The other day, a buddy of mine (shout out to Chris G!) commented on my blog about object permanence by saying what I described reminded him of the dual nature of Castor and Pollux, twin brothers in Greek mythology that rule the astrological sign of Gemini. Generally, I hate it when people bring up things about which I am completely ignorant.
Which is a lie. I like learning. So I had to look up Gemini and the Greek twins, Castor and Pollux. In short, Gemini lives under a dual sign, and many parts of the Gemini live in bipolar opposites of itself. For example, a Gemini may love to travel, but may be just as likely to run in circles instead of traveling any distance. A Gemini can be quick-witted and ingenious, but a Gemini may be the first to become bored, restless, and frustrated by sameness and routine. A Gemini is a chameleon, a most mutable sign, able to fit into any environment; however, at parties, Geminis crave the spotlight and love to impress others with their wit, charm and intelligence. Geminis can run hot and cold, often simultaneously. Geminis are full of contradictions, living passionately inside both the up and down-sides of life.
Sounds like those under the sign of Gemini could benefit from Prozac.
Which is a joke. Because all of us have elements of the Gemini, all of us are prone to dual, bipolar parts of our own nature.
Chris’s comment led me to thinking about how many components of our lives are shared in complicated, multi-dimensions.
We live in the past and the present simultaneously. If you were to ride a bike today, the one thing that would keep you from falling off and cracking your skull is that you have already learned to ride a bike some time in your past. What you learned and developed into muscle-memory years ago serves you well today. Imagine if you had to experience each event of your day for the first time, having no benefit from your past experiences. The concept of Velcro might be enough to push you over the edge.
Don’t curse your past. Be grateful for it. It made you who are today.
We live in failure and victory simultaneously. I had a college roommate who forgot that he had to deliver an introductory speech in freshmen speech class. He went in cold, unprepared. And failed miserably. He laughed that he struggled to remember his own name. But a funny thing happened as a result of that failure: he never went in unprepared again. In fact, he wrote things out longhand, and then he asked me to review everything he planned to say. The failure he experienced planted the seeds for future victory.
When I was in college, I took racquetball my freshman year. Once I converted my experience in tennis into racquetball, I got good quickly. Soon, I entered into competitions, and I began hanging out around the courts in my free time in the same way a pool hustler might hover around the entrance of a pool hall. Long story short, I complained to my PE teacher that I couldn’t find any competition. He offered to play me. And he destroyed me. Thank goodness I can’t see my own butt because I’m sure I still wear a concave circle on my left cheek from where he hit me with a ball that traveled near the speed of light. What happened? My past victories against inexperienced, novice players set me up for failure. I became arrogant and lackadaisical, my victories lulling me in to complacency.
Use your failures as seeds of success; don’t let your victories suck you into an expectation of future victories. You still have to do the work.
We live as male and female simultaneously. Yes, I know that males and females are different. I took anatomy class, too. But a man who has no feminine traits is quite likely to be a jerkface who swaggers like a peacock, claims to know absolutely everything, and never needs to ask for directions since the world revolved around and for him alone. A woman who has no masculine traits might be interesting, cute and helpless in the same way a puppy is before it opens its eyes. But that’s going to get old fast.
The most solid and balanced individuals have both masculine and feminine traits. More importantly, strong and secure individuals aren’t afraid to show those dualistic traits.
We live as good and evil simultaneously. At times we are giving, generous, caring and kind. Moments later, we can become overbearing, selfish, cruel and calculated. Sound like another need for meds? Maybe. St. Paul would call those two sides our “old and new nature” fighting it out. In truth, we all have the capability of being charm personified when it suits our needs; likewise, we can be evil incarnate when pushed too far or when we believe that meanness will get us what we want.
Suppressing your more base, evil urges is like sucking in your gut; the longer you do it, the easier and more automatic it becomes. And the more you exercise your kindness muscles, the more cut-n-buff your spirit will become.
If you meet a Gemini today, give him or her a hug. It must not be easy to be that conflicted and crazy. And if you meet any non-Gemini today, give him or her a hug. Because it must not be easy to be that conflicted and crazy, either.