Exegesis Volume 6 Issue #5

From: John =?iso-8859-1?Q?K=E4lld=E9n?=
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V6 #4

From: "Francis G. Kostella"
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V6 #2

Exegesis Digest Tue, 13 Feb 2001

Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 13:20:10 +0100
From: John =?iso-8859-1?Q?K=E4lld=E9n?=
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V6 #4

 > From "John Kellden"

Perhaps this is a good time to embark upon dialogue. A suggestion, all the difficulties in defining astrology could be seen as constraints, and also as ground for dialogue, possibly enabling us through dialogue too see an emerging "web of meaning" through our skillful, considerate and mindful conversation, rather than as a result of it. We could perhaps begin by treating our descriptions as context, and step by step begin, to see an unfoldment of meaning when we begin to view both our own and others contributions with an adequate balance of openness and distance, to see where there is content, where there is context, and where the threads of reasoning are contextual and how. I honestly dont know where one should begin, if for instance it is viable to start with archetypes, symbols, art, language, mythology and th= e human inherent desire for transcendence, or if we rather should start from each= one=B4s

point of view. Personally I would tend to favor doing both, both warp and woof. So seen from a metaporical light, this text is peculiarly self-referentia= l, but hopefully more enabling than enigmatic, the meaning in this text, is therefore, in my view, meant to be used, rather than seen as a definit= ive point. Science could be seen as a body of knowledge. The trick , I think, lies in both recognizing the scope of the task ahead= , as if astrology is both a body of, and the soul of knowledge.

In short : I suggest dialogue with astrology as metanarrative. Astrology could develop into a wise companion, regardless of how we perso= nally use it.

Been lurking for some time, very grateful for the mindfulness of all who = have been posting, consider this my introduction. John Kellden, moderately skilled in three languages, astrology, english and dialogue as= a tool for group-meaning. My native tongue is Swedish. Since this is an astrological list, I could perhaps close with my birthda= ta : 1962 Aug 9, 2:09 PM CET, 59N25, 18E01. Thank you for listening.

Metalog wrote:

 > Exegesis Digest Sat, 10 Feb 2001 Volume 6 Issue 4
 > Contents
 > -----e-----
 > From: "William D. Tallman"
 > Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V6 #2/3
 > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 > Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 15:57:07 -0800
 > From: "William D. Tallman"
 > To: Exegesis
 > Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V6 #2/3
 > Message-ID:
 > Dennis said:
 > Exegesis was launched 12.26pm EST 28 March 96, 40N26 79W53.
 > Appraisal of function is primarily made by examination of the
 > configuration
 > of the Moon to the rest of the chart, but inasmuch as various other
 > planetary archetypes manifest as energy-generating and conditioning
 > drives,
 > their position and inter-relation will modify functioning.
 > [snip]
 > If there was every any question as to Dennis' prowess as an astrologer,= I
 > suggest his post serves as a definitive answer.
 > Good job, Dennis!
 > So this list has great potential, if the participants are willing to do= the
 > work. So far, this seems to have been the case, but as there are no
 > inherent mechanisms to facilitate the process of communication, there i= s
 > also no means of storing momentum. Which means that the list is only a= s
 > active as the participants are willing to make it. With the empty thir= d
 > house, the mechanisms of communication have to be invented and utilized= in
 > real time, and this elucidates the issue of citations, etc. I would ma= ke
 > the point that this is a necessity: discourse is not possible without = some
 > means of communication, and discourse is the relevant means for the
 > development of such as this list can produce. We can't ignore the
 > communication problem for it will continue to be in our faces, whether = we
 > have the will to resolve it or not.
 > In short, we have to pay attention to how we 'hear' the other voices on= this
 > list, and we have to pay attention to how accessible to others we are i= n
 > return.
 > Dennis pointed out that the nature of the list invites freshness, such = that
 > can serve to initiate new ways of going, and renovate for current use t= hat
 > which has become tradition. He observes that traditional astrologers f= ind
 > this threatening, probably because of the all encompassing assumption t= hat
 > the tradition needs no renovation, and possibly other reasons as well, = I
 > think. This is part and parcel of the requirement that genuine effort = be
 > expended if the list is to achieve its potential; in this instance, it
 > requires the ability to 'think outside the box', which is not commonly
 > doable without an application of the will and energy to do so. So this= list
 > is not likely to be amenable to the timid or the lazy individual.
 > Dennis sees the possibility that this list will actually make a discern= able
 > contribution to society at large. This implies some responsibility on = the
 > part of the participants, I think. If we didn't know that this might b= e so,
 > we might be justified in treating the list as an inconsequential pastim= e,
 > but a member of our profession has forced us to recognize this potentia= l and
 > so we are ethically bound to keep it in mind. The forced recognition i= tself
 > was a professionally ethical act, I think. So now we have a new questi= on:
 > what legacy will this list have? That's probably a good question for
 > discussion, I think.
 > In general, Dennis' reading was yet another demonstration that astrolog= y
 > does indeed work pretty much as advertised.
 > But therein lies the Problem of Astrology: we don't know how or why it
 > works, and we don't know how to find out. I submit that this is the pr= imary
 > subject that must be addressed successfully if astrology is ever to hav= e the
 > opportunity to regain its former status; absent such success, I see no = way
 > that it can do so. Such success will not likely fall upon us out of th= e
 > sky, so we'll have to work for it, but that's very much in keeping with= the
 > inherent nature of this list, I think. In fact, I will be blunt: if w= e
 > aren't addressing the subject here, we are deliberately turning our bac= k on
 > the golden opportunities that this list and its moderator/owner has pro= vided
 > for us. Whatever else we do here, we define our own level of diligence= and
 > integrity to the extent we address, or at least support those who can a= nd
 > will, this central issue.
 > Let me put it this way: a large part of the tradition of astrology is = that
 > the why and how are a mystery, and so should not be investigated, lest
 > investigation have some catastrophic consequences of indeterminate natu= re.
 > "There are some things that mankind was never meant to know" is the pop= ular
 > version of this attitude. The result is a level of comfort with things= as
 > they are that can never righteously be questioned, ie threatened, and t= his
 > adequately describes a large part of the nature of the astrology commun= ity.
 > In the context of this list, that is not acceptable, I submit. That is= a
 > part of the past that requires to be discarded, if any of the past can = ever
 > be acceptably renewed.
 > Perhaps I should elaborate on that last point rather than assume
 > comprehension. I try to do any case study interpretation purely as a= n
 > exercise of applied theory. Any correspondence between real life and= what
 > theory suggests is better assessed after completion. This is an inte= rnal
 > discipline resulting from having been trained as a scientist. I'm we= ll
 > aware that most astrologers force their interpretation to conform to = their
 > prior knowledge, or expectation, of the subject of the case study. T= hat
 > said, my rigour does sometimes lapse sufficiently to allow me to note= ,
 > during the interpretation, a correlation between the theoretical feat= ure
 > predicted and what has actually happened.
 > Dennis expresses the time honored stance of the scholar/scientist. It'= s an
 > appropriate methodology, of course, but probably not mandatory, as he
 > himself has occasion to observe. I've held forth elsewhere o the pract= ice
 > of forcing the interpretation to fit the 'facts' as the astrologer sees
 > them, so I won't do so here, but suffice it to say that the practice
 > deserves strong condemnation, because it lies at the root of the proble= m of
 > astrology itself. What it says is: I don't really believe that astrolo= gy
 > works so I'm going to fudge this reading to our mutual satisfaction. N= ot
 > acceptable.
 > However, the purpose of the whole exercise is to gain an understanding = of
 > the territory, not the map. So the traditional rigor Dennis describes = is
 > probably not fully appropriate in practice, I suggest. But that is ano= ther
 > subject of fit discussion on this list, I think.
 > I mention this because it was an issue that always bothered me about = the
 > Exegesis debate parameters. We really ought to be able to discuss ho= w to
 > tell if astrological theory is reliable or accurate. Applied astrolo= gy
 > must
 > include a reality check, if it is ever to become credible.
 > Dennis appears to assume that there exists adequate astrological theory= I
 > do not, as I've made quite clear. I submit we have nothing to test. A= s far
 > as I'm concerned, the parameter that troubles Dennis is the very one we= 've
 > been striving to see how to address. It can be stated more formally as= : at
 > present, astrology does not contain any testable material; it has no th= eory,
 > no clinical data base, no commonly acknowledged set of practices, nothi= ng.
 > All that comes first, Dennis. Can you suggest how we can address that
 > problem?
 > Zoe writes:
 > < We really ought to be able to discuss how to > tell if astrological theory is reliable or accurate. Applied astrol= ogy
 > must
 > include a reality check, if it is ever to become credible.
 > Hello Exegesis, this is one of the first lists I joined; however, I'v= e
 > never
 > posted until now. Why haven't I posted. Several of the first posts
 > appeared
 > intimidating, a bit didactic and as I was walking into a conversation= , I
 > couldn't find the thread to see if I could weave any suitable cloth. = Now,
 > Perhaps Dennis' assessment of the nature of this list provided some ins= ights
 > here. I can tell you that his reading was pretty much right on, and I = think
 > others here will agree. While we make a good effort to be mannerly and
 > treat each other as gentle people, the level of discourse here is
 > unavoidably daunting. That's because we are addressing subjects that a= re
 > devilishly hard to even adequately describe, much less address with any
 > ease. If you feel intimidated, I can readily sympathize... there are = some
 > real heavyweight intellects on this list, and they could quite easily
 > intimidate me as well. If I let them, that is... < grin > I just figure
 > < whilst whistling in the dark... > that if I work at it, I can keep them= from
 > finding out just how dumb I really am...lol!!!!
 > The amount of verbage that you find here is generated by valiant attemp= ts to
 > tackle issues that are notoriously difficult to even envision, yet rema= in as
 > stumbling blocks in any path that astrology can take to legitimacy. In
 > short, we've got it to do! And some of us are trying, as best we can s= ee
 > how to, to do it!
 > You can perhaps best understand what has been going on here as an attem= pt to
 > treat these issues with as much care and respect as we can manage. A l= ot of
 > the wordiness is an attempt to avoid dropping some important attribute = or
 > aspect of the subject of discussion, and the reason for this is that
 > dropping it doesn't make it go away... it'll just be that much harder = to
 > deal with if we let it lie to have to pick up down the line at some poi= nt.
 > Talking about some of these things is like having to wait on a table of
 > twenty people single handed... everyone's order comes first and so you= wind
 > up trying to carry as many plates as possible. Now imagine trying to d= o
 > that when you don't even know what a plate is, or an order is, or who i= s
 > sitting at the table. The net result is what the Brits call 'muddling
 > through': the niceties are ignored for the moment if they have to be j= ust
 > in order to get the job done at all.
 > So we get didactic in an attempt to ease the confusion and the burden o= f
 > having to try to juggle more concepts than we have the hands to do, all= the
 > while trying to avoid the inability to handle yet another object thrown= into
 > the loop, another concept dropped into the discussion. We use whatever
 > tools we have, never mind how uncomfortable or user-unfriendly they mig= ht
 > be, if they will help us do the work. The frustration level can rise s= o
 > quickly, as one discovers a failure to get one's point understood...yet
 > again and for the umpteenth time!!!! It's no wonder that some people g= et
 > into shouting matches (flame wars) but we are very careful not to do th= at
 > here, and even so there are the odd flickers of fire emerging in the od= d
 > post... < grin >
 > So, welcome aboard, Zoe. But you should know that this is a tin can, a= nd
 > not a cruise ship, and the comfort level can be rather minimal sometime= s.
 > But.... ohhh the possibilities!!!! The potential vistas of understan= ding
 > that lie just beyond our fingertips!!!!! For us here, it's worth it. = Your
 > mileage may vary.
 > that you are asking about its survival, the nurture instinct rises, a= nd I
 > say, yes. However, some guides might help more people to post. Some
 > topic
 > of current interest might challenge us to challenge each other: india= n's
 > earthquake, the us presidential election, or the canadian's; the natu= re of
 > horory and its relevance in the material world; how to find and do a
 > mundane
 > chart for a country; what astrology can contribute to the psychologic= ,
 > sociologic, or spiritual models that already exist. Well, so many top= ics
 > to
 > Now, ask yourself how these topics can be usefully discussed when the
 > reality is that none of us know what we're talking about. All we bring= are
 > opinions, most of which were formulated to fill the void of some unsati= sfied
 > question in a timely manner. None of these, so far as I've seen, have = any
 > supporting data, documentation, compelling argument. Nothing.
 > There are a number of astrology lists that simply ignore this state of
 > affairs, and wind up being a species of clique where the members who fi= nd
 > general agreement wind up in mutual support, such that they can engage = in
 > coffee-klatch conversations and rise in defense of the clique against a= ny
 > intruding 'aberrant' opinion.. or question. There are other lists tha= t
 > wind up being war zones. So far, we've avoided either of these states = here,
 > and largely by focusing on subjects that daunt all of us!! At least, t= hat's
 > what it looks like to me.
 > discuss, and I didn't even touch on one astologically word (LOL).
 > Is there a log of previous posts? Can we view them? Is there a list= of
 > members? Can we re-introduce ourselves?
 > Fran?
 > Just some humble suggestions I hope (from a newcomer to the list).
 > Zoe
 > But I must tell you, Zoe, that with all the bark, none of us actually b= ite,
 > and most of us are probably quite responsive to kindness and respect. = So
 > I'll start out here by taking some pains to treat with you likewise, an= d
 > acquaint you with what's going on, and welcome you to participate as yo= u
 > find you can.
 > wtallman
 > ------------------------------
 > End of Exegesis Digest Volume 6 Issue 4
 > ***************************************
 > -----e-----
 > For information on how to subscribe and unsubscribe, etc.,
 > send a message to: listserver and in the body
 > of the message type the word: help
 > -----e-----


Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2001 23:42:30 -0500
From: "Francis G. Kostella"
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V6 #2

Dennis wrote:
 > Well, perhaps we foreigners unable to
 > access the new Exegesis structure have
 > been waiting to see if any in-house
 > discussion would be reproduced as
 > digests.

I've concluded that my first attempt at connecting a server to the internet has been a failure. I couldn't resolve the problems you mention through my ISP nor by changing the server settings. For the record, the problem has nothing to do with you position on the planet, as I've been unable to make a reliable connection from a machine 2 miles from here, it is simply my ISP being unable to correctly configure a large network (or listen to their customer's demands that they do so). I'm on the lookout for a new solution and Patrice has offered to host the web archives at CURA in the meantime. Also, I just discovered a major hard drive problem on the server which will take a while for me to fix because of my schedule...[sigh] I've got a new drive here but need to fuss about a lot to get it installed. I still intend to have the web site be parallel to the list and to provide some nice additional services to the list.

 > Incidentally, I note you have not
 > included the time zone above (EST), or
 > given the coordinates a place name.
 > I've found from associating with
 > astrologers that either, let alone
 > both in combination, deters all but the
 > most resolute from using the data.
 > Working it out for themselves requires
 > labour of the intellect, something
 > that astrologers detest.

Hmmm, I got in the habit of looking everything up and tend to forget that other folks dislike it. My oversight, I'm sorry. I will note that astrologers are not the only group of people who may detest a labour of the intellect, it seems a fairly common trait in humans.

 > [...]
 > I wrote myself an appraisal of the
 > Exegesis chart in order to gauge the
 > extent of any structural inadequacy
 > relevant to our purpose.

And an excellent bit of work you did! I admire the clarity of your writing and thinking, I've been striving for the same for a long time and always feel that I fall short. I'm too embarrassed to show my interpretation of the chart and would prefer to let yours stand it its place.

 > To do this, it was necessary to
 > assume that it was a genuine
 > launch chart. A mailing list is
 > launched at that precise moment that the
 > structure becomes operational. That
 > is to say, when the design has been
 > implemented fully, the structure
 > completed fully, and the process begins to
 > function. I presume that the
 > data as given was indeed for the time and
 > place that it began to operate.

It was indeed a "genuine launch chart" (I'd never cheat, it's too much fun not cheating). The first dozen issues were hand mailed to the 15+ members, and the first was launched from the place given at the time given. I actually missed my election time by a bit, and have given the time of actual launch within 15 seconds. The circumstances were such that I felt that I had only a short period of time in which to start the list and ended up with the given time as the best choice. So it goes.

 > However, given that the restriction
 > on quotes (apparently due to limited
 > computer memory space of the host
 > web-site) does cramp one's style somewhat
 > in responding to prior commentary
 > on subtle issues, this operational
 > difficulty ought to be reflected in my
 > case study. I'll send it (separately)
 > so you can see for yourself if this
 > is so.

OK, OK, OK, I give up. Storage is no longer a problem, and nobody has complained about the quotes for a while (but I have been forcing the issue, so no surprise there) so I'll rescind my moderator-ly imposition of the "watch the quotes" rule. I'll just chomp down on this pencil and gnaw it a bit.

== ALL NOTE: The quotes rule no longer applies

 > < == Those who like the rule can complain in public, I remove myself from that decision, let the people decide! :-) >
 > We really ought to be able to discuss
 > how to tell if astrological theory is
 > reliable or accurate. Applied astrology
 > must include a reality check, if it is
 > ever to become credible.

I agree, but believe that credibility needs to flow from a variety of directions, not just reliability.

As far as reliability and accuracy goes, I'll state again that I believe we should talk about how to construct tests of techniques such that astrologers can use those results, rather than constructing tests to answer our critics. For example, there are some horary "yes/no" techniques that could be tested by having a number of astrologers keep track of such horaries and the outcomes (if any) and testing the various techniques. Perhaps there are other approaches and other areas for which we can create tests.

 > From the "Exegesis function" message:
 > Our worthy moderator may be inclined
 > to argue that he just saw it as a
 > discussion forum. My response would
 > be that, even so, the vehicle obtains
 > its own trajectory, dynamism, and style,
 > from the characteristics endowed by
 > the launch moment.

No, I'd not argue otherwise. My intent was that the list be a vehicle for change in the world and that it provide a place for those discussions that other discussion areas would not address directly or at length. My experience had been that nearly all astrology theory discussions were rooted in appeals to authority and that much more was needed to satisfy the hunger many had for a solid intellectual foundation to astrology theory. I wanted many, many seed ideas to flow out of the list and hoped that superior ideas would take root in the broader discourse. I'd assumed that Exegesis would be the first of many such efforts and that it might be short lived when all the "big brains" arrived to lead the charge.

I was hoping for a "great leap forward" I suppose.

In any case, despite your concern about the list not being a good fit for you, your input here has always been of high quality and I'm sure that I speak for many when I say that it is greatly appreciated! Thank you!



End of Exegesis Digest Volume 6 Issue 5

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