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Fear of Predestination: Are We Really Alive?
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jazztaprazzta



Joined: 14 Feb 2017
Posts: 13

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:17 am    Post subject: Fear of Predestination: Are We Really Alive? Reply with quote

Thank you for accepting me in the forum!

Is there anyone else that feels like he/she is not.. exactly.. alive? I mean - I'm alive, but am I alive when it comes to really choosing the important events in my life or the 'planets' have chosen it for me? I've frequently imagined that maybe I can do this or do that in a certain situation, but when it really comes to doing it in reality, things are very different and it seems there's not much of a choice.

The thing is, I think that astrology works a little too well in some cases, especially if one combines several predicting techniques. It seems our lifes are out there - predistined by the stars and planets. So then the question comes to me - am I alive? Am I the doer or is the Universe the doer and I'm just an observer?

I'd like to give an example of what I'm talking about from events from my own life and I'm sure many other people have seen that in their lifes too.

1. Moved to another city in 3 Jan 2008 to pursue happiness:
Solar return: Moon-Saturn opposition on the IC-MC axis for solar return 8 Feb 2008
Secondary progressions: Moon progressing through 4th house
Primary Directions(PD): converse Moon trine Sun maybe (hitdate: 14 feb 2008)

2. Started a relationship with my first real girlfriend - 1 Sep 2010
Transits: tr. Mars conj. tr. Venus exact conj natal Dsc
Secondary progressions: Venus conj natal Jupiter
PD: MC on midpoint Uranus/Venus (hit date: 19 Sep 2010)

3. We broke up - 6 Jan 2012
Transits: tr. Saturn exact conj natal Dsc
Solar return for 8 feb 2012: Pluto conj Dsc
PDs don't show relevant symbolism, but it seems tr. Saturn and solr. Plutp are enough..

4. Succesfully defended my bachelor's degree dissertation - 21 Aug 2012
PD: MC on midpoint Mars/Jupiter (hit date: 24 Aug 2012)

5. Changed apartment - period August - October 2013
PD: 4th House's cusp on midpoint Uranus/Sun (hit date: 18 Jul 2013)
PD: 4th House's cusp on midpoint Saturn/Sun (hit date: 13 Oct 2013)

6. Sudden panic attacks - 20Jan - 10Feb 2014
Transits: tr. Mars conj natal Moon
PD: converse Mars conj MC (hitdate: 12 Feb 2014)

7. Changed apartment 2 - period May - August 2015
Transit: Jupiter transit through 4th House
PD: 4th House's cusp on midpoint Uranus/Venus (21 May 2015)
PD: 4th House's cusp on midpoint Saturn/Venus (25 Aug 2015)

Some other events, which I've not shared, also correspond pretty well. Note: In the Primary Directions I have checked if the 4th house is activated in any other period and it is not. In july 2010 there's
an activation when Jupiter/Venus midpoint conj 4th house's cusp, but Jupiter/Venus do not really speaks of a change. So it's really uncanny how real life events correspond to this... Btw. I always feel when my solar return for the next year has kicked in. It usually starts 1.5 months before the return itself.

These astrological synchronicities are not limited to events however. I have noticed that even my dreams are affected by the current transits or in their relation to the radix. Cyril Fagan, a western sidereal astrologer has noticed the same and wrote in American Astrologer magazine:

Quote:
I have frequently noticed that in waking from a dream, the substance of the dream accorded in a most astonishing manner with the constellation and planets that were on the Ascendant at the moment of waking.


Stanislav Grof, a transpersonal psychologist and Richard Tarnas have discovered that therapeutic LSD trips were also affected:

Quote:
(...) Grof had to ironically concede that the one successful predictive system turned out to be something that was even more controversial and beyond the purview of conventional science than LSD psychotherapy. But the correlations they observed were dramatic and consistent. Whether the catalyst was Holotropic Breathwork™, a psychoactive substance, or a spontaneous eruption of the unconscious contents, transits provide, in Grof’s words “the only system that can successfully predict both the content and timing of experiences encountered in non-ordinary states of consciousness in experiential psychotherapy”


Research paper here - http://www.stanislavgrof.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Richard-Tarnas-and-Stan-Grof.pdf

It's not surprising that the planets were considered as gods by the ancients.

And so here I wonder - are we really alive? Or we are in some semi-alive state (like the Schroedinger's cat - neither alive, nor dead, or both alive and dead...)? What is also perplexing is that we're able to see the patterns in the sky, yet we don't know exactly how a certain configuration will play out... By the way, I've had the 'accident' of stumbling upon a very accurate psychic who predicted things years in advance, it was like time didn't exist for him, and yet it kind of ruined my experience, because it created a sort of a locked-in-fate fear of predestination. Yet, the psychic was not able to pinpoint the exact moments of time, but he was able to see the events. Astrology on the other hand can point the exact moment of time, but most often can not 'see' the exact events. It's like the quantum uncertainty principle (if you know the exact position of a particle, you can not know its momentum; and vice versa - if you know its exact momentum, you'll not be able to know its position). But if you combine both clairvoyance and astrology... then it seems like reality is just a more elaborate movie, that plays out and our true self (the "I") is just the observer. Like in a night's dream we self-identify with a character in the dream and all that happens to that character appears like happening to 'us',
maybe reality is pretty much the same.

I feel I'm living a 'fake' life. Like I'm not living myself, but the planets live through me.

Do you have experiences with strong astrological synchronicities? Have you ever felt like you can not escape fate? How do you reconcile with predestination (if you believe in it)? Or do you believe in free will?

Anybody else feel like a puppet? A robot..
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Vicki



Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 168
Location: Nottingham U.K.

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your very interesting post and I'm sorry there hasn't been more of a response.

I am unable to reply as fully as I would like but in answer to your question "Are we really alive?" my answer would be "Not entirely!". We are very limited and restricted here in the material realm.

Astrology reflects this. Like you I have found everything in our lives to be entirely predictable. We are not skilled enough nor do we have the consciousness to enable us to predict absolutely everything even for those of us who try their hand at prediction. Certainly, like you I have traced major events in my life :-
my parents' deaths, births in the family, becoming ill, meeting my husband etc.

Consequently I think that for all practical purposes, yes our lives are predestined. Note my words though. You mention Schroedinger's cat and there is some sort of quantum reality operating here in an inexplicable way.

From our vantage point here in the material realm on planet earth, effectively free will is an illusion. You mention the psychic moving out of time and indeed time itself is an illusion. The linear progression of time is what we are fooled into thinking is the real deal. However, the past is the present is the future, hence our findings in predictive astrology. When we move back out of time into our expanded true consciousness all will be clear once again. Thank Goodness !

"Elaborate movie" - yes another good analogy. I often think of us as a giant videotape recording.

You say your experience was ruined for you by the psychic making a prediction. So you want an element of surprise? To me that is a kind of cosmic con trick. I think we'll all here to be shocked, horrified, surprised and delighted by various experiences, a general game playing of parts ( al la Shakespeare - "all the world's a stage") but surely some of us can at least try to be bigger than that and a little like your psychic, try to move out of time.

I align myself with the stoic astrologers such as Vettius Valens who said that
we're all here to play parts and that it is impossible to change our fate. He said we have to adapt ourselves to the chances of the moment even if we do not like them.

Predictive astrology is what I enjoy most. It is my attempt at moving out of time and putting myself a little closer to the realm of the "gods" !!!
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jazztaprazzta



Joined: 14 Feb 2017
Posts: 13

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Vicki, thank you for the reply.

What you say is both relieving and saddening. Sad

I've always wondered why mainstream science is so strongly opposed to studying phenomena like clairvoyance and astrology. They do work (if you find the right astrologer and psychic and have the right intention!) and often they work too well. Maybe they are always stumbling upon phonies, I don't know... I really hope there's some kind of an explanation, which doesn't require from us to view time as an illusion. I really don't see a point in an universe, in which time is an illusion.

The fact that dreams and psychedelic trips are affected by the planets in a somewhat predictable manner may serve as a starting point for research. Just speculating, but maybe there's some kind of a cosmic resonance thing (e.g. molecules in the hormones of our bodies resonate at certain frequencies which may somehow correspond to planetary periods. Mars = testosterone, Venus & Moon = oxytocin, Jupiter = serotonin, etc.). Considering that most of our behavior is unconscious, it may explain some things. Another proof that the planets can affect chemistry is the Kolisko effect - http://www.sciencegroup.org.uk/kolisko/mars-saturn_expts.htm

Studying identical twin separated at birth also points out to how most of our behavior is totally unconscious and is encoded by our DNA. Maybe there's some correspondence between DNA and the planets? Interestingly, fraternal twins even though born at almost the same time are not as similar as identical twins, while astrologically speaking they should have not been more dissimilar than identical twins. So there must be something more than the planets (well it may also just be the difference of the time-of-conception charts since in case of fraternal twins the fertilizations are not simultaneous).

Another possible explanation is of course what we already mentioned - that the universe is just a movie, a videotape, or like the ancient ajivika school of Hinduism believed:

Quote:
James Lochtefeld summarizes this aspect of Ajivika belief as, "life and the universe is like a ball of pre-wrapped up string, which unrolls until it was done and then goes no further".[3]


However, a problem with this philosophy is that if everything was predetermined we wouldn't have any way to know it as even speculating about predeterminism would have been predetermined. And even if someone believes in total free will, it would have been predetermined for him too. So, absolute predeterminism is a no-no for me. Maybe in reality it's some strange mixture between free will and the astrological 'time table' of events... Another way to look at this is like - classical mechanics vs quantum mechanics. Classical mechanics are totally predictable and absolutely describable by classical physical laws, while quantum mechanics are not predictable and usually work with probabilities.

But if time really is a grand illusion and we're actually little slaves obeying the will of the 'sky gods' and have no will of our own... then I don't see much point in living in this world. Maybe Buddha was right when he said that we must strive to liberate ourselves from the cycle of death, rebirth and suffering (samsara). I don't think this is possible though...


btw. if you're interested in exploring more psychic-like phenomena, maybe look up remote viewing.I have dabbled with it in the past and it transcends both space and time (I learned about it by 'chance' in 2015, when my solar return chart had Neptune exact conj Asc...).
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amelia



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 394
Location: Wales

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

The topic of free will fascinates me. Partly because there are so many versions of the theory out there about how you can allegedly change your life ( e.g. positive thinking, the secret, psychotherapy. the American dream, etc.etc) yet my experience is the same as yours- everything is pretty much predetermined.

In fact, back when I was first studying astrology, I puzzled a lot over those in the "partial free will" camp. Because, as far as I could see, John Donne nailed it when he said "no man is an island" i.e. your free will stops the minute you choose to interact or not with others on the planet - i.e if you have the choice to meet Mary in the park and she decides not to come- your choice is invalidated. And so on.

So, in my view, partial free will isn't really possible. The only options are total free will or total determinism and my experience with astrology is that the latter is the case.

For most people these days that doesn't matter, they don't have a clue about the future, and don't believe it is determined, therefore they go their merry way thinking they have choices. This is fine for the so called "successful" ones, but terrible for the unlucky ones who blame themselves.

There was a programme this week on UK Channel 4 about diets where the experts are now beginning to believe that you can't, in the long term, change your size!! This is both good and bad as one the one hand people remain fat but on the other they aren't responsible so they don't have to beat themselves up. Or, in your words, it is "both relieving and saddening"

Anyway back to the core question. Does that mean we aren't living?

That's depends on what your definition of living is. If your definition is "determining your own fate" then no! But if your definition is that the purpose of life is
a) to contribute your tiny piece to a great big jigsaw of universal intelligence
and
b) to LEARN about life, love and the higher universal intelligence

Then we are definitely living.

There is a great Allegory which I originally found in Isabel Hickey's book but is available elsewhere, and which think sums it up beautifully.

http://www.innerself.com/content/personal/spirituality-mindfulness/inspiration/5027-an-allegory-the-lessons-of-life-and-love.html


Or in the words of the Bible Corinthians 13 (I'm not religious this is a famous passage)

Quote:
For we know in part and we prophesy in part..... Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.


Just we astrologers ( and psychics etc) have ben given a rather special path to do it.................. where we get to know a bit more than others.

You mention that:

Quote:
Maybe Buddha was right when he said that we must strive to liberate ourselves from the cycle of death, rebirth and suffering (samsara).


I think we must strive, but we must also realise that it is in that striving that we are fulfilling our purpose.

you also say
Quote:
I don't think that is possible


I disagree. I think it is possible and that Buddha probably did so and that others have followed him. It was also what the "Adepts" were supposed to be capable of in western thought. But when one finally liberates oneself, then obviously you just float off and lose your connection with the earth as you have gone beyond it. Because when you no longer "know in part" but in full you have nothing left to learn so any life is truly meaningless.

Having said that, astrology probably isn't the way to go for this type of revelation, since, as you mention, however good you are at astrological prediction, it is extremely hard to get everything little detail of your life right due to lack of time, commitment, and /or awareness of all the techniques etc.

Remote viewing is similarly too grounded in details to be the best route. I think, if that sort of liberation is one's goal, the way to go is to think/meditate big- multi-universal big.

But having gone through all the possibilities, I'm Ok with day to day life and the learning; as I still find astrological predicting endlessly rewarding whilst I am still refining the best approaches and techniques that work for me.

I doesn't matter that either a) my predictions have no effect on events because no-one notices them or b) my predictions were meant to be and therefore are part of contributing factor to the events, because I am still gathering data. And the events are just part of the bigger picture anyway.

I concede, though, that that it is easier to do with mundane type astrology rather than personal.......I'd be disillusioned by now if I focussed on the latter ( well I would say that wouldn't I as Neptune is slap bang in the middle of my configurations!)
_________________
"The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper" Eden Phillpotts
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jazztaprazzta



Joined: 14 Feb 2017
Posts: 13

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi amelia, thanks for sharing your views.

Quote:
my experience is the same as yours- everything is pretty much predetermined.


Do you have any ideas about how such predeterminism may come into being? Is it just how the movie unrolls (i.e. starting conditions of the universe determine its entire fate) or it's some more unconscious, psychological or biological thing (e.g. the planets affecting chemistry and dreams) or something different entirely?

Quote:
So, in my view, partial free will isn't really possible. The only options are total free will or total determinism and my experience with astrology is that the latter is the case.


I remember reading about a psychic who once warned a heavy smoker that if he didn't stop smoking at once he'd die 59 years old from throat cancer. I don't remember what happened to the smoker, but for a moment let's assume he stopped smoking and so now he lived longer. The question is - which path was the 'real' fate of the smoker? Maybe it was the first (death at 59), since this is what the clairvoyant saw. Or maybe it was the second (stop smoking and live longer), since this is what the ex-smoker has chosen?

Quote:

a) to contribute your tiny piece to a great big jigsaw of universal intelligence
and
b) to LEARN about life, love and the higher universal intelligence


I like this way of thinking.

Quote:

I disagree. I think it is possible and that Buddha probably did so and that others have followed him.


I've read soo much about Buddhism because at one point I really liked it. The Buddha believed in karmic rebirth. There is, however, so much modern research on reincarnation and many past life stories, most often recalled by children, but sometimes even by adults, and according to my own understanding of these recollections the fact is that the next life is absolutely not determined by whether you do 'good' or 'bad' deeds in this life. So no, there is no karmic rebirth.

And then the second big thing in Buddhism - Nirvana, or the liberation from rebirth, is also fishy. First, I don't think that anything ever can just disappear from reality, forever, even consciousness. Second, the Dalai Lama is not a random guy and even he says that the mind-stream can not be stopped:

Quote:

Therefore, Buddhists believe that there is an end to being reborn as a result of karma and destructive emotions, but most Buddhist philosophical schools do not accept that the mind-stream comes to an end. To reject past and future rebirth would contradict the Buddhist concept of the ground, path and result, which must be explained on the basis of the disciplined or undisciplined mind. If we accept this argument, logically, we would also have to accept that the world and its inhabitants come about without causes and conditions. Therefore, as long as you are a Buddhist, it is necessary to accept past and future rebirth.




source: http://www.dalailama.com/messages/statement-of-his-holiness-the-fourteenth-dalai-lama-tenzin-gyatso-on-the-issue-of-his-reincarnation

Quote:
Because when you no longer "know in part" but in full you have nothing left to learn so any life is truly meaningless.


What about embracing the Universe's creative principle?

Quote:
Having said that, astrology probably isn't the way to go for this type of revelation,
(...)
Remote viewing is similarly too grounded in details to be the best route.


I also don't think that astrology or remote viewing may somehow help to bring about liberation (welll, remote viewing at least was pretty good at destroying my preconceived notions about time and space and to find out that I'm a bit clairvoyant myself!). Besides what is real liberation anyway? Omniscience (e.g. Mahavira)? And isn't liberation also in the 'stars'?
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hallbrick



Joined: 01 Dec 2016
Posts: 3

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your discussions really mesmerized me. I don't know what to input and I guess just need to wait and see your future posts. TY for the information you imparted- Appreciate much!
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Fleur



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 586

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thread. I kept wanting to answer, but finding it hard to put my thoughts into words. Everyone has been bombarded by new age "you can change your life" rubbish for decades, so people automatically think like that, and astrology books, the worst being from the seventies and eighties, assume that "philosophy". Whereas everything I have learnt from studying astrology points to us being absolutely fated. The purpose is not in thinking or preaching that people can change anything, what happens in our life is just a projection on a wall, and the film projector is in the planets. I think to find any peace or being we need to understand that. New agism has made a lot of astrologers whose interpretations are worthless, but the miracle is that our intuition is so powerful that some astrologers can get insights in spite of the bullshit new age "philosophy", not because of it, just as the medieval astrologers got accurate predictions even though they were using charts that were wrong when calculated with modern computers (eg case of Luc Gauricus, described in Liz Green's book, where he predicted the jousting accident that caused the king's death).
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jazztaprazzta



Joined: 14 Feb 2017
Posts: 13

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Fleur,

Quote:
Everyone has been bombarded by new age "you can change your life" rubbish for decades, so people automatically think like that,


To be honest, I wish for people to believe they can change their lives. If one understands really how much of our experience is predestined, then he/she may become depressed and lose the lust for life as I did. In my opinion, ignorance is bliss, when it comes to predestination.

But knowing this as I'm now.. I can't unlearn it and so I'm continuously pondering the topic and trying to find logical explanations for/against predestination. The quickest way to disprove it is to provide large-scale events like wars and natural disasters as an example.

For example, in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the tsunami that followed, more than 130 000 people died in Indonesia alone. Did all of them had 'bad aspects' in their solar returns, transits and primary directions at the moment of the disaster? Did all of them had natal charts pointing to death from water? I don't think so.

On the other hand, about 2 weeks ago I was looking through the Romanov dynasty of Russia and their execution. Interestingly there were some significant astrological 'coincidences' in the transits and primary directions.

But then there are some culturally-influenced situations, which do not seem to be corresponding to the 'stars' at all: In Niger a girl's first (and probably only) marriage occurs at the average age of 15.7. In Spain it's at 32.3. So it must not be just astrology.

Quote:

just as the medieval astrologers got accurate predictions even though they were using charts that were wrong when calculated with modern computers


Cyril Fagan was known to provide very accurate, almost psychic, descriptions of natal charts. We all have innate psychic abilities and I'm sure that sometimes we use them unknowingly.
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pankajdubey



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 1214
Location: Delhi

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schroedinger was influenced by Schopenhauer who in turn was very taken in by the Hindu/ Buddhist way of thinking and the Upanishads.
This being dead and alive at the same time, or one aspect being alive and other being dead is of body , soul and re-incarnation and also very similar to the explanation of start of creation in a new epoch after a time of apparent nothingness.

This line of thought ,could be inching your way to a Hindu or Buddhist philosophy . Schopenhauer might help or a light reading of Alain de Botton's -Consolations of Philosophy

PD
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 2637
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

please forgive me for commenting here as i haven't read the thread to comment more properly..this concept of being dead, as opposed to alive is a very common concept, or at least i thought it was.. i have always liked this imagery as i think it is a good way to frame things, especially for those like me who have contemplated the idea of what it would be like to be 'enlightened'.. at any rate, as pankajdubey suggests - old idea that has been kicking around for probably forever, but maybe left off the radar for some?
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jazztaprazzta



Joined: 14 Feb 2017
Posts: 13

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi pankajdubey,

Yeah I've read that both Schroedinger and Bohr were avid readers of the Vedas. I myself have also read quite a lot about Advaita Vedanta, Buddhism, Yoga (not just the physical yoga in the West), etc.

BTW. Are you aware of any kind of philosophic school, or a Hindu theologian or a philosopher, who attempt some kind of an explanation about how the planets influence the living beings?

Hi james_m,

What do you mean by "this concept of being dead, as opposed to alive is a very common concept, or at least i thought it was.." ?

Are you talking about the so-called Ego death?
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Vicki



Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 168
Location: Nottingham U.K.

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Jazzaprazzta we would all prefer not to know what is to happen to us and as astrologers it can get a bit tricky if we become too skilled at prediction work.

For this reason I don't work on my family and friends' charts for fear of what I might find or think I might find ! I spend a lot of time working on the charts of deceased people instead.

Plato was supposed to have said that we all come to earth clutching our horoscopes. There are astrologers working on the so called "other side". All our charts are intricately precise and far beyond our limited consciousness. As for whether these charts are prepared before or after the event well the answer lies somewhere, as I mentioned before, in the realm of quantum physics, again beyond our present comprehension.

As for "natural" disasters when thousands or even millions may die at once, yes that has troubled me also. However I have come to the conclusion that unlikely as it may sound, yes all those peoples' charts would indicate their deaths at that time, unlikely as it may sound. Everyone's death is most certainly indicated in their charts.

As for whether we're dead or alive well once again my view is that we are not completely alive in this dimension.
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 2637
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jazztaprazzta,

no amount of words is going to explain my position, but no i wasn't thinking about 'ego death'.. i'll leave the word explanations for stuff like this for others!
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jazztaprazzta



Joined: 14 Feb 2017
Posts: 13

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vicki wrote:

As for "natural" disasters when thousands or even millions may die at once, yes that has troubled me also. However I have come to the conclusion that unlikely as it may sound, yes all those peoples' charts would indicate their deaths at that time, unlikely as it may sound. Everyone's death is most certainly indicated in their charts.



Hi Vicki,

have you seen or done any research about this? It'd be interesting to see if there really are astrological synchronicities there or we're just speculating.

I just can't get myself to believe that all people who died in a such large-scale disasters have had it predestined by the stars.
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Vicki



Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 168
Location: Nottingham U.K.

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jazztaprazzta

I understand your viewpoint. It does seem hard to credit and unfortunately it would never be possible for me to prove anything either way. It's just a conclusion I have come to in my study of astrology and how it indicates a far wider consciousness than we could ever comprehend in this limited world.
You mention the word "synchronicity" and I have come across countless examples of this, which is why I'm led to my conclusion.

Ideally, although not a very pleasant thing, would be hypothetically to have access to all the charts of people tragically dying in a plane crash, for example ,but that obviously can never happen. Otherwise yes I suppose it could be called "circumstantial" evidence.

I think we have to chalk it up to being beyond our understanding.

Thank you again for starting this very absorbing and thoughtful thread.
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