Resolution Means Flow

golden three-faced Janus headFierce determination, popular while January 1 approaches, feels opposite to going with the flow. Yet they can be the same, considered in a certain light.

Traditions of beginning again personally on January 1, when the outer calendar begins again, offer rituals for backward reflection and forward vision. If the ritual is superficial – a Procrustean chopping and stretching of memory and desire to fit an external image – enthusiasm might evaporate on January 2. But if the ritual is fully engaged, there’s a chance to excavate wellsprings of true heart’s desire, of centeredness and continuity. Understanding the irony in the impulse to resolve (become free of) the past and come to a firm resolve (become steadfast) about the future is a place to begin.

Resolution (with the root solu, meaning “to take apart”) invokes the alchemical process of Solutiothe core of the word explains how the solu-tion to a problem or mystery, dis-solving something in a liquid solu-tion, and making re-solu-tions (personal or legislative) are about splintering old structures, untying old knots, melting old connections. Then the raw components of inner (even outer) history can be individually discerned for re-evaluation, so they can be allowed to flow joyfully. Or not.

For most people, life gets energetically frozen to some degree, in spots, by events too strenuous psychologically to process in the moment – or events so fabulous that the life force gets locked into a certain place and time, a certain person or situation. With parts of aliveness thus locked and blocked, the literally Natural impulse is to work around the frozen impedances and find substitute fulfillments. The workarounds make a complete “flow state” unavailable to consciousness. Even if parts of the self can flow, the frozen spots can inhibit profound re-imagination of a life.

If that person arrives at December 31 with a fierce determination to force life to become better, it can set up an inner war with one of those frozen clusters. That war can include mixed motives like personal relief (life will improve and I will win) or a rosier outer picture for display (look at my plans, not at me as I am now). This is the war implied by the classical Janus, facing forward and backward (Janus’s temple doors were open in war, closed in peace). The golden Janus posted here has three faces: to include the present self looking into the heart of the viewer, reflecting a living Presence beyond the illusions of memory and desire.

The intent to be fully present, not reacting to the past or crimped by promises about the future, brings up popular advice to “integrate” all one’s life experiences, including the roughest pain. That can sound like a recommendation to pour mud into one’s dreamed-of new life. Instead, the alchemical Solutio means DIS-integrating everything first, taking it all apart, the way a high-resolution photo shows every dot of color in isolation, offering clarity. The frozen clusters of history dissolve in a compassionate witnessing Presence that first acknowledges every pinpoint detail, free of associations, reactions, and judgments. This de-bonding of old connections can liberate tremendous energy, happily flooding the system with liveliness.

If the New Year’s intent is to becoming fully resolved, backward and forward and in the moment, the question becomes how to melt a frozen cluster that’s blocking the way. One way is “pendulation” (swinging back and forth) between a frozen spot and a treasured feeling or memory, a movement that generates a resolution of opposites and brings the transcendent Self into awareness: with hands on the solar plexus, the act of breathing into places in the body where old experience is still frozen, and alternating the edginess with favorite feelings, like a pendulum, can unlock and melt (resolve) the energetic blocks, turn old facts into ephemera, rewire the nervous system, and light up new possibilities.

With practice, the Self’s energetic hand holding the imaginal pendulum – from a point above the conflict – becomes more and more palpable. This hand is ever more obviously the stillpoint in one’s turning world, a metaphorical point of unity with all that is. It is the witness, the observer, the refuge from conflicting drives, the locus of flow and true resolution. It creates a triangle, its own unity at the pinnacle where ultimate Reality is fluid, with lines to the pair of opposites at the base, where embodied life can be locked in polarities, in duality. This is how the apparent contradictions of heaven and earth are re-solved, so the soul can feel its existence and movement in both realms simultaneously – so the witness can watch the patterns in the sand as the steady pendulum swings in a turning trembling universe.

Thus the hidden obstacles to the integrity and power of the heart’s desire disappear. The heart’s wishes come clear, as do the motions of Creation.

Resolution means flow.

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