By Robert Wilkinson
Continuing yesterday’s theme, Saturn represents what in Esoteric philosophy is called "The Ring-Pass-Not." Saturn symbolizes the binding force that teaches us reasonable limits, as well as when we can pierce through those limits into more eternal realms and more perfect functions.
Today is the next in our series of articles about Saturn and the nature of “the Ring Pass Not.” Saturn, the “binding force” in all forms, represents the responsibilities, duties, limitations, and boundaries of our abilities at any given stage in life. While we often get hassled by our responsibilities and limitations, these are directly related to what we are learning about expressing our Higher Self in effective ways, now and for the future.
Knowing our reasonable limits, as well as our ability to move beyond our limitations, are very important in understanding our power to maneuver within this binding force. Through understanding both what limits us, as well as what frees us, we learn about this "binding force," why our lives are structured as they are, and how to break free into the Eternal Life and our Dharma, or "true functioning."
We must learn the rules associated with this binding force, and how it operates, before we can move on to new experiences. There are certain lessons we must master if we would grow beyond our limitations, fears, and "vain imaginings." This binding force is known in Esoteric Psychology as "The Ring-Pass-Not." And I’ll note here that some limits are more boon than burden, when seen from a larger angle of growth and development.
We all have a Ring Pass Not, and it shifts with each lesson we learn to apply with wisdom, intelligence, and skill. Even though it is human to be hassled by our responsibilities and limitations, these are directly related to what we are learning in expressing our Higher Self in effective ways, now and for the future.
Often it seems as though we’re caught in “holding patterns,” practicing skills and coming to realizations about things that may seem meaningless or futile in the moment. However, these set the stage for abilities we'll have to demonstrate in future life experiences and chapters.
Overcoming limitations (and impatience!) as we slowly and surely master what we have to master ensure our Higher Self opportunities to show itself in the future. All of our realizations and skills we develop through applying these realizations in our lives show us our Dharma, or Higher Truth of Self, related directly to what is called “The Ring Pass Not.”
Saturn is the key player helping us understand all of these things. Saturn symbolizes the limits of our fear, our responsibilities in any given life circumstance or chapter, and our Dharmaseva, "the Great Work." Saturn, the "Ring-Pass-Not." is where we meet the fear that separates us from our own divinity, dominion, and perfection.
As we grow, our Ring-Pass-Not also grows. The "Ring-Pass-Not" defines what is and is not "permitted," from the angle of your own Soul's growth, both in terms of skills as well as comprehension. That's why we're learning about different "Rings-Pass-Not," both personally and collectively.
As we easily see through contemplating the teachings of Sages and true Spiritual Teachers, there are many limitations of ego and matter to master. Doing this effectively requires both imagination, acceptance that in fact we do have limits we need to examine, and willingness to try to grow beyond our inabilities.
By facing our fear, it ceases to trouble us. By facing our ability to grow into a more responsible awareness and function in our world, and then finding the right self-discipline and structure appropriate to our unique task of Dharma to fulfill, we become the mastery we seek. Much that seems fearful or burdensome when we imagine what we must do becomes much easier once we begin learning and practicing those skills in circumstances appropriate to our level of development.
Jupiter shows us the lessons we can learn the easy way, or those lessons of understanding that enable us to imagine greater vistas of development, greater opportunities to extend in time and space, and greater life adventures and greater imagination-driven truths. Saturn, on the other hand, is what slows us down and teaches us structure, discipline, organization, and our duty apart from everyone else’s opinion of what our duty is or should be. And since Jupiter is “inside Saturn’s orbit” then it is subject to Saturn’s binding force and structuring power across time.
This is why we may pursue our imagination of what could be, but find over time that we are still subject to certain limitations due to what we know and what we don’t, what we can apply skillfully and what we are still learning how to apply skillfully, and our attitude about the value of discipline, organization, patience, and persistence in pursuing goals that truly matter to us. Even if we don’t choose to learn about these consciously, Saturn, our personal “Ring Pass Not,” still guards the gates to the next stage of development.
The Ring Pass Not blocks any path that will not lead us to Dharma. They can be limitations we didn’t even know we had. They can be duties that must be fulfilled from our past or present lives that we must perform so that karma can be fulfilled. They are our inherent limitations that prevent us from taking on more than we are able to skillfully practice in any given life chapter.
The Ring Pass Not forces us to deal with our fear of the unknown, of leaving behind old comfortable “skins of personality” (Saturn rules the skin and bones in Medical Astrology), and old rules and structures that have become sclerotic, inhibiting our growth as Eternal Soul-Spirits in the material world. It is what constrains us until we break free of old chains of mental and emotional slavery and choose to exercise our power of Dominion over our lower self and become our Higher Self.
We live within our Ring Pass Not until it transforms as a result of the evolution of our ability to fulfill Dharma and our purpose for being on Earth through being able to demonstrate these skillfully to our world. So the Ring Pass Not of our childhood became the Ring Pass Not of our adulthood, somehow the same and somehow changed. As we continue to shed old skins of personality limitations, we become over time (Saturn) comfortable with appropriate limitations and boundaries where we can practice forms of relatively skillful function until we need even greater boundaries within which we can practice our Higher Self.
In the final analysis, we bind ourselves through a variety of means. We live within this binding force created by our assumptions, fears, limits, and crystallized life structures until we are ready to grow beyond these. Then our Ring Pass Not expands according to our willingness to learn and practice a greater, more effective way of doing our Being.
We’ll continue our exploration of this crucial component of our Spiritual growth tomorrow in part 3. Until then, take a new look at what limited you when you were younger, and what happened as you grew beyond those old limitations. See how every time you took command of “the Great Vehicle,” your life changed, your capabilities grew, your ability to respond expanded in ways you never anticipated, and you confronted a new set of rules, disciplines, and structures that were perfect for your evolved Self.
© Copyright 2006, 2013 Robert Wilkinson