“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” — Ryunosuke Satoro
It’s amazing that we can even begin to think about commonalities and not differences. And not that I want to minimize our very real differences, but if we cannot see ourselves as a unified “ocean,” then I wonder where, exactly, are we headed?
I want to “re-introduce” the root images briefly touched upon earlier (see …series conclusion…clarification dilemmas…). My hope is that these images offer some “perspective” on our common humanity. The images are all associated with the self, meaning that “who we are” is described by the images. The images include: Uroborus, Self-Stone, Containing Well, and Mirror.
Here are most important “self attributes” being described by each:
- Health via the Uroborus
- Integrity via the Self-Stone
- Faithfulness via the Containing Well
- Memory (or Constancy) via the Mirror
How do these images influence us? While I doubt that there is any one answer, I come back to the idea of trust and engagement.
- Uroborus gives us trust and engagement with our bodies – a steady, reliable instrument that engages us with the world. Another association for the Uroborus is fear. One of our primal fears is death and disfigurement. So it is not entirely unexpected that fear might be carried inside an image so closely associated with our bodies.
- Self-Stone gives us trust and engagement with integrity and direction. One of our central “directions” is to be complete, whole and connected to something larger than ourselves. We will do almost anything to maintain it – including going to war. So the other association for the self-stone is that of a weapon – a primary and ancient one.
- Containing Well gives us trust and engagement with ever-flowing life. Because the containing well is personal, it holds the essence of our original being. Another association for the containing well is confusion and forgetfulness. It’s hard to have faith, if we forget who we are.
- Mirror gives us trust and engagement with our life experience. We depend on our life experience and how we understand it. Just like a mirror which truthfully reflects what it sees, our minds’ truthful reflect what we create as our own experience. Another association for the mirror is illusion and fragility; interpretations are often ambiguous.
The lessons these images give us are manifold. Hopefully, I can unpack them by looking at each one more carefully.
Are these images definitional to the self? No. But as the clarification dilemmas show, some dynamics around trust and engagement are at work. So, to go where you want to go, you must decide where trust lies and whether you are willing to engage the unknown. Does fear throw you off? Are you willing to fight for what you need? What makes “what you need” important anyway? Do you have sound judgment?
We’ll see where this takes us next time.
Thanks for listening!