In the course of a lifetime – three-score years and twelve as it used to be – the sun moves exactly one degree in the ecliptic. So when you reach the age of seventy-two the sun no longer rises in exactly the same place as it did when you were born: it is one degree further back. Sixty minutes. A life is sixty minutes in length. All of Shakespeare’s ‘seven ages of man’ – as spoken by melancholy Jacques – crowd into that lifespan.
It has to be assumed that the inner structure of a lifetime is very different according to the age in which it happens. Shakespeare’s era was the Age of Discovery when it was appropriate to set off for new worlds in sailing ships or to write dramas which expanded into every period of life – if you were able. The setting of our own age is very different. Our consciousness closes in on the moral purpose of our existence. We start to think about everything that is not contained within those sixty minutes – the nebulae and stardust which also have meaning for our life’s journey.
It seems to me that all the disturbances, demonstrations and ‘springs’ going on in the world today have to do with the fact that people no longer feel satisfied with their lives being packaged, manipulated and circumscribed within a narrowly-sanctioned sixty minutes. But at the same time they do not really know what they are protesting about and governments find it difficult to obtain specific demands from them. Undoubtedly people need to feel a certain placing or recognition of their own being in the times we live in.
This can only be done by expanding the boundaries of human ‘self-worth’ through discoveries that were not possible in the past. This includes an awareness of existence beyond birth and death and the feeling that you as an individual are here for a specific purpose which only you can accomplish in this particular lifetime. This purpose is intimately bound up with the future of the world.
The rulers and manipulators of the world would like us to feel that every minute of our existence is safely packaged and contained within structures they create. This is the failure of democracy. There are forces outside of the merely elected which have to be allowed for. As individuals we have to find out who we are and where we stand.
This is my solstice experience for the summer of this year. Next year, at exactly the same date, the sun will stand nearly a minute further back.
An Age of Discovery
Emerging from the heat into shadows,
my mind debates a hundred destinies.
The sun creeps round to cover me again
with transformational brilliance in time.
My three-score years and twelve are one degree
in its lifetime: enough to fill with change.
What does my future self want of me now?
It wants me to pick my life’s destiny
from within those creeping sixty minutes
and hold it like a charm against my heart.
So for this I would move into the shade,
that the heat of other lives should not burn.
There’s a single destiny in this life -
not to be sailing ships or writing plays
in a bustling Age of Discovery
but to be growing Self in selflessness.
Never ego-ridden or glamorous,
neither polemical nor persuasive,
just becoming, so the world won’t be lost.
A gift, to be where you are meant to be.
A lifetime is just one degree of sun
then new adventurers stand where we stood.
I love how the solstice flows in pure light
over my shoulders – this will be our day!
The solstice raises melancholy too:
to rise to the summit and yet look down
on worlds which will not gather for the sun.
It’s no mere drama but a true life pain
that people shade the sun from their own hearts.
Yes, life is just a sixty minute span
but nebulae and limitless stardust
validate a human being’s belief
beyond the dim illusions of this hour.
So one degree is not a story told
but just a narrow casing for the sun:
those far-flung spaces know the total round.
Best wishes, today,
©Jay Landar 2013. All rights reserved
You are welcome to quote from Light on the Page on the condition that you cite the author and the source: Author: Jay Landar. Source: www.lightonthepage.com. For other permissions please contact the author.