What's coming to birth grows in darkness

We're all progressing toward a greater love. We're interlinked in an endless chain of unfinished business, we're cogs in the wheels of the ages. We all steward faults and try to fix them. The sense of responsibility and the opposite need to be relieved of guilt are a mechanism with two poles, creating a tension pushing us upward past conditioning.

Last week, as we holed up in our den while it froze and snowed, my karmic script about not "accomplishing" anything made me anxious. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to myself, a change was gestating within me. What is coming to birth grows in the darkness. There abides a shining light that inherently glows in the midst of night. Seemingly doing nothing useful had bred humility. So what had felt bad was actually to the good.

Before this change last week, listening to friends recount wrenching twists as their families journeyed from generation to generation, helped me join the chorus and explore myself. At the time, the world splayed out before me like a horizonless sea of hurt and aggravation.

Now here's the new change: I'm unconventional, a regenerate hippy. I'd felt as if my son and I had failed each other because he's a conservative centrist. He's an expert on international security, a pillar of global society. So what's wrong with that, you'd like to know? Well, nothing; it's quite wonderful. And that's so smackingly obvious today. Yet it's taken years to completely feel this peace down to my bones, to find the healing waiting in the problem.

One generation to the next and the next does bend and weave like the coiling snake, who wraps around the staff of the caduceus, from left to right, pole to pole, and back, repeatedly. This snake is winding around the trunk of the World Tree, the tinsel-circled Christmas tree, the "Tree of the Belief in Good and Bad" (that's a better translation).

Things go seemingly good and bad from our perspectives. Yet what we have in the alternations between parents and children is a continuing series of reactions, of readjustments, feedback loops, ever finer tuning, of complements and reconciliation unto love. The mistakes we've made, the pain we've borne and in turn inflicted, is all OK; judging is beside the point. Forgiveness is not a straight line. Sometimes a step backward is the necessary prelude to three steps forward. We look up close and also step backward across the whole room to fully absorb a great work of art.

In American families we join a free market of self-transformation, both a beckoning gateway and daunting abyss of liberty. Wherever we yearn to fit in, we're inevitably meeting the norms of some minority, some subculture, and that, too, will be in flux. Yet without human hands, we're constantly generating a moving center. We're the prototype for a world which is jumping off the diving board. A magic carpet is weaving itself without external constraints, with both minute richness of detail and breathtaking sweep of design, ever broadening, pouring into the next of days, and completely beyond the aims or comprehension of any one of us.

This single life we're sharing is both impersonal and supremely personal, with each birth unique and the capstone: Each baby child, each flash of insight, each resting in the spirit, each failed attempt, every day of doing nothing worthwhile. Each wades onto the beachhead of the New World.

So we celebrate everybody who enters this scene. Christmas: We are each the fullness of the godhead bodily, arriving here again, just in the nick of time. Hannukah: When one day becomes eight, eternality is revealed in the present. Winter solstice: Never give up, honor this, too. New Year's: When we seem to merely circle around, we're miraculously spiraling up the tree to the star.

Peace, love and joy.

Moshe Ross is an Ashland teacher. See more at mosheross.wordpress.com. The Tidings invites Rogue Valley residents to share stories of inner peace including all its marvelous aspects. Send a 600 to 700 word article to Sally McKirgan at innerpeace@q.com.

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