Have you looked at the Essence of EA material
on the school website? Start there. And if you have, after you read what I write here, I suggest you read it again.
The underlying root of everything is the dual desire nature contained within all Souls, as created by God/dess. The one desire, to separate and know self as distinct and unique from all else, the other, to merge back from whence we came. The root of resistance is all of the desires to separate that we all have within us. The parts of self that want to separate are in a struggle of sorts with the parts that just want to merge back. Because they don't want to surrender, give up their sense of individuality. And in essence, they are not supposed to - we have those desires for a reason - they are supposed to be there.
But there are forces in life that are deeper than our individual wills and desires, and at times they back us into the corner - these are the workings of the Soul - "you will now change, ready or not, like it or not". Pluto brings this in by simply removing the parts of the life that are holding us back. Most of us do not experience this as pleasant, fun, or desired. Until we learn, gradually, that like a bad tasting medicine that is actually good for us, its in our best interest to allow these changes to do their work. That is, to let go when we know its time to let go.
Until then there is no reason at all to let go. Why should I? Unless I see proof (Pluto) of the NEED to let go, what is the point? Just because some spiritual books said that is what I'm supposed to do? That is intellectual knowledge. Intellectual knowledge does not move us - emotion, passion moves us. When I feel backed into the corner, that is an emotion. When I start seeing a way out of that corner, I will have an emotional reaction to that, and that emotion inspires me to take action, to a new way as a resolution to the long standing conditions.
Until that point I am going to keep repeating the same old m.o. And why? Because another important principle that guides all humans is the equating of safety and security with what is KNOWN - because what is known makes me feel safe and secure. Even if it is dysfunctional - it is MY dysfunction - I know it well.
The scariest thing in the world for most humans is NOT KNOWING - that feeling of not being in control, of not knowing what is going to happen, of being subject to events or inner states which I can not be in charge of. And THAT is the root of resistance. To boil it all down to the bottom line, I'm afraid I may DIE in the process. And since the first order of business for all living things is to remain living - to survive - (followed by, to reproduce, so my species stays alive) - I have a natural aversion to that which causes me to feel I could possibly die. This is a built-in biological instinct - all of what I just wrote relates to Taurus - the will to survive, to reproduce.
The polarity of Taurus is Scorpio - the Soul. So the question becomes, WHO is surviving? Who is in charge? "me" (the person)? the Soul?
The spiritual path is the gradual transference of the center of gravity within each individual consciousness from complete identification with the name, body, gender, family, religion, culture as the sense of Who I Am, to increasing identification with the Soul as Who I Am. That is the long path home.
From the perspective of the personality, letting go into the Soul feels like death, because the Soul is outside the boundaries of what most of us consciously identify with as Who I Am. Most of us almost entirely self-identify as Ego/personality - body and name. I was born in 19xx and I am going to die somewhere along the line. The Soul was never born and never dies. How many of us know that as EMOTIONAL reality - our moment to moment sense of Who I Am. From that perspective I am not the ego at all - I am the Soul. Yet emotionally I operate as if I am the ego. The idea of letting go into identification with the Soul seems frightening, unknown, because it speaks to the death of the whole way I presently see myself - that fear of dying being a core part of the resistance.
Yes or no - we passionately want this or that with all heart and mind - and we "create our own reality" and make it happen. So exactly how long does it take before we start feeling that the reality we created is not at all like we thought it was going to be, and worse, is not really a reality I want? And how long before I am bored or overwhelmed and now want some OTHER reality?
And then what happens? We are off yearning for the NEXT thing that we feel is going to fill all our holes, solve all our problems, and give us that inner peace we yearn for. And the same thing happens. Again, and again, and again, and again. Yes or no? This is the essence of the human condition.
All this stuff about evolutionary stages marks the archetypes within that process as the Soul discovers again and again that what it sought does not bring it what it wants. We don't think of it as the Soul is what is seeking all this stuff. But YOU are but an emanation of your Soul, placed here in a reality where you can have physical sorts of experiences that can't be had in the astral realms, which has a lot to do with why people keep coming back here in the first place. We are addicted, attached, to various kinds of experiences, patterns, habits - we KNOW they are not good for us, they are not making us happy, and yet we find we crave them ANYWAY. That is sort of the definition of insane, yes? And yet we all do it.
Gradually slowly painfully the Soul starts seeing the truth of all this. Everything it thinks it wants, what it goes after, proves in the end to be without meaning. This in effect throws that Soul, and the personality created by that Soul, back on itself, to ponder, what the hell is going on here, why can't I find peace, and how do I get out of this? And that state of questioning precedes the beginning of the transference into the spiritual stages. At first there is emptiness - Virgo - because the Soul has learned that all that it thought meant something, does not mean much - Virgo - emptiness, lack - and it doesn't yet know what DOES mean something or how to reach / connect with it. (polarity of Virgo is Pisces - Source).
This is not the funnest process anyone's ever had. So Souls can spend hundreds, thousands of years, doing all they can to avoid entering that difficult process of facing self, by continuing to create realities that really don't work, while convincing themselves they do work, for as long as they can. To avoid the pain and the aloneness and emptiness of beginning to honestly face self. Most of us who find ourself entering that process of facing self go there (as I have humorously labeled it) on the kicking and screaming plan. We find the lives we have known collapse (so often stressful Pluto aspects are occurring to bring this on) - we can no longer live as we have been because the reality that allowed us to live that way simply disappears. Someone dies. A job suddenly ends. A mortgage is foreclosed. A partner leaves. Whatever. Or, I finally realize I can no longer go on living as I have been living, and after 200 aborted attempts to change my life circumstances I finally change them - quit the job, leave the marriage, whatever. And then something new starts to take over.
A new life, or at least a new chapter in a life, begins. This potentially breaks us free from the habitual past. These are generally difficult and stressful times. Everything is in flux, very little is certain. Few of us are trained how to live through such times. Most of us are taught to hold onto what we have until the bitter end. So we have to learn a whole other way to relate to life - to flow. And that will prove to be exactly what the life lessons are trying to teach us - to let go and follow the intentions of the Soul - to learn what they are, and to loosen the grip the parts of self that need to control and stay put in order to feel secure, have over us. To learn to trust in life, not because Eckhard Tolle or Deepak Chopra taught me that this is the goal of spiritual living, but because I discover from within my own life experience its the only way that makes any sanity out of all the changes that are going on within me and around me.
All of that is the underlying philosophy and orientation of Evolutionary Astrology. EA is not a bunch of cool information to memorize in the brain. It is a way of living that can transform a life. This way of life happens to use the symbolic language of astrology as symbols to describe the natural archetypes of life. It could just as easily use Tarot or I Ching or Runes or any other system based on natural law - that which simply IS - to describe the same processes.
Its important to understand, this is a way of looking at life, a way of living life, not just a deeper way of interpreting a natal chart. When you let it loose within you, when you osmose it (Pluto) within yourself, it transforms you from the inside out, step by step. It teaches you what it is, with the teacher being within you. not external All the student need do is have the sincere desire to understand, and be willing to pay attention, 24/7/365.
In terms of what to read, have you read Deva's new book? Do you have Pluto Vol 1? Pluto Vol 2?
If you have already read Pluto Vol 1, read Deva's book, which helps integrate those principles, stating them in different yet similar ways. If you've read them both, then read Pluto Vol 1 again - everything I said here is described in its essence in Pluto Vol 1. Read it again, from the frame I've expressed here.
If you are serious about studying EA consider enrolling in the school - either buy the first set of DVD's at $333, or the whole thing at $999. If you can't afford that or are not sure if you want to get into it that deeply, within a couple of weeks we should have Jeffrey's old workshop DVD's available on the website. One of them is called Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul. That came out at the time the first Pluto book was a best seller - he discusses the core Pluto principles in more depth - its 90 or 120 mins long - will cost $20 or $25. You can listen to it again and again and again, to let the principles sink in. This stuff rewires your brain. It removes scales that have been covering the eyes that one doesn't even realize HAVE been covering the eyes.
Its also important to say when I make statements like that, that I am not talking about Jeffrey himself, or the teachings of EA - these teachings did not originate in EA. These are the timeless truths of all time, as taught by Yogananda and the gurus who came before him, the original teachings of Jesus, Buddha, and everyone else who has ever practiced the simple unadorned truths, simply because they were true, with no ulterior motive of profit, ego, fame, control , etc etc etc. Just because it is what is.
Mainly what EA is, is these timeless truths being applied to astrology, so that the birth chart can be used to measure the evolutionary progress of any Soul, to speak to that Soul - to remind it how it got where it now is, why it feels stuck in the places it feels stuck, and what it needs to do to release the stuckness and get moving.
Everything else we talk about here is details. That is essence.
I hope you found this helpful. If I didn't address some of your questions/points, please feel free to ask more, of me or of anyone on this board, should someone else's approach resonate more with you than mine does. All the EA practitioners who participate here are basically aligned with the same principles I've expressed in this post - at least 80 - 90% agreement with what I said. The main reason we participate here is from a desire to help people understand what EA really is, and to help them integrate these understandings into their personal lives, and into the readings they offer clients if they are professional astrologers.
The essence of Pluto, of this work, will change you, if you open to it and let it do its work. The point of that work IS to remove the blocks and resistances you mentioned - that is what it is for.