|Exegesis Volume 3 Issue #52
Exegesis Digest Tue, 29 Sep 1998
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 21:12:18 -0700
From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: A Few Questions
Earlier this year, this list had a period of lively discussion about the nature of astrology. Unfortunately, that discussion did not appear to have survived the period of my inactivity while relocating. While I'm not as committed to developing the subject as I was at that time, some questions have occurred to me the answers to which might generate different lines of thought.
It is generally agreed that astrology, whatever else it might be, is a time bound phenomena; a basic tool for the erection of a horoscope is the ephemeris, implying that this parameter is not only relevant, but of primary importance. We can think astrologically in terms of cycles, and we can think astrologically in terms of spaces and spatial relationships. We can engage in astrological analysis and speculation in terms that are deliberately drawn from one or another school of psychology. We can extend that exercise into realms of metaphysical and spiritual substance and meaning. But all these rest on some number of assumptions, and it is some of these assumptions I would inspect more closely.
I have argued elsewhere that astrology is a construct designed to extract useful information from some phenomenon that links celestial and terrestrial realms. It is the nature of this phenomenon I would question.
Is the astrological phenomenon general in nature, or does it require the presence and involvement of living beings? If the latter, then what level of life defines the most basic that enables the astrological phenomenon; indeed, does this phenomenon require the involvement of human beings in order to be functionally affective?
I anticipate some response asserting the assumption that human involvement is necessary, as if the assumption was a matter of completely understood fact. I would also expect some response suggesting that the involvement of life is a prerequisite for the functionality of the astrological phenomenon. What I submit is relevant here is some deliberate discussion about these questions, especially focused on how those questions might be resolved.
How would, or could, we go about testing these questions? Is there any extant account of astrological practice on subjects having completely independent existence? Are there any testable hypotheses that would support the resolution of these questions, either in the negative or in the positive?
It might fairly be asked what value an answer to these questions might have. Let's assume that we found evidence that suggests the necessary involvement of life at least at a level of sophistication found in... say, vertebrates. This would suggest that a spinal nervous system is part of the prerequisite for the function of the astrological phenomenon, and would imply that this system has some fundamental and defining relevance to that phenomenon. It would also suggest that current psychological models are special case tools for astrological interpretation, and that astrology is indeed more than a special manifestation of the human (primate?) psyche.
I would suggest that any other tentative conclusions might well lead to equally important defining implications. So I would submit that this sort of investigative approach is appropriate because of a reasonable probability that some sort of conclusions are possible.
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 3 Issue 52
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