The Chaos Factor | Weekly | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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The Chaos Factor 

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One thing I hear about a lot in my role as an astrologer is a struggle with meaning. Not everyone is blessed with an inner compass pointing them in a dependable direction. Most of the landmarks that one uses as navigational references are also endangered species.

American culture had relatively few rites of passage to begin with: high school graduation, first car, college graduation, embark on career, get married, have children, and so on. These still exist, but in ways that are less significant or  even insignificant for more and more people. The idea of a job is getting difficult to grasp (another influence of the internet). Note to the new administration: the jobs have not gone to Mexico or China. The jobs have gone to robots.

The environment we're in makes it difficult to see where we've been, where we are and where we might go. To do this will take seeing yourself in the context of your environment, which means really, truly paying attention to the invisible background. More than anything, that means your interior reality.

It's getting difficult to describe this elusive thing, interior reality, in an environment where it's been blown inside out. There was a time not long ago when nearly all communications had a reasonable chance of being private. When you would mail someone a letter, it was not copied over on 10 different servers. When you made a phone call, all but actual targets of investigations could be sure that nobody in the government or the phone company recorded it.

Young people today who have grown up going through security checkpoints on the way into high school, having bag and locker searches, and being declared psychiatric cases based on poems written in their diaries have no concept of privacy. Many young people have been subjected to stop-and-frisk tactics of the police on public streets. Most do not remember a time before this happened. Privacy means you can walk down the street or get on a subway train and not be searched.

The loss of privacy translates into not just a loss of interior space but also a loss of the idea that it might exist. Then add the internet, the use of which has trained everyone to blow their minds inside out, sharing every personal thought and private detail as if it's breaking news.

While we've been busy doing this, the magicians of marketing have colonized our minds with their branding, their jingles and most of all, with their concept of who you should be. This has been going on for a long time, though most advertising now has nothing to do with the product and is all about the life you should be living, who you're supposed to be and what you're supposed to want. You might think of all of this as "invisible background," if only because it's so prevalent that it's nearly impossible to see.

We Need to Reclaim Inner Space

My perspective is that the present chaos of the world—and our seeming inability to rein it in—involves the collapse of interior boundaries. This is the effect of something, which I've described in the preceding paragraphs. It's not getting any easier. Those influences are only growing more frantic as they compete for our attention, loyalty and money.

The need to cultivate inner space has never been more important. As in never, ever. How to do that would be the subject of an excellent article series or book; and speaking of books, reading them is an excellent way to start. Devoting yourself to art, music, and writing is also deeply helpful for cultivating inner space.

And then there is sex, the most maligned, co-opted, and misunderstood subject in all of existence. Connecting with sexuality has the power to save our souls like few things. The fact that it's so maligned and misunderstood requires careful handling. It calls for having real information. We also need to develop the language to communicate with one other about our inner reality as we discover it. That transaction—sexual self-discovery combined with learning to relate those experiences to others—can provide some of the best direction you've every had in your life. You can gain access to your "original instructions" and begin to get a more tangible understanding of how to be of use.

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