Astrology: Breaking the cause-effect chain
I had written in the previous blog about the differences between data-accumulation systems and logic based system. I had further said how the reality around us can be considered to be an accumulation of data, where “the changes” can be considered as data. As these changes or data accumulate, paths get created sustained and extended, thus forming paths of existence that get rendered in various descriptive forms in this reality around us. Further it should be seen that these are the same changes that accumulate in a certain pattern to create knowledge and agents of knowledge. In this blog, I want to explain more about how such a data-accumulation system breaks the chain of “cause and effect” system that we live in.
First, what is the unbreakable cause/effect chain? In our world and according to all our logic, every occurrence has a cause. The simplest way to explain this is using creation. We ask ourselves, “How is a stone formed?”, we answer, “it is a collection of molecules of various materials.” We then ask ourselves “what are the molecules made of?”, “it is made of atoms”, “what are atoms made of?”, “it is made of electrons/protons/neutrons”, what are electrons made of? and so on it goes. We look at an effect and find a cause for that effect to be present. The problem with such a logic is that the cause and effect chain is infinite. I can keep going on and on with the same question, in this case, “What is X made of?” recursively. So, the sequence that repeats itself is: “What is X made of?”, it is made of Y. Now repeat the question and answer replacing the X with Y, and we get the next question and answer and so one it goes. There can be no end in a cause-effect chain. Another example, “where are we present?”, “on earth.”, “where is earth present?”, “In the galaxy”, “where is galaxy present?”, “in milky way”. You got the picture, it keeps going, till we do not know the answer. There is no end. We can keep going till we know the answer and search for the cause of an effect, when we do not know and we may find it, but it does not stop there. This keeps going further and further and we will still have a cause and effect. This is the unbreakable cause-effect chain.
How can this end? When can we break this chain of cause and effect? To break this, we need to understand the reason behind its existence. “Why does the cause and effect chain exist?” “Cause-effect” is a direct consequence of a “logic based system”. Defining rationality and irrationality is the reason for cause and effect. Taking a mathematical example, if, we considered “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” as a series of integers, then “6, 7, 8” belongs to the series while “1.1, 1.2, 1.3” does not belong to the series, because we described the series as a series of integers! This is rationalising i.e., a thought that makes sense to us. And it becomes logic. There is no reason other than an established logic defined by us, that says whether a number belongs to the series or not. A number is a meaning that is associated by us and that to which we have associated the meaning just exists. There is no reason other than our awareness, for the number to exist or not exist, nor is there any other reason other than our association of it to a series or not which makes it belong to a series or not. So, purely attaching a meaning and adding rationalisation to it is the only reason why a number is present and is associated with a series.
Similarly, in the above example of cause-effect chain, where we ask, “what is a stone made of?”, “We have clubbed together a limitation and a description to create a rationalisation or a logic, to which we have given a name of stone.” Hence the question of “what is a stone made of?” occurs. Because we have the limited the description of the stone to just the observable properties, the subsequent question of “what is it made of?” occurs. This is called description or vAda or rendering. So, how is this connected to the underlying truth? The Brhat Parasara hora sastra asks this very question?
kathaM sRShTiriyaM jAtA jagatashca layaH katham
khasthAnAM bhUsthitAnAM ca sambandhaM vada vistarAt
How did the flow of creation produce the penetration of this movable/immovable and how is it destroyed? (how does) gaps exist continuously in the established becomes and (what is the) connection between description and this expanse?
We find that if we look at our reality as a “data-accumulation system”, “If this meaning, limitation and description is removed, then the stone is just a name given to some identifiable group of data within a whole set of heterogeneous data“. It is similar to a rendering of a scene of a game on a screen: The screen is homogeneously made of LEDs or LCD that has matrix of pixels that can be lit up by various colours. A group of pixels are lit in various colours to form a character of the game and that grouping is given a name. So, what is a game character made up of? Isn’t it just a name given to an effect of a rendering and nothing more and is related to the logic of rendering. It is not related to the existence of the game character in any other manner other than a translation of the representation of the game character. But, what is to be realised is, that even though the game character is just a name given to a group of lit up pixels, it is backed by the server logic which drives what happens to the character when we interact with the character. Thus, if we search for answers to questions related to just description or rendering, we will not understand nor see nor know the back-end that drives the character.
Similar to the game character, what we need to understand is that, there is a specific point in the thread of existence of all observables in reality, when a switch occurs from being just a data-accumulation to a logic-based existence. We exist, observing and acting in this logic-based system and hence rationalise and search for cause-effect chain. If we can we look at the data-accumulation system, before the switch to logic-based system occurs, everything should just boil down to boundaries drawn on accumulated data to which meaning is associated and rendered. The nature whose variation is detected as changes can be different and hence project a different capability. The changes detected can transition from one nature to another and group together to form and project a myriad of capabilities. But, the accumulation of data is the cause and the effect of anything that is detected in such a system. So, we see that when we look at a cause and effect chain in a data-accumulation system, the chain is broken, not because there is no cause/effect, it is still present. It breaks because the cause and the effect are the same, which is the accumulation of data. Vary the data or grouped accumulated, you will get the cause or the effect. But, since it is all just grouping of changes which is data, it boils down to the cause and the effect which is a change in the nature of the underlying truth.
Logically, we can ask the question what nature translates to what capability and can be answered. And by answering we get multitude from the single expanse of nature. But, the cause and effect are just that expanse of nature in which there is a pattern of concentration of various natures. The Brhat Parasara Hora sastra says this:
sUrya natvA grahapatiM jagadutpattikAraNam
vakShyAmi vedanayanaM yathA brahmamukhAcCautam
The cause for the movable/unmovable is nothing else other than appearance of the acquired pattern, the rendered guided by knowledge of the closely woven direction of creation.
So, the question we need to ask is why do we work as a logic-based system rather than a data-accumulation system? If the Surya Siddanta is read with the context of emergence of reality, while describing the sequence of steps by which the individuals emerge from that expanse of un-manifested with different distribution of varying concentrations of some set of natures, it tells us what is formed first is a “progression of a series” by the progression of continuous thoughts, obscuring the existence of multiple thoughts.:
kalpAdasamAcca manvaH ShaD vyatItAH sasandhayaH vaivasvatasya ca manoryugAnAM trighano gataH ||22||
aShTAviMshAdyugAdasmAdyAtametat kRtaM yugam ataH kAlaM prasantvayAya santvayAmekatra piNDayet ||23||
Appearance thus obscured by 6 thoughts progressing along with transitions also with that three series of thoughts connected to that thought, thus, twenty eight joints via that is connected, hence the progression of series of changes exists imperishable, exists imperishable as a single sphere
Once the obscuring of thought construction and its progression happens, then, this progression remains imperishable, hence it searches for changes that match the progression, rather than changing the progression for the data that is got. This, is where the switch between a pure data-accumulation system and a logic-based system occurs.
So, why is this important in astrology? What is very important to understand in all this is: All the translation of data-accumulation to logic based conversion is for individual self. This implies that the logic of each and every self should depend on the progression of changes that are accumulated. Which means that the logic created should be different for every accumulation. Hence trying to use this logic to predict anything becomes hugely unwieldy and cumbersome given the infinite possibilities that are present. But, when we look at the underlying accumulation, we find that the expanse in which the consolidation occurs can be considered a single contiguous whole in which changes are present and aggregated. If the logic based on which this aggregation occurs can be deduced, then we have a better chance of closely predicting the way things occur, as opposed to doing it using the logic-based system.
Read more on this topic in my upcoming book