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Ken Wilber
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kenan



Joined: 30 Jul 2010
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Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:33 pm    Post subject: Ken Wilber - Astrology Reply with quote

Bill, thanks for the references on Ken Wilber's perspective. I guess I was googling AQAL/Astrology when I should have been googling Ken Wilber/Astrology. Found much discussion "about" him... nothing yet from him.

Yes, the argument is very ancient due to the lack of understanding of the possibilities of transrational. All ancient religions have always fallen short of the mystics' understanding of the original insights/experience about consciousness. The social/political context of a level distorts and activates both positive and negative value memes. But this is what the Integral theory is all about: understanding the value of each level. Of course, understanding requires resolving the preceived paradox of the positive/negative dialogue--called the Shadow. That dialogue polarizes, finally, into the dualitiy of Good vrs Evil.

I have done my charting and think I have found a mash-up between AQAL and the astrological wheel. I'm working on some narrative to explain how it works. Stay tuned!
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Bill



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Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Found much discussion "about" him... nothing yet from him.


Hi Kenan,
I haven't listened to this - it's a 20 minute interview with Ken Wilber entitled Divination, Astrology And The Pre-Trans Fallacy which you can listen to on the site or download as an audio file.

http://diydharma.org/divination-astrology-and-pre-trans-fallacy-ken-wilber

All the best

Bill
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kenan wrote:
Quote:
All ancient religions have always fallen short of the mystics' understanding of the original insights/experience about consciousness


Could you expand what you mean by this? Perhaps I have misunderstood you but are you suggesting ancient religions and profound consciousness changing experiences are incompatible? Or are you just making the point that the insights of the founders of ancient religions are lost in wider dissemination?

Bill wrote:
Quote:
Hi Kenan,
I haven't listened to this - it's a 20 minute interview with Ken Wilber entitled Divination, Astrology And The Pre-Trans Fallacy which you can listen to on the site or download as an audio file. http://diydharma.org/divination-astrology-and-pre-trans-fallacy-ken-wilber


Thanks Bill,

Very interesting. Up to now I had only read Ken Wilber's No Boundary some years ago. Your summary of Ken Wilber's views on astrology and divination seems very accurate judging from the talk. Its clear Wilber has never seriously studied astrology but has decided to accept the research of the sceptics that it cannot accurately predict events. My initial reaction is he is pushing his theory too far. If he has stated that activities like astrology and divination does not necessarily link a person to a deeper level of spiritual experience I wouldn't have any difficulty in accepting his position. However, to state that astrology and divination doesn't work in a predictive sense doesn't tally with my own experience. Still, I am intrigued to understand his ideas further.

I have to confess I still haven't read any of the books of Richard Tarnas. This discussion has motivated me to follow this up. Do any of his books touch on these themes especially? Equally, could you suggest any follow up reading by Stanislav Grof?

Mark
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kenan



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Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:28 am    Post subject: Ken Wilber vrs Astrology Reply with quote

Mark:

Reference to what I said:
All ancient religions have always fallen short of the mystics' understanding of the original insights/experience about consciousness.

What do I mean from that?

First, I did not say ancient Religions are "incompatible" with conscious experiences or changes. The institutions and their teachings fall short for a large majority of their "followers".

I agree with Wilber's explanation in the audio interview that, briefly, in my words, many "believers" grasp the religion's concepts at the level they are capable of. For example, fundamentalist grasp it as "real" rather than as a metaphor. (I'm not quite satisfied with Wilber's "literal or as if" explanation. I'll deal with that at a later time.) On the other hand,"Those that have eyes to see and ears to hear" get a more transrational understanding.

Let's look at it from a cognitive perspective. A developing infant tries to make "sense" of the wonderful world of sense stimulating phenomenon. The rational mind makes use of prevailing metaphors, religious teachings, and plays the "fitting game" to adapt to the world. Basic survival skills. The child's success is judged by the level of comfort, both physically, psychologically, and spiritually that they are able to attain.

So, a child's experience becomes an understanding which is "formed" and remembered as a narrative: my story, my persona, my self, my world view. That narrative/metaphor/religion can be somewhat creatively individualized OR it can be "adopted" in total as is... which most likely will become "indigestible", as Fritz Perls would say, and cause all kinds of "dis-ease".

By the way, that "fitting game", is not just played in Thinking (re: Jung's Quaternio). We are not all equal in how we balance our cognitive abilities. (Also reference Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences.) Notice that fundamentalists often base their beliefs on their "feeling" experience or some other favored, out of balance, cognitive modality.

That is the kind of issue Integral theory addresses.

This cognitive skill, the fitting game, in individual humans can "mature" in order, complexity, and creative adaptation,"out of the box". Society's level of evolvement is a very large part, a big "box", that can be at various levels of "rigidity" that severely limits an individual's progress. Example, our scientific materialism.

So, back to the astrology issue. All world views, religions, ancient wisdom,Theories of Everything, that came before our time will not "fit" perfectly in the context of our present cultural paradigms/memes. But we can "evolve" them to enlighten many areas of our concerns.

This is what I understand is the intention of Ken Wilber and his Integral Theory perspective. I suspect that's why Wilber might seem argumentative in the presence of astrological fundamentalist. :-)

But if we continue to obsess over the controversy of what is "real" and what is "memorex", we will be severely limited in our evolution. We'll have to take this conversation to the quantum theory, the "ultimate opensource" level, to deal with that. :-)
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Bill



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have to confess I still haven't read any of the books of Richard Tarnas. This discussion has motivated me to follow this up. Do any of his books touch on these themes especially? Equally, could you suggest any follow up reading by Stanislav Grof?


Hi Mark,
I'm afraid I can't be of much help to you in that regard.

I did read Tarnas's book The Passion of the Western Mind several years ago, and thought it was interesting enough - a good book. It didn't really expand on astrology that much, and if my memory serves me well, what he did say related to the correlation between historical cycles of change and the rhythms of the outer planets (but don't quote me on that!).

Whatever, astrology was not by any means central to that work, which could be broadly described as a survey of the evolution of western culture from a certain perspective. It has an accessible style and sold very well. I wouldn't call it a must-read book, at least not in your case.

I never read his second book, but I think that may have gone into astrological ideas and perspectives in more depth. I think it was less well received.

Personally, my interest in astrology leads me in different directions than those trodden by Richard Tarnas, so I'm not really qualified to recommend one way or the other. Rightly or wrongly, I have him penciled into the circle of depth psychology/archetypal astrology (C.G.Jung, James Hillman, etc.). An interesting area, but not one that I am especially focused on any more.

As for Stan Grof, I came across him about 25 years ago. At the time he was publishing books on holotropic breathing techniques; the altered states of consciousness they provoke, and their therapeutic value, particularly in relation dealing with the psycho-emotional consequences of the birth trauma. However, the book which I bought, and which was co-written with his partner, was called something like 'Coping with Spiritual Emergencies'. It was prompted by their experiences working in California, when they were getting clients who totally freaked out during holotropic breathing, from meditating too much, or from whatever other spiritual practices that resulted in becoming 'stuck' in an altered state.

I bought the book because I was getting one or two clients who had similar problems, and the contents included advice for counsellors, therapists and so on. (Some of the recommendations I remember - 'carry several large stones in pockets; jump up and down on the ground; eat meat' .... actually I reckon they probably would work! With my clients it was more likely to be: "Stop eating the psilocybin mushrooms!". )

I do know that Tarnas in effect introduced Grof to astrology and particularly what Grof called 'transit astrology', and its potential use as a means of identifying times of trauma, etc. I'm not sure if Grof has written much by himself on the subject, except perhaps to defend his interest in it. I think astrology was very much part of Tarnas's contribution to their combined efforts in the field of transpersonal psychology and so on at their institute in California.

I'm pretty sure that Grof's work and Wilber's work overlap in certain areas, but are hinged on points of disagreement. For example, Grof is especially interested in the embryonic phase of development and the birthing process, but I think (I could be wrong) Wilber starts his developmental 'model' at the new born state and sees these processes as irrelevant in that regard. I think they also have different perspectives on the psychology around knowledge of inevitable death, 'the death urge', and so on. Maybe their positions have moved closer to each other over the years - I don't know.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

All the best,

Bill
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kerenhappuch



Joined: 07 Jul 2005
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Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kenan, Annemieke and Bill,

I'm enjoying the discussion, thanks for the warm welcome =]

Kenan:

Quote:
Even the astrological chart (not astrology in total) is flattened.


What do you mean by this? Do you mean the graphical representation of the birthchart on a piece of paper, which does not show the full 3-D picture of the sky?

Quote:
I'm looking at the astrological elements and cardinalities as ways to explain the evolution through and up the spiral.... I suspect astrology (including the esoteric narrative) could provide specific insight into the HOW of Conscious Evolution.


A very interesting idea, one which also struck me when I first read Wilber. It's not something I'm working on consciously, but it's "on the back burner" of my mind so to speak! Very interested to see how it can be developed!


Annemieke,

Quote:
I wanted to understand the AQAL and Altitude model better. And the best way for me is to use another model that I understand already better (in this case the Zodiac) to compare it with.


Absolutely! In essence I already use the principles of astrology to understand AQAL, because the language and concepts of traditional astrology are such a big part of my way of understanding the world.

Interestingly, I found his work to be very compatible with classical astrology. Wilber's stated aim is after all to integrate all the "breakthroughs" of modern science into a coherent model or "answer to life, the universe and everything". I guess because classical astrology is in effect the distillation of thousands of years' worth of human wisdom - It makes great sense to me that the distillation of wisdom (from whichever sources) all point in the same direction!

Quote:
And the third is that I really love to look at things from a distance to see how they fit together, to search for an overall model.


Again, I fully agree! Big thumbs up to this. If only there was more of this in the world =]

Bill:

Quote:
He associates much New Age thinking with this regressive shift, almost as an anti-rational reaction.


A good point in being careful when mentioning astrology with other followers of Wilber. As usual it's a massive shame that so many people dismiss all astrology out of hand. Maybe someone should tell Wilber about traditional astrology, which is most definitely NOT part of the New Age! =]



Given the discussion has now turned to books/further reading, I would add The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt to the list. His work is also a synthesis of many "advances" in modern science, particularly evolutionary biology and psychology. It's not a textbook but an exploration and explanation of his own research in trying to determine what happiness is and how it can be achieved by an average (Western) person.

I think that the main difference in how I approach these ideas is that I operate on a more subconscious level, preferring to absorb information and let it "mix" over time (Mercury in Pisces of course!).

Just as a frivolous aside, Kenan has already told us his Mercury is in Scorpio, so that's two water sign Mercuries on this thread. Mine is also 1st house, interestingly enough! If you're ok with sharing the info, what about Annemieke and Bill?

Keren
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply Bill.
Very useful. I know a lot of astrologers regard Tarnas very highly. From a quick browse of The Passion of The Western Mind his work seems to be essentially a popularisation of classical western philosophy. His later book Cosmos and Psyche does seem intriguing though. I will need to take a deeper look. People like Grof and Wilber are very influential figures in Transpersonal Psychotherapy movement which is where I had first heard of them back in the mid 1990's.

Kenan wrote:
Quote:
Reference to what I said:
All ancient religions have always fallen short of the mystics' understanding of the original insights/experience about consciousness.

What do I mean from that?

First, I did not say ancient Religions are "incompatible" with conscious experiences or changes. The institutions and their teachings fall short for a large majority of their "followers".
That is undeniably true. Moreover, spiritual movements like everything else have a growth-decay cycle.
So, back to the astrology issue. All world views, religions, ancient wisdom, Theories of Everything, that came before our time will not "fit" perfectly in the context of our present cultural paradigms/memes. But we can "evolve" them to enlighten many areas of our concerns.


A good example of this is the way traditionally patriarchal religions have had to adapt to the rising position of women in society. This has been seen in both Christianity and Buddhism. Moreover, it seems the growth of Neo-Paganism is as much about contemporary social concerns rather than just a literal transmission of ancient spirituality. It could be argued the Protestant Reformation was a response to existing trends such as increasing literacy, a more democratic spirit as well as economic changes breaking down medieval feudalism. However, I don’t see spiritual experience as ‘evolutionary’ in historical terms. While our social conventions have changed dramatically core spiritual experiences seem to be a constant over the last few thousand years.

Keren wrote:
Quote:
Maybe someone should tell Wilber about traditional astrology, which is most definitely NOT part of the New Age!


Listening to Ken Wilber in the talk it seems clear he has little time for an astrology or divination system that attempts exact prediction. If anything he favours a purely psychological astrology that applies general astrological symbolism. He sees systems attempting exact prediction as just as much of a Pre-Trans Fallacy as the New Age movement. In that sense traditional astrology is probably in the same camp for Wilber as Biblical literalism. Shocked
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Annemieke



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill wrote:
As far as Wilber is concerned development ideally moves from pre-rational to rational to trans-rational. Moving from rational to pre-rational Wilber would see as a regressive shift back 'to infantile states'.

I think Wilber’s pre/trans fallacy is a great way to differentiate between different kind of non-rational states. But personally I think that going from rational to pre-rational does not have to mean it is regressive. I think it can also go from trans-rational to pre-rational. It would just be on a different level. Sort of a development in a spiral movement, or going through the zodiac again and again.


kenan wrote:
But if we continue to obsess over the controversy of what is "real" and what is "memorex", we will be severely limited in our evolution. We'll have to take this conversation to the quantum theory, the "ultimate opensource" level, to deal with that. :-)

Sounds good this ‘ultimate opensource’. We can search for patterns from different resources to see how they might relate.


Mark wrote:
My initial reaction is he is pushing his theory too far.

In a way I also think he pushes his theory to far. But I also think that had its value. If he would have taken to many concepts from other sources to soon, it might have kept him from (as I see it) rather revolutionary insights. But the downside might be that he gets caught in his own vision.


kerenhappuch wrote:
I think that the main difference in how I approach these ideas is that I operate on a more subconscious level, preferring to absorb information and let it "mix" over time (Mercury in Pisces of course!).

Yes, I can see that with Mercury in Pisces. I sort of have the same with a conjunction of Mercury with the Moon. But I guess I don’t have the patience to let it mix over time. Uranus is standing in between :-)
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kenan



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Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:50 am    Post subject: AQAL and Astrology Reply with quote

Sorry for the gap in my post. I had plans to actually delineate my view of how AQAL and Astrology might integrate. Just don't have time to do that right now. So, I want to share with the group my basic idea and see if we can collaborate.

My basic interest is how both system might address the issue of evolution of consciousness both individually and collectively. For example, can the complexity of astrology revel more specifics about the process of transformation that the simplicity of AQAL doesn't address.

First, I had to rearrange AQAL to give it more dynamic polarity. The results shown in this graphic seems to work for me. The AstroWheel is a display of Houses, not signs. The color triangles and squares represent the angular relationship as in astrology. Hence, transformation through resolution of opposites/squares and the benefits of trines and sextiles.
(AQAL is blue/green and astrlogy is black.)


What do you think? Do we really need to flip the AstroWheel to a mirror image? One clue to me (from Jung) is that the Ascendant represents the Self but the 5th represents the Ego or personna: I in the context of We.

Then if this works out, I would like to work on how astrological transformation might work up the Spiral of Spiral Dynamics in this next dimensional drawing:



One more graphic. This is my chart over AQAL:



As Dave Letterman would say, "Is this anything" :-)

At least you guys can "see" how I see the TOE.
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Annemieke



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Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say I am really impressed by the great graphics. They look really good. It is very interesting how you used your chart in that model.

Maybe it also is a better idea, that you use the Zodiac as it should be. For me, the choice was between keeping the Zodiac original or keeping the AQAL model original.

The reason I kept the AQAL original, was that I then could still use the terms LL (lower left), LR, UR and UL. But on an astrology forum it might be much more convenient to keep the Zodiac original.

So I made new model, to see how that would turn out, if I could see where I agree with you and where not. I now turned the AQAL model instead of the Zodiac. Then I can not use LL etc, but I still can use ‘it, i, we, its’.

I want to keep the AQAL model further as intact as possible. Except for ‘Individual’ where I use ‘Personal’. I will give the reason for that below.

It = Exterior Personal = Behavioral
I = Interior Personal = Intentional
We = Interior Collective = Cultural
Its = Exterior Collective = Social



The reason I use ‘personal’ instead of ‘individual’ has to do with what you say about the ‘self’ as used by Jung. I don’t know if he indeed used the ascendant as the ‘self’, but personally I think it might be a bit different. Of course it all depends on what exactly someone means with ‘self’ and then I am not even talking about his differentiation between ‘self’ and ‘Self’.

That is why I did not use it in my basic model yet. And also why I did not use the AQAL word ‘individual’.

I think that ‘individual’, ‘self’ and ‘ego’ have to do with what Jung calls the individuation process. And as I see it, it has to do with the AQAL concept ‘interior’. Because the ‘exterior’ part of the AQAL model (and also the eastern side of the Zodiac) is what is seen by the outside world. The ascendant is your window to the world. While the individuation process is an internal process, starting with Leo.

The biggest problem for me was seeing Aries as external. But seeing it as the birth process, just the starting point of something, I think it can be seen as external. Just as Taurus (growth of the body) and Gemini (exchange with others) can be seen as external.

The inner process starts with Cancer (emotions) which is followed by the ‘sense of self’ or ‘individuation process’ (or what else it can be called) of Leo.

So far for now my reaction. Curious to hear what you think, how far you (or others) agree or disagree with that.
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kenan



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Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Aries Reply with quote

Quick comment. I don't see Aries or 1st House as external but as "approaching" toward the external, collective, 12th house (ITS): The Ascendant. Of course, after a long journey from the confrontation of the opposite, 7th house.

That's the beauty of the astrological wheel. It's contiguous and always integral, by various aspect, with the whole chart.

As consciousness progresses from basic instinct (Aries) to awareness of The Other (Libra) and merges, I/THOU, then moves to the next polarity, 2nd to 8th: consciousness through the Senses (Taurus) to awareness of the magnetic field of Tantra (Scorpio),.... thus, merging polarities around the chart.

Integral Note: Remember, let not our larger vision be reduced by linear progression of Time nor three dimensions of Space, for that Matter. The whole chart functions in the Here & Now complexity of All aspects: Quantum Theory and Zero Point Field.

Each "step, rather "aspect," is relative to self/other, inter/outer, including 360 degrees of complex relativity. Even the intellectual distinction of "as observed by self" or "as observed by others" is a major paradox to sustain and transcend.

As Einstein said:
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness."

Now, I'm going back to Labor Day maya and cook for the party. :-)
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