Taurean Resistance

One of the great things we are learning through the Taurus perspective is the value of gratitude and appreciation for what we have. This principle is clearly at the heart of alchemy and the process of creative manifestation. As Lynne Twist says “What you appreciate appreciates”. However, when this appreciation is limited to those things that we have come to identify as being exclusively “mine”, as being opposed to “yours”, then surely we are doing precisely the opposite, and actually resisting and stifling the creative process. Perhaps there is a fine line between gratitude and smugness.

For example, I might value and appreciate and love the house that I live in. I might love it so much in fact, just so, the way it is, that I take steps to preserve it that way at all costs, ensuring that others don’t come in and ‘mess it up’, rearrange things, disrupt the perfect order of it. I might love and appreciate it so much that I forget to live and let live in it, so anxious that it might become something else that doesn’t fit my picture of perfect order and contentment. I might love it so much the way it is that I forget that it is alive with possibility, alive with participatory presence.

If I try and keep something the way it is and use gratitude and appreciation as a way of resisting the natural cycles of life, then it would seem that I am inhibiting or restricting the dynamic of transformation necessary for the processes of life to occur. The “thing” that I appreciate only has value when I experience myself as being in relationship with it, and I can only be in relationship with it, if I experience its aliveness. By restricting its own transformational potential by attributing exclusive ownership to it and guarding it against the interest and attention of others, I will actually strangle the life out of it, and end dragging it around with me, like the proverbial “dead horse”.

When we are living our lives from the Taurean perspective, then we can become very comfortable with what we have. After all, if everything was really fine just the way it was, why would we want to change anything? This is really part of the paradoxical quality of this sign. Does it mean that gratitude and appreciation is really a double-edged sword? Through reflecting on this, I have been reminded me of the need to be inclusive with my gratitude. I mean, it’s one thing to be grateful for the all the things I obviously love and cherish – but what about all things I don’t ordinary welcome or enjoy. Can I be equally grateful for those? Can I be grateful for the things that upset the status quo and disrupt our sense of contentment? Can I welcome in change and transformation over settlement and security. Can I feel secure in the midst of uncertainty? Can I remain in touch with the centre of our being, even as the wheel turns and crushes the old form? I strikes me that these questions lie at the heart of our alchemical enquiry and should thus certainly be included in our practices of gratitude. Again, the story of the Buddha is instructive, that great Buddhic realisation that the circumstances need not determine your inward experience of being. And it is this inward experience of being which is the alchemical gold sought by the true alchemists and misunderstood by the “puffers”.

So the Taurean perspective can very easily become one that resists the journey of transformation. Certainly, the element of earth offers a natural resistance to fire. In Aries, it was all about creativity and sparks of life. Taurus has a settling influence, but can easily become too settled! After all, when the element of earth is well nourished it is a natural extinguisher for the creative fire. So it is worth asking ourselves this month where in our lives we may be getting complacent with our current situation in life and afraid to change.

John x

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