Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #68

From: Bill Sheeran
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #67

From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #67

From: Janice & Dennis
Subject: boundary issues

Exegesis Digest Mon, 23 Aug 1999

Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 21:12:38 GMT
From: Bill Sheeran
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #67

Interesting post Dennis!
 > >Intuition seems to be the capacity via which mind (and presumably brain)
 > >accesses aspects of our cosmic environment that the 5 senses cannot.
 > >Psychic ability is not necessarily limited to intuition, I suspect, but if
 > >we use the old term 6th sense to include both, that's really what I mean.
 > >People with a natural sense of timing probably use it instinctively. If you
 > >go with the flow you seem to get more receptive to subtle environmental
 > >cues. The cosmos is within as well as without, and the horoscope freezes
 > >the pattern common to both macrocosm and microcosm in the moment of
 > >synchronicity. The symbols we insert into the diagram identify the main
 > >structural components of that pattern that impinge on our perception,
 > >although we also insert some that are non-perceptual, and some readers may
 > >even entertain themselves with the insertion of imaginary factors.
 > >
 > >We thus attempt to decode the moment, to access deeper meanings than those
 > >that our 6th sense conveys. To the extent to which these are consensual,
 > >they have become relatively objective and will therefore carry more social
 > >weight. If these are derived from the archetypes of nature, they will seem
 > >a reservoir that conveys eternal wisdom to anyone capable of tuning in. The
 > >real reservoir is the realm of potential, and the morphogenetic fields,
 > >archetypes and holomovement are just aspects of the transmission process. Presumably this means that astrology is an example of a reception process. I agree with this, but wonder what it implies about the astrological phenomenon. Does it mean that astrology is a massive illusory construct with an air of realism which has resulted from a few millennia of projecting significance onto celestial movements, whereas in fact it is merely a vehicle for attuning to information accessible via the holomovement/morphogenetic field or whatever? And that in this respect it is no different from checking out the patterns of blood spots on the livers of sacrificed sheep?

I wonder about this myself. And my wonderings lead me ever more towards the notion that at its heart astrology is divination, whatever about its outer clothing.

And yet the Saturn Return is the Saturn Return, and it doesn't require an astrologer to bring it into "effect". There do seem to be simple regular temporal patterns which coincide remarkably with qualitative shifts in experience. This would seem to indicate that astrology is not just divination. Maybe that is why it is such a successful divinatory system (in terms of its longevity) - because it resides at an interface between two reference frameworks for attempting to perceive and map order in the scheme of things. That is, for want of a better way of describing it, the left brain and right brain modes.

It's quite understandable that ancient folk would see the celestial movements as the source of order, because the most orderly and reliable aspect of experience are the diurnal, lunar and annual cycles. And these provide a real temporal structure to our lives. It has a very grounding impact, one which allows an understandable complementary projection of qualitative order onto the heavens. Unlike astrology, divination using sheep livers does not benefit from any complementary authority such as that vested in the celestial motions due to their objective function in delineating order in time. I think it is now quite extinct as a practice.

Hypothetically, morphic resonance may have then helped to consolidate astrology as a key form in which the archetypes of order make their presence felt in consciousness. (Could it be that the Saturn Return is actually a consequence of morphic resonance? That its reality has been created out of a habit? Maybe.)

Lots of food for thought in this territory. It brings me back to the point Geoffrey Cornelius keeps making about the primary schism in astrology - that between the astrology of signs (divination) and the astrology of causes (Aristotle/Ptolemy).

The bottom line is that astrology is historically rooted in astral divination, and found its currently recognisable form when it merged with Greek mathematics/astronomy. It may be fruitful to contemplate the ontogeny (history of development) of astrology from the point of view of morphic resonance, and or chaos/complexity theory (with its bifurcations and attractors). Something fundamental happened when the Greeks got their hands on astrology. Astrology certainly hasn't been the same since. A bifurcation occured which tended to favour the astrology of causes. As far as I am aware, Ptolemy doesn't mention horary (though I must say I'm not sure when that branch of astrology evolved).

As humanity's understanding of order deepened another bifurcation happened in the 17th century. Astrology was supplanted by celestial mechanics, which is almost a logical extension of the premises underlying the astrology of causes. Except "astrological influences" were replaced with the equally occult force of gravity and an emphasis on the workings of matter.

What is striking is the way astrology/astronomy and mathematics co-evolved so intimately. Mathematics, being to do with number, is according to Jung, the consequence of the emergence of the most basic archetype of order (Number) into consciousness. Astrology in my opinion also is an expression of the same archetype, and originally was more to do with establishing and maintaining order in patriarchal society than facilitating self development.

What is very interesting in this regard is that another bifurcation (in mathematics) happened in 1892 with the publication of Henri Poincare's Celestial Mechanics. This was the first text to mention what has now become the mathematics of chaos. So once again, a crucial development in mathematics (just as with Newton) is linked to the contemplation of celestial motions. Astute astrologers will recognise 1892 as the year of the first Pluto/Neptune conjunction since 1398 (or around then). The rebirth of chaos.

There's a storyline in all this which I'm trying to put together in an article (or more). It asks the question as to how astrology will continue its co-evolution with mathematics (as twin expressions of the archetype of order in consciousness) if the above speculations have any value. What form will astrology take in the current era, when culturally there is now an unprecedented openness to ambiguity, unpredictability and the breakdown of the subject-object divide (inter-pentration with context)? The conscious embracing of chaos in a way brings us full circle to the days when chaos was dominant, rather than our understanding of order. It induced fear and was denied or battled against. Today, we don't suffer the same existential anxieties, and we do possess a wealth of knowledge and understanding to shore up the desire for existential security. We feel secure enough to actually look at chaos in the face.

This new sense of order in all its complexity, which has been percolating through in many fields of endeavour during the best part of this century, has important implications for astrology in the next century. It's hard work bringing them into focus though!

All the best,



Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 21:46:41 -0700
From: "William D. Tallman"
To: "Exegesis"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #67

 > >"John Bell, who died in 1990, was one of the leading theoretical physicists
 > >whose work has highlighted the problems of quantum reality. He was able to
 > >show mathematically that if quantum theory is valid, then, under >>>certain
 > >circumstances, < it is possible for two subatomic particles to keep in touch
 > >with each other, even when separated by large distances, in a way that
 > >seems to imply a form of communication that is faster than light."


 > >"Bell's theorem basically shows us that if quantum mechanics is valid (and
 > >all physical experiments have so far failed to reveal that this might not be
 > >so), then measurements made on two particles will >>>always < be correlated, no
 > >matter how far apart they are. This can be illustrated by using two [snip]

Which is it: under certain conditions, or always?

Is this a case of an expansive assumption?



Date: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 11:17:50 +1200
From: Janice & Dennis
To: Exegesis
Subject: boundary issues

One of the most common ways that the Saturn archetype influences us is via boundary issues. Saturn structures things, and the resulting forms have limits, where they contact and interact with their environment. When these forms are human collectives, the Saturn archetype plays a key part in the psychodynamics of the social interactions between groups. Some people are motivated to define the limits, some are motivated to become authority figures to define the collective reality...

"There are often problems at borders: borders between countries, cultures, communities, religions and people. There are naturally problems at the borders between science and other belief systems in general, but more so between science and what many scientists call pseudo-science, which they believe includes astrology and the paranormal. The general scientific attitude to astrology is fairly well stated by Judith Field, a historian of science: "Historians have tended to class astrology with the occult sciences . . . Indeed in our own day astrology is occult, in the sense that astrologers wilfully ignore the results obtained in other fields (postulating instead forces of types unknown and otherwise unexampled) and use techniques associated with mainstream science - such as statistical analysis - in a manner which clearly shows their incomprehension or rejection of the actual methods of science.""

"Field's claim that the use of statistical analysis by astrologers shows an incomprehension or rejection of the actual methods of science, is a purely personal judgement, which is totally unsubstantiated by the facts, and merely serves to demonstrate her profound ignorance of the work that has been done in this area and her reluctance to correct this ignorance by looking at the data in a scientific manner. Firstly, most of the detailed work in this field has been done by people who are not basically astrologers. Michel Gauquelin's work is perhaps the best known and most firmly established; he does not see himself as an astrologer and is very critical of most of the claims of conventional astrologers. Professor Hans Eysenck and Dr David Nias, who have both done work in this area, are psychologists at the Institute of Psychiatry of the University of London. They have said of the work carried out jointly by Michel Gauquelin and his wife Francoise: 'The work of the Gauquelins, to go no further, stands up to a careful degree of scrutiny, and compares favourably with the best that has been done in psychology, psychiatry or any of the social sciences . ."

"Professor Peter Roberts is a systems scientist and a physicist who has also done work on the statistical analysis of data relevant to astrology. He has confirmed many of the Gauquelins' results, and, with the astrologer John Addey, has extended these results to form the basis of the new harmonic approach to astrology. In his recently published book The Message of Astrology there is a foreword written by Brian Inglis, who recounts the following incident concerning an attempt to repeat the Gauquelins' work in America: So scrupulously objective had the Gauquelins' work been - as Peter Roberts shows - that it was possible to repeat it in the United States in exactly the same form; and in 1977 the Humanist reported that the results revealed that there was no need to take the Gauquelins seriously. Only gradually did it begin to emerge that in fact the American results confirmed the Gauquelins', as six years later Kurtz and his fellow workers in CSICOP [the American Committee for Scientific Investigations of.Claims of the Paranormal] had to confess ... Yet in their embarrassment at finding their preconceptions upset, they had permitted what was in effect a smear on the Gauquelins, by pretending their work had been discredited."

"The work of the Gauquelins, and later work by Michel Gauquelin, establishes a link between the state of the cosmos at the birth of each individual and the personality of that individual. By demonstrating that this effect is linked to geomagnetism and that it obeys the established laws of heredity, his findings indicate that the astrological effect is unlikely to be occult. My own work has provided a basis for explaining Gauquelin's findings within the current framework of science. Thus it is unnecessary to invoke new forces, or an alternative view of reality, to explain the most important scientific findings about links between the cosmos and personality. These matters will be discussed in one of the chapters of this book."

"However, my attempts to extend this type of approach to enable us to understand paranormal phenomena have failed. I now feel that to explain the evidence in this area we need to invoke something like Sheldrake's 'morphogenetic fields' (including his concept of 'morphic resonance') and Bohm's 'implicate order'. However, these concepts, as they stand, are really part of a metaphysical research programme, and do not as yet constitute scientific theories."

This excerpt from Seymour's intro ("The Paranormal", 1992) illustrates a number of ways that Saturn continues to shape human culture. No longer so commonly personified as Jehovah/Yahweh/YHVH in the current post-modern new-age, the jealous god is still showing his partiality, isolating dissidents and heretics, building walls around in-groups so they feel secure, and making Seymour, advocate of the new paradigm, try to conform to the requirements of the old. His final point above is that scientific theories only qualify for that label if they are testable (falsifiable).

So Field, who wrote an extremely useful commentary on Kepler's use of the archetypes in his overthrow of the Ptolemaic paradigm (which I quoted from extensively in my own book), adopts a holier-than-thou attitude in dismissing the statistical astrologers. Then Seymour adopts a holier-than-thou attitude to Field. Some readers may recall that, earlier in this list, I came on as holier than Seymour. Saturn looms more in those of us that seem suitable conduits, but any competition to be the oracle of truth is beside the point these days. Post-modernism remains the prevailing fashion trend, so punters will shy away from anyone voicing the perceived truth a little too fervently. Many interpret the fashion to mean there is no truth, so it will never reach them, but every age has a multitude of losers. More old-fashioned relics of a bygone age will continue to examine each oracle, the smart ones ignoring the channel in order to resonate with the source, but of course they will never get more than a glimpse of an aspect of that which they call the truth.

So if the human race has a genetic program with a truth component as a key part of the plan, we will continue to go hunt for the truth, and define it in social discourse. Since the perception of right and wrong has always been a crucial survival skill, our ancestors got it right. Their loser contemporaries failed to reproduce. Small surprise then, when there are barbarians at the gate, that we tend to become the voice (even if not the warrior) of god. The fraud committed by that team of establishment scientists against Gauqelin only got revealed because one of the team became a dissident. The astronomer, Denis Rawlins, wrote an expose of the organized deceit that the committee had published, but none of the relevant scientific journals would publish it. The fraud only became public when Fate magazine published the Rawlins account. Fake data. Invented findings. The cover-up, like Watergate, nearly succeeded.

When you are defending the citadel against a robust invader, deceit is often the key to victory. The scientific myth of truth-seekers serves as valuable camouflage. The reality is, truth is whatever anyone can get away with claiming it is. In group psychodynamics, numbers carry the day. Rawlins, the heretic, beat the priesthood who were the voice of god by transforming his status from lone renegade in the wrong to an alternative, more effective, oracle of the truth. This transformation only succeeded because he got the numbers. There was a media sensation for a while, but not in the mass media; exposure was largely celebrated in the alternative media. The professor of psychology Hans Eysenck, to his credit, detailed the fraud in his book about astrology.

I habitually call Saturn the planet of reality, but what is real tends to be pretty relative. People have extensive agreements on aspects of reality at any one time, in any one society, but reality keeps changing. So what is really real? Saturn rules long time periods, so what lasts? Nostradamus made a relevant observation... "the more it changes, the more it stays the same, and the hand just rearranges, the players in the game"... (Whose hand?)

Perhaps the most that can be said is that the game seems to be played to rules that are only fluid to a limited degree. Human societies have fairly typical structures and developmental patterns. Saturn and the other planetary archetypes can often be seen shaping the play, at both the individual and collective levels.

Dennis Frank


End of Exegesis Digest Volume 4 Issue 68

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