People fear change, uncertainty and ambiguity. They reach out to anything and anyone they feel can provide them with a narrative that gives them a sense of hope, identity and purpose.
In earlier epochs, this emerged through strong community bonds, an animistic understanding of the Universe that tied the unpredictability of Life into the changing seasons of nature and the stars. Different phases of an individual’s life cycle were tired into rites of passage, skillfully navigating the identity through different moments of liminality.
We long for the good old days and the certainty of identity that traditional cultures and their belief systems provided – as things were less subject to change. They were not necessarily better or purer (as anyone working with transmuting old lineages can tell you) – but they were more easily navigated.
But we don’t live in those times now. Since the wide-spread dissemination of organized religion, political and colonial conquest, and the new entity of the nation-state (1648) – the way we collectively and individually secure a sense of identity has been lost to us for centuries now.
Some of us find it by holding onto political and cultural constructions of ethnicity, territory, a shared sense of belonging (that may not be as ancient as one thinks), or religion or any form of belief system that claims to know.
Astrology fits in well with that as it has been integrated in one way another into all traditional societies. Which is why, despite knowing what I know, I don’t lead my life with it.
I listen to Spirit first. I corroborate, clarify, question what I learn with astrology. And by looking at what is happening at the world around me.
And I keep checking. And re-checking. And am willing to check again with new information.
To me, that has been best practice.
Right now, in these accelerated times …. we process through more than we did in decades in a single month (or day, depending on the person).
Despite technology and ‘modern knowledge’, we still see rising levels of instability and uncertainty in all domains of life. People tend to hide from that uncertainty behind ideology, religion, substance abuse, escapist behaviors and denial mechanisms.
When one is desperate to find a belief system that explains things, one will believe anything and take it as gospel. And project certainty and absolute validation where none can be found.
As a spiritualist and an academic, I find this is terrible turn of events.
And a great explanation as to why so much blindness, hatred, prejudice, denial and apathy easily coexist under that ambiguous banner of ‘ spirituality ‘ .
What also happens is that those who are willing to look for answers either get funnelled into that ambiguous place of wanting to hear everyone out – and doing nothing with that information – or they get polarized – or they reach a state of paralysis because it is not possible to know what is the truth.
Unfortunately, the word truth – like love – has been so co-opted that it becomes impossible to talk about truth without triggering people who believe they have found it. And there is a complete conflation of what is an assertion to what is evidence to what is fact to what is opinion and so on and on and on.
I believe that academia has failed in its duty to society by building its ivory tower and sectioning those who are specialized in the methods of knowing and research and verification in a world unto themselves. Whatever is being talked about today is stuff that people have been researching or opening the doors to for fourty years. I think that separation of academic work from the general populace is quite deliberate. We talk about a dumbing down of society and that too is quite deliberate.
But what people forget is that it takes time, patience and frankly, the willingness to preserve to know anything with any level of (even transient) certainty. Academia is ridiculously boring. So too is spirituality.
Chop wood, Carry water. Repeat.
You – can – make it exciting, but those tend to be the paths that lead to burn-out, sensationalism, or simply prolonging that dance with ego and unresolved past karma.
In my experience, the closest I have found to any understanding of truth or principle or practice is to search for resonance. And to acknowledge that what you resonate with now might not be right (or wrong) in the long term.
It’s even better if you can go out of your way to find information that challenges your beliefs and to see how you feel about it. Whether the other side has something credible to say. Whether they’re just disagreeing with you because their identities are built on your negation. There’s a lot you can do there.
It doesn’t mean you have to change your opinion, but it does give you an opportunity to see how much of your emotional attachment to your beliefs arise through factual accuracy / consistency with observed reality – and how much of it ties into wanting to maintain a particular self image.
Sometimes we believe in things just because we like the promise of certainty that they provide. Or we like to be associated with the individual and group identity that those beliefs engender. Or we believe in things just because we don’t want to accept their inverse.
There’s many reasons why a person can believe anything at all. And it’s not always about whether their beliefs are true.
You have to ask yourself if you are the exact same person you were 10, 20 years ago? And to look at how your own inner knowing has changed and evolved over time. It is a continuous process of evolution and it does not stop.
Which is why it becomes important to be comfortable with not knowing, and to do it anyway. To be reflexive in your understanding of life and to be willing to grow as your knowledge grows. And to realize that you have the ability to evolve, as does your understanding of truth.
That means not buying into any one ideology, person, group, party, cult or belief system as your sole source of knowledge. That also means not buying into yourself as your sole source of knowledge.
Gnosis is circumspect when there is ego at play. And the person who claims they have no ego left to transcend probably needs to be the first to look in the mirror.
So where does that leave you?
In a state of not knowing.
You can retreat into a cave and sit there till you find clarity or some reasonable measure of working truth.
Or you can do what you need to do in the world and acknowledge that you do not have all the answers. And that is okay.
Sadly, too many people use the same argument to do nothing at all for the world they live in.
Timing is another factor – which is why astrology does help. As I’ve been telling you from the start of the year, start your major projects towards the end of this year – or at least from August / September onwards.
That remains true. Simply as your projects are likely to be caught up in games of projection or targeted streams of disinformation.
This does not mean you remain apart from the world. This means you think about what you stand for, if anything. What you believe in, if anything. And what actions those beliefs and stances are inspiring you to take.
Cut through the bluster and look for concrete actions. Remember that Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are in Capricorn. Those are the spaces in which you have to focus the most practical actions that bring change.
Look at your relationship with the political and authority structures in your lives, your family, your workplace. That’s where your most concrete decisions need to be taken when the time is right. Act only if you feel it is absolutely necessary and you have taken the time to discern.
Finding the right balance between knowing, not knowing, seeking, waiting, breathing, acting – well, it can get messy at times.
But that’s literally why we’re here in human bodies. Embrace it and do your best.
Thesis / Literature Review section provides some tools for discernment through the performances we see: The dramaturgy of rituals in the Indian Parliament. (2013). PhD Thesis. University of Warwick. wrap.warwick.ac.uk/54359/
Douglas, K. M., Sutton, R. M., & Cichocka, A. (2017). The psychology of conspiracy theories. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26, 538-542.
* * *
This post and text is original research material and is copyrighted. You are allowed to share this material for personal, non-commercial and educational use with the proper citations, references and links / tags back to my website and/or my FB page or profile. Clicking ´Share´ on FB or ´Reblog´ on WordPress would be most appropriate. I take no responsibility for the context or ownership over materials on external sites.
Please obtain my permission first if you want to use this material on your workshop, blog, organization, webpage, book, seminar or for any commercial purpose. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel. How you choose to act on this information is up to your own free will and is entirely your responsibility.
Text & Video © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2020. All rights reserved.