* Mars and Pluto together (among many other things) reflect both desire and anger, as well as the relationship between desire and anger.
* When we desire something we are driven to make the choices that we believe will result in getting what we want.
* We are not always aware of what we desire, or we are not always aware of why we desire what we desire.
* As a result, we are often making choices based on desires that we do not understand, or desires that have us in their grip.
* A simple way of testing how aware we are of our desires, or of why we desire what we desire, and hence why we act and behave the way that we do, is to try meditating or sitting silently and observing our thoughts and feelings for a few hours. Afterward, we can ask ourselves a few basic questions. What was I just thinking about? Do I recall all of it? Why was I thinking the thoughts that came into my mind? Where did these thoughts come from? Most of us cannot answer these questions fully during a ten or fifteen-minute meditation session, let alone a few hours.
* It’s a simple step from here to the admission that we don’t fully understand our desires, why we have them, or where they come from.
* Because of this lack of awareness, a few things happen regularly and predictably. We get what we want only to feel confused, saddened, or even enraged when we cannot keep what we have, or when what we have requires more upkeep or maintenance than we have time, energy, or desire for. We then either insist that what we have is truly making us happy, exerting as much energy as possible to maintain the appearance of being pleased with ourselves, or we replace an old desire with a new desire, often without any more awareness than we had of our last desire.
* These cycles happen every day, every month and year, relentlessly. The longer we play the game the more power we accumulate over others or the more frustrated we become. We either feel like we’re winning, or we feel like we’re losing.
* The belief that happiness, true happiness, is found in either winning or losing, is maddening. It eventually makes us angry or it literally drives us mad.
* It drives winners mad by eventually forgetting them, robbing them of their trophies, and making their accomplishments irrelevant, no longer sweet, no longer anything, and it drives losers mad by making them feel frustrated, making them feel as though the deck is stacked against them, that the rules are unfair, and that there is no real hope, meaning, or goodness to be found. Despair is the end point for winners and losers and anger is one of the most commonly traveled roads to its bitter conclusions.
* So the question becomes how do we live with desire? How do we relate to the fire of desire that lives, naturally, inside of us? How can we possibly deny that we are creatures of desire?
* The answer comes through the realization that we are more than just winners or losers. We are more than our desires and we are more than whether we ever obtain the objects of our desires or not.
* Because each time we win, and each time we prove to ourselves that we really are the champions we know ourselves to be, it turns out that we continue to exist long after the glory is forgotten. And because each time we lose, and each time we suffer the feeling that the cards are unfairly stacked against us, we continue to exist, long after the heartbreak and despair.
* In time, we come to discover who we are not by what we do or accomplish, but by what emerges after the winning and losing have passed us by. In time, every victory and every defeat, reveals to us who we are and what freedom looks like.
* It turns out that freedom is not something we “use” in the service of an outcome. Freedom is not even something that we gain or lose in a higher and more “spiritual” version of the winners and losers game. Freedom is who we discover ourselves to be after each time we mistake will, choice, action, and outcome for identity and yet continue existing, whole as ever, without beginning and without end.
* We get glimpses of this when we settle into the devastation of loss. When we fail at being moral, being spiritual, being beautiful, being smart, being an expert, being good at something…we start to become something truly unique and yet unfettered, uncommitted, with just a little less desire driving us.
* We get glimpses of this when we settle into the emptiness after the victories and celebrations. When we find the silence after accomplishment, when the bank account dips low once again, when what made us feel like we were on top of the world starts to lose its shimmer…after the anger, loss, pain, and even despair…we start to recognize a soul…something truly unique and yet unfettered, uncommitted…
* This is not a process we can will, or choose or force. It is not an instruction or imperative. It is not a path or a lineage. It is not a doctrine or dogma. It is a spiritual awareness that grows inside of us in its own way, in its own time. It does not come by forcing ourselves away from desires, and it does not come by renunciation or by meditating our way to victory. All these spiritual ambitions will also take us down the road of victory and defeat.
* From here, all we have are the suggestions of great souls.
* We are told to surrender the will and to surrender our desires to the divine. We are never told how to do this too directly or overtly. We are left to riddle with what it looks like, what it means, what it feels like, to surrender our actions, thoughts, feelings, desires, victories, and defeats to God. We are given the single hint that it matters that we give everything to God, but we aren’t told exactly how to do this.
* We are told that doing this helps the process of learning who we are, or perhaps remembering who we’ve always been, in the loving hands of God.
Prayer: Take our anger, take our will, take our victories and defeats, take all of the fairness and unfairness and show us what our personal freedom actually means. Show us what we actually look like in your eyes. Make us into the ever giving, ever receiving servants of your love.