Read pt. 1: The Must-Love Pluto and pt. 2: Corridor to Personal Power
The third part of this series continues to map out the paradoxical path to personal power and the threshold of creative reality. In the post-elimination stage, Pluto emerges as a tireless champion of our non-Ego pursues, carrying us through generation cycles and human drama without fail.
The unio mentalis, then, in psychological as well as alchemical language, means knowledge of oneself.
In contradistinction to the modern prejudice that self-knowledge is nothing but a knowledge of the ego, the alchemists regarded the self as a substance incommensurable [not parallel] with the ego, hidden in the body, and identical with the image of God.Carl Gustav Jung
Truth Vs. Victimhood
After sober introspection and steadfast perseverance, we rise up to meet Pluto’s imposing energy. From now on, we are no longer passive subjects of Pluto’s purging, but active participants in this process.
One of the few straightforward applications of Pluto’s energy is the chipping away at our Ego, fallacies, conditioning, and internal conflicts. Disengage from activities and relations that stray from our values, eliminate everything untrue, unproductive, and dysfunctional. We are the sculptor and the statue. The more we lose, the more powerful we become. Refine, re-define, repeat until lightness and clarity emerge.
The removing of the ‘tangles’ is a process of liberation from our complexes and illusions and from the way in which we identify with the roles we play in life, with the masks within us and with our idols, etc. It is a ‘release’ according to the etymology of the word, a liberation and awakening of hidden potential.Roberto Assagioli
This is an exhilarating and stressful time. Shame and guilt from all directions will attack with a vengeance. While shame is purely social coercion, guilt can indicate a strong conscience. However, without identifying and repairing the damage, this unresolved remorse is nothing but moral posturing. It will take time and determination to process these deep-seated feelings. Proceed with kindness and compassion, yet remain steadfast and resolute.
We are not called upon to step out onto the square and shout out the truth, to say out loud what we think—this is scary, we are not ready. But let us at least refuse to say what we do not think!Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Pluto delivers the ultimate test for personal truth and responsibility. Its extremes separate the wheat from the chaff, no half-measures allowed. If we’re not in charge of our agenda and in peace with our conscience, guilt and shame will continue to drag us down, eventually leading to numbness, self-destruction, and abuse. If we compromise, we inevitably become victims of our cowardice or others’.
It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness.Eric Hoffer
Competitive victimhood and revenge are self-defeating yet common misuses of Pluto energy. From personal relationships to geopolitics, the one-upmanship of pain and suffering supposedly bestows moral high ground, perpetuate control mechanisms, and aggravate power struggles. It is quite plain that any decent person or group will not wish their agony upon their worst enemies, let alone exact revenge in the name of justice. Nevertheless, this tactic has worked extremely well in the current political and social climate. We can spot these victim-turned-perpetrators at a glance and distance ourselves from their self-righteousness.
[V]ictimism is an ideology of the ego. But perhaps ideology is too strong a term; victimism can be seen as a generalized cultural impulse to deny personal responsibility and to obsess on the grievances of the insatiable self.Charles J. Sykes
Devotion vs. Chaos
If we keep chipping away at the untruths, sooner or later we will carve out a vast inner space. Coined the “existential vacuum”, Viktor Frankl warned of the danger of losing our bearings:
No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do; sometimes he does not even know what he wishes to do. Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism) or he does what other people wish him to do (totalitarianism).
Despite Frankl and the existentialists’ warnings, this void is not inherently grim and dangerous. Although many have succumbed to depression and nihilism in this space, it is the desperation for attachments –to a concept, thing, person, group, ideology, philosophy, or deity – that brought on the unbearable pain. If our life purpose and self-worth are cultivated from the prize of ego trips and others’ assurances, this emptiness is the end of the road indeed.
One must find the source within one’s own Self, one must possess it. Everything else was seeking — a detour, an error.Hermann Hesse
In contrast, Eastern philosophy regards the first-hand experience of Emptiness as a milestone of spiritual growth and maturity. In the Emptiness, dichotomy dissolves and mental anguish ends. In true Pluto fashion, we push one step further and make this open space the foundation of power and the home stage of our creative reality.
Emptiness is the ground of everything. Thanks to emptiness, everything is possible. … Emptiness is quite an optimistic concept.Thich Nhat Hanh
All we have to do here is to focus and observe the coming and going on our mental stage. Let go of judgment and assumption; abandon the search for certainty and directions. Life will keep coming at us. By staying true to our Self in everything we do, a new identity will emerge. Instead of titles and roles, it will reflect our natal Pluto placement and represent our deepest truth, which we must uphold and defend.
Our accustomed reality will rip, crack and peel; a new reality will reveal itself –first in flashes, then in streams. In this powerful state, synchronicity and magic abound. It may seem to the outsiders that we’re losing our grip to the reality, we’re not. We’re transitioning to the next level, and there are many more. Dismiss doubts from people inexperienced with alternative realities; ground ourselves through the nature and our body so we can plug into the materialistic reality at will.
True faith is by nature intuitive; it perceives the reality of what is not evident, not manifested, and accepts it. …Faith leading to a sense of certainty requires primarily faith in oneself, that is in the real Self, in what we are essentially.Roberto Assagioli
Finding and maintaining faith in this state of flux is another paradox we face. Without faith we’re cut off from the higher power; without connecting to a higher power, we have no ground of faith. Faith is a conscious choice, and it takes intention and dedication to build one anew. By all means –meditation, prayer, divination, synchronicity, art, or nature –investigate and establish a constant connection with the Infinite, the Universe, The Supreme Consciousness, God –as we understand it, because no more advance can be made until we develop a personal religion and see ourselves as droplets of the infinity with unfettered, direct access –without intermediaries.
My reason will still not understand why I pray, but I shall still pray, and my life, my whole life, independently of anything that may happen to me, is every moment of it no longer meaningless as it was before, but has an unquestionable meaning of goodness with which I have the power to invest it.Leo Tolstoy
On the other end of the spectrum, Pluto’s destruction proceeds in due course. Advanced neurosis, violence, domination, and exploitation are predictable devolution of those choosing fear and anger over growth. Since Pluto tends to go all the way, it makes a compelling argument for harnessing Pluto’s unrelenting energy and continuing our striving upward.
Self-Mastery vs. Corruption
I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.Hermann Hesse
Pluto’s force works both ways; it strengthens and destroys with the same intensity. When applied constructively to love, dedication, and courage, extraordinary miracles happen. Applied destructively, Pluto exacerbates debasement and its subsequent purgation.
To path to master our Pluto is the path to self-mastery. First, we rein in all haphazard mental processes and communications. Investigate and clarify our intentions, eliminate internal conflicts and self-sabotage. Train our attention to achieve laser-sharp focus as well as all-encompassing perspective. Discover the power of silence and deploy our time, energy, attention, and personal data with awareness and purpose.
Next, we detach from drama. Our emotional reactions –for the most part –are shaped in the past and constantly lagging behind the present. Instead of going with our reflexes, let the emotions wash over and only respond in manners that aligns and fortifies our missions. From the highest love to the strongest condemnation, deliberated release and withholding of emotion is Pluto’s domain. With self-awareness and discipline, we can be free from emotional manipulation and use our emotions to effect our environment at will.
The will is not merely assertive, aggressive, and controlling. There is the accepting will, yielding will, the dedicated will. You might say that there is a feminine polarity to the will – the willing surrender, the joyful acceptance of the other functions of the personality.Roberto Assagioli
Self-mastery is often associated with a strong will. The secret of a strong will is that it has little to do with strength, stamina, or control. Rather, it is about a conviction and dedication so complete that it leaves no room for doubts and limitation. We achieve Self-mastery when our personal objectives are incorporated by the transpersonal, and the Self –the center of our consciousness that straddles the material and spiritual planes –are under the directive of the higher consciousness.
If we are diligent, we will live in unshakable faith and trust that everything happening to us is a beneficial learning experience. Knowing that we are nothing but one indestructible facet of the Infinity, we have nothing left to fear. Our preoccupations will naturally rise above the self-preservation; personal wants will yield to universal concerns. New talents will likely surface and change the course of our lives.
The greatest achievement is selflessness.Atiśa as quoted by Walter Taminang
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the world’s ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
Rising from shattered Ego and illusions, our unified Self is the key to Pluto’s inexhaustible power. Moving forward, our endeavors will be propelled by the same unstoppable force that shapes the arc of history and civilization. This is the beginning of magic and miracles.
To be continued…
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