I have been thinking quite a lot about astrology. Specifically, astrology/horoscopes. Zodiac signs. It’s kind of been infuriating me, to be honest. Because I’ve spent the last 10+ years studying various things in science, as well as spirituality, consciousness and existentialism. As I have developed a better understanding of each of these things, I have come to realize what so many people seem to completely miss.
When it comes to science and spirituality, we really have to watch the language that we use when discussing them. So much of it just comes down to this. I actually talked about this a little bit elsewhere in another blog post – The Truth Theory. I pretty much touched on the idea of “truth” not just being empirical, and that there are different kinds of truths. We can’t use scientific language to talk about intersubjective experiences, it doesn’t quite work.
This is where astrology and signs come in. I’m just gonna explain all of this the best way I know how. This might just sound like the ramblings of an idiot. It might be a bit sloppy but I’ll try to make it as coherent and cohesive as possible.
The position of the sun or moon does influence life on Earth. Life would not be what it is now without the moon pulling on our planet, keeping its rotational axis from shifting around and causing big, sporadic changes in seasonal temperatures. That’s fine. What I have a problem with is the notion that this same science somehow affects your personality in the same way. Because at that point, we’re talking about two completely different domains. 3rd person, empirical science and 1st person, intersubjective consciousness.
There’s a natural law that the physical world has to uphold, one that it is not allowed to stray from. And though I as a human being am part of that physical world and am in it, my emotions do not work the same way.
When we talk about things within that 3rd person, objective domain, there is a certain language we use. Like the world location, for example. Physical objects have a location – planets, moons, stars, etc. The Earth. However, anger and pettiness do not have a location. Emotions do not have a location. Because they’re not objects.
Emotions are strictly a 1st person, conscious experience that is characterized by intense mental activity – temperament, personality, mood – it’s all within that 1st person, intersubjective domain. No location, and no, they’re not located in the brain because if they were, you’d be able to cut my brain open and physically touch them and slap them down on a table to examine objectively.
You can hook me up to a machine and see that I have certain brain activity while experiencing these emotions, but you can’t simply reduce them to brain activity. I can see an apple in my head but if you look in my brain, you won’t see an apple. Science can’t account for this. This is my intersubjective consciousness and it does not play by those rules. So how can these things operate the same way as things in the 3rd person, objective domain?
Because they would have to, if the idea of your personality being impacted by astrology is true. If horoscopes are true. But if we can’t use scientific language to talk about emotions – if I can’t use terminology like “location,” length,” “width,” height,” ‘distance,” “weight,” etc. to discuss emotions, anger, jealousy, happiness…how can they be affected by the location of the moon? There’s no correlation. There’s no connection. How are they connected?
These two things do not operate by the same laws. My emotions are not a scientific law, they’re not bound to any of that. You can’t even point to them, you can’t hear, smell, taste, touch or see them. In that sense, they have no connection to the physical realm.
“No, but, the same way the location of the moon causes tidal effects on Earth, it also affects your mood and personality.”
How? How does that work? Emotions don’t work the same way the planetary system does. We can’t even use the same language and terminology to talk about them. Emotions are not planets, they’re not stars. They’re not bound to a gravitational pull. Why are you trying to talk about them as if they’re objects floating around in space?
You’re ignoring my intersubjective, conscious experience – which is not objective, it’s not something you can empirically measure like a molecule or an atom or a frog. The moon affecting Earth makes sense because they are both physical objects playing by the same laws of physics. Something physical interacting with something else physical – makes sense. Something physical interacting with something non physical doesn’t make sense.
You have to think about these things in a different way. Scientific theories require the accumulation of empirical evidence that is consistent with a hypothesis. To talk about emotions, we don’t use that same empirical process. So clearly they’re not the same thing, they don’t operate the same way.
Update: I’ve found something online that really helps explain my point.
If there’s information that contradicts or disproves anything I wrote here, I’d love to read/here it.