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Understanding free will

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Anand
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@ernst

Hi Ernst,

What is the difference between God's will, Mars will and the free will needed to solve a bad lajjiatadivastha?

Also, regarding the concept that we need to believe there is a free will where actually there is none... If so, can a bad lajjitadivastha be really solved?

Also, where does Capricorn fit in to all this free-will related matter? Since Mars gets exalted in Capricorn... 

Regards,

Anand

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Anand
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@ernst

Hi Ernst,

Any comments?

Regards,

Anand

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Mitryendra80
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I don't think it can be grasped by the mind.

 

 

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Mitryendra80
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Especially on a day where there is a Saturn-Mars opposition and Venus-Moon starvation in Leo 😉

And the moon is an a nakshatra associated with mourning, falling down, and failing.

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Francesca
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Hi Anand,

In case you haven't yet, I highly recommend watching Ernst's video "Astrology, Fate and Freewill", he has uploaded on his YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SFj3HtB9RE

I'm not sure whether that is still up to date with how he currently practices Astrology, but I found it to be very insightful.

As for why Mars is exalted in Capricorn, I found some compelling explanations in Ernst's old Rasi Sutras class. In video 2 of that class, he describes how Capricorn is one of signs ruled by Saturn and thus also one of the signs through which we reap the fruits of out actions (materially, anyway). Capricorn is a receptive sign, it's about how we handle what we reap.

I think it was also in one of his latest LA's videos that he described Mars as the planet we use for dealing emergencies, as epitomized by the fire fighter. The greatest use of Mars (our willpower, logic, discipline, our strong opinions about right and wrong) is to use him only when we really need him, i. e. when we reap the fruits and have to react to them. So the best use of Mars is often to not do anything, rest, and be ready for that crucial moment.

The Jaimini beginner's class (Introduction to Rasi aspects) Ernst also explains that Mars is exalted in Capricorn, which is the root chakra and says that Mars is exalted and best used when it does what's required to survive for the body (Capricorn = sign of survival).

Also, I remember Ernst saying in some video (don't remember which) that a strong Mars gives the illusion of having free will rather than giving a greater degree of free will than other planets or Mars in a different sign.

Hope this helps!

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Anand
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@angela-w @ernst

Hi Angela

Thanks for your insights and the information.  Yes, I have watched Ernst's video "Astrology, Fate and Freewill". Since every time I watch it, I catch something new, it is possible I may not have grasped it well enough yet.

This is my overall understanding so far:

  • We can start at the absolute root : God, Super Consciousness etc., (whatever name one prefers)
  • Next, we have the separated consciousness (let me call it Individual Consciousness).
  • Super Consciousness is 100% free will, right? (no bondage or fate, completely liberated).
  • Individual Consciousness maybe goes through millions of life times before it merges back into Super Consciousness.
  • Based on Ernst's video, each life time is 75% fate and 25% free will.
  • This 25% free will is God's will or Super Consciousness expressing itself through us. We use this to solve our bad lajjitadivasthas.

Elsewhere I also heard from Ernst that, we need to believe there is free will, when we actually don't have it. We need to have this illusion for our soul to evolve. Maybe Mars needs it, and Capricorn enables it.

I am not able to reconcile this 25% free will we have in our life time with the illusion Mars needs to do his job.

Please let me know your insights on how to reconcile it?

Regards,

Anand

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Francesca
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@anand 

Hi Anand,

First of all, I would like to apologize for taking this long to respond to your insightful post. I’ve had a few very busy weeks and hadn’t found the time to give your questions the time I felt they deserve.

Like you, I’m just humble student of Astrology and find interactions like these really fruitful as I learn so much from reading other people’s thoughts. So thank you so much for typing this out.

I’ve also watched the video a few times now for the same reason. I don’t know if you have the same thing, but for me I even have things I heard in some class six months ago and then suddenly it’s like something clicks and I finally understand it (out of the blue). Or so I think anyway :D. It’s the same reason why people keep reading books, because you never approach the content as the same person and then learn something new every time. I find that so fascinating.

I think my understanding of what Ernst teaches about fate and free will is similar to yours. I should add that I’m only a beginner and also only have a very rudimentary understanding of the underlying spiritual concepts at best. So take whatever I’m about to write with a grain of salt 😊.

My understanding is that there’s something like God (I’ll just keep using this term for now) and then there’s the idea of separate existence. I think it was in the Jaimini beginner’s class that Ernst described the difference between the Sun and the Moon. As far as I remember, we are all part of God. Before we are born and after we die, we are with God and merge with the great ocean. When we are born, we go through this traumatic experience of seemingly being separated from God (that trauma being represented by Saturn). I intentionally use the word “seemingly” because God is actually supposed to be manifest in everything: in you, me, everyone on this forum, in Ernst, in the person who flipped you off on the highway :D. (From what I remember, this idea is tied to Vishnu who manifests as everything in creation, as a good Mercury is supposed to let you realize.) In truth, we all still are a part of God and we still carry a part of God’s light and ability to create in us, represented by the Sun. The Sun is the atma, the soul of all, the best thing about us, and the part that can cocreate with God. At the same time, when we are incarnated, by virtue of that process, we have a role. We have a body and characteristics that make us the individuals we are. In order to be able to survive on this planet and relate to everything on it, we develop individual consciousness and the idea of separate existence. I can never remember in what form, but that idea of separate existence resides in the Moon.

I personally don’t think that super consciousness or God has 100 % free will. Or I suppose what I mean is that I don’t think it has free will in the sense that I would imagine from the perspective of a human being. When I think of or talk to others about wanting to transmute fate into free will, that usually involves changing negative habits into good habits, changing a negative outcome to a positive outcome. Assuming that negative things can be turned into positive ones, or a super consciousness would do so, in my opinion assumes a God that is entirely benevolent and will only manifest positive things. I personally don’t believe that is the case though. I think life on earth is hard and some parts of it are inherently difficult and painful. Just look at the planets. In any given birth chart, you’ll at least have three malefics (embodied planets): the Sun, Mars, and Saturn. Plus, Rahu and Ketu and maybe the waning Moon. If God is manifest in everything in creation, he is also manifest in the our use of Mars and Saturn. Or rather the events in our life that require us to use Mars or Saturn. He’s the gentle as well as the cruel.

The way that I have always rationalized 75 % of our chart being fated and 25 % up to free will is the following. If we assume that there is such a thing as reincarnation, we have to wonder why we reincarnate. The most common answers I hear are: 1) Because of some unfulfilled desire that we trying to fulfill during any given life time and 2) because God doesn’t keep tabs (we are either paid what we are owed or have to pay what we owe when that fate has ripened). I think it was in some other video in which Ernst described that we are born to maybe fulfill that one desire, have that one experience and cherish it and be done with that particular thing. However, most people (including myself) are more complicated than that. We come to earth and rather than just following that one thing, we want everything, the great relationship, the successful career, money in the bank, children we love, a harmonious relationship with our parents. But, just looking at different factors astrologically speaking, no one is ever going to have all of those fulfilled during one lifetime. (A friend of mine says that there are seven kinds of happiness, and no one can get them all fulfilled during one lifetime.) So we get involved in other things and make a mess. That mess then keeps us from successfully working on our one desire. We muck things up and have to come back. In the process of not following our dharma, the thing we are here to do, we accrue karmic debts. The unfulfilled desires and unpaid debts cause us to be born again and, in the worst-case scenario, to get entangled in an increasingly difficult web of problems.

My understanding is that eventually you either make all the experience you were hungry for over the course of several lifetimes. Then you are simply satisfied and return to God forever. Or you learn to transmute those earthly desires into the desire to be with God. Either way, it requires you to live in the moment. Whether by following the path laid out for you or by meditating and communing with God in such a way that you no longer want to come back. This ties into what Ernst has been teaching in his new Lajitaadi Avastha course. There are no perfect habits. The ideal person would act according to what each situation demands. In having that flexibility of reacting to what the situation demands and being fully in the moment, I think we are less likely to accrue more karmic debts. There are fewer expectations, longings that make us come back.

Let’s go back to Mars now. If, ideally, you want to take it moment by moment and only use the planets as the situation demands, the most efficient way of doing that is using Mars in Capricorn. Meaning that more often than not you won’t act, you’ll use your power of restraint. You’ll use that Mars when there’s an actual emergency, when it’s for your actual survival. You’ll fight for your right to be yourself when the situation truly demands it. Rather than getting involved in petty arguments that don’t matter three months later, fighting for something that isn’t your or yours, getting hurt unnecessarily. But even a Mars in Capricorn will have to fight on earth, deal with emergencies, and get scarred in the process. Even a Mars in Capricorn will still have to be cruel in some instances (after all, Mars is a cruel planet). Everyone in life will have to deal with situation that require us to use our Mars: People will oppose us following our path. They’ll attack our kingdom. There will be emergencies, sickness, etc. How we react to that is going to be different from person to person and depend on a person’s habits. A person with Mars in Cancer might encounter resistance to doing what they truly want in life and rather not engage, so as not to ruffle any feathers. A person with Mars/Saturn will encounter resistance and get frustrated, triggered, lash out (believe me, I know from personal experience). The person with Mars in Capricorn will fight a clean fight and get what they fight for.

On a concrete level, when exalted planets are conjunct a house cusp or manifest anything, they manifest something radiant. You use the planet “correctly” and get something really great in return. The way I’ve interpreted that so far is that when you have an exalted planet in your birth chart (and especially if it’s conjunct or rules one of the auspicious houses), your will aligns with the God’s will. Taking that back to Mars, Mars is our willpower. It’s also what we are hungry for. We need that hunger, we need to crave something. Otherwise, why fight? Why deal with naysayers? Why risk running into that burning house to rescue the people in it? Whatever Mars aspects, you are hungry for, you want that thing, you are willing to work hard for it. Your will is to get that thing. Or rather your individual consciousness believes that it’s your will to want that thing. Really, since you are part of God and God works through you, you are just doing God’s work. Maybe to make whatever larger plan happen, you need to be the person that uses their willpower to do that one particular thing. You have to fight the naysayers. But the naysayers are also part of God. Everything is God. God is fighting God here. Mercury understands that and goes “So what’s the point? What does it matter whether I get the job or someone else gets the job?”. But that’s not what we need within the context of using our Mars. When the situation truly demands it, we have to believe that it is indeed us who want that thing. And we have to believe that we have free will. Otherwise, why fight the fight at all?

So I guess to me the free will vs. fate boils down to certain things in life being set. You can't change your ethnicity, your DNA, how you grew up, how much money your parents had and what opportunities you were afforded. What you can change to a certain extent is what you do with the 75 % and how you respond to certain situations. In using planets the way someone with those planets in good dignity would, you should be able to yield better results, avoid falling prey to certain patterns indicated in your chart, and you'll avoid creating more issues or breeding resentment, anger, etc. in the future that you'll have to address during this life time or another.

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