Hamonshu: A Japanese Book of Wave and Ripple Designs (1903) (PD)

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we really want something to happen. Because we want it so much, we push and do everything in our power to make it come to fruition. But in some cases, whatever the thing is that we want and work hard for does not happen. We experience failure or denial. Or we continue to move forward, but going toward the result of our vision is  like walking through quicksand, and no matter what we do, the outcome does not come to fruition. 

Sometimes things don’t happen on our timeline, because our timeline is not when things are meant to happen. Maybe it’s not that we won’t get or experience the thing we hope to experience, but that that particular time is not ripe for us to experience it, as would be our preference.Other times, it helps to think about the difference between a soul experience and an ego experience. From the perspective of a soul experience, the process of going through the actions to try to accomplish something is what’s needed for the development of the soul – not having the outcome of the experience in that particular time, space, and place, which would be the preference of the ego.

For those of us who like to make plans (raising my hand as a Capricorn Sun), letting go and trusting the timing of the Universe can be more difficult, especially at first. But having just one experience where we make our plans that are promptly snickered at by the Universe’s Divine Forces as the wheels of time turn according to a broader plan — just that one experience is enough to make us reflect; on the broader purpose of our actions, on the approach taken to achieve an objective, on the motivation behind our actions.  

In light of this acknowledgement, we might have — and I certainly have had — questions about when is the right time to act, and how much to push toward a goal that is not materializing on my ego’s timeline. 

As the bedrock of all I do is my spiritual practice and belief, that’s kind of the heart-vein of my understanding of these matters. I turn to spiritual wisdom when my own perspective seems too small, or too driven by my personal desires.  But beyond that, I do come back to astrology to provide some clarity on if a certain path is meant for me; if something has a good probability of fructifying in my lifetime. These two streams together have helped me to know how and when to act. Spirituality helps me to refine my motivation and my method. Astrology coupled with my own inner wisdom helps me to know if something is right for me. 

Since I do turn to the wisdom of the spiritual masters on such topics, I’d like to share a few quotes with you that highlight the importance of acting anyway, even if we have full knowledge or a deeper belief that there is divine timing and plan for our lives:

Paramahansa Yogananda: 

Suppose you have failed so far. It would be foolish to give up the struggle, accepting failure as the decree of “fate.” It is better to die struggling than to abandon your efforts while there is still a possibility of accomplishing something more; for even when death comes, your struggles must soon be renewed in another life. Success or failure is the just result of what you have done in the past, plus what you do now. So you should stimulate all the success thoughts of past lives until they are revitalized and able to overrule the influence of all failure tendencies in the present life.

When guided by error, human will misleads us; but when guided by wisdom, human will is attuned to the Divine Will. God’s plan for us often becomes obscured by the conflicts of human life and so we lose the inner guidance that would save us from chasms of misery.

~ Paramahansa Yogananda – The Law of Success

Ichrak’s note: Ok so the thought of the same fight/struggle/desire being renewed in yet another lifetime is actually particularly terrifying to me. This sole idea has motivated me to push when I’ve felt defeated, many, many times. Like, ok I have to do this again on another go-round if I don’t do it this time? NO THANK YOU – I will try my best now.

Narasimha Rao: 

Free will and destiny are the same, with a time lag. Free will of yesterday (past) becomes today’s destiny and free will of today will become tomorrow’s (future) destiny.

One reaps what one sows. Free will shows what one sows and destiny shows what one reaps.

One’s current destiny is the reaction of Cosmos to how one’s free will acted in the past towards Cosmos. It shows the circumstances surrounding one’s experiences and actions, i.e. the set of constraints under which one interacts with the Cosmos.

Though one’s free will is free to experience and do anything, its circumstances often *predispose* it to experience the world in a specific manner and act towards the world in a specific manner. It is possible to resist those predispositions through conscious effort.

Swami Sivananda: 

“Do not yield to fatalism. It will induce inertia and laziness. Recognize the Great Powers of Thought. Exert. By right thinking make for yourself a great destiny.” 

 “Do not ruin yourself by your imagination of fate. It has no reality of its own.”. 

~Swami Sivananada, Thought Power

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