“Let none put faith in the first sown fruit not yet his son too soon; whim rules the child, and weather the field, each is open to chance” — The Havamal.
In the modern world we see the majority seek instant gratification, instant satisfaction, and instant success. We see individuals crying over being judged or being made to fit into a “hierarchical paradigm.” And we see individuals broken-hearted over the failure of first attempts. These immature attitudes reveal much about the individual and his relationship to the Soul, and it also reveals much about the individual’s relationship to Time.
While this verse shares an important message about trust, it also adumbrates an important message about incubation, Time, and how these ideas relate to the journey of life. It is important to remember that the fast pace of the modern world works in complete opposition to the idea of incubative heat developed from long-term commitment to our goals and creativity in our lives, and to the creation of the ultimate life-project, the revelation of the Self within the body. The waxing and waning of time echoed in the radiations of the Moon are deeply connected to the emotions which manifest throughout the various phases of our lives. Feelings come and go, as fleeting as lightning, shadows or the mood of a child.
I find it fascinating how the modern world apotheosizes the child, turning all its whims into symbols of “innocence” or “the divine”, when in reality it’s the basic expression of youth, inexperience and immaturity, all which could not survive without the protection of its polar opposite. We must remember that the mind is much like a child, with moods changes day by day, often even minute by minute.
Yet we do not need to abandon our goals or our focus and become possessed by the temporary emotional swings of the mind. We must create a larger picture of life, a larger over-arching goal which transcends the mechanistic mundane world yet immerses us deeply into the mysterious corporeal landscape of the Soul. We can find this in numerous pathways from the East such as martial arts or Yoga, however we can also find this in the simple expression of dedicated physical training.
Organizing one’s life around a physical practice such as martial arts or weight training is often mocked or belittled by the modern mind, yet the majority in today’s world willingly sacrifice their lives to empty jobs, television or video games. Having a long term goal involving a commitment to the body teaches one patience, dedication, focus and commitment, all qualities which today seem as artifacts of an ancient time. We can move away from the daily childish whims of the emotional mind and forge pathways to the Soul which can guide us through the darkness of the ego and the vacuity of the modern environment.
This verse also mentions the interesting unpredictable behavior of the weather, a powerful metaphor for the unpredictability of life. Despite our most well-laid plans, the unpredictable can and will occur. Just as predictions of the weather are rarely dependable, we must be ready for our goals and plans to meet roadblocks or even failure. When this occurs, we need not be discouraged or distraught like a child not receiving instant gratification. Rather we can use the roots of our goals and the Solar rays of the Soul to remind us of the waxing and waning of the Lunar mind and the mundane world, and remind ourselves of the deeper commitment to the alchemical journey of life, in all of its beautiful and unpredictable susurrations.
A true “childlike” vision is one which remains open to chance, open to change, and open to adaptability. Take the time to cultivate this deeper vision which is built upon patience, discrimination and dedication and use it as a compass in the dark turbulent waters of the modern world. It may not guarantee success or survival, but it will guarantee the satisfying taste of a warrior’s life.
The race of life has no time clock and can end any moment or last for 100 years. Who knows how long the road unto the Soul may last? But we can walk the path with faith and confidence knowing that no childish whim or defeat can stop our journey unto the Soul realm, the realm outside of the machinations of Time and Lunar phases, and into realms beyond mundane conception. Edward Abby echoes this clearly:
Now that the race is over, the weather has changed. The wind is blowing hard and a pall of yellow dust obliterates the horizon. The sun goes down behind moaning winds, leaving a cloudless, sinister, and lingering red glow across the Western sky. It looks like the end of the world.
Maybe it is. The Hopi prophesies call for such a termination. But they offer consolation too: this world, they say, like former worlds, will be succeeded by yet one more.