Cosmos and Psyche
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Author:  Robert Tulip [ Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Cosmos and Psyche

from the thread recommendation-for-a-book-on-the-history-of-human-civilizations-t8293.html

Robert Tulip wrote:
Veneer wrote:
Thanks for the recommendation. I had noticed the book when I first signed up but forgot about it. I think I am going to order it , although I am disappointed it is not available in Kindle. ... pd_sim_b_1 Have your read his later book "Cosmos & Psyche"? It sounds a little bizarre and of course that is available on Kindle! ... 455&sr=1-2
Veneer, I read Cosmos and Psyche before I read Passion of the Western Mind. My interest in Cosmos and Psyche was in the claim that Tarnas provides an empirical argument in support of astrology. Tarnas argues that the cycles of the outer planets have a detectable resonance on the earth. He restricts his astrological argument to this point about the outer planets, making no mention of sun signs. It is an intriguing and scientifically possible claim, and far better than most astrology, which tends towards intuitive speculation without evidence or logic.

The real weakness of Cosmos and Psyche is that if the planetary effects he describes do exist, they are extremely weak, given that they have not been detected by objective statistical analysis. However, Tarnas' method is anecdotal, for example arguing that the greatest scientific geniuses all have Sun-Uranus aspects in their birth charts, and therefore Uranus has an empirical link to innovation on earth. While this claim is possible, it is far from persuasive or compelling, in the absence of replicable statistical data, and indicates he is pushing a belief rather than reporting on objective findings. Tarnas says his findings about planetary effects are compelling, using this term in a way that is inconsistent with normal scientific usage.

His evidence is fascinating, but is entirely anecdotal and cherry-picked, rather than systematic, so does not prove his conclusions. My view remains that systematic study of planetary effects is highly likely to detect astrological regularities, but that these effects are so weak, and so swamped by terrestrial factors, that very large datasets will be needed. To date no one has provided the resources for systematic astrological research together with a robust research methodology, except Michel Gauquelin, the French scientist who proved some effects. Most scientific studies of astrology start with the agenda of debunking pseudo-science, and suffer from bias and inadequacy in their research methods. Claims that astrology has been disproved are ideological.

Tarnas is a serious and coherent thinker, but his stance in favour of astrology means his claims are tainted by a woo-woo advocacy of unproven speculation. More caveats about the weakness of his research method would have made Cosmos and Psyche a better book, but if you are already open to the claims of planetary aspect and transit theory, such as the interpretations made in Planets in Transit by Robert Hand, Cosmos and Psyche is full of intriguing anecdotal support. A few years ago I discussed Cosmos and Psyche at
Veneer wrote:
Robert, thank you for the well balanced report on Cosmos and Psyche. Unfortunately I am not very open minded about astrology, and alas really have no interest in becoming open minded about it. Let's put it this way, I believe that astrology can affect your fates...if you believe in astrology and let it affect your fates. Self fulfilling prophecy. Otherwise I believe it to be pure bunk and not worthy of scientific study. Forgive me if I seem harsh in my attitude. A newspaper column telling an Aries that they will meet someone interesting is quite harmless entertainment. But when astrology is used as a basis for important decisions by either individuals or a society, then rational thought is being replaced by superstition. Life is short, one has to pick their battles, and astrology is beyond my credibility. I suppose I maintain a high level of bias that you mentioned.

Having said that however, I must confess a certain intrigue with two aspects. One) Tarnas is no dummy and he wrote it. Two) Tulip is no dummy and he read it.

Regarding the Sun-Uranus aspects of the greatest scientific thinkers, I am prepared to make an astrological prediction. Considering famous and highly successful American scientists and mathematicians born in the past 80 years, I make the following astrological predictions. 1) There will be a preponderance of individuals born under Capricorn and Aquarius. 2) There will be a dearth of individuals born under Sagittarius. 3) There will be a few curious Capricorns who are bright but didn't become famous. So does the Sea Goat and the Water Bearer look favorably on their charges? Do gravitons from Deneb Algedi or Sadalsuud build stronger synaptic junctions?

Or could it be that two very bright fourth graders are taking advanced placement tests for one seat in an advanced science class. One is born in January, the other born in December. The Capricorn gets a 97% the Sagittarius gets a 92%. Score one for Capricorns. Is it gravitons or the fact that Mary is 11 months older the Jenny?

Now next year when Mary and Jenny take the placement test, Mary has a huge jump on Jenny, because while Jenny was learning that the sun is 93 million miles from the earth, Mary was learning that because of the temperature and density found at the core of the sun hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium atoms and huge amounts of energy are liberated.

So my prediction is that in a meritocracy, you are going to find the preponderance of slots filled by the oldest competitors in the group.

I would like to take credit for this, but alas I am too dumb (despite being an almost smart Aries). I read this in Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers", although Gladwell didn't get cute with the astrology. If I remember correctly Canadian hockey players are Capricorns and American baseball players are Cancers. But American basketball players are a mix. Basketball apparently is not as relegated to grooming. Street kids have a better chance in basketball.

Again thank you for your objective post, I appreciate your time.

Veneer, thanks for this response. As the discussion of Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas is an issue in its own right, I have started this new thread. As I have said earlier, it is like Passion of the Western Mind was written to prepare the ground for Cosmos and Psyche, by publishing a book that would be accessible to mainstream opinion while also opening the way for his presentation of a vision of a new cosmic paradigm in Cosmos and Psyche.

Your comments about birth dates are a well known but fallacious rebuttal of astrology. Yes it is true that older students in a cohort do better. However, as I mentioned, Tarnas does not discuss sun signs, so is not presenting arguments that are affected by this critique of annual artifacts. His view is that the solar system as a whole has permanent stable rhythms, the earth participates in these rhythms, and they can be detected by looking at the most sensitive and brilliant individuals who are attuned to their own inner identity. This claim that astrological patterns can be systematically detected in brilliantly attuned individuals is at the basis of Michel Gauquelin’s theory of eminence as a decisive criterion for statistical measurement of planetary effects.

I corresponded with Tarnas about his methods, and he sent me the following comment
I wanted to briefly throw in an idea concerning your discussion of Sun-Uranus in the charts of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton, vs. the charts of prominent astronomers in general. The correlation of the Sun-Uranus major aspects with the births of the five principal Copernican revolutionaries was suggestive of the solar Promethean archetypal symbolism in two important respects--both the extraordinary revolutionary and innovative individualism exemplified by their work and cultural influence, as luminous paragons of Promethean heroism for the modern era, and the fact that they all specifically liberated the literal Sun to its high central status in astronomical terms, with the two of these respects complexedly interconnected. I discussed this briefly in Cosmos and Psyche. I would not expect Sun-Uranus aspects to be in evidence beyond chance in the charts of major astronomers today, as they would not be especially likely to be representative of either of these two categories.
This was in response to my discussion of possible empirical methods to test his claims at ... post974931

Robert Tulip

Author:  Robert Tulip [ Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cosmos and Psyche


For Immediate Release
Contact: Edward Snow
Phone: 847/506-0045
More Flower Children in Our Future?
Universe May Be Poised To Revisit Rebellious Decade of the 1960s,
Astrologer, Author and Cultural Historian Richard Tarnas Predicts
If you missed out on all the excitement of the 1960s when heightened impulses for radical social change and cultural creativity produced flared trousers, bushy sideburns, flower children and anarchy on college campuses everywhere, you may be intrigued by what author, philosopher, astrologer and world class social historian Richard Tarnas says lies ahead.
Tarnas is author of The Passion of the Western Mind, a narrative of Western thought that became a best seller and is currently used as a text book by more than 100 universities around the world. He studied intellectual and cultural history and depth psychology at Harvard, earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Saybrook Institute in San Francisco, and worked and lived for more than 10 years at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif., studying with Joseph Campbell, Huston Smith, Gregory Bateson and Stanislav Graf and later serving as the institute’s director of programs and education.
Currently, he is founding director of the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, is on the faculty of the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif., and lectures at workshops in the U.S. and abroad.
At Esalen, Tarnas and Graf, one of the founders of transpersonal psychology, were studying the timing and character of transformational experiences when someone suggested they check out astrology. “The notion seemed ridiculous at first, yet we found ourselves astonished at how the planetary alignments consistently and precisely correlated with human experience,” he recalls.
What came next was a qualitative study that examined hundreds and eventually thousands of individual astrological charts. Tarnas says the “archetypal principals” associated with the planets and the correlations uncovered were “undeniable and uncanny in their subtlety and specificity.”
Surprisingly, the researchers discovered that that astrology illuminated key moments in the lives of pivotal historical figures in the West, such as when they fell in love, went into a depression or experienced an epiphany. Patterns began to appear.
For example, when Galileo wrote the Starry Messenger, a defining moment in the birth of the modern era, the transiting planet Uranus, which is associated with revolutionary breakthroughs and awakenings, was forming a particularly powerful one-time configuration in his birth chart. The same type of configuration or aspect was influencing the birth chart of Rene Descartes in 1637 when he published his epoch-defining Discourse on Methods, and was prominent in the birth chart of Isaac Newton in 1687 when he published the Principia, which is widely regarded as the foundational work of modern science.
“Amazingly, Frued’s psychoanalytic theory, Einstein’s theory of relativity and Darwin’s theory of natural selection also emerged in coincidence with the same planetary cycle,” Tarnas observes.
Results of the study begun at Esalen in the 1970s were published 30 years later in Professor Tarnas’ second book, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, which is the recent winner of the UK’s prestigious Scientific and Medical Network’s Book of the Year award. In it the author produces data supporting what he calls “the dynamic interplay of the timeless universal principles that occur in coincidence with geometrical alignments between the planets and earth.” And he shows how these patterns have permeated and shaped history over time.
He also provides a heads-up on the approaching alignment of the slow-moving planets Uranus and Pluto, which will soon be forming a stressful (90 degree) astrological aspect in the heavens that will last through the year 2020.
Tarnas points out that archetypal Uranus represents the principle of change, freedom, rebellion and revolution and is associated with unexpected phenomena of all kinds. Pluto, recently reduced by astronomers to dwarf planet status, is in fact a celestial heavyweight as the archetype for power itself.
“Pluto is the archetype of primordial energy and the universal life force that impels all evolution and transformation. It compels, empowers, overwhelms, transforms, destroys and resurrects. And, at its deepest level, it involves the mystery of death and rebirth,” he said.
What we can expect when these cosmic behemoths square off is the possibility of a rerun of the cultural impulses and archetypal dynamics that emerged during the 1960s, which is the last time these planetary energies were together making a significant cosmological statement in the heavens.
In Cosmos and Psyche , Tarnas points out that characteristic themes observed for this cycle in past centuries include heightened impulses for radical social change and cultural creativity, accelerated technological and scientific advancement, the empowerment of progressive and reformist political movements, intensified feminist, civil rights and countercultural activity, increased drive for freedom and autonomy at both the individual and collective level, and a pressure towards radicalization in many spheres of action and ideas. Also identified with the cycle is intensified ecological activism, large demographic shifts and the activation of mass energies and mass movements of various kinds.
“Generally speaking, Uranus-Pluto eras have tended to bring forth the catalyzing of powerful forces in many forms, the awakening of a will to power that can be both creative and destructive, and a tangible intensification and acceleration of human experience,” he noted.
Although all of these specific themes have been strongly in evidence during past Uranus-Pluto alignments, precisely what will happen during the next 15-year cycle can’t be known. But Tarnas believes it is likely that another period of both the spontaneous empowerment of women and an intensified striving for equality and self-sovereignty could be on the immediate horizon.
“From Mary Wollstonecraft and the women of the French revolution through the Seneca Falls women’s rights convention in 1848 and the suffragettes of the early 1900s to the women’s liberation awakening of the 1960s, the Uranus-Pluto cycle has been highly consistent in its correlations,” he points out.
“In the approaching alignment of the planets the potential for stress and struggle is high. Considering the clear sequence of past correlations, it seems to me altogether likely that another feminist propulsion will infuse itself into the culture and that women will emerge from the next decade and a half with considerably more political and economic power than now.
“Yet one can never be certain how these archetypal forces will become concretely embodied, only that they will tend to do so in a way that is consistent with their character and grounded in the developing cultural context,” he said.
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Author:  Veneer [ Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cosmos and Psyche

Quoted from above:

when someone suggested they check out astrology. “The notion seemed ridiculous at first, yet we found ourselves astonished at how the planetary alignments consistently and precisely correlated with human experience,” he recalls.

When it comes to astrology, I can't get beyond the notion seems ridiculous. This is like being told that Richard Feynman consulted Ouija boards while working on quantum electrodynamics, and Albert Einstein practiced phrenology.

Joseph Campbell and Huston Smith are both names that I respect. The Esalen Institute is one of those borderline affairs that can slip into the hogwash element. Hmmmmm! My BS detectors are in hyperspazticity.

Author:  Veneer [ Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Cosmos and Psyche

I know why my BS detectors are twitching, check out the advertisements in the side bars. Even the damn server knows this stuff is hocus pocus...horoscopes, numerology!

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