I’m not talking about uniting all astrologers of the world nor do I imply that astrology can unite the world around it. I only want to discuss how astrology can help us see the unity of the total material existence.
There was a time when I was very much interested in astrology, I read books, listened to experienced astrologers, calculated positions of the planets from almanachs in pre-internet time and so on. I’d never thought I’d practice it for a living, though, or that I would ever master the practice of predictions, I was fascinated by the principles behind it.
I liked how astrology observes interactions between personalities, not lifeless planets silently floating in space. Each predominating deity is a person with certain characteristics, attitudes, and also relationships with all the other planets. Natural friendship or enmity between planetary lords are not arbitrary, they are based on real life interactions between them, they are based on their real history.
The level of complexity in astrology is astonishing, eventually I came to believe that hardly anyone in this day and age can deliver substantiated predictions based on charts but that never stops practicing astrologers, so most of the time we are meant to be duped.
For astrologers it’s not a matter of accuracy in predictions but a matter of probabilities. There’s always a chance that some obscure planetary combination in some rarely constructed chart would overwrite the most obvious predictions. Diligent astrologer must carefully consider all these minute details but diligence is in short supply in Kali Yuga, not to mention that customers themselves are impatient and want easy and fast answers to their queries and they want to be duped, it makes them feel better than knowing the truth.
Astrological principles are solid, implementation rarely is.
I have no faith in western astrology, btw, to me it looks like science – they don’t know anything but create theories based on observation of patterns, and they will always be excluded from personally knowing planetary lords. We won’t know those lords personally either but at least we follow authorities who do.
Anyway, I was thinking how my mother’s impression of my life is very different from my own. She just doesn’t see it the same way I do. Then I thought about astrology and how someone once read my chart to me and talked a lot about my mother, father, siblings, and partners. I remembered how someone read my mother’s chart to her and how they described her relationships with us, her children.
At that time I took it for granted – you can know lots of details about other people from your own chart, it is done routinely, no one gives a second thought to it. You just look at the house that signifies a particular relationship, examine its strength, strength of its lord, examine various planetary aspects and so on, do the same for the planets that rule over that aspect of your life, and pretty soon you’ll have a decent picture of how it would play out in real life.
You can see if one’s mother would die early, for example. You can see if one would get along with his brothers and sisters. You can see how many children one would have himself and whether they would give him pleasure or pain. Nature of one’s husband or wife is probably the most well researched aspect there.
It’s all pretty simple and straightforward.
What puzzled me this time, however, is the divergence between my mother’s thinking and the reality. Apparently no matter what I do she will still look at me in a certain way, and it’s even worse with my spouse. I really have no idea what mood she will be in once she returns home from work.
This is when it struck me – the effect these people have on me does not depend on their karma but on mine and vice versa. Sometimes no matter what I do I won’t get a “fair treatment” because people would perceive my actions as dictated by their horoscope, not mine.
My life is recorded in their charts, too! Maybe not my entire life and maybe not my “real” life but as far as its effect on others is concerned – it’s in their horoscopes, not mine.
This means that those other people do not have their own independent existence – they are part of MY karma, MY illusion.
This means that there’s no point in trying to reason with them because what I really want to change is MY karma, not their actions or their thinking. It doesn’t matter what they do or think, as long as it has a pleasing effect on my life it’s fine by me. Likewise, if I’m meant to suffer from spousal abuse for the next ten years then changing my wife’s behavior won’t affect me in the slightest.
And then I realized that we don’t have separate, independent horoscopes either – all our charts are the pictures of the same universe, just taken at different times and from different angles. These planets are not behaving in any special way towards each and every one of us, they have their own lives to live, but we see effects of their lives differently according to our positions.
It’s one illusion for all, we just see it differently.
If one were to prove this astrologically one would have to analyze interconnection between different charts cast at different times, which would make it an impossibly complicated task, but should be possible in principle.
A particular combination of planets at the moment of one’s birth is not random, it’s the continuation of the same movement that was caught in a chart of a person born decades earlier on the other side of the world and, at the same time, this combination is also the basis of a chart that would be cast decades later elsewhere.
It is really one illusion for all, we just see it differently.
This means that there’s no reason for me to identify myself with my body as opposed to feeling separate and independent from bodies of others or the weather or, indeed, the entire universe.
This means that there’s no such thing as “my false ego” – it’s one false ego for everyone, binding us to the same matter, we just experience it in different ways.
Implications of this realization can go very far, when I actually get it I’ll let you know. For now I’ll just mention that one thing it means is that when we chant the Holy Name we shouldn’t try to build a relationship with the Lord based on our conditioning. “After this or that has happened to me I should chant in this mood, and on another occasion I should chant in that mood, today I pray for this, tomorrow I’ll pray for another thing” – it’s all immaterial, pardon the pun.
We do not have separate, independent existence in this world and so we shouldn’t try to relate to Kṛṣṇa as if we had. If we decide to forsake our interest in this world we should give it up in its entirety, too, not just the part where we identify ourselves with our bodies.
Our karma, our illusion, has the entire world bound to it just as being conditioned means being bound to the entire material energy, not just one particular body – our karma has it all, our families, our countries, our history, it’s all interconnected and it’s impossible to separate us from the rest of the world.
I wish I was a bit more clear on this but it’s just the beginning (hopefully). Clarity is not expected at this early stage, sorry about that.