Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later. ~ Bob Goff
I have seen people in my laughter yoga sessions who seem unable to drop the mask of identity, and therefore can’t bring themselves to laugh – sometimes for an entire 30-40 minute session. That takes some effort! Afraid to dare to be liberated from the role they have unconsciously imposed on themselves, and so bound up in their projected image, they feel they can’t risk losing control by laughing like an innocent child in front of – gasp! – strangers.
We are inevitably vulnerable and insecure with others when we carry the illusion of a special identity. This strong and inflexible sense of individuated self – or nationhood – and the delusion of superiority and exclusiveness is what allows racism to flourish, and ultimately feeds the belief that we don’t need each other.
The more we cling to an idea or an identity, the more there will be suffering. Many people find it difficult to relate to the idea of suffering because they conceive of it as something dramatic, horrible and painful. But suffering is often quite subtle, even unconscious. It can come in the form of a vague sense of isolation, jealousy, indignation or resentment. All of these and more are the result of our ego attachments – the delusion that we are of a particular nationality, religion, culture or social class. These attachments to geography, race, belief or history – as if these things were solid and fixed – inevitably lead to more and more suffering on an individual and collective scale. World events offer us many glaring examples of this principle in action.
2016 has seen a crystalisation of this process in such an obvious, striking and painful way that many people are now forced to ask themselves some difficult questions, perhaps for the first time ever. It’s hard to drop the narrative of independence and superiority, and whether as a teenager or a nation, it’s the same process. At some point the pain of separation becomes too exhausting to bear, it’s too much effort to sustain the drama and we surrender to the obvious – no (hu)man is an island, and we are all profoundly interconnected in ways the everyday human mind can only attempt to understand. It’s quite humbling to recognise that we are fundamentally the same, and we truly need each other to survive.
If you’ve been following the astrology with me, you will remember that this year was set to be a confusing time due in some part to the challenging influence of Saturn squaring Neptune for most of 2016, and especially from June to early October. The tension between these two planets creates uncertainty and a lack of clarity around decisions or life direction. The truth becomes very wobbly and highly pliable – we are more easily fooled, and paranoia and fear are dominant, so people can be swayed by ideologies that they don’t even fully understand. Sound familiar?!
There is a precise term for the energy I’m describing, oddly enough: agnotology. The word was invented by Stanford University professor Robert N. Proctor, who described it as “culturally constructed ignorance, created by special interest groups to create confusion and suppress the truth in a societally important issue.” Hmmm…
Issues of identity and identification with ideals or images have become stronger and more prominent since the radicalising force of Uranus entered the wilful and self-focused energy of Aries in late May 2010. Uranus wants us to be free of any limitations, and in Aries, it wants to be seen doing it, and on its own terms! It’s about a greater sense of awareness of being, and can lead us to a profound consciousness shift, or simply to more selfies and tweets, depending.
Meanwhile, since October 2008, Pluto in Capricorn has been destroying all structures – the bigger, the better – that have outworn their usefulness, or which can’t keep up with the times. Individual opinions and increasingly strong ideas of self-image are forced upon the public scene, begging to be noticed and challenging the status quo. Suddenly, it seems like there’s a need to publicly declare one’s sexuality and violently force political opinions on everyone else. It’s hard to just agree to disagree with this energy about – conflict lies very close to the surface of nearly every issue.
Our interconnected existence means that we can’t escape the consequences of (apparently) independent action. We are no doubt each unique expressions of life in this world, yet we are in no way special in the true sense of the word. Only when we wake up to this truth will we be able to work towards the peace and harmony that everyone craves. Traditional cultures around the world have greetings that affirm this wisdom: Indians say Namaste, meaning the eternal/divine Self in me recognises that Self in you; the Mayan in lak’ech means I am you, and you are me, and the Southern African word Ubuntu means “I am what I am because of who we all are”.
In yogic teachings, we are told to seek our true self as a man whose head is on fire seeks water. Our collective head is on fire now, and the collective suffering is intolerable. Don’t waste another moment of this precious human life – wake up fully to the true nature of your existence, for everyone’s sake.
Since early 2016, Mars has been heating things up and touching on several raw nerves. After several weeks of retrograde motion (which occurs roughly every 2 years), Mars is moving direct again as of today (June 29th), which will have the effect of speeding things up and unblocking so many of the issues and projects that have been stuck or hard to get off the ground since the spring. This can be a good time for negotiations of all kinds, if you can stay alert to the potential for deception. But it’s also a time where people can become easily triggered and reactive, so keep a low profile and avoid engaging where it’s not necessary, especially in July.
The collective and individual pictures will change considerably after August – in the meantime, don’t get too hooked on what the media or polls say, and don’t fret if you’re not certain about the future. Who is?! Focus only upon what is essential about you and within you. The current situation will change considerably, and September will bring us all a clearer picture of what the heck is going on and how to respond with some sanity and dignity.
Much love and light,