Remorse and Renunciation

Today is the rare alignment, Saturn square Pluto, that all the astro-heads are hopped up about. My reading of it is this: Saturn square Pluto translates as, “Karma meets Transformation.” Or you could say: “Evolve or die.” Or put another way: “Evolve and die.” Or still another way: “Die and then evolve.” Any one of those could apply in this situation.

(Not for nothing, but the Saints play the Rams today. Pray for us sinners . . .)

Emily gave us two poems today. They are linked.

#744, c. 1863

Remorse is Memory — awake —
Her Parties all astir —
A Presence of Departed Acts —
At window — and at Door —

Its Past — set down before the Soul
And lighted with a Match —
Perusal — to facilitate —
And help Belief to stretch —

Remorse is cureless — the Disease
Not even God — can heal —
For ’tis His institution — and
The Adequate of Hell —

Then she gave us this one.

#745, c. 1863

Renunciation — is a piercing Virtue —
The letting go
A Presence — for an Expectation —
Not now —
The putting out of Eyes —
Just Sunrise —
Lest Day —
Day’s Great Progenitor —
Renunciation — is the Choosing
Against itself —
Itself to justify
Unto itself —
When larger function —
Make that appear —
Smaller — Covered Vision — Here —

Remorse and Renunciation are cousins. They visit occasionally but not often enough. Remorse is the awareness of one’s own actions and the consequences. It is a sensitivity to the movement of karma in one’s life. It feels like a sickness, but it is “cureless” because nothing can mend past actions. Once you wake up to your own role in the flow of events, you can never shut down that awareness. Can never eradicate it from memory. Not even God himself could make a hell better than the one we make for ourselves with an excruciating awareness of our own responsibility for whatever we’re standing in. Rather, Emily wants us to know that this excruciating self awareness is one of the gifts God gave us. For what? A wider consciousness makes angels of us all. Eventually. Don’t stop here, she says. Keep moving.

Then comes renunciation. This is a more knotty thing. “A piercing virtue.” Oh, that’s hard to live with. It’s the cure that hurts. You must make some kind of sacrifice in order to progress beyond the square you’re standing on. Suffering is a form of vanity, surely. At the very least an unwholesome attachment. The ego loves to define itself to itself by telling its own stories over and over. Whatever it is that you are holding that keeps you where you are, let it go, Em says. Just release your grip. Let it go in the same neutral manner that one day lets go of its claim on earth with the unstoppable movement of the sun. Allow yourself to be new as the day.

There is no progress into a full sense of life, without an unambiguous renunciation of the past. Let it go, Emily instructs us. Not because it is good. Not because it is bad. Only because it is past.


Filed under Emily Every Day

2 responses to “Remorse and Renunciation

  1. im going with “Evolve or Die” … like the idea of a choice.

  2. Constance

    Good choice Dor. That’s the ticket! Conscious awareness and directed movement. I’d choose that too. love, C.

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