Cosmos and Psyche

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Richard Tarnas. Cosmos and Psyche. Viking 2006




"Tarnas asks us to step back and consider that the ancients, who looked to the night skies to find their way and make sense of their lives, were onto something — and that perhaps it is we, with our high-powered computers, big bang theories, and relativist notions, who are lost in space. Without discounting the implications of the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, and the revolution in post-modern thought — and in spite of our successful efforts over the past 300 years to deconstruct meaning in the cosmos and dismantle our false gods in science, religion, and philosophy — Tarnas makes a compelling case for the idea that we are not an isolated oddity of consciousness floating in a meaningless, indifferent universe. And more: that we are participating in one that is conscious and exquisitely ordered, albeit mysteriously.

Tarnas supports this case by laying the philosophical ground for a radical shift in perspective, supported by a sweeping body of evidence that illustrates an uncanny correspondence between the movement of the planets and the timing and character of historical events, from September 11th to the French Revolution, from the unfolding creative genius of Descartes and Darwin to Beethoven and the Beatles. These correspondences, numbering in the thousands, may give culture, biography, and history itself an elegant coherence. They also may be “intimations�? that we are more deeply connected to the cosmos than we have ever imagined. Yes, Tarnas is talking about resurrecting ancient astrology (not the newspaper horoscope variety), knowing it’s a ludicrous notion to anyone with a good education. But he’s staked his reputation on it, and even to the most skeptical and critical inquirers — and I count myself among them — Tarnas’ brilliant scholarship is an invitation: Throw away your old glasses. Behold a new vision. Step into an enchanted universe."

A critical review by John Heron, which questions the reliability of Tarnas' analysis of world transits, was published in Network Review: Journal of the Medical and Scientific Network, No. 95, Winter 2007, pp 11 – 16. The full text of this review can be found at [1]

More Information

Hear the podcast with Richard Tarnas on Cosmos and Psyche

Read the author's essay introducing archetypal astrology]