Astrology & Compassion opening of Chapter 1 - A Lethal Void in 21st Century Judgement
“In 1941, the discoverer of the Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein, famously wrote to President Roosevelt of the USA warning of the dangerous power of nuclear fission and the consequences of Adolf Hitler developing and using the technology first.
Taking the warning very seriously, the President arranged for more funding than that given to any scientific project before that time. In real terms, more was to be spent on what came to be called the Manhattan Project than was later spent on landing a man on the Moon. Vast teams of the best scientists gathered and worked exhaustively, until they finally harnessed the power of splitting the atom and produced nuclear weapons.
As well as the hubris of having at our fingertips a new, very practical power to change lives for good or ill, the coming of nuclear power to human consciousness atomised assumptions about what we could do in just about everything. If we could destroy the world, then maybe, like Doctor Frankenstein, we could forget previously accepted moral barriers and act exactly as we liked. We had unlimited power if we mastered technology and were deeply helpless if we did not.
Realising the horrific consequences, Einstein lived to regret the results of his letter and spent much of the rest of his life urging governments and the scientists to restrict and control further development. However, the genie was out of the bottle. Einstein did not find governments and the military so responsive anymore!
There are two very good reasons to remind ourselves of all this at the beginning of a book that seeks to establish the importance of astrological understanding in the modern world.
Firstly, the development of nuclear power in the early 1940s shows just what can be achieved when the best minds and resources are poured into a particular activity. It would be a mistake to assume that the outcome demonstrates the ultimate true nature of things. Nuclear power is just one of the many latent possibilities, picked out by an important man and given such resources that it has dominated and traumatised the contemporary mind ever since.
If the circumstances of 1941 had not been a general outbreak of madness, and it had been possible to put the same resources into developing an ecologically balanced planet, we may well have achieved it and be living in harmony with nature and each other today. If the investment in cars and roads had been put into railways, our contemporary quality of life would be very different. The priorities we choose focus outcomes. We believe them to be absolute at our peril. The world these priorities create is not the only, true world, or even necessarily the best possible one.
More recently, billions of pounds have been allocated to a mass-computer study of DNA variables in an attempt to map the genome. The ultimate aim is to treat each genetic factor in a uniquely appropriate way. Pharmaceutical and horticultural industries will create new medicines, even ‘food medicines’. Fertility experts will develop ways of identifying and correcting pre-natal defects and abilities – even the sex of the child and cosmetic factors, such as eye and hair colouring.
With the lesson of nuclear power in our minds, perhaps we should not become excessively confident, or despondent about all this. We have still only discovered a fragment of what there is to know. What is academically in vogue may change. Certainly, we should never forget that, if the funds had been devoted elsewhere, our present and future world could be very different. If the billions of pounds in research had been devoted to studying naturopathic, or other holistic and traditional methods of understanding and healing the body, our view of reality, what help we need and where we go to find it would be radically different.
The first paragraph of Chapter 2 - A Conspiracy of Disinformation
A Western academic visited a Zen Master to discover his philosophy of life and was offered a cup of tea. When the cup was full, the Master continued to pour and spill, until the Westerner intervened to say the cup was full. The Master replied. ‘Like this cup, you are full of your opinions and theories. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?’
Before we describe how it works and argue the case to claim a positive role for astrology in modern and future worlds, it is important to explain why it is on the margins of society. Why there is little or no serious information about it in contemporary educational systems and the media? To understand, we must ‘clear the decks’ of the misunderstanding, disinformation and misrepresentation that do exist and masquerade as ‘the facts’. When we do, the view commonly held by ‘respected opinion-leaders’, that ‘no intelligent person can take it seriously’, is turned upside down.