Monday, August 24, 2009

TIme and Patience

Time is a Saturnine quality. Chronos was the name given to Saturn by the Greeks, the original Father Time. It's the first of the planetary spheres, and in KBL it is Binah, the sphere of form and sorrow. Traditionally, Saturn is the Greater Malefic astrologically, and is used in Goetic magic as the binding agent. In my early magical work,l I had an epiphany about Saturn and its effects when accessed through the sphere of the Sun. It wasn't nearly as "bad" as its reputation implies.

I wonder if I'm over-spiritualizing the concept, and that's why I'm having a hard time understanding Saturn's dark and evil reputation. I suspect that because it is the sphere of boundaries, and death is a boundary, people project "evil" onto Saturn because they associate death with evil. Saturn is definitely the sphere of Death, the end of the line, and the Grim Reaper is a valid image for the Intelligence of that sphere. But the harvest doesn't come until the crop is ready, and I'm at peace with death.

I see it as the same essential boundary as my birth, marking the place where I begin and end as this incarnation. I look forward to its coming with quiet anticipation, not because I wish I were dead, but because I'm interested in what happens next. I've got this plan to incarnate as something more than human next time around, you see, and my Work as a magician is geared towards that eventual transformation.

Because the final transformation I'm looking for occurs at death, I've made my peace with the concept, and as a result, I don't see it as a punishment or a frightening experience. I think that's why I tend to focus more on Saturn objectively as the Sphere of Time and Space, the essence of the spiritual boundaries we work within while incarnated.

I don't see the material realm we live in as being all that malefic. As a result I tend to overlook the negative impact of doing work while Saturn is afflicting my outcome. It's annoying, because Saturn really does provide detrimental influence on my Work that I don't expect because I'm all at peace with it. It's not considered the Greater Malefic because it brings health, wealth, and prosperity, after all.

But the point of this post is some recent observations I've had about time and patience. The first couple of weeks of being unemployed was a transition phase. My mind relaxed, and I adapted to a very different schedule and very different set of demands on my time. I realized that working in the rat race had completely altered my sense of priorities in life, and not in a particular pleasant way. It took at least two weeks, maybe even ten days of not going to work every day to realize that I had formed a weird stress addiction, and that I didn't know what to fill that part of my brain with now that I don't have the stress of work to fuel the anxiety.

The whole "I'm going to lose my house and car and everything I need to provide my family with what they need to grow up healthy, wealthy, and wise" thing provided plenty of anxiety at first, and that fulfilled my brain's addiction to stress quite nicely for a while. Eventually I reached a point of peace by Working the appropriate spirits and pursuing God with all my heart.

As the addiction to being a wage slave passed, I found that I'm much more patient. Having all this time available to me to do what I want when I want to makes the demands on my time much easier to manage. The kids interrupting me isn't going to make me miss a deadline or run late to the office. My wife interrupting me yet again over stupid things doesn't blow my train of thought out of the water. I mean, it does, but I'm not so stressed by other things that it's next to impossible to pick up the momentum again where I left off. The fear of not finishing what I'm working on in the little bit of time I have available is just gone. I like that a lot.

So for those of you still stuck in wage slavery, know that the end of all you base your security on does not destroy you, you learn that there is just enough time to do everything you need to do when you're not stuck in a place you hate for 8 hours plus the time to get there and get home. The things you think you have to work for have a way of taking care of themselves if they have to. While I don't recommend losing your job, I definitely recommend finding peace as soon as possible if you do.

If you're interested in Working on patience, take a look at your schedule. There's a good chance that the reason you're impatient is because you've got too much going on, or at least so much going on in any given day that you don't feel in control. Take an inventory of what you spend your time on, perform an exercise of creating a time budget. Observe for two weeks what you do each day, and how long it takes, and then when you have a good sample of your schedule, look at where you can make cuts in allocated time. Take a week or two to adapt to not having anything pressing to fill the time you free up. Don't schedule anything, in other words. Take a look at how your patience is doing after you've adapted to your new and improved schedule, and make additional cuts as needed.

The trick is to keep free time free. Life has many ways of filling up your spare moments with bullshit stressors, and that is exactly why we lose patience. The things that fill up empty time would have filled up your busy time anyway. You would have had to take care of it, or put it off until you had time and brain power to apply to it, and in that time it probably got harder to deal with. We get pissed when the unexpected comes into our already-busy schedule, or when we have to deal with something when we've already scheduled our time to deal with something else.

Sometimes we schedule our time with our expectations. Like I expect to be "at work" from 9-5, and to do family fun and other personal business between 6-10 week nights and on the weekends. When my kids come into the office during the day (school starts next week), I considered it an intrusion on my "work time," and reacted impatiently with them at first. Now I find that I'm a lot more patient in listening to them and dealing with whatever they need. Their needs are simple still, they're young enough to have the biggest issue in their life be lunch, an argument over a toy or game, or solving the ancient mystery of why people can't talk to cats. Providing an ear to listen, a calm and rational mind to direct them towards their own solutions to their problems, or a conversation about the mental capacity of house pets and their eternal souls doesn't take long, and is actually fun!

These moments aren't essential. My kids will grow up well-adapted to society if I'm too busy to mediate their social issues for them. I've seen them work out their problems when I'm engrossed in writing something without any help from me. But I missed out on an opportunity to participate in their lives and form a memory of a patient dad who makes time for them and isn't too busy doing something else to spend his precious time on their lives. I don't know what the future will bring, but spending an afternoon swimming with the kids instead of obsessively monitoring job boards for a new opportunity is definitely time well spent.