Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #90

From: William D. Tallman
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #87, 88

Exegesis Digest Sat, 27 Nov 1999

Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 02:46:24 -0800
From: William D. Tallman
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #87, 88

#87, Patrice said:

>What is synchronicity ? For Jung : a meaning coincidence in time between
>two (or some) independent events. Fine.
>This is a real, pure, absolute, "moment" of synchronicity. There is no
>causality inside (at the very least I hope so). Imagine that I become
>conscious of the coincidence, and that I remark that every time I take
>off my socks, my dear cat is "really" scratching its ears, then it's not
>more synchronicity but a matter of SUPERSITION like that it exists in
>some religions' practices. Imagine now that the cat is scratching its
>ears because it has got some pain inside and that I know that. It
>becomes more interesting because, effectively, I COULD project some
>SIGNIFICANT RELATION between the two events.

The whole point of contention about "synchronicity" revolves around what it
is, and Jung didn't say.  It was his term to describe a phenomena he could
not explain.  The contribution of Jung in this regard was that he recognized
the phenomena and gave it a name, leaving his readers aware of something
that formerly lay beyond their ken.  He described the phenomena as the
recognition of an acausal linkage between contemporaneous occurrences
(events?).  The key to all this is the operative word "recognition".  The
question, then, concerns the "fact" of "recognition":  What is(are) the
process(es) involved?  What triggers those processes?  Etc. Etc.

If these questions could be answered, we could then determine something
about what makes events synchronous in this specific sense.

>For Jung, synchronicity is this projection of significant meaning into
>exterior events. But this is NOT astrology. It lacks many things to do
>astrology with that. Please remember that Jung has insisted on the fact
>that the synchronicity's principle doesn't EXPLAIN anything, but only
>ACCOUNTS FOR the manifestation of meaning coincidences for the
>consciousness. He wrote that "Astrology could possibly be the concern of
>causality, but certainely not of synchronicity" [The French sentence :
>"On fera bien de considerer les resultats issus de la theorie
>astrologique comme des phenomenes relevant non pas de la synchronicite
>mais eventuellement de la causalite."]. I guess that many astrologers
>that are refering to Jung have not understand him.

Well, synchronicity doesn't account for the manifestation, I suggest; it
simply is a descriptive label for an apparent phenomenon.  Jung's
understanding of astrology did not qualify him to make any authoritative
statements on the subject, I submit.  Causality is only one of several
modalities of linkage, and it's probably (at least to some extent) an
illusory modality at that.  Linkage that results from common embedment is
probably the most real modality, and it could be argued that causality is a
subset of common embedment, I think.

I suggest that part of the value of the notion of synchronicity is that it
implies the common embedment modality.  Of course the problem with this
modality is that it is vastly more complex than that of causality, and so
virtually intractable, which renders it largely useless as a tool of any
sort of rigorous investigation.

>And what relation with astrology ? No cycles ! No synchronization ! The
>rythms of the planets, their periods, and their possible integration at
>some level (which one ?) of the organism (molecular, cellular ...?) that
>induce certain modifications in the PERCEPTION : this is the
>astrological challenge.
>And moreover, synchronicity is related to the world of facts, EVENTS,
>and so on, i.e. with a part of the reality which is not concerned, in
>first place, with astrology.

Synchronicity, as a concept, is free of the defining constraints of Jung's
original descriptive usage; if it is not, then it is not a concept but an
intellectual artifact forever frozen in the work of Jung.  Our use of the
term explicitly defines it as a concept, and so we must accept its freedom
from Jung's constraints.

I would suggest that the claim that synchronicity (whatever it might be) is
not, or cannot, be part of astrology must reasonably be expected to imply
that astrology itself is well enough understood to support that claim.  I
submit that this is not the case.  Patrice has developed a very soundly
supported description of astrology as it is viewed today, but I would make
the observation that his description does not satisfy all the data, and so
cannot be the only one to successfully do so.  Until a successful
theoretical basis is established, we cannot make the determination that the
matter of synchronicity is not a part of astrology.

>Bill again (4-82) :
><At the rate that things are developing now, we should see some insights
><in this coming century ( a little late now for the 20th century, but you
><never know...). This means that its probably appropriate for astrology
><and astrologers to start being on the look-out for relevant, but not
><recognizably so, work in other (science) fields.
>Well. I wrote on my web site : "Astrology is born with history / It is
>alive in human consciousness / Its heyday is still to come"
>But sorry, I think it's not for tomorrow. For 2300 AD maybe !!
>Why ? Because the cultural-intellectual mind is not ready to accept the
>"astrological consciousness", which is somewhere the end of history, the
>end of competition, and also something like the last "point of reason"
>(as Hegel dreamed to be it).
>Astrologers in history never were perfectly inside their own cultures
>(not in the Renaissance, not even in Mesopotamian civilisation), and
>today we haven't at all the same intellectual "curiosity" for astrology
>that of the contemporaries of Paracelsus and Cardano.

I would suggest that the current cultural-intellectual mind is indeed ready
to accept the reality of astrology *if* it is demonstrated to have sound
scientific basis for existence.  Our century has so compellingly laid to
rest the notion that some things could never exist, that we indeed have a
popular culture that holds the notion that anything is possible, and the
fact is that the notion has sound theoretical basis:  a) Anything not
specifically proscribed, must exist (eventually).  b) A fundamental lesson
of the history of science is that nothing can be dependably proscribed.  c)
Therefore, anything is possible.

As I have repeatedly stated, all that has to happen is a connection made
between some fundamental terrestrial phenomenon and the machinations of the
Solar system, and the recognition that it might address the question of
astrology is inevitable.  The consequence will most certainly be the
development of an understanding of that connection which will create a whole
field of investigation (study = -ology) that will directly address astrology
as we know it.  The likelihood of that field being allowed to do anything
but summarily refute astrology is vanishingly small.

It seems to me that we cannot predict when or if such a connection will be
made; we take it on faith that such a connection does exist, or astrology
itself is relegated to the status of psycho-philosophical ephemerality.  The
alternative, then, is that the connection will eventually be made, and I
think sooner than we expect.

Andre said: (Hello again, Andre!!  Good to hear from you!)

>> >Rational discourse, in my mind, is discourse that is founded on that
>> >has been demonstrated to be (apparently) factual: rational is a word
>> >defines the condition of a ratio, which is a statement of how a thing is
>> >related to another thing, and although this is a mathematical usage, I
>> >suggest that it is appropriate in general.  (Me..)
>> The problem here is the increasingly redundant word factual.  Policemen
>> reporters have so consistently and for so long complained that
>> to traffic accidents or crime scenes give different accounts of what
>> happened, that it has become an accepted truism that the facts of an
>> can often not be established even by consensus.  (Dennis..)
>Indeed, and a good deal of research under the umbrella of cognitive
>psychology has demonstrated how this works.  It seems quite simple: the
>human memory system is unable to distinguish between the original
>memories and any changes made to these memories during subsequent
>re-activation.  One example: subject is shown video of two cars colliding
>at an uncontrolled intersection. Subsequently the 'eyewitness' is
>questioned, including: "how fast was the red car speeding through the
>stop sign?".  Voila!  Thereafter, most subjects' clearly remember a
>stop-sign, and they will swear it was so.  And if neither car was red,
>it _is_ now.

These observations are certainly descriptive of the general state of human
awareness, and that this is so has been a matter of concern as far back in
history as one might care to read.  When a culture gets to the place where
it can think for itself, as did the Greeks in their Golden Era, and as
western civilization did when the printing press allowed the general
dispersion of knowledge, it quickly becomes evident that this problem must
be immediately addressed, else nothing is achieved for the general welfare.

Hence, the scientific method: science is the practice of striving for
knowledge that can be generally useful, that is of value to the human
community.  The scientific process directly addresses the problem of human
fallability; in fact, it could be argued that this is it's whole reason for
existence, I think.

>> Early in the 20th century
>> physicists found that apparent facts were not necessarily so, phenomena
>> changing according to viewpoint, and science writers and philosophers
>> have increasingly warned that acceptance of data as facts may be
>Post-structuralist positions, and the contentions of my own field of
>psychology, do indeed question the status of facts, but I submit that
>such epistemological positions are more true of - to put it rather
>crudely - "human" reality.  It is true of course that the only reality
>we can know is the reality we construct.  If we are fundamentally
>uncertain, subjective, and able to argue; then what we "know" and "see"
>cannot be any less uncertain!  But our ability to argue the meaning and
>the factuality of everything, and the proposition that we do so, does
>not mean that whatever lies beyond our constructions is itself similarly

The key here, I think, is what we expect a fact to be.  If we expect it to
be a concise and useful statement of data, useful in that it is sufficiently
robust, then we are probably well served thereby.  On the other hand, if we
expect a fact to be a statement of truth, such that the truthfulness is
invariant, we are pouring the cement of foundation into quicksand: it must
eventually disappear.

In the last couple of centuries, it has been fashionable for the "thinking
intellectual" to arrogate the appearance of scientific competency, such that
"facts" are made to take on the quality of eternal immutability.  The basis
for this is, of course, egregious scientific incompetency: thus the
assumption that science can produce those sorts of things.  Even though the
most useful tool of scientific investigation in the last few centuries has
been that of classical physics, only the drones of science work really
believed that deterministic physics could answer everything.  Read the
correspondences between Newton and Liebnitz to discover just how aware they
both were that the calculus was far from a complete mathematical model,
etc., etc..

Incidentally, grand unified theories have never been intended to make the
universe deterministic: their only usefulness was to provide, if possible,
an unfractured theoretical base for physics.  It is only the uninformed
layman that expects the unified field theory to hold the key to the entire
universe, etc.

So, let us accept the usage of "fact" to be that of a concise statement of
data, without any implied guarantee of truth.

And then Andre addresses the concept of archetypes....

His statement that communication is a matter of agreement, of responding to
the behavior of others as a guide for communicating, is useful in the
discussion of archetypes, I think.  I would suggest that archetypes were and
are developed as a result of that process of communication, and the notion
that archetypes cannot be commonly understood because of the difficulty of
communicating the specific essence of one's internal reality is to get the
cart before the horse.  Archetypes, literally the first of a type (presuming
that the first example holds the purest essence, I assume), are by their
very nature ineffable: that's why they exist.  Their very reason for
existence is to represent and convey that which cannot be expressed without
degradation.  In short, archetypes exist for the purpose of creating common
understanding and agreement concerning things that are not, but underlie
that which is, specific and so definable.  Or so I think.

>Quite a lot here about the elements etc, which I found incomprehensible.
>Actually I read a short and pithy post a while back alluding to "apple
>pie neatness", the spirit of which I rather enjoyed.

Heh!  Well, The whole idea of the Elements themselves would seem to be some
sort of archetype, I think.  Evidently, the elements were originally much as
we use them today: definitions of the state of (things) in the same manner
as we define states of matter.  Clearly, Earth, Water and Air correspond to
solid, liquid and gas.  Fire is slightly problematic, but only technically

Over time, the Elements came to signify qualities that were not limited to
states of matter, and so were freed from the constraints thereof.  This has
left them as archetypes that are not well understood (not that any archetype
is well understood, for I suppose that part of the definition of an
archetype is that it is the representation of something that is *not* well,
or at all, understood).  Finding one person's musings about these archetypes
incomprehensible is to be expected, actually.  The whole idea is that the
musings might possibly convey some sort of insight thereunto, but almost
certainly not without some work to grasp (if indeed any exist <grin>).  I
make no claim that my verbiage in these regards must have value, of course.

The idea of Apple Pie neatness is about as far from the messy and mythical
essence of archetypes as one can get, I think.  The custom of using single
syllable words as names of archetypes is probably the only reach to neatness
available in these regards.

Andre then addresses the problems of astrology with regard to its lack of
theoretical substance.  Those problems are the sorts of things that science
treats, and it has the tools to do so quite successfully; but Andre makes
the critical point: science isn't going to use them in our behalf, so we are
going to have to pick them up and use them ourselves...   if they are to be
used on our behalf at all, that is.

>Having just completed research into an aspect of group behaviour, with a
>voluminous research literature stretching back nearly 40 years, and yet
>discovered something new, my irritation is increased.  It only took me a
>few months.
>Because in the nearly 25 years I've been practicing astrology, and the
>3-4 years I've been participating in lists such as this, I don't believe I
>have learned _anything_ new, sufficient to justify that time.  (There
>are exceptions of course, such as the work Dale has performed).  I can
>only conclude our approach is wrong.  My fear, going back to the start
>of this post, is that perhaps we are mostly talking past each other, and
>don't even know it.  We may be talking about how many angels can dance
>on the head of a pin (in the modern formulations of that question),
>rather than getting down to the _practical_ things that we can
>_meaningfully_ make progress in,

Yep.  He's right, you know.

How you can tell that no progress is being made is that there are few, if
any, questions being asked.  Without questions, all the answers in the world
are meaningless.  The underpinning of the scientific process is the
establishment of a question that can be answered (via a testable hypothesis,

I suggest we spend some time crafting some questions here.


Dennis said:

>Bill Tallman responded (Ex4/86)  to my query ("Impressed on what?"):
>>Whatever is manifest at the moment.  Patrice has selected the word
>>"impress"; I have used the word "imprint" from a decades old notion of
>>"initial imprinting" that became pop psychology at one point.
>OK, then my question becomes "How?"  Patrice stressed a difference between
>the meaning of these two terms, and I agreed to the implication that the
>imprint concept seems unlikely.  However imprinting does actually happen,
>noted in this quote from alt.psychology.jung:
>"a horse is instinctively afraid of snakes even when a horse
>never saw a snake before. The horse has the image of snake as an archetypal
>image as part of its instinctive data. Likewise, ducks hatched and raised
>without parents can tell the difference between a crow flying by and a hawk
>circling in the sky above looking for a vulnerable sitting duck. Ducks have
>the archetypal image of a gliding hawk in their instinctive data."
>The question is how an imprint of the cosmic pattern is made into the
>born in the moment, that's what we need, even if it is only an hypothesis.

Ah, ask and ye shall receive!!!  A question, and almost certainly the
central question of the matter of astrology itself.  Dennis hits the
bullseye here and no further contestants need take a shot if this question
can be successfully addressed...   well, that's probably hyperbole, but I
think I've made my point!

Some comments:  When you ask "how", you are requesting an understanding of
process, I suggest.  A process is made of functions, which are complexes of
mechanisms that perform a definable operation on whatever flows through the
process.  When you get to the point where you understand the workings of the
mechanisms, you can achieve a comprehension of the functions and so of the
nature of the process itself (independent of what is processed).

Someone at some point said that God is in the details (God *is* the
details?).  Someone else said (Paul Dirac, actually..) that God was a
mathematician, and the thought occurs that mathematics might be usefully
described as the only tool that can adequately address the details.  If both
of these are true, then God is where he belongs, presumably.  These
statements are couched in terms that are pan-culturally acceptable:  God is
everywhere responsible for everything that we don't know and so cannot
create the illusion that we can control.

I'm back to the same point that has been in contention here from the
beginning: there >>>are<<< mechanisms necessarily involved in the function
of whatever effect it is that astrology addresses, the effect that is
responsible for "imprinting" and creating the beginning of the cycles with
which we can come to understand something of the essence of the object
(individual, question, whatever) of astrological interest.  A corollary to
this fundamental astrological theorem is that the imprinting process
continues, although the mechanisms involved may not be the same as that in
the *initial* imprinting.

So, the short answer is this:  we need to discover those mechanisms, and
when we do, we can see how they combine to create functions and so the
process in question.  The mechanisms are an absolute necessity here, because
without them all we can do is speculate (even if the speculation is in the
form of a set of formulas that satisfy the data, as in Maxwell's
equations...   which is highly unlikely in this case).

>Huh?  You never heard of Barbara Watters, Bill?  Author of "Sex and the
>Outer Planets", "Horary Astrology and the Judgement of Events", and "The
>Astrologer Looks at Murder" (all of which I have) and the 1969 jacket of
>this calls her "Washington's leading astrologer".  When I encountered her
>chart of the Empire State Building, for decades the world's tallest
>structure, I was both taken aback and impressed.  The inner sceptic was
>still reluctant to credit horoscopes for humans, so the idea that you could
>do a horoscope for the origin of anything took me awhile to stretch my mind
>to encompass..  The novice astrologer was however immediately struck by how
>appropriate the chart was (things culminating, can't recall what).

Well, the cat's now out of the bag:  I've a serious deficiency in my
literacy as an astrologer <grin>.  Nope, I've never heard of Barbara
Watters, and don't think I'm all that interested in the subjects cited,
actually.  The truth is that there are very few books on astrology that I've
actually read in recent times.  I have Rudhyar and Jones because I met (knew
Rudhyar) both of those fellows at one time or other.  And it wasn't too long
before I was off and running with a practice that taught me what I learned.
Technical skills of calculation are seldom if ever found in modern books,
and so I've got the likes of DeLuce, etc and some private manuscripts from
other sources in those regards.

The matter of the Empire State Building chart is interesting.  Did you find
it descriptive of the history of the building?  Important question here:
does astrology apply to non-living subjects?  If so, must they be of human
artifice, or can they be entirely environmental in nature?

>Trying to explain how synchronicity relates to temporal process, I wrote:
>"The solar system coordinates all of its component parts in unison, just
>like we do.  Synchronicity is merely conscious experience of this
>synchronous process.  Look, you jump in the car and go somewhere, is it any
>surprise that others see all your bodily parts arriving simultaneously?
>whole coheres.  The apparent separate development of any bunch of parts is
>an illusion."
>Apparently Bill doesn't get it:  he wrote "Your point, Dennis?".  The point
>is that when two parts of the whole present themselves to us
>we either dismiss it as coincidence or call it synchronicity, choosing to
>either recognise the signal or not, fastening our attention on the two
>phenomena rather than the process that the meaning of the signal ought to
>directing our attention to.  Many of us have now learnt to recognise that
>the experience of synchronicity flags archetypal qualities in the moment.
>Some, not just astrologers, have produced media commentary on the effective
>equivalence of the term synchronicity with the hermetic maxim `as above so

That the phenomenon of "synchronicity" exists is evident and obviously of
potential use in our discussion.  Nowhere do you define it beyond the fact
that is a recognition process: in fact, as far as I know, it has not been
anywhere so far.  So, no, I don't get it.  Why is this so potentially
important?  This is a specific question that has great importance to the
questions of astrology.

If the recognition process that generates the phenomenon of synchronicity
can be addressed at all successfully, then we might find that it is in fact
that part of the astrological mechanism that involves the human individual.
I say that we *might* find this to be so; I don't have a good feel for this
either way.  But it very much is worth putting some real effort into
investigating, I suspect.  In any case, this is my tentative answer to the
question of the importance of synchronicity.

Somewhere a while back I mentioned a basic process in neural function: how
new neural connections are made.  Obviously, this treats the question of how
learning takes place, and adaptation to environment is achieved, etc., etc.
I spoke of a process called Hebbian connectivity.

Sometime decades ago a doctor by the name of Donald O. Hebb suggested that
new neural connections occurred as a result of a synchronous firing of
active and inactive synapses.  When this takes place where the inactive
synapse fires at or just after the time of the firing of the active synapse,
the inactive synapse becomes active and a new neural pathway is created.
Apparently, when the driven neuron is in that brief state of having been
fired and having not yet recovered, it is receptive to input from all
synapses, active or inactive.  All inputs during this time create active
synapses, whether they were previously active or not.  So much for the
mechanisms: I won't go into the organic chemistry involved <grin>..  In any
case, it appears that Hebbian connectivity is well regarded now as the
actual mechanism involved, etc.

It seems to me that this sort of process of modification might be generally
the case in the function of the body (brain/mind/soul/whateverelse..).  One
can envision incidental contemporaneous organic/biological events of like
kind becoming linked thereby, made possible by a brief state change
available to both (all) such events in process.  This is a strategic
speculation, not a tactical speculation; it addresses a global process type
that has a defined function, but does not address any specific example.

If this conjecture has any validity, then we can suspect that  type of
process is responsible for a variety of abilities to change in response to
change in environment, and in this case we are specifically looking at the
subtle (inobvious) changes in the environment caused by the changes in the
configuration of the solar system.  Incidentally, the use of the word
"caused" here does not mean to imply that the linkage is entirely causal in
nature: regard it as a convention of usage, please.

In all this, the operative quality was the coincidence in time, which is
nicely described as "synchronicity", I think.

What each individual makes of these sorts of changes depends on the
individual's experience, and history thereof.  So we cannot expect to
dependably define the sorts of experiences that exhibit synchronicity, I
suspect.  But we can assume the possibility of a real process that is a
function of coincidence in time, and so we can assign the concept of
synchronicity to a probable biological function of some sort(s).

That's the best I can do with the concept of synchronicity, but at least
I've put forth a possible definition of what it is.  The importance of this
is that it serves to show that the recognition that is the phenomenon of
synchronicity by present usage is not arbitrary, that it has a potentially
real basis for existence.

And finally, Dale Huckeby says:  (Hi Dale, long time for you too.  Good to
hear from you again!)

>In 4/76 I said:
>>>   I think devination has dominated over the two plus millenia that
>>> horoscopic astrology has existed, and that devination in general is a
>>> way of being "right" when you don't know very much, but that it also
>>> allows for a gradual accumulation of empirical content if there's any
>>> to accumulate....
>to which Bill Tallman replied in 4/77:
>> It seems apparent that divination is often unusefully vague, and so it's
>> easy to conclude that it is basically a cover for ineptness or ignorance.
>> There are other reasons that divination does not produce the sort of
>> conciseness we would like to require: it has traditionally had a special
>> language, although it was based in the current common tongue.  It can be
>> considered as a semi-technical language, I think.  In consequence,
>> translation is necessary at the very least, and a more desirable solution
>> is to gain some comprehension of it's linguistic requirements from an
>> understanding of why they exist.
>  I would suggest that devination's vagueness is not at all unuseful
>to its adherents.  It's part of what makes it seem to work in the first
>place.  As for gaining some comprehension of its linguistic requirements,
>I believe I already have, but my arguments seem to be opaque to those
>who have more than a little experience as astrologers.  A number of
>people, for instance, have seen some version of the following argument,
>but I'm not sure who if anybody has gotten it:

The essence of your argument seems to be that there are at least as many and
almost certainly more interpretations than there are opportunities for
application, and that this proliferation dilutes the specific divination
until it is inherently meaningless, at which point any and everyone can make
of it what they like.

The examples you give are those inherent in the interminable process of
linear commentary, where an analysis elicits a commentary, which elicits an
interpretation, etc., until the original material is no longer available,
having been buried and forgotten under tons of extraneous material.  This is
altogether too common in this sort of business, and the reason is simple,
albeit surely unpalatable to the majority of practitioners:  The only valid
material is directly from the divination itself in its own language, and all
the rest of this exists for those who cannot or who will not put forth the
effort to gain some expertise in its usage.

>> A well known example of a divinatory form is the I Ching, and the
>> language is that of ancient Taoism as interpreted by Confucianists.
>> It's pretty specialized and if one doesn't understand the terms,
>> syntax, etc., it also is easily considered unacceptably vague.  Given
>> some reasonable understanding, however, (in my experience, and I'm
>> far from alone in this) the I Ching can be frighteningly specific
>> in its insights, etc.
>  Symbolistic astrology also seems "frighteningly specific" to those
>who have, via exposure to paradigms, learned to think in ways that
>make it seem so, as outlined in my argument above.  But people who've
>learned to think that way are thereby inoculated against this kind
>of argument.  It's part of what they, of necessity, have learned how
>not to see (because otherwise astrology wouldn't seem to work the
>way the novice thinks he or she sees it working for others).

Well, symbolic astrology is probably least likely to work this way,
actually, because its language is now (perhaps always has been..?)
intentionally too vague to function in this mode.  The fact is that one can
require that these forms either produce or not, and demand an unequivocal
answer.  As far as the I Ching is concerned, the key is the question that is
asked: what is its substance and what is its form, etc.  Perhaps that sort
of key for astrology is what should be sought here.

In any case, the trick is to require specificity and unambiguity from the
form, however that is found to work in the given case.  Otherwise, one is
setting oneself up to be virtually certain to receive unintelligible
answers.  This might be difficult if all that one accepts is the ambiguous
and indefinite material of that form.

>> The assumption here is that a system of divination has its own
>> structure, and this is largely true, although there are some well
>> understood exceptions.  In general, a divinatory system is not a
>> compilation of empirical knowledge, but a construct the architecture
>> of which spans the visible (known) world and the hidden (unknown)
>> realms, whatever they might actually be.  In this regard, it is not
>> useful to repudiate the possibility of "other" realms, because they
>> are by definition not known (not unknowable, however...); it's better
>> to accept that they must exist (because they are not specifically
>> proscribed) and will probably wind up being quite different from
>> any extant expectation, old or new.
>  Are you implying or suggesting that we should accept the existence
>of _anything_ that can't be disproved?  That seems to me intellectually
>self-indulgent and an ideal way _not_ to get to the bottom of things.

Not at all.  But that is exactly what I am suggesting, in fact.  What I am
not suggesting is that we accept any given *specific* without inspection.
I'm saying that we must be *ready* to accept the existence of all that is
unknown, less we automatically reject what we are not prepared to observe.
Remember the two forms of Scientific Blunder?  This is the Blunder of the
Second Kind, the inability to perceive and accept that which is valid.  The
Blunder of the First Kind is the acceptance of that which is not valid,
which is a more dangerous kind for one's career...

I spoke of the idea that "anything that is not specifically proscribed must
exist".  It is a formal statement that has been fairly well received, I
think.  The concept is simple, I think:  how could it be otherwise?  Any
limitation on possibility is itself a proscription, and the alternative
state is limitlessness, which permits anything.  The point of contention
here is whether or not we know about the proscription.  We cannot assume a
proscription where it does not exist, and so the exercise of presuming a
proscription because we would have it exist is futile; it seems that we all
do this nevertheless, as if our tastes in the matter have universal force.

Remember that the object itself doesn't give a tinker's damn whether we
accept or reject it.  It's existence remains whether we like it, understand
it, accept it...   or not.  The whole idea of skepticism in science is a
matter of acting for the common good:  it's a powerful way of winnowing out
what is not reliably useful for others.  Skepticism, however, as a primary
stance, tends to interfere heavily with the processes of gaining
understanding of what is.

You know what they say...   "Keep an open mind but don't let your brains
fall out"

>> Dale makes a very fundamental point here: whatever else astrology may
>> be, it is rooted in the celestial sphere.  He says this conditionally,
>> but I say it succinctly.
>  Actually, Bill, this is something on which we appear to be in perfect
>agreement.  What was conditional in my statement was the involvement
>of natural cycles, not the involvement of planetary periods, and I was
>conditional about the former only due to my habitual caution.  I was
>reluctant to _insist_ that natural cycles are it as far as terrestrial
>correspondences to planetary periods are concerned, although I do in
>fact think that is the case.  But more to the point of your comment,
>as far as I'm concerned if planets aren't involved it's not astrology.

I appreciate your support, sir.  Maybe that support will cause the idea to
be take more seriously....

>> Dale also makes the point that we need to determine the defining
>> boundaries of the "astrological effect".  I think we really do need
>> to determine whether astrology can address non-human events.  My
>> original question in this current thread was: does the astrological
>> effect require life to exist?  We haven't even considered whether
>> this is a valid question.  I infer that Dale thinks so, because he
>> gives an opinion in that regard.
>  You infer correctly.  In addition I specifically addressed this issue
>in [4/53].  My argument there was that there _are_ inorganic events
>that correspond to planetary periods, but that the tides, for instance,
>are understandable and predictable not via charts and symbolism but
>only with respect to the material forces that actually cause them.
>You can call the latter "astrological" with no argument from me, but
>it doesn't appear to be what you've had in mind when you've implied
>that the astrological effect doesn't require life to exist.  When you
>indicated several months ago that you had predicted earthquakes it
>wasn't material forces you referred to but charts and symbolism, but
>I still don't see how planetary (and other) _meanings_ can cause a
>fault to break loose, as opposed to plate movements and possibly lunar
>and solar gravity.

I have suggested that all matters having to do with the celestial sphere are
astrological in nature, even if those that are now understood are so under
the discipline of astronomy.  The only difference here is whether the
mechanisms of connection are, or are not, known and understood.  There is no
difference in kind between a schematic of the celestial sphere for purposes
of identifying the position of the planets for prediction of phenomena that
is understood, and the horoscope which does the very same thing for
phenomena that is not understood.  Before the physics of tides was
understood, the same data was used to predict the tides according the
observed position of the moon as was used to prepare a horoscope, and the
situation was the same for both:  the matter at hand was not understood and
so the mechanics of prediction was taken as a matter of personal acceptance,
whether that be on faith or on the basis of a known track record.  Wasn't it
Dennis in the last digest that said something about this?

I did predict an earthquake and it occurred at very near the time and place
I predicted it would occur.  Shocked the hell out of me!!!!!  Got me a
couple of unwanted hangers on underfoot...  feh!  It was fortuitous,
however.  It was not an intentional exercise at all:  I simply recognized
the astrological potential from the lore, specifically the confluence of
symbolic indicators and this peaked my interest.  So I took a closer look at
the physical data and discovered that the Moon was at apogee and so was the
earth, putting both the sun and moon closer than normal to the earth.  The
point in time was at full moon within some short period of time of sunset.
As I recall, I discovered a parans that was also an indicator, and so I
decided to call for an earthquake, and made it known to my circle of
friends.  We all agreed that the indicators were there, though we had no
strong expectations of an event.

Nonetheless one occurred about a half hour after sundown, and the epicenter
was nearby.  Now, this was in the Bay Area of California, a place well known
for lots of active fault lines, and the fact is that it could have occurred
anywhere on the San Andreas Fault, or anywhere on any other fault system
nearby.  But it was local and not very strong, just strong enough to make us
aware of it.  We all knew that this was a chance event, as there had not
been any other such work that we knew...   actually, several of us at been
to Menlo Park to visit the USGS and lug away tons of copy of Short Term
Phenomena (USGSese for earthquakes) and as far as we could tell, there were
no obvious patterns, and there was as well no correspondence between times
when there should astrologically have been a quake and the data of record.

The fact remains that I did deliberately and successfully predict an
earthquake on the basis of astrological and astrophysical data...   once.

>You can undercut my argument from implausibility
>simply by showing _that_ earthquakes are predictable via chart and
>symbolism by accurately predicting some before the fact and/or sharing
>with us the configurations, signs, etc. that'll presumably enable us
>to accurately differentiate when earthquakes will occur from when they
>won't.  Differentiation between event and not-event is what astrologers
>regularly fail to do or grasp and is why after-the-fact explanation
>works so much better than the before-the-fact prediction.

That it is required to show astrologically when there will not be
earthquakes is as reasonable as the requirement to successfully predict
them, of course.  The fact is that there is nothing in the astrological lore
(of which I am aware) that addressed the matter of when there should not be
earthquakes...   LOL!!!!!

>> In addition, Dale addresses astrological interconnectivity: is
>> resonance possible between two (or more) astrological horoscopic
>> entities, and if so, can that resonance deliver interpretive
>> significance such that can be discerned and appropriately applied.
>> I think the practice of astrology makes it very clear that such a
>> resonance can (and quite often, does) exist.  The question is whether
>> that resonance can be influential.  The more arcane astrological
>> techniques specify that they not only can be but by their very
>> nature *are* influential.
>  Arcane astrological techniques may specify it, but does anything
>resembling scholarly research _demonstrate_ it?  Again, the processes
>I've described above and elsewhere will make it _seem_ that your
>chart accounts for developments in the life of a loved one, or that
>a composite chart yields valid answers, so of course the practice
>of astrology makes it very clear to _you_ that the kind of resonance
>you're talking about exists.  I'm not aware, however, of objective
>evidence that leads to this conclusion.

The fact is that there have not been, until recently, dependable
availability of those techniques.  The material was either not available due
to lack of extant translations, was so corrupted by reinterpretation that
they didn't work, or simple lack of awareness of its existence.  Project
Hindsight is changing this, and I have acquired the complete set of works
they have published (with the except of a few they have withdrawn as they
did not meet PH standards).  As I can get the material correlated and in
some sort of usable form, I will submit it to the usual gallery of known
subjects, and see what turns up.

I'm not very supportive of composite charts, as the theory and technique
tend not to match to begin with, and the proposed interpretive material
seems suspect.  Rob Hand stole this from the fellow (whose name I can't
recall at the moment) who is said to have developed this technique, and the
material he published on composites seems very contrived to me.

As far as significance in divination is concerned, I require it to be very
specific in nature and as succinct in description as possible.  Otherwise
I'm not impressed.

>  Just to set the record straight, though, the telescope played no role
>in the revolution in astronomy, which (like the revolutions in the other
>classical fields) was due not to new instruments and additional data,
>but to a conceptual shift in which scientists viewed long-familiar facts
>from a different perspective, as if they had put on a "different kind
>of thinking-cap", as Herbert Butterfield famously put it in _The Origins
>of Modern Science 1300-1800_.

Yes, you are correct.  The fact is that the telescope appears to have been
"invented" by Galileo decades after Copernicus developed his heliocentric
system.  Incidentally, Copernicus was far from the first astronomer to come
to that conclusion from the data:  The Greeks had the idea more than a
millennium earlier.  That Ptolemy's geocentric system was used in the west
was more a matter of the fact that it survived when the others did not.
Chance at work, perhaps?  Or was it that the Church managed to suppress
those with a heliocentric view... dunno.  The Eastern Church probably would
not have done so, but the Roman church seems almost certain to have, had it
the need or opportunity.  The odd thing is that while Galileo was excoriated
for his support of Copernicus, Copernicus himself was highly praised *by the
church* less than a century earlier!  Go figure!

>> I guess I would recommend some thought along these lines as applied to
>> the business of astrology: What observation tools do we have, and what
>> are needed?  What descriptive tools do we have and what are needed?
>  It depends on what you take our subject matter to be.  It comprises,
>in my opinion, the study of people's lives and of history, so among
>other things we need to be able to read histories and biographies and
>draw accurate conclusions from them.  In the process of doing this
>I've worked out a number of rules of thumb.  One is that in studying
>a person's life it's best to draw on three kinds of accounts, an

Here is where we differ.  I do not prescribe the subject matter, and hold it
that any earthly matter is appropriate until it is demonstrated that it is
not.  In this regard, I think along the same lines as Andre (or he thinks
along mine...   we think together?).  I recommend his response.

>> It's perfectly all right for people to specialize, but all need to
>> understand that there are other aspects of the process that are just
>> as necessary and integral thereto.  The challenge in astrological
>> investigation is more basic than choice of specialization, though.
>  I think it's both important to specialize, in order to go deeper
>into a subject matter, and for different specializations to interact
>fruitfully, as has happened historically in the evolution of the
>sciences, and which happens also in the development of every child.

Well said for the general case.  In our situation, we don't have more than a
glimmering of what sorts of specialization might be applicable.  Of course,
I am separating astrology itself from any specific application; I suggest
that this issue must be addressed before we can begin to think about what is
needed in the investigation.

>> Incidentally, experiment and mathematics are not the only two major
>> parts of the scientific process, and can indeed be said to comprise
>> together only half thereof.  They both involve tools and are more
>> straightforward than the other parts, but that's another story......
>  So what's the other half?  Consider this an invitation to tell that
>other story.

Ah yes.  The other major part of the process is the function of the
(so-called) intuition.  Most scientists are quite reluctant to speak of this
because it is in fact what serves to differentiate the successful researcher
from the lab drone.  It is, by definition, a wholly unique process for each
individual and can be said to be the real capital asset of the successful

It was said by someone (British, of course) that more British science was
done in bed, in the bath, or on the trolley than in any lab anywhere.  This
is, I think, a specific and telling statement of a general truth.  Science
itself is a process that is driven by the scientist, and the connection
between the data and the hypothesis is one that takes place in the mind of
the scientist: it can take place nowhere else!  Given that the matter of
interest is by definition an unknown, there are no instruction manuals by
which to proceed.  All that is provided is the grounding in science that is
the necessary substance that defines the scientist; it is the substance that
is prerequisite to scientific intuition, for without it there would be no
intuition, much like there is no fire without a source.

Research, by definition, is the process of plowing through already tilled
material, but with a different (new?) purpose in mind.  The different
purpose must arise from within the scientist, most often as a solution to
some given problem.  But the solution must have a new aspect or factor, else
it is simply repetitive of what has already been done.  The question is:
from whence comes this new part?  I suggest that it is this new factor that
is the primary consideration, so the question is fundamental to
understanding the scientific process, I think.  Unfortunately, it cannot be
quantified and duplicated, and so remains inaccessible to science itself...
which is the other reason that scientists don't like to talk about it, of

For the study of successful science to be really useful, I suggest that it
is  necessary to investigate this phenomenon openly, and in fact the venue
of investigation should rightly be in academia:  knowledge of these matters
should be of vital importance to the students who would have science
careers.  In fact, it is my opinion that engineers are almost certain to be
most in need of this matter, because they are called on to address this
process in a (usually) severely time bound context, and the better able they
are to exercise their intuition the more productive they are likely to be.

For engineers, there are two types:  real engineers are those who can and do
use their intuition successfully; those who cannot or do not are known as
"book engineers" and they inevitably wind up as glorified technicians, in my

So scientific intuition is a very important subject, both to be investigated
and to be applied.  And thank you for the invitation!!!



PS.  I will not repeat this sort of post very soon, simply because I do not
have the time to do so.  Hence, I will now return to the odd comment here
and there.


End of Exegesis Digest Volume 4 Issue 90

[Exegesis Top][Table of Contents][Prior Issue][Next Issue]

Unless otherwise indicated, articles and submissions above are copyright © 1996-1999 their respective authors.