Monday, January 4, 2010

The Real Meaning of Immortality

Ode to Immortality
William Wordsworth

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God who is our home
Heaven lies about us in our infancy,
Shades of the prison-house begin to close

Upon the growing boy
But he beholds the light and whence it flows
He sees in its joy;
The youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the man perceives it die away,
And fade into the common light of day.

Whether or not Wordsworth intended it, this poem lends itself to astrological interpretation. It seems to suggest that fate is determined in the 12th house, also known as the prison-house, before birth. That house closes in early childhood, but an imaginative child may still perceive it. The youth who travels “daily farther from the east” suggests a progression away from the Ascendant, which is established at birth, and sets fate into motion. The “vision splendid” is the promise of early adulthood that is delineated in a western horoscope, and also in the Vedic rasi and navamsa, or marriage chart. The idea that many people have lived out much of the fate by the onset of middle age (early forties) is expressed in the two final lines – at length, the events dictated by fate are used up as a less predetermined energy, or “common light” influenced by the karma of actions in this life, becomes more important.

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