But if the essential spirit of things is free and we at a deep level
participate in this spirit (called
in the Indian tradition), then we too can participate in at least some
degree of freedom of action, within the boundaries of our karmic
potential for this life.
Now the same karmic outcomes do not apply to the case of a simple
bushman in the wilds of South Africa, or a hill tribesman in Burma, as
opposed to a rich businessman in New York, or a scion of a noble
family in India. Even though the aspect may be identical, its
expression will be reliant upon the environment of the subject, plus
the psychological and spiritual vibration of the individual concerned.
It strikes me that these factors would be very difficult to compute.
This said, there may be other planes, where this paradox may be
subverted, at least at certain moments. I call such moments
expressions of a "nexus of probability".
Astrologers generally believe that all things in our universe are
intimately connected and that the psychological, social and other
effects of their interconnection may be discovered by examining the
relative positions of the planets against the backdrop of the zodiac.
Some astrologers believe that planetary energies themselves actually
cause events in our lives; others believe, with Carl Jung, that
planetary positions are synchronistically
connected with our
lives -- in other words, the sorts of things that cause reactions in
human beings also seem to cause the planets to appear located in space
In either case, an astrologer applies an understanding of the meanings
of planetary relationships, as revealed in your horoscope, to the
interpretation of important events in your own life in the world.
The Stars Incline... They Do Not Compel
There are limitations to the application of such knowledge, however.
Astrology is more than just a way of foretelling your inevitable fate.
Paracelsus, one of the world's greatest astrologers, said: "The
stars incline; they do not compel". He meant that while planetary
influences create the groundwork and basis for action in any set of
circumstances, there is still an element of free will in all of us.
Our world is more like a massive mind than a mighty machine. The
degree to which we have taken charge of our own destiny is the degree
to which we, as human beings, have freed ourselves from subjection to
the seemingly mechanical influences of the conditioned world.
The horoscope, or birthchart, presents us with what may best be
described as a set of probabilities having some potential to operate
on many levels simultaneously. Astrologers have observed that the
easiest way for most people to go through their lives is to accept the
apparently random events that come into their personal space and to
suffer or enjoy them as they come without seeming to be able to alter
either the direction of movement, or the nature of these events in any
significant way. Such people are fated, like animals, to be led
through their lives as conditioned beings, having, at best, only the
barest illusion of self-control and free will. This is widely supposed
to be the human condition.
But the "inner science" of deep occultism shows that at any
given moment we are experiencing a nexus of probabilities; a focal
point of potential tendencies, some of which may be realised and
others not -- at least in this lifetime. A veritable maze of
conditioning influences affects our lives, our organic systems, at any
given time. Astrology provides us with a pathway through this maze,
although it should be stressed that the nature of any of these
conditioning processes is more influential than inevitable. While we
may choose (whether consciously or not) to accept some strong
conditioning tendency, we may also, within the limitations of our
character, choose to reject such a tendency and to apply a
countervailing tendency -- as for example the application of the
appropriate life practices. Enlightened teachings indicate that
intensive self-examination and the determined application of
particular techniques enable us to purify our karmic natures and to
grow in consciousness.