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From the Archives

The Search for Fulfillment

Fulfillment

By Helen G. Wilson, Hermetician

The one thing we all have in common is the search for fulfillment. Maybe you call it happiness. Call it what you will, fulfillment can't be bought over a counter, nor can it be inherited. You can't steal it, copy it, pluck it from a tree, or import it like a car or a wine. Whether we like it or not, fulfillment depends entirely upon ourselves.

There's no simple formula. What brings fulfillment to one may bring a pain in the neck to another. Furthermore, fulfillment in one thing isn't enough — we're far too complex for that. To even approach the subject, it is necessary to define the barest number of levels on which we must find at least one fulfillment.

There are three of these basic levels:

      (1) Our relationship to things — which are on the level below us.
      (2) Our relationship to people — who are level with us.
      (3) Our relationship to God — who is on the level above us.

Our relationship to God obviously has a decided influence on what we think and feel and do about the two levels — people and things.

To sail through life without ever taking a close look at our relationship to God puts us in the same fix as the old-time sailors. They had no charts to go by. They sailed by the seat of their britches — depending upon sight, the sound of breakers, and the smell of land to guide them. Nowadays, no sailor would dream of braving unknown seas without one, yet many people sail through life by the seat of their britches without ever consulting their "life" charts.

"Life" charts, of course, are birth charts. They clearly outline the best channels to a given goal, the tricky channels, and the downright dangerous channels.

Since each one of us was brought into being for a one-and-only role in the scheme of things, no two of these "life" charts are exactly alike — and no two human beings in all creation have exactly the same relationship to God. We need the guidance of our life charts to find our place in God's scheme of things.

Granting this one-and-only relationship between each of us and God, and that we were brought into being: to fill a specific need, it stands to reason we were also given the raw materials to carry out our mission — and our mission is an inseparable part of our daily lives. True, the raw materials are intangibles — such as the urges mapped by the planets. Yet these intangibles are what we turn into mental, physical, and spiritual abilities just as we convert trees into lumber.

Trees, of course, are on the level below us, the level of things, and things cannot develop their own potentials. We have to do it for them. On our level, we are expected to do our own developing.

Now, the vocational abilities you develop may put you in the executive hot seat, in the machine shop, in front of a typewriter, behind a counter, out on the road stalking customers, behind the wheel of a truck, in the home, up in a pulpit, in a research lab or university — the list is endless.

But no matter what your vocation may be, it involves a relationship to people. Furthermore, in every vocation, calling, profession, social activity, or family tie, the relationship can be stripped down to one, simple, inescapable basis, and that is: you do this for me, and I’ll do that for you.

If you're thinking this is a selfish and materialistic point of view, you couldn't be more wrong. Our Creator quite obviously intended us to give and take. At the same time, everything in life points to the fact that our Creator intended us to have a reasonably balanced give-and-take relationship — and not on a guttersnipe level.

Let's start with earning your daily bread. Before you go to work for another, or employ another, you strike a bargain — a certain type of work for a certain rate of pay. In other words, you do this for me, and I'll do that for you … The relationship between an individual and someone in one of the professions is exactly the same some type of service on one side, payment on the other. An attorney or doctor gives his time and ability and takes a payment in return. Artists and inventors are in the same boat — they must arrange to get a “take” in return for their “give” — or they don't survive. Not even spiritual advisors are exempt. They must get a living in return for their words of wisdom and encouragement.

The amount of money we make through a give and take with others is closely tied in with fulfillment. But right here is where it's dangerously easy to get off course. Money is on the level of things — it's a thing we use to buy other things. It brings fulfillment on the level of things — the level below us, and this is important because we need fulfillment on every level. Yet no matter how enormous the amount, and in spite of the fact that it must be earned through a relationship with people, money can never bring fulfillment on the people level.

However, at the same time we're working for fulfillment on the level of things, we can simultaneously find fulfillment on the level of people and double the richness of our lives. The minute we strike a working bargain, we're on a person-to-person basis with someone. If we meet our person-to-person responsibility in such a way we can be proud of ourselves, we automatically experience a sense of deep fulfillment.

Our bargain may or may not be with someone we can respect. During the course of a lifetime, most of us do run into periods when we find it necessary to accept the distasteful. What of it? Distasteful situations needn't become permanent; and while they do last, even they can be made to pay off in fulfillment. All that is necessary is to acknowledge your self-made, person-to-person responsibility and act accordingly. You don't have to like the person you work for or who works for you — just be sure you can like yourself.

If we're in the wrong field of work, the breaks are against us. Our teeth are continually on edge, and we scream like a wounded panther at things we'd normally consider trifles. The cure for this is obvious: a serious study of our natural abilities as shown by our birth charts.

For one thing, we can't be in turmoil all day and just slough if off when we leave for home. The turmoil or fulfillment, whichever it may be, becomes a part of us. So naturally it has a serious impact on our more personal relationships.

The most personal relationship on the level of people is marriage. It is also the most important one because it is so personal. It can make us or break us more completely than any other relationship. Yet there are more illusions and self-deceptions in regard to marriage than in any other relationship.

A woman may marry for love when actually — if she would only realize it and face it — love is not nearly as important to her as security. Such a woman is not likely to find fulfillment with a man who doesn't have it in him to provide the security she craves. I'm not saying she should marry for money — Heaven forbid! But I do think she'd have a better chance of finding fulfillment in marriage if she looked around for someone who also considered security important — and then asked herself if she could love him.

A man may marry the dancing, butterfly type when in reality he needs the homebody type. When his butterfly continues to be a butterfly, do you think he’ll find fulfillment? He can't turn into a butterfly — and she can't turn into a homebody.

And so it goes. The trouble is, people don't always know themselves. It is possible for people to be dangerously frustrated in personal relationships without even knowing what it is they're really starving for. The things they gripe about might never bother them at all if their strongest needs were fed. These are the people who stand to gain the most from astrology. They can learn shout their hidden hungers, learn to understand themselves — and others.

One thing is certain: The more we know about ourselves and others, the better chance we have of finding fulfillment.

This article is selected from The Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 2, Jul-Oct 1962.

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