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on the subject of 'free will'

While emailing back and forwards to a friend who's scientifically minded (and credentialed), we got into the nitty-gritty of the interpretations of quantum mechanics, and what it all means as far as 'free will' is concerned, and our daily lives.

My friend doesn't believe in any 'genuine' free-will, in that the choices we make are all, in a sense, 'determined' by forces or systems beyond ourselves (technically speaking, by downward causative influences).

Astrology, the Enneagram and Seth

Contents:

In brief

The Table of comparisons highlights a noticeable difference between the 3 methods of classifications. Column 1 (Seth) responds well to the question: "Where do those who belong to a particular category focus their energy, time and commitment for best effect and fulfillment?"

The Enneagram responds "less directly" to this question (in that the Enneagram may offer insight that one is a 'leader' but not where to apply leadership for best effect or fulfillment).

Astrological categories provide little if any meaningful answers to this question.

Astrology and the Enneagram are not in the least "systems-orientated". They do not take account of the interactive dynamics of biological, ecological or social systems, such as that of one's local community, or how the global economy impacts and influences behaviours and attitudes. They do not therefore provide substantial insights into how we ought best interact with the world around us. They, in effect, offer little guidance as to where we might apply our energy and focus for best results and fulfillment.

Introduction

Table comparison Seth Enneagram AstrologyThe fields and disciplines of psychological testing, astrology, numerology and the Enneagram, are, like all fields of human understanding, based on certain beliefs about the nature of reality.

So when we seek to group people into meaningful categories it's prudent to first establish the belief-system by which those categorisations are made. If the belief-system is unduly limited, individuals and groups will necessarily be categorised or 'squeezed' into various psychological or astrological 'boxes' to fit the observed behaviours. In the process those capabilities and potentials that lay beyond the accepted framework of belief — which could otherwise be recognised and developed for personal and social benefit — will be ignored or denied.

The urge to categorise

UR IIWhen we reflect on the number of people (more usually women1 ) who believe in Astrology, as well as those who believe in various other 'ologies' we can be reasonably confident that there's an underlying shared trait or need — the need to belong, and to categorise people.

Personality tests (e.g. DISC, or Myers-Briggs) are widely (if not almost universally) used to help decide who's suited to particular roles in businesses and organisations.

So when a friend started extolling the great relevance and benefit of understanding the Enneagram (a process of grouping people into one of nine types, or 'tribes'), I decided to look deeper into this particular habit.

The promise of greener spiritual grass

I had a long chat today with a good friend who had recently complete a 3-day self-development workshop.

As we chatted about what he experienced and gained (for  a not-insubstantial fee in excess of $500 for the weekend), I asked, "So what did you learn that you didn't already know?"

His answer was that nothing substantially new was encountered, except some tools for being 'more authentic'. Even so, he retained a warm regard for this course.

Which state are you choosing?

I've come to observe a number of people in my life who complain a great deal.

Their circumstances may change, and the specifics of the complaints, but overall, they complain to about the same degree on a regular basis.

It appears to me that they've been habituated to complain - even when all is well they'll use their creative abilities to find things to complain about.

They have what I've come to realise is a particular SOB or 'State of Being' that involves a degree of anxiety, powerlessness, blame and (what we Australians call) whinging.

Tribalism, as old as the stars

Overview:

All matter, energy, people and populations are both feminine-wave and masculine-particle natured. Women, by being orientated towards the community-wave nature, are more naturally group-orientated. Hence their generally more refined interpersonal skills, communications abilities and relationship-orientations.1

This also leads to the higher prevalence of women using or believing in 'astrology' and other means (e.g. numerology) for assigning people to various groups (tribes, star-signs).

When is it NOT the ego?

Occasionally I get involved in deep discussion about life, the universe and whatever — especially the weird, nonsensical idea that we can "transcend the ego".

What I've come to recognise is that those who seek to control conversations and others can do so in very subtle ways.1

And one of the most devious ways is to assert that someone is stuck in their ego, as was levelled at me recently during a vigorous discussion with a friend.

What does being stuck in one's ego actually mean? When can we ever speak, live, and work without an ego?

The Adult Faith of Letting go

Adult Faith

Picked up an interesting book at a friend's place -- Diarmuid O'Murchu's "Adult Faith: Growing in Wisdom and Understanding"1

Diarmuid speaks of needing to engage paradox and the many related implications:

First comes paradox! ... A paradox does not make sense to our rational minds. A paradox captivates a surplus of meaning that cannot be contained with the structure of rational discourse. For an adult spirituality of our time this is a crucial issue. Adults today are rarely satisfied with compelling rational explanations; there is a "surplus of meaning" that transcends rationality, yet to mature adults it feels essential in our search for deeper meaning. The ability to embrace paradox is central to this sense of maturity.

But what most impressed me2 was his explanation of the art of 'letting go' -- as covered in a previous post I've found greater peace of mind by doing so in more substantial ways:

Entrepreneurs: spiritual people

Nic Frances' End of CharityDriving along with a friend recently I remarked I'm beginning to realise that genuinely spiritual people are those who use their intuitive abilities for the good of society: "social entrepreneurs" -- those who actually build or create something new and of value to all.

The rest can meditate and talk and 'bliss out' until the cows come home, but for me, those who actually do things, invent things or invent new ways of doing things, or who bring new awareness, ideas and insights to society are authentically spiritual.

Leading God: The wonderfully new!

In chatting with various people in recent times about matters philosophical, I've heard it said on a few occasions, "well you know, there's nothing new under the Sun".

That 'throw away line' telegraphs a deep misunderstanding about life, and about the immensely creative and regenerating nature of it.

Not only, I say in response to such comments, are there things that are entirely new, but when we create something genuinely new, the whole of creation in effect is looking on and amazed in wonderment: "wow, look at that, that's entirely, completely and uniquely NEW!"

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