04/3/20

An Intimation (or a Proof) of the Actuality of God

In the previous blog, I left with this two-level nested form.

Figure 1

The two level-nested form characterizes sensible construction.

So, even though there are missing elements, I may draw sensible conclusions.

Here are some.

The content-level actuality of God2a must be assumed in order to obtain the situation-level nested formb.

The Divine Presence1b is the situational potential of the actuality of God2a.

The normal context of the Divine Will3b and the potential, the Divine Presence1b, virtually emerge from (and situate) the actuality of God2a.  So does the secondary causation in creatures2b.

We (humans) do not know the normal context3a and potential1a that accompany the actuality of God2a.  These slots are not truly empty.  Rather, they are opaque.

I can speculate as to how the actuality of God2a becomes apparent in history, by examining the astrologer’s vision, which has a similar relational structure.

Here is a picture of the astrologer’s vision, derived in the three prior blogs.

Figure 2

How did this relational structure come about?

I suppose that methods for reading the heavens1b are already formalized in the Sumerian Dynastic civilization of southern Mesopotamia, starting around 3000 BC.  While that is five thousand years ago, the condition of unconstrained complexitystarts 2800 years earlier, with the first singularity, as discussed in An Archaeology of the Fall

Yes, history has laws.

The first law is history is that our current Lebenswelt is not the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

The second law of history is that history has a beginning, around 7800 years ago.

This year may be labeled 7820 Ubaid Zero Prime.

The third law of history is that history is the story of unconstrained complexity.

The fourth law of history is that the potential for unconstrained social complexity begins at the start of Ubaid in southern Mesopotamia, then radiates from there to other cultures of the time.

At the site of initiation, Ubaid villages (0 to 1800 U0’) grow and transform into Uruk town-chiefdoms (1800 to 2800 U0’), which develop further into early Sumerian city-states (2800 U0’ on). 

The fifth law of history is that history is entangled with the semiotics of speech-alone talk.

What does this imply?

The astrologer’s vision develops in our current Lebenswelt, in an effort to sensibly comprehend mundane events in an increasingly complex, rapidly changing, social world.  The Lebenswelt that we evolved in disappears behind the horizon of the first singularity. Why?  Hand-speech talk and speech-alone talk have different semiotic qualities.  The traditions of one cannot survive in the other.  No written mythology of the ancient Near East (with one exception) pierces the veil.  What does this suggest?  The Ubaids cobble together their own formula for grasping what is going on in our current Lebenswelt.

So, the astrologer’s vision is conceived in mundane events during the formative Ubaid period.  The Ubaid not that much different from now.  Everything changes.  Yet, everything stays the same.  Everyone acts as if the current social world has been there forever.  Everyone faces different challenges within that social world.  In dealing with those challenges, the social world changes, sometimes quietly and sometimes boldly.

Here is a diagram of the seed of the astrologer’s vision.

Figure 3

The proto-astrologers had only to look to the heavens to see a parallel to events on the mundane plane.  The sky is always in motion.  The sun moves.  The moon moves.  The roving luminaries move.  At the same time, the stars do not move.  They do not change their relative positions.  So, astrologers connect the dots.  The stars coalesce into constellations.  The constellations along the transit of the sun, moon and planets gain value because they are the like the numbers on a gigantic mechanical clock.

The constellations are fixed and continually accrue mythic associations.  Perhaps, this is how Capricorn, half-goat and half-fish, constellates the image of the Mesopotamian god, Ea, who lives on land during the day and in sea at night.  As mentioned in the first blog in this series, the zodiac sign of Capricorn pictures the earthly-watery mix of the Ubaid, Uruk and Sumerian ecological and social worlds.

A connection between the always changing, yet always familiar, motions in the mundane world2b and the movements of the superlunary beings against the fixed constellations2a, grows into a formal system for specifying how events in the celestial sphere presage events in the mundane plane.  The result is the astrologer’s vision.

The astrologer’s vision is a template for remembering past worldly events and for contemplating future events.  The astrologer’s vision solves problems inherent in unconstrained social complexity2b by incorporating both change and stasis into a coherent theoretical system1b, where mundane events2b virtually situate (and emerge from) celestial conditions2a.

My example comes from the gospel of Matthew.  Astrologers from the east, the lands of the Medes and Persians, follow a “star” and bring gifts to the infant Jesus.  The fact that the child is of humble origins turns out to be significant.  The Trinity works within their cognitive game, implicitly unveiling a larger picture, an intimation of the actuality of God2a.

Here is a diagram of the journey of the magi.

Figure 4

Indeed, the astrologer’s impulse, like the magi’s fancy gifts, seem weirdly confused.  Surely, the magi anticipate a figure of future authority, but greet a somewhat befuddled young couple.  Then, like the astrologers before them, they transcend their own expectations.  They know that any celestial event2a must be read in the light of both the (unmoving) zodiac signification3b and the situation at hand2b.  The events2b,2a remain actual.  The reading1b accommodates.  The astrologer bends like a willow.

Now, allow me to compare the journey of the magi with a prior figure, an intimation (or proof) of the actuality of God.

The relational structure begins with the situational actuality2b.  The causation exhibited by creatures2b mirrors mundane events in our world of motion2b.  Creatures act the same over and over again.  Yet, they are wily and adaptive in unusual circumstances.  Similarly, our behaviors and traditions in unconstrained social complexity establish habits and routines.  Yet, the unexpected always arises, calling for us to be cleverer than we otherwise would be.

The journey of the magi adds a sublime twist to this comparison between two situation-level actualities.  The birth of a royal child in the sublunary realm2b mirrors the secondary causation of creatures2b.  It is as if all life is honored in the journey of the magi.

What about the situational normal context3b?

Astrology puts our earthly turmoil2b into the normal context of something that does not itself change, the twelve signs of the zodiac3b.  For a particular celestial event, one sign will dominate, as in the example of the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in January 2020.

The zodiac mirrors the Divine Will3b, which is unmoved and multifaceted.  The Divine Will3b contextualizes our worldly affairs2b.  Like the numbers of a mechanical clock, the Divine Will3b orients the moment at hand2b.  Like the zodiac, the particularity of God’s Orientation2b is revealed.  Everything has a proper season.  Contextualization of our worldly events2b by the Divine Will3b allows us to remember, contemplate and decide.

What about the situational potential1b?

The Divine Presence1b addresses a moment in time.  So, does the magi’s reading1b.

The magi’s reading of celestial events1b tells us of the nature of the Divine Presence1b.  The Divine Presence1b is the potential1b of the actuality of God2a in the same way that the magi’s interpretation1b engages the potential1b of the actuality of celestial transits through unmoving constellations2a.

For the magi, the celestial sphere2a contains motion (the sun, moon and the roving stars), as well as a lack of motion (the stars in the constellations).  These two features allow reading1b to occur.  The regularity of celestial motion contributes to habits of interpretation, styling astrological hints and suggestions.  The permanence of the constellations, along with the finite number of moving celestial bodies, contribute to astrology’s foundation.

For primary and secondary causation, the actuality of God2a transcends time and enters time.  Here, time parallels motion.  God’s transcendence of time is like the lack of motion of constellations.  God’s entrance into time parallels the motion of celestial bodiesTranscendence speaks to the exclusivity of the Divine Will3b.  Entrance addresses the inclusivity of the Divine Presence1b.

Yet, while the Divine Presence1b manifests in every moment in time, the entrance of the actuality of God2a into the flow of time divides all time.  The Incarnation fixes one moment in the continuum of time.

The journey of the magi is significant in this regard. The gospel passage in Matthew highlights this precise moment, when the secondary causation of creatures2a simultaneously fulfills the primary causation of the Divine Will3b and realizes the potential of the primary causation of the Divine Presence1b.

The relational structure of the journey of the magi mirrors the relational structure of primary and secondary causation involved in the theodrama of the birth of a king, whose kingdom is not of this (mundane) World.

In this mirror, I can see an intimation (or proof) of the actuality of God2a.

04/1/20

How much potential does tiny Pluto have?

In the last two blogs, I discuss a contemporary gift, from modern magi to Christian newborns, in the parallel relational construction of astrology and the Thomist’s insight into primary and secondary causation.

Here is a picture of the association of primary and secondary causation with the category-based nested form.

Figure 1

For astrologers, the superlunary sphere parallels primary causation.  The sublunary plane matches secondary causation.

Here is how that looks.

Figure 2

My example entails a celestial event on January 20, 2020, the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto at the edge of the constellation of Capricorn, teetering into Aquarius.

Saturn is a massive planet.  It is visible to the unaided eye.  Ancient astrologers tracked this “roving star”.

Pluto is a dwarf planet, invisible to the naked eye.  It is 0.2% the volume of Earth.  Tiny Pluto is discovered in 1931, during search of the Knieper Belt, inspired by a perceived incongruity in the orbit of Neptune.

The year of discovery stands between the two great Battels of the Enlightenment gods, the naïve battle among the Mercantilist gods (1914-1918) and the hot battle among the Fraternal Ideologies (1939-1945).  What better time to discover a distant invisible roving star and label it with the name of the pagan god of the underworld?

Pluto seems large at first.  Improved measurements reduce its size.  More dwarf planets have been found.  Eris, discovered in 2005, is slightly larger than Pluto.

So, why would a modern astrologer worry about Pluto?

Why not only follow the visible planets tracked by our ancestors?

The periodicity of Saturn is a little over 28 years.  Many modern humans live to see two full orbits.  This short periodicity may capture the psychology of the mundane world, but not the sociology.  Sociology requires longer periodicities.  Pluto’s circuit of 248 years fits the bill, as do the legitimate planets of Uranus (discovered in 1781, 84-year orbit) and Neptune (discovered in 1846, 165-year orbit).

What does this imply?

The addition of unseen, distant planets with multi-generational periodicities offer modern astrologers the long periods useful for sociological readings.

Now, I return to the nested form for the conjunction of Pluto and Saturn in the constellation, Capricorn.  The Wuhan plague starts right before the inauguration of this year of the rat.

Both the mundane event and the celestial conjunction are real.  An actual event2 occurs on Earth.  A potentiating event1occurs in the heavens, within the normal context of Capricorn3.

However, the conjunction between Saturn and Pluto is also actual2.

Is there a way to configure the category-based nested form in order to account for the realness of the celestial event?

Yes.  One way follows Peirce’s secondness.  Secondness consists of two contiguous real elements.  The nomenclature is one real element [contiguity] other real element.  For example, I could write, celestial event [contiguity] mundane event.  However, there is no material or instrumental causality between these two real elements.  So, this route is blocked.

Another way is to construct two category-based nested forms and hierarchically arrange them.  One nested form enters a situation level (corresponding to actuality).  The other nested form enters a content level (corresponding to potential).

The relation between situationb and contenta is the same as between actuality2 and potential1.  Yet, the relation occurs between nested forms, rather than elements with a single nested.  The qualifier “virtual” (meaning, “in virtue”) denotes the distinction.  Situationb virtually emerges from (and situates) contenta.

In sum, the actuality in the celestial sphere2a may be distinctly separated from the mundane plane2a through a two-level interscope, as described in A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.

Here is how that looks.

According to this sensible (two-level) construction, the mundane plane2b virtually emerges from (and situates) the celestial sphere2a.  

Ironically, this relational structure also applies to both genetics and natural selection, as demonstrated in Comments on Dennis Venema and Scot McKnight’s Book (2017) Adam and the Genome, as well as Speculations on Thomism and Evolution.

Notable, for both genetics and natural selection, the content levela is relatively independent of the situation levelb and contains a potential1b exploited by the situation levelb.  For astrology, the situation levelb places the content levela within a mythic framework1b that is tested by the congruence between actuality2b and potential1b, in the normal context of astrology3b.

The fall of Wuhan2b passes the test and addresses the question, “How much potential does the miniscule Pluto have?”

But there is more.

The celestial drama of Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter entering into Capricorn2a can be read in light of events on earth2b.

Pluto enters into the constellation of Capricorn on November, 2008, during a world-wide financial crisis.  Easy-finance mortgages, packaged in the USA, are sold throughout the world.  When the bubble bursts, powerful Wall Street companies swoon.

Central banks save the day by propping up financial firms.  In the following years, debt levels rise, extraordinarily, surpassing the debts of 2008.

Now, in early 2020, dozens of economic bubbles are ready to pop.

In 2008, the H1N1 virus jumps to humans in Mexico.  In 2009, the so-called “swine flu” produces a small panic.

Meanwhile, in 2007, Chinese and American scientists collaborate on research into the SARS virus, which swept through Asia four years earlier.  They publish detailed studies of bat-associated coronaviruses.  This work is continued by scientists at the Wuhan Virology Institute, with subsequent publications, even to the unfortunate outbreak.

All it takes is a small tear in a bio-protective suit to release a genetically modified virus into the populace.

Pluto is a tiny player.  Yet, events2b in the fields of finance and virology readily play into the image of a minute celestial being, fully capable of exerting its influence within each constellation2a.  Pluto is a sign of death and renewal.  Capricorn is associated with sovereign power and political order.

In contrast to dwarf planet Pluto, Saturn is massive.  Saturn enters the constellation of Capricorn in December 2017.

At the time, in the USA, President Donald Trump finishes the first year of his term.  National politics is rent by (false) corporate media narrative explaining why Hillary Clinton loses the 2016 election.  The (fraudulently initiated) Mueller investigation offers promise for revenge.  (Innocent) General Michael Flynn (under tainted legal counsel) pleads guilty to lying to the FBI.  Republican candidate, Roy Moore, loses a senate bid in Alabama under the weight of (numerous, manufactured and media-driven) accusations (for sexual misbehavior 30 years prior).  Q posts on the dark web for the first time (and is later vilified and ignored by corporate media).  A foot of snow falls in Georgia.  The city of Atlanta is paralyzed.  Facebook admits censorship.

Worldwide, Britain triggers article 50 of the EU constitution.  Mohammad Bin Salman becomes heir to the Saudi throne.  The nineteenth congress of the Chinese Communist Party names Xi Jinping to a second five-year term, then ends without naming a successor.

Saturn is all about time.  Time reveals all things.  Already, in the first quarter of 2020, the American news of 2017 is shown to be deceptive (see parentheses above).  World news of late 2017 is similarly qualified as Saturn passes through Capricorn.

Jupiter enters Capricorn in December 2019.  It will leave December 2020, after Saturn and Pluto are no longer in retrograde.  The mythic attributes of Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter entangle.  The first complete conjunction occurs January 12, 2020.  Pluto leverages the weight of Saturn in a mythic story1b, telling of the fall of Wuhan and the spread of a novel coronavirus2b.  The mundane plane1b resonates with the celestial sphere2a.

What lesson can I draw?

The story, told above, addresses history and sociology.  Pluto’s advantage comes from its extraordinarily long periodicity.  It lingers within each constellation.  It moves slowly, just like sociological transformations.  Seven visible planets go into conjunction with Pluto as it passes through each constellation.  Saturn goes into conjunction with Pluto every 33 years.

The last time Pluto passes through Capricorn is from 1762 to 1779, during the corruption of Louis XV in France.  King George III rules Britain and milks her colonies.  Frederick II serves Prussia, winning battles and promoting Enlightenment ideas.  Maria Theresa, daughter of Charles III, rules the Hapsburg Empire.  Catherine the Great captures the throne in Russia.  The Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth suffers losses in 1772.  Mohammad Karim Khan Zand rules Persia, ending 40 years of war.  The Ottoman Empire suffers peace and militarily falls behind its European rivals.

1762 through 1779 marks a calm before the storms of the French revolution and the American insurrection.  Germany, Russia and Austria partition Poland. The Enlightenment reformer, Joseph II, follows Maria Theresa.  Persia enters civil war after the death of its regent.

In many ways, the current transit of Pluto recapitulates its previous passage through Capricorn.  The deaths and rebirths of many political-religious unions are already underway, include those political systems that claim to be “not religious”.

The long periodicities of Pluto, Neptune and Uranus offer modern astrologers a vantage not available to ancient astrologers.  Long periodicities allow the contemplation of a sociological spiral through history.  The ancient astrologers thought that the mundane world lives within celestial cycles.  Now, modern astrologers imagine a spiral, where celestial cycles are superimposed on an unfolding that transcends the rhythms of the heavens.

The wise men in the gospel of Matthews catch a glimpse of this theodrama, when they lay their gifts before an infant king.  They follow the stars.  Look what happens.  Surely, they did not anticipate…

Astrology expresses the same relational structure as genetics and natural selection.  Yet, it operates to bring the mundane plane into mythical union with the celestial sphere.

Astrology also expresses the same relational structure as primary and secondary causation, offering an intimation (or proof) on the actuality of God.

Just as, in astrology, the motions of the celestial bodies2a are independent of events on the earthly plane2b, yet are situated by the mundane1b, the actuality of God2a stands independent of primary3b,1b and secondary2b causalities, yet is situated by themb.

The primary causalities of the Divine Will3b and the Divine Presence1b do not physically move.  Secondary causalities2b, exhibited by creatures, facilitate bodily motion.  The actuality of God2a gives rise to the unmoved (Divine Presence1b) Mover (Divine Will3b), just as a celestial actuality2a underlies the zodiac’s constellation3b and the astrologer’s reading1b.

This implies that, just as the planets move before stationary luminaries in the celestial actuality2athe actuality of Godmoves before the actuality of God within the Divine Realness2a.

These parallels are gifts, from the astrologer, to the modern scholastic.

03/21/20

Magi Bear Witness (Part 1)

According to the gospel of Matthew, after Jesus is born, wise men arrive the East, following a “star”.  Of course, the term, “star”, must be broadly construed, pertaining to the superlunary domes, as opposed to the sublunary planes.  The motions of superlunary beings represent ‘something’ to the magi, corresponding to ‘something’ in their sublunary situation.

They read the “star” as a sign of a birth of a king.

The magi are “magical” is so far as this: There is no direct cause whereby a divine superlunary being activates, moves, arranges or manipulates ‘something’ in our sublunary realm.  Yet, causation appears to be present.

In Comments on Fr. Thomas White’s Essay (2019), “Thomism and the New Evangelization”, available at smashwords.com, one finds a parallel with primary and secondary causation.  Primary causation entails God’s Will and Presence.  Secondary causation pertains to God’s creatures.  Creatures exhibit secondary causation, without compromising the primacy of God.

The “magic” at the heart of modern and premodern astrology re-articulates a foundational distinction in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas.

How do these indirect causalities operate?

Here is the picture.

11/30/19

Saturn-Pluto conjunction and Jupiter-Pluto Conjunction in Capricorn, 2020: Resonances with the First Singularity

The gospels tell of magi, astrologers from the East, following a star (or maybe a planetary alignment).  Today, a similar phenomenon occurs.  Starting at the end of 2019, Saturn and Pluto enter conjunction in the constellation Capricorn.  Then, Jupiter enters the same constellation, coming close to Pluto later in 2020.  Astrologers watch wide-eyed.

Imagine the possibilities.

Saturn is the planet of civilizational systems.  Time eats its own.  The deep state runs, no matter who is in charge.  Then, it runs out of Time.

Pluto is the planet of death and birth, destruction and renewal.

Jupiter is the god of sovereign and worldly order.  His decrees are like bolts of lightning.  He rules the pantheon.  He enforces the laws.

Then, there is the constellation of Capricorn, the house of government.

Pictured as a goat, I imagine the constellation opening its doors to planners, workers, scientists and sensible thinkers. These people climb mountains, one step at a time.

But, the ancient image of Capricorn is far more curious.  The constellation has the head and torso of a goat.  It has the abdomen and tail of a fish.  For this reason, it is called the “sea-goat”.

This is the representation that I would like to discuss.

The ancient Greeks have a playful explanation for Capricorn.  Pan, already half-human and half-goat, finds himself in a tough spot.  Other gods transform into animals in order to escape the predicament.  When Pan tries, oops, he turns into half-goat half-fish.

Even further back in time, the Sumerian civilization has a god, Ea, who brings the arts of civilization to humans.  During the day, he comes on land.  Then, at night, he retires to the water.  Does that sound chimeric?

Now, I make a dramatic play, by asking, “Could both Ea and Capricorn stand for some event that the ancients forget, yet remember in their divine images?”

An interesting answer comes from Razie Mah in An Archaeology of the Fall and The First Singularity and its Fairy Tale Trace.

The bi-modal god, Ea, and the sea-goat, Capricorn, stand for the formation of the Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia, around 7800 years ago.  Over the next three thousand years, the Ubaid becomes the Uruk and the Uruk becomes the Sumerian civilization.

So, how is the Ubaid culture both on land and in sea?  How is it half-goat and half-fish?

The Sumerian language provides a clue. It is a linguistic isolate.  It does not belong to any family of languages.

Why is this so?

It is a creole.  A creole forms when two disparate cultures are thrown together.  Trying to get along, they produce pidgin, pieces of language, that are sown together into a new language by later generations.  A creole fits the image of a chimera.

How did this happen?

During the Developed Neolithic, say nine or ten thousand years ago, the Persian Gulf is dry land.  A wide river valley holds a narrow gorge, carrying the flows of the Tigris, Euphrates and other rivers.  Two separate Mesolithic cultures settle the two habitats.  One comes from northern Mesopotamia.  These folks are farmers and stockbreeders.  They settle the valley.  Here is the goat.  The other comes along the coast, probably from the East.  These folks have reed boats and live off the marsh.  They settle the gorge.  Here is the fish.

Around eight thousand years ago, the ice age ends and the current interglacial begins.  The sea levels slowly and powerfully rise.  Sea water fills the gorge, then submerges the surrounding broad valley. These two cultures are thrown together.  Each culture loses its hand-speech talk.  The resulting creole, Sumerian, is the world’s first speech-alone language.

Yes, the Ubaid emerges from both land and sea with a new way of talking, speech-alone.  All their Neolithic and Epipaleolithic neighbors still talk with a combination of manual-brachial gesture and speech (that is, hand-speech talk). The semiotic differences between speech-alone talk and hand-speech talk are huge.  Speech-alone talk potentiates civilization in southern Mesopotamia.  Speech-alone talk spreads on the wings of mimicry to adjacent hand-speech talking cultures, then flies to all corners of the Earth, seeding unconstrained social complexity along the way.

Our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

Two gods stand at the threshold.  One dwells in Sumerian myth.  The other lingers in the heavens.

The end writes the beginning.  The beginning writes the end.

Todays’ astrologers watch as Saturn and Pluto come together, then Jupiter and Pluto, as well.  They join in the House of Capricorn.  What do the heavens portend?  Astrologers strain to imagine the possibilities.  Here, is another one to consider.  Capricorn resonates with the first singularity, the potentiation of all civilizations.  In this constellation, the planets align.