|Management of Measurement Constructs
September 30, 2004Reading and Thinking
Social commentary throughout the Information Age, some 20-25 years old now, believe it or not, has seen the rise of the computer and the internet as a depression upon writing, books, thinking and discourse. Just as robotics in industry 40 years ago was heralded as a substitute for people-power, so the computer was a threatening substitute for learning by self-application; now you can press a button and get an answer. –But where is the understanding, the human involvement, the creative thinking about the use of information?
Book sales in the astrology market are decidedly down, scarily down –and this applies to other markets as well. A fine, fine astrology book will sell perhaps 4,000 copies over three years. Thirty years ago, pre-computer, that book might very reliably sell 15,000 copies in the same period of time. [the twelve-volume “Principles and Practice of Astrology” in the 1970s sold over 250,000 copies.]
People are not reading to learn as they used to. They want the fast answer, the short answer, and coincidentally often the shallow answer to questions.
On the Forum, there are approximately 1400 postings per month, quite a high number. Perhaps 100 of those postings are initiating questions about astrology. –And I must point out, that with practically every question, the skilled astrologer can know which books the questioner has not read!
On the website there are 192 essays in neatly archived order, totaling some 185,000 words! What a library of learning! –Checking that library brings much reward.
I remember how proud astrologers used to be of their personal libraries. –How many books are in yours?
The point I want to make here is that we must learn our craft through study of astrological technique, but we must learn that technique with understanding … not necessarily speed. It is fair to suggest that understanding promises depth and speed presumes shallowness.
Do we know how to study in the face of the speed of the Internet, the availability of one-screen presentations?
Do we retain the values we were taught about understanding information and then thinking about how it becomes ours, personally, about how we use it?
For example, let’s consider the phenomenology of the Grand Trine. If you ask about the Grand Trine on the Forum, the quick answer is it is a major defense construct linking behaviors into a protective closed circuit. --But WHY is that so? Answering that question is when the magic of learning occurs, because understanding will substantiate knowing.
In the old books, trines were glories, easy channels, promissors of good fortune. –With the advent of the Psychological Age, these hand-me-downs had to be/could be rethought in realistic, humanistic terms rather than in theoretical, alchemical terms. –There is something more than the one-screen descriptive answer; there is more behind the screens.
If we see the planets as symbols of behaviors, we see behaviors in a Grand Trine linked together. They work with each other, not with anything else. They are self-contained. Then we continue: behavioral circuits that are self-contained are very strong, but they are isolating. Isolating with strength is defensive. If there is a tremendous statement of defense there must be something to defend against. What is THAT?? --This is how my learning about Trines became understanding and was personalized in a freshly formed application of the measurement construct. After much research along these lines, I submitted to our field that Grand Trines were massive defense mechanisms of self-sufficiency (in particular Elemental groups), working against relationships. This is so in our modern time, and it can not be refuted. [See Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology, pages 284-302]
Deeper contemplation of what was being learned helped birth something powerfully insightful and new. –We looked in and saw the depth of the Trine phenomenon and we focused it, applied it to the reality of present-day social conditions.
Each of us can do this if we approach learning sensitively, asking why, asking what does this mean further, and how can I use the deduction power within the social situation.
Each of us must want to do this or, as astrologers helping others, we remain entertaining hobbyists.
Some guidelines that can help us: Every time a major term hits our eyes like “Saturn Retrograde phenomenology, or The Maternal significances of the Lunar Nodal Axis, or Mutual Reception, or Hemisphere Emphasis, or Saturn Return” we should stop dead in our tracks and seek out the authoritative source of explanation about the subject, not look for 20-50 words on a computer screen that barely scratch the surface. WHY is the Saturn-retrograde situation so deeply critical, WHY is the mother involved in Nodal symbolism, etc.? When we know these answers, we understand; when we understand we are enriched, and our talent matures.
Next, I think it is extremely important to realize that using the astrology we learn is dependent NOT on learning more astrology, but on learning more about life. To accomplish that objective means we must have a study/reading program –perhaps one or two books a month— with books that are not involved with astrology, that are self-help books written by doctor specialists … or out-and-out psychological or psychiatric textbooks about topics like Early Family Difficulties, Sibling Rivalries, Managing Anger, Concomitants of Self-Esteem, etc.
–The bibliography pages of our books remain all too easily un-inspected. In my later books, I have specified in bold-faced type books in the bibliographies that are eminently accessible and helpful. You will not go wrong with these books. They teach about life, and through our astrological skills we can use that life information to enrich our skill, our art, our service to others. –And we can learn so much like this in the “Counseling Insights” essay section on this website, even if we are not yet seeing clients.
And a third guideline is to work hard to integrate our growing knowledge, one area synthesized with another area --Self-worth anxieties integrated with giving and receiving love integrated with relationships integrated with job performance; we will find measurement constructs flowing together as well. This creates our analytical art. –And that is what is facilitated by mastery of “Rulership Networks” [see Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology, pages 225-270.]
***Thank you for reading my free-speak about the learning process, which I deem holy. It is to help us grow. --And we can actually see this happening on the Forum: witness the growing skills of the convicted students practicing with the Midheaven Extension Technique of Vocational Profiling. Practice does make perfect, and the growth through study has been dramatically evidenced in the work of many on the Forum.
That’s why we’re here. That’s why this website is so respected throughout the world.
Thank you for being part of this effort and service with me.
Next Update: October 30, 2004