Driving & Symbolism
In the chapter “Car” of The God Principle, we discussed how various systems within a car or an automobile are reflections of similar systems found in living creatures, i.e. as reflections of their physiology. This was cited as an example of the Principle of Reflection at work. But this reflection goes far beyond any of the analogies explored in that chapter.
The Wheel and the Road
To the human subconscious, the ROAD, or the “way”, is symbolic of THE way, or the path ahead, which is one’s path in life. In art, in poetry & prose, and in meditations, the image of a road or path stretched out in front almost always evokes such an idea. In contrast, the WHEEL is a symbol of motion through cyclical time, which carries the notion of coming back to something over and over, such as in concepts of reincarnation, the idea of Yugas with movement through cycles of ages, or even an old ecclesiastical notion that “there is nothing new under the sun”. The Law of Cycles is inherent in the universe, whether it be about motions of heavenly bodies, the rise and fall of civilizations, the soul in its evolution, or the creation and dissolution functions of the Godhead. The wheel and the road are thus symbols of one’s movement through life.
This symbolism of the way (the road) and the wheel is well understood by the human subconscious. The wheel when combined with the road in essence symbolizes the soul’s current journey, or the current incarnation if you will. Now it is also the case that the average person in the west (and now in the east as well) spends much of his or her time driving an automobile. Because of this there also exists a subconscious identification of oneself with the vehicle, and a sense of personal space such as “my lane” and “your lane”. Many instances of “road rage” are good examples of such an identification. Given that driving an automobile is a reflection of “moving through one’s path in life”, it should not be much of a surprise that the very symbols that represent this idea, viz. the wheel and the road, have made their way into numerous logos of automotive companies. The wheel (a circle with or without spokes) and the road (often an angular sector, lane(s), or the horizon itself) figure prominently in many of those logos. The reader need only consider the accompanying stylized logo images above to appreciate the symbolism. They all carry representations of the wheel, and optionally one or more lanes - all in the abstract.
We said that this symbolism is largely understood by the subconscious. Drivers know that they often go into an “auto pilot” mode of driving, where conscious thought processes are largely not involved in driving per se. This is often the case for regular commutes between the work place and home. The driver may be preoccupied with many thoughts, and sometimes wholly oblivious to all the complexities involved in driving, yet manages to reach the destination without incident. Whether it is stopping at a traffic light and waiting for the lights to change, switching lanes, or taking turns at the right places, all of these happen without direct conscious intervention. In such case it may be said that the subconscious is very much active and assists with this task of driving the vehicle.
The subconscious is one of the primary vehicles through which information from extraneous sources may be fed into the personality, such as for guidance from higher levels. The reason for this indirect mode of input is mainly this: Direct inputs from higher sources can easily impinge on human free will. Such input will often result in affecting human choices, as they would tend to be given precedence over man’s own choices. A subconscious prompting on the other hand makes sure that a warning, an idea or concept is presented to man from within, however briefly it might arise, but now with arbitrary freedom to consider, accept or reject that input, as it may be taken as a random thought or feeling. This way the person remains responsible for his or her own decisions to a large extent, and free to charter one’s own course. Often such input is indirect even at the level of the subconscious. That is, the subconscious may infer these inputs from external signals in one’s environment. Since it is primed with knowledge of symbolism, the subconscious is able to understand an encoded message, event, or portent found in the external world and subsequently prompt the conscious personality. Some examples will be of interest.
Symbolism and the Subconscious
We have discussed the symbolism of the human body before. Every limb, organ, wart, spot, injury, illness and so on carry its own meaning. For example the right side of the body is identified with the male principle, and the left side with the female principle. This knowledge is also innate to the subconscious and is the main reason why men prefer to sleep on the right side of the bed when with their spouses. Indeed the dominant person in a couple may often be found to prefer this side of the bed. In terms of physiology, muscles on the right side of the body are largely under the control of the left brain hemisphere which is more analytical in nature (a characteristic attributed more often to males). The left side is likewise controlled by the right hemisphere which is largely intuitive in nature (more often viewed as a feminine characteristic). In many cultural traditions, this idea of the right side for men and left side for women is pervasive, such as when posing for formal photographs. The depiction of Ardha-nariswara, an androgynous form of the deities Shiva and Parvati in Hinduism, is another example. A similar situation is hinted at in the making of Eve from Adam’s SIDE where the androgynous human soul had its male and female principles separated in their physical expressions.
Therefore events or indications that draw one’s attention to the body on the left or the right side have additional meanings associated with the male or female sides of the personality (the so-called animus and anima). The subconscious extends this symbolism to that of one’s car or vehicle as well, in line with the principle of reflection that we discussed in chapter “Car” of The God Principle book. For example, the tires represent the lower self which is involved directly with the world (as indicated in the phrase “where the rubber meets the road”). Therefore a persistent problem with, say, one of the left side tires can be interpreted by the subconscious as relating to an issue with the feminine side of the person, in relation to current events that are transpiring in life. The details are always very specific to the person in question, but nevertheless the indication is enough for the subconscious to make the association and prompt the conscious personality about a change required in whatever path that person is taking. Likewise there can be attributed meanings to repeating problems with brakes, lights, turn signals, emission systems, or even events like speeding tickets. It is important to note that these associations do not always exist, but when they do the subconscious is sure to recognize them. Those who understand symbolism at the conscious level may interpret these events directly, but in no case is the personality required to know such symbolic associations. Indeed, such decisions should never be based on the actual events themselves, but rather on subconscious promptings. The personality will then “know” whether a course of action is called for or not (as an example), though that knowledge may not rise into conscious awareness during the very act of driving.
Omens, Portents and Orchestration
This brings us to the question of how the events themselves take place. As mentioned earlier in this discussion, higher sources are not allowed (as a rule) to directly impinge on human free will. Therefore the most common mechanism of “sending a message” is to use symbolism within the environment, by arranging certain events to transpire. Besides arranging for specific events to occur with respect to a given automobile, the scope of this system of signaling reaches far beyond automobiles, to include many types of events in the environment. The subconscious recognizes these signals much as it recognizes, say, traffic lights changing when the conscious personality is in "auto pilot" driving mode.
For sending messages from the environment to signal the subconscious, ANY belief system of the individual in question can be used, because belief systems are well ingrained into the subconscious. If a person believes strongly in specific omens or symbols as foretelling certain events or situations, then these sources may very well use those same omens and symbols to signal the person’s subconscious. In no case does every event carry a meaning, but only when the subconscious recognizes a meaningful connection and prompts attention from the personality. The end result of all this is that a given modus operandi that works for one person may not work for another. A lot of superstition around signs and symbols in various traditions and cultures arose from many individuals having recognized such curious correlations and having passed those on. In modern times it is fashionable in some circles to use the term “synchronicity” for these. But these symbols, events and omens work only for specific individuals and in specific cases. We should also state that it is possible to make a conscious request for certain signs and symbols to manifest in one’s life as a way of guidance, and they will indeed do so if one’s motives are pure. But we digress. So back to driving.
Now given that driving is symbolic of the soul’s journey through life, it will be of interest to consider what traffic laws imply. Indeed they are symbolic of the laws of the universe and are also indicators of soul evolution and progress. That is, how much of EXTERNAL control needs to be exercised before the soul learns and internalizes universal laws of life. These include the laws of justice, sometimes known as karmic laws, and the law of love.
By being subject to traffic laws and penalties, the personality learns to understand, inculcate, and even appreciate the value of law and order. This learning carries over into other areas of life, such as in dealing with people, events and situations. To cite an example, trucks are like the life blood of a nation, for they carry and distribute goods across the country, ensuring that each and every corner of the nation gets supplied with its needs. With the size and power of these large vehicles (the 18-wheeler for example) their drivers are required to conform to much more rigorous driving standards, deal with far more annoyances on the road than the average car driver, and be able to maintain composure and control throughout, while driving the “powerful beast” they are in charge of. Indeed this profession is particularly suited for exactly those kind of people who have failed to learn those lessons in past experiences of the soul, and who are in grave need of correction. The “powerful beast” in this case is not just the vehicle, but also one’s own nature that is being tamed, which is greatly assisted by the subconscious identification of the driver with the vehicle.
Traffic systems and traffic laws of a nation are also an interesting study, for they form a reflection of its population in terms of law and order, and the level of soul evolution in that area. This again follows from the principle of reflection. Nations with chaotic traffic or practically non-existent traffic laws indicate souls who are still struggling to internalize many of the important laws of life. Now this is a very general statement as applicable to the average citizen and obviously does not extend to everyone. Likewise nations with well-established traffic laws and systems indicate souls who have made worthwhile progress in those same areas. Curiously those souls who have truly developed along those lines would ultimately have no need for externally imposed traffic laws. They would have internalized much of the laws of life into their own being, that cooperation, mutual respect, understanding, and love would be sufficient to manage much of the traffic in such communities.