Rudhyar - Photo2

Dane Rudhyar


All the signs of the zodiac are balanced around the equinoctial axis which links Aries and Libra. And all the gifts that spirit can ever make to the individual eager to participate as an individual in the vast ritual of cosmic activity revolve around two precious virtues: adaptability and ease. These are the two essential marks of the person in whom spirit acts, radiating thence in "gift-waves" of light. What "adaptability" is to the novice in spiritual living, "ease" is to the man of more mature experience ready to establish himself and his work among his peers.

At the beginning of the path, when the individual faces the challenges which necessarily meet his determination to emerge from the womb of the collective and to act from his own center, the greatest need is adaptability. He must, first of all, survive. He must not betray himself and his innermost goal to the powers of collective mankind which seek to reduce every individual to the average and the unconscious. He must not seek to ram with impatient eagerness and adolescent egocentrism the defenses in depth of society. He must learn to adjust and adapt himself to the over-all need of the times, to camouflage his purpose and to beat his will into pliable steel.

When half of the journey around himself - and his world - is made, he has learnt many a lesson. To his ever-changing needs, the spirit has answered with varied and wondrous gifts. He finds himself, now, rather sure of himself. But what of other men? Heretofore, he had seen them somewhat as dangers on the path, as material for conquest and overcoming. Meeting them, he had felt, above all, he was encountering his own objectivized nature - human nature. The last lesson he learnt has been that of tolerance, the realization that total growth in selfhood meant giving up the limitations and the rigidity of ego-centered judgments and welcoming all that was different, yet assimilable.

Inclusiveness, however, is a great strain on the mind and the feelings. Meeting with equals, with human beings who also claim to have arisen as individuals from the womb of the collective - meeting with them the better to work toward a goal held in common, not-withstanding superficial differences - this indeed presents serious difficulties. The self-assurance of the youthful individual may vanish suddenly as he becomes fully and vitally aware of the fact that society is not only something to take from; in its higher expression it is a form of co-operation and of sharing - a give-and-take in relationship.

Inclusiveness of unfamiliar points of view may be difficult; but full relatedness with unfamiliar people is even less easy. The delegate to an international conference may have been all his life very tolerant of the peculiarities of thought of Asiatic culture, but he may find himself rather embarrassed when discussing, and even more sharing everyday living, with a man who came from Tibet minus a European education! But what of the intelligent and sensitive young man and woman finding themselves, with the usual lack of preparation, faced with the personal problems of life together - of co-operation in constant interchange? What greater blessing could they ask from the spirit than the gift of "ease"?

This little word, ease, is rich with great depths of meaning. As it was with tolerance, most definitions of it stress only a negative meaning. But ease is not only freedom from agitation, constraint, affliction, tension or fear. It is not even merely a form of tranquility or comfort, or facility in performing this or that type of action. It is all these things; but far more important still, it is (the realization that "co-operation" is more than mere "operation", that the whole is more than the parts and the sum-total of the parts. It is the sense of being lived by a greater life which embraces and contains all the components of a situation, or of a relationship of which one is a part.

The mystic seeking union with his God comes to realize the wondrous fact: "God lives me". God, the wholeness of the whole, operates in all the parts; and the mystic is at ease with the world, because as he meets the world he meets it within God. God does the meeting. If you and I vitally realize, and not only intellectually conceive, that we are both functioning parts of a whole, with the wholeness of which we have felt ourselves one - how could there be lack of ease between us? What acts in us, is no longer I or you, but the created and the creating We; and, at the limit Man, or God. And this applies to every conceivable situation.

If I am a delegate of France and you are an Englishman in a world-conference, and if we meet in terms of the future world which it is our task to create, and not in terms of our pasts which we should forget, there will be ease between us. Ease is the absence of the ghosts of yesterday and the utter identification with an inclusive tomorrow. Ease is the refusal to be stymied by the things I do not know or have not done. It implies the utter conviction that if I and that new action to be performed are meeting in a particular situation, that situation includes me and the action, and will fulfill itself through me acting, provided "I" am not interfering - the "I" that is full of ghosts.

Ease is an expression of totally accepted relatedness - be it an object, a situation or a person. It is the utter lack of mental reservation in approaching a relationship and the acts which this relationship demands; and a dancer is related to the floor, a speaker to his audience, a lover to his expectant mate, a participant in an international conference to humanity whose many faces he beholds around him. If any of these men holds for an instant a thought or feeling against his being related to whatever he faces, then, ease vanishes. Back of all resistances is some kind of fear. Selfishness is a form of fear; and so are most illnesses.

It is customary for people ever so little familiar with zodiacal symbols to speak of the fine social feelings of the Libra type of individuals. We should nevertheless realize that these feelings are in many cases attempts to hide fear. Deep inside of himself the Libra type could often find (if he only dared investigate) an unconscious, subtle but often most powerful, resistance against total relatedness. This resistance exists just because total relatedness is the step ahead for him. He senses subconsciously that it is so; and sensing it, fights it. If he attains social ease, it is essentially by overcoming this resistance and a sense of social inferiority - just as the impulsive bravado of the Aries type is usually an over-compensation for a gnawing sense of personal insecurity.

Where the negative character of the Libra type has gained control, the sense of relatedness takes on exclusivistic and destructive forms. There is still a glorification of relationship, but of the type of relationship which is spiritual bondage, and, being inherently unfree, seeks subconsciously to bind and to absorb.

This occurs in relatively few cases, but one should realize that, in the Libra type of personality, real "ease" is not to be taken for granted. If it truly manifests, it is as a gift of the spirit - and therefore, being a spirit-born manifestation, it both satisfies a vital need and has to overcome a subconscious fear. Where the overcoming takes place, the results are so much more radiant than in any other type of person; for what comes as a spiritual victory has always a creative and contagious quality found in no other way. Individual selfhood - and, as well, history - are never transformed except by victory; and there is no victory without struggle, and without faith in ultimate overcoming.

For many centuries, humanity has stressed and over-stressed the factor of "struggle" and the kind of faith in eventual victory symbolized by the tightened jaw and the clenched will. This strained performance has been understood, by most Westerners at least, to constitute "morality". It could hardly have been otherwise in a civilization that worshipped a crucified and bleeding Savior, whose agony and death redeems sins inherent in human nature! This concept of morality as the glorification of a desperately fighting will-to-do-good should nevertheless vanish under the dawning light of an age of abundance and plenitude of living, just as the image of a dying Christ should become superseded in the heart of men by that of the living Christ whose yoke is easy, whose burden is light.

Morality as an expression of tenseness of mind and feeling leads to "dis-eases" of a constricted will, just as body illness inevitably follows physical strain and long-held cramped postures. Struggle may be necessary; but the one great struggle that brings health of soul and body is the effort to overcome inertia, spiritual indifference and the doubt that there will be a victory. Not a struggle against any particular entity, to be met with strained muscles, contracted heart and tightened will; but instead a struggle for understanding, inclusiveness, breadth of vision and greater light - a struggle for an ever more relaxed sense of openness to life and to God. It is an effort, without it being a conflict. It is, more truly, a constantly deepening eagerness for identification of the ego with the greater Self.

The ego is what it is, and that only. The Self is all there is, focused for expression in the particular way defined by one's birth and environment. Egohood is exclusive. Selfhood is focalized wholeness. One can only grow in selfhood through inclusiveness; but through the degree of inclusiveness which matches one's capacity for assimilating what is being included and absorbed.

Assimilation is never satisfactory where their is tenseness, conflict and harsh pain. What is needed for tomorrow are men who assimilate and put to constructive use the powers of the universe and of human nature; not men who fight these powers. Men who tensely fight the world cannot creatively utilize the world. Men can only be free from nature by fulfilling nature; by fulfilling it with ease, with elegance.

By "elegance" we mean that quality which the mathematician has in mind when he speaks of the elegant solution of a mathematical problem - a solution which moves on with extreme ease, with the utmost simplicity of means, with a minimum of intermediate steps, with inherent logic. A redwood tree is likewise the elegant solution of the problem contained in its seed; a perfectly easy and logical development of the life-potentialities inherent in this seed. 

Natural growth of inherent potentialities, ease and logic of development, elegance of unfoldment - these are jewels of the art of living; these are the tests of mastery. For the "Master" is the artist supreme in the noblest of all arts, the art of living. The art of living is the art of meeting all the powers and all the challenges of human nature and of social-collective living with ease, out of the fullness of a consciousness which is rich, serene and true to the seed-Self - the end and beginning of all human manifestation.

Such a living is the mark of the only aristocracy that matters; for the real aristocrat is the man who, being established by tradition and a long ancestry in a full sense of participation in the affairs of his nation or community, is a living expression of the basic type of adaptation-to-life this nation or community embodies. He is a type, rather than an individual. He is the collective whole expressing itself in an individualized body and mind. And how could that which represents the whole display lack of ease while meeting the parts of this whole!

The true aristocrat can be servant as well as ruler. Like Jesus he can wash the feet of his disciples with such ease and inner elegance of feelings that the disciples, too, will find themselves at ease. The greatest proof of ease: is that everyone encountered will also be at ease, answering with the fullness of his nature to the rich outpouring from the bestower of gifts.

Indeed the source of ease is to be found in every part of the soul of the body. Ease spreads from the center of being, only because the center has gathered to itself the harvest that has grown from the whole nature. Suppression, repression, a sense of inadequacy or of guilt, fear, and the pride born of fear - all these products of a civilization theoretically stressing morality at all cost, and of a will burdened with the belief in sin, are witnesses to a fundamental inability to trust God and His promise of abundant living. They are products of scarcity. Morality, as we traditionally know it, is scarcity of the spirit.

Gradually a morality of spiritual abundance will take form among men. It will be a morality that is wholeness operating through every part of the social organism; a morality refusing to be haunted by the ghostly sins of individuals, and accounting every man responsible for every other man's failure; a morality that will establish the spiritual priority of the whole over the parts and sing of relatedness fulfilled where men of old wailed for their individualized sins and frustrations. The crowning glory of such a morality will be ease of living, ease in being - ease also in the antiphony of love.

Ease is the fragrance of a love so harmonious that the participants share one another wholly, in feelings and in deeds. Ease is the fragrance of happiness. It is simplicity become peace; peace singing to itself in the silence of consummated living. As the vine unfolds its tendrils to reach for the light and the sustaining tree, as the water flows gently through the meadow it blesses with green abundance, as clouds dance in the sky in multiform grace, likewise - their souls freed from scarcity of love and poverty of spirit, their bodies joying in the light and warmth of the sun, their minds gathering ideas from gardens of divinity as bees gather the flowers' nectar - men and women of tomorrow shall know the wonder of ease. They shall know it wholly; and knowing it, shall know God.


An Astrological Triptych