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“Cosmos and Psyche” page 2: Enchanted Universe

“Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?” (Job 38:33)

I enjoy reading books whose authors agree with my way of thinking and resonate with my depth of knowing. Don’t we all? COSMOS AND PSYCHE, authored by Richard Tarnas, is such a book whose author I’ve come to know and regard as a soul brother and kindred spirit. Although he uses large words and long sentences at times, his spirit flows through the lines and between the pages with unfettered authenticity.  He is a joy to read, and I am happy to share that joy here,

AN ENCHANTED UNIVERSE

There was a time when the cosmos was an enchanted world of mythological characters and soulful presence with which human beings enjoyed an intimate relationship and worshipful communion. The “primal mind” this author ascribes to the Greeks, for instance, knew the cosmos as having a soul. That all shifted with the emergence of the “modern mind” which stripped the cosmos of soul and created a cosmology of  a “disenchanted” universe of lifeless matter, as though Earth were the only planet capable of supporting life.  What ignorance and darkened understanding to limit the vital creative energy of Life to organic matter. Life is everywhere and in all things, organic and inorganic!

Here’s an excerpt from the summary chapter of Tanas’s “epoch making” book that speaks to this evolution of our world view.  In this summation, he addresses the issue of coincidences within the context of accumulated data on the compelling evidence of synchronous events in the heavens with unfolding life experiences on earth, along with his own conviction of a “cosmic ordering principle” governed by a “complex creative intelligence.”

Sources of the World Order

In every field of inquiry, an adequate paradigm reveals patterns of coherent relations in what are otherwise inexplicable random coincidences. A good theory makes observed patterns intelligible. As the physicist and philosopher of science P. W. Bridgman famously observed, “coincidences” are what are left over after one has applied a bad theory. In the course of the three decades during which I have examined  correlations between planetary movements and the patterns of human affairs, I found there were simply too many such “coincidences” evident in the data, which were too consistently coherent with the corresponding archetypal principles, and too strongly suggestive of the workings of some form of complex creative intelligence, to assume that they were all meaningless chance anomalies. Plato’s words from his final dialogue, the Laws, when he criticized the disenchanted mechanistic cosmology of the physicists and Sophist philosophers of the preceding century, now seemed to me uncannily prophetic.

The truth is just the opposite of the opinion which once prevailed among men, that the sun and stars are without soul. . . . For in that shortsighted view, the entire moving contents of the heavens seemed to them only stones, earth, and other soulless bodies, though these furnish the sources of the world order.

Yet the data that has now emerged suggests that what Plato called the “world order” is of a special kind. The evidence points to a cosmic ordering principle whose combination of participatory co-creativity, multivalent complexity, and dynamic indeterminacy was not entirely comprehensible to the ancient vision, even a vision as intricate and penetrating as Plato’s. The relationship between the unfolding realities of human life and a dynamic archetypal order reflected in the planetary movements appears to be more fluid and complex, more creatively unpredictable, and more responsive to human intention and quality of consciousness or unconsciousness than was articulated in the classical tradition.

One important task before us, therefore, is to understand the long development that separates Plato’s vision of an archetypal participatory cosmos from our own. Another is to grasp how the nearly pervasive astrological cosmology of classical antiquity, after deeply influencing the medieval and Renaissance imagination, gradually receded in cultural significance and intellectual legitimacy until it came to appear utterly untenable to the modern mind. Yet another task is to seek insight into why it has reemerged in our own time, radically transfigured. Running through all these questions, I believe, is the great mystery of the unfolding Copernican revolution, which seems to have played the role of cosmological vessel and mediator of a vast initiatory process in the evolution of the modern self.

It was Copernicus in 1543 who proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system, positioning the sun near the center of the then known Universe, motionless, with Earth and the other planets orbiting around it in circular paths. It’s an indictment on the human mind’s myopic and self-centered view of the Universe that less than 500 years ago, a cosmic fraction of a second, we thought the sun and all the planets orbited around us here on Earth.

I would say the human race has emerged from Plato’s “cave” and into the light of day. Since discovering the vastness of the macrocosm, and the bottomless microcosm, we have ventured inward to explore the realm of spirit and consciousness, only to realize there’s an invisible One around which the Cosmos and all of Creation orbits—and the “ordinances of heaven” are being set in the earth by this One without our help or interference. 

Tarnas concludes his findings: 

The current body of accumulated data makes it difficult to sustain the modern assumption that the universe as a whole is best understood as a blind, mechanistic phenomenon of ultimately random processes with which human consciousness is fundamentally incoherent, and in which the Earth and human beings are ultimately peripheral and insignificant. The evidence suggests rather that the cosmos is intrinsically meaningful to and coherent with human consciousness; that the Earth is a significant focal point of this meaning, a moving center of cosmic meaning in an evolving universe, as is each individual human being; that time is not only quantitative but qualitative in character, and that dif­ferent periods of time are informed by tangibly different archetypal dynamics; and, finally, that the cosmos as a living whole appears to be informed by some kind of pervasive creative intelligence—an intelligence, judging by the data, of scarcely conceivable power, complexity, and aesthetic subtlety, yet one with which human intelligence is intimately connected, and in which it can consciously participate. I believe that a widespread understanding of the potent but usually unconscious archetypal dynamics that coincide with planetary cycles and alignments, both in individual lives and in the historical process, can play a crucial role in the positive unfolding of our collective future….

….I have found the archetypal astrological perspective, properly understood, to be uniquely capable of illuminating the inner dynamics of both cultural history and personal biography. It provides extraordinary insight into the deeper shifting patterns of the human psyche, both individual and collective, and into the complexly participatory nature of human reality. It places the modern mind and the modern self in an altogether new light, radically recontextualizing the modern project. Perhaps most important, it promises to contribute to the emergence of a new, genuinely integral world view, one that, while sustaining the irreplaceable insights and achievements of the modern and postmodern development, can reunite the human and the cosmic, and restore transcendent meaning to both.

The oneness of Heaven and Earth is pretty much a given in today’s modern mind that has been awakened to the reality of a multi-dimensional world. Why should we not also be conscious of a dynamic state of oneness between the human psyche and the cosmos?

Since Richard Tarnas published his research in 2007, there’s been a radical shift in our understanding and experience of the oneness of the New Heaven and the emerging New Earth. We have experienced an exponential ascension of human consciousness in the last decade.  And now, with five planets aligning with the earth this month and through February 20, further transformation and awareness are being given an energetic launch into the new decade.

Will we see a Golden Age dawn in the twenty-first century? Not unless and until we include the natural world in it; a world both above us in the heavens and below us in the earth from which we have divorced ourselves. 

“THE WORLD WE STILL HAVE”

I would like to share an excerpt from the SUN of December, 2019, which features a candid and insightful interview by Fred Bahnson with Oregonian “nature writer” Barry Lopez. The title of the article speaks for the essence of the interview: “THE WORLD WE STILL HAVE — Barry Lopez on restoring our lost intimacy with Nature.” His compassion and empathy are inspiring.  

Bahnson: What is it that is looking back at us through the eyes of a wolf, or from a particular landscape? Some would name that God, or some other word for the Divine. How would you name that?

Lopez: I would say it’s an encounter between the two sides of a lopsided divorce. It’s a breach, you know. The agri­cultural revolution was a breach, a divorce. The industrial revolution was a worse breach. The surrounding material world was relegated, in both these instances, to the position of an employee, even a slave; a source of entertainment; a storehouse for natural resources. When wild animals look back at you, I can imagine what they might be thinking if your defense for the massive changes you’ve engineered in their world, and are responsible for, is “But look at this beautiful world we’ve built.” Many divorces are character­ized by incredibly lopsided thinking and misapprehension. I believe one of the reasons our lives are so difficult today is because of the separation from the rest of the natural world that we’ve insisted on having, our insistence on the primacy of human life. Human history, you know, is but one dimension of natural history. It’s not the other way around.

If you can imagine a divorce in which only one mem­ber of the dyad — modern humanity — made the decision to create a breach, and then enforced it, you can begin to understand what the growing malaise in human culture is about. It occurs to humanity that it has lost its spouse. That’s metaphorical, of course. But if you imagine what happens when divorce is forced on just one person, then you can begin to understand why traditional people are reluctant to make that same adjustment. They don’t want the breach. They see the destructive injustice. Why accept a separation from all the rest of creation? Everybody I spoke with in villages across the Arctic in the seventies and eighties, when I asked them to offer me adjectives for people in my culture, the one word I heard repeatedly was lonely. They see us as deeply lonely people — and one of the reasons we’re lonely, if you agree with that, is that we’ve cut ourselves off from the nonhuman world, and have called this “progress.”

Bahnson: So perhaps those moments of numinous encounter are really moments of regrounding ourselves in reality?

Lopez: Yeah, reconnection. It’s reconnection. And this brings us around to the issue of memory. I recall every day the moments of primal contact I’ve experienced with the nonhuman world — with pronghorn antelope and wild salmon and scarlet tanagers — and with the nonhuman world’s most intimate and knowledgeable interpreters: indigenous people. The memories regenerate me; they
boost my desire to try to work in my writing as a media­tor of some sort between the dehumanized natural world and my own acquisitive culture.

Bahnson: What, specifically, are those moments of primal contact?

Lopez: They’re private moments of animated contact with the world outside the human. Watching animals, just sitting with a friend and watching animals for a long time, not saying much. I think of those moments at Lake Clif­ton in Australia that I describe in Horizon: standing out there on the boardwalk with two friends, drinking it in. Or in Antarctica, at Cape Crozier, watching the emperor penguins. It’s not about interpreting or “figuring out” what these wild animals are doing. You just give in to the spectacle. You become a participant.

Can we save the world we still have? Watching Saturday morning “Nature” programs almost every weekend on PBS, I see many incidences of intimate human contact with the wild kingdoms. It’s encouraging, to say the least, and very heart warming. It causes me to believe that we can do this. We must do it.

 Until my next post,

Be love. Be loved,

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com   

 

“Cosmos and Psyche”— How History Repeats

“Watch and listen, you solitaries! From the future come winds with a stealthy flapping of wings; and good tidings go out to delicate ears.”
Fried
rich Nietzsche,Thus Spake Zarathustra

My spiritual mentor once stated that the entire solar system, which he rather called a “Solar Entity,” is the embodiment of Man, is Man, with the planets’ orbits serving as “wheels within wheels” turning the thinking Mind of Man, the planets themselves being the manifest form of Mind.

When I first heard this scenario back in the 1970’s, I thought it sounded wonderful, even plausible, although I didn’t quite understand what he was talking about, nor how it all worked. 

The idea was only a beautiful theory—-until I read COSMOS AND PSYCHE, an “epoch making” book by distinguished philosopher and cultural historian Richard Tarnas, who shows exactly how it works.  To borrow a quote from the back cover of the book by one impressed reader, “This is the closest my head has been to exploding while reading a book.” It was that powerful a read, all 492 pages.

Basically, the author assigns archetypal energetic characteristics to the influence each planet in our solar system exerts upon the human psyche. The archetypes are not in the energetic fields of the planets themselves, but are rather latent in the collective human psyche and brought forward into manifestation, through individuals as well as the collective body, during specific alignments (conjunctions and oppositions, as well as other dynamic configurations) of the planets. Each planet has its own characteristic and archetypal “personality.”

HOW HISTORY KEEPS REPEATING

These planetary alignments occur repeatedly and with clockwork precision, a phenomenon that the author researches tenaciously and meticulously covering every significant alignment and event that have occurred on the planet since the birth of Jesus in 4 BC, and several decades prior to that, to the present millennium, and every significant historical figure from King Herod the Great and Jesus to the Bush presidencies up until the publication of his research in 2007.  

The author calls these events “coincidences,” but the reader is given the incontrovertible impression of a cause-and-effect relationship.  Just to give a sampling of the author’s comparison of past planetary alignments to present and possibly future alignments and events, here’s an excerpt from his book:

From the survey of planetary cycles we have already studied we can tentatively extrapolate from previous correlations as well as from current trends to assess what kinds of cultural and historical phenomena might coincide with these next alignments. The immediately preceding alignments of any cycle tend to be especially relevant. For example, the already approaching Uranus-Pluto square alignment that will extend through 2020 points to the possibility of a significant cyclical development of the cultural impulses and archetypal dynamics that emerged during the 1960s. Characteristic themes we have observed for this cycle in past centuries include heightened impulses for radical social change and cultural creativity, accelerated technological and scientific advance, 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, pressure towards radicalization in many spheres of action and ideas, intensified ecological activism, and awakening of the instincts and nature in many senses, changes in the global balance of power, 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.

All of these specific themes have been strongly in evidence during past Uranus-Pluto alignments with considerable consistency. Yet as to which of them will be visible during these next fifteen years, we of course cannot know. If we consider feminism, for example—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 1900’s to the women’s liberation awakening of the 1960’s—the Uranus-Pluto cycle has been highly consistent in its correlation. The developing diachronic pattern suggests that with this next dynamic alignment of Uranus-Pluto another period of both the spontaneous empowerment of women and an intensified striving for equality and self-sovereignty is on the immediate horizon. Because the alignment is a square [90 degrees], the potential for stress and struggle in that process is high, but considering the clear sequence 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. . . .

The natural human tendency is to want to know that the general outlook for the foreseeable future is uniformly positive and will only get better, with blue skies as far as the eye can see. Yet there are advantages to knowing of a poten­tially challenging reality in advance, facing it squarely, preparing for it, and rec­ognizing its signs and characteristic motifs, its dangers, and its positive potential when it is consciously assimilated and enacted. Perhaps equally important, it can be psychologically centering and spiritually fortifying to recognize that such periods may represent the unfolding of larger cycles of archetypal development and human evolution in a context that is in some sense cosmic, subtly ordered and intelligible, rather than arbitrary, random, and meaningless.

The overall perspective one is afforded as one moves with the author through the centuries of the previous two millennia and into the current era is the progressive nature of the evolutionary continuum guiding the transformation of human consciousness, orchestrated by the symphony of our Solar System performing the “Music of the Spheres,” all accomplished and performed under the hand of Divine Providence, whose Presence is clearly evident, as well as acknowledged by the author himself.

Each major event initiates a cycle, or advances the previous ongoing evolutionary cycle in its field, and one historic legend or memorialized actor on the world stage (inventor, artist, philosopher, writer, scientist, astronomer, discoverer) gives birth to something new, such as new ideas or inventions, or further develops and implements the ideas and inventions of those who had gone before—all guided and moved along by the clockwork precision of the repeating planetary alignments, one such occurring even as I write.

FIVE PLANETS ALIGN THIS MONTH

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn moved into alignment on January 6th and will stay in alignment through February 20, 2020. We are likely to experience an energetic jolt and upgrade from this once-in-a-decade alignment. The last one occurred in 2005.

Richard Tarnas describes the archetypal characteristics of these planets in his book. Here is a brief summary:

Mercury: the principle of mind, thought, communication, that which articulates the primary creative energy and renders it intelligible; the impulse and capacity to think, conceptualize, to connect and mediate, to use words and language, to give and receive information….

Venus: the principle of desire, love, beauty, value, the impulse and capacity to attract and be attracted, to love and be loved, to seek and create beauty and harmony, to engage in social and romantic relations, sensuous pleasure, artistic and aesthetic experience; the principle of Eros and the Beautiful; Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. 

Mars: the principle of energetic force; the impulse and capacity to assert, to act and move energetically and forcefully, to have an impact, to press forward and against, to defend and offend, to act with sharpness and ardor; the tendency to experience aggressiveness, anger, conflict, harm, violence, forceful physical energy; to be combative, competitive, courageous, vigorous; Ares, the god of war.

Jupiter: the principle of expansion, magnitude, growth, elevation, superiority; the capacity and impulse to enlarge and grow, to ascend and progress, to improve and magnify, to incorporate that which is external, to make greater wholes, to inflate; to experience success, honor, advancement, plenitude, abundance, prodigality, excess, surfeit; the capacity or inclination for magnanimity, optimism, enthusiasm, exuberance, joy, joviality, liberality, breadth of experience, philosophical and cultural aspiration, comprehensiveness and largeness of vision, pride, arrogance, aggrandizement, extravagance; fecundity, fortune, and providence; Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods.

Saturn: the principle of limit, structure, contraction, constraint, necessity, hard materiality, concrete manifestation; time, the past, tradition, age, maturity, mortality, the endings of things; gravity and gravitas, weightiness, that which burdens, binds, challenges, fortifies, deepens; the tendency to confine and constrict, to separate, to divide and define, to cut and shorten, to negate and oppose, to strengthen and forge through tension and resistance, to rigidify, to repress, to maintain a conservative and strict authority; to experience difficulty, decline, depri­vation, defect and deficit, defeat, failure, loss, alienation; the labor of existence, suffering, old age, death; the weight of the past, the workings of fate, character, karma, the consequences of past action, error and guilt, punishment, retribution, imprisonment, the sense of “no exit”; pessimism, inferiority, inhibition, isolation, oppression and depression; the impulse and capacity for discipline and duty, order, solitude, concentration, conciseness, thoroughness and precision, discrimination and objectivity, restraint and patience, endurance, responsibility, seriousness, authority, wisdom. . . .

This will be an intense seven weeks under the stars . . . and a fabulously exciting decade of radical change and evolution for the human species, as astrologist Pam Gregory foretells in the clip below—well worth viewing.

Today, January 10th, we have a Lunar Eclipse.  Lots happening in our solar system and cosmos. I will share more from Richard Tarnas’s epoch book, COSMOS AND PSYCHE, in my next post of this new series. Until then,

Enjoy the ride,

Anthony

Email: tpal70@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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