Waiting for Nirvana and other nonsense

(first posted on the old blog on Friday, July 1st, 2009 at 1:31 AM)

Sorry for disappearing for a while: life has a way of demanding one’s attention at times.

Something I’ve read more than enough of lately has been claims that this or that planetary combination or eclipse or planet traipsing across a new sign or zodiac is the harbinger of a new age. All we need to do is sit here and soak in the magnificent energy of Charon stellia or transiting fill-in-the-blanks. Alternately, for those not as astrologically inclined, 2012 isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new era of peace, love, and understanding.

I hate to break it to the true believers in nirvana as a kind of pizza waiting to be delivered (what would we have to tip the delivery boy?). But neither spiritual advancement nor world peace is yours for the waiting.

This mistaken attitude reminds me exactly why I gave up my short-lived career as an astrologer. Yes I do think there’s “something” to astrology — but that something is not to be found in forecasting the future. Astrology is a language of symbols and concepts which pervade much of Western esoteric thought. Without being able to speak the language, much of what has been written over the millennia would be incomprehensible to me. I’m glad I drifted into the study of astrology many years ago.

What I was not glad about then, nor can I abide today, is the notion that this language describes outside forces which act upon us and shape our future. Thinking in those terms, even when those terms are softened by concepts like “probabilities” and “tendencies”, was not good for my thinking, and not at all good for the few people who offered me money so that I could describe the world to them in those terms. Even if astrology’s predictive powers were accurate beyond any credible disputation, looking at it as predictive would be destructive. The same goes for any other non-trivial form of forecasting, including  the 2012 Mayan calendar insanity.

We are not members of the audience watching a movie, waiting for the scene to unfold. This isn’t a movie, this is the real deal, and we are the actors, as in one-who-acts. No scene unfolds without our active participation, no scene even exists without our having collectively willed our roles in it into existence.

There is no nirvana, no pure land, no heaven, no moksa, no Summerland, and no new age, for those who wait, however expectantly. Wanting and waiting for world peace, for an end to hunger and want, for the very best hopes of one’s heart, will end with more war, more want, and more desolation, because the sociopaths who set the world ablaze for their own amusement do not wait and hope. Only action wins the day.

Today, right now, do what you need to do at this moment to bring about what you want. You will then have something much more valuable than knowing the future: you will have made the future.

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