Karma or Destiny?

Posted to Subscribers on 29 November 2011


Dear Subscribers,

Well, Mercury is retrograde and I have started this post several times now. I keep walking into the same room through different doors and then looking at the windows and wondering which view is most in focus. Let me try this one and see if it actually gets through the obstacle course in my mind.

Many years ago, maybe in the mid-80s, I went to lecture in Santa Fe with a neighbor who was a psychologist. Pir Vilayat Khan was telling a story about a patient who was consulting him for spiritual guidance and a psychologist or psychiatrist for guidance on other issues. They were giving her the opposite advice so the famous Sufi teacher called the psychiatrist and said that they were confusing the poor woman because while Khan was advising her to surrender her ego, the shrink was teaching her how to build a solid ego identity.

My neighbor bolted from the room, with the keys to car, but hitching a ride from someone in Santa Fe is very easy when you know half the people attending the lecture. It was anyone's guess whether we would recover from catatonia, but the crux of the issue is very relevant to current world affairs; and if we do not understand the ego and its edifice, we cannot make any sense at all of how power is used and misused.

As Pir Vilayat suggested, the ego stands in the way of spiritual understanding and expression.

A few years later, when the love of my life died, I had occasion to approach some of these same "problems" from another angle. Exactly what died?

For some years before that I had been giving a lecture at various conferences, several different titles but basically, it was about fate and destiny. Fate is what is determined by karma and destiny is what the soul is prompting us to unfold. Every individual appears to be in a tug-of-war between the unconscious forces of the past and future, between the subconscious and superconscious, and between repeating patterns or allowing new insight through which if focused clearly enough will result in more deliberate life expression.

These are just huge concepts and for the most part, they are absolutely massacred in most institutions today. As gently as possible, I would propose that when religions or science or schools or industries become dogmatic, the ego risks becoming trapped in the monotony of what is an acceptable view and sometimes terrified of the loss of support that characterizes the first steps of independent thinking. I will return to this later; in the meantime, so as not to leave too many thoughts dangling, let me take a little detour.

Because of the music therapy I had been facilitating for many people, I had become acutely aware that ultimately no memories are actually lost and nothing really changes without some major modifying force. To make this much clearer, let me take some simple examples of psychological patterns, but let me get out of the way and instead use a story told by Ouspensky. It was a long time ago, but I think the book was called The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin. I might make a mess of the summary, but as I recall, Osokin suffered from a syndrome in which he couldn't spit out the words he wanted to say when the opportunity presented. He wanted a chance to relive those occasions and get the words past the impasse in his throat. The magician said basically that it would be a piece of cake to turn back the clock but what wouldn't be so easy is handling the situations differently. Desperate — and incredulous — Osokin was convinced that given all the hindsight and regrets from which he suffered, he would in fact get the words out. The magician was totally convinced to the contrary. Needless-to-say, the magician was right. Of course, Ouspensky could put whatever lines he wanted wherever he wanted, but the beauty of this tale is that it shows how powerful a pattern is and what kind of skills are needed to transform a pattern.

In Osokin's case, he had trouble expressing his love when feeling criticized. For instance when his girlfriend was leaving by train for summer holidays, she invited him to visit her, but he was fingering a coin in his pocket and realizing how impoverished he was so instead of saying, "I love you but I can't afford the price of a train ticket," he allowed her to think whatever her creative imagination would conjure up to fill the void. In this case, given her patterns and predispositions, poverty was not understood but absence of affection was so her conclusions were wrong. I have been in Osokin's shoes many times and occasionally I am also caught without enough information to fill in the blanks so my imagination races all over the place and invents a list of probable scenarios, without of course knowing which is most likely true. What it takes in these situations to ask the right questions is simply beyond us and if we never acquire the needed skills, fate takes over one huge part of our life.

The energy or patterns that sustain these failures to function adequately in the social world are what we call karma, at least they constitute part of our karma. This part of ourselves seems to have practically the same imperviousness to death as the soul itself. At least, this was the conclusion I came to after countless regressions. The soul, of course, is immortal but given that its origin was divine, it has a piece of the Creator's Plan to unfold. It encounters obstacles at every turn. What happens is that in inspired moments, the urge to do something truly significant arises and then it fizzles when others start raining on your parade, when fears of consequences are assessed by the unconscious, when temptations distract us from our intentions, and so on and so forth. We can learn to live quite safely if we banish both fear of karma and fear of failing God. The ego is just amazingly clever and arises as a kind of director of life affairs with all the shame and blame as well as glory. At the end of life, the body and the ego die. The chaos in the karmic arena nearly guarantees a certain amount of regret and the soul, untouched by Earth reality, ascends. It's an amazing schism that has been exploited by countless theologians, politicians, and you name it.

If we were functioning as souls, we could not be coerced into evil but if we are functioning as prisoners of our own dysfunction, we cannot escape the hells of our own psychic imaginations. It's really that simple, but there is much, much more to these issues in the context of the current radical forces at play in the heavens.


Some people really hate Uranus. I love Him, but it doesn't mean that the way He reciprocates my love is always comfortable. In fact, Uranus could put some time into His style and perhaps find a way to get our attention that is not so disruptive. Hear ye, hear ye!

Uranus is sometimes called the Magician, but what exactly is a magician? A magician of this immense Cosmic stature is One with a knowledge of the next phase to unfold. What is unfolding could be understanding or something less abstract. Uranus has the duty to explain the mandate and to get it manifested by playing on the receptive apparatuses of people who "tune in" to the right channel. For instance, using Thrive as an example, we could say that Gamble tuned into a portion of the manifesto for the future and accepted the challenge of presenting it.

In a way, I understand precisely how this works because I used to see the pieces of the future but always at more or less awkward moments. For instance, while driving, I would hear the words of totally new constitutions, educational curricula, healing methods, etc., etc., but I didn't pick up the ball and run so I know the difference between a psychic and a messenger. I might be more useful in some other capacity. When we hear the Truth for the first time, it is often shocking because it frequently challenges us to defend or surrender conflicting opinions. All of science is like that. We know the famous quote from Schopenhauer:

“All truth passes through three stages:
First, it is ridiculed;
Second, it is violently opposed; and
Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”

You can see how painful resistance can be. This is why I counsel people under a Uranus influence to cultivate curiosity and elasticity. Curiosity is necessary because an open mind will allow new ideas to find their places without creating a backlash that is violent. Flexibility is important because when we are going through changes, we often have to let go of outmoded thoughts and to adjust our life styles to conform with the new understanding. If we are not flexible, we use our resilience to battle the inevitable and this is really exhausting.

As Schopenhauer suggested, Uranus rarely wins on the first round. However, once the Truth is out, it is a matter of time before it prevails because Truth is ultimately more sustainable than falsehood and this is the basis for considerable hope.

Those who see Uranus as a malefic are usually people whose wake up call was particularly uncomfortable and therefore they resent the tactics used. Those who regard Uranus as a benefic are those who value Truth and who accept the need to adjust to what is known. Personally, I would just urge people not to resist the Truth because resistance is tiring and a point comes when it is simply indefensible.

That leaves us with the question of how do we know what is true and what isn't? In the upside down world of today, that is a really fair question, and it's very unlikely that any major figure is going to make it easier for anyone to discern fact from fiction. In short, most people are on their own so each comes to new realizations at his or her own speed. In the meantime, there is usually quite a bit of stress and strain that takes its toll, mainly on the nervous system. Use of very high quality oils for cooking and supplementation, good hydration, and attention to immunity help enormously to get through these cycles safely. It also helps to pace oneself and complete each task before starting another. This means that multitasking, great as it might be for the ego, does not show respect for the body which bears much of the burden of the stress. If you can alternate between tasks requiring concentration and mindless chores, it is also helpful. For instance, do something requiring all your attention and then do the laundry or take the dog for a walk or pull some weeds. Allow some downtime between "events".

It also helps to pay attention to "volume" because a lot of Uranus energy works on the etheric level which is the one associated with sound. Remember, the earth element rules smell, water is associated with taste, fire with sight, air with touch, and ether with sound. Sound is therefore the matrix for everything so we should use more discernment than usual for what sounds we allow to influence us.



As suggested, one of the most awkward aspects of Uranus "moments" is the issue of belonging. Many of us rarely think in specific terms about this, but we all craft identities out of where we see our social selves. Realistically, we belong to a family with a specific history and tradition. We have gender identity, racial identity, ethnic identity, and class consciousness as well as identities based on beliefs, education, politics, and even which sports and teams we prefer. We spend time socially with those who share our affinities or stimulate our awareness. To think for a moment that we can exist as social beings without any sense of belonging is a grievous misunderstanding of what it means to be a homo sapien. Unfortunately, some of our identity is so tangled up in our sense of belonging that we fight over differences or our differences are exploited by those who get us to fight each other for their own purposes. In any event, if you are wondering just how easy it is to feel kinship during change, just try a few experiments within the privacy of your own mind. For instance, in your mind, visit your parents and tell them that you have decided to renounce wealth and inheritance and to devote the rest of your life to helping the poor in Zimbabwe to build sustainable lives. If you think that was difficult, go to church and tell a few people that you have been reading up on the history of Christianity and decided the missing books of the Bible need to be restored . . . without editing. Or, go to a political convention and tell them you have seen enough balloons and heard enough shouting and now you want to devote your time and energy to restoring the environment and you will not support any candidate who is backed by Big Money. So far, you haven't even challenged anyone to agree with you. The only risk is that you will feel very much more alone so you take on the risks that come with marching to a different drummer. The higher your profile, the more reactions you trigger and so the Path of Uranus can be volatile.

This also shows why conformity is comfortable for a lot of people. It is very safe for the ego and the body, the only parts of ourselves that are mortal, and very insecure for a host of reasons because denying what we know to be true is the first step towards a warped psyche and all the problems that arise when the unseen parts of ourselves are not on the same page with the seen part. The outcome of this battle is 100% predictable: the seen dies so that we are reunited with the immortal. The challenge is therefore how to create the kind of sustainable society in which there is no conflict at all between the mortal and immortal, no conflict whatsoever over differences or sameness, no pressure at all to be anything we are not.

Many blessings,


Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2011



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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2011

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