|Exegesis Volume 3 Issue #30
Exegesis Digest Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 00:01:33 +0000
From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #28 & #29 Part 1
> From: John Reder
> Subject: Let's Talk Real Astrology
> At the risk of being censored, I am going to depart from the usual
> threads of conversation and go off on a subject rarely discussed
[snip stuff well suited to other astrology lists....]
Fascinating!!! This is the only post other than my own that appears to have been made in the several weeks of my absence, and it is a direct challenge to the value of the list purpose itself!
One suspects there is actually no such thing as a reasonable man, I think.
> It should be, because at its base is the concept of recurrent cycles
> which are embraced happily enough by economists, engineers, and
> the agricultural fraternity. Then I discovered that, no matter
> how baldly cycles operated , the analytic scientific community
> didn't accept their relevance whether connected to astrology or not.
> That was a real shocker, but true. Just ask the Institute for
> the Study of Cycles what sort of shrift Dewey received.
The Institute for the Study of Cycles... I looked through their website and vowed to look into it much more closely, though I haven't (yet!?). It seems to me that the ISC must be a marvelous resource for research for astrology. What has been done here? Does anyone know? Does anyone agree that this may well be worth some real effort?
> Joanna states:
> "Science on the other hand is both anti-authoritarian and
> collaborative in the finest Aquarian sense. It's about
> knowledge we can share, stuff that's true for everybody.
> Scientists work together, critique and analyze each other's work,
> publish results in detail, share data -- so that you can find out
> for yourself and, if you want, duplicate the experiments to see
> if the others did it right. Everybody benefits, not just people
> who are lucky enough to consult the wisest oracle"
> There's only one problem with the above statement. It isn't true.
> This is what we'd like it to be; this is what Gauquelin was
> assuming when he began his research. He learned otherwise. The
> scientists who challenged him dismissed his results **before**
> conducting a replication; and then, when their results validated
> Guaquelin, deliberately introduced an additional carefully selected
> database for inclusion that skewed the results. I recommend you all
> read sTARbaby by Dennis Rowlins, one of the original gr= oup that
> issued the challenge, whose decampment from their ranks caused the
> scandal. These scientists included Nobel laureates! So much for
> collaborative Aquarian energies.
Hear hear!!! Joanna holds passionately to a vision of what can be; bless her for holding it up for us in spite of the reality. Mary tells the truth. The question is, can we do better than SCICOP (sp?) in particular and science in general? There's a challenge!
> I remember back in the early 60's explaining "aspects" to an old
> electrical engineer who chuckled and drew a diagram of a vintage
> direct current switch. Put a magnet at 90 degrees to the open
> circuit and you shut it off.
Oops, that is a "closed" circuit, not "open". And I think we need a really clear explanation of this phenomema before we proceed. Any EE's out there?
> ............................................Switch the magnet to 120 degrees,
> and current flows. He proceeded to explain to me
> how sun spots messed up radio transmissions, and why 45-49 degrees
> north latitude were particularly subject to "ground level events" --
> like high tension lines bursting into flames. Real, physical
Lets see, I think it was a Bell Labs researcher who observed that radio transmission tended to turn to garbage when Jupiter was 90 degrees from the Sun. That's an effect often cited in support of astrology. [snip some good observations]
> Astrologers have, this century, tried to justify their existence
> through embracing psychology as their entre into "scientific"
> realms. But psychology isn't "scientific". Only behaviorism is
> remotely objective.
Not all of science is purely objective, nor should it be. Very important parts of the scientific process must necessarily be purely subjective: what is it that catches the interest and makes investigation rewarding? And just what is it that all this data is telling us?
The parts of science that are purely objective concern the data taking processes and the testing processes. The whole idea of science is to create agreed upon, and so communally useful, reality. The objective parts of the process are developed so that they can be duplicated by others, and so shared.
We tend to think of science only in terms of "hard" or mathematical science, but that is only one part, albeit a quite high profile part. Hard science proceeds according to a somewhat specialized set of rules, having the added burden to have to produce or conform to a mathematics (abstract and symbolic reality). But a lot of science doesn't have this burden.
The guys in the field making observations (taking data), recording anything and everything, lest they fail to have observed something of unknown importance, do so entirely uncritically. The field observer is trained to note everything and record everything, without judgement. And it comes down a lot of times to just how much subjective connection the observer has with the observed that determines how successful the observation turns out to be.
Likewise, the process of trying to make sense out of the data, what tools of analysis are useful, what initial parameters, etc. are a matter of educated guesswork, and that is a fairly subjective matter. Readers of Dilbert don't get the glazed eyes and drool at the corner of the mouth as an engineer sits there awaiting inspiration to strike to make sense out of a screenful of data after all the standard procedures fail to dish up something really useful....
> .......................................If astrological indicators are put to a
> physical test they work quite nicely. You can predict coastal
> storms from perigeal moons. There is a slower blood clotting time
> associated with full moons, etc. There's plenty of physical
> correspondences to test. Plenty of objective data. Most
> astrologers, being human, like warm fuzzy stuff derived from Jung,
> the mantic arts, and anything that's "fun". That's not all there is
This is the first time someone has actually recognized the full extent of what astrology really is *on an astrology list*!!! Thank you Mary! What we call astrology is only one part of what used to be the astrologer's expertise. It's only been since the Greeks that astrology as we know it has been predominate. The question is, now, how does one rectify these apparently disparate facets of astrology?
> If we really, **really** , want to show that astrology is
> worthwhile, what we need to do is show it can be an economic edge.
> That it pays off. That it will select a better employee, pick a
> better product launch or save money on a direct mail campaign.
> Then you'll be amazed how the scientists line up to "discover"
> this marvelous new discipline.
> --Mary Downing.
Okay, Mary, lets see some substance here! Financial (business, corporate) astrology has been around for some indeterminate time. What do we know of it? Who is practicing this that can demonstrate it successfully?
We don't need to be experts in these fields. What we need to do is find them and persuade them to instruct us, at least to the extent that we can see what they are doing (knowing what to do and being able to do it are two very different things...).
> From: Jens-Ole Paulin Hare
> Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #26
> If someone has not read William Tallmans letter "Further thoughts"
> #26 - I can warmly recommend it. Seeds are being planted, and I would
> like to comment on this investigation into 'the mechanism of
> incredible power' - but first some statistics.
Thank you, sir!
> 174 scientists whose principal asset was
> a reputation signed on to a scientific travesty
> Let us salute Carl Sagan for refusing to sign.
You're right!!!! Sagan *didn't* sign! At least he had the decency to stand up and deliver his own opinions, and so do I salute him!
> Gauquelin published
> a few rather interesting findings...
> I guess I would really be interested in
> any indication that any of these have been followed up
> I assume you know of the "Committee Para", a group of astronomers
> who took up the challenge in order to proove Gauguelin wrong and did
> an investigation on 535 athletes - and got the same results as
> Gauguelin. An american scientific committee then schemed out a
> revised rule of conduct that Gauguelin had to follow and he then
> made another investigation on a new material in 1977 - which
> confirmed the results. Later Suitbert Ertel from the University of
> Gttingen made an investigation on 4000 - four thousand - athletes,
> also confirming the results. The man has a website:
I've heard conflicting opinions about Gauquelin's methodology, although apparently his conclusions were valid. Perhaps something can be made of all this statistical verification. The questions is: what!?
> A very thorough statistical investigation has been done in Denmark
> by a man called S. Fischer Svensson, published in 1980. On the basis
> of 1752 people it concludes that a waxing Sun/Venus-conjunction in a
> man's horoscope means a growing possibility of marriage. So this
> interpretation can now be considered to be statistically prooved!
Fascinating! Is this study available in the US, does anyone know? Has the study been duplicated here?
> The response (to the Gauguelin/Mars-effect) has been practically
> non-existent, but still interesting. I. Kelly says in his book
> "Cosmobiology and Moon Madnees" that without a theoretical
> foundation for this phenomena, even if it exists, it will remain an
> interesting fact without any significance. And though this
> conclusion is not very scientific it might nevertheless be the
This is the essence of the problem that decent scientists have with astrology. There is nothing of intrinsic value in all the statistical work: all it tells us is that there is something to investigate. In order for science as it stands today to have anything to contribute to astrology, there indeed has to be some theoretical structure to test.
> This would also suggest that producing 'proofs' like this
> will continue to be a futile activity, as long as no one creates an
> understandable explanation for them - another sign that the
> investigation outlined by Tallman would be a valuable step.
Statistical studies test the claims of astrology, more or less. They seek to verify celestial/terrestrial correspondences, using astrological lore as a guide for interpretive insight. Nothing in these studies addresses why these things might be so, although they do contribute to our insight as to *what* might be so. It is the development of the *why* from that *what* that science awaits from astrology.
Once again, if we wait for science to do that work as well, it will do so on its own terms and it will not, you can be certain, call the resultant technology "astrology". What is almost certain to happen, given the eminence of scientism as the predominate religion of our culture, is that an academically accredited practicing body (like the AMA for medicine) will be developed and it will license only those who are willing to adhere to the scientistic version of (what will no longer be called) astrology.
> thinking of what Dane Rudhyar did for astrology by relating it to
> modern psychology I'm sure that such an investigation would not just
> be done in order to 'get approval' but that relating to existing
> knowledge in established fields will be of benefit to astrology
> itself and especially to its theoretical foundation.
That Rudhyar wound up principally relating astrology to modern psychology is both sad and tragic. This is *not* what Rudhyar was up to, although this is what happened. Rudhyar had a much more metaphysical reality in mind, and his goal was largely to get people to see astrology as a way of getting at the reality of the cosmos from an interior point of view, and thus recognizing one's own profound nature as well. His purpose was to generate a way for people to transcend purely personal world-views so they could become more effective citizens of the new age or millennium, or whatever.
As it turned out, people had to come to grips with the necessity of accepting the reality of their own place in the universe, which is largely one of the virtues of psychology, and so the relating of astrology and psychology was as far as most people got. I guess any step in the right direction is better than none at all.
> I suspect we can leave science alone to define itself,
> This might just be the wisest thing to do. Much can be done, though,
> from the outside. But the most important work will undoubtedly have
> to be done from within science and outwards, so to speak - with
> respect for and proper knowledge of 'all the work that has been done
> before.' This could mean the arrival of a lot of scientifical terms,
> just like Dane Rudhyar (and others) introduced a lot of
> psychological terms by relating to modern psychology.
The application of psychological terminology was useful on a personal level, and so it was embraced by astrologers. It's hard to see how astrologers would find scientific terminology useful, unless it corresponded with other already useful scientific terminology. The thing is, this might actually be already the case, or nearly so. Modern neuroscience is beginning to provide understanding of some of the mechanisms of what psychology has so painstakingly documented.
> investigation of some 'natural force', dealing with a correspondence
> between planets and terrestrial life, would of course have to relate
> to modern physics as well.
Molecular biology is quite soundly based in physics. The structure of molecules and the shapes produced by distributed electrical charges, for instance, are deteminates of the functions of the molecule of interest. Take a look at cellular biology and watch the functions of the various molecular structures in the cell walls acting like loading cranes, antennae, grappling hooks, keyed portals, etc.... tinker toys!!!
> ...................................................And one might say that this step is
> inevitable - because astrology will always be more than psychology.
> As long as the planets are being used as guidance it is also a
> statement about nature. Do modern scientifical terms have anything
> to do with astrology? Perhaps not. But as Tallman points out it is
> not astrology, but the mechanism on which it is founded, that has to
> be investigated. This mechanism may be awkward, but in the end it
> resides in the very same nature which has been investigated
> scientifically for centuries - and it wouldn't be improper to
> assume, that "the astrological effect" therefore must correspond to
> existing findings and existing terminology in some way or another.
With the massive amount of really effective research going on at present, it seems inevitable that the mechanisms that are sensitive to influence on a biological level will be known, if not understood astrologically. And when that happens, its only a matter of time until the astrological mechanism is discerned. I have addressed the results of this elsewhere in this post.
> I urge the reader to refrain from leaping to the
> conclusion that I am urging a mechanistic view of the universe where
> cause and effect rules absolutely, for I am not. The mechanism may
> well not entail cause and effect relationships.
> Let me bring to mind the words of Plotin from the second century:
> The stars are bearers of significance or symbols, not the cause of
> our destiny. And with the arrival of quantum physics I see no reason
> why a scientific view would have to be a matter of cause and effect.
> On the other hand: if we don't want to rule out the possibility of
> non-causal relationships I think quantum theory has to be involved
> in some way - it is the only field, as far as I know, that deals
> with non-causal effects and have ways of dealing with them - as far
> as science is concerned. In the humanities, however, they have
> always dealt with non-causal concepts, like analogies, metaphors and
> symbolism. That's why I think this investigation might very well be
> forced to break down the barriers between science and humanities.
It seems to me that we have seen humanities efforts to understand its universe progress through understanding by metaphor to understanding by knowledge of the mechanisms involved. It would be tempting to suggest that at some point the metaphor becomes obsolete, but I think not. It is the metaphor that must contain the whole reality, and so must remain to make contextual sense of our understanding of the mechanism. Ultimately, it isn't what we know, but what we do with the knowledge, that counts.
> As for science itself, what we are talking about is scientism, not
> science. We tend to forget that the first activity in the scientific
> process is uncritical observation.
> This barrier, I think, suggests that we are dealing with both. Of
> course the 'first activity' is violated due to scientism - but the
> reason why it can be violated that easily - statistical
> investigations being ignored and so forth - lies partly in science
> itself and the fundamental rules of conduct which it dictates, in
> one way or another.
Almost always, the rules of conduct are founded on what has gone before. Sometimes, quite often even, this is useful, but sometimes it is a deadly process, for it promolgates already established error. In major undertakings like the exploration of astrology, rules of conduct must be strictly philosophical lest the investigation be predisposed, which would almost certainly create unknown and potentially fatal aberrance.
Field research guided by theory is quite susceptible to this sort of effect. Data is catalogued according to theoretical rather than observational considerations, and inevitably enough error creeps in that the theory drives itself up a blind alley, only to be rescued by replacement, all too often.
One of the more high profile examples of this is modern archaeology, which must now restrict itself largely to cultural consideration because it has stuffed itself up on a badly used logical tool: archaeological isolationism rests on the notion that a culture must be deemed to have arisen spontaneously in the absence of compelling evidence that indeed some other culture was influential. This is simply the over-application of a logical tool for purposes that actually had nothing to do with the science itself (archaeology was desperately trying to extricate itself from it's position as a tool of some religious tradition or other...)
Another has to do with anthropology and the age of man, where much rigorous data indicating modern man has existed for millions of years has been routinely demolished because it was considered anomolous to the prevaling interpretation of the prevaling version of the notion of the evolution of life, specifically of species. And there are other examples, some rather funny and some quite tragic.
The point is, an investigation into the nature of the astrological
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 09:12:41 +0000
From: "Francis G. Kostella"
Subject: Exegesis is Two
Just a quick note to remind folks that the list is here and fully functional.
About a week or so ago, the list turned two, and I'm happy to say that I was wrong when I thought that the list couldn't last this long. I know that the quality and frequency of postings goes up and down, but I believe that the results have been worth it.
Finally, I'm sorry that I've been unable to get the last few dozen pages up to the web site, but I've been struggling to find the time to do so. As soon as I am able I will finish editing and upload the pages, if anyone needs to see a page sooner, then send me email.
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 00:01:33 +0000
From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #28 & #29 Part 2
Rules of conduct and a language basis are inherent in the subject at hand, depending on how the subject is perceived. There are some protocols which are basic to all science. One of the most useful is that any investigation only has value in terms of what it adds to the established body of knowledge, and so the language and therefore the rules of conduct should bear resemblance to some established discipline.
This process is known as researching on the shoreline of established work instead of in the deep water, where an entire submarine basis has to be constructed. For economically based work, this is obviously reasonable as the likelihood of success is greatly enhanced. But in the investigation of a virtually unknown phenomena, the wise course is to assemble as many related disciplines as possible and mount field work based on each of them. In this way, no one discipline will have the chance to define the results, and there will be as many points of view and of reference as seem possible (or feasible).
> The strict division in science and humanities I think is another
> 'rule' that can be called scientism, (there is no proof that it has
> to be there) but still it has become a part of science and must be
> addressed as such. And one of the reasons, besides the protection of
> power, that astrology can find no place in the academical picture,
> might very well be that it doesn't correspond with this division
> into two separate fields of knowledge.
Another aspect of this is that there seems to be some difference in the nature of the people who pursue each of these fields. Scientists (the research guys in the labs) like to be able to quantify and find security in more closely defined data, and the humanities people like to be able to qualify and find security in the connectedness of relational material. Perhaps this is a Jupiter/Saturn sort of dichotomy (token astrological observation...)
Perhaps the science/humanities dual is just that: two different ways of approaching any given subject, although clearly most subjects are more effectively approached by one than the other. Ultimately, the idea of what it is versus what it means is the root of this division, I think.
> The next step is for the investigator to assess the scope of the
> problem and sketch out a schematic of what must/might be involved in
> the mechanism. The 'must' is the essential least case, and the
> 'might' is the possible most complex case. This is subject to
> revision on an ongoing basis.
> If one presumed, for instance, that this 'mechanism of incredible
> power' is creating correspondence between different levels, (not
> only between celestial patterns and terrestrial patterns, but
> further 'down' as well as a natural force that exists 'around us')
> then it might explain the effectiveness of analogies, and symbolism
> wouldn't just be 'something which are created by the human mind',
> but an attribute of nature itself which we then perceive. It is
> striking, I think, that terms like analogies, metaphors and
> symbolism has been ruled out in scientifical thinking - and so
> science doesn't use and have no methods for dealing with them.
Science doesn't deal with meaning at all. It deals with what we know (or don't know) and how we know it. After we establish that, other disciplines permit us to address what it means. The problem with scientism is that it tries to do both, which gives us to expect that science itself can do that, and it isn't supposed to!
> still these phenomena are very much existent. (As David Bohm has
> demonstrated metaphors can even be seen as a major driving force for
> science itself throughout history). One might assume that by ruling
> these phenomena out they ruled this 'mechanism of incredible power'
> out as well.
David Bohm was truly a philosopher of science.
> And so I'm not talking about including symbolism and so forth in
> order to investigate anything about astrological interpretation. I'm
> just saying that though we set out to investigate a force of nature
> we shouldn't expect it to become 'strictly physics'. One might have
> to dive into humanities just in order to identifie this force
This is why I suggest we enlist the aid of as many disciplines as we can see bear on the subject. Science will eventually give us to understand the mechanisms of the astrological phenomena, but it won't tell us what that means. Psychology might tell us what we are experiencing but not why. Philosophy might lead us to ascribe meaning to what we experience, but it won't tell us what that experience is. We have to piece all this together and the way we do will be different for each of us, there being probably some fundamental similarities that will create "schools of thought" or some such.
What we will have is some agreement on the basics and so will be able to build bridges between the differences, and that is the important thing if astrology is to become as useful as it promises to be.
> These are just speculations, of course, but I think a lot of
> speculation are to be done before any investigation can take place.
> According to step one, "uncritical and doggedly thorough
> investigation of the issues at hand", we have to develop some idea
> of which issues are at hand - and if this investigation are to deal
> with the knowledge of established fields we have to be able to
> phrase at least some of those issues in their terminology and
> framework. Whether you are a scientist or an astrologer there is a
> lot of 'relating' to be done in order to prepare the ground.
The preparing of the ground work will be different for each related discipline, of course, but I think it will be important to insure that they all follow the same fundamental rules of conduct, whatever those may be deemed to be.
> I have briefly discussed some of these matters with an astronomer,
> Per Kjrgaard Rasmussen, and with a rocket scientist who has been
> working at CERN - both of them think that astrology works, and the
> latter even claims to have some kind of scientific proof, which he
> won't reveal. And he have no intention of ruining his career by
> saying anything positive about astrology in public. Both of them are
> of course preoccupied in their own fields - the astronomer has,
> however, written a book, called "The Idea of Astrology" together
> with two astrologers in which they all 'admit' to their belief. At
> the moment they are trying to get it published in the US with the
> help of Noel Tyl.
Excellent! Thank you for the information! The astronomer must be rather secure in his field for him to go public like that. He is to be commended!!
> ...........................................Per Kjrgaard Rasmussen can be found at
> http://www.astro.ku.dk/~per/ and some of his research on
> astronomical instruments can be found at
> http://www.astro.lu.se/Notnews/No8/node6.html and
> The book deals with the historical connection between astrology and
> astronomy and makes no attempt to investigate any correspondence between
> todays astronomy and astrology. Nevertheless I think it is an important
> step towards cooperation across the barriers. If anyone knows of any
> such books in the US, written by scientist and astrologers together, I
> would like to hear about them!
I think something already exists, but I'm not certain what it is. Is there anyone who could give that reference?
Good stuff, people!!
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 3 Issue 30
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