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Dave of Maryland



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Increasingly abstract.
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GarryP
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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Coder. About this myth business...

On p.11 of the Modern Science paper I quote Vaihinger:

“It must be remembered that the object of the world of ideas as a whole is not the portrayal of reality – this would be an utterly impossible task – but rather to provide us with an instrument for finding our way about more easily in this world.”

It seems to me that myth could fit in quite neatly here, if we take myth as being a story about the world that one takes on and acts 'as if' it is true.

If we started describing astrology as a myth, sceptics everywhere would no doubt take this in the sense of 'something which isn't true'. But if it's taken in the sense of 'something which becomes useful - and to that extent true - when it is believed in', then I think it's a good way of characterising our craft. As Mark put it a few posts back, there is a leap of faith involved.
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Dave of Maryland



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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 2:10 pm    Post subject: Astrologyt & Myth Reply with quote

To be frank, whenever I see a new astrology book that has "myth" anywhere in it, I just want to flee. As a bookseller, I have in the past & probably will in the future, avoided such books. Every now & then I am pleasantly surprised to find I was wrong.

Myth is a Pandora's Box (itself a myth) into which we can put anything & out of which we can take anything. If we use a main-line myth - Jupiter throwing thunderbolts, for example - then we have probably not said anything new. If we use some new super-wonderful analysis of a myth - say, the archery contest where Venus was given the apple - then we risk talking only to ourselvers, or to our personal fan club.

Abstract writing is the hardest writing I ever tried. Most of my attempts result in gibberish. In my view, the solution for this & all Neptunian afflictions, such as myth, is more Saturn.

Dave

PS: We're not the pseudo-scientists, by the way. Astronomy is, by any fair definition, drenched in pseudo. As I get around to it, I want to post at Skyscript my analysis of three great astronomical myths. And yes, you know every one of them. The refutation of two of them is so simple a schoolboy could do it.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurs to me that although we are using the term'divinatory astrology' we may have quite different interpretations of what we mean by this.

Like Dave I am rather uncomfortable describing the practice of astrology as simply working with myths. This seems a very safe ,academically respectable way to place astrology in terms of post-modern philosophy and sociology. I have not read Patrick Curry's book 'Astrology, Science and Culture' but I understand his view of divinatory astrology comes very close to this. It is noteable Curry doesn't actually practice astrology.

I might go along with the argument that different astrological traditions/techniques all could be described as 'myths' or simply a paradigm we choose to work with. However, the real issue is if that is all that is happening in astrology?

I would suggest it is not. Rather in an effective consultation we are doing nothing less than communicating with the divine. That is undeniably an old fashioned view and more difficult for academics like Curry to accept. How you interpret 'communicating with the divine' will depend on your spiritual world view. Many traditional authorities felt they were coming closer to God in a monotheistic sense. For ancient Greek astrologers like Vettius Valens to be able to be effective astrologers we needed the guidance of our guardian spirit or 'daimon'. Perhaps this is too way out for some 21st century academics but that is possibly more a comment on the materialist assumptions of our society than the intrinsic worth of this traditional idea of divination.

I think going down the mythic/post-modernist approach exclusively marks a total retreat from the spiritual roots of astrology. Without that basis it will perish in the sterile intellectualism and materialism of modern western philosophy.


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Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Garry, Dave & all,

I appreciate your article, but it does puzzle me as to why modern science needs to validate astrology when astrology was based upon the sciences, that which was observed in the natural world.

What does this mean? That scientists need to revisit the areas of synthesis and integration instead of focusing on dividing, and that astrologers need to study the various branches of science, as they once did?

Quote:
"Increasingly abstract."


Smile I was pondering this earlier and somehow ended up on the path of "irrational".

Mathematics has both it's rational and irrational numbers, and numbers are attributed to many things - both seen and unseen.
Astrologers having been (some still are) mathematicians who sat quite comfortably in the fields of both the rational and irrational ... perfectly natural.

But it did lead to thinking about how once what was aster-ology has become more focused on the inner sphere of planet-ology and asteroid-ology and why this lateral proliferation, which many find confusing - confusion also in some circles considered irrational.

Pi's both a constant and irrational ... so "irrational" may also be considered a description for the apparent circular passage of the sun.

But the sun's apparent motion is in reality the manifestation of an attachment to the physical, Earth, therefore it's Earth passage that's "irrational".

It seems that which is real has become a growing subset underlying artful and artificial constructs, which appear to have proliferated during this Age of Pisces ... the seed planted a couple of thousand years ago.

With all this I wonder whether there also hasn't been some confusion in terminology between "signs" and "sines" (the trigonometric functions).

Positions have and often are adopted opposing all that which may be considered as "irrational" because it runs contrary to empirical rule, such as opposing the fact that Earth is in motion as evidenced by the equinoctial point regressing through the Zodiac which is contrary to aspirations of succession.

And that as a result, due to certain prevailing conditions, this has manifested by way of misaligning the stars so that they've been confused and attached to a function of an earth angle, sine.

This artificially constructing the appearance via another medium (computers) that the earth-point (equinoctial point/vernal crossing) drags the constellations around with it, which it doesn't.

This attachment reveals a certain attachment of and to the past, but it also may mask earth-bound attachments of other kinds that have lost their way (the crossing has been occuring in Pisces, afterall).

This perhaps giving rise to the Tropical Zodiac ... instead of being the tropical earth-angle of the seasonal calendar, which I think up until the conflation of the vernal crossing's alignment in the last days of Aries, was considered a wandering seasonal calendar and a crossing which was used to measure the age & season upon earth.

The Sun's ingress into Aries appearing to be a point from which to judge the Sacred (religious) calendar, the Sun's Ascension, and the point from which the actual season (vernal crossing) was measured in relation to.

This year the Sun's ingress into Aries occurs on 14 April, a few days after Easter (think they're still to reach agreement on the Moon) and also marks Hindu celebration of Mesha/Vishnu.

It simply occurs to me that if seeking to bridge the gap with science, then we also need to continue reviewing ... so much information is in the process of being rediscovered, interpreted etc.

In aligning what we see these days on screen (what we're seeing being the result of human input, humans not being infallible) with what's actually occurring in the heavens above in visible reality, ie using sidereal, doesn't necessitate a transition to Vedic technique etc ... although being versed in other systems can help expand the knowledge bank. But it does align us with a celestial reality visible and apparent ... which the ancients also observed.

When aligning back with sidereal positions (the relatively real positions of planets as aligned against the back drop of stars and reduced to the longitude of the ecliptic), the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction occurs at around 6 degrees Capricorn in 2020.

These 20 year conjunctions (the lesser conjunctions) continue for an extended time before really transitioning to air in a couple of hundred years ... at an overall level, we're entering a cycle of mindful responsibility concerning Earth (Capricorn) and how we conceive of administrating its natural resources.

This protracted earth period followed by transition to air, and issues concerning air, when the Saturn-Jupiter conjunctions transition in a couple of hundred years into air (Libra), which is accompanied by the equinoctial point/earth point's transition into air (Aquarius).

The direction we implement for administrating and managing natures resources in the next 15 years I think will have a direct impact on how freely society breaths and circulates in a couple of hundred years time. Another to observe is usually the Mars-Saturn conjunction in Cancer, occurring every 30 years ... next one in 2036 (correlates with mini ice-age mentioned in another thread).

If we cease to take our alignments from the fixed sphere, then it seems almost akin to bringing earth to a standstill.

If motion contrary to the apparent order of the Sun is considered "irrational", then the Moon's passage at certain times in relation to the point where the Sun rises may also be considered as 'irrational', and the rotation of Venus which is contrary to the rotation of the other planets may also be considered 'irrational' ... and any other planet which turns retrograde may be considered "irrational" too, intensifying real experiences, heightened sensory abilities, in physical reality.

Interpretively ... peace (Venus) of mind (Moon-Mercury) in the physical (Earth) is "irrational" - perhaps, but it's also real and attainable.

The pilgrimage back through the month of Pisces in the World Year which has taken place over the last couple of thousand years seems to have foreshadowed a loss/occultation of these initial principles, as the function of this earth angle became conflated with other things.

The divergence in paths from the "knot" that binds the two strings being a divergence between one path of "ascension" (upwards fish) vs the lateral expansion and literalisation via a longitudinal focus (the horizontal fish).

This reduction to the horizontal accompanied by a lateral expansion bringing into an awareness an abundance of other bodies (eg. asteroids and the like), a reduction from aster-ology to planet-ology and what would seem to be something of a lateral expansion also of disincarnates that have been spoken of here.

As for modern science validating astrology, for all its modern day advances, as far as I'm aware science still does not know the origin or cause for creation of the Moon (there's theories) ... it still grapples with the lunar dimension ... but it is aware of some of its properties.

And there's divisions within the sciences just as there's divisions within astrology ... we've all become quite good at drawing lines of division.

While there's divisions at the cross quarters this simply seems to indicate it's going to take a while before full awareness leading to reconciliation between opposing parties kicks in.

Certain areas of science point a finger at cellular memory being a pseudoscience, however all cells contain hereditary information, which in itself is "memory".

Many contradictions seem to involve manipulating semantics in such a way that overlooks the obvious.

But I actually think developments occurring in science are corroborating astrological truths.

For example, astrology as a study of the transmission of light it may be of interest concerning psychic phenomena that red blood cells collect light and magnetic information, integrate it in real time, and report it to the pineal and other parts of the brain - centrally important to the real-time integration of sensory and cognitive data, such as form, vision and sound.

And neural cells can be retrained to become red blood cells ... it is possible to ascend to different states via training.

http://www.biophoton.com/trbc/trbc.htm

Ancient cultures long held blood to carry psychic qualities, finding a correspondence in blood as signified by Algol and other stars with the "red" coloration, their visible appearance in relation to the body of earth denoting the possibility of an external manifestation, increasing by magnitude and actively enhanced by Mars (also a signifier of blood, lord of the water triplicity and Aries).

And while we often view artistic renderings of the star charts as representative of mythological beings, have the corresponding anatomical points illumined by stars in these artistic renderings been considered directly as diagrams relating to body parts in context of medical astrology and anatomy?

Imagery and myth is easier to retain in the collective memory via artistic renderings and word of mouth, mathematical calculations etc a bit more difficult.

Kind regards,
TS.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to add a few additional comments to my earlier post.

I do not discount the mythic interpretation as an attempt to explain astrology in sociological terms.

Although I focused on the classical view of divination in terms of 'communication with the divine' I would like to expand this a little further. In simplistic terms there are 3 possible theories to explain 'the moment of astrology'. In essence:

1 Unintentional cold reading by the astrologer/Tarot card reader

2 Creative participation/co-operation by the client /astrologer generating meaning from the signs/symbols that present to their consciousness.

3 A use of psychic ability / sharing of auras.

However, (1) seems irrelevant if we look at oracles like the I Ching which is usually consulted individually. In my view (2) undoubtably happens in all systems of divination. The question is does this simply represent humans creating meaning from random forces or a 'communication with the divine'?

Psychic factors can occur but again seem irrelevant to a system like the I Ching. They perhaps play a stronger part in the Tarot with astrology standing somewhere in the middle.

This underlines the fact that 'divination' may have both generic and specific features depending on the system utilised.
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Dave of Maryland



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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:13 pm    Post subject: The Divine Reply with quote

Hello Mark C.

Quote:
I would suggest it is not. Rather in an effective consultation we are doing nothing less than communicating with the divine.


Let's see if we can logically puzzle out what "the divine" may be. Often this means we think we are talking with God, or to some high representative who has his ear. But why would this be so?

It's also been suggested that "the divine" is merely our own individual soul. If so, then wouldn't this be deflating to our precious egos?

Consider that if God wants to talk to us, then He will presumably talk to us in a God-like fashion. He will talk to us on a peer-to-peer level, to the extent such a thing is possible.

Since God is said to be Eternal, then it seems to me that he would be most likely to talk to the eternal part of ourselves, rather than a flimsy physical body that hardly has a chance to last a full century. What's a century to God?

Therefore it seems likely to me that God usually talks to souls, not to the individuals to whom the souls are attached.

So on those rare occasions when we reach our own soul, we can then download whatever messages God may have left for us.

On the other hand, on the soul level all is peace & love & truth & beauty & justice & joy, so if we could just reach our own individual soul, we have probably also reached the great Soul Collective. Which could just as well be mistaken for God the Almighty & Absolute, except for the fact that all the various comologies say it isn't. But for us carbon-based creatures that cannot outlast the great sea turtles, reaching the soul level would be a pretty good feat.

We know the soul connects to the physical through two threads: The sliver, to the crown chakra, and the gold, to the heart chakra. A vegetative state results if the silver thread is cut, death ensues when the gold thread is cut. Which also cuts the silver, if it's not already been cut.

Since these are threads we may presume that they, like all threads, vibrate. So we may use vibration as a means of signaling to whatever is on the other end, and perhaps hearing whatever it may have to say in return.

Vibration is rhythm, and rhythm is often accompanied by pitch & tone. In other words, music. I don't know what Buddhists may do, but all religions of which I am aware make intense use of music as a way of communicating with "the divine", which, if I am correct, is actually a way of aligning us with our individual souls.

I once saw K.N. Rao speak. Before he did so, he stood in front of us & sang a song / chanted a prayer (I have no idea which). As I mentioned on my K.N. Rao page, I was fully aware why he did so. I did not mention that he had a young lady chanting with him, and that her sex & her age intensified his (not her, not their) song/prayer, factors which I was also aware of at the time.

He certainly wasn't doing this in the hopes that "God" would speak through him. He is, overall, rather crabby. It was certainly the case that he had learned, perhaps by trial & error, that when he was so prepared, he gave better talks, which implies soul-alignment, not God-alignment.

You will think I am fussy, but I like words with precise meanings.

Quote:
For ancient Greek astrologers like Vettius Valens to be able to be effective astrologers we needed the guidance of our guardian spirit or 'daimon'.


This, of course, would be the same thing: The soul. In discussing the Greeks we need to be aware we are discussing another Astrological Age & be mindful of the differences between Ages.

Quote:
I think going down the mythic/post-modernist approach exclusively marks a total retreat from the spiritual roots of astrology.


Nah! For the most part, the astro-mythology crowd simply lack intellectual horsepower. They are more noise than anything else.

Dave
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Dave of Maryland



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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:31 pm    Post subject: The Moment Reply with quote

Hello Mark C,

Quote:
In simplistic terms there are 3 possible theories to explain 'the moment of astrology'. In essence:

1 Unintentional cold reading by the astrologer/Tarot card reader

2 Creative participation/co-operation by the client /astrologer generating meaning from the signs/symbols that present to their consciousness.

3 A use of psychic ability / sharing of auras.


In my view, the astrologer is a bridge between astrological energies, taken collectively, and the individual client, which includes his soul and his aura, which itself can contain relics from many other people. More than a bridge, the astrologer is a transformer, stepping down & concretizing astrological energies so they may be understood & accepted by the client.

He does this in one of two ways, or perhaps by blending both: Via the head chakras, and the heart chakra. Both are then run through the solar plexus chakra, which is essential for all forms of human interaction. Far more than the brain, but I digress.

Head energies we can generally reduce to prose words on paper. Heart energies can only be described in poetry or music & are often taken as religious or quasi-religious, which is not always accurate. Once we accept our inability to express heart energies in concrete head terms, we can learn to better work with the heart's various "black box" techniques, of which there are many, and which can be taught. Unlike head interactions, all heart-based interactions require the active interplay of teacher & student, or peer and peer. Literacy is their great enemy.

Dave
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Dave,

You state:

Quote:
Let's see if we can logically puzzle out what "the divine" may be. Often this means we think we are talking with God, or to some high representative who has his ear. But why would this be so?


A perfectly valid point to raise. I have a Christian friend who seriously disapproves of my interest in astrology because he believes I am opening up myself to 'evil spirits' . Actually, that view of astrology goes right back to St Augustine. Equally, maybe I am just deluding myself in thinking astrology is a rainbow bridge to the devas. Clearly, the potential for ego delusion and spiritual megalomania exists. Other alternatives leave us with a secularised astro-mythology or spirit possession from the lower realms.

Quote:
More than a bridge, the astrologer is a transformer, stepping down & concretizing astrological energies so they may be understood & accepted by the client.


I go along with that. Although the client is a participant in that process too . They have to be willing to creatively engage too in making it apply to their specific circumstances. However, I see the astrological symbols/signs as the rainbow bridge referred to above.

Clearly we are all struggling to find our way here. I am not coming at this discussion with any sense of having definitive 'answers'. Rather I am offering my own provisional understanding of the way this issue looks to me from my partial and limited perspective. I am grateful to get a chance to explore these issues further than I usually do. Most astrologers I know are completely uninterested in discussing this kind of issue.
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Dave of Maryland



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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:16 pm    Post subject: Devas Reply with quote

Hello Mark C

Quote:
maybe I am just deluding myself in thinking astrology is a rainbow bridge to the devas.


There is every reason to belive in astrological devas, since we know there are devas for all sorts of things. How to make best use of them?

A music deva will play beautiful music in our heads, but only if we are in attunement with the deva on its level. And even if we are, it will do us no good if we cannot tell a C from a C#. Since devas enjoy having humans to work through, an inability to express what they give us would probably result in their searching for some other head to amuse. I do know that devas drift away unless they are tied down in some fashion. The constant attention the Chinese give to their house devas gives us ideas.

A healing deva, of the great purple line, can heal through us, and, as I am personally aware, they can do so without our having any idea they are there. The requirements are a genuine desire to help others, a good working knowledge of our particular healing craft, and a reasonably stable emotional nature. (Violent emotions, negative emotions, push them away. It's as if you were trying to conduct a conversation with someone who is shouting at the top of his lungs.) Or, a desire to help people & a good supply of people who need help. Healing devas work equally well with surgeons in the operating room, illiterate peasants laying hand on others, and preachers shouting, "Jesus! Heal!" Which is an exception to the rule that shouting sends them away.

If there is such a thing as an astrological deva, it seems to me they would be a branch of the healing devas. If your clients feel healed after they have been in your hands, we may take this as evidence that devas may have been about.

Dave
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

Very interesting. Where are you getting all this material on devas from?

Garry's article on Theravada Buddhism and divination has some very useful information too. In Buddhism the view is that the devas find most worldlings smelly and repulsive. In contrast realised beings give off a sweet aura they find highly attractive. As I understand it though there are various levels of devas in the Buddhist pantheon at least. Clearly only the lower order ones would be interested in an astrological consultation.

mmm not sure my aura is that sweet smelling. Perhaps I should be working on that rather than buying more astrological texts........

Mark
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Dave of Maryland



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Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark

Quote:
Very interesting. Where are you getting all this material on devas from?


The abstract stuff is from Theosophical literature. Leadbeater & Hodgson (Kingdom of the Gods) were both helpful. The day to day stuff was the result of clairvoyant investigations with Victoria in the late '80's - mid '90's. I would often sit her down & have her look for the neighborhood deva & then ask her 20 questions while she had its attention.

For example, at Chimayo, NE of Santa Fe, New Mexico, there is a healing shrine in a corner of a small church. Locals think it's Our Lady of Guadeloupe, or perhaps one of her outposts. Around 1989 we spent our birthdays in Santa Fe, and while there, we went to Chimayo, and while at Chimayo, each of us stood in the magic healing spot (not 12 inches in diameter) where the deva is concentrated. I went first.

When Victoria finished, I asked her for its name. It's a funny thing but people don't think to ask a question like that.

"Chia", she said.

This set off bells. Watch this:

The healing shrine dates from about 1819, when it was "discovered". The town, as an Indian / Spanish settlement, is older. If we think of "Chia" as Chia-mother, or Chiya-Maya, with Maya being mother, or material world, or illusion, and then we think of the town's name as Chimayo, we realize the town was named after the deva! Even though the town seems to have been established well-before the deva "turned up". (This may be true of many place names, by the way.) On the walls there were many hand-made representations of a Virgin with "flames" around her. Most of them showed her in a blue robe. A few insisted on green. I wondered why.

Which was it, I asked?

Green, she replied. Without hesitation.

This is why I think dyadic clairvoyance, such as that of Gurudas some years ago, to be superior to an individual working alone, such as Cayce.

This does not mean Chimayo is "nice". There are hardly two thousand souls, very thinly spread on the ground. There are one or two murders annually, which is very high.

We quickly got to the point where we searched out the deva whenever we went traveling. The commanding deva, for any given geographic region, is invariably directly over the principle landmark that defines the region. This can be a mountain, it can be a fertile valley, it can be - and often is - a man-made object, such as a tall building. And, in fact, we found a very Mayan-looking deva atop the pyramid at Chichen Itza. We knew there was one atop the Empire State Building in New York. At the time, the World Trade Center did not have one, though I am certain it does now.

Mamooji once gave us a tour of the United Nations, and while we were in the basement waiting on him to finish an errand of some sort, I directed Victoria to look for the UN deva, as I was certain there was one there.

Her eyes opened wide. "It's the biggest one I've ever seen!" she gasped. (Hard to make her do that, by the way.) It was directly over the General Assembly. NOT the Security Council. This, by the way, probably confirms what Bailey said long ago about a great planetary deva in New York. Its presence does not guarantee we won't blow ourselves up, as our free will is absolute, but it does mean that the gods & devas are trying very, very, VERY hard to help us avoid that.

Quote:
In Buddhism the view is that the devas find most worldlings smelly and repulsive.


That's true. Stop eating meat. Victoria has been a vegetarian since she was a kid. Just never had an interest in the red meat stuff. A great disappointment to her father, who loved his steaks. On the other hand, booze makes no difference. Lots & lots of highly developed clairvoyants are virtual drunks. I think most of them drink in order to shut down their sensitivity, to have some control over it. I was vegetarian from 1983 to 2003, when I started eating fish. Both Victoria & I consume large quantities of dairy. It isn't just the coarseness of the meat, but that it's decomposed & soaked in urine by the time it reaches you. Milk, though it is a meat by-product, is fresh by definition.

Quote:
As I understand it though there are various levels of devas in the Buddhist pantheon at least.


Many different kinds, many different levels. The deva over Chichen Itza was in charge of all the lesser devas, of all the various sorts: The flower devas, the healing devas, the devas in charge of cleaning up the nearby well where human sacrifices were thrown, etc. Can take many centuries to clean up a site like that. Which is one reason why I know there's a whole squad of devas at WTC, as there's a whole lot of trauma & lost souls who need help. That work has barely begun. If we were intelligent, we could easily assist. So far, we haven't.

Quote:
Clearly only the lower order ones would be interested in an astrological consultation.


No. Logically speaking, there should be an entire range of astrological devas, from quite advanced (and difficult to contact by mere humans) to ones who flit about in our studios. Presuming our studios are of interest to them. If you want to attract one, study how Chinese Kitchen Gods work, and pattern a small shrine after that. I suspect that if you could maintain a shrine for two or three decades, that not only would the relationship between you & the deva grow stronger & stronger (even if you were not consciously aware of it), but that the deva itself would grow stronger & stronger, as a deva. This would be an aid to its own development, and hints at what I've heard, that humans & devas can help each other quite a lot.

Dave
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Coder



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Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkC wrote:
Quote:
In simplistic terms there are 3 possible theories to explain 'the moment of astrology'. In essence:

1 Unintentional cold reading by the astrologer/Tarot card reader

2 Creative participation/co-operation by the client /astrologer generating meaning from the signs/symbols that present to their consciousness.

3 A use of psychic ability / sharing of auras.


In regard to the approach I am suggesting (3) is irrelevant (tho it may be true), (2) does not generate meaning because it is there to start with, and the moment of astrology draws (some of the) implications. (1) I don't understand - unless it's like a shaman doing witchcraft by accident, perhaps. There is no "moment" to explain sociologically.

GarryP wrote:
Quote:
I quote Vaihinger

“It must be remembered that the object of the world of ideas as a whole is not the portrayal of reality – this would be an utterly impossible task – but rather to provide us with an instrument for finding our way about more easily in this world.”


I am sorely tempted to hack this as I see about half a dozen ambiguities in it at first glance. But the obvious criticism would be how could we find our way about the world without our ideas portraying reality? If our ideas are not mimetic then how can they reasonably be termed instrumental?

A non-scientistic account of astrology must include the conceptual framework astrologers use. If that framework cannot be explained in epistemic terms (i.e. as bad, or proto-science) then it needs some explanation, otherwise what's to distinguish an astrologer's insight into the "divine" from anyone elses?
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Dave of Maryland



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 154
Location: Bel Air, MD

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:36 pm    Post subject: Distinguished Reply with quote

Hello Coder,

Quote:
what's to distinguish an astrologer's insight into the "divine" from anyone elses?


I would suppose the quality of the individual results to be the only relevant distinguishing factor, and that subjective judgment of them to be absolute, at least as far as the party(ies) making the judgment are concerned. How else could the two be distinguished?

Why the talk of the divine? We merely make our best guess, take our best shot. Every now & then, we shame ourselves, or if we are lucky, we amaze ourselves. Is there anything different here than what we might find on the Beatles' White Album, for example, which is to say, hits & misses? With the precise value of "hit" or "miss" in the ear of the listener, and what he brings to the music?

Dave
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Mark
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Coder,

Quote:
There is no "moment" to explain sociologically.


That may be the case and that is why sociology is unsatisfactory in providing an explanation for divinatory astrology since it excludes the reality of consciousness. Only social interaction and the cultural myths that sustain it seem relevant to you as a providing a sense of meaning? Or am I misrepresenting your views?

On the contrary I think phenomenology is at the heart of this discussion. The quantum approach described by Garry leads us to the conclusion that we live in a participatory universe. If I have understood your perspective you seem to be adopting a model where understanding the sociological myth of astrology is identical to the experience ( or amounts to the same thing). In my view it is not. If you study thinkers like the quantum physicist David Bohm consciousness itself is part of the reality of the universe. The issue for me is not providing a socially acceptable myth to justify astrology but rather experiencing its magic experientially.

The first example I used was a placatory example that I thought sceptics might use. I wasn't seriously proposing it as an explanation. As I said before in the case of example (3) the I ching provides an excellent example of a divinatory tool where little or no psychic ability is required to derive meaningful answers from the 'oracle'. However, as with astrology we need to creatively engage with the symbolism. This is all ABC top of the head stuff though. Clearly this needs more thought. I must re-read The Moment and Astrology as Cornelius puts all this in a far more coherent and subtle way.

Quote:
A non-scientistic account of astrology must include the conceptual framework astrologers use. If that framework cannot be explained in epistemic terms (i.e. as bad, or proto-science) then it needs some explanation, otherwise what's to distinguish an astrologer's insight into the "divine" from anyone elses?


Well of course the chance of getting a group of astrologers to agree on any common perspective seems a lost cause to begin with! I don't think we are short of explanations. It is just finding a consensus that is the problem.

I am aware this is hardly going to satisfy Dean, Kelly, etc but in reality I don't think there is anything astrologers could do or say to satisfy sceptical opinion. Plus I don't think astrology is as unique as some astrologers assume. It is simply one amongst several divinatory tools. It offers more structure than perhaps a dream or a meaningful co-incidence but I don't suggest it is the only way to communicate with the divine. Far from it. If you accept we live live in a meaningful universe signs and symbols can be accessed in other ways. Jung's work explored this thoroughly.

As I stated earlier, we are in the same position as followers of spiritual traditions who cannot prove their experiences to others. In that case astrologers are open to the criticism that where we perceive astrology working experientially, someone else experiences a meaningful encounter with pink elephants. So I guess we could be accused of a solopism or to use Garry phrase 'a tinkerbell effect' that only believers can see or perceive.

If you decide to remove human consciousness from the equation as most of modern science , psychology and philosophy does you end up inevitably in materialism. Giving meaning to human conscious experience takes us in a spiritual and yes risky position of choice. What do we choose?

I have a friend who is wedded to a scientific materialist perspective and doesn't trust anything unless it has been replicated in a lab. I have tried pointing out the limitations of scientism but to no avail. He told me once he was concerned he would make a 'mistake' and go for a belief that was proved wrong. It doesn't seem to worry him that scientism itself could be the biggest 'mistake' of all. Not choosing is a choice too.

Without a conscious decision on our part to work and believe in the signs and symbols presenting to us divinatory astrology cannot happen.

Mark

ps Are you an academic philosopher by any chance? You write like one!
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