Essential Dignity

Being what I am and growing up the way I did, politically speaking, I’m pretty liberal.  I don’t often like to talk about politics, mostly because it’s become to polarized as of late to the point where it’s pretty pointless, but it doesn’t stop me from getting on Reddit (/r/politics/) or Wonkette to read up on current and political events and periodically getting incensed by some of the BS I keep reading, political or otherwise.  It’s gotten so bad that I, horrible at remembering who’s who amongst the talking heads, can pick out a number of politicians or other political speakers by face and name.  For someone who almost takes a perverse pride in not keeping up on pop culture, this is kinda embarrassing.

I’m gay.  I think the government should collect taxes to provide for the people in whatever ways the people agree to.  I think people should benefit each other though a centralized collection agency to distribute funds and resources appropriately for all people to benefit equally from the system.  I think the government should protect one’s ability to choose (birth control, religion, speech, gun control, marriage, etc.) instead of enforcing one of many choices (often from a particular religious standpoint).  These are only a few of the positions I take on current events and issues, and I’m not bringing this up to discuss them here.  I understand that a lot of these positions make a lot of people angry, often irrationally so, and some of these traits (namely the one that drives me to date, love, and fuck whom I will) will also incite violent or murderous tendencies against me, which is really a shame.  And I know many politicians or popular leaders, both in my country and in many others, who claim that I’m an abomination and deserve death for my oh-so-sinful ways because I’m just so icky.

And I look at pictures of these political and public leaders claiming for my death or incarceration, or the politicians trying to legislate that all people follow the tenets of a particular line of a particular sect of a particular religion no matter how draconian they may be, or those who insist on taxing lower-income people at higher rates than higher-income people across the board.  I see them next to the headlines of the awful, bigoted things they say, which makes me angry at their faces and pictures.  I don’t do emotion very well, but anger and I get along nicely, and I indulge myself in that kind of fiery feeling when it comes to policy and politics.  Sometimes, I want to turn their heated rhetoric right back on them.

But then I realize that if I took away the headlines and just had the pictures…well, I’d just see pictures of people.  Older men and women in suits.  Sometimes younger people leading other people.  People who are human, just like me.  People who had a mother and a father with their own problems.  People with their own hopes, dreams, aspirations, worries, and fears.  People who were born and who will eventually die.  People who have illnesses and day-to-day concerns about their health and livelihoods, no matter how fortunate or unfortunate.  People who had an upbringing with experience that taught them the things they know.  People who laugh and cry and get angry and get sad and fall in love and fall down heartbroken.  People who sometimes work and who sometimes relax, who sometimes like getting mired in the world and who sometimes need to escape.  People who have their own set of circumstances, context, and setting to deal with and who gave them the head start or handicap they have.  People who breathe, who bleed, who get sick, who get injured.  People who are human, just like me.

I realize that I and some of the politicians and leaders may have differences of opinion or philosophy, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re still people.  Even though our thoughts on the world shape it for ourselves, it doesn’t change the fact that they still have to live and work with other humans.  If I were to swap the names and political views of two politicians, one whom I liked and one whom I disliked, it wouldn’t change their nature from essentially human, with all the dignity and damnation that humanity accords. 

In astrology, the planets aren’t constant in their power.  Depending on where a planet can be found, how fast a planet’s going, or what other astrological factors combine with the planet, its strength or ability to exert force on the world can wax or wane.  This strength is called dignity, which can either be accidental (based on non-locational astrological factors) or essential (related to the zodiac and the planet’s location in it).  Different planets are strong or weak in different places in the zodiac.  However, humans aren’t planets, and humans are greater than the sum of all the planets and elements and all the other forces in the cosmos.  Humans, unlike planets, never wax or wane in their essential dignity.  Humans always have dignity, no matter which human.

I just wish more people could realize the essential dignity of others as well as their own.  I’m not calling for some utopian brotherhood of man for us all to awaken to (though that’d be nice), but it hurts to see other people denigrating others as being less than human.  When you lay invective against the “Other”, making them seem animal or feral or viral or subhuman, you make it easy to mistreat them, even if you don’t believe the invective yourself.  When you forget that other people are still people, you forget that they have a stake in the world just as much as you do.  When you neglect another’s essential dignity, you make it easy for others to neglect your own dignity, perpetuating a cycle of hate and denigration.  And when you forsake the dignity of another, you prepare yourself for committing acts that are themselves inhuman and unfit for humanity.

Please, guys.  If you find yourself making a joke, or a snide comment, or even an unspoken thought that makes some “Other” inferior to yourself, that denigrates them, or that neglects their own personal, human concerns, catch yourself.  I don’t know how many of my readers do this, or whether this little rant of mine will at all affect the greater world, but come on, guys.  Part of the Great Work is to reclaim our race and heritage, which is both divine and human.  If all things are divine, then all things at one point or another are One, and thus we are all equals in the cosmic scheme of things.  Maintain that equality, remember that we all have the same essential dignity.  Treat others accordingly.

I brought up my political views above to make a point about polarization and differences of views not being a difference in essential humanity, not to discuss them with my readers.  That’s not the focus of this blog or this post, and any comments trying to discuss them or incite a debate on these topics will be deleted.

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About polyphanes
I'm a software developer and Hermetic occultist living near Washington, DC, USA. I claim that I'm youthful, dashing, daring, and other things. I make things and chant stuff, and periodically write about them.

3 Responses to Essential Dignity

  1. Cliche says:

    ”But then I realize that if I took away the headlines and just had the pictures…well, I’d just see pictures of people. Older men and women in suits.” Sam, this is beautiful. And I love the wordplay, I thought is would be an instructional article about Dignity in a planetary sense….and you turned in around in a very lovely manner.

    • polyphanes says:

      I thought the meaning was apropos. Essential dignity is otherwise easy in astrology, if you choose to memorize the term or face boundaries and what goes where. Eventually I’ll get an actual post on astrological dignity up or two. :P

  2. I can easily identify with your article. Sometimes I get so fed up, I changed the /etc/hosts file in my computer to replace http://www.cnn.com with http://www.happynews.com, to break the habit of just seeing terrible news.
    As a bisexual I find it difficult not to stumble across situations where news will sometimes be worse than bad, if you look at some countries religuous laws.
    It’s not the lack of dignity that is the root problem, rather it is the consequence.
    The root cause is lack of aesthetics.
    Societies who place value and freedom in arts and literature, are more likely to embrace different genders and orientation. Not because of liberalism itself, but because of an aesthetic mind is a peaceful mind.
    No clutter and ugliness is order, and beauty.
    LVX

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