by Jef Bartow
As we in the northern hemisphere experience what is called the "dead of winter" and the Sun transits through Aquarius, we have an opportunity to touch and experience Serenity for our lives. This characteristic of SPIRIT is one of the most elusive parts of SPIRIT for us in humanity. It seems that only the most spiritualized sages of history have clearly demonstrated this truly fantastic part of SPIRIT. Without becoming too technical here, Serenity is one of five parts of SPIRIT which do not have a direct connection to outer Objectivity. This makes it more inner and less tangible to perceive than other characteristics like Beauty and Peace. It also makes it much more difficult to express through our Personality. I think defining Serenity will help make this clearer. Webster's Dictionary uses a number of terms to help tie down serenity. These terms include: "clear, calmness, tranquility, undisturbed, bright and exalted." Synonyms include: quiescence, placid, and pellucid. These synonyms are better understood as: "a latent quiet, implicit confidence and translucent and clear." From these terms, I define Serenity as the state of undisturbed exulted tranquility; the translucent, clear, quiet motivating energies of implicit confidence. Serenity has a direct influence on both our instinctual nature and our dream world. I believe we will all agree that these are two parts of us which exhibit agitation, disturbance, un-clarity and certainly not a state of exultation. The influence of Serenity here is as an essence or highest state. It provides the connection from these material states to the Spirit within. I have come to more easily understand Serenity as not freedom from the storm, but tranquility within the storm. This storm is usually created by our instinctual nature’s conflict within Matter. We live it out through our fears and agitation within daily life and our reactionary out-of-control dreams at night.
So how do we experience Serenity and use it to transform our instinctual nature and dream life? Astrologically, the 11th House and the natural home of Aquarius provide some help. The 11th House astrologically is the home of our activities with friends, large groups and those who share our life goals. The positive side of Aquarius includes being original, inventive, individualistic and independent. It's need within us is to know and create the freedom to express our inner individuality and originality in a meaningful way through changing our conditioned behavior by new ideas. Within all of us, this equates to us initiating an attitude and orientation of being original, inventive and independent in our friendships. We can further this new orientation by expressing our individuality and independence within the large groups we find ourselves tied to. And most meaningful, by expressing our inner individuality and originality to those who we share life goals with. This sounds powerful, …and also pretty difficult.
Characteristics of Spirit
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To make this more easily understandable, let's focus on how to achieve serenity. We accomplish this new orientation by changing our conditioned behavior through new ideas. These new ideas can be the principles and teachings we encounter when reading spiritual material. In addition, use the behaviors of those spiritualized individuals that we consider to express serenity. How did they transform their conditioned behavior from childhood and adolescence? What changes did they initiate and live to become the spiritual being they are? How did they consistently challenge the status quo? I think a few examples here may help. Buddha gave up the easy life of royalty and riches he was accustomed to. Jesus left his family and home to go about his Father's work. More recently, the Dalai Lama began a whole new life in the West which completely changed the conditions of his upbringing. Most of us do not need the drastic-ness of these changes to bring Serenity into our life. But, I've shown these drastic examples here on purpose. To embrace and live Spirit through Serenity will necessitate a thorough review of how our conditioning restricts our freedom and individuality. Being willing to remove the conditioned expectations of friends and groups to not live based on their orientation is a powerful step in changing our instinctual nature. Our willingness to change our standard from living like our neighbors to living based on the dictates from within is another far-reaching step to true independence and originality. And finally, our commitment to expressing our inner self and Soul to those who share our life goals will not remove the storm of everyday life, but will bring tranquility within this storm. For the next 30 days or so, be mindful as you interact with friends and groups to become aware of how their expectations and your behavior restricts your freedom and individuality. Which behaviors naturally express the inner you and which behaviors are just being one of the herd? What changes can you make in attitude and behavior that will bring you more independence from your conditioning? As you define these new behaviors and attitude, feel the reactions within you to stepping out of the box to the new you. Face the instinctual fears these new behaviors elicit. Feel the uncomfortable disconnection that will most certainly happen from the co-dependence that living your conditioned behaviors solidifies. Finally, continue the meditation, visualization and change to the new you until you can embrace the implicit confidence your individuality will bring to your life. Continue further until this confidence motivates you to be a clear translucent expression of your Soul. Embrace the tranquility of living your true self and originality.