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As Above, So Below’: Are Cosmic Forces at Work on Earth?
21-09-2020, 06:34 AM
Post: #1
As Above, So Below’: Are Cosmic Forces at Work on Earth?
When we think of wars, revolutions, populist uprisings, outbreaks of mass hysteria and other sudden social and political eruptions – even a popstar’s popularity or the latest fashion trend – we usually believe that at bottom there is some logical, rational explanation for them, even if we do not yet possess it. We are confident that we can understand these things through economics, psychology, race relations, religion, or as a reaction to ‘modernity’ or to some other factor that we can reason about, analyse, come to decisions on and take steps to alter and improve.

Although the evidence sadly seems to suggest otherwise, we believe that ultimately we can learn how to control the factors that lead to these explosions. We can, if not eliminate the more catastrophic events like wars, at least minimise the disruptions they cause. In short, we believe we control our fate – or will be able to sometime soon. That is the whole modern project: man applying his intellect and will in order to make a better world, working to control events rather than be controlled by them, and steering history toward progress. We are not there yet, but it is just a matter of time.

But what if there are factors at work in these massive human events that are beyond our control? What if they are not a product of solely rational, calculable forces but are triggered by natural causes, even cosmic ones? What if the power behind these upheavals doesn’t come from the earth below but from up above, in outer space, from the moon, the stars, the planets and the sun?

We know that for a great part of human history that is exactly what many people believed. Until the advent of what we know as science in the early seventeenth century, the belief that the stars ordered our destiny was commonly accepted. Astrology, the art of foreseeing the turn of events on earth by charting the movements of the stars in the heavens, had for millennia guided emperors and kings the world over. In ancient China, India, and the Middle East, in classical Greece and Rome and throughout Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the belief that “everything in the… cosmos was inextricably connected to everything else, no matter how great or how small” was as much common knowledge as the supposed Big Bang is today.1 And that this arrangement was hierarchical, with changes in the heavens portending those on earth, was also accepted. It was generally agreed that the earth and everything on it was open to forces coming from beyond and that the wise men of antiquity understood these forces and benefited by them.
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