“Words are the shadow of reality, a mere branch of reality. Since the shadow draws, how much more the reality!
Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words. If someone should see a hundred thousand miracles and divine blessings, still, without an inner connection to that saint or prophet who was the source of those miracles, all these phenomena would come to nothing. It is this inward element that draws and moves us.”  
 ~ Rumi

~ Motion graphic effects by George RedHawk

perception

perception is very important if you want to understand astrology.

there are some awfully kind people on this website and sometimes they’ll send me nice messages 💕 and most of the time they say something like: “you seem so comfortable in your own skin”, “I love your posts and answers because they’re so concise”, “I love that you’re confident”, “I love that you’re straightforward”, “you’re so smart” or “you’re so real and you’re always yourself”. these are positive perceptions of me (specifically my online persona/MC)

and then, there are the negative perceptions of me. being “comfortable in my own skin”, “being confident” and “real” turns into being conceited and arrogant. being “smart” turns into being a know it all and being “straightforward and concise” becomes condescending and lazy.

I know why this happens, my 10th house… is complicated, and I have mars there & all the above traits are pretty mars like. but the point is, all of these people are seeing the same version of me but coming to different conclusions based on their personal perception.

I know a pair of twins, but they ended up with different moon signs. one has moon in virgo and the other has moon in libra. being twins, they weren’t really raised differently. they were treated the same by their parents. their mum was image concerned, cared about manners and enforced the importance of social skills and politeness. this is how a lot of libra moons are raised; to be very conscious in social situations, to be polite and respectful. hence why one of the twins was given a libra moon. the other twin with the virgo moon was taught and raised around these exact same beliefs, but when they were corrected on how to say something more politely they didn’t see it was being taught manners, they saw it as their mum being critical and judgemental. he perceived their mum as being perfectionistic, and believed his mum was teaching him common sense and trying to make him “perfect”.

once there was a discussion on my blog about how libra and leo suns naturally sextile but don’t actually seem to get along that well in real life in a lot of cases. this prompted /many/ libra and leo suns to tell me why they didn’t like these signs. leo’s said that they found libra’s weak, passive, copycat-like, and dull. libra’s are natural peacekeepers so they’re polite, considerate and adapt to their surroundings but the former traits listed is how leo’s perceived that. since libra’s are so polite, they perceived leo’s ~self-love~/self-involved nature as conceit, melodramatic, and lack of manners and so forth.

this post was unplanned so I don’t know where exactly I was headed but what I’m trying to say is, if you want to understand astrology, like really understand it, you need to understand perception and how if affects your judgement and how people (including you) will relate to their own charts.

Man can be enlightened if he wakes up from the ‘dream’ that is created by his own ignorant mind, and becomes fully awakened. He must realize that what he is today is the result of an untold number of repetitions in thoughts and actions. He is not ready-made: he is continually in the process of becoming, always changing. And it is in this characteristic of change that his future lies, because it means that it is possible for him to mould his character and destiny through the choice of his actions, speech and thoughts. Indeed, he becomes the thoughts and actions that he chooses to perform. Man is the highest fruit on the tree of evolution. It is for man to realize his position in nature and to understand the true meaning of his life.As yet, man is still wrapped in ignorance. He does not known who he really is or what is expected of him. As a result, he misinterprets everything and acts on that misinterpretation. Is it not conceivable that our entire civilization is built on the misinterpretation? The failure to understand his existence leads him to assume a false identity of a bloated, self-seeking egoist, and to pretend to be what he is not or is unable to be.
Man must make an effort to overcome ignorance to arrive at realization and Enlightenment. All great men are born as human beings from the womb, but they worked their way up to greatness. Realization and Enlightenment cannot be poured into the human heart like water into a tank. Even the Buddha had to cultivate His mind to realize the real nature of man.

Your Own Noble Heart

‘There is a Buddhist saying that can help strengthen your determination to keep your balance in any challenging situation. It says: “If you can do something to change the circumstances, why be upset about it? And if you cannot do anything about the circumstances, why be upset about it?”

This situation is relevant to all situations in life. If you can do something to improve matters, wonderful. There is no reason to be distressed. On the other hand, there is certainly no point in worrying about something you cannot change. This advice applies when you seek to influence the way your government intervenes in others’ conflicts. It also applies when you are attempting to resolve other people’s conflicts. It applies when you come into conflict with others.

In fact, this advice covers all circumstances in life. Most situations can be changed, but some cannot. Either way, there is no cause to become agitated or feel unhappy. If you really think about this, then when you allow yourself to become disturbed or unhappy, you really cannot say it is someone else or something else making you upset. It is you causing your own unhappiness. Why let yourself become stuck in an untenable position? In situations where change is possible, you work for change; where it is not possible, you accept that fact and work within the bounds of what is possible.

In short, there is no point to being disturbed and unhappy. You only hurt yourself: you do not fix the situation or benefit others. You just make it harder for yourself to access the wholesome resources that you have within your own mind. You just deny yourself access to your own noble heart.’

- The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, The Heart is Noble.

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(Image caption: The two networks related to the perception of the external world and internal thoughts (in blue and red respectively) show a pathological communication in disorders of consciousness)

Abnormal brain interactions harm consciousness

Over the past few years, a great amount of scientific research has shown that even when the brain is “at rest” it still works. The brains of healthy people are organized into regions displaying similar activity, called resting-state networks. There are two networks related to the perception of either the external world or internal thoughts. So far, much research on consciousness has focused on the activity within these networks, rather than how they communicate between each other.

An international research team has now investigated their interactions in different states of consciousness and has discovered that patients with severely impaired consciousness (disorders of consciousness, e.g. vegetative state/unresponsive wakefulness syndrome and minimally conscious state) show a pathological or uncontrolled communication between the two networks. Conversely, in patients who recovered from disorders of consciousness (patients known as emerging from minimally conscious state) the habitual interactions between networks are partially preserved, despite there being no difference in the connectivity within each network.

The study, published by the high-impact journal The Lancet Neurology, was led by Carol Di Perri, researcher at the Coma Science Group at Université de Liège (Belgium), and coordinated by Athena Demertzi, Steven Laureys (Coma Science Group) and Andrea Soddu from Western University (London, Ontario, Canada).

“Our findings cast light on the mechanisms underlying neural function necessary to emerge from impaired consciousness states and, more generally, on the importance of these network interactions in the emergence of higher cognitive functions,” says Laureys, Director, Coma Science Group and principal investigator at the GIGA (Interdisciplinary Cluster for Applied Geno-proteomics) of Liège. “Such results will have relevant impact in the clinical setting and may lead to possible new therapeutic options.”

According to Di Perri, previous research into disorders of consciousness predominantly focused on the connectivity breakdown within these networks, rather than their functional interactions.

“This study suggests that communication between networks is more important than connectivity within networks for cognitive functions necessary to emerge from disorders of consciousness,” says Di Perri.

Soddu, an assistant professor at Western’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and a member of the world-renowned Brain and Mind Institute, further explains, “This important discovery shows that the two neural networks interact in a competing ways within the human brain, making patients emerging from minimally conscious state swing between the perception of the external world and their internal thoughts in an integrated manner.”