|Exegesis Volume 5 Issue #73
Exegesis Digest Tue, 31 Oct 2000
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 23:28:10 +1300
From: JG or DF
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V5 #71
Juan Revillo wrote:
> "Synchronicity" implies a synchrony or coincidence in time between two sets
> of phenomena, like between astrological cycles (the difference between
> "astrological" and "astronomical" cycles does not matter in this case), and
> this assumes that Astrology works "in real time", that what we observe in
> an astrological diagram or calculation is really happening at a given point
> in time, that the astronomical "event" being measured astrologically refers
> directly to what is happening in life or in consciousness, etc., i.e., "in
> real time"
> By "real time" I mean actual physical time, and my objections refer
> specifically to the assumption that the synchronicity is to be understood
> between events that coincide in time, time understood physically and
> objectively. The term "real time" comes from computer technology, and
> refers to the actual time elapsed or required for the continuation of a
> physical process (Ed Fallis or anyone else can correct me in this use of
> the term!).
I learnt my first basic physics in '63, and first used a computer in '68, and I believe my understanding of `real time' pre-dates computers (which were accessible only to science students at university at the time). My recollection is that the term was in general usage in the '60s, to mean time as it was happening. Tacitly in reference to the current period. Experiential, but collective and environmental in context. In science it has been used similarly, to differentiate time `observed' from abstract mathematical time.
Every horoscope of an event is a diagram of a synchronicity, a frozen moment of real time. The astrologer who interprets such a chart is in fact, therefore, working with real time. Unless, of course, he or she decides to employ some archaic interpretive scheme or modern abstract system which is secondary to astrological logic and has been artificially grafted on in some ad hoc manner that makes no sense. Many astrologers are prone to such arcane rituals, not understanding that a real horoscope is a diagram of an event, not some kind of magical mandala that any user can customise in their own idiosyncratic manner in order to read into it whatever takes their fancy.
> I understand that psychologically, in terms of consciousness, "real time"
> does not exist. We see the past (and probably the future) interacting with
> the present all the time, as if they co-existed temporally in a platform of
> consciousness where duration is very elastic. But we could hardly compare
> the mathematical-astrological measurements with this subjective time of
> consciousness. I consider Astrology as mathematical measurement of this
> "unreal time" of consciousness, but I cannot say that "time" as measured by
> astrology and the physical "real" time coincide, because they are happening
> in different planes.
Juan seems to have a different concept of real time, so I hope he will define it. If anyone else shares his view, please elucidate the difference! It is true that the psychological, subjective time of any person cannot be deemed real time by anyone other than that person, due to the tacit elimination of collective context by such a user's interpretation. I'm not sure that this accounts for the difference though.
Juan's description of astrology as "mathematical measurement" of conscious (subjective) time seems wrong to me in several different ways. First, astrology is interpretive more than mathematical. Second, it performs measurement of planetary cycles, not personal time. Third, it has never in its history been restricted to someone's "consciousness". Astrology has always been more than mere measurement, and it has always been based on divining the heavens, which context vastly transcends any individual's psyche.
> In other words, there is a "coincidence" of two planes, but they are not
> "synchronic", they are not happening objectively at the same time.
Juan, you would need to explain which 2 planes you are referring to here to enable the reader to comprehend what you are trying to say.
> For example: progressed secondary Sun conjunct radical Venus, coinciding to
> a very important love-encounter in the life of a person at 36 years of age.
> In the physical world, the conjunction with the radical Venus happened 36
> days after birth; this is the astrological (not "celestial!) event, and the
> actual corresponding event in life at 36 years of age is not synchronic
> with it, there is no coincidence of time between the two, physically speaking.
Yes, but even users of that logic admit that it is merely symbolic. Nobody ever claimed that progressions produce `real time' synchronicity!
> Sometimes the metaphorical hypothesis of the "imprint" at birth is used to
> explain why transits, for example, "work". This imprint is assumed to "stay
> active" and to last in time through the duration of a person's life, and,
> in this case, a transit to a chart (the imprint), would be synchronic. The
> objections to this are obvious:
> 1- This metaphorical hypothesis applies only to living organic creatures
> and leaves unexplained the rest of astrological applications (horary,
> electional, mundane). Astrology makes charts of symbolical and subjective
> events (a question, a political event, a nation, the signing of a contract,
> an imaginary being of literary fiction, etc.) for which there is no body in
> the physical-organic sense, therefore no physical "imprint" is possible.
> Most of those events, as most of astrology, exist only in the human mind or
I agree with this criticism, but there's a bit more to the matter. First, a competent astrologer would mentally distinguish between real and imaginary events, but that is not the real issue. Astrological theory ought, in my opinion, to be founded upon the generic concept of event charts. Incorporating process philosophy, so that the class of moments addressed by the theory will, in normal application, be considered generative of development processes. The imprint hypothesis is not the only option, though it is perhaps the most common. People, not just astrologers, prefer causal explanations. But Juan, you said yourself that it is just a metaphor. A metaphor need not be interpreted in a mechanistic sense.
> 2- A transit "to a person" is very different from "a transit to a diagram". < snip > We simply take the chart AS IF it were a person. Charts do not
> happen in real time. They are fixed in time artificially < snip >
So what? Maps "do not happen in real time". People use them constantly despite this irrelevant limitation, because they work, because they are accurate models of the territory. A real horoscope likewise maps a real moment.
> As I mentioned, there is "synchrony" at the moment of erecting the chart.
> But this moment is artificially fixed and from then on everything is
> a-synchronic with nature. This artificial freezing of time can be said to
> be "happening in synchronicity" only in a very limited sense., and the
> synchronicity is tangential. This applies to Horary Astrology as well.
Yes, true. The synchronicity is only in the moment. However, this fact is not tangential, it is fundamental to astrology. Astrology could not have existed without it.
> There is no doubt that the "imprint" (or whatever that is, the "seal")
> fixed at birth SEEMS to endure in time. But there is nothing that compels
> the mind to assume that this imprint is organic or biological, and the
> other branches of astrology deny it. Therefore, when a transit "touches" a
> point of this very symbolical "imprint" (a metaphor only, metaphor is the
> only way of connecting the two things possible for us today), the two
> events (the transit and the moment of the imprint) are not synchronic in
> the physical or natural sense. There can be no "synchronicity".
Yes, I agree with Juan's reasoning here. However the last sentence is a false conclusion, of course. Any astrologer can experience a synchronicity at any time, and relate it to a concurrent transit. It is in any further relationship, to the birthchart, that is conceived in the appraisal that Juan's objection applies suitably.
> The same objections apply to all those interpretations of astrology that
> pretend to see "natural causes", direct "influences" in real time between
> planets or stars and people or things. Astrology is not synchronistic.
> Astrology is not synchronic with nature.
Such gross generalisations are inaccurate and unhelpful, regardless that they may seem to be correct in relation to the practices of traditional astrologers. Fundamentalists have the right to choose to not learn and not evolve, but by doing so they become irrelevant to progressive trends in society.
> What they do, and what I have done for more than 25 years, is no different
> fundamentally from what has been done for over 2000 years. We are still
> using the same principles, adapted in different or new ways. This
> "Astrology" is therefore a historical entity which, despite cultural
> differences, is very consistent in terms of first principles, and the
> nature of the tools used is essentially the same, i.e., radical charts,
> analogies based on geometrical and mathematical proportions, structures of
> categories and meanings, etc., all this derived from models based on
> astronomy and the calendar...
I agree partly, in respect of the fundamentals of the belief system. As regards interpretive practices, I do not agree.
> I feel that you misunderstand when I say "what astrologers do". Take your
> analogy: by studying with interest the order and structure of a television
> soap opera, you can learn a lot about techniques of acting, of writing
> scripts, of photography, illumination, and sound. You can learn a great
> deal about the technology for making television, etc. This is what I mean.
> Your assumption of my reference as belonging to the field of sociology is
> not what I have in mind.
OK, techniques & methodology. But are you aware just how much they have changed in prior centuries?
> The rules behind astrology are expressions of the structure of the human
> mind. We can learn a lot about the mind by learning how astrological tools
> and practices are built.
Only an hypothesis. An assumption that traditional astrology reflects the structure of the psyche? In a very muddy pool! This view does not recognise the erroneous production of mental structures in times past. Note the tacit belief here: the fundamentalist astrologer is infallible. All those wrong predictions get ignored.
> When your computer continuously displays a moving horoscope in real time
> (i.e. of local space and local time), you have the capacity to observe
> frequently the correspondence between real life events as they are
> happening (or not long after) and what the astrology of the moment tells
> you about its archetypal nature.
> You call this astrology. I say this is not astrology. It is a question of
> defining the object of inquiry, and seems clear that ours are two different
> things. We are not interested in the same thing, since my main interest is
> understanding what astrologers do, and not precisely in the sociological
> sense that you are assuming about me. It is in the technical and
> epistemological sense, and part of clarifying what astrologers do and how
> they do it, is demonstrating what they don't do, no matter what has been
> said over and over for thousands of years. I sympathize with astrologers's
> critics, but I am not interested in inventing another type of astrology of
> my own.
Ah, so here is the explanation. Juan does not do contemporary astrology. In fact, he goes so far as to deny that it exists! I sense a rather terminal blockage to communication looming. Never mind, Juan, this too shall pass..
> Yes, but I see no point in using progressions or directions.
> Ok. But whether you see a point in them or not, they are and have been
> defining parts of astrological practice for thousands of years < snip >
Can you provide evidence of this? I'd need verification before I could believe this claim. What I have read of the history of astrology (quite a lot) does not support it.
> They are part of
> astrology and I want to understand them. Furthermore, the analogical
> principle that sustains them (e.g., 1 day=1 year, etc.) is documented by
> ethnologists in cultural practices in different parts of today's world, and
> they seem to be reflections of some very basic associative processes of the
> human mind that belongs to the world of metaphor and the relationship
> consciousness has with time and the becoming.
I'm quite sympathetic to this view, but again it is mere hearsay without documentation. I was a firm sceptic on this matter until about '88/'89 when I encountered in Mercury Hour a geophysical explanation: at the poles the year and the day are identical. In the arctic/antarctic circles life is based on seasonally-extreme days, great variations due to the convergence of the day toward the year as one gets closer to the poles. Since there is no discontinuity as one heads toward the equator, our temperate days must therefore contain some fundamental relation to the year, even though it is not experientially apparent.
> The rest of your comments I think center on the synchronistic nature of an
> astrological "reading" or act of interpretation, with which I agree.
Yes, and I must acknowledge my agreement with Juan on several other of his technical responses to my previous comments. Despite the above objection and my prior critique, I think our views on the issue of synchronicity have converged considerably. Residual differences that remain are probably due to cultural context (based on experiential history as an astrologer).
Bill Tallman wrote:
> Not addressed to me, but Ed points out something extremely important here, I
> think, and that is that we're going to have to get back to more rigorous use
> of language here lest we continue to wallow in unrecognized cultural
> misapprehensions. That means that each of us is going to have to take the
> time to look up words that seem problematic, such that the context appears
> unfamiliar, because the writer has something to say that is not easily said
> and we have to do our part in the process as reader.
I've been obliged to do just that quite frequently since starting here!
> As Bill Sheeran said, this is not easy, and I think we can bet that it's
> going to get harder to do as we go. On the other hand, what we do here has
> the possibility of being of unimagined value to mankind's future: if we can
> sort out the problems of astrology to the extent that it can become a
> generally useful tool, *and* astrology turns out to actually produce as
> advertised, our work will be both seminal and historic.
Ah, the carrot. I knew there must be a reason I incarnated!
> archetypes fall into 3 categories: those that emerge from the collective
> These three categories might be useful, but it seems to me that they are
> still conceptual objects, which defines them as originating in the human
> consciousness. I wonder if a valuable exercise might not be to see how a
> given archetype might manifest itself in each of these three categories. I
> suspect that all do so, and that the classification reflects more the
> specific point of view of the moment than the nature of the archetype
A reasonable scepticism, but experience has led me away from it. Clearly there are a whole bunch of social archetypes that are unique to humanity. Guru, for instance. One can acknowledge that other animal species have leaders, but the human race has several archetypes that function as leaders while being qualitatively unique and distinct. I think the clown may appear in other primates. Obviously the killer is common to many species, even plants, but which tree in the forest is the leader? Of course, just because we don't recognise it doesn't mean there may not be one. Which I guess is the essence of your objection. Fair enough, and I'm quite open to correction or further insights on all this.
As far as archetypes that manifest only in nature are concerned, I guess this is hypothetical - if we don't recognise them, they don't appear in our minds. They produce structures in natural forms. Spirals are usually cited in this category, but they have a pattern that is commonly recognised. Yet the spiral has no obvious functional manifestation in the psyche. The circle, on the other hand, does. Primarily via the internal representation of the horizon. Even children readily imagine circles, so the pattern reproduces realily in our minds, so it appears that the circle archetype is common to both nature and the psyche. Same for the number archetypes, and the planetary archetypes.
> Try reversing this. The archetype is the human concept that reflects the
> existence of certain formal commonalities amongst those things that are
> meaningfully incident on the human being.
Indeed. Other writers have adopted this stance. Seems reductionist-driven; we see things, but it doesn't mean they are really there. I prefer to believe that humans evolved sensory organs to detect things in nature, and there is a consequent correspondence between the pattern we see and the object that `caused' that pattern. This correspondence is, in effect, a reflection of pattern.
> It seems to me that our discussions have reached a point of complexity that
> requires an expanded format. < snip >
> In spoken conversation, almost all remains in the short term memory, so that
> the context is an ongoing presence.
You recommending ICQ?
> In this venue, the only substitute for that contextual presence is extensive
> citation < snip > ready consultation; here, this would require that we
> have enough screen real estate to put up two or more posts for comparison.
> I have that capacity and do so use it on occasion, but I suspect most others
> do not < snip > so the context will continue to be ignored.
My ISP does not give me any free web space. I have heard that some places overseas do, so long as you carry advertising on the page. It is true that communication in Exegesis is a discipline, but so is any communication. The issue is the extent of any limitation on productive output. Reference to prior context is indeed necessary to make a point much of the time.
> The result of this is generally the custom of talking past each other, which
> < snip > an ongoing litany of restated positions that are minimally
> influenced by other contributions, and the best that seems to be possible is
> the noting of agreement without undue comment. Movement is usually
> accomplished by the entrance of new contributors whose ideas are taken in
> and integrated, or ignored < snip >
Yeah, but just a microcosm of society, surely? Human nature. The list parameters frame the discussion. People like to promote their own views. What you get is just a typical discussion group. Value is, however, added by the design of the parameters, selecting for fairly knowledgeable and serious contributors. Such people then provide supplementary pressures upon the subject matter, via choice of topic and style of communication. Thus the culture of the ecosystem achieves collective generation.
> I suspect that there are some subscribers here who would wish for more than
> desultory, however learned and substantial, exchanges that satisfy the
> contributor's need to express opinion. It seems that the email list venue
> is not likely to provide much more than what we have here, especially since
> the only format is that of digest, but that is what is available.
Yes, I'd be keen to exploit any opportunity to transcend the discussion-group format, should it arise. Until such time, participation here seems more fruitful than other online venues (in most of which banality seems to be the norm).
> it seems to me that if this party is to ever get off the ground it needs
> to expand its scope, and I see no alternative to acquiring additional venues
> for doing so. There are several possibilities < snip >
If they are realistic and achievable, great. I expect any alternative venue to be concurrent with Exegesis, because the purpose and function would be supplementary, and probably reciprocal to some extent. I can see that it would ease the pressure on Fran's resource-base, and provide distilled input of a progressive nature to Exegesis. However, it remains to be seen how many contributors are actually capable of constructive collaboration on the higher level. Mercury retro is the wrong time to launch a new enterprise, but we can assess options. Once it goes direct those willing to participate ought to then commit themselves to an agreement in principle. Achieving such an agreement will be the test of viability.
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2000 13:43:21 -0400
From: Ed Falis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V5 #71 - Juan
> Yes. But only that instant is synchronistic. Everything else is done on the
> chart a posteriori and is by necessity asynchronous, like different
> temporal planes that coincide. Therefore the act of reading or
> interpretation, mediated by the human subject or psyche, is always
> synchronistic, but the reason why asynchronous temporal planes (the
> different tools) are able to model reality is not synchronicity... UNLESS
> one assumes that "the astrological act" exists only at the moment of the
> reading, and is dependent of the structuring and semantic powers of the
> psyche of the astrologer, not on the physical accuracy of the model. This
> would mean that any chart will do...
Actually, Vic Mansfield, an astrophysicist and a Jungian, might likely agree with this last in his book "Synchronicity, Science and Soul-Making". He makes a strong distinction between events showing nonlocal connections, like the effects in Bell's Theorem, and synchronous events, which _must_ involve consciousness, because connection in meaning is the essence of synchronicity as he understands it.
There's a talk he gave at an astrology convention several years ago at http:/ /www.lightlink.com/vic/astrol.html
End of Exegesis Digest Volume 5 Issue 73
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