Beliefnet
Oh My Stars

Say what you will about Neptune: it’s certainly persistent.

As much as astrologers like to talk about the Uranus-Pluto square, or Saturn in Scorpio or whatever, we must never forget that we live primarily in the age of Neptune. Neptune is the grandmaster of dreams and delusions. It liberates us from the physical, and it liberates us from common sense. It is the guiding light of both poets and addicts. It is in Pisces now, the Sign that it rules, and is thus incredibly strong. It won’t leave that Sign until next decade, so I suppose we better get used to how it works and how to work with it before we all vanish into its warm and welcoming haze.

***

There’s this woman in my neighborhood who’s always drunk. I see her on the street at all times of day and night, wandering around, always bombed. She somewhere in her 40s or 50s, and although I’ve talked to her numerous times, I still don’t know her name. I’ve asked her a couple of times, but her enunciation isn’t always the clearest. Mrvdr, I think?

What surprises me about Mrvdr (?) is that no matter what time of day it is, she’s always really drunk, and always exactly the same amount of drunk. If you can imagine someone who died suddenly while very drunk, and was forced to roam about for eternity as an intoxicated ghost, you’re getting a clear picture of what she’s like.

She stumbled towards me this evening, and ask me if I had any change. Actually, her enunciation really is terrible: I’m not sure if it was change she was asking for or something much more lascivious. But I gave her 75 cents and she went away.

But before she left, I gave in to the temptation to ask her: “what keeps you going?”

She blinked a couple of times and wobbled back-and-forth as she processed my question and contemplated the answer. “I just keep on keeping on,” she said. “God’s been good to me and I like people and that’s all right.”

She then asked for more money, and I didn’t have any, so she went away. But she certainly left me with something to think about. If Neptune has a motto, it must be something like “if it feels good, do it… even if it’s ultimately terrible for you.”

You know, like a lot of the stuff people post on Facebook.

***

Just because we are wise and sane and sober people does not mean we are immune to deception, or self-deception. Case in point: this polished little gem of deception that has been making the rounds on Facebook lately.

beliefnet astrology matthew currie vegan prison

ProjectRaw.com wouldn’t lie, would they?

A few of my friends have posted this, and I was intrigued by the results enough to do some research. And what did I find? I discovered that in our modern age of miracles and wonders, something still apply. One of the old truths that still turns out to be reliable is “if something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.”

To wit: this website based its findings only on the pronouncements of other websites, none of which happened to cite their sources, which were other vegan web sites that at best relied on the anecdotal evidence of one or two participants in the program.

Also: most of those sites forgot to mention that the same experimental program also offered job training and anger-management classes. I’m sure it was just the lack of cheeseburgers that lead to the 2% recidivism rate. Also: no one cited the source of that “2%” figure. Also, actual recidivism rates in California are only around 45-50%, so shut up.)

The Internet is full of this sort of thing. If you want to believe that Queen Elizabeth II is a drug dealing reptilian alien, then you will find enough people on the Internet who agree with you that you can spend all day reading their blogs. And of course, if everyone you listen to says the same thing, they must be right, right?

I don’t think that people believing what they wants to believe is anything new. We can’t blame that on the Internet. But the Internet certainly makes it easier for us to share our delusions as well, doesn’t it?

Besides… who doesn’t love a good “penguins in sweaters” story every once in a while?

So, as a public service of sorts, on occasion here I will be presenting things like this that show up on Facebook or on Twitter that appear to be absolute nonsense under the heading of “The Neptune Files.” Why am I doing this? Possibly because I believe humans are swimming in a sea of self-imposed illusion and simply don’t realize it, and it’s my job to point that out to them. Neptune is strong in our era, and although Neptune has wonderful uses, like anything else taken too far… it can also be destructive.

Or maybe I’m delusional and no one will listen. Whatever.

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