high priestess

Choices and consequences

To a large extent the nature and quality of your life and living existence is determined by the choices you make and the consequences of those choices which you have to deal with. Make no mistake the choices you make can be just as powerful as words and beliefs and this is true irrespective of whether the choices you make work out or they don't work out. Choices you see always come with consequences.

All the choices you make in life are determined by either fear or desire, or both. You don't always get what you want out of life. In fact in some cases you don't even get what you need and other people let you down. This is because things which you expect to happen don't happen, just as things which you didn't expect to happen happen.

You do not have freedom of choice

You do not have freedom of choice simply because there is no such thing as free will. It's an illusion. But it's an illusion you are conditioned to believe is real because it's part and parcel of social conditioning and goes hand in hand with enslavement to beliefs which you have been conditioned to believe by external authority.

You do not know what a big choice is in your life. You do not know what a small or insignificant choice is in your life. Sometimes some of the biggest choices you make in life, such as choosing a career or a vocation, getting a job, choosing a home, entering a relationship, getting married, don't work out. Sometimes some of the smaller, what you think are insignificant choices, those little choices you make while lying in bed at night, while you're waiting at a bus stop or at traffic lights, or in the privacy of the bathroom, can turn out to have major consequences and an impact on your life.

You can never escape the consequences of your choices simply because you are always connected to an environment and through your environment connected to other people. Your ability to make choices is always determined not only by your perception of opportunity, of possibility, and calculation of risk. It's also determined to a large extent by your environment, the people in your environment and your current personal circumstances.

Your freedom is limited to freedom from making choices

If you look closely at the High Priestess Tarot card you will see that behind the veil depicting the Tree of Knowledge there is a large body of water, which could symbolize either the sea or a large lake. What is being symbolized here is water, which in terms of mysticism is symbolic of life. Water always takes the path of least resistance and water always flows.

Just like water, your life is supposed to flow effortlessly and smoothly to the degree that you are always in your natural state of mindfulness, always consciously aware of your environment and what's going on around you, and you are mainly free from having to make choices in life. Consider that every single choice you face in life is a disruption to the smooth flow of your life and also a disruption to your mystical transaction between you and your environment.

The only real choice you have, and this is reflected in every single choice you make, is whether to make a choice which is more conscious or less conscious. Less conscious here of course means remaining ignorant and often buying into the often toxic and dis-empowering options coming at you from mainstream culture. In this insight you will learn what's involved in becoming free from the various belief attachments, choices, and conflicts which disrupt the smooth flow of your life and distract you from your natural state of mindfulness.


Emperor

Four cardinal choices

Aware that making choices and decisions in life creates an awful amount of anxiety, fear, not to mention karma - because karma is very much about choice - I've decided to help you out. Below are the four cardinal choices you can make in life.

These four cardinal choices are based on the four Triplicities or Elements of astrology - fire, earth, air and water - and they are inspired by the mystical principle symbolized by The Emperor. They can also be representative of the four suits of the Tarot - swords, coins (pentacles), cups and wands (sticks). The symbolism behind the different choices isn't so important, I'm not trying to teach anyone the Tarot or astrology here. But what is important is what the Emperor card symbolizes as a whole and that is cardinal direction.

Let's consider the practicalities of making choices here - making any choice. What are you actually doing when you're making a choice?

What you're actually doing is performing magic. Fundamentally magic is any expression of consciousness through physical form out into an environment in the hope of making a connection. Whenever you make a choice surely you hope that the outcome of your choice matches up with the outcome you desire. Otherwise why bother making a choice at all? Magic is no different from yoga, it's about connection, unity, unity between you and your environment. Therefore it stands to reason that if you're going to make a choice, and use magic in doing so, then the very least you can do is become familiar with the fundamental, basic principles of magic.

The other thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to the practicalities of making choices, is that you're always dealing with possibility. Unless the choice you're making is habitual, or regular, where you already know the outcome of the choice you're making, the number of different variables and possible outcomes of making a choice are infinite. There is no way you can take all the possible variations into account simply because you cannot predict the future. But what you can do is make sure that any choice you make is made on the basis of the four simple, basic principles below.

The choice of being real (Fire)

This is the most basic and fundamental out of all the four principles. You need to assume that any environment - be it natural or social - is going to be real, so it stands to reason that you also need to be real. Being real here means making a serious and genuine commitment to talking your talk, walking your walk, and living your individual truth. What I'm referring to here is personal authenticity and personal integrity.

The importance of trust and confidence

Being also embraces trust and confidence. It's extremely important when it comes to making choices to trust your environment and trust other people, because when you do this you're also trusting yourself. This is fundamental to connecting to your environment. If you come across as insincere, fake, hesitant, dishonest, arrogant, especially when it comes to other people, then you're not going to be in a position to connect to others or your environment.

The choice of environment (Earth)

You can make an appropriate choice, but the environment, time or people might be inappropriate, and so the choice you're making might not work out. You probably know this yourself from your own life experience. Sometimes you can have 'off' days when nothing you do works out, and how many times in your life have you ever found yourself in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people? Similarly, if you look back on your life, then surely there are times when you've been in the right place, at the right time, and have found the right person. Can you remember how everything somehow came together into one big harmonious flow?

Environment is very important when it comes to making choices.

By environment I'm not just referring to your natural environment or natural habitat. I'm also referring very much to your social environment. If you are going to be you, the real you, then you need to be among real people. This is why all these insights and Qultura methodology come with a community, where you can get out and meet people, different people, and always find yourself in a social environment with others who are at least familiar with Qultura so you can get into that deeper level of consciousness and everyone will understand.

The choice of insight (Air)

This comes down to the most fundamental of all choices - the basic underlying choice which forms the basis of all our choices. Do we make our choices more consciously, or less consciously and therefore more ignorantly? Are you making your choices out of habit or on the basis of some ideology or belief? Then you're making choices unconsciously. Making unconscious choices is a crime against yourself.

Being conscious is the difference between being alive and being dead. Dead people cannot be conscious because they're incapable of living. Please also keep in mind that when you're asleep you're far less conscious than when you're awake. If you're making choices unconsciously on the basis of memory alone, you're building and developing karma as opposed to resolving karma.

What you need to be doing is making insightful choices. Insight is all about relationship, and insight can either come from your environment into your consciousness to become new consciousness, or you express consciousness in some way which provides insight to others in your environment.

The choice of self-expression (Water)

Words are powerful. Often they can be extremely powerful. As language is the central human reference point for life words like choices are the ways in which we get to express ourselves. Often it's not what choices we make that's important, but how we express our choices and how we express ourselves on the basis of our choices.

The fundamental importance of empathy

Any choice you make, on any level, is an expression of your creative will or consciousness back out into an environment. The environment here can be your mind, a social environment, or a natural environment. Therefore it's a connection between you and your environment, and this is what makes it magic. Consider here that any choice is a desire for change, something new, and thus a connection from principle back into process.

You cannot make any choice without conception, and all your choices and decisions are illusions or concepts. If you are meditating or practising yoga, then the illusion remains in the environment of your mind. In my first insight titled 'Self and Other' - if you remember the Gestalt images, the Rubin vase and faces - you can see how very easily you can deceive yourself or someone else. The Gestalt images work on playing a trick on your mind between duality and non-duality. You see one image when there are really two.

In terms of Qultura truth and belief are two different things. Believe what you like. Nobody is there to stop you. But when transforming your state of consciousness, working towards being in a state of mindfulness, or seeking the truth, you need empathy and to develop your truth through Unmind and through social interaction. You cannot create truth if there is no insight to create truth out of.


i ching

The I-Ching

The I-Ching or Book of Changes is a system of divination developed in China some 3.500 years ago. It's considered the earliest recorded mapping out of human thinking and is a system of divination known as cleromancy. The story goes that sages and mystics in the East figured out that there were 64 different patterns of DNA or codes recurring throughout nature. They figured this out by observing patterns of sand dunes in the desert which were created by wind and understanding the creative forces in the environment.

The I-Ching is based on a system of hexes and numbers between six and nine and was worked out by a Chinese emperor, King Wen, who was imprisoned for corruption. King Wen figured out a system of 64 different hexes, or patterns of lines, both broken and unbroken, arranged into six lines, with three lines top and three lines bottom. This became known as the King Wen Sequence and forms the basis of the I-Ching.

How does the I-Ching work?

You can only make choices on a number of different variables. Most of us generally whittle down these variables to a coin toss or either or, and go with the most suitable option. But what if you had a 64 sided coin you could toss?

Consulting the I-Ching is rather like having a conversation with a very wise old friend, and a number of people make use of the I-Ching when making choices and decisions.