SCENE EIGHT: CONSOLIDATION
Cancer 16° to Cancer 30°)
FIRST LEVEL: ACTIONAL
PHASE 106 (CANCER 16°): A MAN STUDYING A MANDALA IN FRONT OF HIM, WITH THE HELP OF A VERY ANCIENT BOOK.
KEYNOTE: A deep concern with problems raised by the process of personality integration.
After a person decides to follow a certain course of action, accepting a new allegiance, the results of this decision at the three basic levels of human experience (actional, emotional-cultural and individual-mental) have to be stabilized and consolidated.
This is what is meant by the process of personality integration. In Asia the great symbol of this process is the Mandala; in the Christian world we find, in various forms, the symbol of the Cross. The Christian design is often simple and bare; it is its reference to the crucifixion of a God-man that personalizes or emotionalizes it. The Oriental Mandala can take an infinite variety of forms and can encompass a vast multiplicity of contents; it is psychological and cosmic. The square - the foundation of the Mandala - potentially encloses diverse contents. The Cross, on the other hand, represents conflict in action; it is a symbol of tragic overcoming. The Mandala symbolizes integration of opposing trends and multiple bipolar energies.
This is the first stage of the twenty-second five-fold sequence. It reveals a deep effort on the part of the individualized consciousness to reach a solid basis of understanding that will allow it to perceive the structural relationship of every part of the personality to every other part. It is a mental process implying study and an inward-turning of the attention, CONCENTRATION; even more it is a symbol of what might at first be called CONFORMATION — that is, a profound and stabilizing sense of form, but of one's own individual form, not an external socio-cultural pattern.
PHASE 107 (CANCER 17°): THE UNFOLDMENT OF MULTILEVEL POTENTIALITIES ISSUING FROM AN ORIGINAL GERM.
KEYNOTE: The life urge to actualize one's birth potential.
What is pictured here is simply the process of germination. As it unfolds from the sundered seed the plant pierces the crust of the soil and reaches up toward the light. This is a dynamic process turned outward, in contrast to the more static or introspective process of integration-through- understanding depicted in the preceding symbol.
Germination is the crucifixion of the seed. The seed becomes the germ, just as the Tibetan student meditating silently and peacefully on the Mandala is followed by the Christian Crusader - and, at a materialistic level of productivity, by the engineer-technologist intent upon transforming the globe for the greatest possible enjoyment of the greatest possible number of human beings.
As usual, the second stage of the five-fold sequence establishes a contrast with the first. Action polarizes meditation. The expanding process of self-actualization — which may mean nothing more than ego-expansion through conquest — contrasts with the introspective study of the structural relationship between, and the meaning of, the various energies and potentialities of one's nature (svarupa in Sanskrit). The Keyword is GROWTH.
PHASE 108 (CANCER 18°): A HEN SCRATCHING THE GROUND TO FIND NOURISHMENT FOR HER PROGENY.
KEYNOTE: The practical concern with everyday nourishment necessary to sustain one's outreaching activities.
Every mother is originally responsible for the feeding of her progeny, and all the activities into which a person has poured his energy are his symbolic children. He has to feed them with social substance gathered from "the ground" of his community, and to watch with concern over their unfoldment. The tender stem consolidates into the tree trunk, the chicken into the hen, the infant into the theoretically self-reliant and socially wise adult.
This third stage of the twenty-second five-fold sequence shows the results of the two previous stages. Seed, germ and the growing plant requiring the chemicals of the soil for its daily growth form a clear sequence. What is at stake here is the FULFILLING OF LIFE'S RESPONSIBILITIES.
PHASE 109 (CANCER 19°): A PRIEST PERFORMING A MARRIAGE CEREMONY.
KEYNOTE: The ritualization of productive interpersonal relationships.
This scene symbolizes the profound need for referring the interplay and the relatively permanent and productive union of all polarities to some third factor which either includes, or transcends and gives spiritual meaning to, the relationship. A conjugal union is essentially and traditionally the union of a man and a woman for the sake of producing progeny able to perpetuate the racial type, the family tradition and the way of life of a particular culture (or "subculture"), including a set of religious beliefs. The married couple is the basic productive unit in our society - as it has been for millennia in all patriarchal societies. The purpose of any established religion (including tribal cults) is to glorify, sanction and bless with a super-personal meaning all personal and interpersonal activities. This occurs through the "sacraments," and indeed through most religious rites.
At this fourth stage of the five-fold sequence we are given the basic technique used in all processes of effectual social or group integration. It is the technique which takes the form of sociocultural, and thus business or religious, ritualization. Through this technique commonplace individual endeavors acquire SANCTION; that is, they are ritualized and indeed "sanctified."
PHASE 110 (CANCER 20°): VENETIAN GONDOLIERS GIVING A SERENADE.
KEYNOTE: Happiness as an overtone of social integration and conformity to custom.
Venice can be considered the symbol of a social consciousness risen directly from the unconscious urges of human nature — because the city emerged out of the sea, just as the lotus flower floats on top of the lake, its roots implanted in the bottom mud. The serenading gondoliers "float" over the water, their songs raised to the balconies where the "flower" of consciousness, the beloved, may make her appearance. This play of basic human drives toward acceptance by the consciousness housed in the structures of the ego is performed according to social tradition. Everything plays its part, and man experiences social happiness and a sense of fulfillment.
This is the fifth of the twenty-second sequence of five symbols. The urge for individual integration represented in the first — integration through meditation on ancient traditional forms — is now reflected in the drive for social integration through the elegant and standardized play of acceptable emotions. The Keyword might be FESTIVITY.
SECOND LEVEL: EMOTIONAL/CULTURAL
PHASE 111 (CANCER 21°): A FAMOUS SINGER IS PROVING HER VIRTUOSITY DURING AN OPERATIC PERFORMANCE.
KEYNOTE: The emotional reward accompanying cultural excellence.
If anything represents the type of response that a well-developed society gives to the individual who successfully pours their energy into the skillful externalization of the great images of its culture, it is the opera. The operatic prima donna is not merely a lonely performer, like the piano virtuoso (Gemini 13°); he or she is the star in a collective effort. The opera is not only music, but a story, a mythos, which embodies some of the most basic images and emotions characterizing the culture that gave it birth. Euro-American culture is indeed extolled — or condemned — by its operas and their lurid and tragic passions. It is interesting to compare the opera with the equivalent type of social performances and their topics in India, Java or Tibet.
At this first stage of the twenty-third five-fold sequence of cyclic
phases we find the drive toward individualization by means of concrete forms of cultural activity glorified in social and financial success. In its deepest sense the symbol refers to THE PRICE OF SUCCESS — for the individual, as well for as the collectivity acclaiming him or her. What is success really worth? A question few people ask.
PHASE 112 (CANCER 22°): A YOUNG WOMAN AWAITING A
KEYNOTE: The longing for transcendent happiness in the soul opened to great dreams.
Here the symbol pictures the imaginative youthful person who
basically cannot be satisfied with what his or her ordinary social
environment offers, and who instead is longing for the unknown
visitation of which he or she has dreamed. From the unconscious beyond, the concretization of a spiritual image — spiritual
because impelled by the "wind" (pneuma, spirit) — is hoped for and expected. The Beloved may come — not in a glittering opera house, but in the silence of the inner sea of consciousness.
At this second stage of this five-fold sequence the contrast with the first is strongly marked. Will the great dream become concrete? Will the emotion ready to well up in response to the Advent have its chance? Will the EXPECTANCY of the Eternal Feminine be rewarded with reality?
PHASE 113 (CANCER 23°): THE MEETING OF A LITERARY
KEYNOTE: An objective and critical approach to the common factors in our culture and to its psychological problems.
The poets, novelists and critics of a society represent the endeavor by especially sensitive and intellectually gifted individuals to give form and meaning to the most characteristic situations and interpersonal relationships of their society and culture. They mirror society and at the same time influence and guide its development. It is their function to discuss the significance of what is, and to image what might be. They are both barometers and thermostats, reflectors and projectors of as yet mostly unconscious images.
With this third stage we reach the level of INTELLECTUALIZATION. Here the individual operates both as an objective mind and an emotional participant in the events and hopes of his day. He makes concrete what to most people may be only a subconscious aspiration or urge.
PHASE 114 (CANCER 24°): A WOMAN AND TWO MEN CASTAWAYS ON A SMALL ISLAND OF THE SOUTH SEAS.
KEYNOTE: The focalization of complex inner potentialities in harmonic and concrete relationships.
We are dealing here with a special phase of the process of
integration. The woman and the two men represent the three-fold aspect of the human personality, particularly at this stage when one of these aspects — the emotional life (the woman) — is facing the possibility, if not the inevitability, of relating itself to both the spiritual and the mental. This confrontation occurs on a small island of the South Seas, and "south" always refers symbolically to the strong and passionate impulses of human nature. Somehow the three-fold consciousness has to develop a harmonious and well-integrated modus vivendi (a specific way of life). If successful, this will release powerful energies and will lead to the next symbolic scene.
We have reached the fourth stage of the twenty-third five-fold sequence. As is most often the case, we are introduced here to a specific technique — or at least to a problem of technique — in living. The three human beings should become integrated; but the form this integration will take seems left open. It has to be a concrete type of integration in terms of the emotional and biological drives of human nature (an island of the South Seas) and the field of integration is "small." The key to the problem of relationship should be the realization of INTER-DEPENDENCE.
PHASE 115 (CANCER 25°): A WILL-FULL MAN IS OVERSHADOWED BY A DESCENT OF SUPERIOR POWER.
KEYNOTE: The response of spiritual forces to the integration of personality through positive will-full endeavors.
We are dealing here with a man who uses his will and positive
imagination in facing his life problems. To him comes a pentecostal descent of power. He receives the "mantle of power," the grace (baraka in Sufi philosophy) or the Providential assistance which can make him a true leader in his culture.
In this fifth symbol we witness a more transcendent expression of "success." It is not merely external success (as is given by society to its prima donnas), but a spiritual response, a sign of inner strength and uncommon ENDOWMENT.
THIRD LEVEL: INDIVIDUAL/MENTAL
PHASE 116 (CANCER 26°): GUESTS ARE READING IN THE
LIBRARY OF A LUXURIOUS HOME.
KEYNOTE: The transference of social privilege to the level of intellectual enjoyment.
We now see the concretization of cultural excellence and
wealth at the level at which individuals can exercise their developed mental capacities in comfort. The process is individualized because the library belongs to a private residence, the luxury of which implies an individual's concentration upon the acquisition of wealth. This scene shows the result of such a concentration, including the acquisition of friends who can relax in and enjoy intellectual pursuits.
This is the first phase of the twenty-fourth five-fold sequence which here begins, and will end, on a note of social opulence and prestige. We are not dealing now with leaders in the intellectual community, but with wealthy guests who apparently seek to improve their minds or to keep up with intellectual trends of the time, thus maintaining CLASS STANDARDS OF INFORMATION. What is at stake here is the need to conform to the requirements of one's social status.
PHASE 117 (CANCER 27°): A VIOLENT STORM IN A CANYON
FILLED WITH EXPENSIVE HOMES.
KEYNOTE: A confrontation with a social upheaval demanding the reconsideration of static values.
The deeper implications of the scene depicted in the symbol are that the socio-cultural elite can always see its position and security challenged by forces beyond its control, even if it may be successful in protecting itself from destruction. The individual may not be able to depend on the standards and values he has acquired through education and through a relatively sheltered and rich life. He has to rise to the occasion, and perhaps to undergo an inner metamorphosis as a result of the crisis he has been able to accept as a personal challenge.
The contrast between the two first phases of this twenty-fourth sequence is evident: peace in luxury and intellectual development in
terms of collective cultural values (reading books), then the challenge
to meet a crisis situation produced by uncontrollable karmic forces
that could lead to a successful CATHARSIS.
PHASE 118 (CANCER 28°): AN INDIAN GIRL INTRODUCES HER WHITE LOVER TO HER ASSEMBLED TRIBE.
KEYNOTE: Inner rebirth through a total acceptance of the
primordial values manifest in the human body and its natural functions.
Even as this symbol was formulated in the clairvoyant's mind, a few individuals belonging to the American intelligentsia were trying to find in their absorption into the culture of the Indian pueblos of the Southwest a solution to their intellectual artificiality and personal emotional emptiness. Fifty years later this process has gained great momentum, especially among the disenchanted youth of our affluent middle class. The soul — or in Jungian terms, the "anima"— is leading the sophisticated and colorless (white!) intellect to a level of consciousness at which man can again operate in tune with the vast process of the biosphere and recover the simplicity and the inner peace which city life and business deny.
At this third stage of the twenty-fourth five-fold sequence the situations presented in the two preceding symbols can be seen combined and projected into a possibility of dramatic transformation. What is shown here is an emotional and warm commitment to the RETURN TO NATURE which today appeals so strongly to the new generation, but which Jean Jacques Rousseau, many great Romanticists and Gauguin long ago advocated and exemplified.
PHASE 119 (CANCER 29°): A GREEK MUSE WEIGHING NEW-
BORN TWINS IN GOLDEN SCALES.
KEYNOTE: The intuitive weighing of alternatives.
This symbol seems to show that the "return to nature" pictured in the preceding symbol is only one of two possibilities. Somehow the repolarization of consciousness and life activities implied by that symbol may be more a dream or ideal than a practical reality. In any case, at this stage in the process of individualization two ways are open. The individual person may hesitate before making his decision. His "intuition" (the Muse) is able to show him what the choice is. Perhaps there can be a way of combining the two alternatives. But, as the next symbol implies, the one which in the end has the greatest appeal may not be the "nature" way. The "white boy" may rather bring the "Indian girl" to the city, as in Pocahontas' life story.
The fourth stage of this sequence of symbols reveals to us the pro and con operation of the mind when faced with a vital decision. Because it is the "Muse" that is doing the weighing, it is apparent that forces deeper or higher than the intellect are actually at work — the intuitive mind, or what Jung calls the "anima," i.e. the psychic function which relates ego-consciousness to the collective Unconscious. What we see happening, at the very threshold of a new cycle, is an INNER PRESENTATION OF ALTERNATIVES.
PHASE 120 (CANCER 30°): A DAUGHTER OF THE AMERICAN
KEYNOTE: The prestige and conservatism of a long-maintained heritage.
Here we have a symbol of the proud preservation of socio-
cultural values in a tradition. After several generations the ancestor who was perhaps a violent revolutionist or rabble-rouser - or even a fugitive from justice - acquires a halo of respectability. The tradition that once was born of revolution now extolls "law and order," attempting to suppress any new forms of the same revolutionary spirit.
This is the last symbol of the section of the cycle referring
mainly to the consolidation and concretization of life urges within a stable form of organization. In many instances the scenes presented picture social activities or events, yet at this stage it is the individual person and the problems attendant upon his development that are primarily considered.
This eighth scene with a keynote of "Consolidation," began with the study of a traditional symbol for personality integration, the Mandala; it ends with an example of what occurs when the individual chooses a path which totally embodies and glorifies tradition, a path which ends in a GLORIFICATION OF THE PAST.
An Astrological Mandala