Each of us is made up of thousands of bits and pieces of matter, attributes and energy. That is how it is when we come into this world. We do not really add totally new elements to this inherent composite as we journey along through our numerous existences. And every single human being has the exact same collection of such elements; potentials waiting to be stirred and realized. These parts together make us what we are, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Scholars through the years have studied these parts and depending on the type of sample they were studying or their personal slants and perspective, have sensed the presence of some of these parts and then tried to fit these into patterns. Or they attempted to categorize these into subclasses and other convenient packages that do not overburden the limitations inherent in the human rational mind. Some of these elements obviously form what was perceived as personality. Another way was to break the human psyche into parent, adult and child compartments or spiritual bodies and the list of lists continues.
Now, if we all have these same parts or components, then why are we so different from each other?
I suppose what makes us individuals is the unique combination of those parts that are ACTIVATED! Somewhat like genes: after all, not all of our genes are expressed. That does not mean that we do not have these other genes that do not manifest in this lifetime. More importantly, ultimately we are the ones that decide which parts are important for us (rightly or wrongly) and a part of this kind of selection of traits, attributes, strengths and weaknesses shows through as our personality. We have been bestowed with all of these differently shaped and colored Lego(R) blocks and it is up to us whether we want to put together a tractor or a tower (or a garbage heap) 'today'. There are large parts and there are small parts and an endless variety of projects to be handled.
The psychologists have done a great job, by the way, of figuring out this cosmic puzzle and by force of circumstances had to focus on certain areas or certain patterns to a greater extent than on others, but these scientists were not surprisingly more or less on the right track! Some of the principles they had discovered apply convincingly to what is technically known as the personality (a part of the whole matrix that tends to show through and hence can be more readily examined, than ones spirit or soul, for instance).
The fixation theory for instance illustrates one such facet. A baby who has learned to derive pleasure (when stressed or otherwise) through the milk bottle or the mother's breast even before that, excessively, becomes what is known as 'orally-fixated'. There are certain distinct traits that go with this and the fixation sort of holds back certain elements of the personality from growing freely. When all grown-up, this baby would still need the 'suckling' to deal with its stresses. The bottle would obviously be replaced with other surrogates but the basic need would stay the same as would be the feeling of satisfaction when the fixated need is fulfilled.
This does not apply to just the personality but ones entire being (including the psycho-spiritual part within us as apart from the psychological or mental). As we go through life, there is neither enough time nor resources for us to make sure that all of the million some parts of our being are growing equally (if such a balanced and equally proportioned growth indeed were possible, what a wonderfully-balanced and magnificent being would emerge as an outcome!). So, there are areas within us that get arrested or fixated as we continue through the journey of life and these tiny parts stay stuck and never catch up with the rest of us during a lifetime, until we learn to focus on these specifically [that is what psychoanalysis is perhaps all about, picking things where we left them, due to fear or other foci competing for our attention and energy, and helping the weaker (less grown) parts so that they may catch up and become one with the rest of us]. Incidentally, talking of split personalities (the real ones like the one described in "Three faces of Eve"). In these individuals enough number of the 'parts' were arrested in growth to form a gang to then appear as disparate personalities.
By this description the 'personality' seems to be a group of the components of our being that can work together or coexist (as a group or a gang, in a good or bad sense) and can present a recognizable face (the same jacket or bandana or mascot or mannerisms or whatever, just as a band of individuals would do in society). But in most of us garden variety folks, such colorful disintegration of distinct groups of components of the inner being does not occur and so we tend not to pay attention to the tiny holes on the surface that represent some of those parts that haven't grown adequately to make it to the surface of the rock formation.
Now, what do these arrested parts represent or do? They hold images and impressions (without accompanying interpretation!) from the era when their growth had become arrested. By some quirk of destiny, when these parts are activated, they project those images into our psychic auditorium. Just images, mind you! But now these images and feelings-memories are interpreted by our mental interpreting mechanism and we choose to see those images in their true perspective or to twist their meaning (knowingly or unknowingly) into symbols and sometimes even distort and de-energize them because they strike within us an excruciatingly painful chord.
What we really need is to ACKNOWLEDGE the fact that those parts exist and somehow to help them grow-up so that harmony within our being may be restored. THAT IS WHAT SPIRITUAL GROWTH IS ALL ABOUT! Unless those parts are acknowledged and helped, the rest of us would keep growing like a big crystal with a tiny fault inside which might one day give in to stressful stuff that life is made up of, at a time when the crystal has grown really big, thereby bringing dehiscence to its entire structure and form. Something like this happens when advanced religious spiritual leaders are revealed to show the ordinary even lowly mortals they actually are within when their sex scandals or tales of their greed and power-mania become tabloid news. Although they lose our respect and admiration overnight, perhaps it is not true that their entire being was as corrupted as it appears in the light of public defamation, but evidently they did not take care of the little defect inside and it showed up at an embarrassing time while breaking apart their crystal and hurting what they built as well as their admirers. And the bigger the crystal is the more stress there is on that neglected tiny part, forgotten and buried within the bosom of the "magnificent" crystal, waiting like a spiritual time-bomb.
One may ignore these blemishes and progress very highly on the spiritual path but eventually, these very imperfections tend to tug at the growing crystal and pull it back to painful focus. it is absolutely vital to recognize these and to do something about these, to think about these, to analyze and to make adjustments. Merely observing these and recognizing those would not be enough, though better than just ignoring and forgetting about these through denial. These crevices of imperfection are a result of ones karma, the ethereal trace of continuity that remains recorded in the journal of the soul. This can be addressed by astrology.
Unfortunately, these parts are not unitary and do not control or represent only one attribute or function. When something stops growing and functioning, there could be several parts of the personality that could become affected. Let us take an example, our first REAL love in life. Blessed are those of us who have experienced this all consuming experience. It actually carries a lot of our child (the creative part) into it. We long to see the person, to touch them, desiring not necessarily to talk with them as much as to simply be with them. We experience all the exalted feelings that also occur in a deep devotional bhakti experience (love can only be divine!).
Many of us, unfortunately, cannot manage to transform this relationship that really exists in our soul into its social form of marriage (and all of the other new surrogate arrangements of same, all of which can potentially work). However, a liaison between two beings that might have started with this blessed and pure phenomenon of love often degrades into something of an ongoing tirade that alternates between the hurling of saucepans or insults and the deadpan cold bouts of silence. That is not very helpful! But when, as in many cases, the love is not fulfilled and carried on, a part of the 'child' within gets fixated and even withdraws. The memories surface every now and then and we neither really forget the person we initially loved, nor the experience. But, unless we do something about these memories, the fixation remains unabated and gets bigger because it feeds upon through the very act of our recalling it. Soon it starts draining resources from other areas of our being and this leads into unhealthy situations and even disruptions in our normal functioning (to describe the worst-case scenario!). It is like a wailing baby who needs to be changed and fed. The mother (self) hears it, feels badly for the baby, but unless she actually moves over and attends to the baby, the wailing is not going to stop and the mom would increasingly be unable to do whatever else she wanted to do instead of tending to the baby's needs! The mom could go shopping or go into a fugue so as not to have to hear the wails (forgetting, repressing, denying) but the deep guilt would not go away and would not let her enjoy the "shopping spree" until she returns 'home'!
Perhaps what I am saying is or is not making sense to you but you are the only person who can judge that. Memories are magic things and events and occurrences of very unrelated kinds trigger them. Often, these first love-memories are triggered when some of that painfully-pleasant gemish of feelings of waiting, anticipation, unfulfilled desires to maintain contact with a being are activated. We must also realize that the fixated or arrested part (that was activated during the actual earlier incident) also holds back our creativity because love after all has only one pragmatic purpose in nature's cookbook, namely: creation, and this need not be confined to those tiny cuddly bundles of joy, as usually becomes the mode of expressing creativity in most cases, but other creative acts as well.
More individuals turn into poets when they are experiencing this all-consuming love or sometimes become artists, instead. In order to make all these parts that had fixated to grow up, one way would be to pick up the pieces from where one had left these. Sadly, this could be disastrous to ones present situation and everything that had been done to build up to whatever the present status is. However, if one does that regardless, he/she might soon find out that horrors the person they had once loved was so different at the repeat encounter, because our perceptions and expectations have changed over time. Remember that the other person also went through a similar experience of fixation and coping with it. So that kind of chemistry is fated for a fall! What do we do with the arrested part, then? By actively exercising its other attributes (creativity, pure selfless love, trusting) we can still make the part grow. We do not need the original stimulus (the lover for instance or a mid-age rekindling of traditional expressions of youth!).
In astrological parlance, creativity is deeply ingrained in the fifth house. This is not just signifying our external children (progeny) but the child within as well with all the arrested parts and other deficiencies. Through a study of this house, one can begin to understand and decipher the path of karmic future. I call this preventative karma. This is another way of saying that this is the path of free-will; right actions carried out today to reduce the burden tomorrow.
Our past actions have brought us to the current point: the present, or the first house. Then based on our state of growth and development we must proceed further through the key that is revealed in our horoscopes by the area known as the fifth house. The obstacles to these, the influences that pull us back from our resolve are seen through the houses that are 12th and 8th from the 5th. These happen to be the 4th and the 12th houses in a horoscope, particularly when these represent malefic or negative influences vis a vis the 5th and the planets that represent this house. These considerations (the fifth, fourth and twelfth houses and their interplay) are focused even more sharply from a karmic viewpoint in the vimshamsha chart (D-20 or V-20 as this varga is called) a chart that shows ones spiritual growth and spirituality. Also helpful is a consideration of the D-27/V-27 or nakshatramsha chart that shows the intrinsic strength of the incarnated soul. Unless the strength of will is there, free-will and freedom of choice are reduced to being merely hollow possibilities if not empty promises.
In subsequent articles, I will discuss charts to illustrate this further. Hopefully, it will all come together and begin to make sense.
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