|Management of Measurement Constructs
Notebook, March 31, 2008Managing the Existential
The intensity with which human beings work to confirm and justify their existence varies with every culture. Individual existence is decidedly more emphasized in the West than it is in the East. Especially in the United States, the individual is the focal point of everything; the world simply can not go on without the individual’s significance being of paramount concern. On the whole, Americans do not have a world-view: it is we Americans who know what is right for everyone else; our money is the best; our language is the best; our cars, our food, our homes, etc. Mundane ego-centricism at its best.
Of late, we Americans are realizing that we are wrong: the definition of being American simply does not guarantee excellence and success. Our standards of life are slipping. We have severe social problems. It is a multi-generational time of change for the United States image.
The individual in our culture feels these life-pressures keenly. It is no longer an easy ride with safeguarded vales and rights to security and fulfillment. The struggle ever increases, and the stakes are ever higher. The celebrated psychiatrist and spiritual thinker Scott Peck, throughout his lucid and healing book, The Road Less Traveled, communicates simply and remedially that life is difficult, that it is complex, and that this observation is one of the “greatest truths” (recognizing the “Four Noble Truths” taught by the Buddha, the first of which is “Life is suffering.”) Acknowledging this, in my opinion, adjusts our persona to realism, awakens a gut-check of resources for life planning, and focuses vision.
We humans expand our Present: we recognize the disappointments of the past, we search out hope for the Future, and we put them together for our sense of identity. We over-identify with fleeting moments of good or, indeed, even enduring moments of bad. We dwell on them. We seek them out, the good and the bad, according to what we feel is natural to our disposition. We become how we describe ourselves, a shining star, an also-ran. One of the pack, an oppressed martyr. We define who we are and justify that self-view. We create an immortality of the Now.
In our consultations, we astrologers are called on to clarify out clients’ self-perspective. I think we must acknowledge the fears and vulnerabilities each client has in order that that self-perspective is realistically understood through the developmental interconnections within the client’s life-conditioning process. How stable and rewarding is the Now? How is the Now fortified for permanence?
We should gently inspect the client’s rationalizations that protect his or her sensibilities, which are used to “explain” crisis. At the same time, we should help clients ascertain their strongest resources. We should help them break up any preoccupation with upset that can dim the view of growth. Under anxiety, all of all too easily limit our world.
I think we must dispel any client’s ideas of being punished by crisis. We must re-reflect good, real things when the oppressive removes the light. The mind always needs a rest during crisis, and I think it is the astrologer’s duty to help introduce that rest.
As much as possible, we must work with clients to distill realistic objectives, even brand new ones, out of life-changing crisis, and, since we tie these observations to astrological measurements issuing out of the client’s horoscope and the corroboration of consultation dialogue, we must project realistic time schedules for development into the future. These schedules should be defined not exclusively by the exactness of planetary measurement but by the mundane realism that adjusts those celestial times in real life. All of us can stand pain when we know pretty well how long it is going to last and that it may be for a good or significant cause or outcome; all of us can fulfill positive times to one degree or another when we get into rhythm with our environment … or when we change it.
Next Update: April 30, 2008