Where Mind Meets Matter – Astrology and the Holomovement
The phenomena of the conception and birth of intelligent beings are perhaps even more mysterious than their deaths. Christian theology does appreciate this mystery, but theological ideas are difficult to reconcile with the scientific facts which have now come to our attention. I agree with theology in stating that human conception and birth cannot be attributed to “chance” and cannot be regarded as mindless occurrences comparable to the conception and birth of an insect. I would also state that, although the conscious wish of the parents is a vital and often determining factor in whether or not a particular conception occurs, there are a number of other unconscious and mysterious influences also in operation. For instance, it sometimes happens that the parents desperately want a child but are not able to conceive even though there is no apparent medical reason for infertility. Furthermore, the parents are not able to determine which spermatozoon unites successfully with which ovum.
According to astrology, the configuration of the planets at the time of birth has a bearing on the personality of the individual and the events of his or her life, but the mechanism of such an interaction is difficult to envisage in terms of classical physics. What we have instead is a picture of the Sun, the planets, and all the intelligent beings on Earth being part of a single integrated system. This is how I understand David Bohm’s conception of the “holomovement”. Paavo Pylkkänen in his book Mind, Matter, and the Implicate Order discusses the causal powers of the mind. He asks, if minds are not described by the laws of physics, should the laws of physics be modified to allow for the causal influence of minds upon bodily behaviour? This is known as the problem of mental causation. Pylkkänen attempts to solve this problem in terms of David Bohm’s theory of the Implicate Order, which is based on a particular interpretation of quantum physics.
This is Pylkkänen’s interpretation of Bohm’s holomovement: “…..the essence of the universe is not the movement of objects through space, nor a step-by-step evolution of the state of the universe in a process of time, although these notions of course can play some role. More fundamentally, the metaphor draws attention to the universe as a whole movement (indeed the “holomovement”) in which a certain total ordering prevails. This total ordering is enfolded in each moment. The key point is that the total ordering of the movement that is the universe is not essentially related to a process of time. In this sense the holomovement is beyond time. It is the ground from which arise the sorts of processes in which a time order prevails.”
Although the physicist David Bohm did not make any reference to astrology, I interpret astrological phenomena in terms of the above theory. The movements of the planets as well as the conception, birth, and other life events of intelligent beings which occur in time all arise out of the timeless holomovement. The movements of the planets do not “cause” human events, but may act as markers for significant occurrences.
The pioneer psychoanalyst Carl Jung gave a somewhat different explanation for astrology. He was asked the following question:
“Astrology introduces the concept of qualitative time in the universe. Do you recognize its role in
the individual psyche?”
“Qualitative time is a notion I used formerly but I have replaced it with the idea of synchronicity…. Time itself consists of nothing. It is only a modus cogitandi that is used to express and formulate the flux of things and events, just as space is nothing but a way of describing the existence of a body. When nothing occurs in time and when there is no body in space, there is neither time nor space.
Time is always and exclusively “qualified” by events as space is by the extension of bodies. But “qualitative time” is a tautology and means nothing, whereas synchronicity expresses the parallelism and analogy between events in so far as they are noncausal.
Synchronicity does not admit causality in the analogy between terrestrial events and astrological constellations, and denies it particularly in all cases of non-sensory perception (ESP), especially precognition, since it is inconceivable one could observe the effect of a non-existent cause, or of a cause that does not yet exist.
What astrology can establish are the analogous events, but not that either series is the cause or the effect of the other. (For instance, the same constellation may at one time signify a catastrophe and at another time, in the same case, a cold in the head.)
Stanislav Grof, collaborating with Richard Tarnas, has shown that astrology, particularly the study of planetary transits, can predict and illuminate both the archetypal content of non-ordinary states of consciousness and the timing of when particular states are most likely to occur.
Grof writes, “Like many other esoteric systems, astrology was one of the victims of the rationalism and materialism of the Scientific Revolution. It was rejected not on the basis of scientific proof that its premises were false, but because of its incompatibility with the fundamental metaphysical assumptions of Western science dominated by monistic materialism….. Western science portrays the universe as an impersonal and largely inanimate mechanical system, a super-machine that created itself and is governed by mechanical natural laws. In this context, life, consciousness, and intelligence are seen as more or less accidental products of matter. By contrast, the basic assumptions of astrology are that the cosmos is a creation of superior intelligence, that it is based on an inconceivably intricate deeper order, and that this order reflects a higher purpose.
A major obstacle for seriously considering astrology is the exclusively deterministic thinking in Western science. The universe is seen as a mechanistic chain of causes and effects and the principle of linear deterministic causality is considered to be mandatory for all processes in the universe. One major disquieting exception to this rule, the origin of the universe and the question of the “cause of all causes,” is seldom mentioned in scientific discussions. Deterministic causality is the only type of influence many critics of astrology can usually imagine and take into consideration. And the idea of a direct material effect of the planets on the psyche and the world is, of course, implausible and absurd.
The emphasis that astrology puts on the moment of birth does not make any sense in academic psychology and psychiatry, which generally do not see biological birth as a psychologically relevant event. Academic and clinical psychiatrists typically use a very narrow conceptual framework limited to postnatal biography and the Freudian individual unconscious. They do not usually recognize the perinatal level of the unconscious pertaining to the deep-seated memory of the birth trauma and its powerful influence on the adult personality and biographical experiences.
Since the 1950s, however, several decades of systematic research of holotropic states have generated vast amounts of data that undermine these basic assumptions of materialistic science and bring supportive evidence for astrology. These observations reveal:
1. The existence of transpersonal experiences that point to an ensouled cosmos permeated with consciousness and creative cosmic intelligence.
2. The critical psychodynamic importance of the birth experience for the psychological development and life of the individual.
3. The existence of synchronicities that represent an important and viable alternative to the principle of mechanistic causality. (Grof confirms Jung’s idea of synchronicity)
4. The striking correlations between the psychodynamics of the birth process and the planetary archetypes associated with the four outer planets.
5. The extraordinary predictive potential of astrological transits for the nature, timing, and content of holotropic states of consciousness.
6. The relationship between astrological world transits and patterns of incidence and diagnosis of psychopathology.”
Grof on the phenomenon of synchronicity
“Critics of astrology like Carl Sagan do not understand that astrologers are using a sophisticated paradigm that assumes a synchronistic relation between the planets, the human psyche, and the external events. To understand astrology, we must think in synchronistic terms….
The thinking underlying astrology suggests that in the universal scheme of things the movements of the planets and the geometrical aspects they are making are correlated with the hidden archetypal dynamics that shape the events in the phenomenal world. The planets’ visibility allows them to be used to infer what is happening in the world of the archetypes, or what “time” it is in the archetypal world….
The connections revealed by astrology are so complex, intricate, creative, and highly imaginative that, in my opinion, they strongly point to a divine origin. They provide convincing evidence for a deep meaningful order underlying creation and for a superior cosmic intelligence that engendered it. In addition, the findings of natal and transit astrology challenge the basic tenet of materialistic science that the universe is essentially meaningless and that it has no special connection with human beings.”
Astrology and Pandeism
If astrology can be shown to be true, that would provide direct evidence for the truth of Pandeism. Astrology can only be true in an intelligent Universe in which significant events in the life of intelligent conscious beings can be correlated with the movements of distant celestial objects, albeit not caused by such movements. The existence of such an intelligent Universe testifies to the existence of a pre-existing Intelligent Being.
It is interesting to note that Theism, of which Christian theology is an example, rejects astrology:
“Supported by the teachings of the Scriptures, the Church Fathers became powerful opponents of astrology and attacked with determination the bewildering and demoralizing ascendancy of its devotees. The assertion therefore justified that the Book remained free from the taint of astrological delusion.”
Pandeism does not make the error of rejecting in advance one of the few pieces of evidence which could reveal a pre-existing Divine Being, different to the illusory anthropomorphic God of Theism (Yahweh).