PREVIOUS THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY|
August 20th to August 24th
MONDAY AUGUST 20
Can astrology tell you when someone is going to die? People often ask me this. Normally, I just say "no." It saves a long conversation but it is not quite true. A horoscope is like the street map of a person's life. It wouldn't be much of a map if it didn't show the roads that may lead to their death. It's just that there are many such roads. We put our lives at risk, every time we cross a street. You can, if you wish, use astrology to identify the 100,000 moments throughout your life when you might be more likely to die. You can dedicate your life to working out which of these are really worth worrying about. But the effort might just finish you off!
TUESDAY AUGUST 21
Past and next lives
Does existence begin as you draw your very first breath - and does it end when you expel your last one? Many people think so; astrologers included. Most people in my profession work with a time of birth and they limit their readings to the scope of one lifetime. Most, but not all. Some astrologers use "conception charts". They will try to pinpoint - and read meaning - into the moment when you were first "bred"! Other astrologers use your horoscope to give a "past life reading". And probably, though I have never met one, there are "next-life" astrologers; busily predicting what you'll come back as... and when!
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 22
Limits of life
I have been writing, this week, about "the limits of life." Where and when does it begin? At what particular point do you say; "It is over". Once you challenge the conventional view, you start to spark fierce debate. Those who believe in a hereafter, for example, get upset with those who insist that the end is the end. Meanwhile, "pro" and "anti" abortion campaigners argue about exactly when it all begins. It's a shame, really, that there are so many deep beliefs about all these matters. Maybe, if we were more willing to learn, we'd find out something!
THURSDAY AUGUST 23
My own experience of death is very limited. I have not yet left the earth. I have only watched others do it. I find it interesting that, when they go, they leave their bodies behind. To me, this suggests that existence cannot be a purely physical phenomenon. What makes the difference between a human being and a human shell? Breath. Plain and simple. And what drives that breath? Well, some people call it heart and some call it soul. Some call it energy and some call it spirit. But whatever it is, it has no weight, no mass, no size and no visibility. Therefore, it has no time. So how can it ever die?
FRIDAY AUGUST 24
The other day, some friends of mine lost their baby; a lovely little boy of four months called Louis. He died peacefully in the night for reasons nobody can explain. It was, say the experts, a 'classic cot death'. That's why I have been talking so much, this week about where life begins and where it ends. I have also been talking about this with my children. They loved little Louis. Now, they want to know why he had to die. So do I. So do we all. Why do any of us ever have to go? I can give no answer - just a suggestion. Maybe, to understand why people die, we first have to understand why they live.
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