the image of Janus

Decades ago, my first husband and I threw a party on December 31st. The theme, which he thought up, was Janus–the back-to-back masks, one facing backward toward the old year, one facing forward toward the new. Sometimes they are depicted as one black and one white, or one happy and one sad.

It dawned on me tonight that this was a lighter interpretation of a deeper truth–the sage looks both inward and outward: he or she rests inwardly in and as awareness, while at the same time engaging in the world. Hence the old saying, being in the world but not of it. I came across an old quote today (source unknown) which describes this so beautifully:

Q: How is mouna [silence] possible when we are engaged in worldly
transactions?
 
A: When women walk with water pots on their heads, they are able to
talk with their companions while all the time remaining intent on the
water above. Similarly, when a sage engages in activities, they do not
disturb him because his mind abides in Brahmin [awareness].
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2012

7 Comments

Filed under Musings, spirituality

7 responses to “the image of Janus

    • Yes! I was a weaver for thirty years, and it’s true of weaving, too. Thanks for the reminder.

      • 😀 Was a weaver. I think you’re still a weaver…you just aren’t weaving at the moment. ❤

      • laughing–yes, of course, but don’t have a loom right now–painful shoulders (thanks to weaving!) I’ve been beading instead, with incredibly tiny beads. I’ll use one of the photos of my work in a blog entry one day.

      • 🙂 LOL, well my friend cathy beads some too and says that too will cause pain in the shoulder! Can’t wait to see your beadwork!!! Closest I’ve come to that, is making sculpey clay beads and giving them away at a rainbow Gathering.Yes, post photos!!!!!

  1. Today I may find myself walking with a clay pot on my head while talking with my friends. Resting the whole time in and as awareness. Thank you.

  2. Basheera

    That’s a great way to explain it. Love it!

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