|Exegesis Volume 5 Issue #62
Exegesis Digest Wed, 04 Oct 2000
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 19:23:01 -0700
From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Hello again, Ed Falis
I'm going to make this short and sweet.
It seems to me that we have an opportunity here that we should not allow to go unremarked, so as resident list buffoon, I'm going to point out the obvious, and take the heat if the consensus is that I should not have done so.
Ed Falis certainly appears to have the requisite qualifications to direct or lead a project in the development of a theoretical basis for astrology. His contribution laid out the issues we've wrestled here in such a way as to show them as tractable both individually and collectively. The quality of his post places it along with the best I've seen here, especially with regard to what is possible for the development of astrology both in general and on this list. It seems to me that he's ready to get involved, and has gone so far as to advertise that fact here.
The construction of a theoretical basis for astrology is something that can be done, and I assert *we* can do it *here*. We've got the brainpower already represented, judging by the quality of the contributions made on this list. We now may well have the leadership expertise to organize a project to begin developing the foundations on which a theory can be erected, and we can begin immediately by declaring our willingness to be involved.
If Ed stands up for this, then I stand up with him. Who else? Dennis Frank? Juan Revilla? Bill Sheeran? Dale Huckeby? Andre Donnell? Candy Hillenbrand? Jane Axtell? Patrice Guinard? Rab Wilke? Those are the recent habitues of the list, in the order in which they popped up in my mind. Then there are others who have contributed in the last year: Lynda Hill? Armando Rey? James Davis? Michael Jordan? Mark Shulgasser? Rob Tillett? Cynthia D'Errico Clostre? Martin Howe? And where is Mary Downing?
If anyone feels put upon because I called his or her name, sorry about that; your contributions have already seeded you in this group. Anyone whose name I didn't call didn't contribute, at least in my eyes: other people's mileage may differ. All except the man who lives here: Fran Kostella, our host, who appears to feel constrained from presenting any substantial view lest the list itself appear biased. Whatever the case, hats off to Fran and I hope he's up for this if it happens; it certainly should guarantee continuing traffic here.... < grin >
I can't say that it's time to put up or shut up, but I think it *is* time to declare whether we are serious about actually doing some work to benefit astrology, at least if Ed is willing to be project leader here. Think about it, but not too long, because, like anything else, there is a window of doability here, and it has just opened up, or so I think.
Other posts and responses are in the works....
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2000 00:17:56 GMT
From: Bill Sheeran
Subject: Re: Digest V5 #61 - Ed's post
Hi Ed - I enjoyed your post.
> There's no question to any of us I think that there are "real" phenomena= with=20
> cyclic qualities, many of them even with clear physical causation, that = have=20
> been considered as related to astrology. Snip
> So, here's where my particular set of filters comes into play. To me, = these=20
> phenomena are not essentially astrological, though they have been = considered=20
> and explained through astrological lenses. Part of me agrees with you that such phenomena are not "essentially astrological", and part of me is confused over the issue. Are they peripherally as opposed to centrally astrological? Do they represent some kind of limit condition in the whole field? Is there a separating boundary (when wearing astrology spectacles) between the subjective experience of the heavens as a physical system and the experience of them in a non-physical sense. I see a spectrum from astral divination to celestial mechanics with particular mixes of each in certain parts of the spectrum standing out as peak levels which then take on the form of discrete astrological forms. Not the best analogy, but perhaps you can see what I mean. Change to contemporary astronomy spectacles, and the spectrum disappears.=20
> And astrologers have tried to=20
> abrogate this set of phenomena to justify astrology within a scientific=20
> context. I agree - there's a lot of denial involved in this act as regards acknowledging astrology's nature (which becomes evident in a foggy kind of way from practising it).
> ..... astrology is=20
> nothing more nor less than a way of understanding and modelling our=20
> experience of reality. I agree here too.
> To me, the subject of astrology is complex systems and their = interactions. I'm agreeing still! In fact (as you may have noticed in posts on other boards), I think this notion is crucial to its eventual understanding.
> The astrological stance is a language of describing=20
> (modelling) such systems qualitatively, or analogically, using an = assumption=20
> that moments of time have each have a distinct quality, and that the = complex=20
> interactions of the "clocks" in the sky can be used as indicators of = those=20
> qualities. I personally would differentiate between the "complex interactions of the 'clocks'", etc., and the complex systems which we map astrological symbolism onto. I don't think they are congruent forms of complexity. =46or example, the latter often have the capacity to self-organise, while the former (the solar system) doesn't show much evidence of this in its current state, even though it does contain within it elements which exhibit complex behaviour (such as the chaotic tumbling of asteroids as they move in their orbits). I think conceptual problems can arise if one is not aware of this difference. =20
> If the fundamental astrological act is modelling, and we can clearly see= it=20
> as such, then I think we've made a step, because we can realize that = the=20
> physical, causative phenomena we see just happen to have a high = coherence to=20
> the astrological view, rather than being a basis or justification for = it. Yes,I would agree with this, despite reservations above.=20
> What I take Juan to say is that we should look at what astrologers do, = and=20
> that looking at what they do leads one to similar conclusions to my own.= =20
> Where I differ is that Juan validates the current astrological paradigm = (in=20
> Kuhn's sense - a set of practices) as what astrology is. I disagree = that it=20
> is essentially a set of cultural constructs, because I look to = mathematics as=20
> the closest cousin of astrology. =20 I'm not sure if that is what Juan thinks, but will leave him to comment on that! My own perspective would acknowledge the following point you are making:=20
> And within mathematics, there are formal=20
> relations, rules and so on that seem to be embedded more deeply in the=20
> biology of our minds to an extent that cuts across cultural paradigms. and that this has relevance for astrology. However, I also believe that there is something very strange about astrology that can only be really understood when we know more about the way consciousness works. I find it hard to escape the divinatory aspect. If one acknowledges that there is a dimension to astrological practice which is highly non-rational, then the diverse ways various tools are used which seem to indicate the incoherent nature of astrology become less problematical. They are a facet of the astrologer's involvement, and these are indeed both culturally influenced and highly subjective. I personally don't see this aspect of astrology as excluding the formal relations which hold the thing together at a deeper and more essential level.=20
On the other hand, this subjective aspect of astrology raises the spectre of out and out relativism. This is a big problem. However, at some stage there has to be some serious exploration of the ground which exists between the rock of objectivism and the hard place of subjectivism. For example, there may be an underlying common ground (such as the formal relations and rules you mention for maths), perhaps based on archetypal levels of order (as suggested by the phenomenon of Number, and our experience of it both qualitatively and quantitatively) as they emerge in processes (which may also be accessible using non-astrological techniques such as straight intuition). Do the diverse techniques used act as devices which allow access to this underlying level, that can be approached from different 'vantage points', giving rise to the same insights? In which case, maybe converse lunar progressions (for example) 'work', despite it being a 'loony' notion when considered without taking the astrologer's involvement into account. It's not the converse lunar progression which is actually the key factor, but the relationship between the astrologer and the underlying 'formal relations and rules'.=20
In this sense, I can say astrology is what astrologers do; that the practice is the key to understanding its nature, because practice implies practitioner; and that rationalising techniques only illuminates the surface layer (creating confusion!). The techniques are devices which are of secondary significance. Which may seem paradoxical - techniques are of secondary significance, but practice is the key to understanding. The resolution of this seeming paradox comes from including the practitioner in the equations.=20
> Right now, I think it's the=20
> mathematics-like aspects of astrology that are most in need of = attention, I agree - this and the cognitive aspect, which to my mind is the key to a very big door. We've had 5000 years of maths, and only a few decades of cognitive science and consciousness studies, but hopefully progress will be made in the next couple. =20
> because they provide consistency checks against various "techniques" and= so-
> called theories. There are a lot of practices out there that simply = lack a=20
> consistent basis. "Well, it works for me" is fine, I suppose, at the = level=20
> of craft, but it doesn't move the astrological enterprise forward. No, it doesn't. But at the same time, it may be wise to look at that common utterance, and ask whether or not it is telling us something significant about astrology's nature. How come people get their weird techniques to work? Are they deluding themselves? Maybe. Are they *all* deluding themselves? Am I deluding myself? I'd like to think not. But is it likely that I have somehow chosen out of the bag of tricks techniques that are bona fide, and the ones which are left behind (like converse lunar progressions) are impotent? I don't know the answers to these questions.=20
If I was to start looking, I'd begin with the study of complex system behaviour, and move into the astrologer's psychic perception (the broad bandwidth perception) of order in the same. The bridge between the two is where astrology (and your formal relations) sit. It's hard to comprehend the bridge without looking at the two banks of the river which it spans.=20
All the best
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 5 Issue 62
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