By Jade Emory
Oahu Island News, September 2005


Patanjali, a great saint from India, wrote noble guidelines for elevating the mind. He said that we should feel joy towards happy people, compassion towards miserable people, respect for virtuous people, and indifference toward “sinners.”

Yet when many of us meet happy people, we feel jealousy or envy, even suspicion that they are “on” some drug. When we meet miserable people, often we think their difficulties are their own fault, and we blame and shame them, feeling pity at best, but certainly we often don’t feel compassion that would impel us to offer real help.

When we meet virtuous people, we more likely think they are naive and foolish, instead of emulating their honorable characteristics. And when we meet people whose actions are “sinful,” according to our own belief system, we judge and crucify them rather than egolessly feeling non-attachment towards them and their supposed transgressions.

Of course, what one person thinks is a sin to another person may be a virtue!

Astrology also offers us awareness with which to elevate our minds. The four “elements” in which the 12 signs of the zodiac reside offer clues to enlightened action.

Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) are emotive and proactive. They are often the first ones to react or to respond. If egotistical, they might be presumptuous. But if transcendent, they will be the willing initiators of change, while other signs may drag their feet.

Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) put their physical energy where their proverbial mouth is. They don’t say to the miserable person, “Wow, your life sure is hard.” They say, “What can I offer to help your situation?” And then they simply do it.

Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius), brainstorm about solutions and begin an educational communications campaign to learn about options. They may get stuck in theorization, or they may impel powers that can facilitate improvement to do so.

Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) have both empathy and sympathy for the experience of others, even if very different from one’s own life. They cannot let anyone simply suffer when they know they could do something to help. They are natural saviors.

Oahu Island News Contributing Editor Jade Emory holds degrees in psychology and education, has taught in American and Canadian universities and has been a counselor since 1970. She may be reached at 808-429-2411 or by email at

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