Do the ends actually justify the means? The answer depends on who you ask. If you ask your inner politician, he will say yes. If you ask your inner philosopher, he will say no. If you ask your inner child, well, I’m not sure what he will say.
When we remember our roots, we remember our origin. In Libra, we begin to breakaway from our origin story. Our paths begin to fork. This nakshatra is about conflict–the conflict that leads us to our goal. Ask any politician–I believe a politician resides within everyone–and he will tell you that the ends justify the means. The key lesson here is that you must know that the course of action you have chosen is going to get you the outcome or the result that you are looking for.
In Ashlesha Nakshatra, I discussed how the first step in deciding what you want is to decide what you do not want. This is an important first step. You don’t always have to know what you want all of time. But once you know what you do not want, you are closer to getting what your heart actually desires.
Whenever we face conflict in our lives, we can choose to engage or not engage. Think about all the people who pick fights with you on a daily basis. Conflict is a reality of life. Usually, but not always, one person emerges with the upper hand in the situation. But if either of the two parties cease to engage in the conflict, the so-called ‘upper hand’ will cease to exist.
In many religious philosophies, non-engagement is espoused as an ideal, especially as it pertains to ahimsa non-violence. Buddha’s teachings always ask us to abstain from engaging in conflict, but instead to exercise compassion. Why? Because when we fight unnecessary battles, especially with people whom we call our ‘enemies’, we end up creating imbalance.
In traditional interpretations of astrology, Mars–also known as Kartikeya–is the God of War. But if you ask me, Venus is the Lord of Justice. There can be no war without an enemy or adversary. There must exist ‘The Other’ whom we need to overcome to emerge as victorious. But even emerging as victorious cannot guarantee victory as the so-called losers of war will seek to retaliate or be compensated in someway. It is human nature.
To a politician, however, it doesn’t matter who is the winner and who is the loser. Ask your inner politician. He does not think, “I only want to be with the winners”. In fact, he wants to form an alliance with whomever he believes will get him to his goal. He is not interested in the ethical conundrums or philosophical dilemmas. He will permit himself to do ‘the bad thing’ if it gets him the result that he wants.
The important thing is thus knowing the result that you actually want. If you’ve ever seen two people have an argument or had the opportunity to mediate between two people who are having a conflict, you will note that nobody is getting what they want. This is unnecessary conflict.
Your inner politician is not interested in engaging in such conflict. Your inner politician is only interested in engaging in conflict if it will give him what he wants. Once he knows that engaging in this conflict will not get him where he wants to go, he will quickly and effortlessly walk away.
Vishakha is the only nakshatra to have two ruling deities: Agni and Indra. The symbol associated with the nakshatra is the archway. And why do humans build archways? It is to symbolise our triumphs and our victories. We do not build them when we lose. We build them when we win.
The symbolic victory of Vishakha is obvious. It is the gate through which we pass when we have successfully completed a conflict that had come into our lives. Sometimes, we have to fight, much like Kartikeya, in order to win. At other times, all we have to do is no longer engage, much like Buddha, in order to win. There is no higher path or lower path. Different conflicts require a different approach in order to win.
Imagine if a large army shows up on your doorstep. You will have to fight or everyone in the town will die. On the other hand, imagine if you were sitting at a restaurant having a meal and someone interrupts your meal to ask you to buy flowers or chocolate. When you refuse, they become very aggressive and pushy. In this particular circumstance, it is better not to engage. And when you choose not to engage, people will walk away.
What’s the point of picking a fight with the flower guy? There’s absolutely no point–except on Valentine’s Day, if you don’t want to get into trouble with your wife. But here, the conflict you are trying to avoid is the one with your spouse, not the flower guy.
Similarly, if we feel entangled in a longstanding, prolonged and stressful conflict–be it at work or in your personal life–where there is no hope of resolution, then the best course of action is to walk away. Sometimes, people choose to stay and fight; and in some circumstances, things may get better eventually. But in most circumstances, choosing to fight and stay embroiled in the conflict will move you further and further away from your goal.
If you’ve ever had someone walk away from a conflict they had with you, or if you, yourself, have walked away from a conflict you had with someone else; you need to ask yourself why someone decided to leave. Was the conflict constructive or destructive? Not all conflict is bad. Ask Mars, he will tell you.
Some wars need to be fought head on. But when the conflict is destructive, it means that engaging in the said conflict will not allow you to reach your goal. If you really think that this person or situation is worth the trouble and hassle, you will stick it out even if there is a lot of conflict.
Our decision-making should always be aligned with the goal we are trying to reach. But first, the goal itself must be identified. And how do you do that? Firstly, by deciding what you do not want. And then… you aim for the stars and watch them shoot down and fall into your lap.