Search This Blog

Friday, December 5, 2014

Astrology, Evaluation, Economics

"In the final analysis, to my mind there is no argument against
granting Ph.D.s in astrology merely on the grounds that it has no
predictive value.  After all, one can still get a Ph.D. in economics,
Dr. M. Vidyasagar has a question for economists

I feel the above referred statement  must deal with two subjects whose bandwidth is too vast, depth is too deep and acceptance is very often ambivalent based on our situation and belief. Both can be termed, based on certain parameters as pseudo science [for want of empirical reference and review with specific given situations/probabilities]. I am not referring to astrology and economics, but to astrology and our process of evaluation of the subject.

First we need to be clear about how we proceed to evaluate any subject. In fact, yesterday I wrote this in my FB for some person who was making a very prejudiced observation with sweeping generalizations about certain relationships. However, here I am pushing process of evaluation to the second position and deal with astrology first.
As for economics is concerned, it is the most misused subject for various political and commercial reason with multiple theories. A much maligned subject as you would know if you read Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics.

1.    Astrology

This science by itself is embedded with wide scope for multiple interpretations, further explorations etc without claiming anything with any axiomatic certitude.  The people who are even a little conversant with astrology know that there is neither unique proposition nor final position. They are many steps for further synthesis in endless steps for the truth and can't be grasped all at one go, especially not by the mind we are equipped with which seeks mostly specific outcomes. It delves into several details sincerely trying to extend the boundaries of our own mind or perception of our position viz à viz other planets and the effect of their vibrations on life of beings on earth, and even out of this, to be more precise, about  one particular species called human beings.
In the process astrology has set certain theories based on observations of certain combinations. Regarding this itself there is still multitude of unending academic as well as biased debates that is going on endlessly.

Is astrology all about only some chart drafted or delineated based on time and place of birth? What is to be determined as time of birth? When the fetus is exposed to the outside world from the mother’s womb? Or when the conception starts taking place in the womb? If it were so, how are we going to decide when the conception took place? Did it start when the lucky sperm and ovum fused together? Or did start when a strong sperm cell formed in the human body to push away other cells and gate crashed to become a fertile egg?

Then which aspect of astrology to be given preference or predominance is it the Zodiac based on Lagna [ natal chart- position of planets] based on time of birth? Or to be interpreted based on constant movements of all planets [gochara]? Are we to go by the static chart or transitory motions?  If everything is determined by fate alone, then, what is the use of freewill? Let us churn up everything. It is an interesting exercise. Are social status and milieu in which one is born of any consequence in astrology? If natal chart is like the small hand of a clock indicating major aspects of time, freewill is like the long hand [minute hand of a clock] and combined consequences are indicated by the underlying seconds hand of a clock [In Tamil there is a verse which describes this as Vidhi, Madhi and Gadhi].

If as per gochara , i.e. transitory movements or some yoga a person is destined to encounter something either very good or very bad, what is the use if that happens when he or she is a very small child or very old and unable to enjoy the benefit or face the difficulties? Then what must be given priority in astrology? There are millions of magazines in many languages which discuss the zodiac based transition every month, every week, every day etc. with some prediction. Can we divide humanity into 12 stereotyped categories? Can all people with sun sign Libra have the same impact or effect in their life at a particular time? The sheer improbability makes us stick on to natal chart and dasa bhukthi, though maximum money is in interpreting gochara based predictions. Because in that case we can say now Saturn is moving to your 8th house so you will face such and such problems , run to astrologers, worship this or that? Do all these? Can all these stop Saturn from entering your 8th house or is it meant to not treat Saturn as a guest and ignore? Are we more powerful than planets, if we have such power then do we need  fences around our houses or do we need doors?
The problem is not with the subject but our lack of understanding, lack of data, lack of documented reference material with evidences etc. We have never bothered to fully develop it into an acceptable subject.

Here are some articles, in general about astrology written by me.

and this one by Osho

2.    Evaluation.
Coming to the aspect of evaluation, how to normally encounter and evaluate any subject or topic?

It is preferable to  immerse  any topic or subject matter, primarily and basically with its intrinsic elements/components/aspects/attributes intact, into a cauldron which has  a mixture of all these- knowledge based analysis, limited perception based on frames of reference and scales of observation, skepticism , criticism, intellectual scrutiny, compassionate emotionalism, humane socialism, rational thinking, contextual relevance [ which includes too many components] , traditions, practical viability, psychological comfort, aesthetic sensitivity, scientific scrutiny etc and  churn the cauldron without clinging on to any particular restrictive social, cultural or political or religious identity.

This process inevitably will bring out lot of outputs. We can exercise our freedom and sometimes select and choose some of the outputs. Sometimes the outputs will draw us. Sometimes away from all or any of our intended searches and seeking, outside the circle of these known paradigms, almost tangentially serendipity will drag us to an oasis of serene clarity.

At all costs the intrinsic attributes must be the predominant factor so that whatever is thrown into the cauldron and however it is churned, the ultimate output  must include those attributes so that  evaluation is not distorted or desperately doctored to fit into any predefined and expected outcome.
So what pans out ultimately depends on various factors and aspects some of which are explainable within the ken of logical and rational thinking but some are beyond these.
We can also observe uneasily how the human intellect polished by a rare faculty [ compared to other species]  of conscious awareness, capacity to think, store the knowledge, retrieve it for reference etc, is mostly, unwilling to take the risk of accepting the uncertain; the intellectually undecipherable and the inexplicable outcomes, even if such acceptance is branded, extolled and promoted as virtues of humility or modesty.
For example if one is evaluating music, one must ensure that music quality/musicality as an intrinsic aspect must be highlighted and then evaluate the other extraneous factors like who renders it, how it is rendered, who is the composer, what is the composition, what is the lyrics, how is the acoustic quality, how the person who is rendering it is dressed, how was the ambiance of the place where it was rendered etc.

This blog posting delves rather deep into the process of evaluation
If you have enough time you may go through this as well.

No comments: