The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Saturn & Jupiter in Existential Balance

Astrologically, we equate responsibility with Saturn.  With Saturn, we undertake our duties and obligations seriously and in this way, we achieve.

When things go wrong however, we’re more reluctant to take responsibility. Thus the downside of Saturn is fault and blame.

In On the Genealogy of Morals (3:15), Nietzsche has suggested that fault and blame are the bitter fruits of ‘responsibility’.  This is because in our society, responsibility is not understood in terms of our ‘ability to respond’ but instead in terms of the spirit of revenge.

In existentialist terms, the spirit of revenge is a powerful narcotic that numbs the inevitable pain and misery of existence.  ‘Shit happens’.  It happens despite the ‘best laid plans of mice and men’.

When we respect misfortune as an inevitable part of living, we can utilise our innate ability to respond to life  (Nietzsche).

But whilst embraced by the spirit of revenge, no man can respect true misfortune.  He can have no understanding of the context in which misfortune manifests.  Focused on channelling his passions into vengefulness and spite, such a man can never respect, let alone love,  anybody or anything.

Only a foolish man believes that each misfortune which befalls him, was intentionally directed at him.   Yet many of us do just that.

A more productive approach might be to take ourselves less seriously.   This might be achieved through the more positive aspects of irresponsibility – i.e. having lightheaded fun.  Not only does  light-heartedness promote health, but it also helps us to learn – and accept – basic realities about life.

The natural antidote of Saturn is Jupiter.  When Jupiter  functions properly,  we are optimistic, take chances and have good luck.  Too much Jupiter however leads to extravagance and frivolity – hence the bad associations with irresponsibility.

In my book, balance is the key to health and happiness.  It would seem Nietzsche might agree.  According to him (in a theme developed by Kundera in his novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being), the heaviest burden (responsibility) is also boundless freedom (irresponsibility).

In this regard, taking responsibility for your own life allows you to accept it for what it is – a game of chance in which sometimes you win… and sometimes you lose.

Blaming yourself or others achieves nothing but more pain.

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