Exegesis Volume 07 Issue #048

In This Issue:

From: "JG or DF"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #47

Exegesis Digest Sun, 31 Mar 2002

From: "JG or DF"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #47
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2002 22:43:28 +1200

 > >>Lois Cruz wrote
 > >>LS:
 > >>>This then seems to be saying that astrology is a relativist subjective
 > >>>approach to being.
 > >
 > >>Ultimately there IS no other approach to being, so such a view of astrology
 > >>seems appropriate.
 > >
 > >You misunderstand: my 'being' = Dasein. Actuality. Concrete. Inner and
 > >Outer. Whatever you call it, I call it the real world, not pink
 > >elephants dancing in a swimming pool.

Yeah, the real world. I know it well. Consensual reality. The sun always rises in the East. Physicists don't live in that reality, because they know that in their reality the apparent horizon sinks past the sun as the world turns. I looked up `dasein' in our Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary but it wasn't there. What language? Or is it an invention?

Lorenzo wrote:
 > >< snip > astrological theorising: the post-modern relativist sham. < snip > the shimmering relativity and subjectivity.

Generalisations appear banal unless more specific points are made using them as a basis. Literate readers are well aware of the relevant exceptions that render the generalisation banal. Commentators are best advised to demonstrate comprehension of the subject matter instead. Lorenzo is correct that many astrologers have published new-age style pieces of writing that invoke avante-garde scientific concepts in a meaningless manner. Also, as I have written here many times, most astrologers are too subjective. Indeed, many are entirely so.

Lorenzo's failure to admit the existence of astrologers who demonstrate objectivity in their approach to the subject signals a reluctance to acknowledge the existence of this feature of our collective reality. Furthermore, I recall that when I last asked Lorenzo how he believed objectivity could be demonstrated he failed to respond. Prejudice and bias are unproductive attitudes to bring into this venue. I would advise Lorenzo to read the listed purposes of Exegesis and honour them in his further contributions. Whereas we all have our own bias, we can transcend i t. Normally it is evident when online communicators are genuinely trying to do so.

< snip > the skeptics are absolutely correct about astrology: it is a sham, a pseudo-science

Depends who Lorenzo means. Americans can't spell sceptic, so he may mean them all. If he means those in CSICOPS, their fraud was publicly exposed more than 20 years ago by one of their insiders who had some personal ethics and integrity, and nobody with half a brain has taken them seriously since. That said, it is true that many astrologers have promoted their subject as a pseudoscience. I always found such behaviour offensive.

Lois wrote:
 > >>This is a human condition, and certainly not limited to any particular
 > >>paradigm, point-of-view or mode of consciousness. Academia itself--the
 > >>ultimate in rationality and "objectivity"--is rather notable for such
 > >>"egoism and turf protection/expansion".
 > >
 > >Which is precisely why such subjectivity must be weeded out,

Lorenzo is just being naive here. Everyone knows subjectivity is a normal part of life. One cannot eliminate a universal part of the human condition.

 > >>>The retreat into subjectivism is a
 > >>>way (called passive aggressive) of protecting the individual from social
 > >>>contact, from dialogue and compromise.
 > >
 > >>So is the retreat into objectivism. The keyword here is "retreat", not
 > >>whatever the refuge may be.
 > >
 > >Meaning that both are relatively Good Things? What does that mean?
 > >I think I have made it quite clear what the difference between the
 > >openness and validity of the methodological 'scientific' (=knowledgable)
 > >dialogue and the idoiolexic space of the subjective: see below too.

Another invented word! What's wrong with the English language? Lorenzo has not made anything clear. He merely demonstrates his ignorance of developments in scientific philosophy during the 20th century. Physicists were first to concede that subjectivity played a key part in the advance of science. Quite a range of Nobel prize-winners specifically acknowledged this in their books. The subjective viewpoint even became included in the theoretical development of physics.

 > >>>Magic is the stuff of subjectively orientated projection.
 > >
 > >>And "reality" is the stuff of collectively oriented projection.
 > >
 > >So say you. But is this a relatively subjective viewpoint or one which
 > >is born of rational selection? Why do you call reality projection?
 > >Here's a test. Chew through your computor's electrical supply flex, and
 > >see if it still functions normally.

Ha! Good point, but it merely highlights the difference between the world `out there' (which may bite you) and our consensual description of that world, which is what Lois was referring to.

 > >>>To exalt the qualities of one
 > >>>aspect (intuition) over the other is to fall into individualism, which
 > >>>is the breaking of the unity of the entity, which is a triparate entity
 > >>>of individualisation, collectivity and process.
 > >
 > >>Given this statement, it seems strange to me then that you speak so
 > >>disparagingly of intuition and intuitive understanding, dismissing them as
 > >>of little worth and definitely on a lower rung of an apparently
 > >>hierarchical mental ladder.
 > >
 > >We are beings in a real world. The subjective is nice for procreation
 > >and recreation, and choosing one's dinner from the menu (de gustibus non
 > >disputandum est), but beyond that it is to be weeded out of knowledge.

That'll never happen. The inner conviction of truth will always be a primary motivator of human behaviour, and one of the most socially influential. Lorenzo is scoring an own-goal here. He destroys the sustantial merit of his metaphysical position by over-stating his case sufficiently to make it look ridiculous. What we really need is sufficient self-discipline to be exerted by those who are congenitally narcissistic and subjective to allow an objective view to enter their consciousness. Once this wedge is in the door, an objective view can be developed via a focus on commonality.

Lorenzo wrote:
 > >Except for the fact that astrologers oft spout much nonsense. Analogic
 > >thinking is another of the boojums which are currently infesting
 > >astrological theory.

Another invented word (another lapse into subjectivity). The real issue with a tool like analogic reasoning, as with any tool, is how it is applied. Don't blame the tool, critique a specific application of it.

Lois wrote:
 > >>Trying to frame my thoughts here, I've come up with a kind of tangential
 > >>question (or two): Does astrology shape *us*, or do we shape astrology, or
 > >>some combination of both?
 > >
 > >This is the same question as 'does the language we speak and think in
 > >form our thoughts or are we the sole begetters of our thoughts?' < snip >

How silly. Nothing like the same question.

 > >One would need to distinguish between the forces, energies or whatever
 > >they be, which are paradigmaticly given mathematical formulation by the
 > >knowledge system of astrology and the knowledge system of astrology
 > >itself. In other words, planets & co. are with or without astrologers to
 > >hear the trees crashing in the forest.

Now that's more like it. Lorenzo's intuition is telling him there is a fundamental difference between astrology as it is generally known and whatever its basis in reality might be. With a bit of luck, he might eventually become conscious of this. After that, he might realise that different writers mean different things when they use the term `astrology'. Then this plague of vacuous generalisations that he keeps issuing may cease, or even lead to an intelligent discussion.

 > >>The answers to this may depend on whether one
 > >>considers astrology to be merely and purely a human "invention". (I
 > >
 > >And what field of human knowledge and study is not a human invention? I
 > >don't see this objection as profound, merely banal.

Yes, and the substance of the issue lies in what Lorenzo doesn't see. In the hope that it may produce enlightenment, I suppose I may as well point out the obvious. Astrology as it is understood by the general public is nothing like astrology as it is understood by most astrologers. Astrology as understood by most astrologers is nothing like astrology as understood by those viewing it from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Astrology as understood by any one astrologer has but a partial resemblance to astrology as understood by another. Scattershot generalisations therefore tend to fail to hit any target.

Probably the most crucial difference is that between astrology as a social construct, and whatever is happening in nature. Viewed as a polarity this provides dimensional context in which to place any particular model that a theoretician may construct. Readers may have noticed that when Patrice refers to astrology in his web-site articles, usually he means the subject as it ought to be, not as it is. I can relate to that readily. Throughout the '80s I did the same, since it was apparent to me right from the start that the subject as it was presented in the literature and at conferences was not just hopelessly inadequate, it was a complete shambles. Rather than just react to the bullshit, progress could only come from distinguishing those components of the subject that were not fatally flawed from those that seemed to have a possible basis in reality and were just poorly described. To do this requires only critical faculties plus the capacity to perceive subtleties and comprehend both metaphysical notions and obscure relations between things. One is therefore best advised to retain the awareness of `astrology as it ought to be' as a future goal, and `astrology as it is' as a past to be left behind.

 > >>realize there may be semantic problems with my question, but hope it points
 > >>sufficiently clearly to the idea behind it for the idea rather than the
 > >>semantics to be addressed) Second question: *Is* astrology an "absolute"
 > >>such that there must be one and only one clear definition? (IOW, must your
 > >>and Roger's views of what astrology is be mutually exclusive?)
 > >
 > >Frankly, yes.

Lorenzo is right, in that Roger's view seems fully subjective and his view pretends to objectivity.

 > >>>This would mean I think that one has decided not to dialogue with the
 > >>>real world but to magically inhabit a space of idiolexic monologue.
 > >>
 > >>"Idiolexic monologue" is not a "space", and has no absolute or independent
 > >>existence.
 > >
 > >Ah, but it does in the minds of the truly subjective. It is the only
 > >space they will occupy. Why does no one understand English anylonger?

I understand this is diagnosed in modern psychology as `projection'. Someone who has a personal problem or inadequecy doesn't want to own it, so they complain that the world is doing it to them. If the word was really English, it would be in the dictionary. I would have thought even a retarded 10-year-old could figure that out.

 > >>This is the problem I see with the "real world". We use words
 > >>and rationality to define "it", forgetting that both our words and our
 > >>rationality are imperfect and incomplete, and thereby limit and restrict
 > >>*ourselves* to the mental boxes we create. Intuition is our way (or at
 > >>least one way) out of the boxes.
 > >
 > >No, intuition is _only_ a spark, Edison's one percent. Testing, logic,
 > >facts, testing, evidence, logic and reasoned rigourous argumentation is
 > >the way to keep the fires of knowledge burning as the darkness brings
 > >the hoary barabarians of subjectivity encircling about the camp of
 > >civilisation, intent on snuffing the Promethean Flare.

Seems rather to miss the point that no scientific advances occur unless the right brain provides the left brain with the insight as raw material to process. Since the autobiographies of famous scientists usually document the key part played by intuitive revelations in the process of both theoretical and technical discovery, there is little point arguing this matter. I have come across specific instances plenty of times. I gather that book "The Eureka Moment" compiled some or many of them, but I have yet to access a copy.

 > >The point of rationality and scientific methodology is to weed out the
 > >cancer of subjectivity, that twisted, biased, bigoted, self-serving
 > >monster of idiolexic monologue.

Why the melodrama? One's left brain ought not to be engaged in a life & death struggle to strangle one's right brain. Just makes a person bitter & twisted. Both are meant to operate in coordination with each other. That's why we evolved both in functional complementarity and physical symmetry.

Lorenzo's point is better made thus: science produces progress via reliable findings. These are reliable because they can be replicated, thus enabling verification by others. The description of collective reality is thus built upon a consensual basis. The process is organised so as to bind the empirical findings of individuals into a group conformity of belief. The difference to religion (religio = to bind) is that group conformity of belief rests upon the basis of blind faith.

In science the communal process induces in the mind of the participant a discipline of focus upon objectivity (as an ideal). Objectivity is a stance that simulates the common view. It is not real since the common view is never concretely identifiable. As a science student, one is required to have blind faith in what lecturer and text-book say, but one is also expected to perform reality checks (experiments) so that one can confirm it for oneself. It is in the performance of these reality checks that science serves humanity more than astrology & religion. Genuine common ground is thereby established.

That said, science contains much blind faith and suppression of the truth, and leads people astray almost as much as astrology & religion. The past 30 years has seen a widespread recognition of this emerge in most fields and it has even become the topic of choice in a range of books and web-sites. Human nature will always defeat principles, morals, rules, ideals, etc.

 > >Galileo for instance came to his theory of gravity by pure
 > >logical deduction, not experimentation.

Are you kidding? The theory of gravity was produced by Sir Isaac Newton, not Galileo. He built it upon the occult notion of a force that produced action at a distance by no detectable means. He was so embarrassed by having to pull this metaphysical rabbit out of his hat that he wrote, to explain why he couldn't explain what causes the force of gravity, "I frame no hypotheses."

Dennis Frank


End of exegesis Digest V7 #48

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