25 May 2015

Could divination work?

What is unexplainable today need not be out rightly wrong.

Astrology1 is said to be among the oldest of sciences, some consider it a pseudoscience at least. The similarities, in the basic structuring and techniques, across astrology’s many variants (from Native-American to Mayan to Tajik to Indian to Chinese – seemingly disparate communities) is fascinating. 

Even attempting to prove that such divinations (or superstitions) may sound preposterous and even embarrassing to a rationalists as me, but what if there is a perspective we simply missed!

To start: Erase off the proponents’ common explanation that astrology works because light from the other planets in our solar system affect the living things on earth. A simpler mind may be happy with that line just as most believers are happy with the Genesis story of human origin. The real obstruction to our explanation-attempts is maybe our understanding (rather our belief) in the paradigm of the universe. In our current belief everything is separate – God, you, me, the planets, earth, oceans, animals, space. The model we have been taught to believe so long is that we are the center of the universe and everything else revolves around us humans. What if it’s a model that needs improvisations?

For the sake of my attempts here, let’s try switching to a monistic2 model. Monistic here I mean that all of the universe is one entity – imagine as a cosmic clock or say a gigantic jukebox J or maybe even the body of the Almighty!

If that can be imaged, hold that model in your head and realize that this cosmic-entity’s constituents are sub-systems of the whole. They should be interconnected and interdependent – say like the organ-systems of a human body

Yes? If this much can be realized, then we have progressed much. Many of these constituent-(sub) systems within may be individually deterministic3

Zooming in to our solar system becomes just another cog in the bigger machinery. It is a sub-systems which have further, almost infinitesimal layers of constituent, sub-systems – one level being us. If Solar system is like a human body, we are then just cells within!

In this model, the planets may not affect us on earth after all, but their state maybe more like positions representing the overall system status at a point of time (like an LED blink-pattern on a panel in a control room) which in turn translates to a situation at our realm. A pulse check is not the cause of a hypertension, a scan picture is not the cause of a tumor – they are the lights patterns on the panel that depicts the current state of the overall whole.

Occult (hidden) connections could be plausible, omens may be useful; a divination stream may be a case of someone happening to decipher the patterns on the panel. Like using eyes (one constituent of the human body) to see rashes on the skin (state of another constituent), analyzing that the soup had shrimp in it (interpretation) and predicting the run to the nearest toilet (fortune-telling) J

It’s what I call a side-effect of singularity.

1 Astrology is just one among the many divinations practiced around the world, there are numerous other fortune telling systems like readings based on geckos, entrails of sacrificed animals, tea leaves, coffee-dust patterns, omens or just rants of a person in trance – many of these traditions on the decline.

2 Monism is a philosophical view, one of its definitions is called Advaitham in the east. For our purpose essentially means: Everything is one, and the one is God. Leave out the ‘God’ term here if you are uncomfortable and instead imagine ‘One System’

3 Based on the system’s general behavior, given its state at a point of time one could determine its status in the next. Here in this example assume the solar system is deterministic and its constituents works interdependently for a reason, which is beyond a mere human’s imaginative capacity. 

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