The evolutionary benefit of instrumental religious truths – Discussion

Home Forums Spirituality & Philosophy The evolutionary benefit of instrumental religious truths – Discussion

  • bella
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    Bret Weinstein is an evolutionary biologist (soft typed as NiTe)

     

    The hypothesis of cultural evolution, which has now has been sufficiently tested to be regarded as a theory—of human cultural evolution, is the invention of Richard Dawkins, who in 1976 in The Selfish Gene coined the term ‘meme’ as an analog for gene; it’s a unit of cultural evolution.
    The genome creates a brain that is capable of being infused with culture after an individual person is born.
    If culture was evolving to do things that were not in the genome’s interest they would effectively be wasting the time and resources that the genetic individual has access to on frivolous things at best. So the genome would shut down frivolous culture were it a very common commodity. So the theory of memes tells us that there is a process, very much like the one that shapes our genomes, at work in the cultural layer.
    That does not mean, however, that the cultural evolving layer is free of obligation to the genome. In fact, the cultural layer is downstream, and one of the things that we have repeatedly gotten wrong is we have attempted to just simply extend the rules of adaptive evolution as we have learned them from other creatures and apply them to human beings, and it leads to some unfortunate misunderstandings.
    The fact that we are primarily culturally informed tells us that culture serves the genetic interests almost all of the time.
    Which is to say, if you look at a long-standing cultural trait, it doesn’t matter what it is—whether it’s music or religion or humor—all of those things must be paying for themselves in terms of genetic fitness.
    Once we’ve recognized that, we can skip to the much more interesting question of: “in what way do some of the remarkable cultural structures that we see serve genetic interests?”
    Some of them seem absolutely paradoxical if we try to imagine that they are serving our genomes, and yet that is the conclusion that we have to reach when we realize that the genome is not only tolerating the existence of that culture, but it is facilitating its acquisition.
    This suggests a very odd state of affairs for human beings, in which we have minds that are programmed by culture and that can be completely at odds with our genomes.
    And it leads to misunderstandings of evolution, like the idea that religious belief is a mind virus—that effectively these belief structures are parasitizing human beings, and they are wasting the time and effort that those human beings are spending on that endeavor, rather than the more reasonable interpretation, which is that these belief systems have flourished because they have facilitated the interests of the creatures involved.
    Our belief systems are built around evolutionary success and they certainly contain human benevolence—which is appropriate to phases of history when there is abundance and people can afford to be good to each other.
    The problem is, if you have grown up in a period in which abundance has been the standard state you don’t anticipate the way people change in the face of austerity.
    And so what we are currently seeing is messages—that we have all agreed are unacceptable—reemerging, because the signals that we have reached the end of the boom times, those signals are everywhere and so people are triggered to move into a phase that they don’t even know that they have.
    Despite the fact that human beings think that they have escaped the evolutionary paradigm, they’ve done nothing of the kind; And so, we should expect the belief systems that people hold to mirror the evolutionary interests that people have rather than to match our best instincts.
    When we are capable of being good to each other because there’s abundance, we have those instincts; and so it’s not incorrect to say that human beings are capable of being marvelous creatures and being quite ethical.
    Now I would argue there’s a simple way of reconciling the correct understanding—that religious belief often describes “truths” that in many cases fly in the face of what we can understand scientifically—with the idea that these beliefs are adaptive.
    I call it the state of being literally false and metaphorically true. A belief is literally false and metaphorically true if it is not factual, but if behaving as if it were factual results in an enhancement of one’s fitness.

    Some questions for you guys…

    What is your position on the notion of preserving religious ideas for the sake of their instrumental evolutionary benefit?

    Would you differentiate between various categories within religious ideas?

    Do you think there are alternative ways of receiving the social and evolutionary benefits of “literally false and metaphorically true” religious truths and if so what are they?

     

    Auburn
    Keymaster
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: l--l
    • Attitude: Adaptive

    What is your position on the notion of preserving religious ideas for the sake of their instrumental evolutionary benefit?

    I don’t agree with the notion, logically or ethically.

    Even if there were practical benefits that we were getting from religious beliefs when we were more ignorant of the sciences, I don’t think we can get those benefits now after knowing what we do —unless we pretend we don’t, or stop seeking the highest truth. This is because I believe that there is also a disadvantage in not acting faithful to what you know to be most true. This disadvantage is personal, at the level of cognitive dissonance, and social at the level of institutional misdirection.

    I think that there’s a scalable cultural disadvantage when people don’t hold true to what they know to be the most accurate view— or when we’re not pushing for the highest truth to be broadcasted and elevated in our zeitgeist. In the 21st century, keeping these instrumental religious beliefs comes at the compromise of other mental/emotional faculties — which, if we cultivated to their fullness, may lead somewhere new and far better.

    For example, we don’t yet know the full capacities that secularism may have in the world, for offering good. If we don’t hold to the ‘truest’ version of facts that we know, but instead hold onto useful but false notions, then it’s like we don’t wanna let go of the rope and journey forward. But what if secular thought leads the way towards genetic engineering of disease out of our society. What if it leads to immortality and exploration of the stars. What if secularism leads to “heaven on earth”, by being forthright about the state of the world and addressing problems with science and innovation rather than faith in other metaphorical powers?

    Secularism, being literally true, can create for us a reality that mirrors or surpasses the tales we previously told, which were metaphorical and false.

    In that sense, I believe the power of prioritizing what is literally true, is more instrumental in the long run (and short run) to human society. Honesty has always been the best policy, and it will continue to be so. We have no choice but to adapt to our new knowledge. Individuals can vary in their religious beliefs for now, but as a whole, as a human species — our conscience won’t let us rest, nor will we get the benefit out of it anymore. It’s like realizing Santa’s not real. Nothing can really bring back the ‘magic’ of Christmas. (Actually I never bought into Santa, but you get the idea). We could only sustain this benefit with genuine ignorance. Sustaining it now comes at another cost that may outweigh the previous benefit.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Auburn.
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    Grayishness
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    Ah, I remember reading a book called “Spiral Dynamics” which expanded on Richard Dawkin’s idea of a “meme” along with some research done by a psychologist named Clare Graves. In the book they outlined the evolutionary values that we’ve developed in parallel to our cultures and (I’m assuming) religions throughout history. That being said, preserving religious ideas in my opinion isn’t as important as preserving the values or “memes” that arises as a result of those ancient religious ideas.

    In fact, I agree with Auburn to an extent simply because one of the “memes” we’ve developed over the past couple of centuries is scientific thought/truth, and behaving as if previous religious ideas is true would be counterproductive to that meme and therefore would inhibit growth. The way we receive the social and evolutionary benefits of ancient religious ideas is by integrating the positive values/culture that was produced and is (according to Dawkins, Graves, etc.) still embedded within our genome. We do not have to behave as if they were true to do so, but instead adapt those values to our current understanding of culture and reality. Things like initiation and ritual/tradition for an example, can be adapted into our lifestyle without stepping on the toes of our present and future “memes”.

    bella
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    @Auburn I completely agree with what you wrote. I don’t think humans should hide from what they know to be truth or pretend to believe what they know to be literally false (or worse – teach fallacies to others) just for the sake of a contextual benefit, and I think that in the long term — acting this way would lead to far more damage than benefit both individually and collectively.

    That being said, I would like to try to challenge this a bit because I do think there a deeper complexity to this matter.

    One question I would like to propose is – do we not all hold to some “literally false and metaphorically true” ideas for benefit? One example of this might be free will. As Peterson says, even if free will is not scientifically true, we act as if it true. I think this is not because we are fooling ourselves in a literal sense, but because we are unconsciously aware that the notion of fee will is benefiting us.

    Other examples of this might be human rights or freedom.  Prof. Yuval Noah Harari for example thinks that much like many religious ideas, human rights are an outdated myth.

    Myths. We tend to think they’re a thing of the past, fabrications that early humans needed to believe in because their understanding of the world was so meagre. But what if modern civilisation were itself based on a set of myths? This is the big question posed by Professor Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, which has become one of the most talked about bestsellers of recent years. In this exclusive appearance for Intelligence Squared, Harari will argue that all political orders are based on useful fictions which have allowed groups of humans, from ancient Mesopotamia through to the Roman empire and modern capitalist societies, to cooperate in numbers far beyond the scope of any other species.

    To give an example, Hammurabi, the great ruler of ancient Babylon, and the US founding fathers both created well-functioning societies. Hammurabi’s was based on hierarchy, with the king at the top and the slaves at the bottom, while the Americans’ was based on freedom and equality between all citizens. Yet the idea of equality, Harari will claim, is as much a fiction as the idea that a king or rich nobleman is ‘better’ than a humble peasant. What made both of these societies work was the fact that within each of them everyone believed in the same set of imagined underlying principles. In a similar vein, money is a fiction that depends on the trust that we collectively put in it. The fact that it is a ‘myth’ has not impeded its usefulness. It has become the most universal and efficient system of mutual trust ever devised, allowing the development of global trade networks and sophisticated modern capitalism. (Source)

    If indeed even the most modern human societies today believe in ideas that are literally false but are instrumental, is it our job to move past these myths too? Myths such as human rights and freedom?

    I would actually say that the answer is yes.  Those who are aware of this, should bring it to the consciousness of the collective.  However, my personal approach (which has changed through the years) is that this should be done ‘wisely’ – that is, we should know our audience, we should know when to break myths and the consequences of that, and we should be aware that if we have not alternative to offer we may be causing more damage than good (at least in the short term).  This is more on an individual level of action.

    But from a more meta vantage point, that aims to analyze how reality is likely to unfold rather then instruct how to act, I would say the process that would happen today is no different than the processes of the past (hey, I am sounding Si here.. what is this ><).  That is, the way it will likely unfold is that whatever myths – weather religious or more modern such as human rights – are still beneficial to society, they will persist as long as they haven’t finished serving their purpose.  People with more progressive views will continue to push those myths away, perhaps causing some short term damage, but ultimately leading to a healthier synthesis of integration.  And at every given point in history, even the most progressive thinkers will remain “religious” in the sense that they too will be unknowingly believing in fallacies that are serving instrumental values, until that society too will reach a higher level of consciousness and become aware of it.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by bella.
    Aletheia
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    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: ll-l
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    What is your position on the notion of preserving religious ideas for the sake of their instrumental evolutionary benefit?

    Coming from a psychoanalytical pov, I have a big problem with this kind of thinking. No religions should not be preserved for their ‘instrumental evolutionary benefit’. That goes for any type of paradigm that hearkens to a previous iteration of cultural norms. As Weinstein indicates, humans primarily evolve via culture, and as we become more consciously aware overall with the advancement of science, it’s necessary that our philosophical frameworks adjust to and allow the expansion of this direction. To try to do otherwise leads to the sort of chaos we see today, where those who identify with certain religious paradigms end up denying reality for the sake of being ‘faithful’ to their religious ideals.

    Religion represents an archaic modality of adaptation, in my opinion. Yes, every culture throughout history has developed a religious framework, but why? The way I’ve come to see it, religions are human’s organic approach to the question of how to live. They provide a world-view, code of ethics, perceived means of control against chaos, and a structure for community/familial relationships. But they do come from a primitive place, and easily play into the fantasies of the psychologically demented as well. The primary problem I have with (most) religions is that they assert fantastical, archetypally-based ideas as literal facts and this distracts from an acceptance of reality as it actually is. The archetypal nature of these ideas also makes them very prone to become ‘hooks’ which hold believers back from not only successfully adapting to reality, but from psychologically maturing. Religions like Christianity, for example, project what should be the individual process of integrating the Self and coming to consciousness onto a story of the Martyr-Savior. Instead of facing the reality of their Shadow and becoming truly accountable for their behavior, Christians belive that ‘Jesus died for their sins’ and so they are ‘forgiven’ and end up in denial of those aspects of themselves that are at the root of their ‘undesireable’ behavior. In addition to this, looking up to a martyr isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, inevitably it leads many with these beliefs to discredit their own value and become self-sacrificing and/or codependent. This is one of the most extreme examples, but so often instead of being functional tools, religions will curb proper alignment with the self and reality and lead to maladaptive ways of being.

    Religions provide an ethical framework, yes, but what kind of framework? All too often they aim to preserve toxic social concepts that should evolve out of our paradigms as they are recognized as incorrect or amoral. Racism, sexism and classism are all big topics that often get engendered into religious thinking and passed down with its doctrines. Often religions will turn the proper role of ethos on its head and condemn groups of people such as homosexuals for being ‘unethical’ by the twisted standards set by the religion. This isn’t even to mention the tribalism inherent to the identification with a religious group, and with tribalism so often comes a superiority complex and ethos which excludes and condemns others who are not as ‘holy’. In my opinion, adoption of a religious framework as one’s ethical basis presents far more problems than solutions.

    Would you differentiate between various categories within religious ideas?

    Yes, as I stated before “world-view, code of ethics, perceived means of control against chaos, and a structure for community/familial relationships.”

    Do you think there are alternative ways of receiving the social and evolutionary benefits of “literally false and metaphorically true” religious truths and if so what are they?

    Absolutely. I think if we were doing things right, we wouldn’t need belief in ‘gods’ or some outside force that judges us in order to align ourselves ethically and respect the social rights of others. We should be taught and it should be an integrated part of society, that we as human beings have intrinsic worth. We should be raised with self respect, and taught the importance of respecting others in order to maintain our own sense of integrity and honor human value in general. Instead of pride we should teach empathy. Instead of politics, the authentic well being and desire of the self should govern what we believe. And why would we need a fantastical description of reality when the point is to see and adapt to reality itself? The human mind needs meaning and direction to become motivated, yes, but why can’t we live by the fact of our own self-generated meaning? I think that a better way of existence will come when we are disillusioned to the fantasies of religion and the other archaic social structures that hold us back from directly interfacing with reality.

    EDIT: lol took me so long to write this, I missed the rest of the conversation taking place >,< But @bella just to comment on your comparison of religious ideas to the concept of human rights, I don’t think these things are exactly equivalent. Human rights are usually very directly derived from our physical, literal needs and are essential to the regulation of society. They have a very concrete basis. Religious ideals, on the other hand, tend to be more extrapolated and attempt to structure human behavior/society in a way that is more ideal than directly necessary. Therefore human rights aren’t as far removed from reality as religious ideas. I wouldn’t define human rights as ‘myths’ as they aren’t archetypal derivations, but something like a ‘social method’ which is directly applicable and rational.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Aletheia.
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    indigo81
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    I feel like there might be some confusion here? Richard Dawkin’s argued in his book that Meme’s DON’T need to be tied to genetic advantages. A piece of art, song, story etc. Doesn’t have to serve evolutionary purposes, they exist for their own sake. In fact a Meme could detrimental to someone’s evolutionary survival. You might think genetics would destroy a Meme like that, but what if it’s impossible to create an intelligent brain that can solve problems and think abstractly that is also not interested in art or religion ?

    On the other hand Meme’s may often be tied to genetic advantages, which is why it might not make sense to just reject old religious traditions. I guess that’s part of what makes it odd that Richard Dawkins decided to go on some weird anti-religious crusade in his old age ? Eh I don’t get it.

    One thing that’s interesting is that modern humans who are religious, they have more babies than secular people by far, so presumably they could eventually swamp the rest of the population. (regardless of what *should* happen).

     

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by indigo81.
    Rua
    Moderator
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    • Development: ll-l
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    The fact that we are primarily culturally informed tells us that culture serves the genetic interests almost all of the time.

    I think this statement of Weinstein’s is less true than it has ever been. Most of the billions of human beings that exist on the planet today live in artificial environments so far removed from natural selectors that it boggles the mind. I question the value found in continuing to marry genetics primarily shaped by natural selection with far less stable cultural changes. Nature has never heard of subsidies. Selfishness endures beyond the millions of minor genetic mutations, a greed that tells us we can accomplish anything, that any costs of ‘progress’ will always be offset by its boons. Even if there was the will for it, we possess no way to measure potential gains against the destruction of so many thousands of unaccounted for variables. There’s no need to hold a vote about whether humanity wants technology and improved quality-of-life regardless of cost, regardless of perceptions of scarcity or abundance; our actions are more than loud enough.

    This is very much related to Harari’s statement that, “What made both of these societies work was the fact that within each of them everyone believed in the same set of imagined underlying principles. In a similar vein, money is a fiction that depends on the trust that we collectively put in it.” Money is just as much an abstraction, as much a shared myth as God, but money can be quantified; this allows money to be the absolute, universal measure of human value today. I would argue that, in practicality, belief in God and religion has already been subsumed by a larger belief in money. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Agnostics/Atheists worship Capitalism in shared temples.

    The question secularists should be asking (in terms of converting individuals to secularism) is, “What do religious individuals believe they are gaining from investing in religion that secularism is not perceived as offering?” Religious priority appears to offer a stable sense of individual and collective purpose. This feeds into the issue of human religious institutions’ inherently slow-moving machinery. I believe that many individuals intuit that cultural changes lack the promise of stability that the slow-moving world religions offer. Culture is not a stable source of identity or meaning; secular cultural practices reflect the times, they don’t promise to transcend them as religions do. I am of the opinion that widespread access to psychedelics could be a feasible, individually low-effort avenue to undermine religious myths and expose the absurd and beautiful meaninglessness of individual human experience; no surprise then that the few religions that do allow for psychedelics do so only in explicitly religious contexts 😉

    How can one be convinced to give up the promise of stability for the reality of instability, absent direct experience that shows the latter to be preferable to the former? Perhaps the study of ex-cult members could be a really useful guidepost here, as the most common pattern I’ve noticed for these individuals is [believer in major religion/ believer in a cult that promises greater meaning/ disillusionment and transition to primarily secular existence].

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    Bera
    Moderator
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Seelie

    In that sense, I believe the power of prioritizing what is literally true, is more instrumental in the long run (and short run) to human society.

    There are two issues here I would like to address.

    One is that we don’t actually know the truth. We don’t KNOW if God exists or not. We have different views about it, that’s all.

    The second is we are active creators of our reality. The world is – in great part- what we shape it to be by how we look at it. We can choose to look at it from different angles and we will see something different from each of them. And our experience vastly changes depending on what we choose to look at and how we choose to look at it. And on the stories we tell ourselves.

    So, about Santa. :))) I don’t think the main issue is if he exists. I think the main issue is that children understand that :

    a. there are consequences of their actions, so, there will be a difference between being naughty and being nice, as their behavior directly impacts the world around them and the world responds accordingly;

    b. there is an abundance of possibilities and in order to obtain what you want it is beneficial to set a clear intention (as in the case of writing a letter to Santa, mentioning what it is that you wish);

    c. there is something beyond the mundane world, there is somewhere to leap, the idea of transcendence.

    The rest is a colorful story we created around these issues. You don’t have to abandon it and think the magic of Christmas is gone, you need to synthesize it and distill the message, what you were meant to learn from it.

    Your behavior and hence your path change depending on your beliefs. And beliefs are not created and manipulated simply by stating scientific facts. You need stories, imagery, characters to relate to, role models etc. If the data given can not be arranged into such a story, you will not be able to extract any guidelines for your life.

    But then you’d probably say stories are not the truth and I agree, they are not. They are used to bend the truth (the current situation), hence they MUST be different from the truth.

    And religion has always done that, of course. Told stories to make people change their framework and their behavior. But the thing is eliminating all forms of religion is not the solution, since people still need to have a certain belief system to work with, as this is our inherent wiring.

    I will give an example of an anti religious view – God is dead. :)) This is a good story, visually powerful, emotionally touching, quite convincing, though probably less fruitful than God is alive. Point is – it’s still a story. You still have the main character, God, and a dramatic action, he was killed, he is dead now. You can use it as a frame of reference (which I don’t recommend 🙂 ) but it’s still not the objective truth.

    They are all stories. We can judge their utility, we can judge the agenda behind them. We can use them for growth or for destruction. But there is no escape from them anyway, hence trying to escape is, in my opinion, a fruitless endeavor. It’s better to use what we have to our advantage and weave it together in the way that makes most sense to us, being aware this is our perception of the world, by which we are constructing our own path, our own future.

    Now, I don’t know if religion itself gives us an evolutionary advantage. I think you have the best advantage by choosing what is useful from different religions and putting it together into your own world view, remaining open to new discoveries and quite skeptical about factual assertions coming from a religious authority, as that is not what you need from religious authorities, you just need good stories that you can work with.

    Also, you say here :

    What if it leads to immortality and exploration of the stars. What if secularism leads to “heaven on earth”, by being forthright about the state of the world and addressing problems with science and innovation rather than faith in other metaphorical powers?

    In my opinion, it can’t, because it does not offer what we are looking for. We don’t look for comfort, we look for transcendence and meaning. You can for sure create a good secular story, which might actually work temporarily, but then :

    1. you would not be stating the pure truth, you would still be telling a story, only a secular one.

    2. you would only provide meaning, not the possibility of transcendence.

    I think this is part of why purely secular systems like this have failed. Communism provided meaning and based itself on a good narrative, but it cut out the idea of transcendence. We can argue it failed for other reasons though, but I am pretty sure the general spiritual dryness contributed to its demise in some former communist countries (Romania being included).

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Bera.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Bera.
    Starshade
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Seelie

    Sounds nice, I think we are beating against limitations of the human psyche if we discussing doing something with an intrinsic point of view. I used to be adherent to intrinsic truth, trying to see what the truth is, finding out what is trickery, and seek the intrinsic, truth for its own sake.

    I also used to judge christianity quite harsh, basically as a failed definite-state (logically rigid) self replicating meme machine worshipping fake prophets using gullible mockeries of priests and lay people hoping for salvation and doing deeds, turning philosophically “fat” and lazy knowingly, knowing their instrumental path choosen of service grants eternal paradise… I found a lot of religions so horrible I willingly would turn away from it, anyway, as unsound, due to obviously being.. Not”fake”, abuse of prophets, messengers and unusual legacies turning turgid.

    The hope of salvation, having earned goodwill, saved up favours for later, hinges upon failed worldviews, maybe. Still this is what they have, can have. Feeling of doing good, doing good deeds, even if it’s not true. If we reject instrumental religious truths, can we have intrinsic ones if people would cling to obsolete ones? Would old widows benefit from discarding her entire life’s hope?

    A second example:

    See towards Stonehenge. The Old Archaeological Order of Druids and Ovates were founded by people reading old, now obsolete papers on Druidism. I know they are not up to date; but there is no way to handle that. Archaeologists do tell them things, if asked. But they do drumming, dancing and walk in robes still, at wrong time at the year, in funny, non-correct places for ceremonies. In wrong costumes.

    Doing it wrong.

    Do it matter? And how?

    Personally, I still seek truth, and reject failed systems, theories and worldviews. Not all seem able to. I have learned to see nuances, shades of grey, and discovered there is many truths, half-truths. And lifepaths.

    Bera
    Moderator
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Seelie

    I know they are not up to date; but there is no way to handle that. Archaeologists do tell them things, if asked. But they do drumming, dancing and walk in robes still, at wrong time at the year, in funny, non-correct places for ceremonies. In wrong costumes.

    This is how I used to feel about modern astrology as compared to traditional astrology. And I imagine some of our members would probably feel the same about tropical vs. sidereal astrology.

    I will try to explain the issue but it is only an example. So, traditional astrology was operating with the following celestial bodies – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn.

    Each of these has a corresponding day of the week. Sun and Moon each have one corresponding sign they rule. Each planet has 2 signs it rules. It goes like :

    Sun rules Leo – Mercury rules Virgo – Venus rules Libra- Mars rules Scorpio-Jupiter rules Sagittarius – Saturn rules Capricorn

    Moon rules Cancer – Mercury rules Gemini – Venus rules Taurus – Mars rules Aries – Jupiter rules Pisces – Saturn rules Aquarius

    If you look at it, you will see a system of steps, going from Sun and Moon to Saturn or from Saturn to Sun and Moon.

    This is much more complex, as planets don’t only rule signs, there is also exaltation, exile, fall, triplicity…this is a very complex system but I just wanted to show you its skellie or rather its spine.

    So, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto entered the picture and they did not fit in. Because this system was already complete. Any addition is obviously unfitting.

    But people felt like these should be added in. So, here they are – Uranus ruling Aquarius, Neptune ruling Pisces and Pluto ruling Scorpio (alongside the traditional rulers).

    As soon as I discovered how this system was built, I was appalled by these modern additions.

    But many people successfully use Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in their predictions and have integrated the specific planet values into a logical framework. I can easily find experiences I had that corresponded neatly with these planets’ transits. I am currently exploring every spiritual system I heard of like a maniac while Neptune is peacefully transiting my 9th house. I can look at the modern system and see it as making sense. Or I can look at the old system and it makes sense too.

    I think this is because all these systems are just frameworks that assist us in using our minds to create synchronistic events or to understand synchronistic events which are already clustering around us. So, I think Neptune itself does not represent some spiritual awakening, Uranus itself does not represent a revolution…but if we ascribed them these meanings, they do. And not only as in “they do to us, in a subjective way”, but as in…they really do. Neptune will transit Pisces and many people will indeed feel an awakening. Or Jupiter joined Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn and a pandemic striked, with all the associated social and economic problems.

    But traditional astrologers could say pretty much the same  by only looking at Saturn and Jupiter (without Pluto) and maybe corroborating their conjunction with these planets being aligned to a fixed star or being in mutual reception with another planet etc. They would use slightly different methods and still reach a similar result.

    This was a long explanation, but the point is – in my opinion, it does not matter if contemporary druids do their rites at the times prescribed by old teachings. Contemporary druids just need to have a spiritual system that makes sense to them and rituals that help them reach …a state of mind instrumental for spiritual development.

    Modern astrologers don’t need to use the traditional rulerships, although they are beautiful and make much more sense than the modern ones. They just need a spiritual system which makes sense to them and build practices that help them project images on the sky and collect information back from the sky.

    So, basically, there seem to be some general rules which apply anyway, no matter what system you use. You just need a coherent system in order to properly work with energy.

     

    Bera
    Moderator
    • Type: SeFi
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Seelie

    Hey ! This discussion was so long ago, I already forgot what everyone said, I have to re read it.

    Someone I am following just posted a video where some of Bret Weinstein’s ideas are explained very well. It’s also pretty entertaining, so I thought of sharing it here :

     

     

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Bera.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Bera.
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