January 18, 2012

It’s not the stars, it’s our conviction

Many people believe in the stars to guide their lives. But the problem with believing in the stars is that we begin to not believe in ourselves. There is a curious aspect to this very human foible of succumbing to the stories of fortune tellers - even by those seemingly disbelieving in it. On the one hand we tell ourselves that it's not true and agree that it is our conviction and belief in ourselves that drives us to success. On the other, we are nevertheless drawn towards any opportunity to eavesdrop or even participate on a discussion on horoscopes and fortune telling that draws a bit of the fatalist in us. In fact many seeming disbelievers in fortune telling visit in covert, popular sooth-sayers to get their "guidance", and yet pretend they don't believe in the hocus-pocus.

The reality is that we have been given the faculty to discern - our free will so to say, to decide on the route of life to take and within it various roads we want to traverse. Yet, it is our spiritual belief also that there is a destiny planned for us although veiled from us. Knowing the specifics of this "plan" beforehand will obviously take the will out of our freedom that Providence has bestowed on us to live our daily lives as we wish. But that doesn't negate the fact that something has been planned for us - we just don't know it. Perhaps, ignorance in this case is bliss. Cause and effect is the linear path this life has for us to construct our rationality; the non-linear synchronistic path of the spiritual dimension is for good reason, perhaps incomprehensible to us. So not knowing our future should not hinder us from making our "free-will" based decisions to chart our hopeful futures. Going to the sooth-sayer will only depress us if obstacles are foretold (whether they be true or false) and hinder us from giving our bet shot at life. The reverse may also happen - that a good portend may carry us in glee – for a while. But this kind of blind dependence on the advocates of others will ultimately rob us of our self worth and the essential quality of what it means to have free will. In such a state of dependence, we are no more governed by our free will but under the yoke placed by someone else. What good can that do to us in a world where we are trying to be free? Ultimately, freedom means freedom of the mind. We are what our mind wishes it to be. And when we set our minds in the strong conviction of our belief in the path we want to take, that is the destination "written" for us.


Azeez said...

Many of us are controlled by forces outside our own mind and body. Like how moon controls rise and fall of tides and certain flowers follow the suns path during the day.So the primitive men and women depended on the stars and other celestial bodies . Some even worshipped them. We still have some remnants of the primitive instincts however much civilised we call ourself. The chinese culture have mastered this art of dependence on heavenly bodies like in fengshui. So i believe visiting soothsayers will never end . They may need to modernise how they use the gadgets or the animals they use. We heard about the singapore pavement parrot predicting the last foot ball world cup winners.

Abdul Sattar Yoosuf said...

I wonder what other readers have on your comments Mr Azeez. I would agree with you that soothsayers will always be in business as long as we seek to know the unknown. I pull only for the fact that we can be more strategic in seeking what we want from the unknown by applying the powers of our convictions,and the powers of our subcouscious mind.

Anonymous said...

An aborigine and a white man met in the desert. In an argument, the white man, grabbing the staff from the aborigine, drew a huge circle on the ground and a small small one beside it. He pointed to the large one and said, "this is what the white man knows", and pointing to the small one said, "this is what the aborigine knows."

The aborigine, taking the staff back pointed to the area outside the circles and said, "this is what we both do not know."

Both of you guys are like the white man who thinks that what he knows or can imagine is the limits of reality. The limits of thinking and senses is explained in the book by Gazali, "Deliverance from Error." That was over 900 years ago.

Abdul Sattar Yoosuf said...

True. Our foot-print of the conscious mind is but a drop in the bucket of what is possible with the use of our subconscious. Unfortunately, we are too busy to learn to harness it.