Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Asian Astrology, Zen Psychology, and the Meaning of the Universe

by Gene Schwerman

Explaining Asian or Far Eastern Astrology as it relates to Indian or particularly Western Astrology, invariably leads into observations about Zen Philosophy which when taken together can be seen as one way of determining the meaning of the Universe. While this may be a slightly aggressive title for our purposes here, which concentrates more heavily on the Asian Astrology issue than either Zen Psychology or the true meaning of the universe, it certainly makes for a more impressive title than the lonely sounding "Asian Astrology" by itself. So we will try to earn the rights to the broader title albeit circumspect.
At about the same time as ancient Greek astronomers thought to occasionally glance at the night sky, ancient Chinese astronomers discovered things looking up as well. In give or take a century B.C. Chinese astronomers determined that they could get to the bottom of things by climbing a high rock and staring at the night sky. Just like the early Grecian astronomers, they discovered movement from the various planets that can be seen by the naked eye, but apparent stability from all of the rest of the indistinguishable stars. What indeed was the sun? What was the Moon? Why were they larger than all of the stars? And why did only certain stars move about? As usual, in any culture, when you make use of one mystery to analyze and evaluate another complete mystery, the initial set of answers derived from such a project may be seriously lacking.

But clearly, the Chinese astronomers saw the stars as objects very far away and began to place themselves in spatial relationships relative to the stars and to wonder what influence the stars and the moon and planets that moved, might have on them here on earth. Even today, when so much more is understood about the universe, much of the tradition and early thought processes which have been passed down over time still survive. The Chinese were significantly better in many ways at looking at the big picture, yet allowing for multiple unknown factors to be expressed as unknowns. This big picture or metaphysical look at the universe, allowed them not to be as stymied as their more linear Grecian and then Roman counterparts. But steeped in tradition as they were, they suffered from their own inability to continually employ that which they had learned.

Skipping ahead just a few millennium, C. G. Jung in his description of "Collective Consciousness" combines modern-day knowledge of astronomy and psychology together and describes universal principles underlying and motivating all aspects of our psychological life. Jung transcends and often completely discards the archaic traditions and early notions within both fields of study and has literally devoted his life to the pursuit of this concept. Unfortunately, those more concerned with the accuracy of tradition than the attainment of truth, would rather discard current knowledge in favor of mysticism, myth and mystery. Both in modern culture, and the study of modern psychology the dichotomy continues to grow. That which is known and most current is rarely used and that which is used is too seldom based on what is actually known and most current.

It would seem apparent in any culture that the dissemination of current knowledge should be a huge priority. However, the common man often has no taste for trying to assimilate current knowledge. It is very often suspect initially, and certainly not easy to understand. So the common man satisfies himself with data about daily occurrences that may be newsworthy at the moment, whether or not they address any part of the collective thought processes concerning current knowledge. He bases many decisions on tradition, prior bad logic, foibles, fables and fantasy or the prophecy of fortune tellers. Just as somewhat similar circumstances led to a similar conclusion in looking at western Astrology likewise the view from the East suffers from reliance on outdated, false data and misinterpretation. Fortunetellers see the future in the stars, but will never subscribe to this mumbo-jumbo about DNA, and evolution is heresy. And if it isn't written in the Bible or the Koran it is not really stuff about which we need to concern ourselves. - Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.

Gene Schwerman is the founder and head marketing consultant for Truly Unique Website Design. Truly Unique works on websites of all varieties, such as www.characteristic-of-zodiac-signs.com, where you can find information on characteristics of zodiac signs and compatibility of zodiac signs.

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