Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Easter, Equinox, and Equanimity

Easter is coming and what is that all about? New bonnets and bunnies: spring has sprung. The Earth is waking up, the trees are in bloom. Around here glorious wild flowers: the purple lupine, the iridescent almost unbelievable orange of the California Poppy.

Easter is coming and for centuries people have worshipped and celebrated the return of vitality to the land. What happens before Easter? The Equinox: that day when in L.A. and Sonoma and Seattle and Anchorage the day and the night are roughly the same length ( within a few minutes). Before Equinox, nights were longer than days and the farther north you went the more true this was, so in Seattle between September 21 and March 21, the nights are longer than in L.A. After Equinox, the reverse is true, Seattle gets to make up for lost time (and Alaska and Oslo get to go wild) with longer and longer days.

So Equinox comes and then comes a full moon and then comes a Sunday, and that Sunday is Easter: the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox. Sound like a piggybacking onto a pagan ritual to you? It does to me.

The plants have died for the winter, the seed has lain waiting and dormant all those cold months and now with more sun, there is more warmth, and the Earth resurrects, the seeds burst forth from the ground and the wheat springs to the heavens and the poppies bloom and the wild plums burst forth in abundant blossom.

And there is another parallel in the Resurrection story, for how long does Jesus stay in the dark tomb and how long is the night dark during new moon? Three nights lack moonlight each and every month. Imagine how deeply linked to psychic awareness that would have been in all societies not yet agitated into the glow of the electric light. Night was dark back then, but you almost always had the moon, rising later and later after full moon to be sure, but there for part of the evening. Until new moon: then three days of no night light but the stars.

A grand story is celebrated. Jesus is dead. Jesus comes back to life. In a new form. In a higher form. This can be, among other things, a metaphor for any relationship quarrel that comes to a successful resolution ( not just swept under the rug with exhaustion, tears and sex). You go into these quarrels in full battle mode, the partner is wrong, their job is to admit they are wrong and feel bad about it. You flail away and get nowhere. They flail away and get nowhere.

Then suddenly, someone listens. Someone goes dead to their need to pound away with their point of view, with their tired old accusations. Someone asks the fourth Byron Katie question: who would I be without my story? Someone actually realizes, oh, this is a person that I care about who look like they aren’t having a good time.

Listening happens. Understanding begins to dawn out of the darkness. Oh, this is how they are feeling. Oh, this is how they are just like me. Oh, I am doing just what I am accusing them of doing.

Understanding brings back a remembrance: I love this person. I want them to be happy. With real rebirth, both partners want the other to be happy, both can hear and feel what’s going on inside the other, both can see their own hypocrisy inside of their accusations, both can breathe again and laugh at themselves and how uptight they were when they were trying to Win the Argument.

This wish to be right and to control is dead. The qualities of love and happiness and self-realization are reborn. Now that’s a glorious springing into resurrection any time of the year.

(Please post comments, that would be nice for you and nice for others and nice for me)


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