Greetings to all!
I have been asked to explain more in depth the notion of “Gestalt”. As I frequently used this notion in past postings it might be a good idea to do that here.
Maybe it will be helpful to first highlight the word’s origin.
ETYMOLOGY OF “GESTALT”:
It is a German word that has been adapted by the English language, as there is obviously no other English word to express its meaning adequately. I find this problem to occur quite often when trying to translate terms of a philosophic nature to English ;)
The Merriam Webster dictionary says:
“a structure, configuration, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts”
This is of course a psychologically tainted unsatisfactory definition, but at least it expresses one important meaning of the word: Something has a quality that cannot be expressed adequately by describing its parts. The parts may be described separately but the adding up of these descriptions will not adequately describe the whole.
This reminds me immediately of the old Indian parable mentioned earlier by Boris of three blind men describing different parts of the elephant, not one of them seeing the elephant’s Gestalt. One gropes a leg, the other the trunk, and the third one, I forgot, maybe one of the elephant’s big ears… each one of them describing faithfully what he feels beneath his hands ;). None of them is lying, none telling the truth either.
Etymologically the word “Gestalt” stems from the old Middle High German (14th century) past participle “gestalt” of “stellen”, meaning to put, place something somewhere. It was used however to indicate that something has shape, form or does not have it, thus being “ungestalt” = amorphous, shapeless, unshapely.
From this we can derive that there was an underlying assumption, namely, that Gestalt (form, shape) was being placed in the world by someone, certainly by God or Heaven. No one at the time would have had any other idea ;)
GESTALT AS A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE:
Gestalt is the very principle by which creation works, by which everything coming into the world is organized.
Comparisons are by default imperfect, but one could maybe compare Gestalt to a hologram – as long as one keeps in mind, that the hologram is of artificial making and belonging to the world of material phenomena, while Gestalt is an existing entity in the realm of the mind.
Mind is in this context however NOT referring to the human mind, but the Greek “NOUS” – in Neo-Platonism considered as the divine reason regarded as the first emanation of God.
Gestalt is actually image, again in the old Greek Platonian sense of “IDEA”, a transcendent entity that is a real pattern of which existing things are imperfect representations (according to Merriam Webster). Today we can no longer call it “idea”, as this word has completely changed it’s meaning in everyday language consequently to the change in philosophy, which has meanwhile taken place. Today it is describing a thought-construction. But in the old – philosophical – sense Gestalt is about “IDEA”.
And “image” as well today is no longer associated with that ancient original meaning but with the two-dimensional variety of a concrete painting for example.
Taking that into account, I prefer to use the term Gestalt to point out the three-dimensional character. Gestalt at least has the notion of three- or more-dimensionality the way it is used in German.
ASTROLOGICALLY speaking, Gestalt is determined in the 4th quadrant, where it comes to origin in 11 out of the numinous in 12. The Gestalt is finally defined in 10 (as an elephant or a crocodile or a rose e.g.). By crossing the “time wall” of 0°Capricorn it is becoming the Gestalt of Time in the 3rd quadrant. It can be perceived and put to life in the 2nd quadrant, which it impregnates to create the constant stream of being that we call and experience as life.
Another image for Gestalt is Aphrodite. Aphrodite finally emerges after her way from the sea of the 12th house out of the waters in the 7th as the Gestalt of the Presence.
The presence is the flood wave of time, which we experience from moment to moment. We meet Aphrodite by our awareness of the 6th, sitting on the shore of the sea, awaiting her.
Only then, the process of life, which is happening in the 2nd quadrant brings Gestalt to the appearance of reality in the 1st quadrant.
In this 1st quadrant of material energy and appearance, and only in this quadrant, logic and digital information are to be found in action. The first quadrant is the realm of all energetic and material appearances and functions and the realm of digital yes-no/0-1 logic.
To continue our example of the hologram:
If one goes and examines a small part of the hologram’s surface, one might find logic and patterns, coherent with physical and chemical laws, a certain texture, chemical composition, arrangement of molecules, and what else you have. But one will get no glimpse of the Gestalt of the hologram itself. One will be like the blind man groping the elephant’s trunk. All he says is correct. And still it is not the truth. The power that is arranging everything to that Gestalt is not detected by such an examination. If one’s attention is concentrated on the spot, which one examines, one might not even suspect that there is any Gestalt or any power that arranges it.
There is a fundamental difference between the right and wrong, correct and incorrect of the logic of the 1st quadrant, -in other words the intellect of the 3rd house-, on one hand and the truth on the other hand, which is defined by the Gestalt of Time coming to us from the depth of heaven beyond time. What is right doesn’t have to be true in the sense of the myth, the Gestalt. And what is wrong can still be true in that sense. Truth is contained in the myth, containing the Principle of the Gestalt of Time. Sometimes the wrong is needed to fulfil a truth or a myth. Each one of us with any kind of access to intuition has experienced that ;)
Appearance and functions of the 1st quadrant of reality may be containing the Myth, IF they are faithful functions of the Principle of the Gestalt of Time. But they might as well be empty forms and functions that have to be repeated and repeated, to be sustained, as they are not a result of the constant stream of life, but of missing life.
The 1st quadrant is material appearance, without life. This aspect of the world functions according to the laws of physics and chemistry and other sciences. It is however DIRECTED to be the appearance of some Gestalt from other planes of existence. The shape is determined somewhere else. The material form or shape is the RESULT of the working of other planes of existence. The material form is nothing but the REMAINS, so to speak, it is what has been crystallized by the being (2nd quadrant) of consciousness (3rd quadrant).
The material reality is following the Gestalt emerging from other planes of existence! This is the whole mystery!!
Maybe some of you are acquainted with anthroposophy. I am not an antroposoph myself, but I am fairly acquainted with the basic concepts. In this context I would attribute the “Astralkoerper”, the astral body, to the 3rd quadrant of pure Gestalt of Time, being a kind of antennae, receiver for the Gestalt of Time, and the “Bildekraefteleib” or ethereal body to the 2nd quadrant of life. The Gestalt of the 3rd quadrant is impregnating the 2nd quadrant of the individual being, which is in turn forming and shaping the material reality of the 1st quadrant by the individual being and living process.
“Bildekraefteleib” means the (ethereal) body that has the ability to form, shape reality according to the astral forces that impregnate it.
“Astralkoerper” is of course directly referring to the Gestalt that comes as fate into time, described by the path of the stars, luckily for us :), otherwise we would have no knowledge of it. Or if so, only as poets or clairvoyants.)
To stay with the comparison to a hologram: As I mentioned above, by examining a small part of it, one may be able to give statements on its texture, consistency, chemical composition, and so on. But one will not be able to have any idea of why the molecules are arranging themselves following the shape they do.
Due to the missing of such a basic understanding of the organization of life, biology has as yet not the slightest clue, just HOW cells are knowing, what to become and where to go, when a body is created in the womb (or elsewhere nowadays). There is much talk going on about communication between cells, how the signalling could maybe be achieved, people being rewarded prices if they find out anything about this communication. But there is not the slightest idea, how the whole design is set to be realized, WHAT information just these cells are communicating. And I dare to say, there will never be, because the design may be stored in the genes but the self-existing Gestalt behind it exists on a different plane of existence – and without it the stored Gestalt can never be set to live.
Genes are no more than the personal memory-storage of images of experience prepared for the individual, who is to be born, containing the images of experience of the whole evolution, of the species of mankind, and of the personal ancestors.
Years ago I predicted, that a single gene will not be found responsible to achieve anything. And to my knowledge that is exactly what’s been found out. I also predicted, that one will find, that the turning on and off of genes will be dependant on the milieu. Again, this turned out to be true. Now it’s the proteins – until it will be found, that the activity of the proteins is dependant on still other factors of the milieu. I dare to predict further (;)) that genetic therapy will never work, because genes are nothing but stored images, which cannot come to live without the Gestalt, that is the quality of time as it comes to us from beyond time as present time, as individual presence, exactly as indicated in the horoscope. In trying to conserve this Gestalt by cloning e.g. one will find, that the resulting form will destroy itself, as is any form that is not kept alive by a Gestalt on the tide-wave of time, which we call presence.
And if one should succeed to alter certain biological realities, the Gestalt will find other ways of manifesting itself. This can be seen very clearly in medicine. Only true healing will re-enable the working of the Gestalt that might be blocked by our not accepting it. All other ways of interfering just block one road of realization of the missing of Gestalt. It will soon manifest somewhere else in a way coherent with that Gestalt, or -in the case of illness- the expression of its being absent. With eyes open one can observe this every day in the case history of patients. Homeopathic remedies heal in restoring the particular Gestalt missing in a person, be it that of a mineral, of a plant or of an animal. It is placed in the 8th house and thereby restoring the Gestalt, that is going to enter presence in the 7th.
In physics, time is not described as having a quality. Astrology describes this quality in an utterly faithful way to an ever freshly astonishing degree. Ernst Juenger in 1959 has written a very fair description and distinction between these two approaches in his book “An der Zeitmauer” (literally: at the time wall)
Modern sciences are able to describe and to some extent predict reality, and in doing so they may be very useful. But they will never be able to describe life, as the material aspects of life are – in terms of the zodiac, exactly ONE FOURTH of the whole ensemble ! :)
It is only the effort to apply sciences to realms that they are not adequately equipped for that leads to the destructive results seen today. They may be very useful to all material aspects of the world if they keep connected to the other realms and know what they are doing in regard to the principles of heaven and life.
But orientation for life has to come from different sources all together, which HAVE knowledge of the Gestalt of Time !!!
Gestalt is permeating and shaping all space and all life in this world.
We are able to perceive the Gestalt of a tree beyond it’s being the specific tree in front of our eyes. We are ! :)
Should some of you have read Hoelderlin – his poetry is pure INVOCATION of all different kinds of Gestalt. He is never describing them in a dissociated way but invoking them to life for everyone prepared to perceive them.
Maybe you have lost interest in communication with a “stranger”. (However astrologer, too ;)).
But I would still be interested to learn to what extent, if at all, you can relate to such a notion of Gestalt as described, however one chooses to call it, image, “IDEA”, “NOUS” or whatever.