This Flickering Rapture: Meditation, Astrology and the Friend Times

hand to heavenRECENTLY, I FOUND myself pacing inside a prison cell. Penned in by a grid of creepy world trajectories, all personal and planetary options looked bleak. Day after apocalyptic day, my automated Moon in Sagittarius would swing between preachy panic and adventure-junkie distraction. There was no way out and no way I was going to stop rattling that cage. I’d been here before, mind you. But this particular trip to the slammer seemed a life sentence – a feeling far too ominous to actually stop and surrender into.
Fortunately, I had someone in my life who not only loved me but understood that in order to free ourselves of the tyranny of our brokenness we often have to lay it bare. In her darkness-inviting presence, I couldn’t not show my pain. Like fuel rods melting through a reactor floor, I allowed my nihilism to burn white hot, melt down and dissolve into a lethal steam of hopelessness and not-knowing. Slowly, tearfully, I realized what was really hurting me: existential tameness. I had been insufficiently disgusted with samsara. By swinging the sword of nature-saving “against-ness” I was trying to get something from the illusion instead of waking up from it.
Gratefully, my options became even more narrow. I had one move left: drag this spiritually dehydrated sense of self back to the springhead of Buddhist dharma for some serious gulping or sign up for another night in “the cage.” Turns out, it was the most elementary – and, therefore, elusive – teaching that finally brought relief:

Nothing every happens to our Being.
This timeless gaze that I secretly always know that I am is forever untouched by this corrupt, collapsing, irradiated world.
It seems the world was asking me to out-Fukushima Fukushima – to bore down into the deeper endgame that really, really freaks me out: allowing my passion for life to slowly and irretrievably drain out of me as I refuse to be refreshed and enlivened by the accelerating cycles of ego death demanded by these times.
Nothing. Ever happens. To our Being.
Our naturally relaxed, riveted-to-the-present moment self knows only imperturbable harmony. Wow. Now there’s a healthy lifestyle option the masters of the matrix can’t gentrify, pollute or ship overseas. Of course, we all know this. In fact, we spend more time drifting monk-like through this monastic Shangri-La than we give ourselves credit for. Problem is, in Being-land there’s no time and no self tuned-in enough to time to report back the percentage of the day we actually spend there. For every minute our ego spends pounding and weeping at the towering, rough hewn doors of The Immaculate, we spend ten more resting in quiet repose inside. Our true condition? Flickering rapture.
Think of it: otherworldly reverie is a commonplace but instantly forgotten meta-phenomenon, like the night sky that goes unnoticed every time we blink. Could the Harold Camping’s of the world be embodying an overly literal, but none-the-less accurate, message from the depths of our night sky that it’s time to do more than flirt with deliverance from the human story?
Here’s something else the blinked-on part of us knows:  God comes to us disguised as our life. An unspeakable presence is savoring itself through every bankrupt, dripping-with-privilege human incarnation. The purpose of astro-literacy? To better savor ourselves being savored. 
Truth be told, the iris-like pattern we call “our birth chart” is a self-realization map we stray from far less than we follow. As Emerson said, “The dice of God are always loaded.” Our true nature strolls through the unfolding doomsday scenarios, creeping police states and corporate wars-for-profit as if they were amusing patterns on a surreal wall of fog. Some part of us never forgets who this necklace of incarnations is worn by.
When meditation and astrology team up, something amazing happens: we forgive the dream. Whereas meditation reconnects us to our pristine, unborn nature, ancient typologies like astrology give us a way of languaging and evoking compassion for the swirling apparitions of ego and their toxic fallout.
Surely, you’ve noticed: every mistake we exhale into the world is followed, at some point, by an inhaled karma. Obvious right? But consider the implications. That means consciousness (as well as all the numinous and Neanderthal planets that float in it) is self-correcting; it does not need our judgment. What it does need is for us to see that there is no everlasting phenomenal world to feel positive or hopeless about and no everlasting self to proclaim it so. What it does need is our meditation. Whenever we perceive the divine intention of the hard-hearted – whenever we are foolish enough to celebrate, in advance, the inevitable homecoming of each confused and backsliding human ego – this is the closest we ever come to “saving the world.”

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