The Shadow of the Groundhog # 1: The World & I


No Such Thing As Coincidence?

While I was lying awake this morning, pre-dawn, I was thinking about doing a new series of daily posts that would describe the process of promoting my new book, Seen & Not Seen, leading up to its publication date, January 31st, 2015.

I did a quick calculation and found out that the book’s release comes exactly one hundred days after the 100-day “What is Embodiment” series ended (counting post # 0, not counting the appendix).

How about that. Since I don’t believe in coincidences, what does this mean to me?


The Shadow of the Groundhog

A week or so ago I consulted Lyn Birkbeck’s Astrological Oracle with a question about how I might best approach promoting the new book as a form of my soul’s expression.

I drew the Sabian symbol for 15 degrees of Sagittarius: “A Groundhog Looking for its Shadow.” It relates to the popular folklore that, when spring is coming, the groundhog emerges from hibernation. If it sees its shadow it decides it’s too soon and withdraws into its hole. (Another coincidence: Groundhog day is February  2nd, two days after the books release.)

Leaving out why a visible shadow would indicate that spring had not yet arrived rather than the reverse (who knows what lurks in the mind of a groundhog?), I found the symbolism to be quite apropos. The Oracle then talks about how prediction is always a projection of one’s past onto the future.

Specifically, the symbolism seemed to point to how much trouble I have putting myself into the world. My pattern of extending myself in quite majorly public ways, hoping for a warm reception, then withdrawing in disappointment when I don’t get one—that is, when I “see” (or look for) my “shadow.”


My Desire to Be Established

Why would I even want to be established? Doesn’t being established mean becoming part of the establishment?

And what, if any, is the relation between embodiment and establishment?

(Groundhog symbolizes the most material part of me—i.e., my body.)


The World is a (Shadow) Mirror

Before I consulted the Oracle, I had spoken to my wife about how my own projections invariably interfere with my attempts to bring myself to the world (come out of my hole), such as when I get triggered by an unfavorable response, or worse, by no response at all. I’d decided—for the umpteenth time—that this was the real “gold” of the process, and that promoting my work was secondary to that, even incidental.

Seeing how the world receives me—or doesn’t—and more importantly, how I react (or don’t) to the world’s response (or lack of one), is an essential part of the individuation process. It’s necessary because it helps me identify the parts of my psyche that are in a codependent relationship to the collective (world), that compulsively fabricate false meanings, and pile them like sandbags against the irresistible onslaught of infinity (death).

Those are the parts I have an opportunity to recognize and let go of, while ostensibly promoting The Book.


Failure is Success

The benefit of failure is that it provides the opportunity to test my commitment to “the work.” The longer I don’t receive the many rewards of worldly validation, recognition, influence, wealth, etc., and yet still continue to dedicate myself to creative expression, the more sure I can be of doing the right thing—creating because I must, because it is the voice of my Soul, and not because it inflates my ego or my bank balance (that’ll be the day).


Does That Mean Success = Failure?

The problem with this viewpoint is that it gives rise to its opposite number, which is that my creative integrity will somehow be compromised—cheapened—by success (or even “success”)

At an even more problematic level (and here I start to intersect with the more general subject matter of Seen & Not Seen), since I believe the world is organized in such a way that only those who have proved themselves both useful to the controlling elite (plutocracy for short) and manageable by them—who have shown their allegiance to the established way of doing things (in other words, are corruptible)—are ever allowed to succeed, since I believe this, that means any kind of substantial success, for me, pretty much guarantees cognitive dissonance.

Either I will have to reevaluate my beliefs or I will undergo identity crisis.

But reevaluation of belief is identity crisis.

So for me, success = identity crisis.

Bring it on.


If you would like to help this groundhog to see past his shadow and be ready for the Spring—not to continue repeating the same day over and over—you can help me promote the book/myself by liking it on Facebook, following me on Twitter and retweeting my tweets, commenting at this blog, telling your friends via whatever social media you use (and even old flesh and blood-style), and of course, pre-ordering the book (later).

9 thoughts on “The Shadow of the Groundhog # 1: The World & I

  1. I was just going to ask when your book was coming out as it crossed my mind today.

    Wow that last paragraph is a complex struggle of dealing with the struggle to attain success, or probably to keep the “object” of success in constant chase mode.

  2. I just read synopsis for your book, awwww I’m too anxious to wait three months.

    Phenomenal metaphor you picked for yourself.

  3. First thought I had after reading this, ” oh man Jason’s really asking for it now!”. If you are really ready to be manageable Then hang onto your ass. I’m sure management has been waiting in the wings for this moment. You are soon to wonder why your doing what. Be good and be proud, especially of your writing skill and perspective.

  4. Have I become more manageable with age? It’s possible that decades of failure would make a person, like a mountain being worn away by the rain over the ages, more amenable to compromising – more manageable – without their (my) knowing it. Sobering thought.

    I think the months working on the house – and my time in the Oshana crucible – have reduced the internal drive for success significantly – but whether enough for me to walk away if I see any hooks in the carrot, I don’t know. Keep an eye on me.

  5. I think you should reevaluate what success means for you. Do you think being succesful means being rich? what about the artists that died being poor and whose paintings became famous later? Were they succesful? I don’t think a book is written thinking that it will be a best seller. There are really bad books that become bestsellers, are the authors succesful? lucky?. A book is written to put down in words the ideas that surround your mind. Since the words are creators, a book creates a new reality in the mind of the readers. Maybe your book will be succesful if it makes readers realize that they don’t need a book to create a new reality.

  6. What Pam said. It is up to the nobody’s to change this world, as they are the only ones qualified, given their willingness and ability to forgo the benefits of promoting our dominant narrative.

  7. Nice going Jasun. A new book complete and soon released. Success. You who are in constant ‘process’ produce. Fame and money rewards equalling “So for me, success = identity crisis” now that’s another kind of success, let alone, in your case, the problem of integrity that emerges. Do you lose your ‘voice’ consequent en masse acknowledgement that you are alright, when you know you are not, and likely neither is a good piece of the rest of the world that ignores or does not take so kindly to your expression, but which on the other hand drives you to the expression in the first place. Explaining your point of view, and in the course of that, hopefully finding yourself more complete. But will you lose your soul voice consequent new demands? Perhaps to reach more people, requested to be more traditional reporting your perceivings and writings that come from perceiving as you do, consequent your evaluations of life’s manners in regards/response to your unasked for thrust into the disparate energy of your nurturing landscapes. Regarding that, generating money and fame, must you somehow put a touch to your work that draws in ‘everybody’. An amelioration, rather, fit your perceptions, shift them to Norman Vincent Peale (who?) absolutions and steps to success? Offer solutions, answers, salve, to everyday matters top, forefront in the head, that folks live daily with. But of course that is not what you are about. You of an inordinate if not exclusive twist.

    You give yourself your own catharsis, relief if not answers to and from the stress of your story, never mind the catharsis comes not from traditional success, i.e. lots of money and lots of attention. Money is important to all of us, usually very important for the unsecured eh. Hacks of one kind or other cater, angle their stories to mass appeal to enure earnings. Money often comes with fame. Fame comes after reaching an audience that buys what you are selling. FAME can result consequent only one broadcast person with a big voice promoting a work of his or her liking sourcing it out to their audience eh. Far as you promoting your work to success and fame, you will and are assisting that process, can’t hurt, teamed up with your publisher and its marketing means. Already it is paying off with your blog site promoting, talking about it, right here. It likely will pretty much reach it’s Peter Principle as far as the attitude of the material reaching those folks ready for it and who want it. Promotion is important of course; that will increase interest, sales. Anything you come up with that helps you advance your own faith in your work, and moreover is catchy, arrests the public’s eye, will show results.

    ” . . . promoting the new book as a form of my soul’s expression.” That could be enuf, or not eh, for your purpose, satisfaction, but apparently not or you would not be bringing up your own contradictions/concerns regarding fame and money possibly destroying integrity. And “since I believe the world is organized in such a way that only those who have proved themselves both useful to the controlling elite (plutocracy for short) and manageable by them—who have shown their allegiance to the established way of doing things (in other words, are corruptible)—are ever allowed to succeed, since I believe this, that means any kind of substantial success, for me, pretty much guarantees cognitive dissonance.” And so Jasun, heh, I guess you pretty much answer your dilemma. This book better not lead to, put you over the threshold into fame and fortune or you are lost man, gone, leaving behind the circle in which you thrive. But of course I am too flippant about such a serious matter as soul expression and what fame and success means to it. I too have my own concerns.

  8. Looks like an asterick there. The left side of “fool”) Leading nowhere perhaps or is a flaw, or simply carelessness and anyway, who needs to know? And I admit I didn’t take the magnifying glass to it. But about this marquee reply coming from you Jasun, that real brief review, it is gold! Gold! And by the way, I am usually available to wise-ass. But seriously,

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