Exegesis Volume 07 Issue #105

In This Issue:

From: "Dennis Frank"
Subject: [e] reasonable feedback...

From: "Alexandre"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #88

Exegesis Digest Thu, 14 Nov 2002

From: "Dennis Frank"
Subject: [e] reasonable feedback...
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 21:07:09 +1300

 > >>. . . The issue that is not addressed by the phrase "symbolic aptness"
 > >>is the relation of the moment to the period. . . . To me [synchronicity]
 > >>means a moment in which a significant correlation is identified between
 > >>two occurences that appear to have no causal relation between them.
 > >
 > >But how do you identify "significant correlations" in the first place?

You intuit that some kind of occult meaning connects them. Reason has got absolutely nothing to do with it, which is no doubt why you don't believe in it. You're probably a reasonable man who prefers to see the world reflecting your reasonable nature. Does that seem reasonable?

 > >I was going to say symbolic aptness, but on second thought I suspect
 > >it's aspect exactitude clinched by symbolic aptness. It's a guaranteed
 > >clincher, though, given the malleability of symbolistic word usage and
 > >the fact that you get to choose the wording for both the symbols and the
 > >event description. Even the exactness is guaranteed, in a sense, in
 > >that there are lots of events out there, with chance alone guaranteeing
 > >that at least a few (or more, if you use enough factors) will coincide
 > >with a satisfyingly exact aspect. Those, of course, are the ones you'll
 > >notice and cite as examples.

I'm not that sloppy, but you are partly right. I notice correlations & cite them as examples, some of which are according to my expectations, others not. A physical scientist correlates observations with pre-determined selection criteria & cites them as examples in the same way. Been there, done that.

 > >I appreciate that you think seeking reliable correlations is worthy,
 > >but am puzzled that you think something other than observable reliability
 > >is required to determine what's relevant. I think if your reasoning
 > >had been less influenced by the traditional paradigm you'd be more likely
 > >to recognize that reliability is the bottom line as to whether or not a
 > >correlation can be trusted. Assimilation of the existing paradigm has BY
 > >EXAMPLE shown astrologers what counts as "valuable stuff".

First, I agree that reliable correlations are preferable, according to residual value-driven expectations produced by my scientific education. Too bad that astrological correlations do not conform. Rather than deny their validity (in adhering to the old belief system) as you do, I try to assess what does actually happen instead. In other words, I apply the empirical discovery approach to the subject. I have a (naive?) faith that I may learn something new therefrom. As I seem to recall mentioning previously in Exegesis, this stance of mine is a `controlled folly' a la Castenada.

 > >>I agree that a disciplined aproach to empirical discovery is long-overdue
 > >>in astrology. I agree that symbolism is used by astrologers instead.
 > >>I agree that qualitative correlations tend not to be predictable or
 > >>testable. I do not, in principle, agree that symbolism usage prevents
 > >>anyone being able to separate sense & nonsense. The rest of the human
 > >>race agrees with me on this point, since they keep using language to
 > >>communicate.
 > >
 > >Not always. For instance, I specifically identified symbolism as a
 > >special KIND of symbol usage - ie. not language per se - and you appeared
 > >to agree but then argued that because people use language to communicate

Okay, I have just checked 7/91and I see you did indeed, but without explaining why you think the behaviour of astrologers is special. If you think you have actually done that previously, obviously I still don't get it.

 > >that shows symbol-ISM doesn't prevent us from being able to separate sense
 > >from nonsense. So 1) the fact that people use language to communicate
 > >doesn't mean they always clearly understand each other. Politicians and
 > >bureaucrats, for instance, quite often use language to NOT communicate.
 > >And 2) specialized fields of study use specialized forms of communication,
 > >(of which symbolism is arguably the traditional astrological equivalent)
 > >which make misunderstanding less easy to the degree that the field itself
 > >is rigorous. However, symbolism muddies rather rather than clarifies,
 > >offers loopholes instead of pinning us down to unambiguous meanings. It's
 > >looser and more malleable even than nonspecialized conversation.

I agree that symbolism is often misinterpreted due to its inherently large subjective component. I can't see that astrologers are any different from other humans in this respect however.

 > >>On the substantive point, I think we differ not on diagnosis of the
 > >>problem but on our preference for the solution. Astrologers, in
 > >>my opinion, need to upskill in their use of the language of astrology.
 > >>Poor interpretation comes from inadequate recognition of the keywords
 > >>that characterize the archetypes, as well as failure to grasp the
 > >>technique of using the language to synthesise component meanings into
 > >>an overall picture of the situation. It seems to me you are blaming
 > >>the tool itself, rather than their use of it. You must know the
 > >>old saying, 'it's a poor work-man who blames his tools'.
 > >
 > >Indeed I do. I heard it from Kuhn, who explains that it's often used
 > >against those who doubt the efficacy of current practices due to the
 > >proliferation of anomalies. The latter feel that the intractability of
 > >such anomalies is due not to their own shortcomings as researchers but
 > >to deepseated flaws in the assumptions and practices of the field itself.
 > >They DO blame their tools, but such blame is not always a projection
 > >of their own inadequacies. Sometimes the workman who blames his tools
 > >- eg. Einstein and other paradigm changers - happens to be right.

Fair enough.

 > >Yes, I am blaming the tool itself. Where you see rampant incompetence
 > >I see a SYSTEM which lacks falsifiability, the ability to differentiate
 > >between right answers and wrong ones, because in this system all answers

Yes, the falsifiability point is one I've long recognised. Are you aware that the theory of evolution "lacks falsifiability"?

 > >are "right". This system rewards and encourages sloppy thinking, even
 > >in otherwise rigorous thinkers. Thus you fail to see, when you say
 > >
 > >>. . . the fact that I have discovered more than one major event with
 > >>this exact configuration makes the correlation repetitive and accessible
 > >>to empirical discovery . . .
 > >
 > >that given enough events SOME are going to coincide with any given exact
 > >aspect by chance alone, and those are, again, the ones that will be picked
 > >out and cited as examples. The fact that SOME events will coincide with
 > >Uranus/MC, even EXACT Uranus/MC, is not repetitiveness in any useful sense.
 > >It doesn't tell us which few of the multitude of Uranus/MC conjunctions
 > >will happen to coincide with something important. When things coincide by
 > >chance alone we never know WHEN they are going to coincide, and that's
 > >why we legitimately say it's "just a coincidence" to counter some people's
 > >feeling that because they SEEM to fit together so well it must be more
 > >than that.

Denial of the evidence is an old trick of scientists. Rather than lose their security blanket, they knee-jerk straight into denial. However, I'm happy to concede that some world-changing events do not have Uranus exact on the MC. I suspect that no dramatic sudden shift in power relations applied in those cases (WTC attack, for instance).

 > >All of this, however, is difficult to see from a traditional mindset.
 > >When I say that within the traditional paradigm we fail to see that
 > >"we could have accounted for any event with any chart," and you respond,
 > >"You mean traditional astrologers don't bother to ascertain the time
 > >an event actually happened?" you completely miss what I'm trying to say.
 > >I assume that it's very important to the vast majority of astrologers
 > >to know EXACTLY what happened and when. However, because any chart and
 > >event WOULD HAVE worked the fact that the actual chart and event ALSO
 > >work doesn't validate either astrology or the individual interpretation.
 > >If symbolistic astrology is valid and the wrong time or event is used
 > >the interpretation should be obviously wrong, and I don't think this is
 > >the case. Being extremely careful about getting the facts right might
 > >spare you the embarrassment of being "right on" when you shouldn't have
 > >been, but it won't make the apparent aptness of the symbolism evidence
 > >for symbolistic astrology or your (symbolistic) interpretations.

Ok, no objection from me here. I've always thought the `wrong chart seeming right' scenario showed up a fundamental flaw in astrology.

[Dale to Patrice]
 > >my references to the traditional paradigm are an attempt to explain why
 > >most astrologers don't see it the way we do. I can't simply attribute
 > >it to laziness, because I know of symbolistic astrologers who are neither
 > >lazy nor unintelligent. That's why I bring in paradigms, because they
 > >explain that the examples we initially learn from, when we learn a field
 > >of knowledge, shape our thought processes in ways we're not aware of
 > >and which are extremely difficult to dislodge. And that says something
 > >about how we must go about converting people to a more empirical way
 > >of approaching astrology. (If symbolism was ONLY a matter of laziness,
 > >Dennis wouldn't be a symbolistic astrologer.)

Heh. Think it was Geoffrey Dean who wrote "There are lies, damn lies, and symbols." Not sure what his problem was though. Symbols are not the problem. Their misuse is. I don't consider myself a symbolistic astrologer, because for me the symbol merely represents the archetype. The symbol can evoke, or seem to trigger the activation of, the archetype in the psyche, but so what? Merely a catalyst.



From: "Alexandre"
Subject: [e] Re: exegesis Digest V7 #88
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 23:05:09 -0200

Hi Dennis and Patrice,

Dennis wrote:

 > >>>The semiotic perspective turned out to be a requisite
 > >>>acquisition (thanks, Cynthia, if you are reading this).
 > >>
 > >>But see my 1993 texts on semiotics & Peirce. Sorry if they aren't read.
 > >
 > >If you mean me, you forgot that I emailed you how much I appreciated them.
 > >It was Cynthia, in Exegesis in '99, who first got me intrigued enough to
 > >start learning about semiotics.

Well , in my case was Patrice who got me intrigued to start learning about Peirce: the task is challenger, the guy has more the 50 books with more than 600 pages each, even one in astronomy, and the comments adds a few more.... Anyway , in my first search in the net I found some interesting points, and for my contentment, nothing that could , at first sight, make my own theories wrongs, much on the other side , I thing he's one of mine, the triadic set instead of the normally used dyadic is very nice, and the diagrams to explain the peircean grammar, with four triangles has some resemblance with the octahedron, with is made by four triangles too.

This quote bellow brings to me the idea that the true understanding of the phenomenon can't be accomplished by words, only by the bare sign.

"Peirce's semiotic can be regarded as a systematic development of what is implicit in his precise and highly abstract theoretical refinement of the vague pre-theoretical idea of a sign, as the colloquial word "sign" (considered as a noun) is defined in any comprehensive dictionary of the English language. A number of senses of the colloquial word can be distinguished, but one can nevertheless speak of the vague idea of a sign because in common to every sense is the idea of something which is capable of revealing something experientially--that is, as a phenomenon, fictional or real--to a being capable of responding to it (the sign) appropriately. In his theoretical refinement of this idea Peirce was guided, first, by his extensive knowledge of the antecedent theoretical usages of the word (and its rough equivalents in other Western languages, especially medieval Latin and classical Greek), and, second, by the aim of developing a highly abstract conception which would be basic in a generalized logic applicable to all processes and products which exhibit intelligence to any degree. Considered apart from its application to this or that special subject-matter or problem, then, the theoretical conception of a sign--or, more exactly, the conception of the triadic (that is, three-term) sign relation--is a highly abstract explication of the formal structure of intelligence, which Peirce himself regarded as co-extensive with life." ( this is from the dictionary of semiotics)"

On the other hand, about the idea of impressional, for me, it need to be something different than a mere sense, because, in the example I give before, the Hanoi tower, you must start a new variable and store it to accomplish the task, if you don't do this the flower is not going to follow the sun.

Best to all,



End of exegesis Digest V7 #105

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