by Robert Wilkinson
I know I'm posting quite a bit on this theme these days, but it seems from feedback that it's very important now to figure out just how much "control" we do or do not have in what happens to us as well as our choices how to deal with such things.
This article originally was composed to answer a comment from a reader that went "I have read that when we don't live consciously, things then 'happen' to us as fate. I have also read that the outer planets (Uranus, Pluto) bring situations into our lives that are (seemingly) out of our control. Or do we attract these situations into our lives? How much control do we really have?"
To restate my take on these things, in my experience we have total ability to control our responses when confronted with situations both within our control as well as those that are out of our control. Whether we "caused" them or not, we can be productive, constructive, or destructive. We can be resentful, grateful, or anything in between. We can be happy, sad, frustrated, or take it as a challenge to rise to an occasion.
That said, we have no control over when we will have to confront the need to respond as best we can by rising to an occasion. What happens in our lives is often the result of prior causes. When they will happen is set at birth by the timing on our birth chart.
Besides what happens to us personally, due to karmas or another's influence (which may or may not involve past karmas), we all live within the larger configurations that affect everyone. These are the storms that rain on "saints and sinners alike." Regardless of what is happening, we always can shape our responses to what happens, regardless of how long we will have to maneuver through the rapids of life.
We shape everything by what we do, feel, and think in any given moment. We can get beyond certain problems fairly quickly, but we cannot escape our need to keep learning all we can learn in order to BE our Highest Self.
I originally answered the comment with the statement "Briefly, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto represent transpersonal pulses that affect EVERYONE. The rising or sinking tide that floats all boats, so to speak."
So from an astrological point of view, it is probably safe to say we have little to no control over how and when these operate in our lives, since they are transpersonal and therefore beyond personal issues and biases. They symbolize the broader sweeps of larger cycles, those larger life events that are "forces beyond our control," or Divine Energies that move us dramatically into new ways of doing our Being.
For example, we can choose to fear or love while we're enduring a life revolution, regardless of the "cause" of that life revolution. We can gripe or celebrate, but we can't do much about the fact that there IS a life revolution going on. We can only shape our responses to what happens, and override the lower self's tendencies to freak out while moving with the Divine flow. I continued my answer to the question:
"The Sacred Seven are the planets we learn to master, turning dysfunction into conscious utilization of each type of energy in productive ways that further the evolution of self and life. I did a post awhile ago on the dualities of the planets."
In those dualities are the secret of turning malfunctioning parts of our inner "lights" into skills and wisdom that help us get beyond being pushed and pulled by the imperfections of those planets and the inner functions they symbolize.
The Sacred Seven planets of antiquity are the 7 visible planets that are our inner "Lights." They include Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. These are our planetary principles. Our life challenge is to bring these parts of us out of error into an ever greater perfect functioning.
For example, Saturn's duality is Dominion/Slavery. How we deal with these shows us how effective we are in becoming conscious of our "Great Work" of the alchemists, that of becoming ever more effective in our living Self-realization. We do this by coming out of fears and control issues that keep us enslaved, also symbolized by a Saturn malfunction.
Throughout our lives, we are attracting (by our responses to life experiences) the lessons we must learn resulting from our thought-forms and desires, both conscious and unconscious. Our thought forms, desires, and actions set up our lessons where we learn love, wisdom, and intelligent action. By learning about these, and finding a healthy self-control of the lower nature, we come to BE, instinctively and consciously, our Higher Self.
As we become our Higher Self, we raise our vibration to levels where the lower nature does not attract negative experiences. That prevents many painful experiences, and facilitates many positive experiences. That's our true control over life.
While we may not be able to totally prevent difficult experiences (since that seems to be a part of life on Earth for everyone, regardless of their state of awareness) we can certainly learn how to surf the waves of disturbance as well as happiness by identifying with that which is beyond pleasure and pain, and therefore the oscillations between uncertainty and satisfaction.
While the timing on the major events of our lives is "fated," we always have the free will to respond positively or negatively, productively or destructively, ignorantly or with awareness of the higher possibilities in the moment. That's pure freedom.
© Copyright 2009 Robert Wilkinson(This article was originally published in April 2006, and incorporates much more material to flesh out some key points addressed then.)