The Zodiac as a Dynamic Process - 2
It is because astrology can be seen as a most remarkable technique for the understanding of the life-process of change in so many realms — and theoretically in every field — that its renaissance during the last two decades in the Western world is particularly important as a sign of the times. But this importance is conditioned upon a grasp of astrology which is truly modern. Nineteenth century approaches and classical or medieval biases should be discarded in the light of the new twentieth century understanding of physics and above all of psychology, in astrology as in every realm of thought. The emphasis should once more be placed on human experience, and away from the transcendent categories and the mythological entities belonging to an ideology which today is, in the main, obsolete.
Astrology was born of the experience of order made manifest in the sky to primitive man immersed in the jungle and bewildered by the chaos of life on the prolific and wild surface of this planet. The search for order is one of the basic drives in man. At a later stage of evolution this search becomes intellectualized into science; but it has deep organic and instinctual roots.
Instinct is an adaptation to, and an expression of the periodical order of natural phenomena. It is based on unconscious expectability; and when the normal expectancy of life-circumstances is violently disturbed — as when a college psychologist conducts a certain kind of experiments with white mice or pigs — the animal becomes insane. He is unable to stand the pressure of external disorder upon the internal order of his biological functions, and the latter themselves become disordered.
The constant effort of civilization can be interpreted as an attempt to bring man's understanding of his sense-experiences to the point where the same basic quality of order which he feels in his own organism is seen operating effectively in what appears to him as the outer world. Such an attempt may be called an anthropomorphic illusion by the modern thinker, but why it should be so can never be proven or made convincing to any one realizing that man can never know anything save what man (collectively and individually) experiences.
Man's experience is originally dual. He feels organic order within as such an absolute imperative that the slightest organic disturbance causes the most acute feeling of pain. Yet man also experiences what seems to him as chaos outside. All sorts of names have been given to this chaos, either to explain it away (as, for instance, Darwin's struggle for life, survival of the fittest, etc.), or to transfigure it into some kind of organic order (vitalistic philosophies), or to interpret it as one pole of a whole, the other pole of which is a noumenal world of archetypes, perfect Ideas and the like (as when the Hindus called it maya). Every philosophical system, every religion, every science, every act and every pattern of social organization is only one thing: an attempt to explain disorder and to reconcile it with man's inner organic order.
Astrology is one of these attempts, the most ancient perhaps, or at least the one which has kept its vitality intact for the longest time, because the dualism of celestial order and terrestrial disorder is a universal and essential fact of human experience everywhere. In the sky, all events are regular, periodical, expectable within very small margins of irregularity. On the earth-surface (be it the primordial jungle, the countryside of medieval eras or the modern metropolis) there is relative chaos, unpredictable emotions, irrational conflicts, unexpected crises, wars and pestilence. Astrology is a method by means of which the ordered pattern of light in the sky can be used to prove the existence of a hidden, but real, order in all matters of human experience on the earth-surface.
It not only proves order by relating types, categories and sequences of events to the periods of celestial bodies (as moving points of light — and nothing else). It shows how events can be predicted and how fore-knowledge may be applied in social and personal matters. Fore-knowledge is the power to build a civilization out of the apparent chaos of earthly phenomena. All science is based on predictability. Astrology is the mother of all sciences, the mother of civilization; for it has been the first and most universal attempt by man to find the hidden order behind or within the confusion of the earthly jungle — physical or psychological, as the case may be.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
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