In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. —Gautama Buddha

Like many of you I am finding myself struggling to find balance between engagement in the world and the current political situation and the need of the soul to seek peace and equanimity in a rapidly changing world.  No matter what your political persuasion, it’s clear that the anger and rage in the world is rising to a feverish pitch, and the journey of Mars through Aries last month triggered an already burning flame into a raging fire.

Political involvement keeps me wound up and upset, angry and frustrated.  My inner being seeks the peace and comfort of stillness and solitude (my Jupiter is in the twelfth house of transcendence and I find the greatest meaning (Jupiter) in experiences of merging into Spirit consciousness).  And yet throughout history, great sages have remained rooted in the world, seeking positive change for humanity.

When I lived in an ashram back in the 1970s, we were encouraged to withdraw from “The World.”  The mundane business of politics and finance and business is a big distraction from spiritual focus.  But it occurs to me now, with the vantage point of age, that this kind of focus on our own spiritual growth and experience is, really, selfish in nature.  Surely the wisdom and clarity that we gain from progressing on the spiritual path can be used in aiding others and helping to create a more harmonious and peaceful world?

Somehow though we must accomplish this without becoming lost in a morass of rage and despair.  The only way that I can imagine this to occur is when we trust that there is a Universal Consciousness that guides humanity ultimately towards light, and that there are nuggets of blessings in every dark moment.  With this view, death and life share equal portions of greatness – difficult times are met with faith that to every time there is a purpose and an openness to understand that purpose.  This kind of faith (Jupiter) can be nurtured through a constant practice of seeing beyond the mundane details of an event to the gifts and lessons that lie underneath.  Meditation helps too – it assists us in forging a stronger connection to this Universal Consciousness.

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