Ageless Wisdom tells us to measure things from Above to Below, from
Inside to Outside, from the Universal to the Particular.
That is a tall order since we are relatively limited creatures in the scheme of things. Opposed to what we may like to think, we are often small-minded beings.
That includes the writer and reminds me of a story: I was working as an interim pastor for two small Congregational churches in South Dakota. My partner at the time was a Mutt named Henry. At 13 years old, he was never trained, set in his ways, and not much interested in learning. But, I got it into my head to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks and make a sermon out of it. Well, I tried for some weeks to teach him some simple food oriented tricks. One day in the midst of winter, I looked over his shoulders as he was staring out the parsonage window at the thick snow on the ground.
It struck me that, “My you have a small head for your body. And, your head is mostly snout. Dog of little brain. No wonder I am not getting far with this project.”
Then, I reflected for another moment. “What if some one is looking over my shoulder and thinking much the same, ‘Man of small mind.’” I shelved the sermon idea. Henry went back to being a dog.
It is truly amazing how little we human beings generally sense, learn, know. Our visual apparatus is quite limited, as is our hearing ability - compared to other creatures and the whole spectrum. So many levels and dimensions and attributes of the universe are hidden to us while we inhabit physical bodies and focus on the outer world.
Still, we can at least try to look Up to the Above. Wow, what an immense, marvelous, amazing Universe we live in. “Below” us, the Microscopic worlds which make up our own bodies are equally amazing. A hint comes thence, that we are “cells” in the body of a greater Being as our own cells are to us.
We generally view the world from the Outside. Getting In is no easy task. We do get personally introspective and introverted easily enough but if we really Got In, we would be In Touch with the Real, the True, and the Eternal.
“Lead me from darkness into Light, the unreal to the Real, and death to Immortality.” (Brihadranyanka Upanishad)
The Universal to Particular (like the others) can point us to the study of astrology. And that is one of the main reasons to spend time with the subject.
Sure, astrology can help us understand ourselves, our talents and opportunities, our problems and challenges. But, it can also help us see ourselves in relation to the rest of creation. The stars, planets, sun and moon.
We have been told for ages to Know Thy Self. Ourselves are reflected everywhere, but the stars dwell within as well as quite accessibly in our natal horoscopes.
Astrology has gone into mothballs more or less in recent history, lost its way to a degree because of expansions in religious and scientific power. But, it is on the way back. Due to cycles of change of which astrology itself is a great teacher.
Speaking of Great Teachers. The greatest of them either taught astrology or gave clear hints as to its importance. All the great physicians of the past studied astrology. Hippocrates: “He who does not understand astrology is not a doctor but a fool.”
Shakespeare’s writings are filled with references to the stars and the planets. The Old and New Testaments are testimony to the importance of the heavens and its contents.
Pythagoras, one of the most respected teachers of all times, taught but three subjects: Mathematics, Music, and Astrology.
While his regular students worked with geometry, Pythagoras taught the selected ones Higher Mathematics. Higher is the Key. The Cosmos and the Solar System work through the One, the Three, the Seven, the Twelve.
Study of music pointed the brighter pupils to the Music of the Spheres, which is essentially about cycles and rhythms and movements in time and space.
Pythagoras had his night students working with naming the stars (astronomy). His more enlightened disciples studied the consciousness, character and life of the luminaries (astrology).
Pythagorean astrology may well be beyond our present capabilities, but we can certainly gather together hosts of valuable information in our own astrological studies. As we begin to think more and more from Above to Below, the Inside to the Outside, and the Universal to the Particular.