How does a person know what to do to enjoy life? Does this come about naturally, by happenstance, or is there some other way to determine it? Perhaps, by living life, we can find out what we like and what we don’t like and then avoid what we don’t like. This sounds too simplistic. Is it just that some people enjoy life while others do not? Indeed, this is true, but why? Does it require wealth so that one does not have to work and is, therefore, left to pursue his own interests? Maybe a lack of responsibility is the secret to enjoying life, but this does not appear to be a valid idea; or is it just an attitude or determination to enjoy life in spite of all? Now this idea may have merit.
If we listen to the radio or watch T.V., advertising tells us that a better job with increased income will help us enjoy life; or winning cash or prizes, would do the job. Maybe losing weight and becoming physically fit, would turn things around. Traveling to exotic places and seeing the sights and sounds of different cultures or new and different places may be just the thing. Others think attending and giving parties, drinking, dancing, and gambling is evidence of enjoying life. The list goes on and on from there to the best laundry detergent; all, they say, will confer happiness and make life enjoyable.
What is wrong with this picture? It is true that health is important to enjoying life, but there are some sick individuals that are happy anyway. Much has to do with acceptance of one’s situation; another is the determination to be happy. In addition, we must be able to see that material THINGS do not confer joy. They are only “passing fancies” and have no permanent value.
As we move on through the increasing complexity of life from childhood to adulthood, we are told that more and more things are needed to achieve enjoyment in life. Is this true? Well, yes and no. Here we are faced with an understanding of the difference between what is necessary and what we want. Basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter, must be met in order to enjoy life. These are necessary. The question then remains, can we be happy and enjoy life without having the things we want? Here, again, we can give a yes or no answer, but this time the boundaries are less well defined. Perhaps this is because not all people agree on this. Most people want a home and family, but a few of us prefer living alone or even living the life of a recluse or hermit. Most people want to be loved and respected, but do all of them feel this way? Possibly not! Maybe some people just don’t care one way or the other.
Perhaps we are now coming to a point of understanding about desire. If the amount of desire is low and we do not have whatever we want, we can just ignore it and move on with life. If the desire level is higher, this adjustment is more difficult. We will have to seriously examine this to see if the cost required is worth it. We can understand how a “burning desire” (or lack thereof) drives people in one direction or another. If this ‘burning desire” can be achieved, life can be expected to be enjoyable, at least for a time. But human beings are more complex than this. They have multiple desires, many of them at almost equal intensity. In addition, they have different desires at different times. What a web we mortals weave!
How can we untangle this web? To gain insight into this matter, let us examine the natal chart as a beginning. The Sun sign and its progression are very important to this discussion. Let us consider a person with the Sun in Aires. This immediately brings to mind an energetic person, full of life and vibrant, adventurous and passionate, He is the innovator, warrior, leader, adventurer, pioneer and inventor. Now, in Aires, these qualities will be directed toward himself and his personal life. As the Sun progresses into
the sign of Taurus these qualities will be directed towards business and financial security. In the sign of Gemini these qualities will be directed toward communication of various sorts, like writing, media coverage and speaking engagements. In the fourth sign, that of Cancer, interests will be directed toward home and family.
When we consider that the Sun, by progression, takes approximately 30 years to complete a sign, we generally have to consider only 3 to 4 signs for our own personal lifetime. The influence of these signs is strong and will propel us toward those things governed by the sign. For instance, suppose a person was born in the middle of Aires. His interests will be directed toward the self and in 15 years, he will have finished the work of the Self in Aires and become focused on those things found under the sign of Taurus, acquiring assets like money, investments and spiritual knowledge. Then, after another 30 years the Sun, by progression, will move into Gemini and the individual will become interested in those things governed by Gemini, like maybe writing a book or making a career change in favor of the media. If, on the other hand, a person started out in the middle of the sign of Taurus, he would be only 15 when the Sun enters Gemini when he would devote his time to communication of all kinds and probably be the class valedictorian. By the time he is 45 years old, the Sun, by progression, enters Cancer. Now his interests may turn toward home life, family and children and later into retirement and interests of old age. At age 75, with the Sun progressed into Leo, investments may become an issue.
From the foregoing it becomes obvious that people will find the thrust of their interests along the lines of those things governed by the sign into which the Sun has progressed. This is consistent with the idea that our interests change with our age more than just chronologically, but also according to the Sign into which the Sun has progressed. We are happier when we move along with the flow of energy that impels us in a certain direction.
None of this is to say that the planets are not important, for indeed they are very important, and may increase or decrease the attraction that the signs imply. Trines, and other positive aspects, indicate an easier life, but not necessarily a more enjoyable life. Some people with many negative aspects in their chart are found to be enjoying life. Much depends on how we handle things. Ever increasing our strengths and constantly working on overcoming our weaknesses are very much involved in enjoying life.
Recognition of the Law of Cause and Effect goes hand in hand with self-reliance and responsibility. Accomplishing this provides a great foundation for the road we must travel. Opening both heart and mind to the loving unity around us that underscores the importance of all relationships, is mandatory for enjoying life. Through relationships we learn love, compassion, morality, ethics, fairness, tolerance and understanding. It also affords us the opportunity to see ourselves and to see the effect we have on others. At the same time it provides an avenue for kindness and forgiveness. Since we are all one, we realize that what is given to us contains a gift to one’s self as well.
Attitude is a very important consideration in this discussion. If we work on developing an attitude that insists on enjoying life, we will find ourselves automatically making changes within ourselves. These changes consist of many things. Some of them are increased tolerance for differences in thoughts, words and deeds of others, decreased importance of unwanted or inconvenient intrusions into our life, greater understanding of the mental and emotional problems and needs of others, and an increased awareness of our own control over our own life. Taking over the reins of the direction and course of our life provides freedom and the joy of accomplishment. Honesty and integrity bring their own rewards. Understanding that change is an inevitable evolutionary challenge providing growth, helps us to accept it as a natural part of life without undue concern. When we are disposed to “let go and let God” we are moving toward a more joyous life.
Another important consideration is FOCUS. If we reduce our self-focus to a minimum, reserving it for self-observation and correction, we will probably find ourselves enjoying life very much. On the other hand, if we remain focused on ourselves most of the time, the reverse is apt to be true. Focusing on others, helps us to become sensitive to their needs and provides opportunities for selfless service, a blessing that benefits both recipient and donor. Another aspect of focus, and perhaps the most important aspect of focus, is focus on God and His Christ. This is commonly termed prayer, but includes contemplation and adoration. In this blissful revere of the divine, life is indeed joyous.
This brings us to the point of realization that spiritual interests far outweigh material interests. This is especially evident as we change our thinking in accordance with increasing inner, spiritual yearnings. Gradually we pursue this new road, moving ever faster and sure of our destination. Everything else pales in comparison to this all-consuming pursuit. Soul hunger continuously urges us onward, seeking and finding more and more spiritual light. We learn the profound truth of the admonition, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else will be added unto you”. Finally the kingdom of heaven becomes all that really is. There is only God and His Christ in His heaven. This is truly enjoying life and life eternal.