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The intelligence that runs this universe of ours has a sense of irony.  Or is it humour?  Actually it is neither of those words.  It is something far more breath-taking:  it is synchronicity – and when it weaves in and out of mundane life, we glimpse the mystery.  At such times, we know with absolute certainty – you couldn’t make this stuff up!

 

I was thinking about pain, in the wake of the piece I had written on the subject. I had said that pain’s purpose was to create awareness. My focus, in the article, was more on emotional pain than physical pain. I soon had cause to consider the latter.

 

I had taken a yoga class in the morning and come home to my computer. Instead of working, I found myself listening to an interesting pod-cast. In the middle of it, still feeling energised from my class, I jumped up out of my seat to do a headstand. I threw my legs up, straight, in one movement (rather than bending my knees and coming up in two stages). I was rushing, stupidly, and as soon as my legs hit vertical I felt a ping, (or did I hear it?) at the top of my neck, or my spinal column.  Yep, it was painful.  I came down at once, cursing my foolishness  – or rather, my mindlessness.  Yoga is meant to be about mindfulness, about attention. As we bring conscious awareness to our practice, we bring body and mind together – in a metaphoric and literal merging of dualities. I’d done none of that. I was half listening to the pod-cast (on a near death experience!) and thinking about something else at the same time. How NOT to do yoga. 

 

Throughout the afternoon and evening the pain in my neck got worse – despite ice packs and painkillers.  Physical pain serves a vital and protective function – as we all know.  It hurt to move my head even slightly – clearly my body’s wisdom was suggesting I not do that. As the pain began to radiate down the length of my neck into my back and up into my head, hammering into my cells the lesson of paying attention, I thought about another interesting twist to my mishap.  The first was the synchronicity of thinking about pain and in particular, physical pain, then experiencing it – but as well as graphically illuminating the intention of pain, (yes, universe, it’s awareness, I’ve got it!) – I wondered about the planets.

 

I ‘do’ astrology – but I’m not usually very good at keeping a regular eye on my own chart; that is, my transits, solar arcs, progressions (the techniques of the dynamic chart). However a couple of weeks ago I decided to write all of them, for the year, in my diary – so I would see them daily, and keep up to speed.  I had noticed earlier in the day that I had a somewhat challenging, or stressful aspect of transiting Uranus to natal Uranus (apologies if astrological jargon is not your thing – essentially, Uranus in the heavens, that day, was making a mathematically significant angular relationship to the position it occupied when I was born).  I wondered what form this would take, and to be honest, I didn’t have a clue.  It involved Uranus so I decided it would be about ‘acting independently.’  I set about a few tasks along said line. Little did I know the universe had other plans.   I will quote from an astrology text (by Bil Tierney) on the nature of this particular aspect:   “This aspect appears to involve a greater degree of sudden upset and unexpected disruption that temporarily stuns, shocks or jolts our sensibilities……..  we are apt to react to conflicts in an overly forceful manner which tends to throw situations off balance (my italics;  headstand probably wasn’t the best thing to have done that day)……we are emotionally in a flux and at odds with an unprecedented turn-about of events out of our control. Situations under this aspect tend to break down or fall apart.”     The fact that the planet(s) involved in this energetic confluence was Uranus, underscored  the ‘sudden, shocking, out of the blue, stunning’ nature of the aspect , as these are all properties of Uranus itself. Tierney talks about ‘misjudgement’ and reacting in an ‘overly forceful manner’ and ‘lacking composure and self-restraint,’ in connection with this aspect.  Mmm, guilty as charged. I had flung my legs up into a headstand without my usual caution. I was quite unconscious, in fact, about what I was doing – operating on automatic pilot as we say.

 

So then, did the universe conspire to deliver the message to ‘wake up!’ – by compelling me to act in such a way that physical pain would the outcome  (via the shocking and unexpected energy of Uranus, and the nasty little aspect) – drawing my attention to my lack of attention, and bringing my awareness to the consequences of my lack of awareness ?   How else could I have really ‘got’ the fact that mindfulness is essential, in the practice of yoga, without experiencing pain?  We can understand something in theory – but the bottom line is – life is an experiential exercise.  We have to get it – in our connective tissue, in our nervous system, in our bodies to really get it into our awareness.

 

I concluded in my last piece, that I was drawn to the notion we can evolve without the necessity for pain. And this may be obvious when you think about it.  As awareness grows, we no longer need the experience of pain, in the body.  Why? Because, we have learnt the hard way, the consequences of a lack of awareness.  True, we may need the lesson repeated more than once. And this process may take many lifetimes. But ultimately, just as we are ‘outgrowing’ the need for the ego to occupy the drivers’ seat of our consciousness, we are growing away from the need for pain.  The word consciousness, by the way, seems to cause some confusion and debate, especially amongst the more scientifically minded – but simply, we (those of us communicating on the topic) use the word to describe a state of self-awareness – as differentiated from being alive and awake – ie not unconscious. We believe the universe itself is conscious. That is, it is self-aware – and on an evolutionary trajectory – just as we are.

 

How else can we explain meaningful coincidences – such as the one above?  We are not the architects of every event that befalls us – but clearly, someone, or something, with intelligence, awareness, compassion  and creative genius, is!    The planetary patterns, both real and symbolic, that accompany you on your voyage from cradle to grave, seem to follow a thread as it takes you in and out of all the experiences of your life for a reason. Whether you know your astrology or not, you cannot help but stand in awe of the mystery when you realize your entire life is a puzzle and that all the little twists and turns of fate, the chance encounters, the accidents, were taking you somewhere, teaching you something. And despite your self-awareness, unravelling it is beyond anything you can imagine.  (I suspect the unravelling will only come when we pass over and out of this physical reality.) When synchronicity casts its spell, shaking you out of ordinary consciousness, you know without a shadow of a doubt,  that you just couldn’t  have made this stuff up.

 

As conscious as I like to think myself to be, and armed with the ‘added advantage’ of knowing my astrology, I am nevertheless powerless to side-step my fate.  And why would l want to?  Yes, I know this is a hot topic and very much open for debate. But I see the universe, god, the supreme being, the creator, whatever you choose to call it – as intelligent and compassionate – meaning, ‘it’ has my, our, interests at heart.  Therefore, to try to side-step  the plan it has for me, whether by employing the tools of astrology, or the messages and warnings of psychics, channels and the like, is naïve.  It is egoistic to think we know better than the immense intelligence that created and orders the workings of the physical universe, from the circulation of blood and oxygen through our bodies, the pumping of our hearts – to the changing of the seasons and the transformation of matter into energy and back again. No, the most we can hope to do is to co-operate with the plan.  Using astrology, we may be able to make an educated guess as to the nature of what is heading our way – but trust me, the mystery will always prevail.  An astrologer friend of mine, of vast years of experience in the ancient art, saw he had a transit of the Moon looming. He thought it signified the death of his mother. Turned out, his wife left him.  Even he, with decades of wisdom and experience of the astro-logos, could not ‘guess’ what the universe had in store.   He might not have chosen that particular event,  but on some level, his wife leaving him was part of the plan for the evolution of his consciousness.

 

If the universe is invested in our becoming more aware, more conscious, and I believe it is, then we must learn to trust the process that is our life unfolding.  Our character dictates our fate in more ways than we might imagine – and our astrology dictates our character.  But we have free will.  Yes, I realize I have contradicted myself. The mystery is, if nothing else, paradoxical. We have the free will to become more conscious and to cooperate or work with the story of our life as it unfolds. And as we do, we understand that everything that comes to us – is for us!  I love the simplicity of that.  I feel it is true.  As we trust the process that is unerringly guiding us forwards, sending the experiences and lessons our way that enable us to fathom life, and ultimately, to know love, then whatever comes to us from ‘out of the blue’, we accept – and we use it well.

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