The Birth of the United States
as a Collective Person - 3
Much of recent science — particularly cybernetics — is based on the concept of "information." Life is a universal energy; it fills in the whole of the cosmos. But the moment it operates in an organism ever so slightly different in structure and function from other organisms, it becomes particularized; its action is limited and defined by a particular form or structure. If we consider a human being, we find that in him the energies of life operate in their generic aspect as 'human nature,' yet they also operate in a slightly different manner in every individual man or woman. They do this because they have been "informed' how to operate in that particular instance; that is, which of the immensely varied aspects of human nature are to be allowed to operate, and which are to be blocked.
Biology now tells us that there are molecules in the nucleus of every cell (the much-publicized DNA) which provide this information. But merely to give such information is not to exert force! The force resides in life itself; what the mechanisms of information do is to set specific limits to the operation of this universal force. They "particularize" the universal power, life — a power that can operate in an infinite number of ways and combinations.
The same is true of what we call "consciousness." The mind of an individual is a particularized form of the universal power of consciousness that fills the universe. But each biological species within the Earth's biosphere is also to be considered a particularizing field within which this universal consciousness acquires a specific character. Thus we can speak of a "Terran" type of consciousness within the entire field of the Earth, then of a "Human" type of consciousness characterizing Homo sapiens in a generic sense. The consciousness of an individual person operates within the field of the consciousness referring to human nature and its specific biopsychic consciousness; and so does the consciousness of a collective person, such as the United States of America, operate within human nature, as this nature is at the stage of evolution marking the birth of the national entity.
An astrological birth chart represents a set of information limiting and defining the way human nature and the generic type of consciousness manifesting in Homo sapiens will tend to operate in that individual case. They will tend to operate" in this particular, individual manner in order to meet a particular historical need, and because they have been "informed" to do so. The biological information is said to be provided by a "genetic code" operating at the core of every cell of the particular human organism. But there should be also a psychic kind of information, which in some way is intimately related to, and parallels, the biological.
What this means is that the birth chart of a person can reveal to us the potential of development as well as the essential meaning of the particularized manner in which human nature and the generic consciousness of Homo sapiens are scheduled to operate in this individual case. In a somewhat analogical sense, the birth chart of an individual can be likened to the blueprints of the symbolical house or temple which the individualized person should become, if all goes well with the process of building, and especially if adequate building materials are available at the time and place they are needed. The individual potential outlined in the birth chart should, and may, become fully and perfectly actualized — but it need not be. Even at the strictly biological level, for a variety of reasons, many human organisms are born malformed or with some inbred malfunction. This is far more the case at the psychic or psychomental level, for the process of personal individualization (level of "consciousness") at this time of the Earth's evolution is far less set and secure than that of biological particularization (level of "life").
If the birth chart of a human being is comparable to blueprints of the temple he is meant to be as an individual person, it should be evident that the work involved in the building process — that is, in the development of the individual as a whole person — should follow the information given in the blueprints. This information establishes the destiny of the individual, the process according to which he can actually become what be potentially was at birth. Why should he strive to be different? From this point of view, the fulfilled person is not external to his birth chart. He should not attempt to "rule" it, for everything in it is as it should be; no planet, sign or aspect is either "good" or "bad." He is this birth chart — as an individual person being born, experiencing growth crises of development, and eventually experiencing death. He dies as an individualized organism, when the form that gave a particular rhythm to the operation of the universal life-energies collapses, perhaps because the "information" given by the genetic code has faded out. Once this information fades out — as a musical composition fades out of an old worn-out recording tape as a result of too much and perhaps improper use — the ocean of life takes over. The fish, which is essentially sea water surrounded by a membrane, dissolves into the ocean, once this membrane can no longer resist the pressure of the surrounding water.
Such ideas, unfamiliar as they may seem in the characteristic thinking of our Western civilization, are basic in any attempt to realize the nature of astrology, and the use that can be made of a person's birth chart. But they should not be misunderstood to mean that a birth chart refers to a transcendent Soul-entity. The birth chart deals only with a particular bio-psychic organism born at a particular time and place. It informs us as to what kind of organism it is and the basic schedule of its development to maturity and eventually to decay and death. It no more refers to a transcendent spiritual entity than the blueprints of a house tell us who the people are for whom the house is being built. If it tells us something, it is by inference and implication, not directly.
This is a very important point. Unfortunately it is often not understood, and this leads to a great deal of confusion, particularly because it tends to result in the glamorization of astrology.
A birth chart does not give us "spiritual" information — at least not directly. It gives us only a biopsychic type of information. But saying this, and speaking of the birth chart as a blueprint, do not imply a false kind of determinism. The blueprint determines the structure of the house, but not its contents — and especially not the use to which the people living in it will put it. Most houses are not made on order by the individuals who will use them. They are built according to certain patterns which follow the "style of life" of an epoch and a particular culture. Likewise all people born in a particular year have birth charts in which the slow-moving planets are in about the same positions [of the zodiac].
What is important is the meaning a person gives to the type of organism he is — an individual human being born at a particular time and in a precise locality — and as he grows up, to the events he encounters as he tries to actualize the potentialities inherent in him by the fact of being born at that time and in that locality. From the moment of birth, every person enters into relationships with other beings and objects. What a person does with these events, how he interprets them, how he relates to them and what meaning he gives to them: this is where he can exercise "freedom." The sequence of events is in the main determined, but these events and their rhythm are determined by our need for them in the process of growth. We happen to the world, rather than the world happening to us. The gift of meaning is man's freedom. Yet we can be individually free only if we have emerged from a subservience to the collective meanings and values which our race, culture and tradition have imposed upon us.
We always have to distinguish between individual and collective factors. In order to understand what I intend to convey in this book, the reader should clearly grasp the meaning given to the term "collective person." When I speak of America as a collective person and of her destiny as that of a collective person, I am not referring to a mere aggregate of "individuals," but to a complex entity — an organism — formed for the implicit and at least semiconscious purpose of fulfilling a function not only in terms of human history, but also in terms of the evolution of the whole planet. In other words, we should include in the collective person called the American nation, not only all its citizens and residents, but every living entity within its boundaries — and also its plains, mountains, lakes, rivers, atmosphere and coastal waters. It should now be obvious that whatever is a component part of this total entity, the United States of America, must be included in its collective person; all these components interact and are interdependent. The fauna and flora, the soil and the climate of the country affect the human beings; and the latter have tragically proved able to affect the nonhuman participants in the total being of the United States.
We must also include in the national entity the collective mentality and psyche of the American people, and the relationship this national being has with other national entities and with the whole planet Earth. Every nation in our modern world, every race, tribe and empire of the ancient world, should be considered an organic whole. It is a special kind of organism, but any relatively closed system of activity (or "field," in the physicist's sense of the word) that has some kind of definite and relatively lasting structure, according to which a large number of interdependent parts function in relation to the whole system, must be considered an organism.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1974 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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