. New life is rising, and being expressed in multiple ways. It’s hard to predict the weather. We wonder if it’s time to plant the peas. The days are growing longer, so the nights are growing shorter, a reciprocity for the opposite pattern in the Autumn. 

Balance is achieved when different understandings find a middle ground, when there is room for everyone at the table, when the coin of the realm is distributed evenly. At a deep level of reality everything in the universe is interconnected and aware of, and balancing, every other part of the web of creation. 

So one way to find out if something is REAL is to ask “does it foster balance?” This equinox more balanced ways of being are growing vigorously: Black Lives Matter, Climate Justice, Biodynamic Farming….. Institutions created in earlier belief systems are being asked to change (Voter Registration), or even to get out of the industry they founded (Big Oil). The Call is to rebalance the Earth’s systems, to balance economic systems rather than have most of the world’s wealth held by the top 1% of the population, to balance against profits and war an opportunity to live and thrive for all beings

As we rediscover we are interconnected, we balance with each other and with our planet. We are calling for a reality that is Balanced and Equal because we know the reality of any part of creation affects the rest. Before we tip again towards a new season, twice a year Equinox reminds us that a balance between Dark and Light can be achieved.

God’s Joy moves from unmarked box to unmarked box, 

From cell to cell. As rainwater, down into the flowerbed. 

As roses, up from the ground. 

—Rumi, Open Secret, translated by Coleman Barks (with permission Spiritual Seasonings p221+)