Today we’ll engage in philosophical discussion about the astrological moment that is crucially important for consulting practice. I’m referring to life patterns that come and go creating so-called good and bad patches, or lucky and losing streaks in our life. It all happens under the influence of our past that affects our mind. The state of mind in the material world is called material conditioning. Modes of material nature affect us differently at different time periods called dasha in terms of astrology. And first and foremost, they exert influence on our mind. Therefore, understanding of time patterns is so important for astrology predictions. Planets determine when, how and what modes of nature will have the major impact on our consciousness. Planets are the very embodiment of these modes. This understanding enables an astrologer to define how the mind of a person is being affected at various times.
You must realize that these laws are fully applicable to materialists only. Materialistic people are fully under the influence of material energy. However, one must take a different approach for dealing with transcendentalists. It becomes not so direct and straightforward. Transcendentalist is the one who applies earnest efforts to transcend material nature. Hence, its laws no longer affect him fully. If we hold consultations for transcendentalists, we have to make allowances for their spirituality. Or else, our help will be ineffective and may even do harm. Remember: transcendentalist is not an ordinary man. He’s one in a million. He/she will soon be removed from the denizen list of the material world.
But in all other cases the laws of material nature exert their full influence. Remember: the exception only proves the rule.
Scriptures say if the mind is absorbed in thoughts of the Absolute Truth, influence of the modes will continue but won’t necessarily make itself felt. Therefore, it’s so dangerous, for example, to talk on the phone while at the wheel. The driver’s mind is distracted, and he/she is no longer able to control a car, feel the speed and danger. The same happens on the spiritual path. A transcendentalist deeply absorbed in spiritual thought no longer notices what happens on the material plane. The influence of the material world stops for him/her.
This is what makes spiritual miracle. It’s not that one doesn’t come down with disease. One is taken ill as before – but an illness doesn’t affect his/her consciousness. One continues to be absorbed in spiritual life. One is even more deeply engaged in it. Again, the miracle is not that wealth comes to you but that poverty no longer causes distress. More than this – lack of means even facilitates spiritual advancement. In a nutshell, if one embarks on a spiritual path, not only lucky streaks do good, but losing streaks, as well. Moreover, they even compete which of them will be of more help.
In brief, if the mind is absorbed in spirituality, it transcends matter. The modes of material nature don’t have a strong severe effect on that person. They ease their grip. They have little or no influence on him/her at all.
Three methods to enter spiritual reality are described in the scriptures. The first one requires constant thinking of the Absolute Truth. One may find it the most difficult, however. To be really into that the heart of a person must be crystal clear. Therefore, another method is given. It involves rendering service to the Absolute Truth in the form of a deity, or murti. This is much easier since not only our mind but all our senses are engaged in service. In this way, it becomes much easier for the mind to focus on the Absolute Truth.
Although, it may also seem complicated. Therefore, the third method is recommended. It involves the ability to act for the higher purpose, with due regard to one’s inborn nature and innate skills. This is called daivi-varnashrama. By doing things we have natural inclination to we can fully engage our mind and protect ourselves from the influence of matter. This is the easiest method to be explained to a person not so deeply versed in philosophy. But don’t forget to highlight the importance of service leading to the supreme goal. One shouldn’t fall under the impression that following one’s vocation is the supreme goal in itself. It must be dovetailed with the service to the Absolute Truth. It’s just that by doing things we are talented for it’s much easier to get focused. We can reach the Absolute Truth quicker then. Hence, the secret of finding your calling is not to perform better by using your innate skills. The secret is that you get more focused on the Absolute Truth by dovetailing your talents for service.
However, there’s another, fourth method known to the sages. It consists of imparting spiritual knowledge to those who don’t yet possess it. This powerful method includes all the three mentioned above. When we try to convey knowledge of the Absolute Truth, we have to always think of Him, serve Him, engage the entire body in service to the Absolute Truth.
We won’t be able to get rid of material entanglement by means of cunning, bribery and fulfilling gross material desires at the cost of spirituality. For instance, in one of spiritual traditions the mantra “Om Namo Narayanaya” is chanted for attaining spiritual perfection. Yet those who want to fulfill their material desires shorten it and chant only “Narayanaya”.
Spirituality is not the alternative way to fulfill your material wishes. Spirituality means independence from material wishes. Materialists like to criticize transcendentalists that they use all amenities and comforts of modern day life, as other people do. But the essence of spirituality is not to reject the blessings of civilization but rather not to be dependent on them. When deprived of modern facilities, a materialist begins to suffer, while a transcendentalist is happy regardless of whether he/she has these facilities or not. Moreover, a transcendentalist becomes even happier being deprived of facilities for some reason or other. That is the difference. Ignorant people want transcendentalists to sleep on the grass and eat stale bread. But we don’t change our body – we change our consciousness. Or, to be more precise, we transfer our consciousness from the influence of material modes and place it in the sphere of spirituality and thus, eternity, knowledge and bliss.
For our mind to transcend matter, being interested in the Absolute Truth is not enough. We must get the Absolute Truth interested in us. Unfortunately, spiritually absorbed person becomes so exalted sometimes that surrounding people can no longer understand him/her. This is a bad sign. The Absolute Truth is also personal, but how do we expect Him to understand us if we can’t find common language even with our relatives? With the express purpose of keeping us from this trap, knowledge transfer method is given. Indeed, in order to explain something I’ve realized I must make myself understandable. Remember this secret: if people understood my spiritual knowledge, this means that the Absolute Truth Himself has understood me. It goes to show that I’m getting beyond the influence of matter.
Another consulting trap consists of too much immersion in mysticism. The desire for mystic powers is nothing else but the desire to gain a form of control over living beings. The urge is there to tell mysteries about the influence of planets. Or one may crave to give a mystic method of release from karma, by saying something like “throw black mustard seeds over your left shoulder”. If I want power and authority over others, it means that I simply want to enjoy myself. I’m not at all desirous of making others happy; teaching them how to enjoy. Hence, those who help others must always watch their motives. Can’t it be that I want clients to feel that I have great knowledge; that they are now dependent on me? Isn’t it that I’m taking power into my own hands, overriding even the Absolute Truth? This is all very, very dangerous.
One more problem when lending assistance is as follows. When a person is not too spiritually advanced, we may feel the urge to impart the desire of spiritual growth as quickly as possible. But since they can’t think for themselves on that platform yet, they won’t be able to pursue it anyway. They’ll have to come back to the consultant each time to restore their spiritual vision. Since no one is eager to do so, people become disappointed in consultancy as such. Therefore, to give a person spiritual sight is not enough. We must welcome consultees to the good spiritual society where they can preserve their spiritual achievements.
It also has to do with hankering after power. You can’t give help to people with the purpose of having ascendance over them. Subconsciously they’ll feel they can’t maintain their choice on their own. They’ll feel dependent on the consultant.
Indeed, we begin making positive changes if we confide in a more experienced counselor. It’s a counselor who steers us in the right direction towards the sublime. And it’s true that in the early stages of personal growth one can’t stand on one’s own feet, unable to think things out for oneself. But still, if it becomes a habit, one is sure to be overpowered by weakness. Therefore, positive help means to invigorate someone’s consciousness through reasoning, conversations, joint discussions, questions and answers. Only in a well-balanced society is this possible. Proper conclusion to be made is: “First I gave it the benefit of the doubt, but now I’m fully convinced that was a right decision.”