The Automated Zodiac, Part 1: The story of homo-luminous

AS FICTION WRITERS KNOW, in Western literature there are only four possible stories: 1- human vs. human; 2- human vs. nature; 3- human vs. self; 4- human vs. God; and they all move from conflict to climax to fleeting integration. In short, all stories are war stories.

But what about “human awakens as compassionate witness to the four stories?” Doesn’t this fifth story offer a kind of redemptive twist on our otherwise depressingly formulaic and adversarial mental habits? Not quite. The fifth story is a spontaneous, moment-to-moment realization that cannot be scripted, reproduced or understood at the level of mind. Sure, spiritual storytellers can (and must) point to storyless presence, but until the hearer of the story in effect, “disappears” (steps out of the time-bound sense of self), this so-called “spiritual” story is nothing but a souped-up reformulation of the third and fourth stories listed above. Thus, the so-called “fifth story” exists only by inference and does not transpire in time.

Okay, but what do these fiction formulas have to do with Astrodharma? Plenty.

The Breath of Life
Each of the 12 signs and the unique archetypal soup they form when stirred together into our birth chart are story templates for our 3-D novels: a baked-in-the-cake matrix of me-stories that yank us around like puppets until we meditatively reclaim our true status as their author, editor and publisher.  But careful now – these Aquarius, Pisces and Virgo story templates are not the problem. After all, no archetypal predispositions, no personality. No story, no world.  
Incarnation, it seems, is asking us at every moment to quickly and courageously reverse engineer our well-honed, miserably secure me-stories back into the pure awareness that gave birth to them, then turn around and re-release them in their silence-ventilated form back into the world. This Bodhisattva-like movement from story, to storyless presence, to compassionately transfigured story, is the breath of life, the delirious subplot of our fantastically ordinary lives and the essence of what it means to be “spiritual.”

If this sounds like I’m suggesting you suck all the passion and spontaneity out of your life, I understand. There’s no shortage of good, kind folks confusing tepid disembodiment with an ego-witnessed life. Alas, there’s no brownie points for being afraid of the fire and earth elements in your chart! The trick is to illuminate the personality you’ve got. As Tibetan Buddhists know: Wrathful deities have no enemies.

Who wants to read a novel, watch a movie or observe the unwinding film reel of their life with such dispassion that they never suspend their disbelief? A truly “good read” or “good life” engages us without taking us over, stirs our passion without killing self-reflection. Buddhists call this simultaneous inhabiting of the instinctual and transpersonal realms “the middle path.” Cool-eyed discrimination dances with radiance and heat. Raucous play is infused with a tenderness born of ego-burning hours spent alone watching the mind. Alas, there’s so much support and agreement out there to swing between devil-may-care passion or nihilistic disengagement — so much concept-worship passed off as spirituality. The quest for sober intoxication? Get real: it’s a head trip. Better to distract from at least some of your angst by climbing into  samsara’s pulp-fiction roller coaster.

Buddhism has a name for what happens when we get addicted to cheap, me-story entertainment: “Attachment, Aversion and Indifference.” Since our best chance at evolving into “homo-luminous” depends on how quickly we’re able to spot and transform these three poisons in ourselves before they reap too much karmic damage, I offer you a further refinement: a listing of how the three poisons flow through the 12 archetypes. For the sake of all beings enslaved by mind’s endless dualistic seesawing, may we generate a hot, courageous fire to return to the middle path and not add to the weight of the world’s suffering by failing to pause, ventilate and transfigure.

Go to part 2: 12 styles of wanting, not wanting, and couldn’t-care-less >

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