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Satan, Venus, Christ and the Gas Giants: A Miltonic Parable 
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Interbane wrote:
RT: "Lazarus, in the interpretation of Tom Harpur, signifies Osiris, Egyptian God of the Dead, with his cyclic sense of time that is quite foreign to the modern linear mentality."Your mention of time being cyclic is interesting. From what I understand, the arrow of time continues on in one direction quite unlike Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time." The synchronized and cyclical systems found throughout our universe unfortunately aren't perpetual motion systems. Although I'm not sure what the math says of the effects of entropy on the universe as a whole. We will forever "Big Bounce", and perhaps that is an infinite cycle.
Osiris has green skin, signifying his link with plants with their annual cycles. Harpur points out that Lazarus and Mary and Martha correlate to Osiris and Isis and Nephthys, with Lazarus in mummy gear just like Osiris. Etymologically, we have Lazarus = El Azarus = El Osiris = Osiris.

And, Osiris and Isis are listed among the subordinate devils in Paradise Lost. Strangely, Osiris' brother Set, who seems to have an etymological connection to Satan, does not get a mention in PL.

Your mention of the arrow of time raises a really interesting point. Yes, modern cosmology is linear, in that the expansion of the universe from the big bang is actually accelerating (this was discovered in the 1990s) and it appears there is nowhere near enough mass for it ever to turn around to a big crunch.

However, my view is that there is validity in constructing an intermediate cyclic cosmology, considering our solar system as the framework. If our solar system was the size of a quarter dollar, the nearest star would be one hundred yards away and our Milky Way galaxy, which is just one of billions of galaxies, would be about the size of the continental 48 states of the USA. So our system is very isolated, and it does operate with a cyclic structure of time, notably with the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune harmonic cycle discussed in the opening post here. Ten billion years, the expected life span of the sun, is not eternity, but in human terms it is effectively pretty close.

I will get back to you soon on your previous post about precession and the Bible, and Frank's comments on Earl Doherty.



Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:35 am
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Robert said:

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Eliot first describes ordinary time, admittedly with a nod to Hesiod:
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There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create, And time for all the works and days of hands That lift and drop a question on your plate; Time for you and time for me, And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And for a hundred visions and revisions, Before the taking of a toast and tea. ... In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. For I have known them all already, known them all:— Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;


Robert, I don't know who or what Hesiod is. :oops:

And I always thought this section above was alluding to Chapter 3 in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. For every thing there is a season... So I find your comments absorbing. Of course I knew that Eliot's poetry had many allusions to the Greek Classics etc., but knowing very little about Greek Mythology, I have never been able to make the connection.


I am a trifle besotted with Eliot although I think one appreciates 'Prufrock' more as one reaches 'a certain age'.

I like WB Yeats very much too and feel these two poets have quite an affinity.

Prufrock is my favourite poem, and my favourite part is the very beginning, Let us go then you and I, as the evening spreads itself across the sky, like a patient etherised upon a table.....if this is misquoted, it is because I am typing from memory. Also I very much like 'sawdust restaurants with oyster shells' - my favourite kinda places.
;-)

If you have the time, Interbane and Robert, I would like to hear more of your commentaries.


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Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:51 am
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Oh dear, I've just read my last post - completely off topic!!! I beg your pardons. :(

I am reading these posts though and making what I can of it all.

And what I really wanted ask at one point was, when Robert said to Frank

Quote:
Frank, I admit I have an emotional commitment to the Gospel story, rather like Anselm's fallacious reasoning that I quoted above that a perfect story becomes even more perfect for us if we believe it is true.


Are atheists really saying that we're all alone in a Godless, Hostile and Meaningless Universe - but that we mustn't tell ourselves stories and try to fit them into our cosmic consciousness? And that we mustn't under any circumstances, laugh at our own efforts?

Fundamentalist Christians are only annoying because they've stopped laughing at themselves......and, in fact....they've stopped telling the truth...but all Deists aren't liars. The worst we can be accused of is 'undue optimism' . :cry:


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Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:19 am
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I think Frank and Robert are at cross-purposes. The idea that the Jesus story is wholly myth does not conflict with the idea that precession has had mythic influence. Both could be true.



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Quote:
Penelope
Are atheists really saying that we're all alone in a Godless, Hostile and Meaningless Universe - but that we mustn't tell ourselves stories and try to fit them into our cosmic consciousness? And that we mustn't under any circumstances, laugh at our own efforts?


Actually I am saying why I cannot accept RT’s proposition; I am not telling him what to believe.

As you pointed out above, (and as RT has admitted) he has an emotional attachment to the gospel stories and I believe that that attachment keeps him from being objective on the matter.

Even supposing that the cosmic portion of his theory is completely correct why attempt to force it in to Christianity?

Maybe the special event that it is attached to those times is actually more inclusive of leaders within the Roman Empire… or something that happened in China… or world wide… maybe it is purely coincidence?

To suggest that the cosmos is influencing actions of people on earth and only those in Christendom is beyond a reasonable stretch.

Now if RT wants to say that the stories can be interpreted a certain way without the insistence that they were originally conceptualized that way, it would be easier to accept.

It would still be just another splinter of Christianity to me, but I would have no argument against any particular reinterpretation.

To say that the long process of creation and revision that the biblical writings went through and the almost randomly mismatched stories included in the current bible actually speak to a greater cosmic truth is again immeasurably improbable.

All of this would be fine except RT is claiming a reason based approach to the gospels.

Knowing what I know of the cultures, people and histories of those texts I personally find his interpretations too far of a leap to accept them as reasonable.

But he is free to believe what he will.

Later


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Last edited by Frank 013 on Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:40 am
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Frank:

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As you pointed out above, (and as RT has admitted) he has an emotional attachment to the gospel stories and I believe that that attachment keeps him from being objective on the matter.

Even supposing that the cosmic portion of his theory is completely correct why attempt to force it in to Christianity?


Well, no, we can't be objective....the attempt to understand something unfathomable at the present time.....is bound to be somewhat subjective.

I don't know why Robert wants to place his theory within a Christian framework...I would have thought that would detract from peoples' ability to take it seriously.....but it is his theory and so his perogative as you point out.

Thank you.


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Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:32 am
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Interbane wrote:
RT: "You misunderstand. Precession results in the earth spinning like a top with one wobble per 26000 years. A good scientific diagram is here. My argument is that central Christian concepts, notably Logos and the Age, are intrinsically built into this temporal structure. I claim this cyclic structure resonates with daily and annual cycles to produce real millennial periods."
Actually, I think I understand quite well, but not with any of the depth in which you understand it. My problem is with some of your phrasings. For example, you say "My argument is that central Christian concepts, notably Logos and the Age, are intrinsically built into this temporal structure." Logos and the Age aren't built into this structure, they are explanatory models helpful to our understanding of the mechanics of this structure.
Thanks Interbane, this is the sort of discussion I have looked for in vain for twenty five years. Earlier, Tom Hood teased out of me the symbolic archetypes for the twelve signs, providing the predictive content for the structure of the Ages. This predictive content indicates that we are now ending the age of belief and nearing the start of the age of knowledge, and in about 2300 years we will enter the age of use, followed by the ages of vision and desire. You can find a table at the essay I linked above. This mythic narrative for our planet pulls together the main cyclic structures of our cosmos and is what I understand as the real content of Logos – original connecting connectedness. My postulate is that this narrative framework has the same level of reality as the laws of evolution and gravity. It provides an elegant explanation for Christian ideas of the end of the world, indicating that belief-based approaches are sending the world towards destruction and need to be replaced by knowledge-based approaches.

Regarding how the Age is “built into” this cosmic cycle, my argument, re the gas giants, starts from the observation that the JSN cyclic period is 1/144th of earth’s precessional Great Year. Hence the Zodiacal Age, 2147 years, twelve JSN cycles, is the square root of the Great Year period considering the JSN period as the unit, so the Age is a sort of mechanistic hinge linking these two major stable cyclic patterns in which our planet is imbedded.
Quote:
RT: "Use of such cosmic findings is a way of searching for an explanation of how our world ultimately connects to the cosmos."
This presumes our world does ultimately connect to the cosmos in some metaphysical way. Earth is a part of the heavens, and interacts in measurable ways, but this is explained mechanistically. When you say that you're searching for further explanation, I take you to mean that you believe there's some connection above and beyond the mechanistic. Could you be more precise in what this connection is?
Actually, I am suggesting a mechanistic metaphysics. I know this looks like a contradiction, but humanity is so complex that identifying deep cultural trends – the strange attractors of chaotic cultural fractals – inevitably opens questions in the domain of metaphysics, eg to what extent our society is built upon belief or knowledge. As I said before, I wish to exclude all supernaturalism from religion, so I don’t really have what is traditionally seen as metaphysical beliefs. Yet, archetypal myths of belief, for example the Easter Passion, are often immensely valuable and meaningful, so are very useful as an explanatory framework. My claim is that deep spiritual writers have a prophetic intuition of cultural fractals, providing the cosmic connection that seems to go beyond the mechanistic. However, like Marx’s idea of economic base and superstructure, spiritual ideas have a cosmic mechanistic explanation, grounded in the remorseless Laplacian clockwork of precession.
Quote:
RT: "If we take this cosmic identity as the primary meaning of the Christ myth, in line with Biblical ideas such as Colossians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” together with the Logos imagery of John 1 “in the beginning was the Word”, I simply cannot see how we can find a rational underpinning other than interpreting Christ as a symbol of the precessional structure of time.”
If you present a vague enough prophecy, it's bound to come true. "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" is like saying "all reality is begotten from my spirit"(I just made that up, but I'm sure there's a similar phrase somewhere). You take such a general statement and use it as evidence that Christ is a symbol of the precessional structure of time! This is subjective validation, a cognitive bias. You stretch vague and general scripture to support a rational underpinning, but what exactly is a rational underpinning in the first place? A rational way to pin together your religious blues clues so that your theological worldview doesn't come crashing down?
As I noted above in claiming the Logos is built in to precession, the ‘connectedness’ of our cosmos involves real cycles. There is no other way in which “all things hold together” and this way of explaining it makes sense as a way to understand the past and predict the future. These cycles are present at each level, so the structure of the Great Year is a fractal mirror of the annual structure of the earth’s seasons, with the twelve-fold symbolism of the signs. The Cosmic Christ symbolises the entire cycle, so for the last 2000 years has been interpreted in the manifestation of belief and for the next 2000 years will be interpreted in the manifestation of knowledge.
Quote:
RT: "This cycle provides the long term structure of time for our planet, and is what the ancients pointed at in numerous obscure coded references."
I wouldn't argue that the ancients discovered some of the mechanical workings of our solar system. When you say 'structure of time', you don't mean the cycle is fundamental to the workings of time, correct? It might be better to say that the precession is temporally repeating, therefore useful to us as a framework to measure longer lengths of time than a year.
The phrase ‘fundamental to the workings of time’ is complex. Yes, the lunisolar precessional wobble of the earth is as fundamental to terrestrial time as the wobble of a top would be to hypothetical creatures living on a top, but thankfully earth’s wobble is very stable. To the question ‘what is time?’ I would say time is the actual cyclic structures of the cosmos, whereas the dominant scientific view sees time as an overlay of measurement imposed by the human mind.
Quote:
RT: "Your 'footprints in the sand' comment is ambiguous regarding what is 'objectively real' and what is 'metaphysical'. These are slippery concepts."
They are so much fun to ponder for that reason! The ambiguity comes from the inability of the human brain to divorce its methods of understanding reality from reality itself. We cannot know reality without our cognitive framework. When considering footprints in the sand, the only thing objectively real about them are the footprints themselves. We as deliberators can read into that pattern and reason that a creature made them. We could also be mistaken, since there are other ways footprints could be in the sand. There are two things to take from the example. One is that the footprints are distinctly separate with no objectively real connection (again, this is difficult to grasp as it requires divorcing 'understanding' from 'reality'), and the other is that the explanation for the pattern can easily be false.
It depends on the evidentiary basis. If you make footprints yourself you know you are an objectively real connection between them. There is an evidentiary forensic continuum all the way down to dubious Bigfoot prints. I am arguing that precession as a temporal structure is much higher on the evidentiary continuum than has been hitherto recognised.
Quote:
RT: "I am arguing that the Logos, which the ancients identified with Christ, is objectively real and is displayed in the precessional structure of time, and that this hypothesis is a scientific argument."
Is the Logos a concept open to critical examination? Is the Logos as Christ a connection that's open to critical examination? When you say that it's 'displayed', you don't mean visually, so what do you mean?
Great questions. Yes, logos is very much open to critical examination, providing the underpinning of what we mean by reason, language and logic. The challenge here, with the claim that Christ is the logic of the cosmos, is to view the cosmos in four dimensions, with time having regular deep cyclic patterns that structure the local cosmic spatial environment. The Logos is dynamic, and freeze-frames such as Jesus on the Cross need to be located in a cosmic drama, on millennial time frames, to understand them. This is what Plato meant by describing time as the moving image of eternity – and what Colossians meant by describing Jesus as the image of the invisible God.
Quote:
RT: "Your simple dogmatic assertion that it is untestable is not based on real examination, but rather on an agenda that the past errors of Christianity invalidate any effort to make religion and science compatible."
I've criticized your inclusion of religion a couple of times, but I'd like to think most of the time I've taken to critically examine what you've posted. I probe deeper, but you still have yet to offer a hypothesis directly representing what you propose that's also testable:
I appreciate your discussion of these issues Interbane, this was just noting the semantic point that if you say something is untestable, that is a much stronger (and more dogmatic) claim than to say it seems untestable. This is new territory, exploring analytical tools to explain religion in ways that have not been used before. With this point I am simply pointing to the risk of consigning ideas before they are understood. I think the claim that the world has gradually shifted from a belief-based framework to a knowledge-based framework mirrors the prediction of this model in testable ways.
Quote:
RT: "Testing it is primarily a matter of systematically analysing history and the Bible against this framework."
You would discover correlations between findings in the ancient world and the workings of the solar system, but as a hypothesis this does nothing other than to show that our ancestors were able to read the stars as we are.
It does more than that by providing a path to develop a predictive explanatory model for world history.



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RT: "This predictive content indicates that we are now ending the age of belief and nearing the start of the age of knowledge, and in about 2300 years we will enter the age of use, followed by the ages of vision and desire."

The critical question is then whether this content is predictive, as you say, or correlative. Before that can be answered, you need to clarify who decided what each age corresponds to. I couldn't find the essay you mention, so sorry if the answers are there. What this correspondence decided on a philosophical/theological basis(prophetic intuition as you say), or was the schema gained from divine inspiration directly from a higher power? If the answer is the former, then I'd say the content may have been an attempt at prediction in much the same way we predict emerging world powers or winners of a political race. In this case, the proper term is 'forecast'. I guess you'll need to clarify all this before we critically examine the prophetic intuition used to forecast these correlations.

There is also the problem of the classification of each age being ambiguous and extremely difficult to demarcate. What does it mean for us to be in the age of belief? We must be extremely wary here of subjective validation. Belief is a part of being human, and will continue to apply as a characteristic until the end of time. Faith seems to more accurately embody what this age represents. Also, there has been a great accumulation of knowledge throughout our history. The correlation between the internet boom and the upcoming age of knowledge seems to be just that, a correlation. As a correlation it lacks the precision you would expect from a natural law, such as gravity.

RT: "As I noted above in claiming the Logos is built in to precession, the ‘connectedness’ of our cosmos involves real cycles. There is no other way in which “all things hold together” and this way of explaining it makes sense as a way to understand the past and predict the future."

The cycles are real, interconnected in interesting ways, but I consider the connectedness as a mental construct to understand the interplay of mass, gravity, and time. Perhaps "all things hold together" simply means gravity. :razz2:

RT: "Regarding how the Age is “built into” this cosmic cycle..."

I apologize in advance, but i have to criticize your use of words here. If you meant something different disregard this. Saying the age is "built into" suggests a creator. Without reading volumes into this, how much do you agree with the scientific models that describe how celestial bodies formed from the primordial cosmic soup, guided by the laws of physics? Were we to be living in a different solar system with the different celestial mechanics that come with it, there would also be correlations in orbits, rotations, tilts, and constellations that we as pattern seekers would discover, then inevitably apply names. So rather than phrasing it as "built into", we are instead applying a name to a mechanical phenomenon. I realize this is little more than semantics, but I felt the need to address it.

RT: "To the question ‘what is time?’ I would say time is the actual cyclic structures of the cosmos, whereas the dominant scientific view sees time as an overlay of measurement imposed by the human mind."

Time is a slippery concept as well. The cyclic structures of the cosmos have definitive motions and points we can use as benchmarks by which to measure time. They are far less precise than the benchmark of radiation from a caesium atom, but perhaps more precise than the rotation of our galaxy(unless you include that in your cosmic structure). As a benchmark for measuring time, it's consistency comes into question. For how long will the cycles remain precisely as they are? You can expect them to be eternal until a silly little comet smashes into one of our beloved planets to throw a wrench into the Laplacian gears. If a comet doesn't suffice, name your poison. In what way would you redefine "time" if that were to happen?

RT: "If you make footprints yourself you know you are an objectively real connection between them."

Not really. It depends on how you define "connection". We could say that I'm an objectively real piece of meat, but you'd need to show me the metaphysical umbilical cord between myself and the strange arrangement of sand particles we call a footprint. Then you could say I'm an objectively real object, the footprints are objectively real(though only mentally categorized as a pattern by the arrangement of sand particles), and there's an objectively real tether connecting me to these footprints. The concept of "connection" is a mental construction in this situation. The more you've explained your stance, I see the discussion of patterns as more of a tangent, although an interesting and fun one! You're claiming the patterns are "evidence of" something, with no metaphysical connection. I can sign onto that, disregarding the other issues we're discussing.

RT: "With this point I am simply pointing to the risk of consigning ideas before they are understood."

You're right, I apologize. Yet, my hindsight bias informs me that it prompted responses with substance! :razz2:



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Penelope wrote:
Robert, I don't know who or what Hesiod is. :oops:
Hesiod was a Greek oral poet, of around the eighth-century BC. Hesiod and Homer have generally been considered the earliest Greek poets whose work has survived, and they are often paired. Eliot alludes in Prufrock to Hesiod's Works and Days, which lays out the five Ages of Man, as well as containing advice and wisdom, prescribing a life of honest labour and attacking idleness. It describes immortals who roam the earth watching over justice and injustice.
Quote:
I am a trifle besotted with Eliot although I think one appreciates 'Prufrock' more as one reaches 'a certain age'. I like WB Yeats very much too and feel these two poets have quite an affinity.
Funnily enough, just yesterday in a second hand bookshop I picked up A Vision by WB Yeats - the linked site is a summary of his comments on The Great Year, linked to his idea of the widening gyre in The Second Coming. Yes there is a affinity between Yeats and Eliot in that both saw that deep poetry points to the eternal. I am now reading WB Yeats - Twentieth Century Magus by Susan Johnston Graf. Yeats poem The Two Trees is very Miltonic, describing the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. His poem Adam's Curse is the title of a 2001 book.



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Robert:

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prescribing a life of honest labour and attacking idleness.


I don't know whether I like the sound of this! I'm very fond of idleness. When I work I work...and when I'm idle I'm very, very idle. Although I suppose, thinking about poetry and philosophical enquiry, whilst staring at a blank wall....is not quite idleness. It's fortunate my husband is used to me! :smile:

Thank you for the pointers Robert, I do appreciate your help. Do you know Yeat's poem- The Wild Swans at Coole? I do love it, it is beautiful, but much of it is a complete mystery to me. It was taught to me that it was about the soldiers in the Great War....but it seems to signify much more than that to me.....but I'm not sure what. :cry:

Do you think I'll be properly educated before I die?


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Interbane, I am so pleased that you are taking such a dispassionate and analytical approach to my ideas. It is something I have never experienced before. The common response, whether from those of scientific, religious or New Age disposition, is emotional rejection of the effort to build bridges between different ways of thought, and instant dismissal of the idea that a cosmic explanation is conceptually possible. Frank's points about the mythic nature of the Christ story also really help to put the discussion into a realistic framework. I would very much welcome any reactions from others – hopefully it does not all seem too tedious or circular or obscure. :) Thank you again for your patience and interest.
Interbane wrote:
RT: "This predictive content indicates that we are now ending the age of belief and nearing the start of the age of knowledge, and in about 2300 years we will enter the age of use, followed by the ages of vision and desire."
The critical question is then whether this content is predictive, as you say, or correlative. Before that can be answered, you need to clarify who decided what each age corresponds to. I couldn't find the essay you mention, so sorry if the answers are there. Was this correspondence decided on a philosophical/theological basis (prophetic intuition as you say), or was the schema gained from divine inspiration directly from a higher power? If the answer is the former, then I'd say the content may have been an attempt at prediction in much the same way we predict emerging world powers or winners of a political race. In this case, the proper term is 'forecast'. I guess you'll need to clarify all this before we critically examine the prophetic intuition used to forecast these correlations.
Very much philosophical/theological. The idea of 'inspiration' is far too arbitrary and error-prone, whereas I am working towards a scientific explanation. The Christ and Time essay is cited in my response to Tom Hood on 26 Feb. You rightly point out that correlation is not causation to probe the question of the possible mechanism of perceived correlations regarding what each age corresponds to. The following explains how I see this structure as more a mathematical structure of time than a forecast gained by extrapolating from current events.

Considering the earth as like a top spinning once per day, we do nearly ten million spins per precessional wobble. My argument involves the hypothesis that around the circle of this wobble there is a start and end point. In a similar way to how the shape of a leaf is fractally aligned to the directionality of the tree, I argue the year is aligned to the Great Year. The annual path of the sun does have a start and end point from our earthly viewpoint, with the northern spring equinox on 21 March marking the beginning and end of the dominant natural year. My argument is that the slow reverse path of the sun around the ecliptic over the Great Year is a fractal mirror of the structure of its annual path, with alpha and omega point at the time of Christ. In Chapter 12 of my essay on Christ and Time, I comment : “the investigation here into the nature of time starts from the claim that the astrological meaning of each sign correlates precisely with the character of its season.  Obviously this is a large claim which cannot be established in a few words, but examples can sketch the principle at work.  One correlation between sign and season is between the reflective hibernatory end of the natural northern year in early March and the reflective symbolic meaning attached to the sign of Pisces.  Another is between the bursting energy of spring at the end of March and the energetic character of Aries.....7.      The next key point of conjecture here, flowing from the claim that the rhythms observed by astrology shape the structure of time through the temporal structure of the sun signs, is that the sun signs themselves may also be a middle level pattern within a larger fractal structure.  Fractal geometry suggests why this conjecture is plausible.  Just as the small branches of a tree reflect both the larger structure of its boughs and the smaller structure of its twigs, so the natural rhythm of the sun signs, defined by the seasons of the earth, should both reflect a larger whole and flow through to every sub-system.  On this basis the causal theme ‘as above, so below’ should also apply to the patterns of our galactic neighbourhood.  Insofar as our galactic environment shares a common origin and is therefore a single system, fractal theory tells us that the natural cycles we see on the earth and within our solar system should be expected to exhibit the harmonic resonances of even larger galactic patterns. Like whorls within whorls in a cosmic whirlpool, the rhythms of the seasons should in some way reflect the fractal whirlpool energy of our spiral galaxy.”


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There is also the problem of the classification of each age being ambiguous and extremely difficult to demarcate. What does it mean for us to be in the age of belief? We must be extremely wary here of subjective validation. Belief is a part of being human, and will continue to apply as a characteristic until the end of time. Faith seems to more accurately embody what this age represents. Also, there has been a great accumulation of knowledge throughout our history. The correlation between the internet boom and the upcoming age of knowledge seems to be just that, a correlation. As a correlation it lacks the precision you would expect from a natural law, such as gravity.
Re faith and belief, the Biblical idea from John 3:16 is that belief is sufficient for salvation. I see this as a defining statement of the Piscean Age which has now lost its spiritual dynamism, because now we need to put faith in human knowledge. Knowledge as a defining principle has been emerging as a nascent organising principle since the Renaissance, and I argue will replace belief as a dominant theme of the world at the cusp of the Age of Aquarius in around 140 years from now, echoing in eternal return of the same how the Piscean principle of belief replaced the Arian principle of being, the sense of manifest divinity, 2000 years ago. All twelve themes of the annual cycle are of course always present, but my argument is that each dominates its Age in turn.
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RT: "As I noted above in claiming the Logos is built in to precession, the ‘connectedness’ of our cosmos involves real cycles. There is no other way in which “all things hold together” and this way of explaining it makes sense as a way to understand the past and predict the future."
The cycles are real, interconnected in interesting ways, but I consider the connectedness as a mental construct to understand the interplay of mass, gravity, and time. Perhaps "all things hold together" simply means gravity. :razz2:
Gravity is primarily three dimensional, whereas the cycles of time bring in a new fourth dimensional perspective on the structuring of complexity. “All things” include the past and future, not just the present.
Quote:
Saying the age is "built into" suggests a creator. Without reading volumes into this, how much do you agree with the scientific models that describe how celestial bodies formed from the primordial cosmic soup, guided by the laws of physics?
My view is that creation operates through the laws of physics, which are omnipotent and eternal. Scientific models are knowledge-based, and are steadily replacing the belief-based myths of religion. The ages are built in to the structure of time in just the same way that descent by modification is built in to the structure of biological evolution.
Quote:
RT: "To the question ‘what is time?’ I would say time is the actual cyclic structures of the cosmos, whereas the dominant scientific view sees time as an overlay of measurement imposed by the human mind."
Time is a slippery concept as well. The cyclic structures of the cosmos have definitive motions and points we can use as benchmarks by which to measure time. They are far less precise than the benchmark of radiation from a caesium atom, but perhaps more precise than the rotation of our galaxy(unless you include that in your cosmic structure). As a benchmark for measuring time, it's consistency comes into question. For how long will the cycles remain precisely as they are? You can expect them to be eternal until a silly little comet smashes into one of our beloved planets to throw a wrench into the Laplacian gears. If a comet doesn't suffice, name your poison. In what way would you redefine "time" if that were to happen?
Time rolls with the punches, and it would take a very big comet to have any effect on the cycles of the earth. The comet that wiped out the dinosaurs was like a mosquito on an elephant in terms of its impact on the natural cosmic cycles. The scientific fixation on precision is primarily required for experimental measurement, but if what we are measuring is the relation between humanity and the cosmos, we need to go with the flow, recognising that precession itself speeds up and slows down, albeit almost imperceptibly against the timeframe of the Ages. The loss of constant precision is more than compensated by the gain in actuality. There is something of a Copernican counter-revolution here, arguing that 'our' time, set by the natural rhythms of our planet, is more important than a universal measurement constant definition.



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RT: "Interbane, I am so pleased that you are taking such a dispassionate and analytical approach to my ideas."

It's very fun for me, I'm passionate about philosophy. Making a proposition is also like sticking out your neck, exposing yourself. Arrogant responses and outright dismissals are no fun.

RT: "My argument involves the hypothesis that around the circle of this wobble there is a start and end point. In a similar way to how the shape of a leaf is fractally aligned to the directionality of the tree, I argue the year is aligned to the Great Year."

You must know my response here, that a precise point in space to declare as the 'prime meridian' is simply a point of demarcation so we can better understand the workings. The convenience of certain points in a mechanical system make them better candidates than other points, but as a function for demarcation they are human constructs. For example, claiming that the prime meridian is an actual objective "line"(composed of what, I don't know), would be an instance of the inability for us to distinguish our 'understanding of reality' from reality itself. The fractal alignment of a leaf is not abstract, but a point of reference is. I used a few different examples in this paragraph, but my point is best made when they are taken as a whole. One example isn't enough to capture a slippery concept.

RT: "One correlation between sign and season is between the reflective hibernatory end of the natural northern year in early March and the reflective symbolic meaning attached to the sign of Pisces."

Let's pretend for a moment that we are the first sentient creatures on the planet. We pick patterns of stars and give them names. Then we discuss the happenings on Earth as they relate to each sign's position in the sky. The correlations we find between earthly phenomena and the signs are of course the characteristics we'd ascribe to each sign. This is no coincidence. The symbolic meaning attached to the signs were for very good reasons. To reverse engineer this as if it is a discovery overlooks the fact that humans ascribed the meanings in the first place.

RT: "Knowledge as a defining principle has been emerging as a nascent organising principle since the Renaissance, and I argue will replace belief as a dominant theme of the world at the cusp of the Age of Aquarius in around 140 years from now..."

This interpretation still does not address that intelligent philosophers could forecast such social changes since they are extremely ambiguous, and in doing so ascribe the appropriate characteristic to each age. If the age of Aquarius fell within a few years of the internet boom, I would more critically examine the idea. Also, the ambiguous nature of how the concepts apply to society all but beckons subjective validation. For example, knowledge can be defined as "true justified belief". As an explanatory model, using "belief" as the label for an age lacks refinement, where faith would be more fitting.

A brief sojourn to the wikipedia article for Aquarius summarizes nearly a dozen scholars perspectives on what the Age means. They are quite variant, but the common theme seems to be technological progress, enlightenment, equality, disbelief in God, and even nuclear power. This makes it clear that the practice is to ascribe certain social characteristics to the sign after the fact.

The details of all this aren't as relevant as the whole picture. The ascription of meaning to the signs is a purely human invention.

RT: "Gravity is primarily three dimensional..."

Gravity has no effect without the consideration of time. This is an interesting tangent and I actually have a hypothesis for gravity. Maybe I'll stick my neck out and propose it.

RT: "The ages are built in to the structure of time in just the same way that descent by modification is built in to the structure of biological evolution."

There is only a difference in complexity between this claim and the claim that one revolution of a top spinning on a table is built into the structure of time. Is there any way you can rephrase "built into the structure of time"?

RT: "There is something of a Copernican counter-revolution here, arguing that 'our' time, set by the natural rhythms of our planet, is more important than a universal measurement constant definition."

Time seems to be a sticking point for me here. Time does not belong to us nor to any celestial body. We measure the passage of time according to the motion of these bodies, but that measurement is an arbitrary "understanding" construct we use to help live our lives within the spacetime continuum.

RT: "The comet that wiped out the dinosaurs was like a mosquito on an elephant in terms of its impact on the natural cosmic cycles."

This avoids the hypothetical situation I posed. If an unforeseeable event threw off the mechanics of our solar system enough that the math in your proposition would change, how would you redefine time? One characteristic of a valid hypothesis is fruitfulness - it must be able to explain phenomena under new conditions, or new phenomena that may arise in the future.



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Interbane wrote:
a precise point in space to declare as the 'prime meridian' is simply a point of demarcation so we can better understand the workings. The convenience of certain points in a mechanical system make them better candidates than other points, but as a function for demarcation they are human constructs. …Let's pretend for a moment that we are the first sentient creatures on the planet. We pick patterns of stars and give them names. Then we discuss the happenings on Earth as they relate to each sign's position in the sky. The correlations we find between earthly phenomena and the signs are of course the characteristics we'd ascribe to each sign. This is no coincidence. The symbolic meanings attached to the signs were for very good reasons. To reverse engineer this as if it is a discovery overlooks the fact that humans ascribed the meanings in the first place.
You make me realise that partly what I am doing here is exploring the question, “How could Christianity be true?” I reject supernatural explanations as incompatible with science, and yet feel there is a power within the archetypal myth that must come from somewhere greater than the human imagination alone. It is about trying to justify a logical basis for this intuitive feeling. If imagination is grounded in a cosmic harmony, it has a purchase that a free floating fantasy would lack.

The system I am suggesting is different from the arbitrary location of the Greenwich meridian. I am suggesting that the correspondence between major Christian symbols derives from a cosmic intuition that the shift from BC to AD actually is a turning point of time in some objective sense. In the lead up to the BC-AD moment, the constellations steadily moved towards alignment with the seasons, then went through a short period of exact harmony, and since then they have steadily moved out of alignment. The normal scientific view assumes the constellations are arbitrary, ignoring the elegant beauty of the fit between the seasons and the zodiac stars at the time of Christ. Pisces does have the shape of a mysterious dissipation like the end of the winter, and Aries does have the shape of a breaking open of a new year. Our genes have been through this precessional cycle 175,000 times, which to me expands the scope of possibility that the shape of this cycle is more like a tree than a map.
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RT: "Knowledge as a defining principle has been emerging as a nascent organising principle since the Renaissance, and I argue will replace belief as a dominant theme of the world at the cusp of the Age of Aquarius in around 140 years from now..."
This interpretation still does not address that intelligent philosophers could forecast such social changes since they are extremely ambiguous, and in doing so ascribe the appropriate characteristic to each age. If the age of Aquarius fell within a few years of the internet boom, I would more critically examine the idea.
An Age is a 2150 year period. It starts as an embryonic movement within the previous age, coming to birth only when its time is ready. The Aquarian pregnancy in some respects reaches back to Plato, and certainly to Galileo. The internet is a momentary blip, which could be seen as a birth pang for the age of knowledge. However, I maintain that false belief remains the dominant structure of our planet, and that the transition to a knowledge-based world culture will involve significant conflict.
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Also, the ambiguous nature of how the concepts apply to society all but beckons subjective validation. For example, knowledge can be defined as "true justified belief". As an explanatory model, using "belief" as the label for an age lacks refinement, where faith would be more fitting.
At the height of what I call the Piscean age in about 1000 AD, humanity did not have knowledge of the planetary nature of the earth, let alone the amazing breadth of cosmic and biological knowledge now known. The belief structures expressed by thinkers like Aquinas and Dante, and correlates elsewhere, seemed to underpin human identity, but were actually groundless. There is a category distinction between knowledge and belief, but this distinction has only become powerful with the rise of modern accurate science. Knowledge is certain while belief is open to doubt. I admit I differ from Popper on this, as I hold to a dogmatic faith that the universe exists, that the sun will rise tomorrow, and that all the other blindingly obvious things we know are actually true.
Quote:
A brief sojourn to the wikipedia article for Aquarius summarizes nearly a dozen scholars perspectives on what the Age means. They are quite variant, but the common theme seems to be technological progress, enlightenment, equality, disbelief in God, and even nuclear power. This makes it clear that the practice is to ascribe certain social characteristics to the sign after the fact. The details of all this aren't as relevant as the whole picture. The ascription of meaning to the signs is a purely human invention.
The claim is that the cycle of the year divides into twelve distinct archetypal structures known as the signs. If you want to read more on my views on the science of the signs have a look here.
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Gravity has no effect without the consideration of time.
Yes, true, but what I am saying is that the cyclic resonance of finite temporal structures has not been adequately factored into understanding of gravity, which is primarily seen in an atemporal way.
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RT: "The ages are built in to the structure of time in just the same way that descent by modification is built in to the structure of biological evolution."
There is only a difference in complexity between this claim and the claim that one revolution of a top spinning on a table is built into the structure of time. Is there any way you can rephrase "built into the structure of time"?
The difference of complexity has many orders of magnitude. I am saying the Ages are the primary mid-level structure of terrestrial time – shorter than big bang cosmology or geology but longer than ordinary history, serving as an enveloping framework for history. A thread on this topic of astronomical history is here.
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RT: "There is something of a Copernican counter-revolution here, arguing that 'our' time, set by the natural rhythms of our planet, is more important than a universal measurement constant definition."
Time seems to be a sticking point for me here. Time does not belong to us nor to any celestial body. We measure the passage of time according to the motion of these bodies, but that measurement is an arbitrary "understanding" construct we use to help live our lives within the spacetime continuum.
Heidegger claimed there are two contrasting theories of truth, the dominant scientific view which defines truth as accuracy of representation of ideas, and an alternative tragic view which understands truth as the disclosure of being. Looking at time against this dichotomy, the cesium atomic function is a representation of time, whereas the cosmic cycles are the real tragic being, proceeding regardless of our arbitrary understanding.
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RT: "The comet that wiped out the dinosaurs was like a mosquito on an elephant in terms of its impact on the natural cosmic cycles." This avoids the hypothetical situation I posed. If an unforeseeable event threw off the mechanics of our solar system enough that the math in your proposition would change, how would you redefine time? One characteristic of a valid hypothesis is fruitfulness - it must be able to explain phenomena under new conditions, or new phenomena that may arise in the future.
Such an event would cause extinction of all life on earth, so I would not be around to do any redefining. I see it as most unlikely, and prefer to develop predictions of what will actually happen on our planet over the next few thousand years.



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Interbane wrote:
The convenience of certain points in a mechanical system make them better candidates than other points, but as a function for demarcation they are human constructs.


Robert's idea of time is, I think, life cycle time in which definite distinct points do occur. We might speak of the life cycle of a star, airplane, rock, tree, person, or anything else. The winter solstice or the moment of birth are hardly human constructs.



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I'm not saying anything......

But read my new tag. ;-)


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