Tag Archives: philosphical path

Astrological remedies: How they work and the mechanism of action

A friend recently asked me how the stones or whatever remedies work? I partially answered this question in a previous blog post, but I wanted to give a more direct answer to this question.

I have been studying astrology for only a few years. I’ve always had a skeptical rational mind. Most of my life I rejected things like astrology. I was quite attached to the idea of free will and the thought that my life was entirely my own: either I’d make it or break it by my own will and my own effort.

But then of course I came to India and started studying the philosophy and the vedic culture. Through my yoga practice I began to recognize more and more how little control I actually had over the events in my life. I suppose to put in yogaly, the more I identified with the witness, the less I identified as the doer of my actions. But of course one has to wonder who (or what is the doer)? Who (or what) is the enjoyer of the actions if I am a mere witness?

Then I started looking into astrology. There’s no need to explain how I found it to be very accurate and very easy to learn if you have the sort of mind that appeals to hard logic (I finally discovered the use of those symbolic logic classes I took in college).

In astrology we are mostly looking at the kinds of energies represented by the planets and the houses and the signs and the Nakshatras and such. These are the same archetypical energies that Ayurveda and yoga and sankya and Tantra use to understand the world. The principles are all the same.

After all these years studying and practicing these disciplines I can attest that it’s a sound way of understanding the health of body, the workings of the mind, and the relationships between everything (the elements, mind body and spirit, past present and future, people between each other, man and nature…… ect ect).

The stones, because of the purity of their elements, presumably represent the sattwic nature of the various planetary forces. We can use much more than stones to mitigate these forces. In many ways, the stones I recommend are meant to help purify the already satwik properties related to personality, mind and luck. Stones are subtle and simple. If we want to start working on improving negative indications in chart, then a person has to be willing to commit to more active remedies.

To use a rather extreme example, say a chart indicates that a person my do something wrong and go to prison for a few years (not that you have anything like this). By logic, one way to perhaps influence this out come might be to bring doughnuts to the police station every Tuesday. This would have a very strong effect on making you more law abiding. But of course, no one is going to do this and the police would likely think it so strange that they might indeed find some reason to put you in jail, so, we feed the fish every Tuesday and perhaps donate some time or money to something like a halfway house. As the shamans would say: “we have to appease that energy that wants to do us harm.”

These sorts of remedies all depend on the client and what they want from life, what they’re willing to do to get it, and of course, what resources they have at their disposal.

This link is to an article I wrote and presented to the university about the role of science in regards to preventative treatment:

https://sleepingdogblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/the-role-of-basic-sciences-in-ayurvedic-medicine/

And here’s a slightly different perspective on how astrology (and such things) work:

https://sleepingdogblog.wordpress.com/category/astrology/

Meditation on Maya

Everything has a root! Every idea, every action, every thing that ever is has some root. Getting at the root is often like the voice of a curious child. Where did the apple come from? Where did the tree come from? Where did the sun and the earth and the river and the sky come from? What is the big bang? What is god? And somewhere around these topics you dive for a pearls. You read this and that; practice that and this. You’re just diving down into the ocean, feeling around and coming up with whatever is there. You usually don’t know what you have until you get to the top. Some people are fortunate to have many pearls where they are diving, others have many monsters; but no one knows when some shark will come thru.

What is knowledge? What is not-kowledge? What is a noun? And what is a verb? What is giving? What is receiving? What is knowing and what is not knowing?

We really don’t know what we will find! This is one of the root difficulties we face: we lack knowledge. Right knowledge, some kind of complete knowledge of everything that ever was, is, and will be is incomprehensible for most people even though most will admit that this is the level of knowledge that the universe as a whole is working: right knowledge; complete knowledge. But this is because we usually think of the objects of knowledge as knowledge. Knowledge is not noun, it’s active and non-specific; it’s not the facts, but the way we put facts together. We lack power to change many of the things we would like to change, but this is not because of lack of facts, but the rearranging of those facts to produce action is faulty. Most of us are vastly limited in in our ability to direct and control even our own lives. Cause and effect are routinely studied, but still no one knows what will happen. Actually, everyone knows, but no one wants to talk about it: everything will come to and end someday!

What is infinite? What is finite? Is time linear or circular or both or neither? Where is the root of our lives in time?

Time is another web we find ourselves in. Are we rooted in the womb, or in our ancestors, or are our roots somewhere else entirely. And where will we end? Birth leads to death as sure as anything, but if our roots grow beyond our birth, then it’s reasonable that our branches reach beyond death. And if it’s all circular, then what can we say about the beyond; the beyond will just lead us back to where we are. But as we are, as we perceive this world, we have no control over time. We are swept away as if by a river going to sea. The greatness of time is that it’s the great destroyer, dancing upon the ashes of the past so that new growth might emerge. No one knows what the new growth will be. Every time is completely unpredictable. Or is it? As the planets clock time in the macro-cosmos, so too is the micro-cosmos ever pushed into activity by time. All is moving, all is changing, and all is ever in relationship. We are products of time and time is produced by us: circles swirling with forward momentum. What is moving time?

What is fullness? What is emptiness? What is satisfaction? What is disappointment? What is the root?

I know what moves me: my appetite: for food and drink, love and affection, truth and beauty, or whatever other desire that arises to move about unrestrained. But they’re always restrained, because there’s so rarely a direct route to attaining our desires. We have to enter into relationship. We have to give and receive. Some would say we have to find balance between giving and receiving (between being active and passive); others would suggest we yoke them together.

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Identity

I realized something the other day. For a man on a spiritual path, it was a solid realization like running into a wall. The realization came about thru practical analysis of my will and desire as well as thru acknowledging my fears.

By mind and by impulse we want many things in life, but we only follow some of these mental promptings. We can know our true desires by the path we consistently follow. This is why people generally begin to know themselves better in middle age; we have some history to help guide us into the future. We begin many things only to have them fade away, other things that we do just seem to be a natural part of who we are. If we look close at the things that have faded from our lives, we can often relate them somehow to the more consistent path we are on.

Most of the time, most of us take action with hopes of some beneficial reaction. We give money, we get candy. We give our time and energy to work because we want money. We put our time and energy into meditation because we want peace. We want something in return for our expenditures of time, money and energy. But the truth is that most of us don’t know what we want and we wouldn’t know how to get it if we did. In the mean time our actions are often counter productive to attaining the higher goals of our life.

In our actions is everything: knowledge of ourselves, our abilities, our desires, and even our luck. But we have to look at our past actions without judgement or attachment to really recognize ourselves.

“Loose yourself and you will realize that there was no self to loose.”

This is a powerful spiritual statement. Loose yourself. Detach from your ego. Cease identifying with all your ideas of you. Imagine this scenario for a moment. Imagine yourself on some other path; perhaps the path of some rickshaw walla in India or some simple beggar in Canada. Some whole new you in some radically different situation with a radically new direction inn life. It’s quite an uncomfortable thought: disappearing from friends and family, not striving for name or fame or wealth or relations or anything at all.

I can honestly say that I’m not ready to give up on my ‘self.’ I have been cultivating myself and following this particular path of destiny for almost 38 years, I’m not particularly ready to throw it all away. This is the first wall I hit in my spiritual path. Or perhaps it’s more of a door that has opened in my spiritual life. I can never really tell. What I do know is that I’m happy with my life and direction. I don’t want to lose myself.

My sense of self is what it is. I’m not frightened or in conflict by what is inside me. It will all come to the surface when the time is right: the bliss, the pain, the fear and the courage. It will all dissipate too when the time is right.

The philosophical path I’m on started to become noticeable to me in my early twenties. Young and full of hope and optimism I began studying philosophy. Most people laugh at such idealism and remind one that there is no money in philosophy. Philosophers laugh at such people because there is no humanity in money. But they were right, I don’t think I’ve ever made a single penny with philosophy. But I have come much closer to humanity.

For a long while I turned my back on my own philosophical foundation and sought to identify myself as someone with more fiscal hope in life. Admittedly I didn’t raise the bar of fiscal hope very high. I changed my studies to writing and began identify as such. Later I dropped writing and dove into acrylics and canvas only to later switch to photography. I knew I’d never be an artist but I did have some small success in these areas.

The thing is, I never liked being identified as a construction worker; it was too base for my intellectual pride. I enjoyed the outside work, the hard labour, and the easy comradery with the crews, I just didn’t like the identification. The most humiliating question a person could ask was, “What do you do for a living?” Once the hours and the labour and the lifestyle started deteriorating my body, I knew I had to get out.

My luck took me to India eight years ago. I immersed myself in the various aspects of yoga: the asanas healed my body, the meditation helped me find calm, the lifestyle changed my own permanent behaviour so that many bad habits dropped away naturally and the philosophy and astrology have richly fed my mind. I began to see my own new lifestyle practices boom in the marketplace and I thought perhaps luck was leading me out of construction. Yoga and philosophy and holistics have simply become a part of my life; but the market place has not. It’s a dirty place this marketplace. Much dirtier than the shit smeared streets of Varanasi and the petty corruption that is part of my life here.

I’m not one to sell myself to the masses. To be honest, I don’t think I have much appeal for the masses. Perhaps it’s the years of construction that instilled such practicality in me. Working with people who were generally quick to accept but slow to judge makes me too honest and practical for the marketplace. In absence of office politics and mutual friendships honesty can flourish.

I don’t try to sell people their hopes and dreams. Everyone has to take care of that for themselves. I won’t hyperbolize my skills and knowledge and I won’t speak, practice or  teach beyond my own knowledge and experience just to impress. And I’ll do my best not to repeat in my own words something someone else has said with crystal clarity. This is why I have not written a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita despite several suggestions that I do so; all I can do is complicate and already clear and simple translation.

I was thinking about my own social identity when the ideas about the separations between internal and external came to me; the spiritual and the physical you could say. I often struggle with my social identity, and struggle with this struggle as well. I feel l like I know myself quite well, I’ve stretched myself beyond many limitation and recognise some of the ones that continue to hold me back (social identity being one of them). I’m comfortable with my contradictions and I know that my true self goes beyond words. I suspect it’s the social media aspect of identity that causes the most turmoil, but it’s the same when I’m asked by some new person what I do. What do I do?

I do so much, but yet I do so little and on the outside it seems to change so much month to month, year to years. Inside, these changes are small things, I know my path even though I can’t describe it. My path is an spiritual one until I come sit at my computer to use it as entrance into into the marketplace. What you’re reading is the only publicity I have. But in doing so I have to create an identity that I know only scratches the surface of what I’ve actually done while not even scratching the surface of who I really am. It causes me untold misery.

My desire to enter the market place of yoga and esoteric practice is not fed by a desire for money or fame, but merely to remain independent in my spiritual practice. My fierce independence and wandering ways have been both a spiritual blessing as well as a curse. If I could submit to an ashram or some such thing I could have an easy spiritual living, but this is not a long term solution for me. Neither, any longer, are my short bouts of construction work. The only next step I can envision in my physical as well as spiritual evolution is sharing some of my knowledge of yoga and healing and other esoteric subjects. The other problem I face is that many of the practices in these fields demand a kind of secrecy. They’re custom made for the time and place I find myself in and taking them out of that place and putting them into the marketplace or some blog post depreciates their value.

But as long as we go into society, we must identify as something. Our clothes and hair style and even the places we go are clues to our identity. In my case, I write and blog and have desire to bring my knowledge into the marketplace somehow. It’s perhaps this need to identify as something that is the dirtiest part of the marketplace. Or perhaps it’s just my own desire to be a part of it that I find so repugnant.

I have several identities actually. There my internal spiritual true identity. The one those I see in the course of the day experience; this one too arising quite naturally, and then there’s the one’s that are haphazardly crafted on line thru Facebook and WordPress and social media. I try to keep the online identity as close to reality as possible, but you know how it goes, you just can’t describe a full person in a sound bites. Internal identities are expansive while the external ones contract and limit.

And this is one of my greatest fears, that my online identity will not be authentic, but of course it won’t, it’s only a couple kilobytes.