“This time, like all times, is a very good time, if only we know what to do with it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Some philosopher once quipped that God invented time to make sure everything didn’t happen all at once.
The problem with time is the uncertainty of when things will happen. Because we don’t entirely control our karma, we sometimes wait for things that never happen. Or we give up just before the thing we’ve been working or praying for would have happened.
Indian folk literature has many stories about karma. In one, a woodcutter enters the forest one day, where he hears someone praying. He creeps through the bushes and sees a sadhu, or renunciate, seated in a clearing chanting a mantra while fingering his prayer beads.
As the woodcutter watches, the sadhu falls silent. He hurls his prayer beads into the bushes and turns his face to the heavens. He complains he’s been performing spiritual practices for 15 years and nothing has happened. So he’s giving up. Before he’s too old, he’s going back to town to get a job, find himself a wife, and start a family.
After the sadhu leaves, the woodcutter retrieves the cast-off prayer beads. Recalling the mantra, he sits in the clearing and begins to chant. After several minutes he enters a trance-like state.
The clearing fills with light and Shiva, the great god of renunciates, appears before the woodcutter. Shiva tells him he’s achieved liberation and will be freed from the bondage of rebirth. The woodcutter says, but I’ve only been chanting a few minutes, while the sadhu was at it for 15 years.
Shiva tells the woodcutter that the sadhu, had he persisted, would have achieved liberation today. Now that he’s given up, he must be reborn to complete his karma. On the other hand, woodcutter, you’ve been chanting this mantra many lifetimes, and you had only a few minutes left to complete your karma.
On occasion, life seems uncertain. Gaining perspective on our lives can give us hope, direction, or a reality check, whether in relationships, career, health, finances, artistic or spiritual pursuits. Astrology is one such means to read the map of our karma. If you face uncertainty about some aspect of your life or future, consider the option.