Wednesday, 15 July 2015

All The President's Men (1976)

It's a film about the Watergate Scandal. It's a wonderful film in many aspects. It has some top notch acting by Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford. The direction and the pace of storytelling is perfect. The film follows the two journalists who are interested in a story which nobody else seems interested in.

The film shows one of the best journalistic procedural onscreen ever. Akira Kurosawa's High and Low shows the best police procedural ever and this film shows the best investigative procedural ever used by any journalists. The mysterious deep throat adds a great flavor to the film. The chemistry between Bernstein and Woodward is very believable. The climax scene where president is taking oath for office and Woodsteins are typing the story which would later cause his resignation is not only most poignant but also very poetic and beautifully filmed. Another scene in which Woodard walks back from the garage after sudden disappearance of Deep Throat has been filmed exquisitely. He walks up the stairs and walks on the ground as if he's the only man left in the world. It reminds you of the film The Quiet Earth and some episode of The Twilight Zone. And I've a wife and a family and a dog and a cat!

image source: here

Conspiracy Theories, Negativity and Paranoia

Conspiracy Theories are theories built around the belief that the world is being run by some evil super powers which control everything. There's a conspiracy behind everything---behind the food you eat and behind the water you drink. The news you hear and the air you breathe are full of conspiratorial elements according to such theorists. There have been many conspiracy theorists. Who were very brilliant and I don't deny that there are ulterior motives behind all actions good or bad performed by many organizations. I have myself been a conspiracy buff. I highly endorse seeing both sides of any subject . Seeing both sides of any situation is good in general but for a spiritual person it also helps lead him towards detachment--which is a prerequisite for enlightenment. In my humble experience conspiracy theorists are always on a high alert. Their radar is always busy detecting negative signals in their environment. They very soon develop paranoia. Of course you can't pretend 'all is well' when some things are wrong in your surroundings--you need to take action in your power to make things right--but certain things are beyond your power. You've to accept those things and you've to have faith in the divine will. You can't control earthquakes, solar storms, tsunamis, asteroids and many many other things happening to you and around you. Acceptance and surrender is not cowardice--it's a choice to live peacefully-it takes immense courage to go beyond petty conflicts borne out of egoistic drives. If peace isn't the highest priority in your life--then by all means you can delve into the conspiracies--otherwise they're good for entertainment only. 

That's also partially the reason why I stopped listening to a famous speaker after a while. Actually it was my intuition--I didn't feel like listening to him anymore--later on as I tried to reason out--I found that I didn't really want to know all that's wrong with the society, religion and the world at large--I already know enough. How often have you found a conspiracy theorist talking about something very positive which was kept hidden? Acts of generosity? How often have you heard them talking about a person who kept doing charity but never told anyone? Never !--because that isn't conspiracy by definition. Conspiracy theories are all about finding out negativity in your surroundings. When you keep tracing negativity you tend to find more and more of it. The first law of behavioral Psychology states that you get more of what you reinforce. And interestingly there's no end to it--it's infinite. There's infinite positivity and infinite negativity in the world history. You can choose what to focus on. 

To take an example: If you've family conflicts--sitting in judgement and ruminating over all past events again and again, pointing fingers isn't going to solve any problems. The better way is to keep away from meddling into each other's pasts. Moving along the life as it comes and accepting what is inevitable leads to harmony and peace. Similarly in the world you have both negative and positive events going-on every time. Some media choose to focus on negativity--you can avoid them. Because negativity is going to suck life and energy out of you while positivity would increase it. Media also functions to keep you informed about your safety but that could be done by getting information from relatively less negative sources too. 

image: here

Monday, 13 July 2015

Look Both Ways ( 2005 )

" Never ever worry, you feel that things really hard...the fellah tell him Never ever worry, you feel that you suffering bad...yes, he told him Never ever worry, what I’m saying is true Presently you could see, somebody suffering more than you. "

The end credits for this beautiful film roll with this song(lyrics above)--it's a very beautiful and positive film about a sensitive subject matter: Facing grief, facing death, facing alienation in life. There are four-five people who get connected to each other after a train wreck in this story. The story portrays how they deal with it--the story gets much better after interval and it becomes absolutely stunningly positive as it reaches towards the climax. The depth of performances keeps you hooked throughout. The animations used for comic portrayal of anticipation of death or disaster feels very real--it's very intelligent and adds flavors to the film.

It might be hard to understand how somebody might be suffering more than us. Is it possible that someone is more worried than me? What about the most worried person on earth? Well, I used to wonder about such life-affirming quotes but I feel I understand now. The reality of life on earth is not static as I used to feel in my younger days. It's a constant flux--so this moment you might be the most worried person--suffering from the greatest agony possible but as soon as you reflect on this positive quote that there might be someone more worried--suffering more than you--but carrying themselves away with faith in life--you might be right because it's a state of flux. Only thing which is constant is the change.

This is true about many things like expertise in a subject or about beauty or even about wealth you've. You can't stay the way you're for very long. Remembering the change keeps you humble and sane. Hats-off to Sarah Watt and other artists in this film. This is a beautiful film which I highly recommend to everyone.  

image courtesy: here

Is ego purely psychological?

Question: Does ego have a physical counterpart or it's just psychological in nature?

Answer: Take an example: If you're hungry and go to sleep you would dream about food. You might have experienced it. Similarly when you're sensual you dream about fulfilling your sensual fantasies or when your body needs to urinate you dream about urinals or people urinating. So--here can you see that the dream--which is in general a projection of subconscious has clearly got a physical counterpart--isn't it so? It's the immediate connection but similarly there's a physical counterpart to every emotion. There's a physical counterpart to every memory too--this is simple to understand since you know about technology---hard disks have information burnt onto a physical material--similarly neurons have memories hard-coded on material which is also physical. But memories as such aren't binding---they don't become Karma. If you can use memories without having 'emotional' discrimination against them--without colouring them that it's 'good' or 'bad'--they don't bind you---don't attach you---this is how enlightened person functions--using mind as a tool--like you use laptop---without colouring them with personal emotions. It doesn't mean however that there's no empathy--without empathy the so called enlightened person would be a robot--but he's more than that---emotions get replaced by compassion---which is affectionate and intelligent awareness of suffering of others. So--problem is emotional memories--they're Karmic and they've physical counterparts--they together come up to build our egoistic personalities. 

Meditation and breathing techniques aren't really different!

Question: Are breathing practices  different from Meditation/Sadhana?

Answer: Yes and No. In my earlier days I would have been able to pin-point to a particular practice which led to the awakening--but actually now I feel differently. Everything is cause of everything else as such and in my life too everything I did--be it reading or playing or crying or exercises or breathing or meditation--it all led to the awakening. Different people categorize things differently. We've already discussed what meditation consists of--but there's no hard and fast definition--but from the viewpoint of energy you can understand what it does--it provides the necessary amount of energy required to awaken. See--we all sometimes feel that there are moments of complete serenity, complete satisfaction, complete acceptance--life feels full--you don't need anything any more--these moments might be very fleeting--very temporary--but they're there--sometimes the surrender--the acceptance of what is--happens when you accept the defeat and cry your heart out. But the forces of Avidya( Maya) pull you down into the slumber immediately. It's so because you need immense energy to wake up--this energy is provided by the Kundalini which is actually a great dynamo in an inert state-Kundalini can also be called Atmavidya. I never wanted to awaken Kundalini--because I always had the impression in my mind that the Kundalini path is the path of Tantra and it's misleading--but it happened automatically to me and when I was ripe ( or perhaps not) it was a full-blown awakening. Breathing exercises generate energy and if you're attentive it can also be a type of meditation--meditation is all about saving energy and increasing awareness. Sadhana is literally "to control"--to control body and mind--to harness the instrument for using it to increase awareness. 

An Observation in Naad Yoga

 In Naad-Yoga practises it's recommended to close your ears with cotton or earplugs or with the fingers of your hands. It facilitates listening subtle cosmic vibrations. When vibrations are quite high in the body of a Yogi--he can feel them. It can be clearly understood that when you attentively keep listening subtle cosmic vibrations--your frequency of vibration also rises because of the brain-waves entrainment. The frequency of the cosmic vibrations is very high compared to your usual vibrancy and as they entrain your body it also starts vibrating at a higher rate. Now there might be a confusion about low and high frequencies but those who have read about brain-wave entrainment using binaural beats know that ultra high frequencies and ultra low frequencies do the same type of entrainment--they're kind of intermodulated.  Which means that the ultra high frequencies carry the ultra low frequencies and ultra low frequencies carry ultra-high frequencies hidden inside them. The resultant effect produced by them is similar.

There's an observation which intrigued me. When paying attention to vibrations it's quite obvious why your frequency of vibration should rise. It's because entrainment is happening. But what about the case when you don't pay attention to the vibrations? The frequency of vibrations should not keep rising--it should fall down very soon as you don't pay attention. Isn't it logical?

But it doesn't work that way in real-time. If your frequency is high enough you would observe that if you keep your ears closed and don't pay any attention to vibrations--then too frequency of your body would keep increasing--which means your vibrancy would keep increasing. 

What might be the cause of this? I asked myself.

At first it seemed that it's because ears somehow drop the vibrations out. I really visualized vibrations falling out of my ears. But later on, I realized that it seems kind of awkward--so then I intuited that actually when you open your ears--external sounds start entering inside your body and start mixing with internal vibrations--they entrain down the internal vibrations and hence frequency of vibrations decreases. But if you don't open your ears there's a certain momentum inside which remains inside and conservation of energy helps increase this momentum further.

So at higher frequencies--it doesn't matter if a Yogi is very attentive of vibrations--just closing his ears would elevate frequencies a great deal. There might be an objection in someone's mind about the increase in the frequency of vibration--because it's apparent that reverse entrainment doesn't happen when ears are closed but what about the loss of energy because of the inattention--the energy which is lost in thoughts? This might be answered clearly only when a practical is done--but in theory--at high frequencies--the rate of loss of energy is much lesser because thoughts don't have a great grip--or alternatively you might propose that some part of you is still listening to the word even when you're not attentive.  

image source: here

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Yogi and Bhogi

The dynamo of energy works in mysterious ways. It's a superpower. The Yogi burns and has to bear acute pain but he's free from diseases and the Bhogi enjoys but later suffers from diseases and distress.

Food suppresses the mystic fire for a while but it's not the way. It's the way of the Bhogi. The water also can carry vibrations but they eventually overcome and start burning brighter. Water is the mysterious element which can carry the fire inside it. It's mysterious and it makes the healer intuitive because it runs deep.

Fire inspires and purifies and water guides and heals. Subtler than both of them is Shabd. The logos-the word of God is the highest power in the manifested world. It's the messenger of God. The Word gives fuel to the fire. The water carries the fire. The water carries both the word and fire inside because it's gross. The Earth is the grossest of all elements and it carries all of them--Shabd, Fire and Water inside.

The middle way is the way of Tao. Tao is harmony. Tao is acceptance. Acceptance and surrender are not inert but very alert. They endow with peace. 

A Man and Truth

A man wanted to know the Truth. He started asking people around him. None of those around him could give him a satisfactory answer. He started reading but none of the books he read could satiate his thirst for the Truth. Someone suggested him to meditate. He started meditating. He meditated, meditated and meditated. After a long time--the man disappeared, the Truth disappeared.

image courtesy: here

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Some Observations on Gandanta Moola Nakshatras

Gandanta are conjunction constellations---they're also known as Gandanta Moola nakshatras. You know there are 12 zodiac signs and there are 6 Gandanta Moola nakshatras. Mula literally means the root. The constellations are subtler than signs--so Gandanta Moola constellations are those portions of signs which fall at the conjunction point or say transition point between two signs. For example--there are two constellations between Scorpio and Sagittarius--Jyestha and Moola.

The easy way to remember where Gandanta signs are is to realize that Gandanta Moola signs are just before fiery signs begin. Alternatively, Gandanta Moola constellations are immediately after water signs-- I mean it's not like what we feel it should be--that's every Gandanta Moola sign should be between every two signs--no. It would be more accurate to state that Gandanta Moola constellations fall at the junctions of watery and fiery signs. So there are two Gandanta constellations each at all 3 watery-fiery sign conjunctions. Why is it so that only transition from water to fiery signs is considered a very sensitive zodiacal zone isn't yet clear to me-- but there are so many mysteries in the Vedic system

Here are the names and a few details Gandanta Moola Nakshatra: 

1. Revati and Ashwini: Revati is final nakshatra and comes in the sign Pisces (16:40 to 30:00 ) and Ashwini falls in Aries ( 00:00 to 13:19 ). Revati is ruled by Mercury and Ashwini is ruled by Ketu.

2. Ashlesha and Magha: Ashlesha is in the sign Cancer ( 16:40 to 30:00 ) and Magha is in Leo (00:00 to 13:19). Ashlesha is ruled by Mercury whereas Ketu rules Magha

3. Jyestha and Moola: Jyestha is in the sign Scorpio(16:40 to 30:00) while Moola is in the sign Sagittarius(00:00 to 13:19).

Some observations on Gandanta Moola Nakshatras:

1.  All of these Gandanta Moola signs fall at the water-air transition. ( Pisces---->Aries / Cancer---->Leo
/Scorpio--->Sagittarius)--transition, as you know is shaky--change discomfort--that's why for those people who are born under these Gandanta Moola signs propitiation is done. Without some rituals it's considered that children born under these constellation might be inauspicious for family and society and might be under the risk of dying in the early childhood themselves.

2. Gandanta Mula rulers are Ashlesha--Mercury, Magha--Ketu, Jyeshta--Mercury, Moola--Ketu, Revati--Mercury and Ashwini--Ketu. You can easily observe that 3 of these are ruled by the Mercury and the other 3 are ruled by the Ketu. Mercury is a benefic planet and Ketu is a malefic-- most detached headless planet destructive for worldly affairs but good for spiritual things.

3. I've observed that people born in Ketu ruled Gandanta Moola constellations are most inspirational spiritual figures. The reason being--fire elements are inspirational and Ketu is very good for spirituality--so since Ketu ruled Gandanta constellations all fall under the fiery signs--they make for inspirational spiritual figures. 

A few spiritual figures born in Ketu ruled Moola Nakshatras: 

Paramhamsa Yogananda--Magha. 
Jiddu Krishnamurti--Mula. 
Jaggi Vasudev--Mula. 
Mystic poet Kabir--Mula. 
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu---Magha. 
Dalai Lama--Magha/Mula.

4.  There are 3 Ketu based constellations--Ashwini( Aries--ruled by Mars), Magha(Leo--ruled by Sun), Mula( Sagittarius-- ruled by Jupiter). In the Vedic system Jupiter is considered most benefic wisdom giving planet --and among Sun and Mars--Sun is more spiritual. Therefore, Ketu being common to all these three Moola nakshatras--their wisdom ingredient is determined by combined effect of Rashi/Nakshatra rulers--so for spirituality--Mula which has combined impact of Ketu/Jupiter is considered most powerful of all constellations.

5. It has also been observed that persons born in Moola face a lot of difficulties as children but if they survive they grow up to have charismatic personalities. Many saints in India were  born in Moola constellations and way too many in all 6 Gandanta Moola constellations.

6. You might also be aware that though all 6 of the constellations mentioned above are called Gandanta Moola--only the one falling in the sign Sagittarius-in the first portion is called Moola(root). It's so because It's the core of our galaxy Milky Way. You might be aware that during winter solstice the alignment happens between the core of Milky Way, Sun and Earth when Sun is in the sign Sagittarius( perhaps in the constellation Moola---I've not examined that thoroughly.)

A few spiritual personalities born in the Gandanta Moola signs: 

Here I would consider both ascendant nakshatra and Moon Nakshtra as an influence.

1. Ammachi--the hugging saint of Kerala: Asc-Magha
2. Sri Aurobindo: Moon-Moola/Asc-Ashlesha
3. Dalai Lama--Tenzin Gyatso: Moon-Ashlesha/Asc-Magha
4. George Gurdjieff: Asc-Revati
5.  Jaggi Vasudev: Moon-Moola
6. Jiddu Krishnamurti: Moon-Moola
7. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Moon-Magha
8. Paramhamsa Yogananda: Moon-Magha/Asc-Magha
9. Pandit Shriram Sharma: Moon-Magha
10. Baba Ramdev: Moon-Ashlesha
11. Mother Anandmayi: Moon-Jyestha
12. Swami Sivananda: Asc-Ashlesha
13. Lord Ramchandra: Asc-Ashlesha

Sun stays about one month in any sign in its transit. It spends about 3 months in total in all Gandanta Moola signs. A friend asked me to work out Gandanta Moola timings because one of her friends suggested that these periods are of substantial importance for people who are undergoing spiritual awakening. Such periods according to her might be important for what is known as Dark Night of the Soul. These periods might signify purging out of karmic toxins or say opening of knots known as Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra knots in Yogic literature. 

I quote this text from:

Brahma Granthi: First knot. It is the lowest knot covering the area of muladhara & svadhisthana chakras. It is also known as perineal knot.

Vishnu Granthi: Second knot. It covers the area between manipura, anahata & vishuddhi chakras. It is also known as the navel knot.

Rudra Granthi: Third knot. It covers the areas of Ajna & Sahasrara chakras. It is also known as forehead knot.

If we want to find out these periods we can do so with the aid of panchangas and softwares which are used for Astrology. I would outline the Gandanta Moola periods for this year--they fall around the same time of year, more or less.

Sun would enter into Ashlesha around August 3, 2015 and would be in Magha till September 1, 2015---so this one month's period would be the first next Gandanta Period.

Similarly the next Dark Night should be calculated to be: When Sun enters into Jyestha--Moola: That would be the period of about one month between Dec 3, 2015 to Dec 29, 2015.

Then next Gandanta would be when Sun enters into Revati--Ashvini--which would be the period between March 20, 2016 to April 27, 2016---about one month.

image sources: 1 2

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Unforgiven (1992)

It's been long since I watched a Western. I love Sergio Leone's Westerns. This film is on par with them. The scenes have immense depth about them. The beautiful clouds, trees, and country-side, birds and chirping insects are engrossing. The cast is wonderful--some of the finest actors all dressed up as cowboys. The dialogue is very engaging. This film is a classic with an epic atmosphere. It has got some fascinating action. The build-up leading to the actual encounter is neat and clever. 

Clint Eastwood's dialogue delivery in his husky voice is superb. Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman are also wonderful in this film. The first half of film has barely any shooting at all. Cinematography is beautiful and sound effects are used rarely but efficiently. Sunset scenes in the opening and closing credits are mesmerizing. It's not only one of the best works of Eastwood but also one of the best Westerns ever made. 

image source: here

Assessing Mantra and Tantra Knowledge in Swamsa Lagna

Mantras are sacred sound vibrations carrying energy with them. These sounds can be used for expanding consciousness. Mantra Siddhi is perfection in the use of mantras. Such masters can help others with their power. Tantras are mystical formularies which have special type of energies associated with them. For example: Gayatri Mantra is a sacred Vedic mantra which has been used for many thousand years for expanding consciousness. Similarly Shree-Yantra is a sacred Tantra used for attaining prosperity. Tonoscope experiments have established it beyond doubts that Shree-Yantra is visual representation of divine primordial sound Aum. 

Malefics in the Swamsa trines suggest knowledge of Mantras and Tantras. Two malefics suggest a great knowledge of these and one malefic suggests a good knowledge of these. The association and aspect of benefics on these malefics suggests that native would use this knowledge for welfare of others and that of malefics suggests that native might use this knowledge for malevolent purposes. 

75-76. MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS (up to sloka 84):O Brahmin, if there are two malefics in a trine from Karakamsa, the native will have knowledge of Mantras (sacred spells) and Tantras (mystical fomularies for the worship of deities for attainment of super-human powers). If a malefic simultaneously aspects the said yoga, the native will use these learnings for malevolent purposes while a benefic's aspect will make him use the same for public good.


Below given is the Swamsa-chart of Shri Narayan Datt Shrimali. He was a reputed Astrologer who published a lot of books on Mantras and Tantras. He helped many people with his knowledge of divine.

You can clearly observe that two malefics Saturn and Rahu are in a trine (9th house) in his Swamsa chart. This suggests that he had knowledge of Mantras and Tantras. Jupiter, which is situated in the Swamsa Lagna suggests that he was a knower of all things. He had knowledge of Vedas and Vedangas too. The aspect of Jupiter on the malefics in the 9th house clearly indicates that he used his knowledge of mantras and tantras for the welfare of others. 


The Swamsa chart above is of Pandit Shri Ram Sharma who was the founder of AWGP. He was a prolific author who wrote many books to uplift awareness in society. He had knowledge of mantras and he used Gayatri mantra to connect people for world peace.

You can clearly observe that his fifth house in Swamsa chart has Jupiter and Moon along with Mars. Jupiter and Moon located in the fifth house made him a prolific author who had a great knowledge of Vedas and Vedangas. The malefic Mars in the fifth house suggests capability to use mantras. Since only one malefic is present instead of two we might suggest that knowledge of mantras was not perfect. The benefic association of Jupiter and Moon with Mars clearly indicates that he used Gayatri Mantra for the public welfare.

Images Courtesy: 1 2

Charts:  Astrosage Website

Friday, 3 July 2015


Who am I? Where do I come from? Where would I go? Where do people come from? Where do people go?

The questions are ordinary but they've no answers. They're a complete mystery. Life has been compared to a dream but who knows what it's. It's a mystery and that's the beauty of life. Some people say that life here is an experiment by aliens who are super-intelligent. Like The Truman Show we're all characters of in gigantic reality-TV show. Some people say that this planet is a hell of another universe. 

I don't know what is what. I don't know anything. Some scientists say that since there are myriads of galaxies. Billions upon billions of galaxies in fact--there are chances, strong chances that there's life, intelligent life in many many alien habitats. Well, that might be true. Our current Science has not made us capable of  travelling through even our solar system yet. I see it very unlikely that such a progress would happen in my life-time. I am a bit pessimistic in this regard because pessimistic is nearer to realistic than an optimistic. Robert Anton Wilson, Arthur C. Clarke and other scientists have done enough damage with their extra optimistic predictions and prophecies in fields of life-extension and space-travel. 

Astrology is as much of a mystery to me as anything else. My experience has gradually turned me into favor of determinism. I don't believe that there's any free-will at all. I wonder what are complete laws of Astrology. If they're known to someone would he still be vulnerable to inevitable? He should be if determinism is right. But if it's not what you think it's then there's a possibility of that happening. I mean if there's a spectrum of possibilities instead of a concrete set of events in an individual's life or in the life of a planet--then there's something interesting despite free-will. Quantum Mechanics allows the infinite number of possible states next to this state--so there are infinite number of possible states of a person's life in any next moment. Which means that though there's a determinism it has infinite number of possibilities. But if you say that determinism means that there's a fixed number of events possible only then you call it determinism--I might not agree. Because determinism in my opinion is that one out of infinite number of universes is possible. What then would free-will be? You may ask. The free-will means that something happening which isn't possible in any of the infinite number of universes. Now that is ludicrous because free-will usually means that future is not fixed and your choices decide what your future would be like. The future is dependent on my choices you say and my choices are dependent on innumerable factors. I choose something because my DNA code, my environment, my stars let me choose that--how then is it free? In that sense there is no free-will no matter what. Now problem is no matter what I choose you would always say that you would have chosen that way or other. What then is free? 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Siddhis: Occult Powers

"The whole sense of the book might be summed up the following words: what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence."

--Ludwig Wittgenstein in the introduction of the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus

I find Wittgenstein's words very useful sometimes. Wittgenstein left everything including Philosophy and became a monk and started serving in a Church. 

There are people who feel that our species is actually mutating towards becoming a superior species where all people would be enlightened. Enlightened here means having occult powers and also being free from egoic destructive tendencies.

Then there are people who believe that ancient sages had all such capabilities which were lost in time. Many people believe that many aliens who were extremely advanced visited the planet many thousand years ago and helped humanity with such gifts along with other technological help.

These are theories.

Swami Vivekananda--an Indian sage once visited a miracle performer who was supposedly capable of walking on water. The miracle worker showed his miracle to Vivekananda. Vivekananda, after having seen it all said to him that a ferryman would help you cross the river for 2 rupees and you spent years upon years doing painstaking penance to grab attention of others--it's sheer waste of human life.

His suggestion was that putting your energy into self-realization or finding bliss is far better than putting it in pursuit of something superficial. Sages in India have always considered miracles as hindrances on path of self-realization.

I don't know if that incident did happen in Vivekananda's life but message is clear and I agree. 

Becoming more perceptive using dream-interpretation, Tarot, Graphology and pure psychic exploration is helpful in self-realization upto an extent. 

The key difference is--I feel that the goal of meditation is to just keep meditating and nothing else. In time meditation becomes deeper and deeper and brings before you all the hidden corners of psyche--which helps you become more and more conscious and less and less mechanical. As this expansion of consciousness starts happening you also get many intuitive abilities on the way--temporarily. Now getting identified with your superpowers is ego-driven continuation of the personality in a new disguise. If I feel that I know things in advance and I can see root of problems and I can trace Karma back to its origins etc etc and it makes me feel special--I might trip the wrong way. Further you might think of helping others with psychic abilities. First -- it's not stable. Second--even helping others is not going to solve problems permanently--rather your assuming a kind of responsibility is getting identified with an ego-identity which might seem positive. This becomes an obstacle on path of self-realization. So while you might start developing those abilities further they're not really helping you get more peace in the long run. There have been so many big spiritual figures who claimed to change course of events in history--well, until there's an urge to change course of events--in the world, in my family, in my friend circle--enlightenment is not for me. A point comes when I feel totally harmonious with "what is." There remains no urge at all to change anything or making anything better---that doesn't mean that I don't play the role my destiny wants me to play--but it's just acting rather than feeling that I am accomplishing my private mission in life. 

Temptation of Christ is a popular example of the same. Similar temptation of Buddha happened as per Buddhist texts. As such life is full of temptations but for those who are advancing on spiritual paths it seems even more full of temptations. 

To take another example--if we're walking on a highway--meditation highway--we get all sorts of streets on the way--they're very colorful and alluring--give us many types of enjoyments--but every time we enter into a street we waste a lot of time and energy. Sometimes it happens that we forget the highway completely and become totally engaged with a particular street--we become its residents. 

 Synchronicities were always there--it's just that as we start noticing more we get more of them--as first law of behavioral Psychology states that you get more of what you reinforce. 

Edit: Upon reading my post I feel that it assumes that there exists a state where you can be in harmony and peace with everything. That there exists enlightenment. That's an assumption. I feel you or anyone else who feels that exploring the psychic phenomena could be the goal of his or her life is as justified as anyone else. We all do what we're destined to do. It's just my personal experience that having something more often goes with demonstrating than not. And this demonstrating holds me back from being peaceful. 

image source: here