Pluto transits: Bearing witness
13 April 2009 6 Comments
One of the hardest things to do during one’s own Pluto transits, as well as others’, is to learn to bear witness to the transformation without judgement.
The only thing I can think to do, apart from psychotherapy, is to keep practising, to keep being aware, and to learn to bear witness to that which is changing in me alchemically, and to stay aware of that change without trying to control it, and without judgement over what results may follow. Easier said, than done, of course, but there aren’t too many other options.
Today, I am going to try and draw a lesson from Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck, who, in Nothing Special: Living Zen, uses the metaphor of the melting ice cube to describe how practice may help us become more open to others and ourselves.
The comparison of human life to an ice cube is of course silly. I see people battering one another, however, hoping that by battering others, something will be gained. It never is. Someone has to stop battering and just sit with being an ice cube. We need to just sit and watch, and feel what it’s like to be what we are — really experience that. We can’t do much about the other ice cubes. In fact, it’s not our business to do so. The only thing we can do is more and more to summon that witness. When we turn to the witness, we begin to melt. If we melt, other ice cubes do, too, little by little. Once we’ve begun to melt, it’s perfectly natural to resist the melting, to want to go back to being frozen, trying to control and manipulate all other frozen creatures we meet. I never worry about that, because for anyone who’s been practicing for a while, there’s too much knowing. We can’t become rigid again, because deep within us, we know something we didn’t know before. We can’t go back. (135)
I take comfort from that, because on some days, the resistance is great, and while I feel myself wanting to claw back some measure of control, I also watch myself trying not to lay it at the feet of someone close to me, whom I know is undergoing a Pluto transit over a chart angle of their own. It’s not enough to guarantee perfect calmness on my part, but perfection isn’t the goal, awareness is. And that includes making amends where necessary.
Image: Melting hearts. Source: stock.xchng.