Exegesis Volume 5 Issue #60

From: Bill Sheeran
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V5 #58

From: StarTiming
Subject: This confounded definition making

Exegesis Digest Thu, 28 Sep 2000

Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 00:17:15 GMT
From: Bill Sheeran
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V5 #58

Hello Bill and all

 > Pragmatism is the recognition of what is (done) as having its own = intrinsic
 > value. The I Ching is one of the oldest observations of pragmatism,
 > providing the basis upon which pragmatism becomes the means for = spiritual
 > transcendence. The basis of pragmatism is that of cause and effect,
 > however, which perhaps makes it a less than comfortable philosophy to = bandy
 > about on this list < grin > This is an intriguing take on pragmatism. It suggests that there is a lot to be said for considering astrology in terms of how it is practised - what astrologers actually do, as opposed to what they claim to be doing based on current cultural filters. As Juan unceasingly attempts to point out.=20

It is interesting that you mention the I Ching as being pragmatic and therefore essentially based on a cause-effect dynamic ('The basis of pragmatism is that of cause and effect'). This differs from the Jungian perspective, which tends to use the I Ching of an example of a tool used to generate acausal connections, based on a principle that 'things happen together'. Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you are saying here. =20

 > The collaborative approach is obviously one of the most powerful that = can be
 > applied, but it requires that those who participate do some actual work = and
 > not simply sit back and take pot shots at what is taken up for
 > consideration. There are altogether too many critics and not enough
 > performers, I think. My own feeling is that groups such as this allow both passive and active communication at a stage when astrology is under pressure to evolve from its current unsatisfactory state - a pressure created by intelligent astrologers. We do not have an easy task. However, I do feel that slowly (and largely because of the communicative power afforded by the Internet) a group of differing and general positions is beginning to come into focus among those who think about these things. In other words, I do believe that all the discussion groups chats that go on are making a difference in an almost invisible fashion.=20

I am conscious of those who I have come across over the years, and whose perspectives seem to overlap to a substantial degree with my own. While leaving the question of the value of this perspective aside, I can tell you that five years ago I felt that I was alone in harbouring the thoughts on the topic which I do. OK, there's no shortage of rants and frustrations, but some of that mud sticks (both ways) and is eventually assimilated. Creative dialogue is not without its tensions. Yes, there are endless numbers of critics out there, but that is to be expected when none of us are constrained (or supported) by an inherited consensus. Order emerges out of chaos, and at present what we have is a Brownian motion of individual perspectives, which, if left long enough and energised with enough discussion, will start to coagulate into varieties of consolidated bias.=20
 > We've had lot's of heat and perhaps its time to at least begin to = forge a
 > [snip]
 > Well the current focus on a definition is the best place to start.=20 And I would suggest that the best place to start is to focus on what astrologers actually do - the pragmatic approach.=20
 > In group process, the forging of a consensual view or
 > program seems best performed by identifying those features of the = subject
 > that people readily agree with. This process identifies the = collective
 > framework of belief that already exists in the `group mind'. (I think Denis wrote the above) The easiest way to identify common ground in this regard is to look at what is evident from practice. Do astrologers readily accept progressions, solar arcs and transits, for example. If so, what does this imply for modelling theories, etc. In otherwords, the a priori starting point is the reality of the practice, as opposed to pre-existing theories (either from within or without astrology). Once started, feedback loops can be set up between the observations regarding practice and the developing models. Testing for validity comes later, post hypothesis.=20

 > Since formal agreements on the nature of the subject have almost
 > never happened in the astrological tradition, any that are achieved = that
 > document any degree of consensus will be significant progress, and the
 > more the better. As a starting point, consensus on aspects of practice will be easier to find than consensus on theory. It may seem trite, but agreement on what one is trying to model must surely feature somewhere near the start.=20
 > Good science demands that tests be appropriate and meaningful, which = means
 > they must be carefully designed for the situation. Exactly. So we have to define the situation. For example, are we talking about physical planetary positions or co-ordinates and symbols? I agree with Juan that we have to look at what astrologers do to answer that question.

In reference to Juan's website:
 > my website here: http://www.expreso.co.cr/centaurs/posts/theory.html
 > I checked this out and saved the whole page for further consideration. = It
 > turns out that Juan has fairly extensively stated a position, but not on
 > this list.
 > I must say that Juan's thinking is consistent and insightful. He = provides
 > much for the establishment of a basis from which to launch a reasonable
 > investigation. I agree. I think many of the points Juan makes are very important, and fundamentally significant to the process of attempting to understand (and perhaps model) the nature of astrology. This is the kind of thing I am referring to above - the slow coagulation of individual perspectives. The potential beginnings of a small group consensus, and probably one which will necessarily engender its opposite for the purposes of creative dialogue.=20

All the best

Bill (Sheeran)


Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 20:51:13 EDT
From: StarTiming
To: exegesis
Subject: This confounded definition making

Last week i downloaded Alan Edwall's Astro 123 and ran off interpretations for two persons... as a balance for my own take. People need to know that i am disagreed with on some points, and that i fail to consider some things other astrologers take for granted. Further his interpretations seem sound. Then i read his philosophy of astrology. It's not mine.

But i have to admit Alan Edwall is an astrologer and a serious one. How do i know this? I know it because his propositions of what life should be like for certain people is exactly what they complain of loudly and frequently.

Regardless of philosophy, serious and well grounded astrologers gradually come to some unanimity in terms of interpretation, client experience takes them into the same water downriver, regardless of from what peak the mental ice began to release its drippings. It is this practical agreement of serious practitioners that marks us as being in the same fold.

Alexander Ruperti described astrologers who believe there are organic effects in the astrological territory as "pseudo-realists". That must be what i am? If i thought you cared, i could go on at length about how those effects might be mediated and why progressions make sense in biological terms.

(I have done this elsewhere. I'm not sure i have the time to repeat in orginal words and cross-posting is not the best use of band-width.)

But that's not what you are about. This whole discussion seems very carefullly separated from any real possibility of changing how astrologers work... but if we understand how the visible astrological effects come about, then there is almost no limit to how much the content and practice of astrology might change.

Such an understanding jmight alter popular notions of what it means to be human, and cause us to reconsider what it means to be individual as well. Best stick to the dictionary and historical practice.


Jane A.


End of Exegesis Digest Volume 5 Issue 60

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