|Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #34
Exegesis Digest Wed, 05 May 1999
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 21:58:56 +1200
From: Janice & Dennis
Subject: synchronicity etc
Peter Roberts is a research scientist who worked closely with John Addey for many years (astroharmonic analysis) and later produced a useful review of the Gauqelin findings: "The Message of Astrology", !990. "Former head of the Systems Analysis Research Unit in the UK Department of the Environment, he is currently visiting professor in the department of Systems Science at City University, London." [publisher's cover blurb]
Something profound really struck me when I read this book, that I cannot have fully grasped previously. The Gauqelin stats proved that the peak diurnal planetary positions of particularly planets correlated with the highest level of vocational success (and similar correlation of diurnal planetary positions common to both parent and child, I seem to recall). But these correlations were proven for apparent planetary positions, not real ones! This means that the synchronisation of apparently signs in the heavens, to recycle the ancient phrase, with events on earth is what is proven. The common empirical experience of such synchronicity in ancient times gave rise to the saying `as above, so below'.
Just in case readers have not got the prior point, it hinges on the speed of light. In the diurnal cycle, Saturn has moved on considerably by the time its light gets here. Roberts, (p87): "the `influence' reaching us from the planets is travelling at just the velocity of light. If this were not so, the distribution featuring Saturn would have its crest some 20 degrees away from the crests of those distributions featuring the Moon; because light takes some 80 minutes to reach us from Saturn and during that time the earth has rotated about 20 degrees. In fact, it is the apparent position of the planets which matters, ie where they appear to be when the light from them reaches us."
Being a physics graduate I wrote my 1992 book "The Astrologer and the Paradigm Shift" to bridge physics and astrology, after a decade of waiting for someone else to do the obvious. Various revolutionary developments in understanding the nature of reality were being too long ignored or marginalised in acadaemia, so it was necessary to document the areas of multi-disciplinary consensus as well, with sourced quotes from various leading-edge theoreticians, to constellate the emerging paradigm. A dose of Saturn seemed essential, to combat the glib new-age cliches that threatened to derail collective progress. Superluminal signalling was trendy in avante-garde circles a decade ago, but it was also an eminently respectable physical theory. Bell's theorem and subsequent experimentation seemed to have proven that subatomic particles did indeed communicate instantaneously at the deepest level. I'm not so inclined to rate the macroscopic consequences of this as I was, due to the above implication of Gauqelin's work. But we do still have gravity to provide instantaneous macroscopic action at a distance, noting that it remains somewhat occult; experienced and measurable but otherwise remaining in the limbo Newton consigned it to. "I frame no hypotheses", he said, in regard to why it happens. Clearly he felt that explaining it in laws was not enough.
What if gravity were just the most obvious feature of something more fundamental?
Jumping rapidly out of that deep water, Susan Archer wrote in Ex4/30: "Is it too simple just to take one astrological event, eg Uranus crossing each of the angles of a natal chart, apply it to a large number of accurately timed births and make a specific statement about what is likely to happen and when?". Yes, unfortunately. I like your attitude Susan, as expressed here, it being pretty similar to my own initial approach to this issue. What you are perhaps unaware of is the overwhelming extent to which context determines outcome. We all get our brains washed with the redundant Newtonian paradigm (due to the inertial effect of paradigms), so we expect to be able to perform simple classification procedures to prove correlations. Chaos theory, when it finally penetrates our philosophical thinking, will persuade people that nature and real life are too complex for such old-fashioned learning methods to succeed. Hope this doesn't come across as some kind of intellectual put-down, because my left brain does still go looking frequently for exactly that sort of correlation, even though my right brain knows that it is a waste of time.
Uranus on the angles is more likely to be a profitable correlation in event charts. Writing on this in the a.a.m newsgroup, I got into discussion with Dale Huckeby, who eventually recommended this list to me, so I am here today participating in our wired simulation of the universal mind as a direct result. I had been making the point that accurate event charts were more likely to be persuasive evidence that astrology works than natal charts. Famous events with exact verifiable timing are the class of events most likely to be profitable as a resource for demonstration of the astrological correlations that are most relevant. I suggested planets exactly on the angles would be the most emphatic obvious correlations. I cited Uranus exactly on the Midheaven at Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped on it. I elaborated on this synchronicity, in respect of the various most relevant archetypal meanings of both the event and the configuration, and the consequent various correlations of meaning: sky god blasts (ruling hierarchy) with lightning from above is only the most succinct summary. I commented that even a sceptic might be impressed at this, given the 0.3% probability of the exact correlation being due to chance. Dale responded to the effect that the sceptic would challenge me to produce another world-changing event with Uranus exactly on the Midheaven. If the sceptic was actually a skeptik, such roboticism would indeed be expectable. So I pointed out that Uranus was exactly on the Midheaven in the chart of World War I.
In Ex4/32 Cynthia D'Errico Clostre wrote: "Perhaps "effect" and "time" need to be further dissected in terms other than "whether someone is in the event/moment...or not."" By all means, Cynthia, if it encourages you to participate in the discussion and thus raise the overall quality. I certainly ought to point out that the class of moments of time accessible for study via the lens of the horoscope is those that unfold on the surface of this planet. This fact immediately separates any possible astrological science from physics at the most fundamental level. Not that I'm inclined to see astrology as a potential science, unless it be a social science. Considerations of the subjectivity/objectivity of time, and the experience of natural planetary rhythmns, must be addressed (these took several pretty concise chapters in my book). The `effect' also requires the personal/collective polarity to be given in-depth consideration, particularly as regards such concepts as meaning, knowledge, reality, context, nature, society (etc...) are concerned. I'm interested to see you elaborate your advocacy of the Cornelius perspective, or, if it is more to the point, your own. I have some sympathy with it, since I routinely check the astroclock to assess the meaning of personally significant moments, regardless of whether they take the form of `events'. My objection is to the delusional effect that results when an astrologer's personal reality is promoted as collective wisdom, the polluting effect of the consequent disinformation in the universal mind, and the derailing of naive students from their path of learning when they get sucked in by an erudite advocate of personal fantasies.
Cynthia also wrote: "As consumers of the discourse which threatens to reduce astrology to science, perhaps we should deconstruct the very terms we use (coercive determinants?) so as to avoid assimilation and metaphysical closure, or should I say, closure of the metaphysical?" From my vantage point within the scientific belief system, I feel you need have no such apprehension. The good news from the multi-disciplinary overview I put together in my book was the extent of convergence. It is too profound to be rolled back. A sort of ebb tide sucking everyone back to pre-Ptolemaic pantheism, to put a spiritual slant on it. Remember that CSICOPS had to resort to cheating in their attempt to defeat Gauqelin. So much for the older generation. Actually that sounds funny coming from someone looking down the barrel of half a century! And the bright minds in subsequent generations are almost entirely sympathetic to alternative belief systems. I feel that the future of astrology is threatened more by fundamentalist astrologers than fundamentalist scientists or christians.
In the same digest Bill Tallman wrote "Synchronicity is a rather ambiguous term to use to name a means of connectivity. It simply refers to effects that are contemporary. The assumption that events that are contemporary must also be linked in some way begs the question of how they are linked, I think. Perhaps a better way of saying it might be "common temporal embedment", implying that there is a common source, or other type of link. In general, I suggest that there is far too much use of vague and meaningless terminology attending the discussion of the nature of astrology." Again a call for definition of terms. Well, I'd just comment that most people have a common understanding of synchronicity these days in my personal experience. I grant there has been disagreement on this point in the alt.psychology. jung newsgroup where I lurk and occasionally dabble. Jung specified a concurrence of two separate psychological states, but he has totally lost the subsequent battle of public opinion. Even jungians usually recycle the term synchronicity to refer to the coincidence of an event with a psychological state. I personally use it to refer to any noteworthy coincidence in time, and I do this due to an ongoing perception that this is the most popular usage. The pragmatist, when in Rome, speaks the local lingo in order to be understood.
Bill wrote: "I must say that I found Cornelius to be rather insubstantial. His axiomatic question is why successful natal horoscope interpretations can be given from horoscopes erected on faulty data: the right reading from the wrong chart. Haven't we all done this, at some time or other? Well, I think not really. The wrong chart is going to give the wrong information and an attempt to fit this to the client might edify the client, but it doesn't achieve what would be possible with the right chart. Cornelius assumes that this is a valid phenomena, and I reject that assumption. An astrologer who is giving a useful reading from a wrong chart is relying on something other than astrology to do so, and while it may be perfectly valid, appropriate and wonderful, it is not astrology."
I agree. I have gotten a feeling like pushing the river when interpreting a chart, later found to be wrong, to a client. The last point is a bit harsh, perhaps. Incompetent astrologers vastly outnumber the rest of us, and against my natural inclinations I have decided that tolerance must prevail. Sure they project like crazy and indulge themselves in the most outrageous fictions, but so do most of the lecturers on the astroconference circuit. To err is human.
Bill: "The subjective reality of these archetypes is perhaps generated in the most basic consciousness of the brain stem, which is often typified, or actually called, the reptilian brain. It is said to involve itself in food, sex, battle and flight. These are the most basic considerations for physical survival, I would suggest. It would be interesting to see if these archetypes all fall in one or another of these categories. It is also said that this part of the brain does not recognize process, and therefore not time itself; all is in the eternal now."
Good feedback. It would be worth knowing if your last point here has substantial backing, Bill. Biological body clocks cue development according to (genetic?) program, and any brain's function operates in this overall context. The extent to which an animal brain is required to "recognize process" therefore seems immaterial. That said, if you watch a lizard perform split-second action timing to catch prey you might deduce its brain was able to calculate and compare time intervals.
"Influenza or the "flu" comes from the stars, don'tcha know." Ha! I suppose you are aware that this hypothesis has undergone considerable resurgence in more recent decades? The British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle is not alone in advocating it.
"The horoscope was expressedly intended to gain insight into the nature of the moment, and it's use in nativity was somewhat incidental, as I recall. I suspect that the tradition of horary is at least as old as that of genethliacal use." I'm having to disagree with you here, Bill, based on my extensive researches into the historical development of astrology over the course of half a saturn cycle. I remain open to information to the contrary, but I am unaware of horary charts surviving from the classical period.
"What you are proposing is that these archetypes exist objectively in our environment, and can actually be discerned. To me, this necessarily follows from their existence in the subjective reality. If they didn't exist as realities in themselves, how would we have acquired them?" Indeed. Any observer can see the archetypes of nature. The only training required is to be able to count, at least to four and preferably to twelve, and achieve pattern recognition of spirals and circles and lines. About age 5 to 7 years, I guess, although differentiating the helix from the spiral may require a later age.
Bill comments "it would be interesting if unity and duality did encompass all of reality." Encompass? What strikes me is the surprising extent that the universe is apparently structured by the two most primal number archetypes. But three and four cannot be neglected from this perception without losing our human basis in reality. Rudhyar deserves credit for transcending Jung in this particular area by 1936, then progress stalled. "We can imagine that the solar system does subtly shape the electromagnetic (gravity?) field of the earth, such that certain phenomena occur and/or are influenced thereby. That we don't see this mechanism doesn't mean it does not exist; indeed, it may be discovered as a quantum effect. That's my bet." I see gravity as being more relevant, and the quantum realm only relevant as regards potential, but I agree with your general thrust here and hope to take these issues further in future correspondence here.
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 4 Issue 34
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