by anthony north
I’ve always had a healthy skepticism for such practices. I’ve not condemned them, but thought human psychology can account for them. However, I want to explore the possibility of deeper mechanisms behind such practices.
I’ll begin with my healthy skepticism
Rather than man’s fate being slave to outside forces, such as the position of planets at birth, I’ve seen divination as a form of therapy and advisor. It works like this.
A person consults a practitioner and through a two way system of suggestion, the subject intuits, himself, what his unconscious is really after. Thus his path seems to open up as if destined, whereas he has simply been given the confidence to follow his real inner desires.
I still thing this covers most of the subject
But even I have to admit there are annoying gaps in the idea, especially if we take much of divination at face value. Consider Palmistry, which claims much of your future is already mapped out in the lines of your palm. How is this possible?
Let us consider genetics. Now, genetics does map out a great deal of your life from conception, including physical attributes, possibilities of future illnesses and, if correct, leanings towards certain behaviour. Could it be possible that such ‘predestination’ could affect you in a wider way, such as the patterning of lines on your palm? Basically, could the palm be a physical map of your basic genetic make-up?
Genetics could hold the key to other areas, too
Indeed, I think if we can highlight a genetic answer to even one part of divination, it could rationally be seen as important to the rest as well.
I say this because one of the main problems with divination is the sheer number of contrary and conflicting ‘systems’. Surely it would be more rational to identify a common thread between them all.
I think genetics CAN be applied in this sphere
Consider Astrology – in particular, the various character types associated with the houses of the Zodiac. Is this due to the position of planets, or a spin-off from our genetic make-up?
We understand behaviour in terms of nature or nurture. How we turn out as people is said to be dependent upon what element is ‘in our genes’, and how big a part environment and upbringing plays.
I’ve never been happy with this easy duality. I’ve always thought there was a third element – namely, culture. For as well as being affected by elements in our personal life, we are also very much identified by the wider community or culture to which we belong.
This cultural input is above our individuality, and extends back in time beyond our lives. And bearing in mind the ‘behavioural’ element of genetics, could culture, over many generations, have an effect on our genetic make-up itself?
If we are prepared to accept this as a possibility, then cultural behaviour can be genetic in itself – such as the idea that being born in a particular house of the Zodiac will result in certain behavioural patterns.
Could this explain why a person is a typical Arian or Taurus? I still think the processes of suggestibility are essential to divination, but could it be that the suggestibility is also deeply entrenched in our genes themselves?
© Anthony North, September 2008