|Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #53
Exegesis Digest Tue, 22 Jun 1999
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 01:29:13 -0400
Subject: Re:Repetitio principii (Roger)
Dennis, it was so pleasant to hear mention made of my oldtime favourites,
Aquinas and Augustine. I studied a fair amount of theology in undergradu=
school and even wrote a paper on Augustine's political realism (which see=
quite comical to me now). They're both somewhere in the back of my mind
now, like the vague memory of a print on a favourite shawl I used to own.=
have never identified the Sun in a natal chart with human will; rather, w=
identity as expelled through the ego,or as the ego spills it out, often
gratuitously. Will is perhaps the one element which even the most accura=
chart cannot pinion. Yet it pervades the chart, being its numinosity and
the centrifuge of the native's being, not to say his fate. You made a
similar point when, regarding Augustine's rescension and recanting of his
astrological practice, you wrote:
> >This is a typical piece of that
> >static thinking which regards the horoscope as a story complete in ever= y
> >detail, like a novel whose end is determined before you begin to read,
> >rather than a chart of currents and winds to be used for navigation." I have, by now, heard and read so many different versions of why Augustin= e abandoned Astrology, I don't know what to think. But in Civitas Dei, (Th= e City of God), as I recall, he showed himself to be rather pragmatic--utilitarian, I guess we would call him now. The abuses of astrology in his time must have been endemic and this would have been extremely unsatisfactory to a person of his socio-political savvy. Like y= ou, he might have said,
> >The social acceptability of
> >astrology seems to hinge on the handling of fate and the balance of the
> >subjective/objective perspectives. You declare yourself, also, loath to authoritatively speak of how to "maximise free-will and prevail against fate." Well, in all humility, I believe we should all be reticent in addressing such subjects, lest we be accused of hubris and overwe'ening pride and all kinds of deadly sins. (grin) They are meta-subjective in that they sentinelize the behaviour o= f the Cartesian subject, yet forever manage to elude both the senses and consciousness, construct though it (and they) may be. Speaking of the ideatic (as opposed to the ideological), Bill noted
> >There is a lot of resistance to any idea that mankind is not absolutely= free
> >from any sort of compulsion whatsover. That level of freedom from
> >compulsion, from within or without, is what constitutes absolute freewi= ll. Only serial killers, especially those who cannibalise, exhibit *absolute* free will. Also, perhaps, Mother Teresa ("the hysterical saint plays her pleasure against the social order...but in the name of God"). Okay, hold = the tomatoes, everyone! That we label or choose to define their clinically absolute disregard for taboos as compulsions is more revealing of our shuddering panic that there may be no God, gods, fate, Providence, karma, Pan-Soul, originary Consciousness, etc., but rather, just us, a roughly organized collection of survivalist, carbon-based beings, standing about = in the dark, straining to hold out our hands to each other (this last is a paraphrase from a poet, I think). Their "compulsion" manifests, after all= , as the unbridled exercise of their will upon the "fate injected into thei= r lives", as Dennis would say. Scenarioizing a metaphysical vacuum opens up= an interlap between, on the one hand, the symbolist view that Hilter, for example, was merely the living embodiment of the reigning German (or even European or even global) zeitgeist and, on the other, Hannah Arendt's disturbing thesis that evil is banal, after all, and further that its ordinariness lives in us all and its exteriorization, as through Hitler, = may be deadly indeed, but is not at all unusual. The woman was forever after ostracized for her repugnant opinion by h= er indignant coleagues at the University of Chicago. Much like that poor bo= y and the naked Emperor, also like but perhaps more palatably expressed in Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" when he wrote so simply, "the horror! the horror!". Okay, I've run out of hands now, what with on the one hand and the other.... However, Bill did mention Noam Chomsky while he was so enthusiastical= ly placing my training in semiotics on a pedestal (a pedestal, like a prison= , is a very small space). Chomsky, one of the fathers of modern linguistic= s, is relevant to semiosis only insofar as The Dialogic Imagination provided= an argument for seeking the Cartesian subject (and semiotics would intervene= , saying *any* subject) exclusively within discourse, such that language interpellates the subject and fixes, immobilizes him (not her, by the way= ) in that interlocutory space. And I am sure that this was as far away fro= m Chomsky's catholic linguistic intentions as New Zealand is from Canada...however that's what semiotics gleaned from his wonderful work. (= And I don't speak for all semioticians here.) Andr=E9 could explain this bett= er, I believe, since he's in the thick of it...which reminds me. Andr=E9 and I= have two children (conceived off-list): Dee (christened "Discourse") who rema= ins ever aloof from his sister, Semiona. She always talks out of turn, complains Dee, and worse, she never sticks to the subject. For her part, Semiona always replies "It is useless to trap me into giving an exact definition of what I mean,= to make me repeat myself so the meaning will be clear. I am already elsewher= e than in this discursive machinery where you claim to overtake me. I will not be forcibly reduced, extrapolated back into the infinity of a capital letter...Philosophy, Theology, Gender...." (L. Irigaray, partly my translation). Weird girl, huh? Well, you had to be there. The OED, described semiotics as "the production of meaning" which is the closest approach a *dictionary* will ever make to expressing the meaning = of semiotics. (After all, dictionaries are about diction, not meaning, although at the rate I'm going, it may be altogether better than what I s= ay, anyway.) But Candy and Bill want to know what it is, and so you have to = let me try to explain it before I can go on to analogize it to my other passi= on, Astrology. So, you know, give me some time here (it took three years to write the thesis). Firstly, semiotics is not programmatic, not analytica= l, can be applied to everything from the name of a tree to each frame of a movie, avoids closure of any kind but especially rational(ist) closure, a= nd essentially is a forensic operation which curettes how the seme, sign, symbol come to be in language. Kristeva says, "it is the advent of non-se= nse (the non-rational) which multiplies sense (the rational) [Oscillation du pouvoir au refus, Kristeva] It pares the apple, merely removing the skin= to see what's underneath, but leaves the apple intact, still identifiable, n= ot reduced nor relegated to a category like "fruit". If you wish to see semiotics in action, review Roger's bike ride; that's a perfect example. Now, Bill, I am sure you have absolutely no questions for me, that I have been extremely clear, regardless of the fact that it's been 13 years sinc= e I last played with this, had to dig up my thesis to write even this much...= but hey, that's okay, I brought up the silly subject now, didn't I? I'm just= a gumshoe voyageur existentialling along with the rest of you... (Say Good Night, Cynthia...Good Night, All!) Cynthia --"Silence is the voice of God." (Herman Melville)
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 22:13:41 -0700
From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #51
> >Hi Folks,
> >Just a quick note or two in response to a few recent issues concerning "acceptable" [snip important contents we should note well]
> >me a note and I'll see if it is possible to find a solution to that problem.
Thanks for the information, Fran. We are well advised. Wow, had to throw someone off the list.... that must have been no fun at all. 8-( >
And then Dennis said:
> >Culture provides considerable dimension to the fate/freewill dichotomy. For
> >some people it is conceived as an either/or polarity, which the more learned
> >may rationalise in terms of various philosophical traditions. Free-will has
> >traditionally been exalted in the West, due originally to Christian theology
> >and more lately to the scientific myth of progress. Fate looms larger in
> >the East, and I gather in India it remains all-powerful.
I think I would argue that the reverse is more probably true. For a millennia, in Europe, the Roman church *was* Christianity, and it depended for its very survival on a dominant position over all things. The fate it offered was very much a matter of alternative: one either did what the church said to do in order to gain the "favor of God", or one was destined to take up residence in the nether realms. No other choice.
Fate, for the European, was whatever "God's Grace" had in store, a "grace" often made much more beneficent with the application of gelt to the church. If there is any drive for the achievement of free will in the west, it is almost certainly in response to this almost obsessive repression.
On the other hand, we don't really understand "fate" the same way as it is understood in the East. Most everywhere, the hand of fate is observed to pour out one's situation over one's head, but within some well understood boundaries, the opportunity to act on one's own behalf was/is traditional.
So I would argue that the west has operated under the assumption of fate and the east under a fairly well understood amount of free will.
> >It is interesting that humans have a typical predisposition to handle
> >polarities by acceptance or rejection, a binary switch. Often one
> >alternative is defined as right, and the other as wrong. Good and evil.
That's what happens when things cannot be discussed. As fate has been traditionally a matter of the purview of the church, lay discussion was essentially meaningless because the church did what it wanted to regardless. Now, as there is no commonly understood philosophical basis for discussing the subject, all one can do is plunk for one or the other. To refuse to do so has untoward consequences in itself, and so whatever plunk one makes depends to a large extent where one is doing so. In modern society, the plunk for free will is most common, although there are areas where it's still adviseable to acknowledge the "Will of God" as human fate.
[snip a lot of cites]
> >Informed and authoritative opinion clearly seems agreed that people can
> >prevail over fate by means of their will. Presumably this agreement can be
> >documented as continuing through subsequent centuries, and introduced to
> >this century by (primarily) the textbooks of Alan Leo. How then do we
> >account for the equally venerable tradition of fatalistic astrology?
The illusion of "free will" keeps the masses down on the farm. And it keeps them from getting upset about something they'd rather not have to think about. As long as everyone agrees to the fiction of "free will" we are content that the fiction mask the reality, even though we know it does. A parochial example might be: "Huh!! *I* could do that, if I wanted to... just don't want to, that's all." An expression of... what? The statement of potential? The right to choose? The ability to act?
The first and second choices are probably the most common answers, but I claim the proof is in the pudding: the demonstration of free will is the taking thereof in the form of action. Regardless of any philosopher's mutterings, if those ideas have not been accepted in the marketplace to the extent they are still offered for sale, they lack merit. I suggest that the demonstration of the merit of my definition may well be the virtually total absence of a similar statement, or any agreement thereof. What is it that is feared here?
In the United States, there is another dimension to the matter of free will, and that is political in nature. We regard ourselves as having the "right" to do whatever we want to do, legality being a separate issue. For most people here, this "right" is roughly equivalent to the notion of free will. Self-determination is another popular name for this, and of course fate is seen as the politicization of some large (XIIth House type) institution from which it is not possible to wrest control; shadows of the Roman church can be seen here. I suspect that this is probably true in one way or another in most western cultures, their all having been founded by some aspect of, or the descendents thereof, the Roman church.
I would suspect that "fatalistic astrology" is probably a much older tradition. The idea that an individual had the wherewithall to challenge the fates is relatively recent, I think. It could probably be said that only the Gods themselves actually could have had free will, and some of them didn't do well with what they had, even so. Again, I would define "free will" as a state of freedom from compulsion either from without or within.
I would suggest that the question of fate versus free will cannot be answered by, through or within astrology, so I think it's probably more effective to discuss it in its own terms, and then see what we have when we bring the results back to astrology.
> >It is certainly significant that at the tail-end of the 20th century
> >sceptics still frequently recycle St Augustine's critique, often being
> >unaware of the source. It appears that the presumption is that destiny is
> >written individually in the horoscope. Same chart, same fate. Gleadow's
> >criticism of this view is most appropriate, and in 1968 must have seemed
> >unusually enlightened, for most astrologers then, as now, do not present
> >horoscopes as maps for guidance.
The horoscope is the map, and the native is the territory. The territory persists regardless of the map. The astrologer is well advised to recognise this and comport one's self with the deference due the host when entering the territory by invitation. The astrologer is there to point out meaningful patterns and landmarks not perhaps as readily visible from with the territory itself. I can, however, only speak for myself here.
> >A map of the psyche may be interpreted differently, and that's where
> >artistry permits subjectivity and allows opinions to differ, but if
> >astrologers don't follow Rudhyar's prescription and actually see it as that,
> >then the terrain they are reading may as well be from a different planet. I
> >mean to say an objective basis for the map must be understood before meaning
> >grounded in the common reality can be accessed. The social acceptability of
> >astrology seems to hinge on the handling of fate and the balance of the
> >subjective/objective perspectives. Too many astrologers seem to regard the
> >horoscope as totally divorced from real life, seemingly the modern
> >equivalent of the magic pentagram, through which they feel confident they
> >can escape to an imaginary world that they believe to be real, because a
> >sufficient number of others are doing precisely the same thing. Every sheep
> >knows there is safety in numbers.
It seemed to me a fundamental truth that the owner of the chart is the reality that is described, and so the "reading" should emanate from the client, as guided by the astrologer. In my time of having been subscribed to astrology cyberlists, I have discovered what, to me, are some very bizarre notions about what the astrologer does, or should do, with the client, and often times I mind myself boggled at what I discover. I've made a spectacle of myself over the idea that astrologers do stuff just because they find they can, and I suppose that I should also do so about astrologers for whom the practice is a means of self-aggrandizement, whether at the expense of the client or no.
These issues, fate versus free will, are not for the astrologer to pronounce to the client. It is for the client to decide, and to the extent it is appropriate, the astrologer can inform without bias, if possible.
> >There are famous cases of time twins that appear to emphatically invalidate
> >the sceptical position. Some are historical, others contemporary. However
> >sceptics have also presented cases of identical twins with quite different
> >fates. There is clearly subject matter here worthy of a more comprehensive
> >and in-depth assessment than has yet happened. I have read a number of
> >books on synchronicity (to obtain a trans-Jungian perspective) and a number
> >of others on coincidences that address the twin issue with case studies, and
> >there may well be more that I have not encountered. I suspect that fate is
> >indeed (unrealistically) under-rated in our culture. But I still believe
> >free-will is so realistically a ready option for people that it can only
> >be discounted in those societies that restrict it.
The Sceptic is the 'advocate scholar', and thus irrelevant on the basis of fatally flawed methodology (here fate means death).
The evidence I've run across supports the notion that twins can and indeed often do have quite different experiences, especially those separated at birth. What is uncanny is how similarly they deal with these differences, and often trivial correspondences will be observed.
I maintain the position that the fundamental definitions of fate and free will are still not well understood, and that little progress will be made until some advance has been made in those regards.
> >This raises the question of how, in the individual case, can someone
> >maximise their free-will and prevail against fate? I have some answers to
> >this, but they are not authoritative because I feel there are probably no
> >generic answers that can actually be relied on.
> >I agree with what appears to be that most unlikely of phenomena, a unanimous
> >opinion amongst astrologers, that will correlates with the Sun in the
> >horoscope. That is to say, using the horoscope as a map of the psyche, the
> >solar archetype represents the psychological drive of will. Traditionally
> >this is called will-power. Following Rudhyar, I agree that this acts in the
> >psyche like the ring-master in the circus and the conductor in the
> >orchestra. It co-ordinates and integrates the other drives in the psyche.
> >The consequences of a person becoming an optimal whole are such things as
> >health, fitness, self-improvement and well-being. Things happen more
> >appropriately for them once they learn how to be themselves and actualise
> >their birth-potential; they get in tune and flow naturally with life's
> >changes. Character and destiny are facilitated when the will becomes more
> >empowered, but the power emerges naturally from within.
I recall that Rudhyar once said the Sun expressed the purpose of a life, a reason for a life experience.. this was at one of those evenings at the Winslow's (I think that was the name) in Berkeley. This made a lot of sense to us guys sitting around listening, and certainly corresponded to the notion that the Signs can then be seen as the Grand Curriculum (of Great Lessons). Instead of this being the expression of an individual's will, it is the deliberate and voluntary submission of the individual's will to the (your choice of terms for the macrocosm), in this case probably being the expression of the Greater Will through the medium of one or another GLs as the Lesser Will accepts this purpose.
An interesting sidebar on the matter of the Sun being the ringmaster: Traditionally, the Sun is said to represent or reside in the heart. There is an outfit in California, not far from where I once lived, that puts forth the notion that it is the nature of the heartrate's variability that provides a unique insight here. It appears that the heart's controller actually puts out measurable amount of energy in the form of a toroid EM field. This, if the heartrate's variation is something on the order of a sinewave (i.e., speeds up and slows down in a steady and smooth fashion) it will "entrain" the autonomic nervous system, which controls the body's operational state. There are said to have been discovered linkages between the heart controller and the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous systems. The outfits name is HeartMath and has a website at http://www.heartmath.com.
> >However when considering how people internally polarise their will against
> >fate, I only partly agree with Rudhyar and the humanistic view. Saturn
> >indeed defines the inner limits, just as it does the outer ones, and we need
> >look no further than Liz Greene's excellent work on this to inform ourselves
> >of the typical dimensions of Saturn in the psyche. How much, and how people
> >limit their prospects and development can indeed be read from the
> >configuration of natal Saturn. But there is more to fate than Saturn, even
> >when we accept the validity of such traditional titles as Lord of Karma.
> >Fate comes to us from the collective. The circumstances are precipitated by
> >the holistic effect of the total environment (the macrocosm) on us (the
Is it perhaps reasonable to focus on the *nature* of the problem/challenge as represented by Saturn? There seems to be a lot of use of quantification here, and I think that's less meaningful than that of qualification. In the same theme as I postulated for the Sun, we might find: what is the nature of the puzzles to be solved, barriers to be broken, challenges to be met (or whatever is appropriate for the client)? Find Saturn in a Sign, find Lesson here to be met, find the House, find where to look for that lesson taking place. That way, there's some reasonable meaning to all this, some handle which the client can use to grasp all this otherwise meaningless struggle with life.
So, in general, here is another fundamental problem: How do we keep this whole business from becoming grounded in some other context? We've asked this before, but here is another example. I'm speaking about very practical considerations: what do these issues do that is of use for the client? Are these issues relevant in the specific examples given? We here witness an assumption, driven by a commonly held notion, that the Planet Saturn most clearly delineates the matter of fate. Is this true? How are a persons boundries and limits a particular matter of fatedness? Could it be said that an exceptional ability or facility, not subject to expression by Saturn, might also be an aspect of fate?
Are we well served by addressing the issue of fate versus free will within the immediate context of the astrological tradition? I have already said we are not, and here is an example that can be inspected in that regard.
> >This is another consequence of the Janus principle: the holistic relation
> >between the part (you/me) and the whole (cosmos) has complementary
> >Janus-faces. The face we project out to the world is our free-will, the
> >face the world injects into our lives is fate. These two faces in the
> >horoscope correlate with the upper and lower meridian. Fate, in the
> >dimension of the vertical axis, comes via the MC from our connection to the
> >cosmic holarchy and the power relations of human society. Free-will is
> >generated from within via the IC, when we access our deepest connection to
> >the home planet Gaia; the composite of birth-potentials provided us by the
> >archetypes of nature.
There is some reasonable sense here, but as soon as we start importing stuff like Gaia and the Janus principle, we start mixing our metaphors into a stew that may or may not be palatable. That there are some indeterminate number of important duals out there (in there) is a given; what is not clear to me is how useful it is to select one from column A and two from column B and none from column C and so forth, and then expect them to make sense together.
In the current astrological model, there are more than a double handful of primary duals, all expressed within the traditional lore. Perhaps it would be more meaningful to use them to work through these evolving discussions, but probably not. The reason I say so is because inevitably they will wind up contaminating the tradition itself, and that is one thing we do *not* want to do... it's already been done enough as it is.
Perhaps the most meaningful thing that we've established so far is that the fate/free will dual is much less well understood than we thought.
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 06:11:47 +1200
From: Janice & Dennis
Subject: definition of terms
I'm surprised to find it necessary to define archetype, paradigm, and synchronicity, since these had achieved sufficient common currency in a multi-disciplinary context by the late '80s to have become familiar concepts to alternative thinkers. One would have thought that, a decade later, mainstreaming would have firmed this familiarity up considerably.
However I guess two trends have countered this. Residual specialisation perhaps is the explanation relevant to this list, and the dumbing-down of people generally by the media has become even more extensive than it was in the '80s. Underlying both is the widespread desperation deriving from the capitalist economic structure: the norm of everyone being a slave to the system has returned. `Work/eat/sleep' is once again the lowest common denominator of culture, television remains the opiate of the masses, and few of those who prefer real life have much time to improve their minds.
Below I will endeavour to provide best-fit descriptions of four terms that apparently need clarification. I gather only Bill has a problem with synchronicity, possibly because of the too-restrictive meaning originally given it by Jung. Holomovement, being an obscure technical term on the other hand, does indeed merit elucidation by way of a definition.
Definition of terms is a traditional left-brain approach to communication, and if you want precision of common understanding it seems indispensable. Likewise, the use of the dictionary as arbiter between competing subjective understandings of word meanings. However, language evolves along with culture, so a more sophisticated approach to knowledge includes the right-brain approach, in complementarity. We have recently agreed on the dangers of symbolism, but that's just one side of the coin. The complementary view recognises the relatively universal use of symbols to communicate...
"...a word or an image is symbolic when it implies something more than its obvious and immediate meaning. ...Because there are innumerable things beyond the range of human understanding, we constantly use symbolic terms to represent concepts that we cannot define or fully comprehend. This is one reason why all religions employ symbolic language or images." This quote by Carl Jung was copied from website http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/academic/cult_sci/anthro/lost_tribes/Shaman.html
Synchronicity is usually described as a meaningful coincidence. Relative to whom? This seems to presume that anyone discussing it will agree that it has meaning, regardless of differing interpretations; meaning is usually subjective. "A Dictionary of Symbols" (Tom Chetwynd, 1982) provides this definition... "Synchronicity: Meaningful coincidence, significantly related patterns of chance."
In his book "Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Matter and Mind", the physicist F David Peat gives various descriptions of relevant context... "Synchronicities give us a glimpse beyond our conventional notions of time and causality into the immense patterns of nature, the underlying dance which connects all things and the mirror which is suspended between inner and outer universes." [This quote nicely extends my theme of `as above, so below' (Exegesis 4/47) into the multi-disciplinary arena. The "underlying dance which connects all things" comes from the number 1 archetype, the law of the whole, operating universe-wide, co-ordinating all parts of the universe synchronously. The "mirror which is suspended between inner and outer universes" comes from the number two archetype, the heaven/earth pattern reflection duality between mind and matter.]
"The key to Jung's cosmology was the pleroma, an ancient term that has its origin in Gnostic creation myths and signifies a ground or `godhead' out of which all reality is born.. [Peat] Nothingness is the same as fullness. In infinity full is no better than empty.. A thing that is infinite and eternal hath no qualities, since it hath all qualities. The nothingness of fullness we name the Pleroma. [Jung]" What is being described here is the realm of potential, which the late leading theoretical physicist David Bohm calls an "implicate order", contrasting with that explicate order, the physical universe.
[Peat] "Like the vacuum state of physics, the pleroma is at once both empty and perfectly full, and as in Bohm's implicate order, a universe is enfolded within each of its points, for "Even in its smallest point is the Pleroma endless." [Jung] Out of this formless, infinite ground emerges the creatura, a world of order and distinctions. Creatura is the world of created things for: "What is changeable, however, is Creatura. Distinctiveness is Creatura. It is distinct. Distinctiveness is its essence, therefore it distinguisheth." [Jung] Hence, in Jung's theory of the universe of mind and matter, all reality lies in the creatura, which has its ground in the fullness of the pleroma. Similarly, in the ancient myths of the Middle East, the animating power of the world arises within the movement of dualities."
The realm of potential is eternity, but in space/time we have distinct wholes emerging and submerging in a flux of constant change... [Peat] "the dualities cannot be constant but, like polarities, must come together in a magical marriage in which all distinctions are resolved. "The pairs of opposites are qualities in the Pleroma which are not, because each balanceth each." [Jung] So, in unity, the dualities fall back into the nothingness and dissolution of the pleroma. Then in a creative act of distinction they are born into the creatura again. In a similar fashion, the vision of ancient Egypt has all creation arising out of the constant congress of dualities which move apart into pure potential and come together into formless energy and stillness. It is within this basic movement that the archetypes must arise. Their ultimate domain, in this case, has been called by Jung the psychoid, which is both matter and mind and yet neither. To complete such an analogy, the archetypes, which are the formative elements out of which the mind's structure is formed, can in some sense be compared with the fundamental symmetries of physics and, finally, with the movement of dualities in the creatura. The analogy between archetype and fundamental symmetry is, of course, a loose one and must not be taken too far, but it does suggest that the origin of structures and patterns does not lie in mind or matter as such, but arises in some more subtle level. Synchronicities, which have been called the activation of the archetypes, therefore no longer imply just an occasional form of coincidence but the essential meaningful relationship between the mental and material aspects of the universe." (Peat p196/7/8)
It is interesting when a word has a variable meaning, even in the dictionary. According to Chambers' 20th Century, an archetype is "the original pattern or model, prototype". But its Greek root, arche, is variously defined as beginning, rule, government. Most frequently the former, but one intuits that it means an authoritatively influential progenitor.
At its best a dictionary enshrines conventional wisdom in norms of meaning, at its worst it is a cemetery of dead words. Those wishing to be informed about the material relevant to the paradigm shift ought to consider descriptions of contemporary non-Jungian usage. "An archetype is a pattern-forming principle which is continually reproduced in nature. Each has a constant essential nature which manifests frequently in life, becoming a key factor in the collective development of humanity." [A group of astrologers agreed to that one as part of a glossary prologue to a set of fundamental principles and hypotheses of astrology in the late '80s.]
Rupert Sheldrake discusses archetypes in various parts of his excellent 1988 book "The Presence of the Past", but I couldn't find anywhere that he attempted a definition. He refers to the use of the term by Plato (an ideal form, not real) and the use by pre-Darwinian biologists (nature, generic form) as well as Jung's usage (nature, collective unconscious). The following material is copied from my own book.
"An archetype is a formative principle inherent in nature, that has a qualitative influence on real life. Commonly recognizable despite manifesting in a variety of forms, archetypes of nature tend to be perceived as relatively universal patterns. The paradigm is a social archetype. Paradigms exist in human society as collective belief systems that tend to be relatively universal in their influence and shape the development of an entire culture or civilisation.
Dictionaries variously define paradigm as exemplary, example, pattern, model, mold, standard, ideal, paragon, touchstone. The word derives from the Greek paradeigma, meaning 'pattern'. Thinkers and philosophers in modern society have given it a whole new meaning, following philosopher and historian of science Professor Thomas Kuhn's landmark "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" 1965. Nowadays the phrase 'paradigm shift' is widely used to describe a time of changing collective belief-systems. Paradigm in its new sense has come to mean that set of beliefs and assumptions about the nature of reality that are sufficiently widely held to be effectively universal.
When a society adopts such a set of beliefs, the set becomes a collective world-view which guides the development of that society. Social norms and collective values are derived from it. Laws are drawn up according to the rules of conduct that conform to it. The education system of the society indoctrinates the young with these commonly-held beliefs and descriptions of reality. When different societies' paradigms conflict, ideological warfare results.
Paradigms motivate human behaviour in both individual and collective contexts. But unlike archetypes they exist not in nature, not even human nature, but in the minds of individuals. Paradigms derive their power and significance from their consensus in the collective, thus are social forms and evidence of 'like-mindedness'. They are also characterized by their tremendous staying power; their life-times are measured in multiple generations.
A paradigm is then the collective belief-system/world-view held in common by the vast majority of an entire civilisation; the universal framework according to which the people interpret reality. This basic frame of reference acts as a conditioner of social and personal development, and this conditioning produces the values, attitudes and perceptions that constitute the social norms and are taken for granted by members of that society as being the accepted description of reality. Members of societies ruled by different paradigms tend to have great difficulty agreeing about the nature of reality.
The ruling paradigm plays a formative role in human social interaction, and social structures and processes tend to be based on the assumptions contained in it. This prevailing belief-system provides the frame of reference against which most people interpret experience. The interpretation that people give to their experiences - what the experiences MEAN to them - is based on BOTH their SUBJECTIVE evaluation, and the relatively OBJECTIVE categories defined and descriptions provided by the ruling paradigm."
Kuhn himself used `paradigm' in somewhat different ways, dependent on the community of scientists he was commenting on. The main difference hinges on scale: one could invoke a general principle, that any community tends to generate and then maintain its own distinctive paradigm. Traditionally, and in ancient times, tribes and cultures are/were distinguished by their cosmologies. Likewise religions always bind people into conformity to the group description of the world (Latin root religare, to bind). Nowadays, in acadaemia, schools of thought are distinguished by their particular belief-system.
I gather there is an email convention of italicising by using asterisks: *italics*. I'll employ this below to reproduce those in the original.
The term holomovement was introduced by David Bohm, a student of Einstein's, in his 1980 book "Wholeness and the Implicate Order". Bohm was a research scientist and eventually a professor of theoretical physics. He first defines implicate order as that which results from the fact that "a *total order* is contained, in some *implicit* sense, in each region of space and time.. in some sense each region contains a total structure `enfolded' within it." Obviously Rudhyar's advocacy of the horoscope as map of an event laden with innate potential is obtaining a theoretical basis here. A set of archetypal potentials is enfolded in each moment that emerges on the earth's surface, and we use the diagram of the event to interpret the details of these potentials.
Bohm provides "further examples of enfolded or *implicate* order. Thus, in a television broadcast, the visual image is translated into a time order, which is `carried` by the radio wave. Points that are near to each other in the visual image are not necessarily `near' in the order of the radio signal. Thus, the radio wave carries the visual image in an implicate order. The function of the receiver is then to *explicate* this order, i.e. to `unfold' it in the form of a new visual image."
"Generally speaking, the laws of physics have thus far referred mainly to the explicate order. Indeed, it may be said that the principle function of Cartesian coordinates is just to give a clear and precise description of the explicate order. Now, we are proposing that in the formulation of the laws of physics, primary relevance is to be given to the implicate order... let us consider once again the key feature of the functioning of the hologram, i.e. in each region of space, the order of a whole illuminated structure is `enfolded' and `carried' in the movement of light. Something similar happens with a signal that modulates a radio wave. In all cases, the content or meaning that is `enfolded' and `carried' is primarily an order and a measure, permitting the development of a structure. With the radio wave, this structure can be that of a verbal communication, a visual image, etc., but with the hologram far more subtle structures can be involved in this way (notably three-dimensional structures, visible from many points of view). More generally, such order and measure can be `enfolded' and `carried' not only in electromagnetic waves but also in other ways (by electron beams, sound, and in countless other forms of movement). To generalize so as to emphasize undivided wholeness, we shall say that what `carries' an implicate order is *the holomovement*, which is an unbroken and undivided totality. In certain cases, we can abstract particular aspects of the holomovement (e.g. light, electrons, sound, etc.) but more generally, all forms of the holomovement merge and are inseparable. Thus, in its totality, the holomovement is not limited in any specifiable way at all. It is not required to conform to any particular order, or to be bounded by any particular measure. Thus, *the holomovement is undefinable and immeasurable*." (Bohm p150/1)
Well, there it is straight from the horse's mouth, but if you want a quick easy handle on what was originally intended as a technical concept in physics, think of the holomovement as the universal flux of becoming. I think not long ago in this list I advised Bill to equate it with the Tao. I certainly do myself, and I would be surprised if anyone were ever to produce good reason not to. It seems to be the universe considered as process rather than as structure. I also am aware that `evolution' is commonly used in a general sense that likewise equates to the universal process of development.
In "Science, Order, and Creativity" (1987), co-written by both Bohm and Peat, a slightly different description is given. The authors postulate a common implicate order, which goes deeper and deeper without limit and is ultimately unknown. This unknown and undescribable totality will be called the *holomovement*. It acts as the fundamental ground of all matter." So "each object or entity emerges as a relatively stable and constant form out of the holomovement and into the explicate order. This form is sustained by the holomovement, into which it eventually dissolves. Therefore it must be understood primarily through this holomovement. It is clear that the implicate order ultimately prevails, although it is always in an essential relationship with the explicate order." (Bohm/Peat p180)
The relevance to the astrologer of these four terms that I have assayed definition of is as follows. The horoscope is a diagram of a synchronicity. Its meaning is ascertained by reference to archetypes, preferably (for accuracy) those deriving from nature. The holomovement is a concept that explains the source and process of manifestation of the archetypes of nature. A paradigm provides a relatively objective consensual frame of reference, that enables meanings to become communal, and the current transition phase of the ruling paradigm in our society provides us with a window of opportunity in which to reformulate astrology, with a more readily comprehensible and credible contemporary description.
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 14:41:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dale Huckeby
Subject: Correspondences vs Symbolism
When you're on a tear (relatively speaking) no sense in slowing down. I argued in my response to Dennis that symbolism doesn't work. Being defensive about being so out of step with what "everybody knows", I was more contentious than I realized. Sorry, Dennis. I might end up apologizing to you, too, Bill, because I intend to carry my seemingly nihilistic project a step further by citing and commenting on some intriguing remarks you made [4/19] in early March in addition to your comments addressed to me in [4/45].
In the earlier post you commented that "there is, so we are told, *always* one or more configurations in power", and you mentioned also "the common experience of astrologers of having given a very sound 'reading', that is, demonstrably applicable, from a horoscope that is wrongly erected, or erected for a time/place other than of given interest..." Some might disagree with these observations but I won't, because I've long held them to be true. (Candy has said something similar a couple of times, too.)
But in making these observations you raise a problem, how do we know which of the many right answers astrology offers is really the right one, that isn't in my opinion successfully resolved by asserting that some astrologers, due to their supposed innate sensitivity to the astrological mechanism, have "a knack for choosing the valid or meaningful thread(s) to follow". Your assumption that some astrologers have this knack follows from your assumption that successful prediction has occurred and needs to be explained. I think a better explanation of apparent predictive success is hindsight, which as Mark Melton's sig pointed out during his brief stay, is an exact science.
It's striking how little genuine prediction astrologers actually do. We mostly deal with known events. When considering an event we appear to assume that if a significant configuration was in effect at that time, and if the symbolism fits the event, that's "the" time period and event astrology indicates and would have predicted if we'd applied it before the fact. So we tend to see it as a prediction, sort of, because we see it as what _astrology_ predicted, whether or not the individual astrologer saw it or got it right.
When we do make an actual prediction it often takes the form of, The president will be in the news this month. Since the president is in the news every month the only meaningful part of such a prediction, the personal, national or global crisis he has to deal with _this_ month, is unfortunately the part we don't know until after the prediction has "come true", at which time those "details" become in the astrologer's mind something akin to "what I meant".
Predictions in other contexts are similar in that the prediction is capable of being "confirmed" by a wide variety of possible events. Usually it's vague and open-ended, but even specific but apparently wrong predictions can be salavaged. The predicted death didn't occur? Of course it did. It was the "death" of a dream, a way of life, a relationship, etc. Thus, death is invoked _metaphorically_ in a way that obscures the fact that we really had no idea what was going to happen.
Finally, consider the astrologer/client interaction: "She told me things about me that _nobody_ knows!" But the _client_ knows, and neither realizes how much the astrologer picks up from body language, by reading between the lines, and more or less directly via client "feedback". The astrologer throws out vague generalities that sound specific and the client, knowing his or her own past and self and seeing it in those generalities, excitedly confirms, offering details that the astrologer then comments on more fully, in a back and forth process in which neither realizes how much is coming from the client rather than the astrologer.
These are of course caricatures of actual practices, which are often more sophisticated and subtle than such a crude account might suggest, but I think astrologers overwhelmingly follow the pattern they illustrate, in which the astrologer unwittingly covers all bases in advance without being aware of that fact or its implications. The implications are that we can make anything fit and that astrology (in its present form) essentially predicts all things at all times and therefore nothing at all. From my perspective symbolism is merely the most important of a set of practices - a multiplicity of factors and techniques and an ideology that invites us to "use what works for you" are others - that are collectively the _means_ by which we can make anything fit. Which brings me to your more recent post, in which you quote part of my post to Dennis:
> >>All this is relevant to William's quest for a mechamism because
> >>symbolism enables us to "verify" things that aren't true, thus
> >>creating a spurious range of applications that astrologers assume
> >>a metatheory of astrology must account for. The bottom line is,
> >>if we can't demonstrate the existence of _regular_ correspondences
> >>between celestial and terrestrial factors we have no basis for
> >>prediction, and thus no way to differentiate sense from nonsense.
to which you reply:
> >In principle, it seems evident that if one cannot demonstrate the
> >basis for the validity of a practice, one ought not use that principle.
My point is that if we can't show that B _regularly_ coincides with A we can't argue that it _predictably_ coincides and, more to the point, we have nothing _to_ predict.
> >I agree about the dangers of the use of symbolism. Symbols as a study
> >is a profoundly important discipline, but the use of the symbol set
> >outside the closely defined parameters of its validity is meaningless.
> >This is not to say that much may be discovered by tentative applications
> >outside those parameters, but I mean tentative, not determinative.
I think many astrologers besides Dennis would deny that his usage was "outside the closely defined parameters of its validity", but at any rate my point was not that Dennis or any other astrologer is misusing symbolism but rather that symbolism itself, in anybody's hands including yours, is the problem you allude to above. It's the main reason we can make anything fit. And if we can make anything fit chances are we're trying to explain facts that don't exist:
> >>Trying to explain facts that don't exist means looking for a
> >>mechanism that doesn't exist. Not only is it a futile endeavor,
> >>it obscures the possible existence of a real mechanism capable
> >>of explaining facts that actually do exist. (If you want to
> >>know what kinds of facts I think _do_ exist, see my response
> >>to Rog.
> >By 'facts', do you mean the assertion of undemonstrated
> >correspondences? I would caution that a failure to demonstrate is
> >meaningless; it only speaks to the protocols and methdology. What
> >is needed is a positive demonstration of an exclusive finding,
> >and that can serve, if properly used, as the basis for determining
> >falsification. One cannot prove a negative.
Yes, I mean the assertion of undemonstrated correspondences, but how is a failure to demonstrate meaningless? If you can't show what _regularly_ coincides with A, what is there to predict? Shouldn't we determine what is predictable before we predict it? How, in the absence of demonstrated correspondences, would you do it?
Indeed, one cannot prove a negative, and if we take that as a criterion of validity, that something can be considered true unless disproved, it basically licenses us to believe anything we want to, regardless of evidence (since absolute disproof is impossible).
I know what falsification is, but it's not clear to me what would count as a "positive demonstration of an exclusive finding" that would serve as the basis for "determining fasification". It's not a finding but a prediction derived from the theory that's usually considered the basis for falsification, or testability. If "B coincides with A" is derivable from the theory, then we test that by seeing if they coincide _predictably_, and one instance of B and A isn't enough to tell.
In my response to Rog I tried to show what kinds of facts I do think exist:
> >>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 . . . 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 state" 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
to which you replied:
> >. . . I don't know, and have actually never met, any astrologers
> >who would put a precise time on the Saturn Return!!! The very
> >thought of that is laughable, sorry...Are there really astrologers
> >out there who would do something like that?
I see your question has already been answered. Hi, Candy.
> >What might be relevant is if a Moon/Mars square went exact when the
> >Moon transited exactly opposite the position of the natal Saturn
> >when the Saturn Return was in effect. At that point, last Wednesday
> >might well be relevant. Depending on accepted orb, the effect would
> >be potent for a matter of hours as a result of the Moon's rate of
> >travel. It could be that, given that other matters in the client's
> >life were at risk, such a configuration might be well worth watching.
Possibly so. I think the transits of shorter cycles time episodes within the longer-duration events timed by longer cycles. (Events and episodes are in this instance shorthand for the motives that lie behind them.) But I wouldn't necessarily privilege the Moon/Saturn and Mars/Saturn transits (if I'm reading you correctly), nor do I put a premium on exactness. A number of Mars-timed episodes might fall within the period of the Return, none of which need coincide with its partile phase. One or more of those episodes might or might not be timed by Mars-Saturn. I'd lean towards Mars/Mars myself, or would probably try to determine from that person's history which Mars cycles have been the most prominent, or which stood out during the Saturn square at 21-22 or the opposition at 14-15. And there might be a Moon-timed episode within one or more of those Mars-timed episodes.
I see this nesting of episodes within events, with each episode in turn being an event containing its own briefer episodes, as being equivalent to the way a battle is an episode in a larger event, the war, while containing briefer episodes, skirmishes, which contain still briefer episodes, the acts of individual soldiers. The briefer events, in turn, manifest the larger events of which they're a part. Individual soldiers fighting is what _manifests_ the skirmish as an event, without skirmishes there is no battle, and without battles (in some sense) there is no war. Likewise an astrologer might, during his Saturn Return or (more likely) during Saturn hard-angle the Asc, begin to see himself playing the role of professional astrologer, and during a Mars/Mars transit make a decision to put an ad in the yellow pages and start taking clients. That Mars-timed decision would make sense against the background of the shift in self-image timed by Saturn, and it would at the same time be a more immediate manifestation of it. As a result the astrologer's new daily routine will involve taking phone calls from clients, setting up consultations, referring clients, etc., all of which will be a concrete embodiment of his new self-image.
> >I would also suggest that the most powerful configuration in this
> >regard would be if it also matched parans, with the Moon/Saturn
> >Opposition on the Meridian.
I'm afraid I don't find parans particularly plausible, although I can't completely dismiss the possibility. Basically, I'm reluctant to proliferate factors and techniques.
> >This is all a matter of degree of "influence" if you will.
> >Motivational pattern is a more than acceptable description of the
> >phenomenon. I would further note that all we can do is describe,
> >we cannot define; we will never be able to define until (unless) we
> >discover the "astrological mechanism" whatever it turns out to be.
Let's talk about mechanism, then. I think we should start with the question, what correspondences _are_ there and how do we know? Rather than taking the symbolistic fit as a _de facto_ indication that a correspondence exists, we should consider that two factors go together only if they regularly and predictably _go together_, that is, coincide again and again. You've suggested [3/54] that "if we accept astrology as the proper study of the relevance of the heavens, we might be well-grounded in an assumption that already-known celestial/terrestrial links are also a matter of astrology," and have also argued [4/3] that life is not "a prerequisite for the manifestation of the astrological phenomenon."
However, those inorganic correspondences that are well-understand are predictable on the basis of material causes rather than symbolism. Consider tides and seasons. When we want to predict the next high tide we don't set up a chart and interpret the symbolism. We simply note that the tide will come in when the Moon is overhead and go out when it passes on. What the Moon _means_ is irrelevant. Likewise for the seasons. We don't have to ask what the Sun means. We need only know that we get more solar radiation in summer than in winter.
With organic correspondences, in contrast, material effects don't determine the specific nature of the regularity. As the Moon passes overhead the tide comes in and the oyster's shell opens, but gravity doesn't physically open the oyster's shell the way it raises the waters. Instead, the oyster _uses_ the Moon's pull as a signal to tell it when to open itself. That's the implication of Frank A. Brown, Jr.'s Evanston, Illinois experiment, in which oysters opened at what would have been high tide if there'd been a seashore there. Life has been able to use the planets as templates for the evolution of functional systems whose timing corresponds to planetary periods but whose content, the recurrent function or behavior, is determined by evolution, not by the planets' symbolic meanings _or_ material effects.
The oyster's program directly causes it to do appropriate things at appropriate times, whereas ours accomplishes more subtle ends with motivations rather than automatic responses. Motivation is the psychological equivalent of force in physics. It's what gets things done. Both motivation and automatic behavior get things done that need to get done for the organism to exist and move through life, but the former allows for a vastly more complex repertoire of behaviors and the necessity of choice. It doesn't determine a specific outcome but requires that the organism create a response to satisfy a felt need, with the need, not the response, being predetermined (although we can of course note which responses are common and/or apparently positive or negative).
If you want to consider inorganic correspondences "astrological", then, so is the material causation that accounts for them. Since you already know about material causation and haven't offered it as the answer to your question, I assume you're looking for something in addition to it, which leaves whatever mechanism(s) we use to explain organic correspondences. If the question is, what causes them to come into being in the first place, the mechanism is biological evolution. If the question is, why do the events or motives comprising a given correspondence pattern keep occurring on schedule, the mechanism is the inherited genetic program and associated neurobiological processes that trigger activities or needs. If the question is, by what means does the organismic clock use a planet to reset itself or otherwise stay "on time", the mechanism is the material interaction between the two, including the biochemical means by which the organism is able to use that interaction for its own "purposes".
I'm not going to quote what I wrote about free will or what you said in response because this piece is too long already and because I think unnecessary difficulties are being made by speaking of it in abstraction rather than in terms of the concrete astrological situations in which it becomes problematic. Let's take marriage as a concrete example. Was it fated? If it was, then our feeling that it was a matter of choice, and that we _could have_ changed our minds, is an illusion. If, on the other hand, that feeling is not an illusion, then our sense of its fatedness is. We don't have to tie ourselves in definitional knots in order to see that there's a problem here. I think our general awareness of it is what has caused so many astrologers to waffle over prediction, via such formulas as "impels, not compels", and my specific awareness of it is part of what pushed me towards the idea of predictable motivational patterns rather than predictable outcomes, which it seems to me resolves the paradox. All of which leads to:
> >>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. . . .
to which you respond:
> >. . . What people expect from their astrologer is fully dependent
> >on what the astrologer advertises is available . . .
> >One can can ask the question: How do people think they can
> >understand these things? Obviously, they want to do so. Do they
> >really think that a fully satisfying explanation is dependably
> >at their friendly local Astrologer . . .
Bill, I wasn't what talking about what clients expect but what _astrologers_ expect from astrology. When I say, "They want to know why the taxi they were riding in crashed," I don't mean they want or expect ultimate answers. I mean that they want to know which astrological configuration explains/predicts/accounts for the crash. My point is that the things I listed and a lot more that I could have have nothing to do with astrology and that trying to conceive of a mechanism to make sense of them is like trying to explain how it is that cows can jump over the Moon. If we limit ourselves to mechanisms that show how _natural_ rhythms whose existence can be demonstrated correspond to planetary periods, material causation and biological evolution are it. Since the former is apparently not what you've been looking for (even though it's by your own definition an "astrological" mechanism), that leaves the evolved systems by which organisms use planets to regulate the internal clocks that time their processes. Hope I've added more light than heat to these discussions.
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 4 Issue 53
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