PROLOGUE - 6
It is only quite recently that we have the possibility
of studying the past development of mankind in a global manner — that is, as it occurred century after century at the same time all over the globe. Spengler's point of view was fragmentary because he was definitely biased; and even Toynbee developed biases of his own, especially in discussing future prospects for our Western Civilization. A very few years ago the directors of the remarkable movement Plante
in Paris, France, began the publication of a series of volumes Les Metamorphoses de l'Humanite
in which, century after century, the social-cultural development of mankind is being studied in its general cultural manifestations as it took form simultaneously in all continents. Incomplete as this attempt is (it emphasizes especially cultural and artistic, manifestations), it is nevertheless, as far as I know, the first well organized and thorough presentation of a truly global study of Man in society, Man the maker, Man the dreamer of "great dreams." It reveals a remarkable synchronicity in the social-cultural trends manifesting all over the world; and light is thrown upon until very recently little known regions of the globe, especially Africa, which has had also most significant cultures.
As long as Western historians were largely blind to anything that had not occurred around the Mediterranean Sea, there could be no global history, and a holistic and structural approach to the evolution of humanity was even more impossible because such an approach actually requires a "Planetary" viewpoint. By this I mean that such a holistic approach must realize first of all the structural wholeness of the planet, Earth. It must be aware of the interdependence of all the various "spheres" which constitute functional areas in the total system of activities of our planet: lithosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, stratosphere, ionosphere, etc. — and we should add "noosphere," the field of all modes of activity referring to the very extensive and ill-defined terms "consciousness" and "mind."
We still speak rather loosely of mineral, vegetable, animal and human kingdoms; but the term, mineral, is not adequate to tell us about the inter-relationship between mankind and oceanic and atmospheric currents and storms, between the development of civilizations and changes in climates and (beyond these actually perceptible changes) even more far-reaching alterations of the earth's magnetism and of the ionosphere in response to solar winds and most likely to forces which have their origin in galactic spaces.(2
It is very well for historians to study old documents and archaeologists or ethnologists to scrutinize the records of past or still living primitive tribal societies. But such an analytical approach, valuable indeed as it is, can hardly answer significantly the crucial problem which is haunting modern man in a period of potentially catastrophic crisis: where is humanity going? Where do we stand? What can we expect? Something else is needed — a structural and planetary-cosmic approach which would enable us to integrate
our tumultuous present in the vast process of evolution of mankind and of the planet, which is the one home of an essentially global humanity.
The great success of the works of Teilhard de Chardin rests on the fact that he has attempted significantly to give us a global picture of Man's evolution — with reference to a vaster world-picture. The validity of this world-picture is, however, limited by the fact that it is founded upon a religious doctrine which may not be acceptable to many people of the world, at least in the way it is formulated by the French priest-scientist. In other words, it is essentially a metaphysical picture which is being related, in a masterful yet purposive manner, to scientific theories which also may be at best approximately true, and which new "facts" may alter considerably — if for instance, the existence of high level civilizations of a million years ago (Atlantis?) were proven beyond doubt.
Astrology in its true nature is not based on a tendencious metaphysics or religious belief. It is founded on facts of common human experience, which it generalizes and interprets. The atomic theory is also based on the generalization and interpretations of facts. The nature of these facts is so complex that they can be observed only by scientists whose minds are conditioned by a rigid training which is not without bias in favor of undemonstrable postulates (as for instance the existence of universal constants). Astrology also has its undemonstrable postulates; but like scientific theories, it can prove its value to the extent that it can make order emerge out of chaos
. The "theoretical" physicist of today performs the same function, but his field of operation is different. The chaos with which the true astrologer deals is the chaos of human events — the chaos of historical data and that of personal life-experiences. To these two kinds of chaos he brings measuring clocks which can reveal the hidden structural order inherent in the serial flow of seemingly unrelated, unstructured, unintegratable, and therefore meaningless happenings.
What algebra is to the immense mass of the experimental data of physics or astronomy, astrology can be to the profusion of historical data collected by historians and archaeologists. It can help us to orient ourselves to the future while giving a new meaning to the present trends.
cf. the "Piccardi effect" related to not yet well understood cyclic changes in the behavior of water and various chemicals, an effect which apparently varies with the periodical changes in the angular relationship of the equatorial and galactic planes. Return
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