Exegesis Volume 07 Issue #084

In This Issue:

From: "Dennis Frank"
Subject: [e] dialogue & trialogue

Exegesis Digest Mon, 21 Oct 2002

From: "Dennis Frank"
Subject: [e] dialogue & trialogue
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 22:30:44 +1300

Nice to see issues of substance once again being addressed here. Here's some commentary on excerpts from the dialogue of Dale & Patrice.

Patrice wrote: "My hypothesis is free folded: 1. The astronomical signal is integrated in the neuro-physiological organization. 2. The astral impression (impressional) is the inaperceptible psychic effect of that signal. It is "almost-lived". 3. The astrological symbol is the cultural and psycho-mental translation of that impressional."

Presumably "free folded" is intended to mean `thrice-folded', tripartite. I welcome this succinct distillation of his theory, which identifies the core principles in accessible form.

"Point 1 means a cellular, nervous, integration, synchronization (not synchronicity) of planetary rhythms. So it's a temporal adaptation.."

Yes. An evolved adaption. A product of evolution; pan-species. My usual quibble about synchronicity (Patrice & I have differing views): synchronicity is a momentary glimpse at an illuminating instance of the synchronization. Like a dramatic high-speed photo that seems to freeze the participants in a dance, or race, or fight, or any type of group process. I do agree that, from the point of view of the theorist, it is aesthetically preferable to cast one's theory in terms of the process. That's why I have lately suggested that process philosophy might be a better way to proceed.

"the work of "translation" (Point 3) is the real astrological work. What I've called "matrix-based reason" is helping for this. Ancient books & traditions may help, if the cultural contexts are understood, but also can trick."

I agree. However it is true that Patrice and I differ on the specifics of the matrix.

"I'm rather sceptical about the application of "new physics" (that one that is "known" today) to astrology, the subject must be deepened (Dennis is preparing a paper on the subject)."

I share that scepticism. It seems to me that the two subjects interface only via metaphysics and astronomical frames of reference. My work in progress examines Capra's reflections on the new paradigm of science in "Uncommon Wisdom", the analytical focus being the basic principles that are relevant to any credible contemporary theory of astrology.

Dale responded: "I agree that a physical foundation is necessary. I think at least the outline of such a foundation is provided in the pieces I cited."

Well, I will go look & try to provide constructive feedback eventually. The obvious physical foundation is a biological clock with more than just 3 hands.

"the organism must have a way of knowing what's going on in the sky."

Such knowing is mostly tacit, so maybe not the right word. We don't know how we co-evolve with our cosmic environment. We do know some of how we coordinate our lives with respect to sun, earth, moon. We know how to use clocks & calendars to remain in synch.

Regarding point 2: ""motivational pattern" is my equivalent of what you're talking about. It's the organic regularity that corresponds to the celestial regularity.

I agree that is a suitable way of describing it. Perhaps somewhat minimalist, inasmuch as it leaves recognition of the archetypes tacit. In my theory, the archetypes `cause' those inner promptings. Patrice & I have not agreed that his term impressional is synonymous with archetype, so I remain only reasonably confident that he means the same thing I mean. Possibly his term covers only part of what I mean.

If you liken your `motivational pattern' to a web of simultaneous inner promptings, only some of which enter into consciousness at any moment, then each node or nexus in that web represents each astrological archetype (in respect to how it is operating in the context of that time & place).

Regarding point 3: "This remains obscure to me even after reading the above link, and after reading (several months ago) various versions of your *Manifesto*. To me astrological symbols are part of a way of reasoning that enables us to seem valid to ourselves even though presentday astrology has very little empirical content. It's a game we learn to play through exposure to astrology's paradigms."

I empathise & agree. The obscurity has clarified considerably for me, however. I told Patrice that I would give him substantive feedback when he first made his thesis available. Two years later, and I still haven't done so. But the time of contemplation has become productive, and I believe I see the functional relations implied in point 3. Clearly enough to spell out? Not sure. The semiotic perspective turned out to be a requisite acquisition (thanks, Cynthia, if you are reading this). The symbol functions to induce the same meaning in each viewer. It is a medium for sharing communal meaning. Expert opinions seem to differ on whether the sign is functionally equivalent to the symbol. From where I stand, the bipolar relation between symbol & archetype is the main item of structural significance in the psyche.

Signs are cultural artifacts that represent symbols, I think. However, it is true that some symbols are equated with their signs. Example: Saturn, the archetype, is recognised intuitively once one learns the signs that signal its manifestation in particular circumstances. Crystal, wall, bones, etc. To an astronomer, the symbol is a planet with rings - to some astrologers, it is a cross over a semi-circle, to others it is sufficiently unique to not be reducible to abstract components. However, the word Saturn is a symbol itself, of the planet. Words are symbols of what they represent. Also, each person experiences the archetype in a uniquely different manner. Any consensual meaning is thus a summation, or average, of all such.

"Organic nervous systems have evolved inner clocks that correspond to the external clocks by which they regularly reset themselves. Is that what you're saying? Regardless, it's what I'M saying."

Me too.

"I'm not sure what you mean by "translation"."

The symbol translates the individual experience of the archetype into communal code. It is a vehicle for sharing meaning.

"I don't think a phsyics compatible with astrology needs to be discovered. I think existing physics, perhaps with some changes, will do. (I'm not one of those astrologers who thinks that the validation of astrology will revolutionize physics. I don't think the tail wags the dog.)"

The metaphor seems invalid to me. I can't see that the tail connects to the dog. The authority of physics is historical, and applies less to our culture in each year that passes. Thank pluralism & postmodernism for that. Physics limits itself to the manipulation of matter. You could even say it merely glorified technology. Meanings derived from physics assume import only via metaphysics, often with more limited validity than writers & readers presume to be the case.

It seems to me that the scope of astrology vastly transcends the scope of physics. That's how I see it, from the vantage point of having both graduated in physics & become an astrologer in the distant past. But, of course, my comprehension of astrology differs from the general public's, the general astrologers' understanding, and that of yourself & Patrice. To me the scope of astrology looms in approximate inverse proportion to the current capacity of most astrologers to grasp it. People have no other way to explain their unique nature, and few other ways to learn to use time in an evolutionary sense.



End of exegesis Digest V7 #84

[Exegesis Top][Table of Contents][Prior Issue][Next Issue]

Unless otherwise indicated, articles and submissions above are copyright © 1996-2003 their respective authors.