When you walk down the street today, or get into your car, do you have a sense of the spirit of your car, or the spirits alive within the world around you, that occupy your life with you. Chances are that you do not, especially if you are a westerner. There were and are cultures and traditions that hold everything in the world to have spirit, and to be alive. Those cultures and traditions tend to be called primitive by those of us who live in the modern world and enjoy the amenities of modern medicine, modern electronic internet products, and modern transportation.
But are we richer emotionally and psychologically than the societies that have kept or had a deep understanding of the universe as a place filled with life and spirit? Do we experience the feelings of interconectedness of Na’vi in Avatar, or are we wandering a desert landscape of nihilism like Mad Max, speeding to our own fiery death. For us to be aware of the spirit in our lives, is to be able to find meaning and wholeness. It is to gain a richness of being, that we are part of a living fabric, rather than isolated pieces of matter. How did we as humans loose this view? It is accordingly to the Vedic and Buddhist traditions the nature of the times. We are living during the dark age where matter and material has paramount value over spirit. We are deep in the darkness of matter. It is something that happens cyclically to the spirits that are trapped in matter and body.
In understanding how, or why, astrology can have a meaningful effect on ones life experience, I believe we are better off if we hold a view of the world as a container, and its contents, as being alive, rather than just purely matter. The idea that matter is apriori to things themselves, or the beings of things can be traced to the philosophical musing of Aristotle. Before him, in the west, we had Plato who invisioned things as coming forth from a perfect and alive universe that had a wholeness of mind, as well as a multitudes of mind that experienced that wholeness. But then came along Aristotle. I am not sure he meant for us to look at all physical objects of the universe as being devoid of a being that experiences, but that is how the west took him, eventually forming the modern scientific materialistic world view.
The result is that we have riches beyond compare, but for the most part we are dissatisfied with our lives. It is so bad, so terribly bad, that we are as a species destroying the natural fabric that constitutes the basis of life on earth. When people look out into nature and they see a realm of life, of spirit, then they naturally would avoid harming that nature and life. But when we look out and see nothing but resources for promoting our riches, why would we not harvest those riches.
Many of us, do have respect for nature, and are aware of the great extinction that we are creating. It is the sixth great extinction, according to those who study the matters, but unlike the other five, it is caused by the dominant species on the planet, rather than being the result of natural dynamics. The question is do we behave in a way that can help negate this extinction? I was in Florida last year, speaking with some longterm friends who live there. They spoke casually of the fact that sea level rise would put most of Florida underwater in the next 50 years. They talked about how they were already paying taxes forward for shoreline defense. As they were talking I watched beautiful parots fly through the palm trees, and gazed at the incredible subtropical light which illuminates the Florida landscape. Then I looked at all the condominiums running air conditioners 24 hours a day keeping rooms at a cool 65. Then I lowered my eyes and counted the streams of SUV’s that were driving by. It was discordant, we are all aware of the problem of climate destruction, but we keep on living in a consumerist based mindset.
Is the answer to this mindset to stop modern technology and corporate political dominance of the world. As an astrologer, I can tell you that is not going to happen! We are entering the age of Aquarius, scientific rationalism and social containment through corporate structures are with us for the next two millennia. Abandoning it is not an option. But, we as individuals, can start bringing the sacred spirit back into our lives. That will be of benefit. We can start seeing the life in everything and respecting it, whether it is our houseplants, our cars, our clothes and food cans, or even our toilet. In Tibetan Buddhism there are prayers for dedicating your piss and shit to the ghosts in the toilet that will partake of it once you leave the bathroom. That is seeing and honoring the spirit in everything. That is a perception change, and one which can create a perspective change that will cause us as humans to respect the world rather than destroy it.