Empowerment in the Transformational Process: Embracing the Unknown

Posted on January 13, 2024
Posted by Jim Sher

The issue of empowerment is one of the most talked about issues I see whenever I am on social media, YouTube, or the many websites which encourage us to improve our ability to succeed in life. To me, however, there is something I rarely see discussed which I believe is absolutely necessary if we are to grow whether that be in our everyday life and careers or the more internal realms of our consciousness.

The concept of empowerment is usually defined as the process of gaining more freedom and power to do what we want and control what happens to us. This includes one gaining confidence, strength, and the capacity for self-determination. While this definition is fine as far as it goes, I wonder if something important is being left out. Life is often quite unpredictable and out of our control as we all know. And, if we are to grow spiritually, how we handle that becomes crucial. Further, if we are to grow and move into new states of awareness and consciousness, must we not seek out new, unknown, and mysterious experiences and discoveries? In other words, by definition, any transformational process will lead us into the unknown. If it didn’t, we would simply be thinking, feeling, and doing the same things over and over.

But, is it not uncomfortable to have our world disturbed by the unpredictable and random events of life? In fact, many astrologers who are more traditional have literally stated that the outer planets of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are merely inconveniences we must get through so we can then return to our normal everyday predictable life.

This goes much deeper however if we begin to realize how limited we are when we discover how much of what we believe is actually the result of inherited belief systems, much of which is running below our awareness. Anyone who has been in deeper forms of therapy or who regularly meditates inevitably learns how profoundly controlled we are by these unconscious factors. How can we truly be in control if we are being run by unconscious programming? The fact is that the more we discover this layer of our consciousness, the more we see how little control we actually have. In all transformational work, we are encouraged to impartially observe ourselves so we can begin to become aware of those considerations which control how we think and behave.

From an astrological perspective, the outer planets are not mere inconveniences. They are opportunities, even doorways, urging us to move into new states of consciousness which are fundamentally different from normal, human consciousness. They are intended to disturb and push us into new and uncomfortable, at least initially, states.

Is it not natural to resist anything that changes us fundamentally? Of course. Might this not mean that our biggest fear is actually the fear of the unknown? I think so. If we define empowerment as only gaining control, would this not be a blockage from embracing the unknown?

I am suggesting that any true definition of empowerment must prioritize the need to have the courage to embrace the unknown, the mysterious aspects of life where we have no idea where it will lead us. In fact, it must include the necessity of surrendering the illusion of control as we see we are not even aware of all of the factors that are holding us back. I know this makes logical sense, but this is where logic is not going to change the fact that we will resist those experiences life gives us when we have lost control and don’t know if we will be able to cope or even survive the new life we cannot understand. It is natural to resist, so this isn’t the problem. What is helpful is to simply acknowledge the resistance to real change as part of the process and to then keep going into the unknown and consider it to be an act of empowerment.

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