Saturday, November 26, 2011
Cycles and Hope
Early this month, I atended the ninth (non-annual Moot) of the Rune Gild, at which that organization's "Yrmin-Drighten" (think "Supreme Leader") and founder Edred Thorsson asserted that the organization was completing a cycle at nine, and beginning anew. Though not quite sure what the cycle had to do with that organization (other than the number of the Moot, which are held seeming arbitrarily) since it is about 31 years old. I was intrigued because I've always thought of human life, at least, as appearing in cycles of seven. Of course, I wasn't thinking; the cycles of nine come from Astrology cum Numerology, and the idea is based not only on Neo-Platonic number theory but on the applied Gematria of the Kabbalah. In human life, those cycles are usually conceived as nine-year cycles. Which impelled me to further research when I realized that I, just completing this month, my sixth nine-year cycle.
And boy, does my cycle seem to have just ended! A cycle which began in destruction and desperation, bottoming out in 2003 with the death of my mother and the temporary loss of my liberty, during which I recreated myself through association with organizations. In 2004, I began sitting with the Nashville Zen Center, as every long-time reader of this blog knows. In 2006, frustrated with the apparent illegitimacy of that organization as it was, I myself became associated with the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, with its founding Abbott, Michael Elliston. Eventually my association with and promotion of the ASZC within the NZC led to the formal association of the two, and the adoption of a rigid Soto Zen protocol within the NZC that drove away many of its previous adherents. I myself opposed the formal association of the two, especially as it was occurring at a time at which I, ironically due to the better realizations of my own zazen (my own little 'enlightenment'), as well as disillusionment with what I perceived as personal meddling by the ASZC Abbott) was drawing away from the universalist, anatman-based philosophy of Zen. As you loyal readers also know, I was being drawn through my own perception of personal permanence and Jungian embededness, to the lore of Germania and the Asatru Folk Alliance, as well as my own local kindred. Eventually, not satisfied with the "right hand path" religiousness of most of the Asatruar, I sought back in the other direction, and joined the Rune Gild, the esoteric organization founded in 1982 by Edred Thorsson, Germanic scholar and author of Futhark and most of the materials on which the Gild is based.
The NZC survived my departure, due mostly to the continuing faithfulness of one of my best friends who had indeed supported by Zen practice most heartily throughout my tenure, and one of my newer best friends. But its future has by the departure from formal practice of the former, and by the rejection of the mess in Atlanta by the latter, been put on shaky ground. The ASZC itself has been split between a new Sangha and a New Order put by the Abbott on the stricter ground of discipleship to himself. Meanwhile, my local Asatru kindred has been almost inactive. Leaving me a man without active Association for the first time since 2004, with the exception of the Rune Gild. At events occurring shortly before and during the World Moot, which I am sworn not to divulge and would not anyway from loyalty to friends, the Gild itself has gone dark from the web and has undergone other changes which make my connection to it tenuous.
Meanwhile, in my personal life, my own cycles and those of the person whom I will always consider to be the love of my life, have interacted badly enough (thanks in a large part to my own end-of-cyclic apparent decimation) that it is clear, our relationship as it stood is at an end. We are connected in eternity (which does not mean a very long time!) and she remains my most supportive friend. That, in combination with my own unemployment since the first of August and a rapidly fizzling bank account, lead me to believe that without rebirth there can be no life at all.
So here I am, clearly having just concluded one cycle and at the beginning of a new one. In numeric terms, I move from my sixth to my seventh. In the major arcana of the Tarot, the change of cycles is from VI, The Lovers, to VII, The Chariot - which latter in itself indicates new beginnings. That double restart can't hurt me! at this point. In the Kabbalah, the movement is from Tipareth (the Sun) and Netzach, which perhaps ironically, is ruled by Venus and speaks of love in the human sense. The path between Tipareth and Netzach is Peh, the path of war, whose element is iron, whose animal is the wolf, and whose card is XVI, The Tower, a card of chaos. Which is, believe me, where I stand.
When I spoke to my friend last night, she told me that she has no expectations and no hope; that she just goes on one step at a time and deals with things as she perceives them to me. After meditation, my response to her is that without hope I never would have made it through last night. Hope springs eternal, as they say, and when it stops springing eternally, the spring is dead. Yet hope is one of those things that I regained when I began my own perception of the Eternal, not based on any creed. I believe that each one of us is in this incarnation for a reason, and will be back "again" (and I refuse the spiral mindfuck of 'what comes back' that leaves to religious absurdities. I do.) I believe that the adherence I need to make to my own purpose of life is to live it my own principles, without giving in to the pressures of society and my friends to follow various paths or to drink the Kool-Aid of one more single organization.
Currently, life seems to be a race between the destruction of either Western Civilization, or the World Itself, or my own. However, in a Vaishnavistic cycle of ten, the ninth incarnation of Vishnu was the Buddha, who came to mislead the world with false teachings, to purify the seed by drawing away the misled. The tenth incarnation is Kalki, who comes with a sword on a white horse, to put an end to the present age, so that the world can begin anew and apure. Kalki comes, children.