by James Gillen
Imagine yourself in the experience of awaking - arising to greet the azure marvels of dawn and meet and embrace the day. The newborn day struggles to course through us with the freshness of spring, directed by the sun which has recalled us to being. This sun force orchestrates the 'score' that we have composed in our soul during the night. We find an intimate and sensitive accord between a recalling of self-conscious awareness in awaking and the general morning call to all of nature from the sun's rising. The veil of sleep is lifted to reveal an evanescent wholeness - a momentary oneness between self and nature, between dawning and becoming - in the recollection of our selves.
As we begin to recognize the choral harmony of self and nature in the joint process of dawning, we can lengthen the precious interval of awaking and devote our attention to delicate gestures of sowing that are stirred within. We can perceive that we are transplanting soul seeds gathered in the flower meadow fields of the night into the fertile, virginal ground of the morning, which we momentarily participate, in intimate union.
As the day unfolds, we feel more distance between our individuated selves and the progressively more objective qualities of events. Yet from time to time we may be able to recall the balancing union of self and sun in the dawn, as we meet the impulses we transplanted from the night, as blossoms of the day.
At deeper levels of self observation, we may discover that when we draw the natural surround through our senses - we recapitulate the process of waking up. We subconsciously replay in rapid time the slow motion of our arising - each time we come to our senses.
Our self consciousness is an awaking. Our consciousness of nature is an awaking. They are both rooted in the process of awakening itself.
Awakening and unfoldment are two polarities we can experience as the determining nature of the organism of time. We awaken in order to unfold. In unfolding we need ever and again to awaken, so that new unfolding can begin. One great drama of awaking and unfolding on the stage of the day composed of cycles of little awaken - unfold plays.
Looking at the structure of these cycles we can read the time organism of the day itself. The time of new beginnings - the spring equinox; the squaring with the challenges of the day at high noon - the summer solstice; the harvest of our creative involvement with the day in sunset - the autumn equinox; the approach and entry into the holy mysteries of night - the winter solstice.
We enter the newborn spring of day from the womb of the night, like the plant whose archetype must enliven the seed. During the summer of day we take our tasks in hand and reveal and reflect the intelligence in our initiatives, the heritage of the night is blossomed. At the autumn of the day we release ourselves to the dance of events and receive our self as the fruit and wage of our work. In the winter of the day, we enter the realm of Cinderella, we have the evil sisters of our thinking, feeling and willing that must be overcome for us to take our fairy carriage to meet the Bridegroom.
Using our artistic imagination to recognize, sincerely appreciate and creatively grasp the organism of time co-revealed in the cycle of the year and the course of the day - we come closer to singing the song of our being, we begin to synchronize with the pulse and breath of the process of becoming - the Tao, which we, and Nature, jointly participate.
From observation of the greater and lesser rhythms of awaken - unfold, we turned our attention to the clock of the day that reveals in full miniature the cycle of seasons in the course of the year. We felt our selves to be in tune with and attuned to these cycles. We saw ourselves as kin with the Tao.
If we were, however, merely one with the flow of the clock, the cycle of the seasons in the day, we would continuously swim in an ocean of inevitability and remain creatures of process, bound to the necessity of chance for the illusion of free action. The human being must counterpose each season (stage) in process with its opposite, in order to strike a position of equilibrium - a space for creative involvement. If the world swings us into new beginnings - into the sprouting, budding, growth in the spring stage of process, we must counterpose with an autumnal mood of balance between full participation and inner reflection. If we are fully drawn out into relationships and activities that squelch our sense of self in the heights of midsummer, we must counterpose with cradling the spiritual birth of our higher self in the depths of midwinter - fireflies melding with snowflakes.
Seasonal polarization takes place on the earth only in space - when the season of one hemisphere is opposed by the counter season in the other hemisphere. Seasonal polarization in man takes place in time, when the external season (stage of process, clock of the cycle of the day) is opposed by its counter season. Only through this dynamic polarization can the field of action for our thinking, feeling and willing be effective for our breath of awaken and pulse of unfold.
We can fathom this dynamic polarization in the world/soul relationship that builds a field for free action, by working with the antipodal verses in Rudolf Steiner's CALENDAR OF THE SOUL1. For any verse in the cycle of 52 verses, its antipode is found by moving 26 weeks forward.
In the spring of the day - we can counter the outer draw of the morning, as seen in verse 3 of Eastertide: "The growing I forgetting self...speaks to all the world..."; with an inner, autumnal, mood of soul, as represented in the antipodal verse 29 of Michaelmas: "To fire thinking's radiance with inmost force and draw the meaning of experience from the World Spirit's well of forces..."
In the midsummer of the day - when the pull of events dominates, as verse 12 of St. John's tells: "The glistening beauty of the world from depths of soul compels me to liberate my life's god-given forces into worldwide flight...", we can move in deep and intimate stillness to permeate ourselves with the light that shone for Shepherds and Magi resounding in the antipodal verse 38: "I feel the Spirit Child within me freed as if released from spell in womb of soul...".
As the course of a year frames the natural period for the life processes of Nature and our physical body, so the span of a day provides full compass for our I to find its equilibrium in the balance of the polarized field of outer/inner experience. Working with the antipodal verses in the Calendar strengthens our sensitive awareness of this 'field'. As we deepen our recognition of participation in the cycle of the year, we can transfer this process awareness to the course of each day and celebrate its rhythms as a Festival of Consciousness and Life. What was first bound to the seasons and globe, is now free to support the orientation and growth of the human I, each day.