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Jun. 7th, 2011 | 08:40 pm

So, today I looked at the Amma decal on my windshield and I had a little reminder of what it felt like to be in her presence. I hadn't felt that in a long time. My sense of spontaneous devotion from a sort of deep, heart-centered space has pretty much dissipated. Even when I had that slight reminder today, it was a bit like everything else that used to feel good at one time (like misplaced affections and whatnot). There are memories on a feeling level, but ultimately they feel like illusions that belong in the past. Nothing that would impel me toward any action to seek out and hopefully find similar opportunities in the future.

I did look up the schedule for the New York programs, and vaguely considered going to one of them, but I'm not sure. If I go at all this summer, I want to go somewhat anonymously. I don't want to be a part of a group, and I don't want to be subject to people's expectations that I'm going to be anywhere at any particular time, or doing any particular activity, or be on or off a list to do such-and-such. I don' want that.

Last night I was listening to a podcast interview with neo-medieval astrologer Robert Zoller. The interviewer asked his advice for students of astrology and he registered his lack of confidence in modern, psychologically-oriented astrology (although he did express appreciation of the depth of expertise of one of the best-known practitioners of that approach). He feels that, ultimately, that approach is a rather complicated, disguised form of pop astrology. I have to say that I was originally drawn to that kind of right-brain, symbolic, Jungian approach and hoped that it would offer me practical insights into the soup of emotions I found myself in a few years ago. Every time I tried to learn from even the most highly recommended books in that tradition how to interpret a birth chart, I would end up with a confusing jumble of information and very little in the way of techniques that I could apply to a number of different charts. This seems to be a common experience. Perhaps some people work through it somehow and then proceed with confidence. Perhaps some of them delude themselves and others: I don't know. It seems that my draw toward that approach may have been related to my draw toward therapy, and I have had to step back from that as well, particularly since my mother's death. Maybe its just that some people think in certain ways and not in others: I don't know.

In any event, I'm trying to put a draining and mostly unsatisfying academic year behind me, and I'm trying to gain my bearings for what I want to accomplish this summer. I've been going over Zoller's introductory course, intermittently and rather lightly, since December. I have a feeling that I might be able to complete that this summer without too much trouble. I started feeling stuck after one of the lessons and decided to start another course on classical astrology by another well-known teacher, Lee Lehman. Lee is a somewhat heavy-set lesbian who is a martial arts practitioner and a real character. So far, I'm finding that the two complement one another, and I like some of the sources she has assigned as required reading.

Speaking of teaching, I went to campus today and saw my course evaluations from last semester. They weren't too bad: 9, 8, and 7.4 out of 10.  A number of the students in the class who gave me a 7.4 were really vicious in their comments. I guess they didn't like my sense of humor, nor did they like my academic standards. Oh, well. I taught the same course last spring and the students gave me perhaps the highest evals I've ever received. I did add more structure, because I was afraid I let last year's group get by without digging in as deeply as they should have, but once again my university is proving to me how much my notions of academic integrity are disrespected.

I need to try to work against my Virgo rising guilt and stop trying so hard to please people. I have to learn to redirect those impulses and give more to those who appreciate it (including, of course, myself) and less to those who don't.

I have a couple of music projects going that I feel so-so about. Hopefully I'll find the energy to see some of them through. I also revised the talk I gave in London into an article for web publication. Hopefully that will go through without a problem. I seem to have a hunger for reading these days. I've been looking at some British and American modernist poetry and reading a bit about it, and have also found my way to Dennis Cooper's novels, which are a bit addictive. Perhaps more on that later.

Peace,

vk 

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