|Management of Measurement Constructs
October 31, 2003The Importance of Context
Einstein said, “Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
What an intriguing saying! It tumbles the mind, but it’s not simple to understand! What was the professor saying?
I’ve come to the conclusion that the meaning of this observation is that reduction of observations to their simplest elements affords clarity and supports effective explanation but, going further with that process, takes observation out of context and threatens to deny the whole.
In philosophical science, there is a term reductio ad absurdum, which is a disproof of a proposition by showing an absurdity to which it can lead when followed to its own logical conclusion.
Einstein is saying that if we break things down to their simplest integration, that very integration (togetherness, wholeness) can be threatened if we go too far. If the integration is broken, the whole does not exist; the absurdity of the part is revealed because its context within the whole is abandoned.
We know that the Moon is dependent upon the Sun for its light, AND for its astrological significance. It can not be otherwise: the Moon uses the Sun’s energy to radiate through the personality, to energize the fulfillment thrust for the reigning Need complex of the personality. –As well, we can not study the Sun without seeing its light reflected upon the Moon. In fact, that might be the only practical way to appreciate the Sun itself, otherwise we burn our retina, we scorch our understanding, we bias our approach, we lose context with the very beginning of individuation in our world. [Remember: the Moon orbits the Earth, is pertinent to us with its light, in a complex epicycle].
This is why Sun-sign astrology fails so quickly: it denies the integration, the context of the individuating base symbolized by the Moon, which then is amplified by the Sun’s light reflected upon the other planets, to one degree or another. –How often in our discussions do we state, “We need more information about the horoscope positions; we need to have more than this or that fragment!?
If we have the Sun in Pisces and the Moon in Capricorn, we have something entirely different from the Sun in Pisces or the Moon in Capricorn. We have a blend that is as simple as it is primal: the Sun and the Moon, the two lights of life, are together in inviolable context. --To make this simpler is impractical because it goes against the basic integration of being, it isolates that which belongs together.
The Sun in Pisces and Moon in Capricorn –this blend, establishes sensitivity through the need to make things happen, to administer ambition. We have the idea of the feeling businessperson. The abstract and the concrete, the ideal and the practical, the visionary and the actual are all blended together to put the personality forward. –There’s no way to break that up, to make it simpler.
Let’s add to this a Mars position. If that Mars is viewed unto itself symbolically, e.g., Mars in Leo, while that is important in the early learning process, it must be integrated within the fundament of the personality to be significant. –In relation to the Sun in Pisces and the Moon in Capricorn, Mars in Leo would favor the Capricorn channel of the Moon for integration, perhaps ‘getting away with murder’, so to speak. BUT, what if that Mars were retrograde or diffused in relationship with Neptune? Would the integration then ease over to the Piscean energy flow? Yes. The application of energy would be filtered through censorship, editing, a second agenda, a delay somehow.
New contexts are established with the addition of every new measurement. The integration is the goal of synthesis. Reductio ad absurdum occurs when we go too far, when we go against holism in our effort to understand, to simplify. Our efforts are dysfunctional when we leave the human being behind, when we do not appreciate the integration of observations within personality development. Context affords sensibility.
I think there is a connection here between the discussion prompted by Einstein’s intriguing statement and the “Uncertainty Principle” of Karl Heisenberg (1901-1976). Heisenberg postulated that measurement-evaluations are changed by the very act of our measuring, by our interpretation of them; that the laws of physics are relative probabilities rather than absolute certainties.
In this light, we can postulate our own operational theorem: our understanding of astrological constructs actually integrates them further than the predisposition of Nature does.
Let’s appreciate the power of synthesis, the eventual simplicity of its significance when we have it in our grasp. Let’s not defeat ourselves with the fractures that occur when we depart from the context of individual wholeness and developmental reality, when we extol the parts at the expense of the integrated personality.
Next Update: November 30, 2003