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The Soul as Guide

William Blake’s illustration, ‘the Soul as Guide,’ portrays a spiritual ascent and evolution which many have felt at some time. This lovely impression expresses manifest sense : our immortal spirit can be expected to serve no less than to guide us to this knowledge of ourselves and our world.

It is natural to believe the material ascent of man is in competition with our spiritual progress and it has proved a sad distraction. Seen in a proper perspective, we will recognise this material world, the ‘earth’ spirit of metaphysics, as the playground of our souls and our material success will prove the foundation for our higher aspirations.

Astrology Promises the Tops
Tracing the interaction of all the planets in the horoscope, astrology reveals such an infinitely sophisticated regime of spiritual harmony, spiritual support, it is difficult not to conclude, to feel, this all serves a higher purpose. We instinctively sense our destiny to be worthy, to comprehend this light, this manifestation of God’s craft. Glimpsing this vision, it is difficult to imagine this infinite symphony of spiritual energy is without design, or that it serves some base end, anything less than a supreme ideal, anything less than the high ideals of God.

Those who follow astrology invariably embrace a strong spiritual dimension in their lives, even such pre-eminent scientists as Isaac Newton. When we recognise the reality of the invisible realm of metaphysics and so acknowledge the spirit within, the unconscious impulse to a higher insight is equally implicit and usually becomes a conscious guiding light.

Astrologers may only recognise relatively crudely the strongest patterns of any horoscope within an individual life but these provide an ample assurance of the spiritual principle at work : the minutiae, on which the greater themes ultimately depend, must also be divinely ordained, prescribed by the planetary gods.

The heavenly harmony of the planets in each individual’s personal astrology mirrors our every earthly experience. Our lives constantly resonate the heavenly branding of our birth. As above, so below. This elevated revelation merely reflects the extraordinary orchestration of our own minds, the intricate arrangement of our own spirits, in the concourse of everyday life, the infinite range of our daily affairs. Even when it’s only making sense of all we see on TV. This astrological insight exalts our mind games to a proper recognition of the gods at play : divine brilliance, divine mischief and divine drudgery within our mental theatre. Immortal scriptwriters for our own soap operas.

It may be complicated but it’s simply fate. The inconceivably complex choreography of this enchanting stardust dance demonstrates the essential law of logic, the law of cause and effect : nothing happens by accident, everything is ordered and follows inevitably from what has gone before. Infinitely subtly, usually inscrutably, but ineluctably, inescapably. There is no conflict with free will (Astrology page) here. We do what we want at any moment. But what we want can only be a result of our circumstances and ultimately, for God, or the great Spirit that unites and knows all creation, what we will want is not in doubt. The future is not in doubt.

Why God is Good
The future is golden. Above all astrology shows the Spirit of the Sun is the overwhelming power of our lives. Astrologers readily recognise this spirit of the Lion as the spirit of life, warmth, strength, pride, happiness, humour, a spirit of play, a spirit of love, binding us all, unconsciously perhaps, in mutual respect and affection. Our lives depend on it. This is the definition of goodness, the definition of life at its best, strong and sustainable. This is the Spirit which pre-dominates over all others in astrology and in life, however much darker or more dangerous themes may seem to obscure the light from time to time.

This is why all the ancient faiths agree, in their different ways, to say God is Good and God is Love. Plato, the great cosmic philosopher, in the Timaeus (29-30), insists God is good and ‘wishes all things to be good,’ adding, rather profoundly, ‘It is impossible for the best to produce anything but the highest.’ These are the ultimate truths behind life; this is the strongest spirit of all. It is this Spirit which propels us ever onwards and upwards. It is this Spirit which Blake, not alone among the poets, recognises as the inspiration of our own souls.

‘What We Are Becoming’
Some of the wisdom of the Essenes, the exclusive Jewish sect which preserved the teachings of the Messiah, the Christ, to form the foundation of Christianity, are preserved in the miracles of the Dead Sea scrolls. The Essenes were keen astrologers and Kabbalists. One of the scrolls introduces us to the Essenes’ profound meditation on the mystery of ‘What we are Becoming,’ looking forward to a return to Eden, to the Kingdom of God. This spiritual evolution is described as ‘what we always require,’ recalling Christ’s words ‘Man cannot live on bread alone; he lives on every word God utters.’ (Mt.4. 4 NEB)

This future enlightenment can be glimpsed as the Essenes, ‘the holy ones,’ are encouraged to ‘day and night meditate on the mystery of what we are becoming and always require. Then you will know the truth and the yoke of Wisdom,’ knowing ‘all their ways with their ordained course to the end of the earth and the predestined course of eternity’ .. ‘with the ability of understanding the hidden secrets of His thought,’ … ‘and then you will know the glory of the universe, along with the mysteries of His wonder.’ (4Q 417 trans. Steven A. Fisdel)

One of the Thanksgiving Hymns also refers to this spiritual evolution, ‘And they know You … In accord with their knowledge and the extent of their understanding, You allow them to improve. And in accord with their situation, they serve You ..’ (1Q H col. 20) This equation of enlightenment with serving God’s Will is common to all faiths and is equally expressed in the wonderful image of the ‘yoke of Wisdom.’ Should one serve instead one’s own empty ends or the ends of men ? There is no lighter rein when one knows the road only goes home, no greater reward for all than a way paved and landscaped with glory, goodness and promise.

We have only to consider the history of literacy to measure the present progress towards greater enlightenment. Knowledge for the ancients was always an elite affair, and even six centuries ago the priests were learned, the rest in awe. Then around 1500 printed Bibles translated from Latin were a revelation for the increasingly literate middle classes.

Now our ‘enlightenment’ may favour the bright lights of Lucifer, ‘the Bright One’ but the dazzle of materialism is rapidly paling. The letters we have learnt for the false promises of an economic wonderland will serve to read the runes of a higher heaven.

Already our social and moral evolution has been breathtaking over the last centuries, over the last decades, by any historical measure. Ever since the protest of Protestantism became an established fact of faith five hundred years ago, the search for spiritual truth has seen men and women progressively reject the intervention of a priesthood between themselves and their God for an increasingly direct, personal relationship. A closer approach to the truth.

Searching and finding ever-new ways to recognise the spirit within, the One uniting all. An explosion of spiritual exploration, spiritual awareness, for the new age.

Brighter Mind, Higher Mind
Instinctively we honour most those who impress us with their spiritual wisdom, those who show the way in this spiritual evolution, those who rise above the traps of power and wealth. This is the mark of a higher mind.

Yet our popular mythology likes to portray aliens as bent on confrontation and conquest. It is not unreasonable to suppose other life is aware of our plight, our troubled struggle, and wants to tentatively reassure us we are not alone, in a neighbourly way, not too pushy. If such visitations are a reality and impressive numbers of people believe they have witnessed some kind of visit, the vast tracts of the galaxies will not have been bridged by the tortures of our tin-can technology. By any material means.

Intergalactic travel will probably be based on the infinite power of the mind, the spirit.

Whatever the means of a far more advanced culture, we cannot sensibly imagine they would be stuck subject to our present level of spiritual twilight, bent on aggression. We cannot evolve beyond our obvious nonsense without learning the lesson of love. So old, so wilfully misunderstood.

The higher sciences, astrology and theology, declare our ascent towards the light is the universal law of life.

Every mistake only emphasises the lesson we are learning, over many lifetimes.

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