I and Thou
(What follows is the second Pandora Astrology blogpost I ever made, published in April of 2007. In it I set up the blog as a conversation about how astrology can be used to become one’s finest self, a conversation “between I and Thou.”)
The Necessity of Imagining an Audience
Every writer needs an audience. That audience is of necessity a fabrication, at least at first. It is invented out of pure imagination. In “inventing” you, I am adding you to my waking dream.
I am setting a high bar for myself. I know you are intelligent, discriminating and thoughtful. I know you are practical and desire more active participation in your own life. I need a reader just like you. I become a better person just thinking about you and the vast worlds we have to talk about together.
Here and now I get the opportunity to determine what you are like, but I also know that if I am to hold your attention I must remember that you have a reality beyond my imagining. So I choose to see you as a real person of stature and solidity, a person who is my equal (a Thou to my I) and a person who is capable of surprising me in a way a fiction can never be capable of. I have put out the shoes. If they fit, step into them.
You are adding me as a character in your dream by reading this and volunteering yourself for the relationship with your attention. You will self-select in or out of being here according to your needs. I trust you to do that.
Now that you’re here, please—pull up a chair. Join me here, at the fire.
Fireside Chat: Can I Be Frank With You?
I speak to you as to someone who understands, someone who “gets it.” We share certain values. You are spiritual but grounded. You have one foot in this world, one in a very different world. You are a spirit and a body and very interested in both. You are smart, subtle, psychological, metaphysical, but also motivated and driven. You are going somewhere in life (as I am) and don’t have patience or time for beating around the bush. You appreciate practical approaches to metaphysical matters. You’ll reach for whatever will help you move forward but if I am too woo-woo or new-agey you will get bored. I know that you are choosy and that I need to stay interesting or I will lose you. I respect that. It is a sense of discrimination I share.
Here, in this conversation, which is just between you and me, the medium is the message. Sometimes I will speak sharply; sometimes with infinite gentleness. It is my job to remind both of us again and again that life is marching on and each moment is too important to waste.
I keep to the realm of the universal, the classic. I talk about small, subtle experiences and large, general ideas. Things that pertain to you when you see how they apply to your life. All of it is useful. You find more here than you can use at one time, so you come back later to absorb the parts you couldn’t take in before. You are learning astrology despite yourself. Perhaps you came because you know some astrology and you want to learn more and you stayed because I’ve shown you new ways of thinking about it. You will never be the same.
I have very little use for knee-jerk negativity and “helpful criticism.” For this reason, I am letting you know now that I won’t have interest in comments that are critical but suggest no helpful change. But I am deeply interested in comments that add value to this conversation. In my view, you are an excellent person with much to say and useful experience to draw on. If you dilute that respect by speaking drivel it will be a loss for both of us. Mother used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I would say, “if you can’t say anything useful, wait to speak until you can.” Please don’t waste my time. I promise not to waste yours.
Hello, Thou. Who Are You?
You are adventuresome, growing, not judgmental, leveling, able to hold what I say gently in your mind. Your mind is open and curious. You are willing to consider any idea that might help you in your life.
You are an experimental person. This is because you’ve come to realize that there are no test runs in life, so your life is one big laboratory and you like to try things in it. You’ve had enough life-experience to trust your own assessment of the workability of ideas. You’re willing to grow-as-you-go.
You are a self-aware person. You notice your impact on others and your impact on life. This too enables you to experiment. When your experiments drive others away from you, you notice and perhaps change course. But you’re brave enough not to change course even if others are uncomfortable, in the times when you are sure you’re on the right track.
You have an idea where you are going, maybe sometimes only a general idea, but most importantly, you’ve got some kind of intuitive mechanism that lets you know when you are on-track, and when you are off. You pay attention to that. This gives you freedom to explore because you know that when you get off-track, you will eventually restore your course.
You are in the prime of your life but perhaps you don’t know it, because sometimes you’d rather be somewhere else. You have much more power than you’re using. You are at a nexus, a crossroads, a fork in the path. What you choose now will affect the whole future. New paths will open up, existing ones will close. There is no time but now for you to create the life you really want to live, to carve it out of the block before you. You are looking for what will help uncover the meaning of your life. What I’m writing will help you. At times it is exactly what you need. You are happy to have found me. I am grateful to have found you. We now have each other.
You look at your life differently because of what I have said. You are someone willing to do that. You are willing to change your whole life now, today, because of something that happened this moment. You are open to wild insight and willing to suspend disbelief long enough to entertain crazy ideas. You are willing to rearrange your brain. You are not stuck in ideas. You are also not stuck in a rigid “flexibility,” an ungrounded state that cannot find anchor or center and cleaves to nothing. You know your center when you’ve found it. For this reason, I can speak strongly to you. Thank you for that.
Thank you for listening; I see you are on the edge of your seat. That’s good because it’s your life we’re talking about here. Even when you are skeptical or the subject doesn’t grip you, you read to the end anyway, because you’ve learned to trust me. You know it will be just for you again very soon and you are watching eagerly for that moment.
What I Plan To Do With Your Attention
The conversation has already been going on. Somehow we entered in the middle of it. Our relationship? We are human beings. Sometimes we are up off the planet observing phenomena in ourselves, each other, other humans, the world; sometimes we are down in the thick of it, immersed in our lives, our points of view, our perspectives. Sometimes taking strong positions, sometimes not so much. We immerse ourselves, then pan out and look at the big picture. We are always deriving value from the comparison between the subjective and the objective.
I tell the truth and tell it often: on myself, on you, on others, on life. You respect me enough to hear it and to select what you need to hear from among the things I say. Sensibly, you discard the rest. You give me the infinite gift of changing your life because of what I’ve said here. I galvanize you; you allow yourself to be galvanized.
I respect you, I know your strength and I’m standing for it. I won’t tolerate you being a wimp. In speaking to you this way I am saying “I know you are already conscious, although sometimes you look asleep. Look at your life and take charge of it. It’s yours—no one else’s.”
Now I see others have joined us here at the fire. That’s ok—they can listen. This is still just between you and me, but if others benefit from it, that is very, very good.
Look at the fire. That fire is the urgency we feel: life is being lived now, here, whether we are paying attention or not! The dancing flame is never the same twice: in every moment comes another chance to change it all. In every moment comes another chance to leap in and shape this life according to our joy. To do that we need to give up resentment and discontent, accept how things are and then find the hope to move.
If you are still reading, then you belong here. You and I are connected, as we always were, as we always will be. This ever-existent connection has lain dormant in the back of our consciousness, waiting to be born in this moment, when you showed up and read to the end of the entry. And this, dear reader, is the beginning of our relationship.