Reading this morning in The Agony and the Ecstasy about Rome in the time of Michaelangelo, so divided into sectors and factions, and sunk in corruption. How could a pure idea ever be taken seriously in a place like that – not even one Rome – ‘a hundred Romes’?
Well, the only thing that can ride upon the waters of chaos is a great idea that (gradually or quickly – it is not impatient or mortal) takes hold in the minds of those who perpetuate the chaos. Then, as it is tried out, to the extent that it is a good one, it spreads and has an effect. Our job is not like Hercules to clean the stables of king Augeas; or if it is, we need to divert a river of thought, not start scrubbing the vast stables of the human city in our own mortal strength. That strength we should leverage by ‘hanging out a shingle’ and teaching, portraying or in whatever way suits us, communicating the precious ideals by which we live.
hang out your shingle (American) to start your own business, especially as a doctor or a lawyer He hung out his shingle in Brandon many years ago, and has been a lawyer there ever since.
So, for me, I feel good that I have had the opportunity to hang out a shingle literally at the little oasis of the arts, in the Quarry:
It is a start. I just need to remember to work on the ideas, not on people as such. And to work on another thing that has become clearer to me as almost the top duty of a person who would be wise: Attunement. That is, if we want clear communion with and vision of Ideals and Truth (including of course the truth about love), we must get our bodies and minds into attunement so that they are a clear instrument, like a telescope with clean mirror and lenses for surveying the heavenly realms, as it were. ‘It’s all in Plato‘, of course! The alternative is to keep seeking feelings and gratifications subjectively, taking up any thought-forms that move us however vaguely, judging them not by their truth but by how good they make us feel at the moment. So, not to ignore the body and brain, but to remember that they have, or are, windows, not just walls on which to hang whatever pictures take our fancy. Not that pictures, romantic or whatever, are bad, not at all; but let’s try to remember to keep our ‘picture windows’ clear, open the curtains regularly, and clean the glass too. Then, when we connect with others, we can speak clearly, not just of what we have hanging on our walls, but of the shared Truth out there.
And the first truth is perhaps that we are all connected, and evolve through real, continued connection with one another, and trade and thrive materially too. What a wonderful prospect for those of us who have like me been isolated for so long!
My shingle is up. I’m ready for connection…