|Exegesis Volume 5 Issue #6
Exegesis Digest Tue, 08 Feb 2000
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 20:18:50 -0800
From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V5 #5
> We ought to wonder if this confusion between the circle archetype and the
> sphere was tacit, or deliberate. Regardless, both are here located in a
> central position in the ancient cosmic paradigm. God's perfect forms.
Perhaps we are making an unnecessary leap here. In general, the idea of archetypes is a human artifice created for the purpose of simplifying to increase the tractability of that which is of interest. It gets rid of what obfuscates or overly complicates the matter at hand so that we can more effectively treat with it.
Of course, the usefulness of this strategem was quickly seen to have relevance as the basis of a process of gaining understanding which was founded on the discovery that we can achieve better understanding in terms of similarities and differences that we can by looking for identity or no connection at all. The notion of simplification (reductionism?) provided the means to recognize and make use of commonalities wherever they were perceived to exist, and that meant that we could apply previous understanding where it would otherwise have no use at all. To the extent we understand an aspect of a thing, we can usefully test that understanding when that aspect is observed in something else. This is, as far as we now know, quite probably a unique human survival skill.
The assumption that this particular tactic is reflected in the real universe is not sound, as has been repeatedly demonstrated. Things are as they are and our manner of seeing and understanding them are for our own convenience and may have no relevance at all to the thing itself. To observe the parable of the elephant, we may observe that the assumption of the existence of archetypes independent of human interest is to assume that the elephant contains a snake, a rope, and a tree trunk. This gets in the way of discerning what in fact an elephant actually is, or so the parable would have us understand.
> with such roboticism. He was that rare astrologer who was more interested
> in what was really going on.
Rare indeed. Such interest is still regarded with suspicion and is avoided as a matter of course by all who would find it profitable to assume the existance of a definitive statement of that reality. That interest, of course, lies in the further assumption that one can discern and make that statement, for it provides the assumer with the illusion that he/she can be that one person.
> How well any model fits is a matter of opinion. Intellectual fashion trends
> dictate the extent to which any model is considered to match reality. This
> question of whether the map fits the territory is paradigmatic; normally
> not considered by the vast majority of members of any society, who merely
> subscribe to the received opinion of those deemed to be accepted experts.
Ah, yes. I wonder how long it will be before we begin to recognize the danger of the professional expert. To the extent that our perceived future is more increasingly based on information as the fundamental commodity of value, it seems obvious that the professional expert acquires the status of market maker. I think we all understand that markets are not made for the benefit of the consumer, but for that of the purveyer; yet another way for the many to remain under the control of the few with no thought for the many except that they remain to be controlled.
And that's a soap box agenda of its own, which I will not here explore further.
> Newton's laws provided a better fit than Kepler's, we are taught, yet they
> include them, so some reasonable correspondence ought to be acknowledged.
> Seems to me that most natural forms have little correspondence with
> mathematical structures, so a reasonably close approximation has merit.
The down and dirty approximation that can respond in a timely fashion has been proposed as the most powerful of intellectual products. Things always change and except for the most closely controlled situations, the down and dirty approximation usually supplies most of the requisite preparation, for it provides the means to respond with adequate pre-orientation and the means to recognize the significance of changes as they take place.
We do the best we can to achieve maximum precision in our understanding, but we are well advised to realize that the more extreme the precision we develop, the more vulnerable it is to being invalidated by the changes occuring in the process of interest. It is the "ball park estimate" that provides the compass whereby we can validate the direction of our more subtle efforts. But all this is well understood by the common man in the street, I think.
> The relevance for us here is that the structure of the solar system is
> harmonic, and produces natural time cycles. Astrology, as a coded system
> for interpreting experiential qualities of time, evolved partly via
> projection of models onto the heavens, and partly via collective empirical
> learning of how well the interpretations matched reality. So we need to
> understand how astrology, in the form we have inherited it, decodes the
> archetypal structure of both the planetary orbits and the underlying system.
How do we account for the apparent reality of the power of certain Zodiacal positions? How do we explain the specific essence of certain Zodiacal degrees?
> Science. Inside these minds, we find no abrupt break with the past, but a
> gradual transformation of the symbols of their cosmic experience - from
> anima motrix into vis matrix, moving spirit into moving force, mythological
> imagery into mathematical hieroglyphics-a transformation which never was,
> and, one hopes, never will be entirely completed." (2, p259)
One certainly hopes that it will not. What we need to generate is a better recognition that our own mental processes exist for our own purposes, and need not have any connection with the reality they treat. Reality itself has a great deal more to it that what it presents to us animal life forms on this planet, and to the extent we would gain insight thereunto we are well advised to remember this.
> complex ones do.] Still, the assumption that humans, and animals, use their
> brains to model their environment remains widely held in science, almost to
> the point of having become common sense.
So far, it's the only model I know of that satisfies the data at hand.
> If, then, the psyche has evolved to mirror the cosmic structure of the
> environment, it would be unsurprising to find archetypes of nature
> manifesting synchronously within as without. Astrology, as a decoding
> system, ought then to be seen as a (flawed) cultural device for interpreting
> the local cosmic environment. Since the way the world works is reliably
> constant, psychic structure and those environmental structures that the
> horoscope depicts can be expected to have a durable correspondence. Kepler
> clearly intuited this, and his efforts to discover the fundamental
> symmetries of the solar system proceeded therefrom. Our own efforts in this
> list can be guided by his.
Once again, the whole existence of these notions is human artifice, and is only intended to allow us to address our environment with the tools we have at hand. To the extent we presume that the universe actually is at it appears to present itself to us, we are probably deluded and so remain within the limits of our own making. The universe is far more complex *in essence* than any one or combination thereof archetypes we might create. Perhaps its best that we remain so constrained, but that is a matter of opinion, of course.
Thanks for the info, Dennis. My nit-picking may be regarded as gratuitous, but then we each have to make these decisions for ourselves, with the understanding that we take responsibility for the results of having made them.
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 5 Issue 6
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