Seeing things as they really are: Full Moon at 19:05 GMT 16 September 2016.
“Imagine that a child drops a plate in the presence of his parents. When he seeks forgiveness from his father, the child is rebuffed. He experiences a pang of emotion linked both to fear of impending punishment and to anger and resentment at his father for his harsh reaction. This, according to Kosawa, approximates Freud’s understanding of guilt in the religious context. But then the child asks the mother for forgiveness — and receives it. The mother takes the child’s fearful and rebellious guilt and alchemises it into a ‘reparative guilt’: an overwhelming response to total, unconditional forgiveness. This latter reaction was, for Kosawa, a truly ‘religious state of mind’ and he saw it as the core of his own Shin tradition.” Christopher Harding.
“Here I am. Look up into my face. Can you see my emptiness? Or merely narcissism (Kristin Dombek), an illuminated disc? Be assured: I am here. My presence is my emptiness.”
“Adorno’s central objection—that astrology fostered a risky passivity—was later echoed by liberal intellectuals who argued that New Age thinking (to which astrology belonged, despite its lineage going back to antiquity) did even worse damage by encouraging an inward turn at the expense of the civic sphere.
“…For what did injunctions to “live in the moment” and “be present” mean if not “forget the past”?
“…What critics of astrology have in common—whether they come from the anarchist left or the Christian right or anywhere in between—is a tendency to see astrology as a form of therapy. What bothers them most is not astrology’s irrationality, but its use as a substitute for something older or truer—monotheism, freedom, the demos, the political — that is both the salvation and end goal of progress. To them, astrology is an ideology of the depressed, a politics of resignation: a balm that, like therapy in general, treats the individual symptom of a larger social illness without acknowledging the disease. Look at someone reading a horoscope and you may see hope: someone looking toward the future in a way that suggests a desire for a future at all. What the critics see, however, is someone giving up.
“…On the other hand, astrology offers those who take it less seriously a nice opportunity to critique taxonomies of identity in general.”
Here it is that the Moon returns once a month to walk in the grounds with ‘retreaters’, and reassure them that there is nothing essentially wrong with being unequal or having thoughts in a subjective language other than global-transformation-speak.
The visitors book has been signed by such notables as Lucy Who Fell Out Of A Tree, Diogenes of Sinope, Jesus of Nazareth, Giordano Bruno, Arthur Schopenhauer, Sören Kierkegaard and Mark Chapman, reader of Catcher in the Rye.
In a quiet murmur barely discernible from the ghostly whispers which still haunt the monastery from a time during the rise of socialism when it was sequestered for the reinforcement of class division, the Moon talks about relativity and difference, nothingness and emptiness, identity-with and ipseity, and the essential strife of being.
“We are all creatures of habit,” he counsels. “Each and every day there comes a time when we hate ourselves for the negativity with which we react to our complete immersion in the daily tide of inauthentic borrowed ideas, and at such times, often just after lunch or at sunset, it is advisable to take a nap.”
The monastery prospectus advertises with quotes of the Moon, and of course most people who come on retreat are disappointed by his absence. Some describe their visit in negative terms, but the funding of the monastery suffers little since they always shortly afterwards return, usually with an ephemeris in their bag.
“Yes, life has a measure,” goes one of the Moon’s aphorisms, “but neither is it in your pocket nor your enemy’s.” He has, with loving-kindness to equal the source of all woe, enabled thousands to dissolve themselves back into communities of anathema with a simple message: pause at the gate. This monk is nothing if not a neuro-linguistic programmer.
“This world you were deposited in at birth is not a prison of others’ making. You must realize how much it has adapted to you, but when you change it you must also realize that you are now one of the architects of the world new life is being deposited into. Your responsibility is not to own the world, and it is not to own yourself. Your responsibility is to stand at the gate before you open it for yourself or another, and recognize its nature and purpose. The gate is the intelligibility of the world. It opens with permission.”
His springtime visits draw thousands, who spill out into a great city of tents beyond the monastery grounds, and not just because he always appears in all his finery, complete with wings–every 18 years or so he actually arrives on a donkey preceded by youths waving palm leaves–but because this is the quintessential season of initiative and communication in a common cause. It is a bad time to be unequal.