Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #44

From: "Cynthia D'Errico Clostre"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #41

From: "Cynthia D'Errico Clostre"
Subject: When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes...

From: Dale Huckeby
Subject: Mechanism & Psychology

Exegesis Digest Fri, 04 Jun 1999

Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999 01:07:26 -0400
From: "Cynthia D'Errico Clostre"
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #41

 > People have always
 > agreed that social reality must be a vehicle for collective wisdom.
 > Understanding nature has always been the requisite key to survival.
 > Therefore any community's model of nature is a paradigm providing for
 > collective security and the definition of reality that prevails in that
 > collective. An holistic model of social reality thus recognises that any
 > human collective generates its own group mind on a consensual basis.
 > From a multi-dimensional perspective, I beg to differ, Dennis (speaking strictly out of my "bi-polarly" disorder(ed) mind! yuk!yuk!)! In my opinion, the group mind of any human collective is equivalent to a mob mentality which seeks to perpetuate sameness everywhere by annihilating difference. Catherine Belsey, in Critical Practice, put it this way: Once the rational (read collective wisdom) becomes an ideological discourse (read social reality), it harbours a coercive projection which "exerts both a real and an imaginary relation to the world--real in that it is the way in which people really live their relationship to the social relations which govern their conditions of existence, but imaginary in that it discourages a full understanding of these conditions of existence and the ways in which people are socially constituted within them." (p.57) The group mind may include consensus as one of its developed attributes, but it is not founded on it. And, if anything, what was agreed upon was that survival, not wisdom, be protected by social reality constructs, which led to the diminution in status of wisdom of any kind. Had we indeed used natural models for our definitions of reality, we might have developed more humane social models, gathered more wisdom than information, and become a kinder, gentler race altogether. Security and survival go hand-in-hand, I suppose, to the detriment of more socially enlightened ideals. I certainly agree, however,that since the advent of the leviathan, Science (and I here do not refer to all "scientific paradigms"), "human society discounts the validity of subjective knowledge." Implicate/Explicate...okay, I can follow that; I've actually read at least two articles about it in TMA.
 > One of the
 > interesting ideas that has circulated around this is that it is only the
 > Explicate which is described by Einstein's equations and are hence bound by
 > the speed of light as a constant. That means that the Implicate is not so
 > bound. Reminiscent of Kristeva's "affective force" which is displaced, floating in and about discourse, but not legitimated within or by it (Astrology as unauthorized discourse). Thus Astrology author(izes) itself. Also, Bill, you wrote:
 > It has long been perceived that our ability to do science,
 > which rests on the availability of necessary instruments (which rests on the
 > state of technological advance), has significantly outstripped our ability
 > to comprehend the significance of its findings. This is a very real
 > problem, because philosophy is intended to provide and define our wisdom,
 > which is supposed to guide our lives and our actions. With an exponential
 > increase in the power provided by our technology, we need the appropriate
 > corresponding wisdom, and we don't have it. The beast without a head argument, n'est-ce pas?...which reminds me: The following could only have been expressed by two men, or women masculinized out of their femaleness (or someone with a rampant Mars):
 > The macho approach
 > of the mechanistic paradigm required us to impose our operating program
 > upon
 > the schedule of natural time cycles and natural development processes.
 > Wrong!
 > Yup. This is a fair statement of the experience of many of us. This is
 > what we were taught, and how the game was (is?) played in our culture. The
 > assumption is that everyone on the street doing business (and that includes
 > a career as well) is on their own, and that everyone else must be considered
 > a potential adversary. Hey, don't even think 'oh no, that feminist thing again'! You guys broached it, and created the alleged "mechanistic paradigm" by the way. As someone who worked as a business editor and ghostwrote speeches for CEO's, my anima/animus got all tied up with my pantyhose, too. I like the phrase "operating program", though, in a wistful sort of way; it's like an old goose-step that's comfortable until you pull a tendon, and finally realize there's nothing natural about walking that way! (smile) Are there any women on this list, by the way? When I joined, Susan posted but I haven't seen her since. My favourite part of this entire post is:
 > [soapboxmode=1]
 > Very few people, even practicing astrologers themselves, truly believe that
 > astrology is a valid practice in its own right, that it actually works as
 > advertised. Therefore, the technical terminology of astrology is also
 > considered invalid and inappropriate for usage in public. To wit: if you
 > are going to use it, do so in private and wash your hands afterwards!!!
 > Sorry to have to be so graphic and blunt, but that's just about the way it
 > is. And that is the real tragedy of modern astrology: too few of us believe
 > in the craft we practice, and those who don't have to forge some other basis
 > for what we do: it's a psychic or spiritual thing we aren't meant to
 > understand, or it's a subset of modern psychology that is not yet
 > understood, and so forth.
 > The state of modern astrology as an orphan without a language is our fault,
 > and only we can fix it. I am tempted at times to offer the challenge: if
 > you don't believe it really works, then don't use it!!! Astrology would be
 > much better off with fewer practitioners, all of whom recognize that it
 > works as advertised, and are proud of what we do.
 > [soapboxmode=0] I agree wholeheartedly, and not being a holy wise man just yet, am afraid I do judge my fellow astrologers, particularly those who conjoin words in their titles like "psychic Astrologer"--ewww! Less like coitus than interruptus, I think! Yes, Bill, "astrology must demonstrate sufficient interface with related disciplines", but how to do so without swallowing the baby whole? Also, gentlemen, be careful with deconstruction. You both correctly define its ideal end: to lead away from destruction, but like the famous "talking cure" of the therapeutic couch, it can lead to nowheresville, the vicious, navel-gazing polemic of the narcissist. (Of course, that never happens to me! Though if it did, no one on this list would humour me for long...right?) Good Night Everyone! Regards, Cynthia

-- "Lord, help me to be celibate...just not now." (St. Augustine)


Date: Thu, 03 Jun 1999 00:26:50 -0400
From: "Cynthia D'Errico Clostre"
To: Exegesis
Subject: When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes...

Andr=E9, to EVERYTHING you posted: YES, YES,...YES...OH YES! When I go t= o heaven, I want to have your mind. I wish to bear your children. You are actually familiar with William James! I can stop posting to Exegesis now= , because you've said everything much better than I ever could. I'm going to smoke a cigarette now... Cynthia (Say Good Night, Gracie...Good Night, Everyone) -- "Lord, help me to be celibate...just not now." (St. Augustine)


Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 06:40:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dale Huckeby
To: Exegesis
Subject: Mechanism & Psychology

In Exegesis [4/40] Rog wrote: that I wrote:
 > "[..]If Saturn
 > and the Moon can be seen conjoined on the horizon, is Saturn really
 > almost 20 degrees further from the Asc (or Dsc) than the Moon, or is
 > there a flaw in the logic that implies that it should be?

to which he replied:
 > I have never been able to find any convincing argument for a
 > mechanical model of astrological "influence". Granted I'm just an
 > average person, not at all an academic one, but every bit of
 > questioning leads to physical nonsense and a much more intriguing
 > psychological model for the existence of astrology. Yes, I mean
 > astrology is truly all in our head, heart, and hands...a very
 > human creation.

Well, Rog, I guess you just wanted to talk about mechanism, and you picked a good target. Although the issue wasn't raised in the post you're quoting from, you're nonetheless correct in assuming I advocate something akin to a mechanism. I doubt, however, that mechanism as I understand it is much like whatever you were reacting to in your earlier [4/4] reference to "the imaginary *mechanism* of the *astrology-makes-me-tick-like-a-clock* astrologers." I think the mechanism _you_ envision has repugnant implications for humans but doesn't exist, yet that doesn't mean a mechanism can't exist that allows both for clocklike predictability _and_ individuality and free will. It's just that it's been difficult to imagine how that could be possible.

Imagine, then, that while no specific event or outcome regularly coincides with, say, the Saturn Return, there nonetheless appears to be a similarity of experience from person to person. I think this is more likely (or at least more convincingly) the case for those astrologers who don't visualize their return as having happened last Wednesday or last week, but as a year or two period. A few astrologers have suggested that what is predictable about the Saturn Return is our agenda. I think they're perceptive but submit that "motivational pattern" is better, as our agenda is to a considerable extent a reflection of our motivational state. It's what we _want_ to do or have happen.

I suggest that different transit cycles correspond to different parts of the psyche, each of which comes to the forefront for a relatively brief period at hard-angle intervals, and then recedes into the background during the much longer periods in between. During these relatively brief periods we're more likely to become dissatisfied or uncomfortable and therefore motivated to change things. During the Mars Return, for instance, if there are latent dissatisfactions with our daily routine, I think this is when they're most likely to bother us enough that we feel that we have to _do_ something. The Mars transit, however, doesn't indicate _what_ we will do, only what area of life we're dissatisfied with. It doesn't and can't contravene free will. In fact, free will is emphasized in this perspective, because the hard-angle transits correspond to the periods when we're most likely to want to make changes, the times we're most likely to use our free will to decide what to do. In between transits we feel less of a need to change (in terms of that part of the psyche) and simply continue along the line laid down during the last hard-angle transit.

If this possibility has been difficult for astrologers to imagine, I think it's at least partly because most of us expect astrology to do so much more than can be accounted for by this scheme. They want to know why the taxi they were riding in crashed, why their favorite uncle died, why the firm they work for went out of business, why the bomb went off when it did, and much, much more that I think has nothing to do with knowledge of any kind of natural order and everything to do with having a bag of magic tricks that gives us the illusion of knowing anything we want to know, whether or not it's knowable. And I think astrology as natural order is susceptible to explanation from the ground up, from material affect to immaterial impulse, but I'll get into that in a response to some of Bill's remarks.



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