I open The Wheel of Time and land on page 120:
“A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness. He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge.”
Actually, I’m soon to go into session and want to quickly research a motif of relevance for this next session. I open The Oxford Companion to World Mythology and my eyes land on Job. Job, perhaps God’s most loyal servant, is stripped of family, possessions, and health. Job asks God to appear to him in a form he can handle, to discuss his confusion over his fate. Instead God appears as a terrifying whirlwind and chastises Job for questioning God’s decision making. The lesson: God’s will is independent; humanity’s will has nothing to do with the matter.
I ponder the relationship between these two readings. I come to acceptance and acquiescence. We are who we are. For the seers of ancient Mexico the message is: see clearly what you are and spend no energy bemoaning your fate. For Job, accept that you are subject to the will of God. That will is impersonal, don’t take it personally: accept that you cannot change your fate.
Jung pointed out many times that nature is not democratic; nature is not fair. This was Job’s lesson: being good guarantees nothing. One of Jeanne’s deepest challenges in her cancer journey was to face the fact that, in spite of her impeccability, cancer was relentless.
This left her in Job’s position, resenting how her impeccability had no influence upon her fate. Ultimately, she achieved detachment toward her fate and asked the question: What is the challenge my fate presents me with? This is the seer’s wisdom: face the truth of where you are and take on the challenge of it.
For Jeanne that challenge was to break all attachment to self-importance. Her impeccability had served as a life long shield from her deepest issue, abandonment. That shield had been so powerful that only an agent such as cancer was able to break through it and lead her to completion.
From the point of view of a humanity bent on a healthy life without end, this explanation is absurd and irrational. But as Job was forced to face, there are greater wills present in our lives that, from a human perspective, might make no sense yet may be serving our deepest spiritual and evolutionary needs.
The seer’s advice is critical here: accept your lot with deep humility; waste no energy on regret, instead turn it toward meeting the challenge, wherever that leads; it’s what you need to find fulfillment. Incidentally, in the end, God restored everything that Job had lost. Job’s fulfillment required total acquiescence to his fate. When we learn the lessons we need to learn or discover the truths we need to discover, fate takes us in new directions, presenting new challenges.
If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.
Until we meet again,