Those of us who have been walking our spiritual paths for many moons understand the significance of the equinox as a cosmic-spiritual event, the equal duration of day and night, as a time for bringing ourselves into balance: the “as without-there-in-the-universe, so within-our-human-body-selves.” I’d like to draw attention to yet another magnificent way humans balance themselves every day without even knowing it: by using of the two hemispheres of their brains. In the interest of full disclosure I must state that I am just coming off reading a book called A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink and am still under its influence. He asserts that after having been under the thrall of number crunchers, contract crafters and code crankers so prevalent and revered in the Information Age, the world is moving from the logical and linear left brain thinker to more of a creative and empathetic right brain feeler/senser, and ushering in what he calls the Conceptual Age. So even our culture and economies seek balance.
Our two brain hemispheres would seem to be opposites: left hemisphere sequential, logical and analytical; right hemisphere nonlinear, intuitive and holistic. Yet in reality they are the perfect complements to each other. I once took an art therapy class in which we were required to draw and paint items having to do with our past, present and future. I found this challenging because while I might be the mistress of the four-stroke stick figure, I am not a gifted drawer. Painful as it was for me, I began the assignment. Sometime after I was into the flow of it, the leader noted that I was transferring my brush back and forth, from right to left hand. She commented that it was the right and left sides of the brain helping each other. I was unaware I had been doing that. Indeed the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and the right controls the left. And now to my point: It’s all about the balance.
As a counterpoint to the Information Age, what more people are looking for now is meaning and transcendence. The soft sided skills once regarded as a kind of New Age woo-woo are now beginning to take pride of place on the cultural and business stage. The abilities of holistic healers, artists, inventors, designers, and storytellers (yes, and even English majors!) will become more valuable than the MBAs of business graduates. Pink says these aptitudes and senses will help develop a whole new mind: Design (beauty, whimsy), Story (compelling narratives, communication), Symphony (big picture, synthesis), Empathy (relationships, community), Play (laughter, games) and Meaning (purpose, fulfillment). He calls it the age of “art and heart.”
So as you celebrate the equinox this year, think about the magnificent order and logic of the movement of the celestial bodies and equal day and night; yet also delight in the stories of ancient sites: Draco, the dragon constellation in the Great Pyramid of Egypt; the descending serpent consisting of seven reversed isosceles triangles made up of sunlight and shadow at sunset of equinox day, on the steps of the Mayan built Kukulkan Pyramid, looking like a snake and at last a light is projected on the head of the feathered serpent; giant statues facing the sunset that leads to growing darkness of Easter Island. Darkness plays a part in the work of spiritual transformation and the circles of life.