The wisdom I'm about to offer is always useful, but especially right now. Please take it to heart as you wrestle with the tricky opportunities that are becoming available. "The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words," wrote Philip K. Dick in his essay, "How to Build A Universe That Won’t Fall Apart in Two Days." "If you can control the meaning of words," he continued, "you can control the people who must use the words."I had a surprisingly emotional reaction to that.
My first thought was "I want my words back." My second thought was to blank out, avoid thinking about it. The following week, my reaction to the new horoscope was "I'm still working on last week's!"
Now, as I've said before, there is no relation between the positions of the planets at my birth and who I am today. (There's a much stronger relation between my mother having been on Valium while pregnant with me, and that I was bottle fed from the get go, and who I am today.) But I've been reading Free Will Astrology since the Stranger started carrying it, when it was "Real World Astrology." Over the years, I've acquired, accepted, and/or learned the language that Breszny uses to have gotten quite a few resonances between his language and my experience.
Sometimes my reaction is a yearning: I want the brief paragraph to be a prediction and to come true. Sometimes it's a "how did he know?" -- a couple dozen words appear to have summed up just about everything of note happening in my life. I'm sure, over the years, I've put the paper down and said "No, I don't want that," but I don't recall them right now.
But the reaction of confusion and strong desire has been pretty rare. Wanting my words back is one of the main reasons I'm reading the Porter translation of the Ring Cycle (which I'm really enjoying) as opposed to the otherwise steady diet of a couple photography books a months -- monographs and anhtologies of photography, not how to books.
Yesterday I did something I haven't done in at least a year, and that's cast the I Ching. In Understanding the I Ching, Cyrille Javary recommends that you not ask it a divinatory question ("Should I go to the capitol?"), but you set a goal and ask it how to achieve that goal ("How do I get to the capitol?"). So the question was "How do I get my words back?" The answer was pretty clear. The first hexagram was number 17, "Following", with one changing line to become 55, "Abundance (Fullness)." In "Following" there is an aspect of joyousness in the subservience; that one has said "yes" to the appropriate master and through that relationship becomes more than one would have otherwise. So: "Joyous following leads to abundance." (Whether I act on that or not is another thing.) Even the different translations were pretty clear in their consensus. Three of the four I looked at translated #17 as "Following", and two of them translated #55 as "Abundance."
The question "How do I progress in my photography?" got a much more confused answer. The first was #43, "Break-Through (Resoluteness)" with four changing lines to become #22, "Grace." And the title translations were just as confused: both hexagrams had different titles in each version I looked at. I didn't even read them until just before bed. OTOH, I worked on some of the Frye stuff that I've been putting off and got a call from Real Change for an assignment last night.
The FWA quoted above also reminded me of something I wrote back on August 5th:
Now, if *I* were to ask for a new brain, it would have no ceiling for mathematics, analytic philosophy, or logic; read faster and comprehend better; and last but not least, be sillier.After typing those words, I thought "I'd give up photography for that." The context in which I typed those words was someone would wave a magic wand, and give me one for the other.
But what if those goals are in me? Realistically, I have a ceiling for math, etc.; everyone does. How much higher than average it is, I have no real idea. But it's there, and I'd be surprised if it was even close to genius. But I can work with what is in me to approach that ceiling, and in the act of approaching, I will raise the ceiling.