After Victory, Governance

The Emperor from the Etruscan Tarot

Managing a chosen course has both richness and tedium. Once the householder has succeeded in acquiring a house and property, they must choose how and when to maintain it. The spiritual seeker develops most when learning to return to prayer and meditation on a regular basis, yet faces moments of excruciating boredom and stalled progress. Development is serpentine: we need integrity and discipline with adaptability. Some times I do not want to go running even when I know it will energize me. Some times I avoid contact with people for whom I like and care very much because something in me feels it is too much work or energy or some such thing.

When we experience life as a lack, that absence of what we think we need can irritate and interfere with every moment until it resolves. We think we need stability, security, a marriage partner, the right job, and we get motivated by the quest. What is hard to appreciate while questing is that victory does not automatically complete us. Ruling a nation is very different from fighting to conquer it. Whatever we have avoided by focusing on lack is still there. Perhaps we have childhood wounds that awaken in the context of a loving marriage. Perhaps we have persistent existential questions of meaning that flourish in a “perfect” career. The urge to debauch arises even when we feel happy with life.

The Emperor from Deviant Moon Tarot

These unresolved challenges can threaten the accomplishments we fought to gain. This is not inherently a terrible thing, but it offers us the opportunity to look again at ourselves. Why do I seek this thing, whatever this thing is, that I want to destroy when I have it? What am I trying to get from the outside that I need on the inside?

How can I bring the passion and vigor of the search into the diligence and responsibility of governance? Or how can I bring diligence and responsibility into the passion of the search? Any great work requires some balance of both. Creating something truly great needs dedication and the constant return to doing while remaining open to inspiration and guidance. We can make greatness in our lives.

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