Astrology – technology of ancient science – Part 1
Just like yoga, ayurveda and many many such themes existing in India, astrology is also something that is present in every nook and corner in India, coming down to us from ages in varied forms. It varies from someone giving me a daily prediction of what is going to happen today according to my star sign to someone picking up my kundali and giving me a prediction of how many doshas are present and their impact on the events in my life. There are many who believe in astrologers because of the trust in a person, many who believe it because they have to find a reason to trust that their life will change for the better, still many believe it because they do not want to lose what they have gained, others who follow it because they have been schooled to follow it, many believe it because they fear backlash from some higher being and so on it goes for so many reasons that have no rhyme nor reason. Possibly the only reason is that people want to predict and believe in a future. Many call themselves learned and educated and find it offensive to believe in such superstitions, yet these very same educated, learned scholars do not seem to understand the effects of throwing garbage on the roads or the effects of using very technologically advanced plastics in daily life, the effects of which are starkly visible in the very same nook and corner of India (literally, you can see garbage strewn at the corner and a tent next to it in which an astrologer is telling you the future, possibly the garbage reminds everyone how much change they want in their life). Many are pretty rigid in their beliefs and believe that when science has no proof of something it is not true, yet, they believe they are conscious and alive without any scientific proof.
But despite the believers and non-believers, despite fake astrologers, where not even one prediction comes true, astrology thrives. I think, the reason is pretty simple, irrespective of the person (scientifically oriented or a simplistic oriented or a village bumpkin), everyone wants to know what will come in the future. Even the scientifically oriented predict the weather, predict economy, forecast the number of future orders, number of shipments and use it in manufacturing and planning. There is a very good saying “It is strange how people who laugh at astrologers take economists seriously”. It is the truth, we are all obsessed with the future. If we observe ourselves, we find that we are either nursing a wounded ego due to some event in the past or agonising about some pure conjecture of what is going to happen or planning for the next instant or near future or far future. Very rarely we find someone who can just be in this that is occurring around them without thinking what will happen next. No wonder then, a subject that deals with the prediction of the future, however flawed, is of interest to everyone and sparks a small amount of interest, fear and the like emotions in them.
All these aside, what is an interesting question is “Can the future really be predicted”? Just like everything else, I think, over time the concepts of astrology have eroded and we have ended up is some highly mangled version of the original theory that was used to predict the future. In fact the modern astrology is so mutilated that even trying to backtrace from here to how it could previously have worked based on the concepts currently used in modern astrology is pretty impossible. There are no explanations as to why there are 12 houses, why the location and movement of various stars and planets between these houses having an impact on my very humble human existence. As an ultimate, last ditch, stretch we can possibly think that the +ve or -ve ions and gravity of the stars and planets have an impact on my character and hence an impact on the people I meet in my life and hence an impact on the events of my life. But then using this to trace how my life is going to turn out is practically impossible and is bound to produce utter nonsense. So, no, I do not believe the concepts used in astrology in modern astrology will predict anything. It is like throwing a dart blindfolded in the direction of the dart board. Based on the practice of the person throwing the dart, the number of times the dart hits the board is going to vary and is based on pure random luck. So also, some of the predictions of modern astrologers are bound to randomly hit the future correctly and typically what is said can be stretched appropriately by imagination to fit the predicted to what occurred, if we want to convince ourselves that it is correct.
If I have such a negative view of modern astrology, why do I think astrology is a technology, you ask? As I have said, “the way astrology is practiced in the modern world is meaningless to me“! I don’t believe that this is how it must have been practised when it began. There should definitely have been a different approach to astrology which was more scientific and it is just lost over time. Just like everything else I find that if something has to last over ages and ages it has to have started with a high level of accuracy for the trust to have been established. Only then can it be passed down through many many generations before it starts to erode slowly first and then faster and faster until every basis of the concept has eroded. I find this is where we find astrology now, completely eroded and just plain tripe. There definitely had to have existed many many generations where astrology predicted the future correctly. If something started with even a 0.1% less than 100% accuracy, it would not have established this level of trust that we find in society. The erosion over time would have been much much faster if it had any lesser accuracy. So, it has to have had a 100% to 110% accuracy. This level of accuracy can only be got if the science behind it was correct. So, we need to find what this science can have been and construct the rudiments of astrology from there, rather than trying to follow what the current astrologers are using?
My take is, if all Sanskrit literature is dealing with the process followed for the underlying truth to manifest as this reality around us, then a direct application of it will be, to be able to accurately map individual paths followed in that manifestation. If such a map of individual paths can be done then isn’t this just a prediction of the future, which is astrology. This, if is accurate, would also act as a proof for the science proposed for the manifestation of reality. The application of scientific theory for practical purposes is called technology and since I believe astrology is an application of the science described, I think astrology is just the technology of ancient science. So, like every symbiotic existence of the combination of technology-science, I think, astrology and the science of truth should have been a symbiotic existence.
I have been writing about the various concepts that ancient science has described as per the Surya Siddanta. Now, if we look from the perspective of astrology, the first and most important concept which has a direct impact is the definition of existence. Only if this is defined correctly can we predict the future of that existence. As I have written in my blog on defining existence, existence is the self-path established in the series of changes due to a logic that has been established when the self is formed. So, the first skeleton definition of astrology should be “a technology for accurate mapping of that self-path which establishes existence“. Since this path is defined by the formation of a self-logic, such a mapping should start with “an understanding of the logic formed by the self-path” and “applying that logic to the series of changes that we have“. This is similar to the reverse engineering process that we typically do for software libraries that we don’t have the code for and need to find if the bug we are seeing in our code is caused by the software library used. Here, we examine the stacktrace, heap data, register data, variables, byte code or assembly code and so on to backtrace from the point of exception or bug to form a pseudo-code of the logic used. Similarly, we need to find the fingerprints present to reverse engineer the path that a self is taking. What possible fingerprints can be examine? This is what astrology is telling us.
But first, the above says “series of changes that we have”. So, what are the “series of changes” and how do we know the “series of changes”? This is the first question to be asked. As I had indicated in “The problems in defining a measurement for time“, there is a first layer of “series of changes” over which an observable gets created. Both the first layer and the second layer are moving and what is visible is a combination of both of these. The first layer itself is again an existence with a self-path based on logic. So, we need to understand the logic of this first layer of existence and how it moves forward to understand the series of changes visible to the observable from the base network. One option to understand this is to find objects that drift in the first layer and compute the changes in their existence. What do I mean by this? Say we wanted to map the water currents of a river, we could measure currents at periodic points or points of interest and try to correlate these points. Another better approach could be that we add sensors to buoys and allow them to drift in the river and use the recorded values by the sensors to trace the current. Buoys offer very less resistance to the currents and just drift in them, so recording data using this should give me a very near value that is existing with the least error. Similarly, if we considered the first layer similar to a river with currents that are driving the changes in the flow of the first layer, we need to find what acts as a buoy in this layer. We obviously cannot introduce objects, so, we have to ask ourselves, do we have something similar already in the first layer of network whose flow or current can be used to trace the path of the first layer network?
Now, let’s think about how this can be established and view it from the perspective of what has survived in the modern version of astrology. What is the first and foremost that is always done by every astrologer irrespective of how fake or good they are? It is to map of the locations of the various planets and stars at the point of birth and compare them to the current positions of the planets and stars. Given that every astrologer does this, we can assume this at least is from the original, though what is mapped may vary. Now, the question we ask is “what can this potentially indicate”? Looking back at what we are trying to find, the “series of changes of the first layer”, we ask ourselves “is it possible that this actually helps us to map the logic and series of changes of the first layer”? Is it possible that given the comparative minute scale of change we are trying to map, these stars and planets can be considered similar floating buoys which do not exert any impact on the underlying network and just drift with the flow of the network and their effect can only be seen on larger scales? Earth itself is a planet that falls within the same category as the stars and planet that we are trying to map. So, can we map the relative difference between this earth which is also drifting and all the other stars and planets in this environment around it? To do this we need to start considering the relation of the other planets and stars to this earth.
As I have described in the book Surya Siddanta: Emergence of empirical reality, the first effect of the emergence of thought is the knowledge of dimensions and distance. The verse 19 in Surya Siddanta says this:
sasandhayaste manavaH kalpe jneyAshrcaturdasha kRtapramANAH kalpAdau sandhiH paNcadashaH smRtaH ||19||
Along with that transition into thought it appears to know four dimensions, by appearing as if 5th dimension of storage of transition, forming distance
Here, the thought that we are trying to trace is “this self” that is formed. Given that this self is a part of the hierarchy of the self created for earth, we should be able to put earth at the centre and plot the drifting objects in the surrounding environment around it with distance and direction. A comparison of the changes between the time of birth (let me for now assume this, maybe correct or not, but then it is just a question of defining the correct starting point) and the present time then should give me an indication of the changes that have occurred in the first layer of existence in our region. Again this region, if we use stars and planets are just defined by the visible elements, which I think is definitely doubtful that this was what the original theory was. My take is it had to be all observables around the current observable. Given that we have reduced every other concept to just include that which is observable by us humans, by these external senses, this also has reduced down to just stars and planets. But, if this theory is correct, then what needs to be identified is the fixed observables or semi-fixed observables whose movement in the first layer is negligible for the timeframe we are looking at. We map the distance and direction of these fixed objects at different points in time and compare the difference in the properties, we should get the series of changes that have become in the first layer.
But, just defining these changes is not enough, this is just the mapping of the series of becomes, that which has already happened. We also need to understand how the self-path of that first layer progresses further and more we need to understand what is moving it forward or rather the currents in the flow of the first layer. This implies that we need to understand the forces that are acting in this layer. This is the next part of this blog.