Garden of Eden Myth
(Q): I understand that through the church’s manipulation of the Garden of Eden Myth women are presented as a spiritual temptation rooted in sensuality, and this interpretation results in the archetype of sadomasochism and the and the associated guilt and anger that results from that.
On the other hand, in Yogananda’s translation and interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita, he presents the myth in a spiritual light where everything takes on symbolic meaning. For example, in relation to the “apple” of sex on the tree of nerves situated "in the middle of the garden" of the body, God said: "Do not try to have physical sex experience, lest you die (lose your present consciousness of immortality)." He also says the bodies of these first humans were, therefore, the result of both evolution (generally evolved from the patterns of animals) and a special creation of God at the beginning of the human race, and that the original prototypes of man and woman had no sexual members until they aroused sex nerves instead of uplifting themselves toward God.
The way I understand what you meant when you said the sexual instinct is natural in humans is that in the beginning, before the fall when there was no illusion of gross materialism, and that tantric, soul to soul connection was made, and the energy was used to reach God instead of satisfying desire like animals. So, could Yogananda's commentary be viewed as perspective gained when finally reaching the level of natural celibacy? Please let me know how all of this ties in together.
(A): The apparent riddle is simple: The natural law in all souls is dual desire--the separating one, and the one to unite with our source, or God. Thus, thru sexuality this duality exists. What this means is to use the natural sexual instinct, or desire, to unite with God, to experience the God/Goddess within ourselves and our partner, and to unite that inner connection with each other in such a way that the act of sex is used to merge with God. It is only in the separating desire that we forget God in general, and especially thru the passion of sex that is just sex without a connection to God. There was never a time in which the human did not have sexual organs, and there never was a real downfall. This was a function of use of the Garden of Eden Myth--to cause guilt in men and women and thus control them thru the religion itself.
White Light Experiences
(Q): Stephen Forrest refers to white light experiences in Awakening the Night, Vol. II as if they are somewhat common. I have found that those who have had them experience them as quite profound and long-lasting. In other words, gushes of bliss can be prevalent, but actual white light experiences are few and far between. Do you know what astrological signatures and/or transits might correlate to such experiences? Are they as common as Stephen says, and perhaps I have just been hanging out with the proverbial wrong crowd?
(A): First, your question infers how one inwardly defines the Source of All Things. For example, Buddhists do not have a personal conception for God/Goddess, so when the inner cosmos is accessed/experienced it is done so thru the perception of light, or white light. This is a Uranian experience.
Soul and Spirit
(Q1):.In EA we correlate Pluto with the soul. How would you define spirit as distinct from soul, and what astrological symbol would you correlate with it?
(A): Spirit is the conscious element of the soul that is the same as the ego within our subjective consciousness that allows us to be aware of ourselves as individuals; thus the ego of the soul is the spirit of the soul. Astrologically speaking this would correlate to Neptune. Remember the natural triad of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Cancer/moon correlates to the ego within our subjective consciousness, and through this triad Neptune/Pisces correlates to the ego of the soul (Pluto/Scorpio), or its spirit, with the soul being aware of its own individuality at a soul level.
(Q2): I’m having trouble understanding what you said above, i.e., you said that the ego is the subjective consciousness (moon/Cancer) and that that was the same as the spirit of the soul or ego of the soul (Neptune/Pisces). But wouldn’t that mean Pisces and Cancer are the same thing? That can't be what you meant, but that is the way I read your answer. Could you please clear this up for me?
(A): Sure. The Soul must create an ego for its life in time/space realities like Earth so that it can have a distinct self image (Cancer), and the function of the ego is like the lens in a movie projector. Without the lens in the projector all we would have on the screen is diffuse light; the lens allows for the inherent images within the film to be focused. So too, the soul has a timeless (Neptune) identity or ego that transcends time and space (Neptune/Pisces), which is eternal. This is what the symbolism of the triad between Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces means in evolutionary terms; i.e., there is a progressive evolution and metamorphoses through which the center of gravity (Saturn, the structural nature of consciousness) shifts from subjective identification of oneself (that being the only conscious identification for the vast majority of folks on the planet at this time) to one's eternal identity linked with The Source of All Things. In other words, the center of gravity of consciousness shifts from the subjective ego created by the soul in time/space realities to the soul itself.
When that shift occurs one's inner experience of oneself is utterly different than when it is just identified with the subjective ego (moon). It is comparable to standing on a beach at sundown when the sun is half above and half below the observable horizon. In that state of consciousness one's inner experience of the self is a dual experience: One experiences the distinct individuality of the life being lived as defined by the subjective ego of the moon, and at the same time experiences one's eternal self or identity, the soul's individual identity as reflected in the ego of the soul, or Neptune. In this way Cancer (ego) through Scorpio (soul) has confronted and evolved beyond the limitation (Scorpio) of the subjective ego as a distinct, individual consciousness that had previously identified with only itself, its own individuality--the real sense of being separate from anything that it not the subjective self--to a universal awareness in which all that is separate, or appears to be separate, is not. One understands that everything manifests from the same source and is utterly and fully conscious of this fact and yet still experiences the individuality of its own timeless soul.
(Q2): So then, for an example, if you have a moon (subjective ego) in Pisces (eternal) and it squares Neptune, then you generally know that the individual, for one reason or another, has chosen to work on (or already has worked on) dissolving the subjective ego?
(A): No, one has to know the evolutionary condition or state of any given person to make that determination. For example, any soul that is in the consensus would not be changing the center of gravity in their consciousness from the subjective ego created by the soul to the soul itself, to be inwardly identified with the eternal ego of the soul (Neptune). As an example, a person in the consensus state could be trying to escape his inner being in a variety of ways that could include working to an excessive degree, liquor, drugs, and so on.
In the spiritual state, then, the answer would be yes but not in the sense of dissolving the subjective ego; that is not possible. The issue is the transference of the center of gravity in consciousness from the subjective ego to the soul, thus the eternal ego of the soul (Neptune). This creates a permanent inner state of duality in which the person simultaneously experiences the specific subjective ego/ identity of the current life and at the same time, the eternal identity--ego of the soul—Neptune. So it's not an issue of dissolving the ego, it is an issue of where the center of gravity (Saturn) is within the consciousness.
(Q2): Also, is Scorpio the part of the eternal source (soul) which allows us to evolve through experience, i.e., limitation?
(A): Yes, that is the causative dynamic that ultimately leads to the Sanskrit words, neti, neti, not this, not that. So what is it? It can only be God/Goddess.
(Q2): So, obviously Pluto is vital to understand within a chart and that's the main focus of EA, but what about Neptune? As it represents the Eternal Soul, then it must have a higher meaning in the chart than we (I) realize. Is it simply an area where we are merging within our consciousness with the Eternal Soul?
(A): If you mean by eternal soul that it equals God/Goddess, then the answer is yes, but remember that Neptune is also one's eternal soul until it is dissolved and merged back to the Source Of All Things: God/Goddess
(Q2): So whatever house Neptune is in is where we are sort of giving it up for God/Goddess so to speak?
(A): The natal house of one's Neptune, the sign that it is in, the aspects that it is making, where the sign Pisces is, and the sign on the twelfth house, along with the location of its planetary ruler by house and sign, and the aspects to it, and any planets in the twelfth and aspects to them and the houses that they are in all correlate (relative to your question) of how one is naturally meant to spiritualize their own life, how they in their own way can access and know God/Goddess, and, ultimately, the work one can do on behalf of God/Goddess. Work is the dynamic of karma yoga, which allows one to actually experience the Godhead within and through the agency of the work itself.
(Q2): For example, Neptune in the first house (in the spiritual state), through the Aries function of self-realization, self-identification etc., is solely dedicated to merging with the Eternal Soul or God/Goddess?
(A): Yes, this would be true in the spiritual state.
(Q2): Also, would a chart with virtually no emphasis on Eternal Soul (Neptune/ Pisces/ twelfth house) indicate an individual who is concentrating on evolving their inner and outer reality in different ways before merging back to source (depending on the spiritual state)? Or could it be someone who is ignoring or resisting this inevitable path? Of course this is a generalization, and there would obviously be many reasons why a soul would choose to experience this.
(A): All depends on the specific evolutionary condition of any given person. I am not sure what you are asking in this question.
(Q): It seems that if you understand the water triad this way it becomes a very important part of the chart--maybe the most vital symbols within our existence. You could get a lot of information just from this triad. So, are the other planets/signs generally functioning as side bars to enhance and help evolve this triad in different ways?
(A): The sidebars all correlate to desires manifesting from the soul, desires that for whatever reasons the soul has determined it must act upon. In the end it is, again, a matter of eliminating (Scorpio/Pluto/eighth house) all separating desires to the exclusion of only one desire that remains: to know and merge back to the Source of All Things.
(Q): If the Neptune function is, indeed, the Eternal Soul, then it would seem that planets have some sort of hierarchy no?
(A): All things in the manifested creation operate co-equally thru their interrelatedness with each other. If by hierarchy you mean superior/inferior, the answer is no. If you use the word hierarchy in the context of natural law, then yes, there is, and it manifests in the following way. God/consciousness/ the Source of all Things--the ultimate cause of the manifested creation--creates individual souls (Pluto/Scorpio/eighth house) that reflect that Source as it manifests in time/space realities through the duality of desire. This generates specific identities in a time space reality like earth through the creation of a subjective ego (moon/south node of moon/north node of moon), which is given purpose and the power to creatively actualize that purpose (Sun), which that current ego (moon) gives individual form to.
This leads to the types of thoughts (Mercury) the individual must have in order to understand that purpose on an ideational level, these thoughts creating/reflecting the nature of our inner relationship to ourselves, how we relate to others, what constitutes the sense of meaning in our lives in relation to the underlying purpose for the soul’s life and the value (Venus) associations within that. Mars then acts upon the desires that manifest from the soul—values that reflect the current evolutionary intention--and gives subjective form to those desires. Following that, Jupiter provides philosophical justification for those desires and actions through the nature of what we believe and, thus, how we interpret (Jupiter) our life experience, which then determines the structural nature of our reality and consciousness (Saturn) that next generates the desire to go beyond (Uranus) that structure. This ultimately leads to Neptune and the Hindu concept expressed in Sanskrit—neti, neti (not this, not that)—which leads to the ultimate meaning that I am seeking (Neptune being the higher octave of Venus).
(Q): What I was trying to ask was; if a natal chart reflects virtually no emphasis on twelfth house/Pisces or Neptune, i.e., no planets in Pisces, nothing in the twelfth house and no major aspects to Neptune, could this be because a soul who may be neglecting the path to return to the source? Or perhaps the soul that needs to concentrate on sidebar issues before returning to Source etc?
(A): There can be no one answer to this. As you know each case, each person, is different. It all depends on context. For example, that same signature in a third state spiritual would mean no further focus is needed. So the bottom line is that we must understand the individual context of any given person and especially the evolutionary condition or state. And, yes, it could mean what you have presented.
(Q): Also, many times we talk about the houses and the correlating signs and planets to symbolize virtually the same things. It seems to me that they would have to have some differences, such as the houses reflecting a physical manifestation for soul purpose, the planets reflecting an inner urging for soul purpose, and the signs reflecting an outward expression of the soul urgings. Is this correct?
(A): No, the natural zodiac correlates to the totality of consciousness. The planets within the houses correlate to the psychology of that consciousness. In combination this correlates to any individual’s orientation to phenomenal reality.
(Q): So, instead of saying Scorpio/eighth house/Pluto is soul evolution, could you say that Pluto is the inward pull to evolve, the eighth house is the physical manifestation onto the environment of the soul’s urging, and Scorpio is the outward expression of the soul’s urge to evolve?
(A): All things in this life, in human form, manifest from within. All the dynamics that occur within correlate to the outer conditions or circumstances of the person’s life.
Rumi and Shams –Same Soul
(Q): Could the experience that Rumi and Shams had be an example of the same soul relationship such as you describe in Pluto II?
(A): No, this is typically a relationship between a guru and a disciple--unconditional love.
(Q): Are you saying that Shams was the guru and Rumi the disciple? That we might find our guru playing cards in the tavern? Did Rumi's friends kill Shams, and if so, was that a reaction to the vibration of unconditional love similar to events in Jesus' lifetime?
(A): Yes to all of the above.
(Q): Is the unconditional love that flows from the guru to the disciple what raises the disciple into the vibration that allows realization?
(Q): Does the disciple, in this way, learn to love unconditionally?
(Q): And does the love for the guru begin to feel like unconditional love before the disciple actually knows what it is?