Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fly by Night

It dawned on me. The reason I like driving late night, that is.

The lights are calibrated differently, and I can travel from here to there unstopped by  intersections. And from there to here. That's also attributed to the almost non-existent traffic in the hours I prefer.

I can sail through the night while still on solid ground. A most interesting combination. It's like bringing the earth up to me in a sort of reversal. Where exactly is the gravity?


Blogger kadimiros said...

"I can sail through the night while still on solid ground. A most interesting combination. It's like bringing the earth up to me in a sort of reversal."

In your moving car, the forward and downward accelerations combine as if to tilt the local vertical axis. (Imagine the MC-IC axis, normally associated with Capricorn-Cancer, tilting clockwise into the territories of Sagittarius and Gemini, moving from the levelness of earth-water to the aspirational motion of fire-air.) With windows closed to avoid air currents, a suspended pendulum will point downward and to the rear, and a helium-filled balloon tied with a long string to an object on the car's floor will tilt forward in the direction of travel.

But for orienting cues such as sight, you might think you were on the side of a hill, and that the road was leaning toward you. Most of our sense of balance comes from sight orientation, and secondarily from other internal sensing. (I once tried practicing a movement art routine with eyes closed; it was extraordinarily more difficult not to lose balance when executing a rapid turn.)

If there is a countering acceleration to gravity....Well, there are stories of confused pilots who realize to their horror, after exiting a cloud bank, that the "stars" in the sky were actually lighted houses and that, while they were cloud-blinded, their plane had gradually rolled upside-down and was accelerating toward the ground. Bodily senses did not evolve for flying blind, can be fooled, hence modern pilots under such conditions must trust instrumentation.

Perhaps there's more to your experience. You begin to approach an insight unknown to Newton with his laws of motion. In the Einsteinian, relativistic perspective, motion is relative; everything in the universe is in motion relative to other things. An apple falling to the ground is equivalent — without sophistry — to the ground (along with everything on the ground) accelerating upward to meet the apple.

Driving a car as a "flow experience" is very intriguing. I suspect there are connections too deep to easily do justice to them. If motion is relative, you could liken your car to a magical device wherein you sit, manipulate some controls, and the world shifts around you. Your car containing your body is like one of those nested dolls that encapsulate more dolls. In another way, so is your body because the body, with its sensory apparatus, is a mysterious construct, a door which opens onto many other doors. To adapt to less confined dimensions of existence where old rules don't apply, one must find new ways to orient oneself.

22/11/15 3:18 PM  
Blogger kadimiros said...

"Where exactly is the gravity?"

Ah...when you ask where is gravity in the context of motion, you enter dangerous territory, like unmasking a god to reveal his opposite. This is where renegade thinkers like Einstein went, and look what happened to him.

Your experience and question relate to orientation and gravity, and more.

Here, the storybook image of people lost in enchanted forests comes to my mind. How to unpack that image?

Well, it's true that people lost in wilderness — if somehow bereft of the sight of Sun, Moon or stars to guide them — unwittingly walk aimlessly in large loops and cross their own paths. There are no mischievous fairies from old tales magically leading them astray.

Fairies or no, this could seem to be a failure of free will; our travelers must be cleverer to escape the trap. Perhaps this can be something useful to think on with respect to psychology, philosophy or metaphysics. (Astrological travelers, take note: let us use the stars to ease and abet the exercise of creative will, not to deny it.)

I recall hearing that in Einstein's model of curved space-time, there is no gravitational force that pulls on us. If we want to believe in gravity fairies, some quantum theorists speculate about gravitons but those theories suffer from serious problems at this time.

Time and space are dimensional aspects of the same thing, so as you move through time, you accelerate through space. Then, the curving of the time dimension is responsible for your downward acceleration. Leap as high as you might, you cannot get away for long. You are constantly accelerating toward the center of the planet, and this constant acceleration is the effect called gravity.

Curved time affects what would otherwise be straight movements; it is behind the arcs of tossed balls, the orbits of satellites in free-fall around the Earth, the Moon around the Earth, and the planets around the Sun.

Here, as a memory aid, we could remember that astrological lore easily associates Saturn with words like weighty, serious, gravitas, gravity — but also time, and that Saturn (whose name comes Satu meaning sowing) was associated with the cyclical events of sowing and harvest. Perhaps we can take Saturn's rings as a visual link.

Astrologers no doubt would prefer to associate acceleration with Mars-ruled Aries rather than, say, Saturn-ruled Capricorn. (The inventor and astrologer Arthur M. Young, who designed the first Bell helicopter, associated the force formulas of physics with the zodiac; for example, acceleration with Aries, action with Sagittarius, and control with Capricorn.) Astrologers might take heart in noting that Einstein was born with the Moon in Sagittarius and with Mercury conjoining Saturn in the early degrees of Aries 10th house. So in a way it's appropriate that we recall his ideas today, while the Moon is in Aries and while Mercury has just entered Sagittarius to conjoin Saturn.

22/11/15 3:37 PM  
Blogger kadimiros said...

By the way, speaking of cycles of time, I just heard that this very week, this very month, this very year is the 100-year anniversary of Einstein's publication of his theory of general relativity. So that uncompromising and unconventional man of peace has been very much in the air, so to speak, around the world during this time period and influencing currents of mass thought whether or not people realize it.

23/11/15 8:10 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I wonder what effect he'll have on mass thought.

23/11/15 10:55 PM  
Blogger kadimiros said...

Well, it's been happening. Human experience must expand. And so it does.

Technology may come first. Not too long ago, flat earthers were strongly persuasive, and with a large following. But as people became able to travel quickly over long distances, as air travel and visual media became common enough that ordinary people could see the curve of the horizon, that earlier insecure clinging to the simplistic flat earth model became a curiosity and object of ridicule.

Technologically, culturally and psychologically, our society continues to change.

Our technology binds individuals together around the world, for good or ill. Now, its implications constantly come to the fore in current events, as humanity struggles to adapt, and members of rival tribes compete for mind-share. Necessity mothers invention, and then change pushes evolution. It is an uncomfortable process, but a necessary one.

Perhaps it will become common teaching in schools how relativistic effects already appear in our lives.

The metal gold is golden and resists chemical corrosion, and mercury is a liquid, because of relativistic effects. Relativistic corrections had to be incorporated into old cathode-ray televisions; the speed of the electrons incurred relativistic distortions that were noticeable.

Time runs slightly faster or slower for you depending on where you are on the planet, and at different distances above the ground. The GPS systems in smartphones and computerized cars use relativistic calculations, correcting for the differences in how time passes for satellites above the planet and how time passes on Earth. Otherwise, the handheld GPS maps would be far less accurate in identifying their holders' respective locations on Earth.

But let us look to the man for a broader and deeper answer. Einstein's way of thought was humble and very humanitarian because of its consistency and its breadth and depth of vision. His nuanced stances on political and other issues made him appealing and appear sympathetic to many groups. No doubt he'd continue to dissent with, or criticize, both ends of any political spectrum today.

He was deeply connected to humanity's concerns, and for his trouble received death threats. He took the strongest position advocating publicly against war as his closest friends at work became possessed by the fanatical nationalism of wartime Germany. He was a proponent of civil rights, and he was a signatory to a gay rights petition that ran for thirty years to influence high level thinkers.

In person, he was very attentive. He told "biting multifaceted jokes", and people felt intimately connected as he conversed with them.

Shifts to more global and far-reaching perspectives naturally have far-reaching consequences. This is likely to continue despite voices on opposite sides of any issue who argue for narrower, more confining policies.

Now, I think that an important point missed by many astrologists is that what appears unusual and striking in pioneering individuals will in later eras go relatively unremarked.

Many things formerly mocked, as Einstein's ideas — scientific, political, and social — were at first, became accepted truths as human experience and empirical demonstrations bore them out. If one believes that remarkable individuals have remarkable astrological aspects, later individuals will incorporate such ideas as a given and you may find no particular indication in their charts. They are no longer perverse outliers.

You could say that the very medium of astrological effects changes; indicators must be read with awareness of the times, the power of mass thought to shape reality — perhaps not unlike the bending of space-time by the mass of matter. Strong characters such as Einstein dream true dreams, accelerating the future, and so we began to live in the space-time of their dreaming.

24/11/15 11:38 AM  
Blogger jm said...

Good point.

I refrain from assigning remarkable characteristics to any aspects. Sometimes ordinary ones can bring about astonishing things. Sometimes the amazing ones do next to nothing. Same with transits which is why I never warmed to prediction. It's enjoyable to run through the possibilities, but that's all they are. Accurate psychic-like predictions are simple attempts to repair fractured egos. People might claim that they help and maybe they do. I know not. The charts are quite limited but they provide a beautiful blueprint.

It doesn't even take time to mitigate the supposed dramatic effects of aspects as the unusual becomes commonplace.

In the same light, as remarkable as Einstein was, I'm hesitant to assume he had extraordinary power to shape humanity in the long run. I think the human family shapes itself as it goes. If it weren't Alfred it would be someone else. I think individuals have limited power. People hook the power on others but the genuine source is elsewhere. Mass thought will do what it does. Heroes will continue to materialize.

24/11/15 12:49 PM  
Blogger kadimiros said...

"Sometimes ordinary ones can bring about astonishing things. Sometimes the amazing ones do next to nothing. Same with transits which is why I never warmed to prediction."

You are very wise to see that, and much more could be said. It is probably not wrong to predict overall conditions any more than it is wrong to predict weather, but weather is rarely a showstopper.

I agree that Einstein was not absolutely necessary, and that individuals are part of the greater whole and are interdependent. They very much stand on the shoulders of others, and they emerge as part of the longing and greater dreams of the many. And yet individuals are necessary, and not entirely interchangeable. They cast their own stamp on their times, just as we all do. We simply commonly don't recognize all of our own interactions with the greater reality.

Now, I do not mean that Einstein alone, in and of himself, is responsible. Though I see how some may think so. To clarify, in my view, he is both a participant and a part of mass thought, and it is the mass thought that has sufficient traction to finally shape collective reality.

I will say that Einstein did in fact accelerate in that he was a leverage point, a focal point. Historians know from correspondences and many historical records what his greatest peers were thinking at the time. In fact, Einstein's thinking was actually rather slow compared to some of the brilliant minds of his era and even in his specific focus. He did poorly academically. But the sharpness of his discontent pushed further.

Undoubtedly, Einstein's ideas would have occurred to someone else eventually; estimates are that it might have been about fifty years later. So he served as the point of the vanguard, and there are personality and character reasons, as well as larger historical conditions, for why that happened.

The narrative arc and intermediate events would have been different. It would be a different story, and lives during the intermediate period would be affected.

Similarly, the recognition of civil rights may be inevitable — the long arc of the moral universe bending towards justice, as has been said — but when they happen does matter to those of us who live in space-time.

Interestingly, I do think you intuitively touch on difficult areas that I have been casually considering. Power relations, for example, are a challenging subject. Human beings do not yet understand power relations well enough to get where they would like to be. In basic physics, just as motion is relative, it is a mistake to think in terms of a dominant object affecting a subordinate object. Because, in physics, forces always come in oppositional pairs, as the taiji symbol implies. Which is why it is said, as you know, that every action is accompanied by an equal and opposite reaction. This apparent dictum is sometimes used causally, but the effect is simultaneous and needn't imply neutralization, no more than the taiji symbol implies stasis more than motion. The idea that motion requires force or that, conversely, force causes motion, is "common sense" and self-evidential but not how basic physics sees reality. Beginning students in physics are disabused of many such notions. And it would be an interesting shift in perspective for the world at large if as a whole it got further in its education to the point that its basic assumptions — perhaps beginning with the physical, and influencing the moral, psychological and so on — are re-examined. That is all probably a subject beyond the scope of what we can say, but I mention it as an interesting hint, perhaps food for future thought should it become helpful in some way.

25/11/15 11:26 AM  
Blogger jm said...

Albert, I mean.

25/11/15 11:53 PM  
Blogger kadimiros said...

Heh. It did make me think of "Batman's batman", the fictional crime fighter's aide-de-camp and personal genius.

27/11/15 9:51 AM  

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