Two: The Particle Grail Diagram
(Revised March, 2009)
John A. Gowan
home page (page 1)
home page (page 2)
(Note to readers: The order in which the "Sun Signs" are posted follows their order in the "Grail" diagrams, working from the top down.)
The Grail diagram is in two parts; the first treats the long-range "spacetime" forces, electromagnetism and gravitation, and their astrological correlates, the Fire and Water signs, respectively. The second part treats the short-range "particle" forces, the strong and weak forces, and their respective astrological correlates, the Earth and Air signs. The fractal nature of these diagrams is to be especially noted; they are composed of 4 identical equilateral triangles and the particle diagram is an expanded or "exploded" view of the mass center of the spacetime diagram - it details the composition of that mass center. The "Grail Flower" diagrams show how the spacetime and particle diagrams fit together. See both the Physical Grail Flower Diagram and the Astrological Grail Flower Diagram. (Note also the 3-D version of the "Grail Flower" diagram.)
The Universe is a fractal iteration or elaboration of First Cause (see: "The Tetrahedron Model", and related diagrams on the homepage), its fractal nature the source of its periodic, hierarchal, and General System character, intuitively expressed by statements like "as above, so below", and "man created in the image and likeness of God". The fractal nature of the Universe is the rational basis for General Systems analysis, which looks for correlations and correspondences between divergent physical systems, such as the atomic, biological, and astrophysical natural systems, and human conceptual systems of world order, including rational scientific systems, and intuitive religious or occult systems (see table and text "The Fractal Hierarchy of Nature" ).
Science seeks a cause for every effect; in General Systems we recognize and make models of periodic and hierarchal effects whose causes may be known or unknown, extrapolated, or attributed to the "emergent" properties of system complexity. The Universe does not apologize to us for its complexity, and I make none to the reader for resorting to this type of general analysis; it has its own value and utility. The most rational defense of General Systems is that the fractal nature of the Universe is the cause of the correlation between the physical system and our various intellectual modes of conceiving it; we are part and parcel of this fractal and our minds recognize this fact, intuitively as well as rationally. It is probable that fractal systems arise in nature due to their simplicity and efficiency of construction (they are "self-similar"), and because of the phenomenon of resonance (providing a ready means of energy and information transfer between such systems).
Analysis of the Archetypes
(For the traditional interpretations of the Astrological Archetypes (Zodiac "Sun Signs"), I rely on the superb book by Isabelle M. Pagan. Of course, I add to these my own interpretations gleaned from my General Systems work on their physical correlates.)
Isabelle M. Pagan, "From Pioneer to Poet", Theosophical Publishing House London LTD, 1969.
[Note: I use only the classical, "naked eye" "planets" in my astrological assignments, as these preserve the original meanings of the ancient, intuitive genius that devised the system of astrological archetypes. These are as follows, in 6 male-female pairs: 1) Sun = Leo, Moon = Cancer; 2) Jupiter = Sagittarius and Pisces; 3) Mars = Aries and Scorpio; 4) Mercury = Gemini and Virgo; 5) Venus = Libra and Taurus; 6) Saturn = Aquarius and Capricorn. If you think of these "planets" not as simple astronomical bodies, but as representing archetypes - similar to the Greek and Roman Gods named for them - you will be better able to appreciate how such symbols are used metaphorically in the following discussion. I should add that I examine here only the attributes and characteristics of the archetypes, not their purported predictive values, as found in the newspapers.]
Whereas the Spacetime Grail diagram sets the stage for life, establishing its essential ingredients and foundation, (the physical individual and family level of human organization - spirit, instincts, body, and emotions), the Particle Grail diagram deals with the complexities of higher organizational (social) levels. In humans, natural adaptations contributing to our success at the social level include (among others) our manual and mental dexterity, and the ability of our minds to think abstractly and symbolically - in addition, of course, to our highly social nature, whose special feature is that the males of our species are enabled to work together toward a common cause, rather than continuously fighting with each other over females and territory. However, due to the fractal nature of reality, multiple levels of interpretation - physical, biological, personal, and social - are possible for every sign.
The particle Grail diagram treats the short-range "particle" forces (the strong and weak forces), and their correlates in the astrological system, the Earth and Air signs respectively. These we associate in human terms with the body (Earth), especially our manual dexterity and tool-making ability, and the mind (Air), especially our ability for abstraction and reflective, symbolic thought.
Manual Creativity; Tool Making; Technological Ingenuity; Invention; Hand-eye Coordination; Hand-Brain Coordination and Interaction; Mechanical Drawing; Geometry
Virgo is the Artisan, Blacksmith, or Mechanic of the gods, representing the human ability to invent and use tools - hence the Inventor-Artisan. This is a combination of intellectual and manual skills, the creative mind focused on practical, utilitarian purposes, the wellspring of all technology from the stone ax to the moon rocket. In Virgo, manual skills are placed in the service of the creative mind, and applied to the practical problems of life. We may refer to this adaptation as "applied" creativity, which includes mechanical drawing and geometry, the source of mathematics. Geometry, of course, is a tool of the mind, applied to the solution of utilitarian, quantifiable problems.
In physics, Virgo is correlated with the quarks, the ultimate particles of material reality, the massive building blocks of the physical world. We can compare quarks to the ingots of the blacksmith's forge, the raw material from which the Artisan of the Gods fashions the atomic realm. We do not know the mechanism of the process by which light is "packaged" into the massive form of quarks, but the necessity for this compact, alternative form of electromagnetic energy seems to stem from the Universe originating in a tiny space which contained a huge quantity of energy, the birth trauma of the "Big Bang". Matter is the obvious way to package or compress a large amount of energy in a small volume of space: E=mcc.
In matter, we find that the metric structure of space, which functions as the dimensional conservation domain of light, is transformed into an analogous "particle metric", including the transformation of space into gravitational spacetime. More than this, the dimensional metric itself is apparently carried over into the structure of particles. Particles are not only an alternative form of light's energy, but also an alternative form of the dimensional structure which carries and conserves light's energy. For example, if particles are in fact light waves tied into inter-dimensional "knots", then it follows that the dimensions themselves must be part of the resulting particle structure. In this way the connection between light, space, and the particles they produce is maintained, and the integrity of the Cosmic structure, although divided into free and bound energy forms, is never compromised. This unity resurfaces in one mode as the particle-wave duality of light and matter (DeBroglie's electron waves), in another as the equilibrated intrinsic (entropic) dimensional motions of light, time, and gravitation.
The mechanism which produces particles from light and space is due to the interaction of Virgo and Gemini, the intersection of the massive quark field of Virgo with the IVBs (Intermediate Vector Bosons) and leptonic charge carriers of Gemini. While we will examine this process in more detail later, the reader should also consult: "The Origin of Matter and Information" for a more complete description. In this interaction, Virgo functions with the clever hands of a surgeon, trying knots in the dimensions of spacetime to produce matter. Virgo's most marvelous construction is the baryon, the nuclear particle containing 3 quarks (such as the proton or neutron). The baryon is the basis of manifestation; all other particles exist because the baryon exists. The baryon was originally thought to be an elementary particle, as it carries the same electric charge (in magnitude) as other elementary particles, such as the electron. Closer inspection, however, has revealed the composite nature of the interior of this natural wonder.
The term "baryon" refers to the class of composite nuclear particles composed of 3 quarks. There are six known types of quarks (up, down; charm, strange; top, bottom) which carry partial electric charges of either +2/3 (the u, c, t group) or -1/3 (the d, s, b group). A baryon may consist of any quark combination whose partial electric charges sum to whole quantum units of elementary charge, typically neutrality (0), +1 or -1. Each quark carries a "color" charge in addition to its electric charge: red, green, or blue, which are also partial charges in that all must always be present to produce the whole quantum unit color charge "white". (The term "color" is only a convenience of reference, not an actual color).
Unlike electric charge, color charges are always mutually attractive. Color charge is associated with a "gluon" field which carries the force of the color charge (known as the "strong" force) from one quark to another, "gluing" them together. Gluons are composed of color-anticolor charge pairs, in any combination, so there are nine of them in all, but one (green-antigreen) is color neutral so only eight are actually effective in producing the field. Gluons are massless particles traveling at velocity c, engaging in a continuous round-robin exchange of color charges from one quark to the next. It is this ceaseless exchange of color charges, and the quantum mechanical necessity to maintain a whole quantum unit of color charge ("white"), that holds the baryon together as a mutable (in terms of quark composition) but indestructible (in terms of unit charges) particle. Symmetry conservation is crucially involved in the preservation of whole quantum units of charge (charges are the symmetry debts of light); charge and symmetry conservation therefore explains the permanent confinement of the quarks and the "short range" character of the strong force.
Gluons have been compared to "sticky light". The baryon with its 3 quarks forever exchanging gluons with the speed of light is a particle of incredible internal complexity. The stability of the proton (the "ground state", or lowest energy baryon) is the basis of the stability of all matter. The proton is stable because the IVBs (of Gemini's weak force) are so massive, particularly the "X" particle; the half-life of the proton is known to be greater than 10(35) years (one followed by 35 zeros). See: "Proton Decay and the "Heat Death" of the Cosmos".
The Hand-Eye-Brain Connection
Just as Sagittarius represents the visual development of the brain (imagination and foresight), and Pisces represents its auditory development (language and music), so Virgo represents the manual development of our brain, specifically with regard to tool making and the development of technology. Whereas Sagittarius is "Man the Intelligent", and Pisces is "Man the Communicator", Virgo is "Man the Tool Maker".
(Virgo also represents the intelligence associated with taste, smell, and touch, another way of physically contacting, sampling, and exploring the world. These senses primarily serve to inform us of what is safe to eat or touch; they are adequately but not extraordinarily developed in man, and certainly not uniquely.)
Our upright stance freed our hands to grasp and manipulate tools, our intelligence allowed us to create them, our language allowed us to communicate these skills. Just as our mind is stimulated by vision, music, and language, so too it is stimulated by touch and the development of manual skills. We are all familiar with the phenomenon of the development of physical skills with practice: at first a physical skill (such as swimming or riding a bicycle) seems beyond our capacity; with practice we "get the hang of it"; eventually the body-brain becomes skilled and the activity becomes "second nature". This is the development not only of muscular capacity but of the brain function and neural pathways necessary to coordinate and regulate muscular activity (the learning is "in the muscles").
The same is true whether we consider an activity requiring gross whole-body coordination (such as swimming) or more focused activities requiring the interaction of only the hand and brain (such as drawing or piano playing). While it is obvious that the learning of physical coordination is essentially the same for humans and animals, humans have a special mental connection with our hands, developed over evolutionary time, just as a bird will have a special evolutionary connection between its brain and wing. People working in the arts and crafts know through experience that there is a creative synergy between the hand, the eye, and the brain (in music, hand-eye-ear-brain), developed through practice; the production of a physical object, whether tool or art, requires a creative process involving more than just the brain, it requires the involvement of the hands, the engagement of the mind-hand synergy that is uniquely human. Sometimes the whole body feels as if it were engaged in the creative process; still, it is through the hands that the body must "speak". Sign language also takes advantage of these interconnections, and allows us to actually talk to our cousins, the Great Apes. (Note that the eye-ear sensory inputs are the analogs of the spatial energy metric being carried over into the particle metric - Sagittarius-Pisces transformed into the material structures of Virgo-Gemini.)
The human development of technology from simple tool-making is the result of the evolutionary refinement and growth of our brain-hand synergy. The development of geometry and its subsequent flowering as mathematics is a primary example of the stimulation and growth of our mental function through the physical manipulation of shapes and figures, pen upon paper. The marvelous and beautiful construction of a flint arrow-point, a pottery vessel, a watch, a microscope, a computer, or a rocket ship are all testimonials to the power of the human hand-mind connection. Would any of them exist, our brains being equal, if we had hooves, flippers, or wings, instead of hands?
In physics, the leptons and the Intermediate Vector bosons (IVBs) of the weak force; in astrology, the Twins, the Magician, the Shaman, the Artist; in humans, the abstract mind, symbolic and reflective thought. This is the seat of our ability to create abstract reality including religion, art, fantasy, and the symbolic world of writing, musical, and mathematical notation. This is the artist creating abstract representations of both nature and ideas, symbolic representations, or "double images" of natural objects, or physical representations of abstract entities.
There is no better example of Gemini's work than the ancient cave paintings of stone-age Europe (Lascaux, etc.). Here we see directly the ancestral form of art, theater, and religion, all the product of Gemini's ability not just for abstract thought, but to transform that thought into a physical symbol. The elaborate costumes of the actor, entertainer, dancer, shaman, "witch doctor", and religious cleric have the same origin and function - to clothe an idea or ideal with physical form. It is this ability to transform the immaterial into the physical that is the hallmark of Gemini's activity, whether in physics or the human mind. It was in fact just such a transformation, accomplished by the IVBs of Gemini and the weak force during the Big Bang, which manifested the asymmetric, "real" physical world from its symmetric, "virtual" unmanifest ground state, creating atoms from light and spacetime. This is a trick which our minds reproduce whenever a thought becomes a reality, and which is celebrated in every magic show, theater, and church - the fundamental mystery of manifestation, its production from and return to a spiritual, ideal, or symmetric unmanifest form.
Written language, musical and mathematical notation are means of transforming speech, song, and counting into a more perfectly conserved communicable form, extending indefinitely the capacity and accuracy of human memory; but these writing techniques properly belong to the symbolic realm of Gemini. Drawing or painting is a visual analog; photography, sound recordings, radio, TV, computers, and various other electronic communication, recording, and information processing devices are modern enhancements of these techniques, but such technological advances belong to the domain of Virgo, the Inventor. (There is some overlap between these two signs, just as there is between Sagittarius and Pisces.)
Whereas the other Mutable signs represent intelligence connected in some way to sensory perceptions of the external world - Sagittarius to vision, Pisces to hearing, and Virgo to touch, Gemini seems to represent the brain sensing itself, playing with itself, exploring itself, turning inward and reflecting upon itself. More than other types of intelligence, Gemini represents the phenomena of mind rather than brain, the abstracting of information, not only external information, but information generated by the internal activity of the brain itself. Gemini is the realm of fantasy, unlike Virgo in that it is not primarily devoted to practical purposes, but to play, relaxation, entertainment (perhaps a neurological, physiological, or psychological necessity for such a complex brain), and in its serious mode, to the realm of the spirit, that abstraction of reality which uniquely distinguishes humanity from all other forms of intelligent life. "Ideal form" is the common ground of Virgo and Gemini, whether in the geometry and design of Virgo, or the artistic and spiritual realm of Gemini.
In the physical system, Gemini corresponds to the leptons (electrons, neutrinos, and their heavier kin), and the Intermediate Vector Bosons or IVB's of the weak force (W+, W-, Z, X). It is the crucial role of the leptons to provide alternative charge carriers for the identity and electric charges of the quarks and other leptons (including the leptoquark) in the form of neutrinos, electrons, and other heavier members of the leptonic field of elementary particles. The IVBs of the weak force provide a mechanism or pathway allowing elementary particles to change identity and to appear and disappear upon the stage of temporal (4-D) reality. Without the leptonic field of alternative charge carriers, matter would not exist, as there would be no way to balance its charges except via antimatter counterparts (which would only result in mutual annihilations).
In similar fashion, the shaman acts as a massive IVB, whose pictures, statues, dolls, or symbols provide alternative charge carriers for the "identity charges" of the ideal forms of spiritual reality, inviting and allowing them to manifest in our world. This is the pathway of all creative action, whether physical, human, or Divine: "In the beginning was the Word". Nor do we build a house without first forming an image of the finished product in our minds, and drawing a blueprint. Human creativity is the manifestation of human ideas - an automobile is an idea manifest. (See: "A General Systems Analysis of the Creative Process in Nature".)
Leptonic particles are truly elementary - unlike baryons, they have no internal constituent parts (no quarks). Consequently, they have no color charges and hence do not feel or respond to the strong force. The role of the leptons is to serve as alternative charge carriers for the baryons, mesons, and for other leptons. The role of the IVBs is (roughly speaking) to bring particles needing alternative charge carriers together with other particles, virtual or real, which can provide them. The IVBs act as "brokers" mediating the interaction. (See: The Origin of Matter and Information"; "The 'W' IVB and the Weak Force Mechanism"; and "The Higgs Boson and the Weak Force IVBs".)
The Interaction of Virgo and Gemini and the Creation of Matter
Single, unpaired baryons are produced from light and spacetime through the asymmetric interaction of the strong and weak forces during the earliest moments of the "Big Bang". While there is much we do not understand about this process, it seems likely that the "X" IVB of the weak force is involved. The X compresses the quarks of an (electrically neutral) antimatter leptoquark so tightly that the quarks' color charges self-annihilate, the gluon field summing to zero (technically, the symmetry of "asymptotic freedom"). The X then mediates a leptonic decay of the anti-leptoquark, producing a leptoquark antineutrino and a meson, and annihilating the anti-leptoquark in the process (the analog of "proton decay"). (See: "The Particle Table".)
Baryons, leptoquarks - indeed any material particles - are initially created only as matter-antimatter particle pairs. They can, however, decay separately and asymmetrically via the weak force, providing they are electrically neutral, like neutrons. It is just the necessity of this electrical neutrality for the creation of matter which requires the composite nature of baryons, as only a composite particle (such as the neutron) can be created as a massive yet electrically neutral particle-antiparticle pair. Electrically charged particle-antiparticle pairs cannot escape mutual annihilation.
The decay of the anti-leptoquark isolates its leptoquark mate, which finds itself without its expected annihilation partner. Its quarks now have time to expand under their mutual repulsion, revealing a heavy baryon which cannot undergo an annihilating leptonic decay (as did its former antimatter partner), due to the presence of the now explicit (and conserved) color charge. It is the subsequent partial decay of this heavy baryon through the usual leptonic channels (via the W) which produces the ground state proton, electron, electron neutrino, and all intermediate decay products, whether quarks or leptons. There is a fundamental asymmetry involved in the process, whose origin is not understood, but which is probably related to the time dimension, in that anti-leptoquarks evidently undergo these neutral decays at a (very slightly) faster rate than leptoquarks. This tiny asymmetry amounts to about one part in ten billion; nevertheless, it suffices to produce the surplus of (ordinary) matter comprising our Universe.
Thus it is that the symmetric (and therefore virtual and immaterial) field of the quarks is clothed and given form (its information content is revealed) by the IVBs of the weak force and their leptonic field of alternative charge carriers. The material Universe is produced by the interaction of a symmetric and an asymmetric field, in which the asymmetric field is carried as a hidden property of the symmetric field. The conversion of symmetric space to asymmetric time by the gravitational field of mass is another example of this general rule, as is the embedding of time in symmetric light as the "frequency" of its wave. The conversion of quark electric and number charge to leptonic carriers (or color charge to meson carriers) by the "X" and "W" IVBs of the weak force is the analogous transformation in the particle metric. This is all part of Gemini's "now you see it, now you don't" magic show.
The creation of matter is accomplished by the interaction of two related fields, one symmetric, the primary field containing quarks, and one asymmetric, the secondary field containing the IVBs and leptons. The leptons function as alternative charge carriers for the quarks, freeing the quark field from annihilation via antimatter. The IVBs mediate the interaction between the leptons and quarks. The leptonic field provides the equivalent service for its own members; indeed, at very high energy densities, the "leptoquark" reveals that the two fields (quarks and leptons) have a common origin. Finally, an asymmetry (imbalance) in the rate of decay of electrically neutral leptoquarks vs their antimatter counterparts produces a surplus of matter which creates the material Universe.
Analogs of this process can be found in ourselves and our mythology. For example, the device of the alternative charge carrier is seen in the use of symbology by the artist and the abstract mind, in language, mathematics, music, and in their written forms, as well as in the religious notion of a "spirit" or "soul" which carries an alternative form of an individual's identity. The interaction between the symmetric and asymmetric fields is mirrored in our mythology regarding the relationship between Heaven and Earth, the spirit and the body, the realm of the Gods vs the realm of men, or the realm of ideal form vs the realm of physical reality. Finally, the common origin of the symmetric and asymmetric fields is seen in various myths concerning the hidden, internal "fatal flaw" latent within a seemingly perfect system, such as Achilles' heel, Oedipus' marriage, and in the creation myth of the rebellion of angels within Heaven, the snake in the garden, evil inherent the world ("original sin"), etc.
The manifest world is not an accident or random oscillation of nature, but an internal property and production of natural law. Our presence in this life is a consequence of natural law, however subtle. Our purpose is to advance the iteration of the fractal march of the information axis of the Universe, helping the Universe become aware of itself and experience itself with increasing sensitivity and understanding, and to explore new creative modes. Teilhard De Chardin in his prophetic book "The Phenomenon of Man" saw this process evolving indefinitely toward an "Omega Point" of universal awareness and connection at the apex of the information axis of the Cosmos. See: "The Information Pathway" and "Chardin: Prophet of the Information Age".
The charge associated with Libra and the weak force is known technically as "number" charge, although I prefer to call it "identity" charge, as the latter term better identifies the function of this important charge or symmetry debt. All elementary particles (the leptons) carry number charge, which occurs in two forms: 1) a "hidden" form carried by the massive leptons (the electron and its kin); 2) an "explicit" form carried by the (nearly) massless leptons, or neutrinos. A neutrino is simply the "bare", explicit form of number or identity charge. The relationship between the massive electron, its hidden number charge, and its (nearly) massless neutrino is analogous to that presumed to exist between the human body and its immortal identity, or "soul". (The reader should refer to the "Particle Table" if the terminology in this article is unfamiliar).
Life is the exploration and discovery, through evolution, of the information potential of energy. Breaking the spatial symmetry of non-locality (with time) produces the gravitational or "location" charge, the fundamental spatial bit of information in the spacetime "hourglass" diagram, specifying a place or location in the otherwise symmetric field of space. Similarly, the identity charge is the fundamental material bit of information in the particle "hourglass" diagram. The leptonic identity charge seems to carry two basic pieces of information - it specifies the mass of the particle (e, u, t, lq) and distinguishes between matter and antimatter (spin left or spin right); gravity tells us where this particle (or antiparticle) is located in spacetime.
While we humans tend to think of our personal identity as a complex, emergent property developed over a lifetime of experience, to nature the identity charge of a lepton is one of the most elementary and essential characteristics of matter. Identity, location, dimensionality, composition are four of the most fundamental characteristics of manifestation, producing primary charges (number, gravitation, electric, and color charge) with which free energy begins to explore its information potential. Upon such simple foundations is raised the entire edifice of matter. (See: "The Weak Force: 'Identity' or 'Number' Charge".)
Libra and the "Identity" Charge
Libra represents the elementary charge of identity, but the concept of identity in an organism as complex as a human has many ramifications. In humans, "identity" is individual personality and much more. An individual's identity may include membership in a religion (religious "citizenship"), where we also find the concept of a personal, immortal, spiritual identity or "soul". In government, we find the variable concept of "citizen", a legal unit of individuality to which the State grants certain rights, liabilities, and responsibilities, and from which the State requires certain duties. Finally, because of our biology, human identity is inextricably intertwined with family and gender.
The family, like the individual citizen, becomes a legal entity of the state through marriage, marriage law, and various aspects of family law regarding kinship, minors, extended families, in-laws, joint property, inheritance, adoption, divorce, numbers of wives, the naming and registering of children, responsibilities of parents, out-of-wedlock children, abortion, contraception, "deviant" sexual practices, age of marriage and consent, etc. The state has a vested interest in family law since this is the means by which it can gain some control over the reproductive behavior of its citizens, and hope to exert some control over the size (and reproductive health) of its population.
It is through the legal system and the courts that the individual and the family are legitimized or incorporated into the structure of the state as the "quantum units" of its population, named, numbered, and identified at birth, death, and by census, endowed with certain privileges and burdened with certain duties. Libra and the Legal System thus represent the general interface between the State (society as a legal institution) and the Individual.
We are not hatched from eggs, and a person's identity is ultimately derived from an extended family of many generations. Biologically, we are a species with both an elaborate family and social structure, and we suffer with all higher animals the strange division of our organism into two genders, such that for reproductive purposes at least, it requires two individuals, a male and a female, to form a complete unit of our species. Hence the completion of our identity seems to require the union of two very different individuals, and it is only through such a union that our genetic identity can survive our death, transformed and transferred to our children through the reproductive process. Thus it is through our families that our identity is conceived, legalized, nurtured, raised, completed, transfigured, and immortalized. In the process of marriage, not only are two individuals joined, but their families as well. Here things really get complicated because legal rights to the spouse's personal and family property, including rights of inheritance, are usually part of the marriage contract, depending upon the religion/society in which the ceremony occurs. Hence people may marry for money and status as well as for love and reproduction.
The symbol of Libra is the balance, the planetary "ruler" of Libra is Venus, planet of love, harmony, and beauty. Hence the scales of Libra refer not only to judicial equity, but to equity in marriage, the source of true happiness.
No one who has ever experienced romantic love ("pair bonding") can doubt that it is anything less than a merger of the mental, emotional, and spiritual identities of two individuals, the reunion ecstasy of an anciently divided biological unit. It is of course through an equivalent merger of physical genetic identity that children are produced to carry on the conjoined family lines. For humans, the family is the conservation domain of identity, which is why it remains, and must remain, the fundamental unit of human social structure. In turn, society is the conservation domain of the family, and flourishes only to the degree it serves that purpose. Biologically, it is the genes of DNA which carry the physical units of identity, and only the genes are physically conserved from one generation to the next, our bodies simply serving to carry them through time and space from one reproductive transformation to the next. Genes are essentially immortal; we still have some from our bacterial ancestors.
Libra and Religion - the soul as the identity conserved through the institution of religion
Religion is a unique and ubiquitous feature of the human condition, evidently an emergent product of: 1) our intellectual capacity for abstract and symbolic thought; 2) our emotional capacity for awe - at the beauty, size, power, and overall magnificence of nature; 3) our intuitive and our rational recognition of natural order; 4) our foreknowledge and fear of death; 5) our instinct for self-preservation and the preservation of our personal identity. Religion offers us an escape from death by conserving our personal identity as the "spiritual", immaterial, and therefore immortal "soul". The "salvation" of the soul is equivalent to the conservation of personal identity, and the supposed relationship between the body and the soul is the exact equivalent of the actual relationship between the massive leptons and their identity-conserving neutrinos.
The reproductive drive is of course the natural response to the threat of death and personal extinction - survival is achieved through the genes of our children. In renouncing physical reproduction, the celibate monastic orders demonstrate their faith in the conservation of a spiritual identity, or personal "soul".
The evolution of a personal identity so powerful that it demands immortality is a curiosity in itself. Of what value is such an exquisite identity if it only produces anxiety in the organism which embodies it? It must have a deeper purpose; perhaps it simply signals the cognitive awakening of our species to the grand connectivity, or spiritual character, of the Universe.
Libra in Politics - Individual Rights in Political and Social Law; the Individual vs the State or Society
Libra and the identity charge are one of the four central, structural, and organizing elements of the human condition as represented in the "hourglass" or "Grail" diagrams. The Libran element represents the Jurist, the courts and the legal system of a society. On the personal (and family) level, Libra represents the individual (and the family) as a recognized, legal, and legitimized structural element in society. Libra also represents justice, equity, and the legal rights of individuals (and families) in society (the "citizen", "legal" marriage, "legitimate" children, individual, women's, and human rights, citizen's rights, our "Bill of Rights", the rights of the individual vs the rights of society, etc.).
Libra and Capricorn appear together at the center of the particle hourglass, indicating an especially close relationship, the analog of that between Aries and Leo in the spacetime diagram. Libra represents the courts and justice (legal) system, while Capricorn represents secular or religious government in both its lawmaking and bureaucratic capacities. Historically, the structure of government has been derived from the structure of the family; until very recently the family, in terms of a royal family (Leo), and an associated military (Aries), in fact were the government. This system of genetically based government through royal family lines and/or the military has largely been replaced by democratic, socialistic, and communistic political systems (Libra-Capricorn) which (supposedly) are not based on genetic privilege or military power, but upon constitutional law and a more equitable distribution of power among all the people. Even in our system, however, charismatic and wealthy families such as the Kennedys, Rockefellers, and Roosevelts have dramatically influenced the nation.
How the charismatic identity of great individual leaders, both political and religious, famous and infamous, plays so successfully upon our social behavior remains an unanswered but intriguing question. My guess is that it has to do with the connection between family and government - charismatic social leaders are emotionally or intuitively perceived as parental figures, who therefore touch our own identities and enlarge them by association.
Socially, Capricorn refers to the Constitution, the laws, the government, the lawmaking body (parliament, congress, etc.), the bureaucracy, the courts and police which enforce law and regulate society, whether religious or secular. Capricorn is the sign of boundaries, rules, regulation, and confinement. It represents the social order, its structure and infrastructure, and its regulatory effect upon the lives of ordinary citizens. Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn, whose rings, like the wedding band, symbolize boundaries and the regulation of behavior.
There is a collective system identity associated with Capricorn, beginning, perhaps, with the postulated leptoquark neutrino, the alternative carrier for baryon identity charge. Humans likewise experience a collective system identity both in their persons and their families, and find more examples in community, tribal, social, and national identities. Collective system identity arises in the evolution of life with the first enclosed cells, which must compete for limited resources and individual survival. (See: "The Fractal Organization of Nature: Biophysical Realm".)
A moment's reflection will give us to understand that in any composite or social entity, "law and order" is the essential ingredient of not just stability, but existence itself. Imagine, for example, the game of tennis played without rules; it becomes clear that the game is the rules. Imagine driving a car without any traffic laws; or imagine how the human body could maintain itself if its cells, organs, and molecular systems obeyed no rules of systemic organization. Without Capricorn, society dissolves into anarchy and riot, with every man fighting for his own survival. The Universe, above all else, is a lawful domain; indeed, the Universe is nothing but the manifestation and evolutionary product of natural law. All this systemic law and order is represented by Capricorn, the Good Shepherd, the Leader of the flock.
The Physics of Capricorn
Capricorn is identified with the color charge of the strong force. Color charge refers to the force which holds the quarks together in baryons, the class of heavy particles containing 3 quarks, familiar to us as the neutrons and protons of atomic nuclei. In the particle Grail diagram, Capricorn is identified with the color charge of the leptoquark, the very massive progenitor of the baryons.
Like electric charge, which is either positive, neutral, or negative, there are three types of color charge (red, green, blue - names of convenience only, not real colors) which can also be thought of as positive, neutral, and negative - but unlike electrical charge, color charges are always attractive. Each quark carries a color charge which it exchanges with the colors of the other quarks via a field of "gluons", virtual particles which consist of a color-anticolor charge, in any combination. There are nine color-anticolor combinations possible, but one of them (green-antigreen) is doubly neutral, so there are effectively only eight force carrying combinations in the gluon field. Gluons are massless vector bosons (force-carrying particles) traveling at velocity C and have been compared to "sticky light". The constant exchange of color charges between the three quarks (via the gluon field) holds the baryon together. Neutrons and protons were once thought to be elementary particles but upon closer inspection they have turned out to be very complicated composites.
Because the gluon field is composed of color-anticolor charges in every combination, it can be seen that in total it must sum to zero color. This condition underlies the experimental observation and hypothesis termed "asymptotic freedom" - as the quarks move closer together, they are less tightly bound by the strong force and move more freely (since under compression the color field begins to physically sum toward zero); conversely, as quarks move further apart (repelled by their partial electric charges and the quantum mechanical repulsion due to Pauli's exclusion principle), they move less freely and are increasingly constrained by the strong force (the color field becomes more explicit as it expands, since it becomes less self-neutralizing).
The color charge exists (in principle) to protect symmetry and charge conservation from the threat of free-roaming partial or fractional quantum units of electric charge, which could not be neutralized. Hence the force becomes stronger as quarks expand, threatening to become free, and weakens ("asymptotic freedom") as quarks contract, reducing the threat to whole quantum units of charge, and by implication, to charge and symmetry conservation.
Like the elastic pull of a rubber band, the strong force gets stronger with distance, quite the opposite of gravitational or electrical forces. One can see that the gluons will have more and more difficulty completing their round-robin charge exchange at the fixed speed of light as the distance they must travel between quarks increases; this is the mechanical reason for the increase in binding strength with distance. So a balance is struck between the ability of the gluon field to complete its rounds at velocity c, and the strength of the repulsive forces, this balance determining the size limit of the baryon. The baryon exists in a continuous state of tension, like a strung bow quivering under the influence of both repulsive and contractile forces.
The world of matter could not exist without baryons and the quarks of which they are composed. All particles, whether baryons or leptons, are created in particle-antiparticle pairs, but only baryon pairs can escape the matter-antimatter annihilation reactions of the electrical force. Because baryons are composite particles, the internal arrangement of their quarks, which bear electrical charges in fractional quantum units, can sum to electrical neutrality. Hence only electrically neutral leptoquark-antileptoquark pairs can escape immediate electrical annihilation, allowing time for one of them to decay (via the "X" IVB and the leptoquark neutrino), leaving the other "hung" without an annihilation partner. The necessity for electrical neutrality in the creation process is the reason why the mass field of the quarks must be composed of multiple, sub-elementary units. The character and behavior of the gluon field suggests that baryons originate as "fractured" elementary leptons ("leptoquarks").
Here we must understand the crucial difference between a leptoquark and a baryon: the leptoquark is simply a baryon whose quarks have been crowded so closely together that the color charges they carry neutralize each other, summing completely to zero (the end-point of "asymptotic freedom"). These crowded internal conditions are simply the consequence of the extreme external pressures of the initial instant of creation, the "Big Bang" (today such pressures are found only in black holes or in the massive "X" IVB of the weak force). It is just this color neutrality combined with electrical neutrality which allows the leptonic decay of one member of a leptoquark-antileptoquark pair. The mutual repulsion of the quarks in the surviving leptoquark drives them apart, revealing the color charge, hence trapping the baryon forever in the time dimension, since with an explicit color charge it can no longer undergo an annihilating leptonic decay via the heavy X - because the leptoquark neutrino cannot cancel color charge. The isolated leptoquark (quickly expanding to a heavy baryon) can undergo only a partial leptonic decay via the much lighter W to the ground state proton. This is the probable path of the birth of matter into the Cosmos, the asymmetric decay of matter-antimatter pairs of electrically and color-neutral leptoquarks.
Just why the leptoquarks decay asymmetrically (the effect is very small, on the order of 1 part per ten billion) is not understood. There may be an asymmetry in the X, in the leptoquarks themselves, in the time dimension or value of G between matter and antimatter, or in some other unknown parameter.
The final products of leptoquark decay are the familiar protons, neutrons, electrons, and neutrinos of ordinary atomic matter, all produced by the primordial interaction of the strong and weak force with high-energy light. Matter is an asymmetric form of energy that exists without an antimatter partner - thanks to the asymmetric decays of the leptoquark pairs, the X, W, IVBs and their leptonic field of elementary, alternative charge carriers. The problem the Universe must now solve is how to return its energy content to the symmetric form of light in the absence of antimatter, a process guided by the charges of matter (which are the symmetry debts of light), and whose initial stages we see underway in our Sun, for one example. For more on leptoquarks see: "The Formation of Matter and the Origin of Information".
The combination of Capricorn-Libra is both curious and instructive. We have on the one hand the planet Saturn (ruler of Capricorn), the symbol of law, order, and regulation, and on the other the planet Venus (ruler of Libra), symbol of love, harmony, beauty, and symmetry. The message here is unambiguous - harmony, symmetry, balance, beauty - all are aspects of a lawful environment. Modern telescopes have revealed Saturn to be the most beautiful planet of the solar system. Everyone who has experienced the blessings of a harmonious family life and a peaceful, productive society will understand this message of beauty combined with stability and harmony within the law.
Humanity seems to be driven to build and develop at a social level of organization that goes far beyond our need to provide shelter for our families or simply put food in our mouths. Other animals do not "overshoot the mark" in terms of supplying their basic needs as humans do, especially modern humans. Perhaps most of the excess stems from our need for self-defense, in competition with other "overachieving" societies (an "arms race", whether implicit or explicit). Some of this excess relates to our religious sense, a desire to please the gods, a quest for immortality; some of it is the vanity of Kings, governments, and the wealthy; some of it serves the greed of commerce and industry. Some of our overdevelopment seems to stem from a need to express a social personality and collective system identity through permanent architectural/engineering works - a statement to the world of who and what we are, an advertisement of social power, wealth, culture, skill, and sophistication. Behind all this is the real need to provide a physical structure for the purpose of social organization.
The creation of cities follows the development of agriculture and a settled rather than nomadic way of life; with agriculture comes the capacity for the production of surplus food, energy, and commercial goods, and this results in population growth. The accumulation of surplus wealth and population dramatically increases the need for social regulation, defense, sanitation, planning, etc. The city develops as the seat of wealth, social authority, and defense, the residence of the king, parliament, courts, religious leaders, and the military. This is the development of the "Capitol", Citadel, and City-State, the physical center of social authority, power, wealth and population of a region, state, empire, or even (as in the case of Rome - the "eternal city") a civilization.
The rise of the city as the nucleus of social organization recapitulates the development of the biological nucleus in the organization of cellular life, and parallels the general development of massive centers of organization at every level of system expression. Central organization is the "least energy" solution to social organization. Cities arise and flourish because they are the most efficient means of accomplishing this necessary end.
The message of Taurus, however, is not limited to the efficiency of concentration, but includes as well a necessary diversity of many stable nuclear configurations; and as we see in the radioactive elements (and the decay of our largest cities), even the virtue of community has natural limits.
Taurus and Libra are both ruled by the planet Venus, symbol of symmetry, balance, beauty, and equity, principles which apply with equal validity to the construction of a marriage, family, public building, bridge, or city. There is a wonderful phrase in our national hymn, "America the Beautiful": "...thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears..." This expresses the architect's ultimate goal; the fact that we still have slums amid the alabaster shows how much we have yet to achieve.
As the particle diagram indicates, Taurus can be viewed as a social transformation of Virgo (the Inventor and toolmaker), the transformation being accomplished by the massive cultural center of the diagram, the government. In this sense, we see public architecture as a complex social tool wielded by government (through the collection, allocation, and regulation of public funds and plans), intended to physically express, give structure to, and facilitate a particular social order. Hence the physical features of the public buildings, engineering works, and cities of a society reveal the inner values and motivations of the system which produced them.
The dark fortress of the Kremlin, the rows of factory-like, utilitarian, public housing apartments, the great public propaganda/display plaza of Red Square, all contrasted with the mystical beauty of the fantastic onion-domes of the Russian Orthodox Church, tell us at a gut level all we need to know about the deeply conflicted personality of the Soviet Union.
In our own case, we see the classical Greco-Roman influence everywhere in the domes and columns of our capitol buildings - even an Egyptian influence in the obelisk of the Washington monument. These are the signs of classical Mediterranean Empire, which included the Colosseum and the institution of slavery, as well as the rule of classical law and reason, democratic and republican principles. In the murderous slums surrounding theses utopian symbols of promise, we see the conflicted personality of our own system, alarming signs that something is wrong with the balance of Venus.
The Physics of Taurus
In astrology Taurus is the Builder or Architect, and in physics the baryon is the builder and stonemason of the material world, providing the foundation for the electronic superstructure of nature by constructing the compound atomic nuclei of the heavy elements. In Taurus we find another version of the strong force, distinct from that in Capricorn. In Capricorn the color charges and gluon field of the "primary" strong force permanently confine quarks in baryons; in Taurus, the flavor charges and meson field of a "secondary" strong force powerfully (but not permanently) bind "nucleons" (a hybrid form of the proton/neutron) into compound atomic nuclei. (See: "The Strong Force".)
Remarkably, the double appearance of the strong force in the lower triangle of the Earth-Air hourglass actually has a resonance in the lower triangle of the Fire-Water hourglass, in which the Leo-Cancer pair represents two aspects of the gravitational force. Leo (the Sun) represents the symmetry-conserving role of gravitation, converting bound energy ("mass") to free energy, while Cancer (the Moon) represents the entropy-conserving role of gravity, converting space into time. (See: "The Double Conservation Role of Gravitation".) In another resonance between these two diagrams, the ability of the Moon to eclipse the Sun presages the gravitational black hole and even Hawking's "quantum radiance", while the radioactive decay of heavy atomic nuclei in Taurus presages the "proton decay" of baryons in Capricorn.
The "nucleon" is a combined state of both the proton and neutron within a compound atomic nucleus, a resonance or superposition of these particles. Because in the combined state the baryons can share their load of "parasitic" virtual mesons, a significant reduction of their total bound energy is possible. This reduced energy is the "binding energy" of the atomic nucleus released in nuclear fusion. The quark composition of the proton is "uud+", while that of the neutron is "udd". The exchange of a (virtual) meson particle-antiparticle pair, ud+ or ud- (antiparticles underlined), changes a proton into a neutron and vice versa. If two protons and two neutrons combine, they can position themselves at the corners of a tetrahedron in which all partners are equidistant. In the tetrahedral configuration meson exchange is especially efficient, as each proton has two equidistant neutrons to play the round-robin exchange game with, and vice versa. This 4-baryon tetrahedron is the alpha particle or helium nucleus, an especially tightly bound and favored nuclear configuration (the "brick" of the nucleosynthetic pathway), and it is easy to see why. The exchange of mesons between neutron and proton is exactly the "sharing of differences" that epitomizes the third stage of the General Systems model. It leads directly to the 4x3 tetrahedral bonding of the alpha particle (4 nucleons each of 3 quarks), and thence to the carbon atom - 3 alpha particles each of 4 nucleons; and so on up the nucleosynthetic pathway to oxygen and beyond, in alpha particle increments. (See: "The Fractal Organization of Nature".)
By this means (the formation of "nucleons") all the elements of the periodic table are produced, some with nuclear combinations containing well over 200 baryons (protons plus neutrons). The nucleus of U-238, for example, a well-known isotope of uranium, the 92nd and heaviest natural element, contains 92 protons and 146 neutrons.
Without the ability of baryons to fuse together and form complex atomic nuclei, the Universe would consist of hydrogen only, and be utterly devoid of life. The baryon, through the production of the nuclear species of the periodic table of the elements, provides the basis of elemental diversity upon which the biological realm depends for its existence.
The process of element production takes place in the interiors of stars, and is referred to as the nucleosynthetic pathway. The process is very complex, and I touch here only upon its major features and general system properties. The first step is the most important, the production of helium from hydrogen, the process that fuels our Sun. The helium nucleus contains 2 protons and 2 neutrons, and is referred to as an "alpha" particle (meaning first, or most important). The alpha particle is the most stable nuclear combination known, and becomes the nuclear "brick" of the periodic table, as elements containing multiples of alpha particles are energetically favored in the production process; elements with even atomic numbers (numbers of protons) are more abundant than those with odd numbers (atomic mass numbers refer to protons plus neutrons).
The baryon itself is a 4x3 structure, 3 quarks each bearing 4 charges (color, number, spin, electric). The alpha particle is also a 4x3 configuration (4 baryons each containing 3 quarks) and is therefore of central significance in General Systems theory (see: "The Fractal Hierarchy of Nature"). The next major step in the nucleosynthetic pathway is carbon, a triple 4x3 nuclear combination (3 alpha particles each containing 4 baryons). Carbon is of course the foundation element for all biochemistry and life, and has in addition to its triple nuclear resonance, a 4x3 structure in its electron shell - 4 valence electrons in the third shell, the only element in the periodic table with both a nuclear and electronic 4x3 resonance. Carbon exhibits an astonishing fifth 4x3 resonance in its molecular bonding pattern with other carbon atoms, yielding the tetrahedral (4 triangles) diamond crystal (no wonder diamonds are so highly prized!). The third nuclear resonance of the 4x3 system would be 4 carbons each of 3 alpha particles, atomic number 4x6 = 24 or chromium, but this fails due to overcrowding of the repulsive electrical charges of the protons, and settles at iron 26, with the addition of one alpha particle and 4 extra neutrons (mass number 56). Beyond iron, element building requires energy rather than yielding energy, taking place mainly during the explosion of supernovas. Hence with the failure of the 4x3 fractal resonance, we find a corresponding failure in the energy yield.
An essential ingredient of element building is obviously the ability of baryons to assume the form of either protons or neutrons, which requires an "up" quark to change to a "down" quark or vice versa (uud = proton, ddu = neutron). This transformation requires the intervention of the weak force, since it involves a change in total electric charge from zero to +1 (or the reverse), hence requiring the production of an alternative, elementary charge-carrying particle, the electron and its identity-carrying neutrino, both provided by the mediation of the "W" IVB. Leptons are produced from the excess mass or binding energy of baryons, "midwifed" by the W; the line connecting baryons and leptons in the particle diagram indicates this relationship. (For more on the role of the W and the weak force, see: "The W Particle and the Weak Force Mechanism").
Of the 92 naturally occurring elements, 21 are commonly found in life forms, another 9 are rare, and another 16 occur but are of unknown function. As in so many other areas, humans have begun to do the work of nature, creating the transuranic or man-made elements (about 20 so far).
The diversity of elements available to living forms allows for the development of complex structures and specialized functions; we need only think of the heavy iron atom dominating the center of the hemoglobin molecule, and its counterpart, magnesium, organizing the center of the chlorophyll molecule. The special properties of carbon, with its ability to form complex "organic" linkages, and water, the "universal solvent" (which also forms tetrahedral bonds), are well known. The roles of other elemental species include the formation of the principal inorganic and organic compounds of life: hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorous, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and others. The regulation of water exchange and electrical activity involves hydrogen, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chlorine, sulfur, carbon, oxygen, and perhaps boron. Skeletal structures utilize silicon, calcium, magnesium, strontium, barium, iron, manganese, aluminum, carbon, phosphorus, fluorine, and others. Elements serving biocatalytic functions include iron, manganese, copper, zinc, calcium, magnesium, molybdenum, cobalt, and possibly gallium, boron, vanadium and scandium. There is in addition a long list of elements found in life forms whose function is completely unknown (source: Encyclopedia Britannica).
The point is that without elemental diversity there would not be the possibility of biological diversity; life depends upon the nuclear foundations laid by Taurus, the nucleosynthetic pathway of the stars, and the dispersal of elements into galactic space by multiple generations of supernovas. And all this depends upon the ability of one quark "species" ("flavor" in the parlance of physics) to change into another, on the availability of the elementary leptonic field of alternative charge carriers, (electrons and neutrinos, as mediated by the "W" IVB) and the proclivity of baryons to stick together, share their virtual meson fields, and achieve stable energetic "communities" of "nucleons", built with the "brick" of Taurus, the alpha particle.
The complexity of life depends upon the diversity of elements, and for all we know, not a single one is without utility in some physical process somewhere in the Universe. Without the nucleosynthetic pathway, there would be no life, no Earth, no Sun, no steady source of light from the gradual release of nuclear binding energy as the elements are produced. Our Sun and the stars of the night sky are the furnaces of Taurus, the forge of the elements, dispersed into the galaxy by supernovas, gathered again by gravitation into new stars and planets, and warmed by the same nuclear hearths, brought to life in a grand realization of the very diversity of their properties. Just as "it takes a whole community to raise a child", it takes a whole universe to produce one. But the living world is the realm of Aquarius and the electron shell, our next and final topic.
(Perhaps we need here to differentiate the role of Taurus from that of Leo, whose planetary ruler is the Sun. The role of the Sun is not to produce the elements necessary for Earth-life; that function has already been performed in the past by Taurus in the nucleosynthetic forge of many other (larger and hotter) stars. The Leo role of the Sun is simply to provide light, energy, and heat for the planets (the conversion of Leo's mass (the royal treasury) to energy: E=mcc).
Just as the electron shell depends upon the atomic nucleus for its existence, so the development of human information systems and institutions depends upon the development of the city; in turn, both cities and information institutions are derived from the central social authority, the government and courts (Capricorn-Libra), just as both leptons and baryons are derived from the leptoquark. This is the translation of the physics of the particle Grail diagram into the terms of human institutions, utilizing the clues provided by the traditional interpretation of the astrological archetypes. The whole development of this lower half of the particle Grail diagram is fed from above by Virgo (manual dexterity and technological invention) and Gemini (abstract thought and symbolic representation). The dynamic structure of the particle diagram is therefore in Norbert Wiener's cybernetic terms: energetic "inputs" of technology and symbology from the top; structural "thruputs" of legal and political (or religious) social organization at the center; product "outputs" in terms of cities, commerce and industry, and information, communication, and educational systems at the bottom.
Aquarius corresponds physically not so much to the elementary leptonic particles themselves (which actually belong to Gemini), but to the atomic electron shell and the orbitals which the electrons occupy, including chemical combinations, permutations, and interactions with other atomic shells. The true Aquarian content (of human relevance) is the information represented by these shells and their molecular combinations. The electron shell is not simply a collection of electrons whizzing willy-nilly around an atomic nucleus; it is a very highly structured and regulated system, resulting in the systematic and predictable expression of chemical properties seen in the periodic table of the elements. It is just this stable structural aspect of the electron shell that allows it to carry and accumulate, through its combinations with other shells, vast stores of information. Living systems are more than just huge collections of connected electron shells; they are great systems of information, coordinated and interactive, united for a single purpose - system survival, reproduction, adaptation, and evolution.
Aquarius and the Origin of Life
The Aquarian electron shell is the physical information system that forms the elemental basis of the mystery of life. In Taurus, the realm of the atomic nucleus, we saw that nuclear reactions were the controlling interactions in stars, where element-building takes place following the nucleosynthetic pathway. But nuclear interactions are very high-energy reactions, requiring an environment typically found only in the interior of stars. In such circumstances the electron shells of atoms are stripped away and are of little or no consequence in the construction of the nuclear information system of the heavy elements. In the cold, low-energy environment of planets, however, it is the electron shell that resumes the work of information building.
We have two parallel, interconnected, and interdependent information systems building up through the evolutionary development of stars and galaxies, one in the atomic nucleus and one in its electron shell. The information they contain is the physical basis of all that is to follow in the evolutionary pathway to life and human thought - emergent properties of these information systems. But what is the physical purpose of information systems? Physically, the universe is dedicated to returning its energy content to its most symmetric state, light, and light, due to its symmetric state of intrinsic motion, is dedicated to expanding its spatial domain, which by energy conservation, results in cooling. In the Cosmic thermodynamic drive toward the total entropy of cold light, we have to wonder if information building, which constitutes an apparently separate thermodynamic realm - since it is essentially anti-entropic and against the main thrust of physical cosmic evolution - is anything more than an eddy, a countercurrent downstream of the rock of matter in the universal thermodynamic flow (to paraphrase the great Chardin). Is the accumulation of information just random turbulence, or is it purposeful?
The information stored in the charges of matter is in fact the very information the Universe needs to return matter to the symmetric state of light in either the presence or absence of antimatter - hence information systems are fundamentally necessary to the success of the thermodynamic drive toward total entropy. The nucleosynthetic pathway, the process of proton decay, and the quantum radiance of black holes are primary examples of this fact - they require the information contained in charges to make them "work", as do matter-antimatter annihilations. The charges of matter are the symmetry debts of light.
The Universe comes with an information system built into its elementary material structure; matter is both a storehouse of energy and a storehouse of information, right down to the 6 species of quarks and their incredible gluon field, and the various leptons (electrons, neutrinos, and their kin) which facilitate the transformation of one quark into another. (See: "The Tetrahedron Model".)
Matter is not just mass; it is energy stored in a package of very specific information - cleverly, intricately, complexly, marvelously wrought; the lowly atom is the absolute masterwork of First Cause and the Creation Event. The thermodynamic purpose of the Universe is to return the energy of the proton, the hydrogen nucleus, to the symmetric state of the light which formed it, but the Universe is so arranged that this cannot be done (in normal stars) except by climbing up the information ladder of the nucleosynthetic pathway, boosted along by the energy input of gravitation. Ironically. gravitation's real purpose is to squeeze the light out of matter and destroy its information content entirely in a black hole. But this is a slow process, and along the way information is building up and creating an inverse, anti-entropic realm all its own, aided and abetted by the very energy which seeks (ultimately) to destroy it, not only by the gravitational push up the nucleosynthetic pathway in stars, but also in the planetary environment where the electron shell builds information from the solar energy released by this same process of element-building (as in photosynthesis).
Although the atomic nucleus takes the prize for its combination of incredible complexity combined with incredible energy, the electron shell is also a marvel of construction, and is capable of storing much more information, as it has a much greater capacity for combination. It is also much better understood, being much simpler and more accessible to experiment. It is composed exclusively of electrons which are bound to the nucleus by the electrical attraction of the protons. At "normal" (biological) energies, there is always one electron for every proton, and the electrons lie in well defined orbital "shells" and sub-shells of specific geometric configurations at various distances from the nucleus, depending on the number of protons, or what comes to the same thing, the element in question.
The most spectacular expression of Aquarian information systems is of course life itself, including the vast net of connections between living systems through the ecosystem level to "Gaia" - the planetary geo-ecosystem of "Mother Earth". Here I will forego any further discussion of the development of living information systems and instead refer the reader to other papers where it is discussed: "The Fractal Hierarchy of Nature"; "The Information Pathway"; "Nature's Fractal Pathway"; and "Newton, Darwin, and the Origin and Abundance of Life in the Cosmos". In this paper I will deal more exclusively with the expression of information systems at the human level.
I will define Aquarius as the information carried by (and/or produced by) a chemical system, that is, a system composed of electron shells and their molecular combinations. In biological terms, let us think of Aquarius as the information carried by (and/or produced by) any given species, be it bacteria, whale, or human, including any interconnected set of species, such as the species of an ecosystem. (Chardin's term for the total, combined information content of the biosphere of the Earth is "noosphere". See: "Chardin: Prophet of the Aquarian Age").
From Molecular to Abstract Information Systems
In the biochemical systems of living organisms, information is carried and communicated in the form of molecules - as the genetic material DNA, as salts, amino acids, enzymes, hormones, pheromones, etc. Our senses of smell and taste are of this sort, and our internal bodily functions are largely regulated by such molecular regulatory messengers. As perceptual systems evolved in acuity and sophistication, however, it became possible for information to be carried (communicated) in non-molecular form as visual, electrical, and auditory signals, abstract codes sent by one living system and received by another - for example, our sense of sight and sound, and electrical signals in many aquatic animals (water being a much better electrical conductor than air). Such coded messages represent a first level of abstraction beyond the "hardware" of molecular information systems, and are used by all higher forms of life, from the light signals of fireflies to the songs of whales and the visual displays of posture, color, plumage, and gesture common among the birds, mammals, and vertebrates generally, and even among the insects.
As living systems increase in perceptual ability and intelligence, a new type of information processor or "brain" develops in nature, which has the capacity for what we call "learned behavior". This type of information system is genetic only in the sense that the capacity for it is genetic. It requires perception, memory, often communication, and a programmable central nervous system - that is, some area of the brain which is "open" or "empty" so that new information can be "learned" (usually in the young, before neuronal connections are mature and "cemented" in place - hence the value of "neoteny" (delayed maturity) in animals which have much to learn). In animals which learn, some part of the central nervous system is left open to be programmed by the environment and/or the parents - a very flexible and adaptive arrangement, as it makes allowances for the unpredictable diversity of the environment, rather than relying wholly on an inherited, immutable genetic program to produce a suitable environmental fit (as in the insects). Obviously, such a flexible system is more useful to mobile animals than to sessile plants.
Among all animals, none has more flexibility or "open mindedness" in terms of this capacity for learned behavior than Man, and no species carries as much non-genetic information as Man. Indeed, in humans, it is this non-genetic information which defines us - "Homo sapiens" - Man the wise, Man the knower of information. In humans, it is information itself which has been abstracted to become our way of life, our industry, our biological niche, our way of making a living in the world.
The Abstraction of Information: the Source of Power
In the biological realm, which is preeminently the information realm (thanks to its genetic system, life is the conservation domain of information), information increases through evolutionary time not only due to the increasing complexity, size, and numbers of the life forms themselves, but also because of the increasing complexity of their interactions. I have attempted to show this process in a simplified fashion in tabular form: "The Information Ladder". Each level of this hierarchy contains all the information of the levels below its own; hence humans, at level 7, ("Species"), contain not only the information appropriate to their own level, but that of all six lower levels. This is naturally so, because we embody the lower levels as particles, atoms, molecules, biochemical systems, cells, and multi-cellular, specialized organ systems, in addition to being a male or female member of a reproductively isolated species. In turn, we are but one species in the ecosystem web at level 8, the planetary level of Earth life, or Gaia, which in its turn is but one example of a planetary life-form in the galaxy and Universe, even though others have not yet entered into any web relations with us, either through communication, commerce, or conquest.
While the hierarchy of information levels continues to increase beyond the human, or "Species" level, something extraordinary happens to the "Information Ladder" at the "species" rung: in humans, it undergoes a series of conceptual abstractions, forming an entirely new realm of pure information unique to humans, which I have designated the "Metaphysical Realm". Each level of abstraction increases the power of the information domain. For example, level one, simple signaling by sight and sound, allows rudimentary but rapid communication between individuals at a distance. Level two, human language, assigns specific meanings to sounds by common agreement within a communication or language group (there must have been one for every extended family or tribe in our prehistory). Spoken language allows ideas or thoughts to be articulated, isolated, defined, examined, and communicated. This is the most crucial step in the abstraction series. The information realm comes into its own through the intelligence and visual imagination of Sagittarius the Sage; we conserve and communicate perception, thought, and experience through Pisces the Poet, our capacity for memory, verbal symbolism, and spoken language.
Level three, symbolic notation or writing, allows the conservation and storage of information in books and libraries rather than personal memory; information becomes permanently memorable and accurately communicable from one generation to another and one place to another. Furthermore, in the case of mathematics and geometry, symbolic notation allows the hand-eye-brain synergy which is powerfully and peculiarly developed in humans (as demonstrated through tool making) to enter into and play upon the abstract realm of information itself, with unexpectedly powerful results. Not only has mathematics advanced through the "mechanical drawing" of geometric figures and the visual recognition of relationships afforded by this means, but every aspect of science and technology has benefited from the "drawing board" effect of pen on paper, in which ideas can be symbolized and then manipulated, arranged, compared, and toyed with as if they were objects, geometric or otherwise.
Level four, which we have just entered, is the creation of "artificial" or computer language, which has allowed us to make use of the huge store of information gathered in level three by increasing the speed of processing, manipulation, retrieval, and communication of information to essentially the speed of light. We don't know yet the full power and potential of the computer age, but we can already see that it is sufficient to initiate the space age and the reproductive dispersal of Gaia into the galaxy.
Such is the demonstrated power of the abstraction of information to the 4th level. If we go to a 5th level, in which computers invent their own language, talk to and program each other, we have no idea what the consequence may be, although we may be sure it will be enormous. Science fiction has already imagined some unsettling scenarios involving "self-aware" or "self-interested" machine intelligence. (The 5th level may include "quantum computing").
Teilhard de Chardin, in his great work "The Phenomenon of Man", foresaw the development of the human social super-organism, whose information content he designated the "noosphere", the sum total of information contained in the Earth's biosphere. Combining the ideas of Chardin (the super-organism and noosphere) and Lovelock (the Gaia hypothesis) in the "Information Ladder" or the "Fractal Hierarchy", we arrive at a new and unexpected picture of humanity, not as the master of the planet, but as the agent, even the pawn, of Gaia's reproductive designs.
The Connections of Information: Society as a Super-organism
Power inherent in the abstraction of information has profoundly changed our connections with the natural world, with each other, and the character of the social systems in which we live. We have discovered science and natural law as a consequence of these abstractions, which include mathematics, the language of quantitative relationships. With the discovery of natural law, we have embarked upon the construction of a planetary super-organism incorporating all human societies.
In biology, the ecosystem level of "Gaia" or "Mother Earth" is the largest expression of an information system on our planet. Humans, in their primitive form, exist like other animals at the lower organizational level of "Species" (see: "The Information Ladder"). In their modern form, however, humans have begun to interact significantly with Gaia at the world ecosystem level, influencing the weather, changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere, extinguishing, domesticating, and creating species, and establishing a world agricultural, industrial, and commercial ecosystem.
Modern society is a super-organism which has the social knowledge and power to effect the reproduction of Gaia - we are as a species the reproductive agents of Gaia; our biological purpose, from Gaia's perspective, is to disperse Earth-Life as far and as wide into the galaxy as possible. Gaia is in competition with other planetary life forms for the unoccupied territory of the galaxy, and She needs to "get there first with the most men".
This super-organism, our modern world society, is profoundly powerful. It feeds itself by agriculture, and has transformed the terrestrial surface of the Earth for that purpose. It has domesticated thousands of plants and animals, and controls the course of biological evolution through its understanding of DNA and the genetic code. It has caused the extinction of thousands of other species, and altered the atmosphere and climate of the Earth. This creature not only catalogs the elements but even makes new ones; it toys with the nuclear energies of the stars and recreates the fury of the Creation Event. Its communications span the globe in an instant; it has landed men on the Moon and sent spacecraft to the furthest limits of the solar system. It sees with giant telescopes and electron microscopes; it hears through satellites; it has supercomputers for brains and vast libraries for its memory. Its physical body is composed of billions of people working toward a single goal, of which they are almost completely unaware, for they work not for their own purposes, as they imagine, but for Gaia's. The single purpose of this super-organism which Gaia has evolved and funded with fossil fuel and abundant natural resources is the reproduction and dispersal of Earth-life into the galaxy as far as possible and as abundantly as possible. The space program does not belong to man; man has been evolved by Gaia to effect her reproduction through the space program.
What is special about man, science, and the times in which we live is that Gaia is in her reproductive mode and we are her dispersal agents. Billions toil so that a few may leave the Earth and carry life to new planets. This huge supporting population is necessary to provide both the wealth and the expertise for such a momentous task. Thus Gaia requires a social, successful, intelligent, and technologically adept species as her dispersal agent; our teeming millions are necessary for the endeavor. Like an Olympic discus thrower, the super-organism must have a certain size, weight, and strength if it is to hurl Gaia's seeds beyond the gravitational well of the Earth and Sun, into the grand depths of the galaxy.
Aquarius and Saturn
Aquarius and Capricorn are both ruled by Saturn, the ringed planet signifying regulation and order, reflected in Capricorn as the permanent confinement of the nuclear quarks, and in Aquarius as the quantum ordering of the electron shell. In the educational system, Saturn represents not only the ordering and conservation of knowledge, but the authoritarian limitation of knowledge and creativity imposed by censorship, dogma, and institutional bureaucracy. Although individuals generate and acquire knowledge, human knowledge in general is social, just as language is social. Experiential, instinctual, and emotional knowledge is genuinely personal, but knowledge of the world acquired from other humans is social. We are what we believe, but in general, we believe what we are told. Such is the social nature of humanity.
The rings of Saturn are symbolic of the rings of the electron shell, and signify the "closed systems" of form which all information systems must take, including the cell and the human brain-case. Information must occupy a closed form, both for its existence, transmission, and its conservation.
Aquarius is a transformation of Gemini's abstract thought through the cultural center of the particle "Grail" diagram. However, the passage of the Gemini ray through the central social crystal is not without peril. Censorship of thought and creativity is a favorite activity of governments and the legal system, and naturally there will be as well a cultural coloring in the output. Governments rely heavily on the symbolic power of Gemini for propaganda, and influence heavily what products of Gemini's idealism and fantasy eventually find their way into the education system and the Aquarian body of knowledge. The Church blocked the development of science by this means for many years; governmental, religious, and legal censorship of the free flow of ideas, whether religious, political, artistic, sexual, or scientific, remains rampant today.
For more topics on Aquarius and the Information Age, I refer the reader to the paper: "Chardin: Prophet of the Information Age". Topics covered in that paper include: 1) Social Knowledge and the "Noosphere"; 2) Consciousness and Perception; 3) The Soul; 4) the Physics of Spirit; 5) Enlightenment; 6) Extra Sensory Perception. Papers covering the topic of Information as it relates to the origin of matter and of life include: "The Fractal Hierarchy of Nature"; "The Information Pathway"; "The Origin of Matter and Information".
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