Not About Belief!

Vedic Astrology is not about Belief. It is an empirical art which is based on a massive effort (since thousands of years) by observers who correlated events in an individual’s life with external movements of heavenly bodies. Pertinent point is that correlation DOES NOT mean causation. It is not the planets causing the events, their movement is used as a yardstick to correlate events on earth relative to the snapshot of the heavenly bodies at the exact time of birth of an individual.

Talking about belief can be a long book in itself. I am presenting briefly about my ideas on it. As a background my father and elder sister are a Gastroenterologist & Gynecologist respectively. My mother is a lawyer turned administrative officer in the Government. Hailing from a background deeply valuing science and education, astrology was not a natural progression by any means. My father especially would have nothing to do with it, being trained in Science with a long list of medical degrees and training. As I mentioned earlier I was a skeptic as well and over the last 2 decades, the more I tried to disprove or expel the existence of astrology, the more it proved itself!

Belief is a beautiful thing, a strange thing and a deadly thing – all based on the context of a situation. When we grow up, learning about our culture/ religion etc. beliefs are crystallized in our mental structure and become our ‘foundation’ so to speak. The child who is afraid of thunder or the creature in her closet needs safety, the adult is no different, we all need an Anchor of safety in our lives. Something which we can always rely on. Something/ someone who knowns better than us and guides us, especially when times get rough.

Call it God, Almighty, Nature, Omnipresent entity etc. it is of course within us and everywhere around us. In this context, belief is beautiful and powerful. It is that self-balancing force which can control crime in a civilized society more than any law enforcement ever can, it is the law enforcement within us. It can also be our mental reflection of our highest ideals, our highest morals and goals.

It can be transcendental in our belief (existing outside the worldly realm) or immanental (living and operating within us in the day-to-day world)

It is also the ‘force’ which we rationalize in ourselves when the variables affecting our lives start getting into millions and are beyond our comprehension of intelligence and knowledge. Typically knowing the rationality behind anything gives us comfort and so the ‘force’ of almighty is the also the final rationality to give us a reason for things which are beyond reason to us. Things which we don’t understand or can’t control. Things which in our minds over power us and hence we need that force/ belief to overpower on our behalf.

In the context of giving us stability, satisfaction and something to look up to/ forward to – it’s a beautiful thing.

By the same token, regardless of what our beliefs are, it takes a highly trained mind to be able to over ride the Crystallized thought process later in life and no matter how high the IQ, fluid intelligence is usually trumped by the crystallized thought process. After all something that ‘worked’ for us till our adulthood should be right, No? Else the implications are grave, our very belief foundation starts shaking and we can defy any newly presented facts and even get ‘violent’ (not physically always) to defend our beliefs. After all it is a part of us and any questioning of the same leads to a ‘Fight or Flight’ response.

The negative context of belief has been witnessed by contemporary society way too often- it can even overpower Nature’s force of ‘self-preservation’ and an individual can go to extremes protecting or furthering their beliefs. In this context the belief can take an extremely negative face and the present day world is realizing this fast in terms of the 3rd added Force to the long accepted ‘Greed’ & ‘Fear’ which are deep within us. Belief is a force to reckon with in both the negative and positive context.

Coming back to astrology. Astrology was not a belief system for me. It has been a journey of heavy research of theoretical facts and their real world implications. Relating theory to empirical (day to day) events in a person’s life and having a feedback loop for the result analysis. I have looked at the facts for 2 decades and researched on it like a big scientific experiment, or rather thousands of mini experiments of individual horoscopes. The results have led me to surrender to the facts I have observed. That is why I believe in not only its existence but its applicability in day to day life. This is very different than believing something. This is surrendering to the facts – both the strengths and weaknesses of astrology and its limitations.

I am trained in science and numbers and have a strong dislike for fiction – albeit in books/ movies or any shape or form. My ‘belief’ in astrology stems for observations which are defined on a seemingly theoretical set of rules which have worked in my researches/ observations. Please understand that astrology is not an Axiom of nature/ physics as it is still not defined properly by contemporary science and hence in my book an ART as opposed to a Science. However one needs to remember that Gravity (now an axiom) worked long before it was understood and long before it was defined by someone and likewise, astrology works whether you understand it or not, or believe in it or not!

 

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