Date: 05:33 PM (EST), Apr-29-01
Subject: Hello and Welcome!
Here we are again, but this time I hope that/everyone/ can
participate...I believe that my ISP has finally fixed the routing
problem we has last winter and that I can have the Exegesis Server
on the internet again.
Post a message!
Date: 03:49 AM, Apr-30-01
Subject: RE: Hello and Welcome!
From: Dennis Frank
Great to see the new forum up & running! I presume the time of your
first message is the genesis, Fran, (4.53pm EST 28 April) unless there's
an alternative event you'd rather identify for the launch chart. So
where was it launched from? I'm keen to check out the chart...
Date: 05:26 PM, Apr-30-01
Subject: RE: Hello and Welcome!
> I presume the time of your
> first message is the genesis,
> Fran, (4.53pm EST 28 April)
> unless there's an alternative event
> you'd rather identify for the
> launch chart. So where
> was it launched from?
> I'm keen to check out
> the chart...
Hmmm, I'm not sure what would be THE time to use as I've been testing
the server for a few weeks and ironing out bugs. The first message seems
reasonable as it was intended to be something that the public would
indeed read. One alternative would be the message I posted on the list
announcing the server being up and running. Hmmm...I'm inclined to go
with the first message, the announcement is something else altogether
and other times are not for this forum.
The message was posted from (and to) 40N26.4 79W52.8 which is close
where my desk is located.
Date: 04:08 AM, May-01-01
Subject: RE: Hello and Welcome!
From: Dennis Frank
>> I presume the time of your
>> first message is the genesis,
>> Fran, (4.53pm EST 28 April)
>> unless there's an alternative event
>> you'd rather identify for the
>> launch chart. So where
>> was it launched from?
>> I'm keen to check out
>> the chart...
>Hmmm, I'm not sure what would
>be THE time to use
>as I've been testing the
>server for a few weeks
>and ironing out bugs. The
>first message seems reasonable as
>it was intended to be
>something that the public would
>indeed read. One alternative would
>be the message I posted
>on the list announcing the
>server being up and running.
>Hmmm...I'm inclined to go with
>the first message, the announcement
>is something else altogether and
>other times are not for
>The message was posted from (and
>to) 40N26.4 79W52.8 which is
>close to where my desk
Bouncing off your thoughts... First, a theoretical point: from a
functional perspective, the launch chart must be erected for that
genesis event which starts the functioning of the process. I've found in
mundane astrology that astrologers often present wrong charts because
they failed to identify the correct event, so I always ask myself "What
is the process that I need to find the start of?"
Clearly in this case it is the discussion forum considered as an ongoing
process. Preliminary erection and testing of the enabling device is
beside the point. Sure, testing the server during prior weeks is itself
a process, but not the one we are seeking to specify. So I agree that
the first message you sent to the discussion forum began the operation
of the discussion process.
An interesting chart; the most overloaded house being the 3rd is
appropriate for a communications channel designed to provide an
informational process. The exact Mars/Chiron conjunction therein is
therefore rather intriguing. Hope no wound afflicts the endeavour; I
suspect instead that it lies inherent in the subject matter! The sextile
to Aquarian Uranus in the 5th ought to motivate innovative tactics in
the performance of contributors. Luna culminating in Cancer's midpoint
also intrigues, and those exact sextiles from Mercury in the 8th enable
a comfortable feeling for shared interests and material to be
articulated with some authority.
That grand trine of Jupiter/Asc/Neptune suggests that participants may
tend to bliss out on the subject somewhat, lots of starry-eyed idealism.
Luckily Jupiter in the 9th promises abundant higher learning & potential
accumulation of wisdom. Its opposition to Pluto polarizes cultural
diversity issues (Sag/Gemini)in learning from info provided (3rd/9th).
I'd link this to Saturn, also now in Gemini, here in the 8th quincunxing
that Sagittarian Mars/Chiron conjunction in the 3rd. Exploration far
afield is limited by the variety of information that can actually be
shared meaningfully, evoking the perplexity that we experience when
encountering the different beliefs and practices of other astrologers,
particular those from foreign countries. Perhaps Mars/Chiron points to
maverick/shamanic/healing approaches that connect with a deeper
sub-stratum of unconscious sharing - a context for collective experience
that underlies belief systems and transcends cultural divides.
Date: 10:04 PM, Apr-30-01
Subject: RE: Hello and Welcome!
From: Alexandre Weber
Nice to hear you fixed the forum again. This is a really nice device.
Did you know any thread about cosmology in the list?
thank you for your help.
Date: 10:51 AM, May-02-01
Subject: RE: Hello and Welcome!
> Did you know any thread about
> cosmology in the list?
Hard to say. The word 'cosmology ' gets used in so many ways that it
hard to tell what you are looking for. Myself, I never think of
astrology and cosmology as being directly related.
Date: 10:34 PM, May-02-01
Subject: Hello and Welcome!
From: Alexandre Weber
>Hard to say. The word 'cosmology
>' gets used in so
>many ways that it is
>hard to tell what you
>are looking for. Myself, I
>never think of astrology and
>cosmology as being directly related.
Well this is more generic approach of astrology,it doesn't implied that
I don't like Chiron conjunction Mars on the third house, and its
connection with a deeper sub-stratum of unconscious sharing, if Dennis
could expand it will be very nice since I have the felling I couldn't
grasp all the meaning involved.
On the other hand ,in a search at the net I found an Essay - THE
APOCALYPSE: An exegesis of the Book of Revelation by Robert F. Riggs -
and the author wrote:
This is probably the most difficult subject for the casual reader to
understand. The perplexed are invited to read HAMLET'S MILL, a classic
exposition of the subject co-authored by the great de Santillana, a
professor of philosophy at MIT when I took his course in the forties.
Also, if one is fortunate enough to find a copy, I recommend ASTRONOMY
by Dr. Arthur M. Harding. This book was the first to open my eyes to the
inescapable conclusion that the Bible is adorned with astrological
symbolism. But only 'Abdu'l-Baha seems to have recognized that
astrological symbolism is absolutely essential for an understanding of
Because it is essential, I am forced to present a brief introduction
the subject, knowing full well that the serious reader will have to
pursue the subject elsewhere.
According to ancient astrological theory, the fixed stars were located
on an enormous crystalline 'celestial sphere.' A band of stars
demarcated the region on the celestial sphere through which traveled the
sun and the other six known planets ('wanderers'). This band was called
the zodiac ('circle of beasts'), and consisted of 12 constellations of
fixed stars. The names of the twelve constellations or 'signs' were and
are still called:
ZODIACAL ORDER - SIGN OR CONSTELLATION - (ENGLISH NAME)
1- Aries (Ram) 2- Taurus (Bull) 3- Gemini (Twins) 4- Cancer (Crab) 5-
Leo (Lion) 6- Virgo (Virgin) 7- Libra (Scales) 8- Scorpio (Scorpion) 9-
Sagittarius (Archer) 10- Capricornus (Goat) 11- Aquarius (Water Bearer)
12- Pisces (Fishes)
The zodiac was considered to be the 'true earth.' The stars and planets
that inhabited the true earth were called the 'lords of time,' the
originators of history, with earthbound man playing the role of mere
spectators to 'earthshaking' cosmic events.
Since the earth is tilted on its axis, we have the four seasons of the
year, caused by the angle at which the sunlight reaches the earth. The
more nearly overhead the sun appears at noon, the hotter the day. During
the summertime, the sunlight reaches the earth at a steep angle - during
wintertime, the sunlight reaches the earth at a shallow angle.
The four seasons are related to the four 'corners' or 'pillars' of the
sky. These 'pillars' are the constellations in the zodiac where the sun
is located at the equinoxes and solstices. The equinoxes are the two
events during the year when the days and nights are of equal duration,
roughly March 21, the Spring equinox, and September 21, the Fall
equinox. The two solstices are the events when the day is longest and
shortest, roughly June 21, the Summer solstice, and December 21, the
If one connects the 'four corners' of the zodiac with imaginary straight
lines, one obtains the 'square earth.'
At first thought, it would seem that the four corners of the square
earth should remain fixed throughout all eternity. Alas, this is an
error. Actually, since the earth rotates on its axis, it is subject to
what is called the 'gyroscopic precession effect.' Everyone who has spun
a toy top has witnessed the gyroscopic precession effect that causes a
tilted top to 'precess' about its vertical axis at a relatively slow
rate. Since the earth is tilted on its axis, it too precesses. The rate
is very slow, one complete cycle of precession requiring roughly
A little reflection should convince the reader that the gyroscopic
precession effect will cause the equinoxes and solstices to precess
also, with the dawning place of the sun at, say, the Spring equinox, to
move along the zodiac. This movement is called the Precession of the
The 12 signs of the zodiac are envisioned as 12 'doors' or 'houses.'
Because of the Precession, the sun enters a different 'house' at
springtime about once per 2-thousand years and causes us to enter a new
astrological 'Age.' The phenomenon was well known to the ancient
astrologers, and it was used as a title of the Age of human history in
which one lived. If the sun rose in Aries at the Spring equinox, it was
called the Age of ARIES. If the Spring equinox was in Pisces, it was
called the Age of PISCES, etc. Actually, every astrological Age had a
double name, e.g. ARIES-Libra, PISCES-Virgo, etc. The double name comes
from the names of the constellations or 'signs' where the sun rises at
both the SPRING and Fall seasons of the year. Modern astrologers say
that we are now entering the Age of AQUARIUS-Leo or Leo- AQUARIUS.
This isn't quite the whole story, since the Precession will cause the
sun to complete the whole 'circle of beasts' and to reappear in Aries at
Springtime after a 'time circle' of about 25-thousand years. Accustomed
as we are in the post-Newtonian world to open-ended 'linear time,' the
ancient concept of circles ('infinities') of time is difficult to grasp.
However, mind-boggling Baha'i Era concepts such as the relativity of
time, black holes, and oscillating universes, are forcing us to accept
the validity of such paradoxes, at least in the physical realm.
Apparently, the ancient astrologers held analogous concepts applicable
to the realm of the spirit.
The numerical order of the Precession is opposite to the zodiacal order.
That is, the constellation seems to gradually lag behind the equinoxes.
For example, during the Age of Pisces, the Spring equinox was in Pisces,
the twelfth sign in the zodiacal order. Now the Spring equinox occurs in
Aquarius, the eleventh sign in the zodiacal order. This fact will become
significant in later chapters.
Next, we consider some astrological symbolism in the Book of Genesis.
Genesis 49 is a word picture describing the signs of the zodiac and are
correlated with the names of the 12 tribes:
Reuben, 'boiling over with water,' is Aquarius (the Water Bearer)
Simeon and Levi, 'the brethren,' are Gemini (the Twins)
Judah,'the lion's whelp,' is Leo (the Lion)
Zebulon, 'who shall dwell at the beach of the sea,' is Pisces (the Fishes)
Issachar, 'a gelded donkey lying down in the cattle pens (REB)' is
Taurus (the Bull)
Dan, 'a serpent in the way,' is Scorpio (the Scorpion)
Gad, 'a troop shall press upon him; but he shall press upon their heel,'
is Aries (the Ram).
Asher, 'the weigher of bread,' is Libra (the Scales)
Nephtali, 'a hind let loose,' is Capricorn (the Goat)
Joseph, 'whose bow abides in strength,' is Sagittarius (the Archer)
Benjamin, 'ravening as a wolf, devouring his prey by morning, dividing
the spoil at night,' is Cancer (the Crab)
The 12 sons have been named but one sign remains- Virgo (the Virgin).
This sign is 'veiled,' and is correlated with Dinah, Jacob's daughter
In addition to the names 'Pisces,' etc., the ancient Jewish astrologers
named the signs of the zodiac after the twelve tribes in the manner
suggested in Genesis. Thus the name of the first sign was 'Gad/Aries';
the second sign was 'Issachar/Taurus', etc.
It is hoped that this brief discussion will permit the reader to move
on. An effort will be made to elaborate on the subject as the Apocalypse
Since I have never seen this attribution, and the titles Lord of Time
the Planets, and true Earth to the zodiac are new to me , and since I
came to this essay when I was searching for Plato cosmology Lambda, I
decided to ask in the forum about cosmology, but now if you could help
me with this new issues I'll be very happy too.
Date: 01:34 AM, May-04-01
Subject: "Dennis Frank Essay Astrology Considered as a Potential Science of Time"
From: Alexandre Weber
Last night (5/3/2001) I made the downloaded of your essay at
C.U.R.A., it was a good surprise to me you addressed the question about
time I had proposed in the mail I sent to the exegesis list, the way you
deal with the issue was fantastic, and I think you give support to some
ideas I had spent in it.As a matter of fact, I think, we have lots of
points we agree about the purpose and the meaning of the astrological
phenomenon and we share the hope we can make a new approach simple and
elegant of the astrological techniques, even reaching, a very difficult
goal in a new set of words that describe Astrologically ,in a better
way, what happens here in the Earth, of course, the words are going to
be from you , who made well worded sentences in your article, a really
enjoy read it.
I'm not so familiarized with Rudhyar's works as you, but seems he
has good intuition on how we can set a practical Astrology or he holds
the key for the interpretation , and the key could be the Platonic
Solids, namely the octahedron as I proposed .If we are going to use the
Ciclology, at first sight it seems fine to me, and the Platonic atoms
and the solids to framed the 'seed' ,we are going to have the symbols to
attach to the internal edges of the solid ,and, in my opinion, the
better symbols we can use are the Tarot cards, in this way we finished
with two Domus opposite - Air and Summer by example- and when we put
then in movement we form two opposite Vortex fully established and the
'seed' can come in (as above) and going out (so below).
Date: 01:57 AM, May-04-01
Subject: RE: Hello and Welcome!
> Did you know any thread about
> cosmology in the list?
and type in cosmology to generate a number of matches.
Date: 04:06 AM, May-05-01
Subject: Alexandre cosmology etc.
From: Dennis Frank
Since English is obviously a 2nd language for you, I'd be interested
to know your country of origin (mine's New Zealand). Thanks for your
feedback, but the article was just a rewrite of something I sent to
Exegesis last year. Actually, it was a summary overview of the
contemporary view of astrology I presented in my 1992 book "The
Astrologer and the Paradigm Shift".
Kepler's cosmology was based on the Platonic solids at first, but as
his mathematical analysis of the planetary orbits proceeded over the
years he lost his original conviction. He attained a degree of precision
that enabled him to identify his laws of planetary motion, which
mathematical relations he called God's will. The appeal of the
Pythagorean scheme had always motivated him, so he was reluctant to
abandon it, but to match theory and reality correctly he had to. The
full story is told best by Arthur Koestler in "The Watershed", also "The
Nonetheless I don't believe the concept of the Platonic solids is
invalid, even though it has no place in science. The limited validity
lies in a very rough approximation. A better one is Bode's Law, which is
valid to a reasonable level of accuracy except for Neptune & Pluto, but
this too was discarded by science as a law while being retained in some
kind of no-man's-land between limbo & acceptability (astronomers'
websites explain it).
We all come into astrology from our personal cultural basis &
education. Mine was scientific (physics). My bias is therefore to ground
astrology on the natural world. Esoteric reasoning traditionally
articulates a magical world-view, incompatible with science. My
perception of attempted correlations between tarot or cabbala &
astrology is that they are purely subjective. I have seen many such over
the last 20 years which all lack reasoning that is based on the natural
world, and seem arbitrary and contrived. However I have no ideological
bias against natural magic, quite the contrary, so if anyone does find
reasons that others could agree make a sensible correlation, I'd be
happy to examine them.
So while I appreciate your sentiments, I suspect that your
perception that your cosmology and mine seem similar in some respects
really only gives us the superficial appearance of common ground.
Nothing wrong with this, but I feel that a common understanding requires
a more extensive basis that can be specified in reasoning that is
comprehensible to others. With regard to your comments, mentioning
`seed' and vortex in a dualistic sense enables me to intuit what you may
mean, but if I spelt it out I'd be guessing. You seem to be intending
`seed' to mean what I call `number archetype' (single digit only). The
only vortices I am aware of in this context are the relevant orbital
trajectories. These cannot be simply correlated with those number
archetypes. The resonance-produced spacing of orbits in the solar system
has a more complex mathematical basis. There have been various arbitrary
traditional correlations made. For instance, from a God's eye view, the
Sun would be 1, Mercury 2, Venus 3 etc. From a Gaian perspective, Earth
would be 1, Luna 2, Sol 3 etc. No such scheme ever seems to have
obtained more than a single advocate, so far as I am aware, proof that
subjectivity rules esoteric reasoning!
In regard to your mention of the `seed' coming in above & going
below, I feel this implies a sequential relation between above & below
that others would interpret as causal. I would reject such an
interpretation, since I believe the archetypes manifest synchronously in
both realms. That's why planetary configurations occur in synchronicity
with archetypal effects, in my opinion.
As regards your query to Fran about cosmology, it was good to see
his advice noting the new archive search facility which certainly adds
value to the site. It could be that this keyword will not find all the
discussions you may be interested in. We have covered some related
ground that might be better found via the combination "zodiac" +
"precession", for instance, or "solar system" + "galaxy". As Fran
suggested, cosmology these days has a purely scientific meaning that
refers to understanding of the structure and history of the universe.
Pretty boring, mostly. This view is hamstrung by the antique God's eye
view that is implicit in the old scientific paradigm. Ancient cosmology
is more interesting and relevant to astrology, since it was
observer-centred, but maybe that is in fact what you really meant.
That web-site essay you have copied for us presents some elementary
features of ancient cosmology. "Hamlet's Mill" is more frustrating than
rewarding. It deals in ancient myths, so is entirely conjectural.
Nonetheless, the thesis may be valid. Pan-cultural recognition of the
precession of the equinoxes in prehistoric times cannot be proven, but
there is circumstantial evidence. Myths aside, we have Stonehenge &
medicine wheels, plus that henge found in the Sahara a couple of years
ago, the near-universal tendency of temples to be oriented to the
cardinal points, the Chinese coins with the square hole in the middle
etc. The biblical correlation of the 12 tribes of the Hebrews with the
signs of the zodiac seems to be widely agreed. Key features that the
essay does not mention are the royal stars of Persia and the fact that
Taurus led the ancient zodiac, not Aries.
Date: 00:30 AM, May-07-01
Subject: RE: cosmology etc.
From: Alexandre Weber
Nobody talks much that doesn't say unwise things, -- things he did not
to say; as no person plays much without striking a false note sometimes.
Talk, to me, is only spading up the ground for crops of thought. I can't
answer for what will turn up. If I could, it wouldn't be talking, but
"speaking my piece." Better, I think, the hearty abandonment of one's self
to the suggestions of the moment, at the risk of an occasional slip of the
tongue, perceived the instant it escapes, but just one syllable too late,
than the royal reputation of never saying a foolish thing.
(Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Professor at the Breakfast Table)
Yes, English is my second language, and I used to live in Santos - Sao
Paulo state - Brazil, so I speak Portuguese from Brazil, my background
is a mix of humanities and physics. As you noted I have a little
difficulties in expressing my thoughts in English and frequently I feel
I got misunderstood in my points. So, I beg your pardon for my frequent
mistakes and state to anyone feel free to correct me and ask for any
clarification. I know the issues that we are dealing are highly
controversial and can ramp some strong feelings, but I want to say in
advance that is not my purpose to embarrassed anybody. I'm very curious
and I love to discuss ideas , I really want to sound my thoughts in a
public forum and receive good criticism to improve them. Because ours
countries are so far aside, maybe I can break some good manner's rule,
please let me know if it happens and I'll try to don't make it anymore.
Unfortunately I haven't the opportunity of read your book "The
Astrologer and Paradigm Shift" but, as soon as I can I'll go. About
Kepler's cosmology and the Arthur Koestler's books I really don't know
if they tried to use the internal space of the octahedron, with his
eight Domus, in their works, if so , it will be a very nice surprise to
me, as a matter of fact, I've doing a research in this subject and ,
until now, I didn't find any three dimensional astrological chart , or
house systems, even as a default chart, that use the Platonic Solids. I
don't claim in any originality, much in the other sense, I think, it
doesn't have divulgation and deserves a proper study.
About the Tarot cards and the subjectivity, if we want go ahead in this
issue, we are going to confronted, inescapably, with some philosophical
complexity , in a way to confirm or refute our apparently superficial
assessment. In contribution to the debate I'm putting an article about
cosmology, with the author asserts, beside others things, that the study
of cosmology is only possible in a subjective way. I would talk about
the Tarot cards in a next post.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF COSMOLOGY?
by Lee Smolin
Where are fundamental physics and cosmology going? It is of course,
impossible to know for sure: This is science, where the ultimate worth
of one's ideas is that they lead to a genuine understanding of nature.
To be part of science, an idea or theory must make predictions that
survive comparison with observation and experiment. Having said this, I
can offer one scientist's view on the major themes in our search for the
fundamental principles and laws that underlie the universe.
The most important principle of 20th-century physics is that all
observable properties of things are about relationships. Even space and
time must be spoken about in terms of relationships. There is no such
thing as space independent of that which exists in it and no such thing
as time apart from change. This is an old idea that philosophers such as
Leibniz have argued for centuries, but general relativity is the first
physical theory to be based on it. Many of the important problems facing
theoretical physics have to do with the change from an absolute view of
properties to this relational view. For example, I think it is highly
likely that this is the key to further progress in string theory.
A very important part of turning cosmology into a science is to
understand all the implications of a seemingly trivial statement: There
is nothing outside the universe. One aspect of this is that there can be
no observer outside the universe. We must understand the universe in a
way in which the scientific description of it is a description made and
used by observers who are part of the system itself. This seems to go
against the idea that the scientific view of nature is objective, and an
objective description is always based on observations of a system from
outside. If cosmology is to be a science, we must invent a new notion of
objectivity that allows the observers of the system also to be part of it.
Another aspect of this is that a scientific cosmology can contain no
residue of the idea that the world was constructed by some being who is
not a part of it. As the creatures who makes things, it is our most
natural impulse to ask: When we come upon something beautifully or
intricately structured, who made it? We must learn to give up this
impulse if we are to do scientific cosmology. As there can, by
definition, be nothing outside the universe, a scientific cosmology must
be based on a conception that the universe made itself. This is possible
because, since Darwin, we know that structure and complexity can be
self-organized. We understand that there are natural processes, easily
comprehensible, by which organization can arise naturally and
spontaneously, without any need for a maker outside of the system. This
requires, however, that we take a more historical view of fundamental
physics and cosmology. We must be open to the possibility that the
answers to many of the questions we have about why the elementary
particles or the fundamental forces are as they are?and not
otherwise?may have answers that are, at least in part, historical.
This goes against the expectation that the more fundamental an
explanation, the less historical it is. It also goes against the
expectation that the ultimate answers to all questions about the
elementary particles will be found with the discovery of a final,
unified theory. This theory is presumed to be based on some mathematical
principles that are both powerful and beautiful, in a way that will
single it out for consideration as the unique possible fundamental
theory. Our job, as physicists, is to discover this fundamental theory.
We have implicitly believed that if we found it, it would be unique, so
that there would be no room left to ask: Which fundamental theory holds
true in our universe?
It hasn't turned out this way. The best candidate we have for a
fundamental theory, string theory, comes in a great many versions, which
each describe different possible universes with different elementary
particles governed by different laws. As far as we know, all are equally
consistent unified theories. So it seems like we do have to ask why one
theory rather than another describes our universe.
It is possible that all these theories are aspects of a single theory.
Recent work tends to suggest that they all describe something like
different phases: Just as water molecules may be organized into a
liquid, solid or gas, the fundamental "stuff" seems to come in a large
number of different phases, which look to observers on large scales like
different fundamental theories.
We are recently making some progress towards this unified string theory.
Although its shape is not yet completely clear to us, it already has a
name: "M" theory. Indeed, part of the search for this theory involves
reformulating string theory in a way that is more relational, and less
based on notions that space and time are absolute and independent of
what exists. But it looks more and more like this theory will not allow
the world to exist in a great many phases, and it will even be possible
for the world to make a transition from one phase to another. Just as
ice can be melted, it seems likely that in sufficiently energetic and
violent events, the world may change from one phase to another,
resulting in a change in the apparent laws of nature. Such violent
events certainly include the approach to black hole singularities and
the Big Bang of our universe.
Thus, rather than leading to the discovery of a single fundamental
theory, string theory seems itself to point to the need to include an
historical aspect in fundamental physics. If we want to know all the
answers to our questions about electrons and protons, we are going to
have to understand why the universe we see around us emerged from the
Big Bang with one set of laws rather than another.
"We in the audience are all agreed that your theory is crazy. But what
divides us is whether it is crazy enough." ?NIELS BOHR, after listening
to Wolfgang Pauli present a theory of everything.
I have proposed one possible answer: something like natural selection
acts on the choice of the laws of physics. The basic idea is that black
holes give rise to new regions of space and time, and that at these
events, which resemble our Big Bang, the laws of physics can change.
When worked out in detail, this idea leads to a scientific theory which
makes predictions which are testable. The basic prediction is that no
small change in the masses of the elementary particles or the strengths
of the forces would lead to a world with more black holes than ours. So
far, although a number of astronomers have tried to find
counterexamples, this prediction has held up. I can also deduce from the
theory that certain things will never be seen. For example, a neutron
star with a mass at least three times that of our sun is incompatible
with the theory. If one is seen, the theory is disproved!
It is also possible to imagine other ways in which historical elements
could come into the laws of nature. Indeed, we are discovering that
there it may be that space is itself the result of spontaneous processes
of self-organization. Processes of self-organization other than natural
selection have been studied by people like Per Bak and Stuart Kauffman
for some time, and they are known to occur in a variety of situations.
It may very well be that mechanisms like self-organized criticality,
which Bak and Kauffman describe, may play a role in the emergence of
space itself, from a complex primordial network of interactions.
This idea is being studied now by a number of people. Although it is
early to say if it will work, I can say something about how it comes
about. The reason is that those of us studying the problem of combining
general relativity with quantum theory have understood that the geometry
of space must be discrete. Just like matter is made of atoms, space
itself must be made of discrete bits.
This conclusion has arisen from several points of view. First of all,
seems to be required by the thermodynamics of black holes, as Jacob
Bekenstein has been pointing out for years. It also seems to be implied
by string theory, as Lenny Susskind and Gerard 'tHooft, among others,
have been arguing. In the last few years we have also understood that
the ultimate discreteness of space is loosely a consequence of combining
the basic principles of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Thus,
a few years ago, Carlo Rovelli and I were able to show that, rather
generally, quantum gravity predicts that the volumes of regions in space
and the areas of surfaces must come in discrete units, like the energy
levels of atoms. We are even able to make precise predictions about the
discrete units of area and volume.
This discovery was a great pleasure for us because we rediscovered a
beautiful set of structures, called spin networks, that our theory tells
us are descriptions of the discrete forms of space. These structures
were originally invented by Roger Penrose more than thirty years ago, as
a first guess of what a discrete geometry of space would look like. It
has been very gratifying to be able to confirm that Penrose's intuition
was essentially correct.
Once this is understood, we are faced with a new question: How do these
discrete bits of space assemble themselves into a smooth structure that
looks like the space we see around us? This turns out to be very much
like asking why atoms often assemble themselves into solids, like
plastics or metals, that look smooth when examined at scales larger than
the atoms. It seems to be the case that without some special
organization, the discrete bits of space?the networks?do not assemble
themselves into big smooth structures that could describe the
featureless space we observe. Instead, they typically form chaotic
structures that do not resemble any previous notion of space.
Thus, we are faced with the very real possibility that the fact that
world has any spatial extension at all is a contingent historical fact,
that also requires explanation by some principle of self-organization.
We are working on this now, and there seems to be good progress. I also
expect that the outcome of this work will be a unification of the
different approaches that have led to an expectation that space is
discrete, including string theory and black hole thermodynamics. What
for me is most provocative is the possibility that, for this to work, we
will have to extend the Darwinian idea that the structure of a system
must be formed from within by natural processes of self-organization?to
the properties of space and time themselves
In fact, there are other reasons to expect that space and time should
self-organized. Systems which are self-organized turn out to be complex
systems. What is a complex system? What is complexity? One approach to
this question, which Julian Barbour and I have developed, is to define
the complexity of a system in terms of the variety of the interactions
of the parts of the system. Roughly speaking, the more variety a system
has, the easier it is to distinguish the parts of the system from each
other by describing each of their neighborhoods. In these terms, a
complex universe is one in which the view from every place is different
from the view from any other place. But, as I argued at the beginning,
space itself is defined only by the relationships among things. This
means that the more complex a universe is, the easier it is to define
space in terms of relationships. This means that there is a deep and
fundamental connection between the idea that space and time are to be
defined solely in terms of relationships and the idea that the world is
a complex system whose structure is to be explained, in part, by its
having undergone processes of self-organization.
The first is the key idea behind general relativity, the second the
behind modern biology. What joins them is that in the end both sets of
ideas make sense as descriptions of systems, like the universe or life
on earth, that must structure themselves from the inside, without being
made or observed from the outside.
But these themes are not only essential for understanding what is
happening in cosmology and fundamental physics. More and more, I have
the experience of meeting people in other fields who talk to me about
the importance of the themes of relationalism, variety, evolution and
self-organization in their own fields. First, in science, one sees the
same constellation of themes reflected in the work of people such as Per
Bak and Stuart Kauffman, who are attempting to understand the principles
of self-organization at work in biology and other complex systems, such
as the economy. One even sees these themes in the work of pure
mathematicians, such as Louis Crane, John Baez and others, who are
exploring the use of category theory as the basis of understanding
topology, algebra and logic. Beyond science, if one reads political
thinkers such as Drucilla Cornell or Roberto Unger; explores the
architectural adventures of Frank Geary and Charles Jenks; or looks at
the sculpture and painting of artists like Saint Clair Cemin or Donna
Moylan, one sees they also are captivated by the idea that the world is
constructed from evolving relationships rather than eternal and static
absolutes. < Well and the astologers ? Don't have nothing to say? ,
these observation is mine>
Of course, this does not mean that these ideas are right; only
observation and experiment can, in the end, tell us that. But it does
mean that the late twentieth century pessimists, the postmodernists and
social constructivists, and the end-of-this-and-that-ists have it
completely wrong. We enter the 21st century with new ideas and wide
horizons, with much to do and everything to talk about.
Date: 04:20 AM, May-13-01
Subject: RE: cosmology etc.
From: Dennis Frank
Yes, the quote from the (American?) philosopher may be apposite. Tossing
out ideas seeds possibilities in the fertile ground of the mind. I guess
I must acknowledge my bias here. In modern astrology speculation is too
often published as though it were reasoning. Spurious reasons to believe
things that are really just personal fantasies are very common in
astrological publishing, and I'd like to see astrologers transcend this
tendency and structure a credible contemporary belief system for
themselves, so I contribute to the creation of such a collective endeavour.
With regard to your apparent interest in an octagonal house division
system, Alexandre, I helped Patrice Guinard with the first translation
into English of his in-depth examination of the subject, and followed
that up with detailed commentary in Exegesis. As far as I know he the
first since Cyril Fagan several decades ago to do such work.
That article by Lee Smolin is interesting, but only marginally relevant
to our topics. The obvious relevance is in various metaphysical points
that can be noted, such as the one you referred to. Those of us familiar
with physics ought to already appreciate their significance, whereas
other readers may need to have these explained to them. Here goes:
He wrote that in science "the ultimate worth of one's ideas is that
lead to a genuine understanding of nature. To be part of science, an
idea or theory must make predictions that survive comparison with
observation and experiment."
First point: nature is defined in a universal context by physicists,
in a Gaian (or Terran, if you prefer) context by biologists. Astrologers
join biologists in using an interpretive fame of reference based on the
home planet, unlike physicists.
Second point: theory enables predictions to be compared with reality
check the validity of the theory. In science, practitioners are expected
to get the same answer by the same method if the theory is correct. In
astrology, practitioners are expected to do their own thing and it is
regarded as normal for all practitioners to get different answers, and
common for them to use different methods as well, and often different
"The most important principle of 20th-century physics is that all
observable properties of things are about relationships." No innate
qualities: features or aspects of something are defined in relation to a
context. This criterion seems reasonable, since all descriptive terms of
language are social constructs. I personally believe that the equivalent
interpretive convention for astrologers is inadequate. Sure, our
keywords become more effective and seemingly valid the more users agree
that they mean something profound. But there must be something
underlying the label, which I (and others) call the archetype. To deny
this is to condemn the keywords of astrologers to being merely the
arbitrary constructs of linguistic fashion. Collective hallucinations,
rather than pointers to archetypal components of time cycles.
He wrote: "we must invent a new notion of objectivity that allows the
observers of the system also to be part of it." I have already provided
such a concept: relative objectivity. Features of our environment become
relatively objective to us when we agree on their description.
He wrote: "there are natural processes, easily comprehensible, by which
organization can arise naturally and spontaneously, without any need for
a maker outside of the system." This may not seem readily relevant to
modern astrology, but it relates to the function of the prime mover in
the ancient cosmology from which traditional astrology was derived. The
prime mover was correlated to the outer-most sphere. Normally this was
the one in which the fixed stars were located, thus the transport of the
zodiac. In many ancient cultures the supreme deity which turned the
world was more specifically identified with the northern pole star,
which later led to the notion of the `axis mundi'.
Rudhyar correctly saw a profound equivalence between this ancient
conception and Smut's advocacy of a general whole-making principle in
nature. Smuts' philosophy of holism became popular half a century after
he published it, but more as eco-spirituality to the neglect of the key
theoretical concepts that he identified. Rudhyar did at least extend
these into a modern astrological framework that rationalised traditional
astrology to a considerable extent. In my own book I provided a more
general extension further, along the lines that Koestler suggested. The
Janus-faces of part/whole relations that the latter described are key
features of any general theory of holism. Power relations in a natural
holarchy are the focus of explanation. In astrology there are two
primary topics of relevance: the first is the vertical axis of the
horoscope, and the second is the relative influence of the various
planetary orbits (which Rudhyar described as a `step-down transformer').
Smolin wrote: "the world is a complex system whose structure is to be
explained, in part, by its having undergone processes of
self-organization." The term `self' is used here in a sense identical to
terms part/whole in the prior paragraph. Humans are self-organising, as
are natural systems generally. Any general theory of development that
emerges in the new paradigm of science must include this foundational
concept. The focus of old science was structure, the focus of new
science is process. Horoscopes were seen as indicators of the basic
nature of the moment, and hence whatever began in the moment. Now they
are seen as indicators of potential for development. Astrology in
contemporary form must therefore describe development processes in order
to conform to the emerging paradigm of science.
He consequently refers to "the idea that the world is constructed from
evolving relationships rather than eternal and static absolutes. "Well
and the astrologers ? Don't have nothing to say?" asks Alexandre. Mostly
not, it seems to me, but this one sure does. Smolin neglected to mention
that all natural development occurs in some natural context, so a
polarity between part and whole, sub-system and system, organism and
environment, self and society, is a necessary foundational component of
the new paradigm. As Rudhyar explained, the horoscope models this via
its component hemispheres and vertical axis. Despite his progressive
outlook, Smolin suffers from the insularity of his vocation in physics,
apparently unaware of the more general scheme that Smuts and Koestler
have provided. Co-evolutionary relations are largely determined by the
holarchic context in which they form, and any apparent autonomy of any
individual is limited thereby.
Date: Jun-18-01, 12:27 PM (EST)
Subject: "Is the list finally dead?"
The list has gone silent a number of times, but it seems that nobody
is interested in exegesis any longer. I'm wondering if I should just
kill the list if nothing occurs in a few weeks...
What do people think?
Date: Jul-10-01, 08:12 PM (EST)
Subject: Astrology and angels, "RE: Is the list finally dead?"
From: Alexandre Weber
I donn't think this is a good idea.
Do you know any relation with the angels and astrology, both deals
with the havens.
Thank you for any help.
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