Free Will Versus Predestiny
In light of people being significantly influenced by others around them, this is perhaps as good a time as any to finally address the
issue of free will. It should first be understood, though, that the view presented is only for the reader's reflection and consideration.
Unfortunately like Hindu astrology the matter is simple but not easy. However it can be grasped if one has great curiosity, patience, and humility. I might add that because many people are unwilling to
rigorously confront the question it is only the opinion relating to astrology about which I am stingy in my lectures. Quite simply, people are often too threatened by the subject to truly hear the
concepts, traditional though they are. Furthermore the issue is, from the point of an astrologer who practices Hindu and Western astrology and thus daily sees the workings of both fate and free will,
clearly meant for prolonged thought, not for spur-of-the-moment speculation. The question of free will is far and away the most
important matter to be handled by any astrologer for its absolutely at the heart of all astrological counseling.
Proper understanding of free will nearly always determines whether
an astrologer will benefit or harm his or her clients. People who are in distress and thus visit and astrologer to "see what the stars say"
do so in order to address a discrepancy in their experience of their own power, their own free will. As such the astrologer deals with
essentially two kinds of trouble. Either the client is not taking enough responsibility and doing what is necessary to solve the problem or
they are neurotically anguishing over an interest that is simply not in their power to control. Aiding the person through an objective
analysis of the situation is not terribly difficult. But it does require open-mindedness and a deep, rigorous understanding of free will versus predestiny.
The foremost reason for my journey to the East was to "cool out"
from the loss of my father. Since I was, at the time, unaware that Hindu astrology could ever be accessible to a Westerner, learning the subject was not my second priority. Coming to grips with the
issue of free will was. It had been on my mind ever since I began to study Western astrology. It was there daily, upon awakening and
upon retiring. I assumed that in my travels to India and Israel there would be enough priests, saints, and gurus to confer with after which I might finally draw my own conclusions. There were and I
did. While I had no mind-altering or highly mystical experiences regarding the matter, everyone, regardless of religious or spiritual background, said the same things. Though superficial teachers did
not draw the identical conclusions to those of profound thinkers, all acknowledged the same basic tenets. And well they should for the
principles are as traditional and conventional as knowledge ever gets.
Quite simply, nearly every religion, every doctrine attempting to
"bind man back to God" (for that is the meaning of religion: "re" meaning again, "ligio" from "logos" meaning the word or source,
literally "again source") appeals to man to behave in certain ways. In doing so, in requesting man to perform certain actions while
avoiding others, religion implies the existence free will in no uncertain terms. And since free will fully matches our experience,
the philosophy needs no clarification. The other maxim given out in nearly every belief system is that God is the "source" is omniscient,
be it past, present, or future. Now this premise, which implies predestiny (or as the mystics teach that in the same way a seed contains the entire finished product of the tree all of creation was
completed at the instant it was created) is, at least seemingly, diametrically opposed to free will. What is present then is a giant paradox (a statement that seems contradictory or opposed to
common sense an yet may be true): a paradox most people easily ignore because the first premise, free will, lives in their experience while the second, predestiny, lives in their belief system, which
therefore need not have any basis in reality. Not so simple, however, for an astrologer, especially an Hindu one who witnesses predestiny regularly in the course of his work.
What religions and philosophies say regarding free will does not, of course, make that information true. But since paradigms and
thought systems are not created by fools, even if they are followed and corrupted by fools, it does make them worth considering. Here I might add that the original meaning of the word consider was to
"confer with the stars" ("con" meaning with and "sider" from "sidus" meaning star; literally "with stars"). If one confers with the stars (and
not through the horoscope section of the daily news or the local gypsy) one does indeed find, quite openly, the element of fate. So
do consider, that is confer with the stars, if you would understand free will versus destiny.
Now, according to what has been presented, the astute reader will
conclude that free will versus predestiny is not the issue; free will and predestiny is. Free will exists, absolutely (without reservation
and free from imperfection). Predestiny exists, absolutely and unconditionally. Everything was already determined in the instant creation began. The combination of the two realities does not mean
that certain events are predetermined while others are, somehow, not. The truth is closer to: we choose with our free will and that choice, once made is predestined even though our free will is
indeed real! If this does not seem to make sense, it is not necessarily meant to. That is the nature of the issue. Paradox is not easy for the human mind to grapple with. It is nearly as difficult for
those who have practiced mysticism and meditation for twenty, thirty, forty years or even entire lifetimes. In the Far East there exist two
fierce stone lions at the front of every temple, as if guarding the entrance. Tourists marvel at their elegance. The wise know what
the lions represent. They stand for the two greatest obstacles on the path to God. One is doubt, or lack of faith; a problem certainly, but
one which many manage to overcome, The other is paradox. It is rarely conquered.
Astrologers wrestle with the paradox daily. For interpreters of the heavenly language experience the same free choice as everyone
else and at the same time go about predicting the design, purpose, and life schedule of people's lives. Often, as I have tried to show
through the accounts in this book, the "magic" works and predictions occur like clockwork. At times, for generally no rhyme or
reason they fall flat. Regarding predictive failures I feel obliged to address those who quite naturally believe that if astrology works so
much of the time then it must in fact work all of the time, the fault then lying in the astrologer's lack of experience and/or the complexity of the subject. In one sense I would agree. SInce
predestiny is absolute, all is predictable. And where, of course, better to find prognostication than through the heavenly language
which has survived, incredibly the test of time, charlatans, gypsies, and newspaper columns. Yes, ultimately the stars, if they are
generally and routinely correct in their revelations, must be always exact. Logically it would seem so. And as I began my work with the Hindu system, which so often proved wonderfully simple and
precise, the assumption made perfect sense.
In practice, however, I think it all is not predictable. For example,
while John Lennon's violent death and Richard Nixon's political downfall appear with such blatantness in their Hindu charts other major occurrence such as the sudden death of James Dean and
Ricky Nelson are nowhere to be found (at least not in their Hindu charts). It seems, at least from experience, that there always,
regardless of the astrologer's abilities, be predictions that flop and occurrences that happen and cannot be found in the blueprint. The
reason for this lies not in the simple fact that no one has ever experienced total accuracy from astrology but in the paradoxical
existence of free will and predestiny. For from the free will reality all, obviously, cannot be predicted. And it never will. From the reality
astrology can neither be nor even evolve to absolute perfection.
Free will is the counterpart reality to predestiny. And though it is not
one iota greater or more real than predestiny, it must be given equal weight or consideration or we will never even approach, let alone
understand, the truth of the matter. At this point I feel especially inadequate, more so then in expressing the authenticity of the heavenly language to non believer, to argue the imperfect or shall I
say non absolute nature of astrology. For when I assert that there are plenty of cases of blueprints not mirroring, in completeness, individual's lives one can always assume the fault is in the
astrologer's analysis and judgment. Worse, one can assert that our understanding of astrological technique is lacking. I have, to be sure
, no way to prove that such is not the case. In fact I have even no great argument against such intelligent logic. In the reality of predestiny such assertions are absolutely correct. What I do offer
are three premises. The first is that in the actuality of absolute free will astrology must, on some level, fail. Secondly, no one has ever
been completely accurate in his or her work with the heavenly language. And thirdly I would offer my own brief experience with its influence and contact with mentors and peers is quite ample. At least
ample enough for rational speculation.
When astrological analysis works, it really works, it does so simply,
easily, and openly. It works with integrity and without great complication and tedious technicality. Therefore, on those occasions when predictions and delineations fail, after all the
blueprint factors have been noted and properly analyzed, and the basic fundamentals have been found to be in place, astrology has
indeed failed. At least it has failed within "practical reality." There is, of course, another reality and viewpoint, which we may call "ultimate
reality," which presupposes that astrology is perfect and in time will be practiced as such. But this reality has less impact since we live in
relative existence where the practical always takes precedence over the absolutes and the ultimates. To attempt some sort of summary to the issue of predictive failure let us say that astrology will
never work completely unless there is a way for it to work completely and not at all.
The issue of free will and predestiny is difficult and paradoxical. For
many, unwilling to rigorously confront an issue, paradox invokes anger. At any rate, as a final personal note: while I am fully aware
that within one reality predictive perfection is impossible yet I intent to use my free will to regularly return to India to study with as many
experienced astrologers as possible. This I will do in quest for predictive perfection, which absolutely exists in the reality of predestiny. This way of living is the same one which every
astrologer is hopefully aware: that all is possible and at the same time predetermined but the only sane way to live is in the reality of
free will, with an understanding and acknowledgment of predestiny. A humorous quote by Issac Bashevis Singer expresses the matter: "We must believe in free will, we have no choice!"