Hanging in the Balance: Values and Ideals
Ten minutes before some teens ran a red light, I put my safety belt on. My car, now on its passenger side, I hung held only by the safety belt. At that moment, I thought about all of the experiences I didn’t choose. Regret filled my heart. I had lived two decades either striving to live as an ideal Jehovah’s Witness (replicating their values for my own) or I had wholehearted and bawdy fun as a ‘worldly’ person. Ideally, I would have liked to live in both worlds---one of rules and ‘higher’ pursuits of sacrifice and community---the other of individual freedom and desire. I could not. This car accident showed me in real time and space that a choice had to be made. Somehow my soul knew---and seemingly arranged the dramatic physical breakthrough. Time stood still. My ego surrendered to opening my heart and soul to investigating more than just the physical world.
I had recently purchased this car two days before. I had traded in my dream sports car---a midnight blue Honda Prelude. I was counting costs as my first position out of college did not pay as much as I had made working for my father. It wasn’t until I was alone in the car that I followed a soul flash to put it on. Instead of thinking that something was wrong hanging in the balance, I felt expectant of possible futures. How could I end the constant compromising with a cult-adjacent religion, dominating father and a career position at a bank I did not enjoy? Now, I realize that my ideals came out of these mental states of ‘shoulds’. With my math ability, I ‘should’ be grateful to have a beginning professional career at a bank. I should want to bet married. I should want to help my family whenever I can. These were not my ideals. I wanted meaningful work. I wanted to serve in a unique way.
Whenever a sentence contains the word ‘should’---realize the ignorance in knowing what anyone ‘should’ or ‘should not’ do, feel or think. Values, though, get their power from feeling within the physical body. Sometimes I can feel my values when I deepen and slow my breathing. There can be these flashes, images and goosebumps as my soul and body are in unison---I hang in the balance, but not from a safety belt---well, not from a literal one. Some of us can be so overly identified with ego pursuits that it can take a car accident to awaken us to ask different questions and live a life integrating soul and ego, values and ideals. I am learning to contemplate through ORM how the soul and ego coexist within our body. Yes, I could go into the seven levels of existence and/or the subtle energetic bodies, however, I have tended to glaze over when the metaphysical detail gets to this point. ORM strives, ideally, to be like your personal counselor that you can call upon at any time---a goal of independence (from any system or authority except your own) and interdependence founded upon your consistent efforts at connecting our shared roots.
How the natural through practice aka ORM aids me is through using my mind to focus upon the feeling nature of values. Near fatal car accident gave me a baseline of my protective soul voice. As we listen and integrate our soul’s voice, it will not have to ‘get our ego’s attention’ so dramatically. Sometimes simply asking ‘what would inclusiveness feel like?’ or ‘does this increase my sense of worth and others or not?’ It is personal, the bridge and integration of our ego and souls. It took the tone and syntax of my older brother who was working for General Motors at the same time of the accident. Prior to this miracle (yes, I mean this word quite specifically), whenever he would ride in the car with me, he would instruct me to put on my safety belt---truly grateful that he chose to play the older brother! The way miracles made it from an ideal to a value was simple. The insurance agent who saw me three days after the accident thought it was my sister who had the accident. By then, I had most of the formal documents under the name P. Tracy Cherry. For some unknown reason my mother had started calling me by middle name a couple of years before. I had grown tired of the name ‘Paul’ as it had been associated with the part of me that was taught to value my science/math/accounting (left brain) and to devalue my love of theatre, music, art and language. I am enjoying the ‘A’ for 'Arts’ in the STEM equation; this feels like a collective ideal to help with those right-brained creatives finding themselves and skill sets valued, not dismissed. We can leave the hierarchy and worship (overvaluing and idealizing) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics STEM and join the Arts, much like the ego and soul learn to constantly seek balance with each other. It is the seeking, the awaring that matters to our continued evolution on this planet---rooted in unity and love.
Today I have valued a transparency between bridging the gaps between my ego’s self-interest and my soul’s interconnectedness. Even though my desire to be of service to the community and world as an astrologer, I realize that my need to be ‘in the know’ can (and often does) have ego and its machinations written all over it. Yet, when I relax in the consistent reflection on how my soul has held the larger (and definitely more inclusive) lesson plan of my life---I can play with the ego and it can play with me.
Part of letting go of the ‘Paul’ part of my being was how serious it was. I aged into a sense of humor. The ability to laugh at oneself is mostly soul driven. I value my sense of humor through living a ‘yes, and’ life of an improvisational actor. Ironically, Paul means ‘humble’. Humor can be sourced from humility. As a former Jehovah’s Witness, this virtue was valued but for reasons to display to others. The more hours you knocked on doors or taught the ‘worldly’ the more status you had in the eyes of the elders in the congregation. My parents, however, valued education---and being two practical earth signs they both agreed that I would finish my undergraduate education. Their values were markedly different on religion (Dad was a politician and businessman, Mother was a Jehovah’s Witness---they don’t vote or get involved in politics). They agreed that I (Paul) would be the first one of our family to graduate from college.
Though I compromised my value of language and art to get a degree in Financial Accounting. Ideally, the ‘A’ in STEAM would have coexisted as a partner with my Business major. I had put off declaring a major until the administration at Wayne State University would not let me register. My close friend oft-handedly said--”your father owns a business, why not go into business?’ Another practical earth sign who can easily value the world money, status and practicality. Now, I know that as an emotive water sign, I may be good at numbers, but they are not my passion. When you reflect upon your personal passions, and value them, you hold your course---no matter what those around you may say. Ideals are important in guiding your personal values. These loftier aspirations center around what you would do in a perfect world.
After having a cousin of mine (who speaks and sings in at least four languages) relentlessly chided me while I was a Financial Accounting to return to my Spanish and French, now I can see how my soul did not let me off the hook. We went to the same university. I would see him on campus. I valued his perseverance. Ideally, I wish I would have listened. However, the business degree, the last near fatal car accident and leaving Jehovah’s Witness and Detroit---I continued to value serving the community. I thought I could do this through becoming a lawyer---a wholly egocentric pursuit if there ever were one. Now, I can laugh. Yet I knew in the first couple of weeks this was a colossal mistake. By then my soul had given me the language of Numerology, Tarot and Astrology---in that order. For several years I studied the soul’s language alongside ego’s language of ‘contract law’ etc.
By second year law (after one law clerk position in Detroit), I had business cards printed. The first business was called ‘Chocolate Blessings’. The second one ‘Soul Peace’. The soul made it’s way into my narrow awareness back in the day! I communicated to anyone who would ask me that I intended to be a professional astrologer. I could be found studying for a Contract Law class and have an Astrology book with me. Hell, I took clear quartz crystal (double terminated) into the bar exam! The soul knows. This Wholeness kept me valuing to see and speak other people’s potentials as demonstrated through their natal charts. I realized what I sacrificed as not practicing law---money, relationships, status and reputation. (These are all egocentric and narrow and when divorced from the soul temporary and shallow. Realize, though, our souls have access to infinite time and space, we grow and become aware at our own pace) What I gained is a lifetime of magic, synchronicities and a profound feeling of love and gratitude emanating from my soul in Wholeness. What the soul demonstrated was a more joyous picture through staying aligned with my intention. It took almost a decade to do this work full time. Wholeness is a main ingredient in my life, whereas, had I taken my law license to stay in Washington State I would have not known and exhibited the living out of my values daily feels like. Ideally & paradoxically, there are no more words to express how this makes me feel. Legally changing my name to Quan provides some clues that my soul/ego voice will speak about later.