A Sense Of The Cosmos

The following is an excerpt from a personal essay published in Medium:

I. In Search of the Cosmos: A Plea for Astrology and Alchemy

You might find it an odd, not to say also an especially infelicitous, way to begin these reflections on the nature of happiness by offering up a special plea for astrology and alchemy. But hear me out.

I know precious little about either but enough about both to be able to say that what astrology gets right is that it seeks to connect this frail, finite creature with the warp and woof of reality. Somehow my life shares in the broader life; somehow my destiny cannot be divorced from the unfolding of this greater nature. I have no choice in the matter — be I willing or averse — no choice but to participate in ‘all of this.’

In this key respect, it doesn’t matter, at least for the moment, whether astrology gets the account of this relationship right. For what, undeniably, it points to is that there is deep within us all a deep longing for such a relationship, such a commingling and communion, for a way of losing ourselves and thereby finding ourselves.

Medieval alchemy, likewise, bore the stamp of this special, pregnant intuition in the famous cosmological utterance: “As above, so below.” In perhaps mysterious ways, the macrocosm must have an affinity with this the microcosm. It and I are singing the same tune.

Now what remains, in each of us, is this aching longing but not the home ground that other cultures had taken to be obvious, needful, profound, and mysterious.


You can read the rest of the essay here.