When a very busy colleague became ill this week, I provided my favorite mantra: “There’s never really a good time to be sick.”
Accidents and death are two other events in which there’s never a good time for them to occur.
I’ve always assumed that accidents, illness and death were events of scorn simply because they were physically and emotionally unpleasant. But now I’m wondering if they don’t have something else in common – they are the very few events that are unplanned.
Winning the lottery may also be unplanned but an event that we could absorb easily into the flow of our daily lives. While winning the lottery would radically change our lifestyle, we welcome it, unplanned.
Or is winning the lottery truly unplanned?
Ask someone who has played the lottery what he/she would do with the money. I suspect you will hear a long and detailed plan – probably more planning than you’d hear if you asked, “What do you expect to do in the next five years?”
Meditation teachers often suggest you notice and label your thoughts. Many thoughts, you may find, involve planning.
Why do our minds plan so much?
Searching on the “psychology of planning,” yielded few results that get to the core of why we plan. Planning clearly is as essential as breathing in that it’s not studied as something that could be unusual or aberrant.
Is it critical to survival to always think about what we’re going to do next?
The blog The Perils of Plans: Why Creativity Requires Leaping into the Unknown from Brain Pickings has some interesting thoughts on the negative effects of planning including a quote from another work:
Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind,” I offered in one of my 7 lessons from 7 years of Brain Pickings. Indeed, nothing stunts growth more powerfully than our attachment to the familiar, our blind adherence to predetermined plans, and our inability to, as Rilke famously put it, “live the questions.” Keats termed the willingness to embrace uncertainty, live with mystery, and make peace with ambiguity “negative capability” and argued that it’s essential to the creative process; Anaïs Nin believed that inviting the unknown helps us live more richly, and even psychologists confirm that embracing uncertainty is essential to creativity. And yet we cling so vigorously to our comfort zones, our plans, our knowns — why?
So planning might be an effort to ward off the unknown. Accidents, illness and death have a very strong component of the unknown.
We rarely “plan” our next accident or illness. We may prepare for death, but few (hopefully) plan it.
Does unplanned simply equal unknown? Is planning an effort to make the unknown into the known?
Energies from the Unknown: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
The outer planets represent the energies of the environment and the times. These planets represent collective energies, not personal energies. They do not represent your personal likes, dislikes and moods. These planets are the collective uprisings, physical earthquakes, mass movements, mass hysteria and any energy that flows through humanity at large.
The energies are like wind. The wind has its own force, but what it carries comes from what lies in its path. Does it carry leaves, dust or radiation from distant shores?
The outer planets are a good representation of the unplanned and the unknown.
Uranus, the awakener, brings the accidents because of its nature to be sudden. Some accidents are bad, like tripping on the curb and falling down. Some accidents are good such as those that lead to discoveries.
Neptune, the dissolver, can bring illness. Neptune dissolves boundaries and alters perception which can make the known into the unknown with terrifying fuzziness. The experience can lead to fragility and vulnerability which is where the illness seems to attach. The positive side of the Neptunian experience is a connection with all-that-is.
Pluto, the transformer, can bring death among its many transformations. Does death always mean the big D or can it also be the little D? Transformation, of course, can be positive but is more scary than it sounds because often the identity shifts, which is unpleasant for the sense of self.
In Lois Duncan’s young adult novel Killing Mr. Griffin, there’s a poem that’s always stuck with me – the last two lines at least – which evokes thoughts of Pluto’s big and little Ds.
Where the daisies laugh and blow,
Where the willow leaves hang down,
Nonny, nonny, I will go
There to weave my lord a crown.
Willow, willow, by the brook,
Trailing fingers green and long,
I will read my lord a book,
I will sing my lord a song.
Though he turn his face away,
Nonny, nonny, still I sing,
Ditties of a heart gone gray
And a hand that bears no ring.
Water, water, cold and deep,
Hold me fast that I may sleep.
Death with you is hardly more
Than the little deaths before.
Energies of the Known: Inner Planets
The energies of the known – sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – represent our personal and social selves. These are the planets that represent what we think of as our identity.
These planets are the planners who create the continuity of our sense of self. The unplanned Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, are the disruptions in the sense of self that can occur during intense encounters, unusual situations, catastrophic events or just because it’s time.
Those that don’t lose a sense of self during these times probably have a lot of fixed signs or earth signs.
When Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, the Capricorn banking and government structures experienced a strong disruption – unplanned, of course. It’s both scary to experience and interesting to watch as the world tries to return to the planned.
The world experienced an outer planet energy that created a crack in the egg of our system and quickly tried to recover the inner planet experience – a return to normal, the known, the expected.