“An integrated man is one in whom there are no warring parts, he is one integrated fluid flow”.
What would it look like to be so fluid and integrated?
Imagine Amma, the famous “hugging saint” embracing and offering solace and spiritual wisdom to people around the world, 20 plus hours every day for the last 30 years. Simultaneously imagine her as Chancellor of a University in India at the forefront of the latest scientific research and technical advancements in medicine, robotics and Artificial Intelligence, solving problems that plague the world, which send people in search of her embrace.
I saw this divine play unfold before my eyes last week After my family had received our fragrant and celestial Darshan or embrace from my guru Amma and showered with a flower petal blessing, Amma asked my son to stay back on the stage and spend some time with her to discuss his postdoctoral research at a medical university in the U.S.
Amma then called a “meeting of the minds” and invited several of the research scientist from her University in India to join and discuss various scientific endeavors that overlapped with my son’s research. All the while, she sat on her generous chair on stage and continued to embrace and bless people from all walks of life that had waited patiently in line for their turn to lose themselves in her infinite arms and motherly embrace.
The scientists passionately discussed their research to solve environmental, medical and social problems with Amma. Some anthropology was also introduced as they deliberated the challenge of introducing technology in Indian villages without disrupting their culture or making them suspicious of strangers.
Enlightened minds are fluid like Amma’s. Ours seem to prefer more definite and black and white view of the world. We divide people, places and choices into good and bad, with me or against me, likes and dislikes, right and wrong. Most of us are attached to a view of the world or what is referred to as “categorical simplicity”, be it in spirituality, materiality, Yoga, global warming, technology or any of the myriad of complex choices facing us in the world today.
The foundational principle of Yogic knowledge is that everything in the universe works in opposites, each contrasting the other and needing our attention, if we are going to understand our very nuanced and multifaceted existence – Shiva and Shakti, day and night, hot and cold, good and evil, light and shadow, Sun and Moon, birth and dissolution, all exist side by side and cannot be unconnected.
Without the ability to stand in more than one place at once, Astrology becomes a practice in futility, where the Astrologer imposes their own narrow view of the world on to the client. To understand the unique karmic ecosystem of each and every person, you need a deep perspective on each of the Houses, Zodiac signs and planets and the ability to integrate their opposing forces, such as Jupiter’s expansive influence with Saturn’s contracting influence.
Except for Mercury of course, whose job it is to help us understand and assimilate this inherent dichotomy. After all, it is the contrasts and dissimilarities that create our reality.
Effective and fluid flow of energy between conflicting energies of the houses, signs and planets can also be compared to a balancing Asana, that simultaneously requires both strength and fluidity, effort and surrender, the key is to neither move too much to one side or another.
But wait…. remaining still or in complete balance is also not always an option, as both sides will end up presenting themselves with the same magnitude, paralyzing our ability to make any major changes.
Astrologers often fail to consider this when interpreting horoscopes. For example, an equal number of planets in two opposing signs and houses, can cancel each other out, as neither side can express itself fully to create enough forward momentum.
Sometimes a horoscope that looks really impressive on the surface cannot express its destiny because the astrologer fails to take into account that most of the planetary influences are concentrated in one element, type of house, or in one portion of the Zodiac preventing enough contrast in our consciousness to bring completion in our life.
Learning to work with the polarities of life is like walking a tight rope. You don’t just arrive at integrating polarities and then sit back, it is a dynamic process that needs refreshing moment by moment. At the same time we need to remain alert that at any moment we may be called upon to go to one extreme or the other (ie. jump), if the circumstances warrant it. And then restart the process of creating homeostasis at a different level all over again, until it is time to jump again.