mixed feelings

The inner elements eri and emi are softer than the outer ones, which suggests that they would mix more easily.

The idea is now that what appears outside as individual and separate beings is unconsciously connected inside...


...and that these connections result in feelings that change for often not obvious reasons (emi), while naming inner concepts allows to impose some abstract calm (eri).

Astrology links water (emi) to feelings, love, music, art, religion, the collective and/or individual unconscious, and more. Now, the idea of a collective unconscious goes back to Jung, while it may in the end still be so that such unconscious collective connections are created by more Freudian individual unconsciouses, via subliminal channels in normal day-to-day external interactions between beings.

But let me explore things in the Jungian picture first, as a Gedankenexperiment, because it is initially easier, and because it mirrors the initial assumption more directly.

How one feels at any moment would be a mixture of individual and collective influences. Not that what other people think would be directly accessible, just indirectly with regard to how one feels in a particular situation, or how one feels regarding individual possible next steps.

Individuals that are emotionally and physically close would likely have the strongest influence on a person, but also large groups of people, like same village, country, religion, etc., could together have a strong influence.

Influences from a collective unconscious could go well beyond the sum of what is in individual conscious minds. Since the collective unconscious would effectively be a very large brain, consisting of many more brain cells than any individual being, it might have a much more complex and sophisticated mind than any conscious individual and it could know all kinds of details about everybody.

Such a view of a collective unconscious would resemble the concept of god or gods in many religions, and it would likely be fragmented into smaller units at several scales, like families, countries, religions, etc., each with its own collective feelings, plans, and so on.

Jung noticed that in dreams and in cultural creations some archetypal patterns repeat. These archetypes might simply be part of the thoughts, experiences and knowledge of the collective unconscious.

Precognition in dreams or art might simply be picking up collective intentions that are only later realized and can be felt and dreamed about already while the collective unconscious is only planning or considering them.

How would the collective unconscious effectively direct the individuals it consists of? Telling each and every one what to do at each moment would likely not be possible, just like the conscious individual mind would not be able to tell each of its nerve cells when to fire.

But maybe with a general concept like astrology, which creates a balanced and relatively complete set of individuals, each with its own approach to new problems? Faced with a particular problem, a Leo, for example, would feel more like solving it in a "Leo way", due to collective feedback, so that in any situation different approaches would be tried by different individuals and a good solution would usually emerge. Since astrology tries to reflect all possible approaches in a structured way, the search space for solutions would usually be quite complete.

In other words, a culture with a system like astrology would have an evolutionary advantage in the sense of Darwin. Astrology would then not necessarily need to have anything to do with planets and stars in the sky, more so with relatively ancient beliefs about them.

Assuming the collective unconscious would extend to matter considered inanimate, oracles like the I Ching or Tarot could really reveal some intentions of the collective unconscious, maybe paired with emotional feedback which parts of the response to focus on or how to interpret it. If so, also astrology might a priori still have natural causes, direct influences from planets and stars, collective feedback from the universe itself.

However, there are some arguments that speak against astrology having dominantly natural causes from the sky. There are different astrologies in different cultures, each of which comes in different flavours and has different schools of thought. Besides many small examples for a detachment from actual constellations in the sky, the most prominent one is Pluto in Western astrology.

Pluto was at its discovery in 1930 thought to be a planet that is about as big as planet Earth. Over the following decades it first emerged that Pluto is much smaller, consists mainly of ice and finally in the early 21st century that Pluto is rather part of a belt of objects in similar orbits and with similar sizes. In 20th century astrology, however, Pluto was attributed a major role, both in mundane events and personal fates. In my perception, part of that view did reflect reality, so that it seems most plausible to me that astrology is largely a cultural creation of mankind that works by collective feedback.

Now let me come back to the initial question or to how something with the properties of a collective unconscious could come about in view of contemporary physics.

The most immediate explanation would be that there are direct connection between brains, mediated by some kind of "waves". But this can largely be excluded today, except maybe at close range, in the sense that any explanation of that sort would require new physics.

So let me focus on known physics and try to look for the most simple and obvious explanation. What I propose is that people simply mirror who and what they encounter in their lives inside their brains.

People's brains would thus contain "copies" of everyone they know, most prominently and precisely of their loved ones. What exactly the neural networks would mirror would not be consciously available to individuals nor would it likely be easy to analyze scientifically even if the full structure was known. But it could in principle allow people to make fairly accurate predictions about what their loved ones would do and when. For example, one person could possibly think of the other one almost exactly the moment that other person would have picked up the phone to call.

In terms of network terminology, this would be a store and forward network instead of one where information is propagated immediately.


  • Mirroring the outside world is such a central part of the human psyche that it would seem likely that nature would try to make use of any physical effect it could.
  • Experimentally distinguishing different effects that could explain such phenomena seems to be very difficult.
  • Candidates would include entangled quantum states, as in the EPR paradox, and self-similarity as in fractals.

    There would be neither senders nor receivers in these views; sharing would be fundamentally symmetric. Would maybe different people simply look at the same things inside?

    If there was just one inner world, seen from different perspectives by different people, similarly to what is usually assumed about the outer world, would maybe the inner world be as important or "real" as the outer one, or even more, unlike nowadays usually assumed in science and technology?
  • See "Zeitzeugnisse" under artemis for earlier contributions by me to some possibly new physics related to this, which make additional very specific predictions, and also "How astrology might really work?" for a more recent and longer article around the same themes as here, but with different starting point and focus, also available in German.
  • Big data and deep learning could be used to find and analyze such collective structures, including astrological ones.
  • Science is based on some implicit, but fundamentally unprovable assumptions, like that nature is more stupid than people and repeats stoically given the same questions. Since numbers only come to be after a measurement, it is difficult to compare a mathematical model of the situation before measurement with reality. So, the "Veil of Isis" may not be easy to lift, if at all, also related to e5, etc.
© 2002-now Alain Stalder