Thursday - The Day of Jupiter


Jupiter, the expansive god of Wisdom likes to see the bigger picture. Very much the philosopher, Jove paints the world of ideas with broad brushstrokes, sometimes at the expense of the final details! This is a synthesising intelligence that pulls things together from a wide range of sources, rather than a linear, analytical intellect. 

The men in the poem each have a part of the elephant and believe that they see the whole. So often we imagine that our limited perspective is the answer; Jupiter asks us to expand our perspectives, open our minds and keep looking.

Thor by Igor Ozhiganov

It took me a while to see the connection between Jupiter and the Norse god Thor (as in Thursday). I would have naturally associated Thor with Mars. However, Thor’s role in Asgard is to protect the boundaries. He uses his famous hammer whenever there is an incursion of giants into a place where they ought not to be. He is the upholder and protector of natural laws. 
Like its partner and opposite, Mercury, Jupiter forces bring movement, yet with Jupiter it is very much controlled movement. 
If Saturn is the architect of creation, Jupiter is the sculptor. Wherever there are rounded forms in the human body, or in nature, that is the work of the Jupiter forces. 

In the human body the liver is the Jupiter organ – a veritable chemistry laboratory of vital functions necessary for life. It is the only organ that can regenerate itself to any significant extent – which was fortunate for Prometheus whose punishment for bringing fire to mankind was to be chained to a rock and have his liver torn out by a vulture every day. 
 
Prometheus by Elsie Russell

Blind Men and the Elephant by Pamela Zagarenski

In many cultures the liver is seen as the seat of courage. And indeed, the Jupiter force is courageous, but a different kind of courage from the Mars forces. Jupiter’s courage is born out of the knowledge that all creation is one, and that all phenomena are short lived: “This too shall pass.” 

Of course the word Jovial comes from Jove, and Jupiter is also the god of humour. This is not the practical joking of Mercury, but an expansive humour that arises from lateral thinking. I have a feeling that the rhyme Old King Cole is about Jupiter, sitting on his throne and laughing heartily. Laughing perhaps at the folly of man!

The Eightfold Path exercise for Thursday bids us to let the other six exercises become a habit: we are to look beyond our limited every day perspective and sculpt the exercises into a new way of being.


For Thursday

The Blind Men and the Elephant
by John Godfrey Saxe

It was six men of Hindustan 
To learning much inclined, 
Who went to see the Elephant 
(Though all of them were blind) 
That each by observation 
Might satisfy the mind.

The First approached the Elephant 
And happening to fall 
Against his broad and sturdy side 
At once began to bawl: 
“Bless me, it seems the Elephant 
Is very like a wall.”

The Second, feeling of his tusk, 
Cried, “Ho! What have we here 
So very round and smooth and sharp? 
To me 'tis mighty clear 
This wonder of an Elephant 
Is very like a spear.”

The Third approached the animal, 
And happening to take 
The squirming trunk within his hands, 
Then boldly up and spake: 
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant 
Is very like a snake.”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand, 
And felt about the knee. 
“What most this wondrous beast is like 
Is mighty plain,” quoth he; 
“'Tis clear enough the Elephant 
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, 
Said: “E'en the blindest man 
Can tell what this resembles most; 
Deny the fact who can, 
This marvel of an Elephant 
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun 
About the beast to grope, 
Than, seizing on the swinging tail 
That fell within his scope, 
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant 
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Hindustan 
Disputed loud and long, 
Each in his own opinion 
Exceeding stiff and strong, 
Though each was partly in the right 
And all were in the wrong.

So oft in theologic wars, 
The disputants, I ween, 
Rail on in utter ignorance 
Of what each other mean, 
And prate about an Elephant 
Not one of them has seen!

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