I managed to find myself in the middle of a debate about life and death this week. It started off because I was asked what I thought happened when one died. Now the quick answer and in hindsight probably the one that I should have used is that I don’t know. However like most people when faced with this question I couldn’t resist giving my opinion, which led to us debating the subject for half an hour when we could have probably used the time much more productively. At the end of the debate, interesting and fascinating as it was, we all had to concede that we didn’t really know the answer and no one, including me, was in a hurry to find out.
In the course of the passionate but good natured debate somebody raised the view that one of the reasons people believe in life after death is the hope that there is something better than this life in the next one. Whilst I don’t think that everybody who believes in life after death believes in it for this reason there is certainly some truth in the comment. I know quite a few people who try and live a good and blameless life, helping others and giving what they can in the belief that they will be rewarded in Heaven. I am in no way criticising that view, nor knocking that way of living which is one I aspire to, but I do find it more than a little bit sad, the feeling that Heaven is a better place than our life on Earth. Because if we are living our life on Earth as it is truly meant to be lived, how can there be anything better than this?
To live your life as it is meant to be lived is a lot easier than many people imagine. The problem I find is that like most things in life we humans try and over complicate it. If we were to just accept that our journey through life is mapped out for us at the moment we are born we could just sit back and enjoy the ride. That is not to say that we shouldn’t be prepared. When I talk about our journey through life on the courses that I deliver I ask people to imagine they were setting off on a walk through a wood. Assuming that it was a long walk, and you were being sensible about it you would need two things. Firstly you would have to have a rough idea of where you were going, secondly you would need some equipment both to make the journey easier and to help you in case you encountered difficulties. Setting off on our life journey is no different to setting off on a walk through a wood, if anything it is made easier by the fact that we already know where we are going. We are heading towards our dream, the purpose that was set out for us when we were created. All we need to think about then is the equipment that is going to help us to get there.
If you were going on a walk through a wood you would hope that on the whole the path was smooth, clear and filled with some spectacular sights and sounds. I imagine though that you would also expect to encounter the odd obstacle. You may find that in some parts the terrain was rocky, that you may have to walk up a few hills, retrace your route occasionally or take a new path if the path you were on became impassable. If you were well prepared, with a compass, good boots, provisions and strong walking equipment you would not be worried about the obstacles you encountered or the changing plans you had to make. You would still be confident that you were going to reach your destination.
Your life journey is exactly the same. At times the path will be clear and smooth stretching in to the distance as far as the eye can see, at other times it will be hilly, rocky, blocked by obstacles. Occasionally you will have to take a path that you don’t want to take, or find that a shortcut that promised so much actually leads you in to a right old mess. If however you understand that every step on your path, every obstacle you encounter has happened for a reason, and feel confident that you have the equipment you need to reach your ultimate life purpose then you will enjoy the journey. Space in your rucksack won’t be filled with heavy things you have no need for like fear, self doubt, worry and disappointment.
So what is this equipment that will help us on our life journey? The Chinese call them the Three Fates or Three Lucks depending on which book or translation you are reading. The Three Fates are Heaven Fate, Earth Fate and Human Fate and link closely to the Five Factors that Influence Fortune (which I wrote about in my blog post of August 12th). The Three Fates are with us all the time, although many people don’t realise it and therefore don’t turn to them for help when help is needed.
We are all born with Three Fates. Heaven Fate, the first one, is our destiny, the life path that we are on. Heaven Fate controls us. Our destiny is decided by the Universe at the moment we are born and is influenced by the exact moment of our birth, the name that has been chosen for us and the circumstances that we were born in to. This is our path through life. Our Heaven Fate gives us our purpose in life, our ultimate destination and decides how easy or lucky the path will be. We cannot change our path through life but the other two fates will help us deal with any obstacles or problems we encounter.
Earth Fate is how our personal energy interacts with the energy in our environment. Our Earth Fate changes as we move through life. When we are first born our Earth Fate comes from the environment we were born in to. Later the energy comes from our immediate environment, not only our home, but the places that we work and the places that we like to spend time in. We have a choice as to whether we let Earth Fate control us or not.
To make our path through life easier we can strengthen our Earth Fate by the use of Feng Shui. In general terms we should ensure that our environment is balanced and harmonised, that yin and yang are equally represented and the five elements allow the energy to flow through our environment in a positive and constructive way. This energy harmonisation should be constantly maintained, it is the foundation stone of Feng Shui and allows more personal enhancements to have the desired effect. Without the foundation stone any enhancements will be diluted or work only in the very short term.
Personal Feng Shui enhancements can be used when we encounter obstacles or difficulties on our life path, or if we want help in reading the signs that we see as we walk down our path. A personal enhancement is when we take an action to link our personal energy with the energy in our environment. This is done through understanding how our Heaven and Earth Fates interact and making subtle changes to channel the energy towards a specific desire. This can be as simple as moving your bed so that you face a particular direction when you sleep, or placing crystals in certain auspicious areas of your home.
The final of the three fates is Human Fate. Unlike the other two fates Human Fate is the one that we have complete control over. Human Fate drives our behaviour, the actions that we take, the characteristics that we display and the feelings that we hold. It is Human Fate that decides how we see each stage on our path, whether we successfully navigate each obstacle, cheerfully learning what we can or wallow in self pity and wonder why life is so unfair.
As well as knowing that we have complete control over our emotions, Human Fate also allows us to improve ourselves through study. This gives us a great opportunity to have some form of influence over Heaven Fate. By studying and understanding our personal horoscope, our Four Pillars of Destiny, we can gain an insight in to the path ahead. By understanding where the path is clear, and where there may be obstacles we can then take action to either take advantage of the clear path, or prevent the obstacle from holding us up too much. Remember we have complete control over Human Fate. We cannot move the obstacle from our path, but we can determine how we react to it.
Life is a journey to be enjoyed. Whether we believe in a next life or not, we should all ensure that this life is as rewarding and fulfilling as the Universe intended it to be.