What’s Going on with the U.S., and Kevin Spacey?

Kevin_Spacey-wiki-commons
Kevin Spacey

I used to wonder how it was for Kevin Spacey to play such a dark character as Frank Underwood in the series ‘House of Cards.’ Now I really wonder what it was like for him.

First, what is going on with the U.S. lately? I see both some really positive supportive Astrological energies and some pretty challenging ones.

Saturn has been opposing the U.S. Mars and squaring the U.S. Neptune, which are natally square to each other in the U.S. chart.

This Mars/Neptune Square is something I have written about in great length in my book and subsequent articles. It was being activated by Pluto during the War in Vietnam and during the War in Iraq. It is indicative of our penchant for delusionary (Neptune) militaristic, aggressive, violent engagements (Mars).

Previously I have looked at this in our international relationships but clearly it is also a component of our domestic relationship to guns and violence.

The Saturn activation of this has been operative all year. I see it in the delusionary aggressivity between Donald Trump and Kin Jong Un, but also the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The recent attack in Texas has a particularly Neptunian quality to it. I can’t imagine a greater Neptunian ‘test of faith’ as having to watch children being murdered in a church during a prayer service.

In Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs the shooter’s motives and mindset are clearly not political, but rather some confusing, delusionary suffering playing out within the environment of our delusionary relationship to firearms.

I am happy to say that that Saturnian tension is starting to back off now, and we may find a respite from such events, although this component of our ‘curriculum’ is always there.

The on-going effects of Jupiter in Scorpio, which I wrote about in my last article about Harvey Weinstein, is obviously continuing to bring out and expand into the open (Jupiter), what were previously hidden, sexual abuses (Scorpio).

The phenomenon has been active around the world but the U.S. really seems to be the epicenter of the phenomenon. Well that Jupiter has actually been harmonizing, trining, our Venus in Cancer, our Jupiter in Cancer and soon our very Sun in Cancer.

I see this as expansive potential for a healthy reconnection to our positive Cancerian capacity to honor the feminine, and to choose caring and nurturing over selfish domination and power.

The Jupiter trine Jupiter was exact on November 6, and I relate this to the positive results (in my mind) of the recent Democratic victories in the recent elections.

Particularly poignant was the victory of the first Transgender person to a statewide office, defeating an opponent who prided himself on being Virginia’s #1 Homophobe.

Many of us may wonder if this is the end of the old order, of the old Patriarchy of cultural/political domination.

Next year Jupiter will be harmonizing with both Neptune and Pluto, so I suspect even more revelations leading to greater compassion and healing of old wounds. I think it bodes well for the 2018 mid-terms for the Democrats.

Also starting early next year, however, Saturn will start to oppose the U.S. Venus and Jupiter in Cancer, so I wouldn’t sense we have seen the end of old order (Saturnian) restrictions on our capacity to express caring, nurturing Cancerian energies too soon. This Saturnian restriction continues throughout next year. I am sure I will be writing about this more later.

Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey's Astrological Chart

Now this was a great disappointment for me as I have long been a fan of Kevin Spacey’s acting performances. And of course, his politics seemed to generally coincide with my own.

Of course I was curious to see what the Astrological agenda was behind the man that I thought I had a sense of.

The things I found are pretty interesting so I thought I would share some of it with you here.

First of all, Kevin Spacey’s chart is even more a sign of our times of what Jupiter in Scorpio is trying to bring about in our society than Harvey Weinstein’s was.

Kevin Spacey has, himself, Jupiter in Scorpio. To refresh your memory, or if you didn’t read the Harvey Weinstein article, here is what Hilarion says:

Scorpio
In Scorpio, ruled by Mars and Pluto, Jupiter promotes an excessive interest in the sensation/sexual outlet for energy. Afflicted, Jupiter here will cause the mind to play ceaselessly with the sexual fantasies and will tend to cause the individual to seek out this form of experience to an excessive degree. The major lesson is to moderate and control this tendency. In positive aspect, Jupiter in Scorpio ensures an ability to do well financially, and gives a strong sex drive.

Unfortunately for Kevin Spacey his Jupiter in Scorpio is ‘afflicted.’ It is square to his Mercury/Uranus conjunction in Leo. Here are Hilarion’s pronouncements for those two planets being in Leo:

Mercury in Leo:

Leo Mercury here if afflicted will aggravate feelings of pride, superiority and arrogance. The thoughts will revolve ever and only about the self, and the person’s life will seem to him to be a magnificent play in which he himself is the main actor, and has written all the parts. The main lesson is to see others as whole persons in their own right, living their own life-plays. Again, as with Taurus, shocks are to be expected in order to force the attention away from the self. These will come in relation to love affairs and also to children.

Uranus in Leo:

Uranus in Leo will naturally point to breaks, ruptures and uncertainties in the love-involvements. Inwardly this placement denotes a love nature which is unusual and lopsided in some way. The unexpected losses and sorrows in the love-involvements are intended to correct and balance the lopsidedness of the affectional nature.

So that hyper-sexual Jupiter in Scorpio would tend to be extra ‘pumped up’ in a tense way by a self-absorbed Mercury in Leo and a Uranian ‘love nature which is unusual and lopsided in some way.’

The Leo theme continues in his chart. First of all he is a Leo, someone who came to the rescue of a group of people in a previous life through an act of courageous leadership but, in this life, they can be proud and arrogant and think that they are the principal actor and everything revolves around them. (Adding to that type of Leo self-absorbed theme)

Kevin Spacey also has the similar Pluto/Mars connection, as did Harvey Weinstein. As I said before, Astrologer Liz Greene once said that Pluto/Mars aspects show up a large percentage of times in the charts of both rapists and rape victims.

Spacey’s Pluto/Mars aspect is a conjunction rather than a square.

Now there seems to be no official birth time available for Spacey in order to determine his Rising Sign and his Houses.

One Astrologer noted, however, that in the movie K-Pax the character played by Kevin Spacey says he was born on July 27 at 5:51 am. Noting that Spacey was in fact born the day before on July 26, and 5:51 being a pretty specific time one could ponder whether he was using his actual birth time in that line in the movie.

Looking at the chart with that time, with a certain amount of confidence in my ability to feel if a chart ‘works’ or not, I would bet money that he was in fact born at 5:51 am.

For example, the Pluto/Mars conjunction falls in the 2nd House. Hilarion* doesn’t give a specific for Pluto there, but this is what he says Mars in the 2nd House:

Second House
When Mars is found in the second sector, there is present in the make-up a strongly passionate or physical side to the affections. Partners tend to be viewed as sexual objects first, mates second. The lesson is of course to realize that sexuality is merely the body’s way of expressing love, and that such expression is always incomplete unless it has the underpinning of a strong, committed emotional affection. If necessary, this lesson will be learned through the loss of love partners, and such losses must continue until the individual recognizes that sex by itself is an empty experience. Karmically, this placement suggests a string of previous lives in which others suffered due to the native’s sexual proclivities and the caprice that often comes with dalliance for its own sake. Thus in the current life must this individual likewise suffer, as he is attracted repeatedly to partners who are incapable of committing their affections into his care.

Being conjunct Pluto lends a pretty intense Plutonian transformational dimension to that Mars karma.

He actually has some potentially disciplining influence from Saturn harmonizing with that Pluto/Mars energy. And next year he will have his second ‘Saturn Return’ doubly enhancing his ability to get a ‘reality check’ on this part of his sexual curriculum.

The Saturns are in his 6th House of work, service, the way you spend your day. Being out of work is going to give him a lot of time to get real with the ramifications of having allowed this manipulative controlling overly passionate sexual energy to play out in selfish ways.

So all of this is easy relatable to the accusation of rather crazy (Uranus), self-absorbed (Leo), sexual abuses (Jupiter in Scorpio, Mars in the 2nd) which has been hidden away yet was using positions of power to indulge these negative tendencies (Pluto)

And yet what else does the chart tell us about Kevin Spacey?

Well his Sun in Leo is square to Neptune. This always creates some ‘confusion, illusion, delusion, victimhood and/or martyrdom’ involving one’s relationship with one’s father.

Well, I just now went to Wikipedia to see if there is something there about his childhood to reflect this. This is what I found:

Randy Fowler (Spacey’s older brother) has stated that their father, whom he described as a racist “Nazi supporter”, was sexually and physically abusive, and that Spacey had shut down emotionally and become “very sly and smart” to avoid whippings.

Usually Wikipedia is not so forthcoming with childhood details.

This description of his father is going to create the classic Neptunian ‘victim/victimizer’ program.

The 5:51 am chart also gives Kevin Spacey Leo Rising and the Sun in the First House to which Hilarion says:

Leo Rising:
When the sign Leo rises, there will be a tendency for the self-picture to be colored by the notions of elegance, specialness and superiority……. The reason for giving this Ascendant to an individual is to prompt him to think better of himself than he is in the habit of doing when in incarnation. . The rulership by the Sun thus lends to the individual certain bolstering influences in terms of how he sees himself, which are intended to teach him not to underestimate his own worth and not to feel inferior to others. In view of this explanation, it will be understood that those with Leo rising will often find that they are torn between thinking little and thinking a lot of themselves. Through the experience of this inner battle, it is hoped that they will ultimately learn that each person is complete and worthy in his own right, and that none are either superior or inferior.

A portion of the Sun in the First House:

Thus it will often be observed that one with the Sun in the first is adept at projecting a facade of strength, will and control over the environment, while inwardly there lurks a desperate fear that others will one day discover the incompetence or the unworthiness or the self-embarrassment which constantly echoes, like a mocking laugh, up from the depths of subconscious recollection.

This Sun in the First House is something he shares with Bernie Sanders, John Kerry, and I believe (uncertain birth time) Hillary Clinton. All people who are good at looking stronger than they are.

Now, on a more positive note, the 5:51 birth time also gives Kevin Spacey Venus in the 2nd House, although unaspected, thus making it more difficult for him to consciously own that Venus energy.

This is what Hilarion says about Venus in the 2nd:

Second House
The placement of Venus in the second house is in many ways an ideal positioning for the planet of love. The second house corresponds to the sign Taurus, which is ruled by Venus. Unless the planet is severely afflicted in the second, one may assume that the love nature of the individual is stable and genuine, and that the waters of the soul’s affection run very deep. Here is one who knows that love is a constant flame. Under dire affliction, this placement of Venus can point to the need to unblock certain avenues of affection that have become closed. Sometimes there is a tendency to lavish love on the body, thus leading to a self-indulgent or sensuous streak. Other than these possible problems little else need be said. (End Quote)

I feel that that very sensitive love nature is also there inside of Kevin Spacey. Obviously the tendencies in his chart leading to a ‘self-indulgent or sensuous streak’ are going to be major parts of his Astrological curriculum which would limit his access to that much more loving energy.

Right now transiting Neptune is exactly opposite that Venus. I think he can feel his Venus now, but with a major Neptunian ‘test of faith’ as to whether the negative expressions of all of his Leo/Scorpio/Mars/Pluto karmic elements will make it such that he will never be believed or be able to fully manifest the truly sensitive, loving nature of his Venus.

I think he was inspired to become an actor to have some access to that positive sensitive emotional energy. Later, however, he gravitated to darker roles.

Now he has to live his real life, all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly.

For the rest of us, the enigmatic portrayal of Frank Underwood, with both his potentially truly sensitive loving energies, and those appearances of sensitive loving energies masking incredibly dark, selfish, controlling destructive manipulative energies will be even more, enigmatic.

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

Las Vegas and U.S.

As I am about to write this article I have just come out of a Global Meditation event, staged to help heal the recent energies of trauma created in Las Vegas.

This included helping the souls of those who have had to transition out of their bodies in such an intense, shocking, violent way. And yes, even trying to help the twisted, tortured tragic soul who has created such a hellish experience for himself and others.

I am actually in China right now, so I am looking at this with some distance. From here, however, I can feel the incredulous view of the U.S. the rest of the world holds right now. A view of our repeating on-going traumas of gun related mass shootings, to a President who threatens to destroy another nation before a General Assembly of all of the nations of the world.

Our nation seems to be spinning crazily out of control with violent energies. Hopefully something can be learned from this.

If we look at what is happening to the Astrology chart of the U.S. right now we can see collective lessons we are all being faced with in the community of our nation, and the opportunity to grow from it.

And if we look at the Astrological karma of the shooter, Stephen Paddock, we can also benefit from understanding the implicit in-born energies he was born with and the impending Astrological energies which were coming to bear upon him. From this we can also understand and learn. (His Solar Chart: no birth time or surety about birthplace)

Stephen Paddock Astrology Chart

I was initially going to stay in the comfort of my relative distance from the details of this event. But then as I listened to the news on the English language TV station here they announced Stephen Paddock’s birthdate and I got ‘sucked in.’

I knew immediately that Pluto was moving right now into a square to his Sun in Aries. Someone who is Aries, according to Hilarion*, is someone who, in some previous life, risked their own life to come to the rescue of another individual. As a reward for that courageous act they are given an additional energy, physically, mentally or emotionally.

Their challenge is to be able to express this energy in such a way that it does not harm themselves or others through aggressive, violent behavior.

Pluto squaring the Sun is, in any regard, a time when you have to look deep within yourself. A time to see where are you really coming from. Is it from love or is it from fear?

One author described it this way:

Pluto square Sun transit means you are in for a test of your character for a couple of years. The Sun represents your sense of self, your authority and power. The challenging square aspect from Pluto brings extreme forces in the form of other people and circumstances which mean you have to stand up and be counted.

This can be a time of crisis or breakdown as Pluto totally transforms your ego, identity and life direction. Pluto is basically throwing down a challenge so that you master your own personal power. Pluto can be ruthless in its effect so it can make you ruthless in achieving your goals. Power conflicts are common with this transit and these can be not only with authority figures like the law and bosses, but also in personal relationships. (Astrologyking.com)

And I would say as well that when Pluto squares your Sun, if you have not really been owning the energies of your Sun, of your soul essence, who you really are, then Pluto will force you to, one way or another.

Of course there are numerous other Astrological factors at play here in this man’s chart, too numerous for me to want to devote all of the time and energy it would take to elucidate them all.

To briefly hit the main points, however:

  • Most people know by now that Stephen Paddock’s father was a criminal on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list. His father, Benjamin Paddock, was in prison for the first three years of his oldest son, Stephen’s, life.
  • When Stephen was 7 (the time of Saturn squaring his natal Saturn) his father was arrested for a string of bank robberies. The neighbor took Stephen swimming while the BFI searched their house. The neighbor later stated to the newspaper: “We’re trying to keep Steve from knowing his father is held as a bank robber. I hardly know the family, but Steve is a nice boy. It’s a terrible thing.”
  • When Stephen Paddock was 15, around the time of Saturn opposing his natal Saturn, his father escaped prison and an FBI poster appeared stating that his father had been diagnosed as psychopathic. That has got to be rather intense for a hormonally-charged teenage Aries boy.

In Stephen Paddock’s natal chart, however, he has an Aquarius Moon opposite to Pluto. This is relatable to the apparent attempt to maintain some cool, detached, airy, Aquarian mental atmosphere in his childhood in order to avoid the deep, dark, hidden intense Plutonian reality of the man who, in part, led to his creation in this life. This is how Hilarion describes the affect of this afflicted Aquarian Moon:

The more afflicted the Moon, the more one will find a sense of emotional control and suppression, even coldness, at the heart level…. there tends to be taken from the early home situation a trait of self-control at the emotional level, a dislike of emotional display or extremes, which can produce a difficulty in the individual’s own later home/marriage pattern, particularly if he becomes involved, as he usually does, with someone who requires more in the way of emotional responsiveness than the Aquarian Moon is prepared to give.

That opposing Plutonian reality to that cool detached afflicted Aquarian Moon never went away from the dynamics and reality of his own unconscious psyche.

And those Saturn transits hitting his own Saturn at 7 and 14? Well his natal Saturn was conjunct Neptune and they are both, Neptune and Saturn, opposite to his Sun in Aries.

The Sun, in Psychological Astrology, represents the Father/Male principle in a chart. Saturn difficultly aspecting the Sun creates a likely restrictive energy involving the relationship with the father. Neptune difficultly aspected to the Sun will create some likely illusion, confusion, delusion, and/or victimhood involving one’s relationship with the father. (For example: Barack Obama has a Sun square Neptune, fatherhood experience in his own childhood.)

Stephen Paddock’s Aries Sun was also square to Uranus, thereby creating a sense of the father that would involve sudden ruptures, and a perhaps crazy unconventionality.

Now early in his life Stephen Paddock chose to be an accountant. Not too exciting, intense or aggressive. More like his cool detached Aquarian Moon and some other factors in his chart.

He worked, however, for a company that became Lockheed Martin, a major military defense contractor. I remember when I happened to be visiting Littleton, Colorado, where the Columbine High School mass shooting took place; I discovered that, although it seemed like a rather idyllic peaceful suburban town, most of the parents in that town worked for Lockheed Martin….

Stephen Paddock’s father, Benjamin, liked to gamble and while he was a fugitive he tried once to run down an FBI agent with his car in, Las Vegas….

So, we have Stephen Paddock, a former accountant moving recently to Las Vegas, gambling sometimes $10,000 up to $30,000 in a day, and starting to collect guns while Pluto was in a period of opposing his Uranus, squaring his Sun and moving into a square to his Neptune and his Saturn. Clearly he was trying to somehow embrace the denied, unintegrated intense reality of his father’s presence in his psyche.

Stephen Paddock really needed deep therapy, intensive meditation or Ayahuasca ceremonies to help him with this. Instead, as Pluto started to hit all of this he chose the violent, explosive Aries way of ‘acting it out.’

If Stephen Paddock had lived in a country where citizens have limited or no access to firearms he may have acted out through some explosive fight with his boss or guys in a bar.

In full disclosure, I myself own a firearm and I have killed with it. Even though I am basically a pacifist/vegetarian, I have a 22 rifle with which I once shot a packrat who had been terrorizing my house all night, every night and was uncatchable by humane ‘catch-em alive’ traps, by traps that kill, and even by poison. (He would build a ‘nest’ of twigs, pine needles and nails on top of the poison!)

I finally took out my rifle and ‘got’ him with one shot. And, I was scared to admit the primal sense of relishing that power and control wielded to me by that weapon, temporarily superseding my compassion for that poor creature.

It does enable me to imagine the potential effect of the force of being in possession of a stockpile of weapons and ammunition with some of those weapons made to be fully automatic upon someone with a dissociated, unstable psyche.

On a lighter note, it does remind me of a comedy routine by the British comedian Eddie Izzard where he repeated the often-repeated statement: ‘Guns don’t kill people. People do.’ To which Eddie replied in that enunciated way that the Brits do so well: ‘Well, I think guns have something to do with it. You can’t just point your fingers and go: bang, bang, bang, bang you’re all dead!’

And for those 2nd Amendment people who always say: ‘Well, if someone in the school was ‘packing heat’ this never would have happened.’ Well, in Las Vegas, in a state with both concealed and open-carry weapon laws, the shooter made sure that he had a distance, and a vantage point, and firepower such that all of those likely handguns in the crowd would be totally useless.

It seems that we are possibly heading towards a nation with metal detectors at all large hotels, public buildings, schools and transportation hubs.

Neptune, up in the sky right now, is squaring the Sagittarian Rising/Ascendant of the United States this year. Sagittarius Rising makes it such that you see yourself as, as Hilarion* says: ‘honest, upright and morally strong, whether true or not.’

Neptune impinging that Sagittarian self-image is creating some ‘illusion, confusion, delusion, and victimhood’ challenges in relation to that normally self-righteous self-image. So I think there is some unease with prior convictions, or an added sense of vulnerability in the way we see ourselves, like the potential for Nuclear War.

The potential benefit of this aspect is to dis-identify with those previously held convictions in order to view them with a non-ego-identified perspective.

Just because an Astrological transit creates this opportunity, however, does not promise that one will benefit from it. There is always going to be resistance, a pushback.

For example, we have ex-Fox TV host Bill O’Reilly posting on his blog in the aftermath of this massacre: “This is the price of freedom.”

There have been many responses, such as this one: “No Bill O’Reilly. Listening to you is the (high) price of freedom. Gun massacres are the price of weak gun laws.”

One last, I feel, poignant Astrological Note:

Stephen Paddock’s Moon was in the 25th degree of Aquarius. The Moon of the U.S.A. is in the 28th degree of Aquarius. The Moon at the moment of the attack Sunday night was in the 26th degree of Aquarius.

The Great American Eclipse was at the 29th degree of Leo, within four degrees of exact opposition to the Moons of Stephen Paddock, the USA, and the Las Vegas Massacre.

Now the US Aquarian Moon has only a positive aspect to it natally and I relate that to the positive Aquarian ideals of freedom and equality the nation was founded upon. And it is unfortunate, but tragedy like this does have the potential to bring us all together as one suffering human family.

The Leo potentially oppositional arrogance to that brother/sisterhood Aquarian potential is, however, evidenced by the previously quoted comment by Bill O’Reilly.

In the spirit of my Libran fairness, however, this arrogance was also evident in the comments of a CBS vice president who was fired after she posted on her Facebook page:

“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs [sic] will ever do the right thing,” Geftman-Gold continued: “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc [sic] country music fans often are Republican gun toters [sic].”

She has since heartily apologized but of course is now facing numerous death threats.

As I say at my lectures, the self-righteous Sagittarian Rising energies of the U.S. are not limited to the Right Wing. We all have a tendency to be rather obnoxious. It is one reason I really enjoy spending a fair bit of time outside of our country.

I would like to end this article with some wisdom from Hilarion. These are his statements about the nature and experience of karma and reincarnation quoted from his book: ‘Nations’ (which is available as an EBook on Amazon.com).

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

PS: Even though I am in China right now, I’m not too busy work-wise and would be happy to do Skype readings for anyone who would like that. I can also make free phone calls to the U.S.

From the Introduction by Hilarion to NATIONS

For these things are not governed by chance.

Many imagine that pure hazard decrees where one shall be born, and then they blame an unjust God for His cruelty. Others are so appalled by the suffering that they retreat into apathy. Yet others – often prompted by murky religious concepts – think that some sort of ‘plan’ is being worked out, but are not able to explain that plan in a satisfactory manner.

The key that is missing – the link that can unite all of the apparent chaos and suffering into a just and plausible scheme – is the concept that each individual born into the earth is merely taking on a new physical body (one of many) and that his habits and actions in previous bodies have determined the opportunities and the hardships which are his now.

It is deplorable that the main western religions have turned their backs upon this truth – a truth which was part of the credo of most early Christian writers until the Council of Nicea voted to erase all scriptural reference to reincarnation. (Even so, they did not dare to tamper with Jesus’ own statement that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elias – Matthew 11:14 and Mark 9:11-13.)

What we are saying is that a proper grasp of the principle of rebirth – and the related principle of karma – not only makes reality understandable, but shows God to be just. We see in the near future a great excitement among humanity as the truth of reincarnation gradually spreads among all peoples. Indeed, numerous individuals already acknowledge this principle without even admitting it to themselves. How many have said, in a moment of exasperation, “What did I ever do to deserve this?” Were they not stating the very law of karma upon which cosmic justice rests? It is the same law which Christ was evoking when He said that those who live by the sword must die by the sword. If this statement were taken to refer only to a single life, it would be manifestly untrue – for have not many murderers died peacefully in their beds? Yet, seen in the light of the rebirth principle, the dictum makes far more sense. It asserts that justice shall follow the murderer even if it does not work itself out in the same life in which the misdeed was committed. In some incarnation, now or later, he himself must ‘die by the sword’.

An interesting facet of this karmic principle is its great effectiveness in teaching humanity to have compassion. Let us explain this point more fully.

Everyone is generally aware of the fact that, in ages past, human beings tended to be very calloused and unfeeling towards each other. At the time of Jesus, for example, there was little respect for human life, hardly any consideration for the suffering of another, and absolutely no feeling of any kind for the animals. Children were regularly beaten, tied up, even hung on the wall to keep them out of an adult’s way. A soldier would think nothing of running his sword through a passing stranger, merely to determine whether the cutting edge were still sharp.

These inhuman attitudes persist even today in many of the darkened places of the earth. And yet, particularly in the western democratic nations, one finds many individuals who are polite and considerate, and who feel it deeply when others around them are suffering. This is the essence of compassion. The word literally means ‘to suffer with’ another. This trait has also been called empathy.

It might surprise the earth’s compassionate individuals to learn that their empathetic nature arises because of their own previous suffering! In effect, what happens when one perceives another person in pain is the rekindling of a memory of one’s own previous painful episodes – whether in this life or in a previous one. Hence what one feels initially is a memory-pain which is evoked by the suffering of the other person.

Some individuals merely feel the empathy – they ‘suffer with’ the person who is undergoing the pain. But others are prompted by their own pain-memories to try to relieve the suffering. Initially the person may do this because by relieving the suffering in the other, the source of his own pain-memory will be removed. But repeated episodes of such help will gradually become ingrained into the individual as a habit of compassionate kindness, and the result will eventually be to incorporate that wonderful trait into the soul itself.

It is thus that the karmic necessity to suffer the same pain we have caused others brings with it ‘an automatic antidote to the kind of attitude that gives rise to the karma in the first place. Think of it as a progression: in the primitive stage, the soul is darkened, insular and lacking in empathy; a life is lived during which pain is caused to others through violent actions. In subsequent lives, the soul inhabits bodies which are made to suffer the same pain which the soul once meted out to others. As a result of that karmic ‘meeting of the self’, the soul stores pain-memories which can be evoked by witnessing similar suffering. Finally, the soul has become so sensitized by pain that it reacts immediately to any scenario in which another is seen to be suffering. At first the soul is simply overcome with ‘com-passion’, i.e. it ‘suffers with’ the other. Perhaps the soul will wish to leave the presence of the sufferer in order to stop its own pain-memories. But at a more mature point, the soul learns to reach out a helping hand to relieve the suffering.

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