Twelve Phases of Human Experience
CAPRICORN - Page 2 of 3
Centered in his ego, a human person is but a limited and narrow organism of life and consciousness. He is, symbolically, a small tribe, a small State. He is separate from all other personalities. His Leo pride is a perpetual bondage. His creative gestures are rooted but in the small realm of his personal experience and his own geographical surroundings. But when man ceases to refer every feeling, every valuation, every thought to the center of his own narrow being; when man, through social interchanges and through love, through education and world-understanding, through commerce, travel and planet-wide contacts, succeeds in assimilating the vast contents of the civilized world of his time — then he must discover another center of reference; he must accept another framework of consciousness to hold all he has obtained. The "fortified castle" of his ego is left behind and he moves his residence to the "metropolis" of his greater Self. However, it also may be that by making such a move away from his small center of power, he becomes a mere attendant at the court of some powerful Emperor, a passive participant in the greatness and the glory of the empire.
The growth of a small tribe into a vast empire, like the Roman Empire, parallels most accurately the unfoldment of a personality from his narrower sense of ego and his individual pride to the condition where either the man becomes a master of greater life, or a passive participant in some vast power-group from which he absorbs knowledge, sustenance and power in reflected glory.
Capricorn symbolizes thus any typical State-organization encompassing large territories and various racial groups, and all that goes with such an organization, especially politics and the play of power. It symbolizes also in the individual human being that mysterious stage of being and consciousness, of which the perfected Oriental Yogi is the most characteristic representative: viz. the man who, though he live alone, has made of his personality a vast cosmos over which he exercises a special kind of control, and, though he be a mendicant, is rich with the wealth of all society and a participant in the power and glory of transcendent Hosts. Nevertheless Capricorn represents also the courtier who worships at the shrine of some potentate and receives crumbs of power, and the modern politician (or bureaucrat) who is a little wheel in a big machine draining vitality from the State which it is meant to serve.
In Cancer, the personality finds the consummation of its selfhood in becoming completed by a permanent partner and definitely established in a home; yet this consummation contains also the seed of that which will ultimately overcome the individual ego. The triumph of society over personality lurks in the conjugal embrace which, at the time, seems to the man but an exaltation of self and of the powers of self.
Likewise in Capricorn, society and all the collectivizing forces of life seem to triumph in the establishment of the powerful State. There also the individual man, having assumed a profession and a particular social function, seems to have consolidated himself forever in this function. But such Capricornian achievements have in themselves the germ of their destruction. Behind any perfected State stands the impending and unavoidable Revolution. No professional achievement is stable because society is not a static entity, and, out of the constantly moving flux of social relationships and social opportunities, challenges to any established order must arise from new generations, from new inventions, from new materials conquered but not assimilated.
The Capricornian State cannot be set; because it is, by definition, built on far and forever expanding factors, on credit and commerce, on metaphysical speculations which are not susceptible of concrete proofs, and on religious organizations which must be destroyed by the very men who take their beliefs most to heart and incorporate them in their lives: mystics and saints. A small tribal organism can persist for millennia because it is so concrete; because the value of its regulations is evident and its blood-unity is incontrovertible. But an empire must keep shifting its boundaries; politicians must make compromises and bargains with those who, aroused to a taste of power, will want constantly more and will destroy their leaders. The wealthy, in order to increase their wealth, must educate the masses into becoming both technicians to handle machines and consumers to absorb the machines' products. And the masses, thus educated, will rise. Civilization — the Capricornian god — must forever destroy itself while increasing its scope and its powers. Its noblest children are the very ones who will be the leaders in this destruction: the reformers and dreamers, these minds whom no achievement can ever satisfy. They will carry in their souls the signature of Aquarius.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
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