by Arthur M. Young (1992)

What’s wrong with the Theory of Process described in The Reflexive Universe?

The account of the photon’s descent into matter is free of inconsistencies and adequate to accommodate what has been discovered by science for the first four stages. In fact it is OK up to the end of the fourth because the photons corresponding to the middle of the fourth are in the visible light range and thus correlate with chlorophyll, the polymer that is used by plants to gather and store energy; and because the plant kingdom begins at the end of the molecular, with virus and DNA, which can function only in the temperature range commensurate with infrared photons (which is also predicted).

But after this I’m not satisfied. The problem is in part due to the fact that there is no science about life. There is a Russian scientist who claims to have found radiation characteristic of plants in the low infrared, and even short radio waves characteristic of animals. We also have the alpha, beta, and theta rhythms of the brain for man. But this is rather thin ice. I don’t know that the Russian’s work has been confirmed, and the rhythms like the alpha may be a gross effect and quite unrelated to photons, although work by Eddy and others confirms effectiveness. And as I’ve said before, even if there be such photons, their energy is so low as to raise more difficult questions than they answer. Besides, how could a single photon incorporate consciousness such as the genius of Mozart?

Perhaps the theory is more a base to build on, and requires more work and findings.

Another inadequacy of the theory is that it doesn’t anticipate what the Theosophists and others refer to as the higher bodies — although the levels can be interpreted as providing a place for such. That is, Stage 5 could be the etheric, and maybe the morphogenetic field; Stage 6 the astral, which I would equate to the group soul.

Hindu tradition has others — higher mental, etc. — but I have to consider them rather substages of the Seventh; that is, I would suppose that the seven bodies listed by the Hindus, those which begin with the physical and ascend to the Atman, are a mixture of the last four stages, to which are added the last three substages of the Seventh.

The third and in a way most serious objection is that the theory does not anticipate the two extra time dimensions in addition to clock time that are required by the effectiveness of arcs in astrology. Arcs are angles between planets, or between planets and the horizon, etc., at the moment of birth. The finding of astrology is that these angles can be translated into time intervals which correlate to major events in the life. The two time dimensions are necessary because of the two rates known as Primary and Secondary progressions. These two rates are in addition to transits.

Now, it is not unreasonable that there should be three time dimensions, in a sense the counterpart of the three space dimensions which are an obvious necessity to describe the world of sense experience. And the account of process given by the seven stages of the arc, which take place at four levels, defined in terms of dimensional constraints — that is, Level I is outside of time and space; Level II in time but not constrained in space; Level III in space and not in time; Level IV in both time and space — is adequate. It complies with ancient traditions; it does justice to the findings of science; it accounts for phenomena inadmissible to science; and it provides the stage for a description of life that anticipates life’s principal features. So far, so good.

But the finding from astrology is that there are three kinds of time. As I said, there is a satisfying symmetry here — not to mention that the time dimensions are “imaginary” as distinct from real, a distinction that is supported by the fact that whereas we can manipulate space we have to imagine things in the past or future time.

Less readily accommodated is the notion that the different times do not “spread out” but are contained within one another. A play depicts in two hours what might take two years to occur in actuality; and we can read a program of an opera or a synopsis of a play in half a minute. This, while different from the expectation we might have of other time dimensions on the basis of space dimensions, which are independent rather than nested within each other, extrinsic rather than intrinsic, is intriguing enough to repay the effort to think differently about time than about space.

I am disregarding the kind of science-fiction view of extra dimensions as making it possible to do space travel faster than light, or teleportation, or whatever. Such views of dimension are backwards. Both time and space are constraints; to escape the limitation of space or time we need to get rid of dimensions, not add more.

What is outrageous about the extra time dimensions that astrology gives evidence for is that these other time dimensions proceed at rates precisely 365¼ times clock time for one, and 365¼ squared for the other. This ratio has no theoretical basis whatever; it is what it is because of the number of days in a year — or perhaps more correctly because of the fact that the earth rotates with respect to the sun once in 24 hours, and also, due to its revolution around the sun in 365¼ days, rotates 366¼ times with respect to the fixed stars. It does not seem reasonable that anything so fundamental as dimension should depend on a merely empirical fact.

I hold the theory at fault since it gives no warning of this invasion of theoretical criteria by an accident of nature. Yet my study of astrology has confirmed the validity of arcs many times over and leaves no escape. In this battle between fact and theory, theory must be the one to give in. One can change theory; one cannot change fact. We are challenged then to come up with a better theory, one which will recognize this possibility that empirical facts can be, at least in this application, more basic than theory.

It is the other way with space. If someone were to measure the diameter and the circumference of a circle and the ratio of these measures had the value of 3.1000, you would insist that the measurement was incorrect because the theoretical value of this ratio was pi — 3.141. . . . The theoretical takes precedence over the empirical. It provides the criterion against which the empirical is judged.

Now that I’ve posed the problem, however, I can see that the theory of process does predict this “outrageous” reversal of the order of things — for time is Level II, and Level II is physical. Here we have a different kind of absolute than that derived from theoretical, that is to say conceptual, considerations — Level III. Such constraints of nature as the mass of the proton, and the number of particles in the universe, defy efforts to derive their value from theory alone. Similarly with the law of mass-energy conservation.

The notion that physical, which is to say phenomenal, considerations have a share in dictation of absolutes, contrary as it may seem to our custom of honoring theoretical criteria, suggests a higher authority than either, a very exciting idea.

But if this is so, why do we not find a similar precise ratio between what we have called dramatic time — the period of about two hours pertinent to plays, concerts and games — and actuality?

365¼ X 2 hours equals just about one month — which is about the time required to learn a new subject, as in a college semester; but not enough to grow a vegetable, almost all vegetables reaching maturity in 60 – 90 days.

Multiplying 1 month by 365¼ again = 30 years — not far from the “life” of a career.

While I can see nothing special about one month, the fact that two hours, which is the typical duration for a play or game, when multiplied by 365¼ squared equals 30 years, is impressive. But I still see no possibility of finding this exact ratio in anything other than astrology, where it is accurate to a fraction of one percent.

So what further confirmation can we find for the notion that there are two kinds of criteria — the theoretical, or conceptual, concerned with space, and the empirical, based on time? One that comes to mind is the two kinds of law, statute law and common law. The former is based on principles, the latter on practice. Statute law is theoretical; common law is based on custom — while it need not be formulated, it can be equally important.

In science there are laws like the law of gravitation, that force varies as the inverse square of the distance; or Faraday’s law, that a charge in a closed container is not attracted to the surface of the container even if the container surface is oppositely charged. These laws are essentially tautologies; they can be proved. There are also laws like the conservation of mass-energy, the conservation of charge, spin, angular momentum, etc.; also the law that entropy always increases, which is de facto rather than de jure — a distinction which is similar to that between common law and statute law.

This confirms the difference of time from space and supports their independent and complementary jurisdiction. It does not support the 365¼:1 ratio — which is based on the earth’s rotation. However, now that the door is opened to this new vista, we could say that since time is measured in days and years, the earth’s rotation takes on special significance. It is still empirical, but we cannot say it is arbitrary. It could rotate at a different speed, to be sure, but since time on earth would depend on this rate of rotation it would become as inviolate as a criterion based on first principles. There is also the fact that the length of the day has not changed more than 10 percent during two billion years.

It occurs to me that there is a sort of mother goddess in this “earthy” nature of time — which may account for its conflict with our intellectual predisposition to invoke the father god, or “authority” of theory (formalism). Myths, and especially creation myths, are sensitive to the distinction, and their goddesses preside over these issues and often have the last word (viz. Gaia causes Cronus to emasculate Uranus; Rhea fools Cronus; Isis puts Osiris back together).

I have omitted a major absolute that originates at Level II. This is the asymmetry of time. The asymmetry of time torments the theoretical physicist, not because it cannot be described, much less explained conceptually, but because it is not objective. He is forced to regard it and its consequence, entropy, as de facto rather than de jure. This radical difference, becoming versus being, was of major concern in the late nineteenth century when the laws of thermodynamics were drawn up and it was realized that the law of entropy (that energy tends to become more dissipated) is of a totally different nature from the Newtonian laws of moving bodies in which time could go either way. This should have been an early warning of the revolution in thought required by the discovery of quantum physics that the observation of an electron disturbs it. This latter fact demolished the theoretical possibility of an all-knowing mathematician who could predict the future. Unfortunately, the implications of both the asymmetry of time and the quantum of uncertainty have not percolated through to the majority of scientists, who regard quantum phenomena as applicable only to the microscopic world and neglect it in the life sciences, where it should be essential.

The determinist dogma depends on ignoring the implications of quantum phenomena; indeed, quantum physics aids in this deception by hiding its findings in a language incomprehensible to scientists of other disciplines. But incomprehensibility does not apply to the asymmetry of time, which is an elementary fact of experience, about as simple and straightforward as could be imagined. The question is, why is it not appreciated? The answer, that it is only a problem because intellect makes it so, shows how serious has been the damage caused by “mind,” the “slayer of the real.”

The asymmetry of time not only has importance for philosophy and cosmology, it also lays the foundation for another and even more important asymmetry, the asymmetry of value. Pleasure-pain, good-bad, true-false are also dichotomies whose importance rests on asymmetry; their two terms cannot be interchanged (except perhaps at the very highest level, Christ consciousness; but that is another story).

While this discussion of asymmetry may have seemed a digression, it has uncovered important clues, namely that the second level is responsible for much of what the objective or third-level approach of science has overlooked or omitted from its otherwise remarkably complete and conscientious description of reality.

But we got into this by asking why a mere empirical fact, the number of days in a year, should be responsible for what amounts to an absolute — the ratio of time rates which are found in astrology and which make possible a correlation of astrological arcs to major events in our life.

Let me give one example. In 1931, I had completed an apparatus to measure propeller efficiency at different velocities, necessary to the design of the “propeller-on-top” type of helicopter. The device worked so well that I could enlist an assistant to compile data. Bart Kelley, brother of a girlfriend and four years younger than myself, lived a half mile down the road. So I walked down and asked him to work for me, which he did, devoting most of the summer to it without pay. After that I didn’t see him again until ten years later, shortly before I went to Bell. He helped me again, this time to wind up my experiments with small models, take movies and still pictures, etc. When I landed the contract with Bell he consented to come along as my assistant. He soon became familiar with helicopter theory and practice and not only was a great help during the six years I remained at Bell, but stayed on after I left, becoming vice president in charge of engineering until his retirement a few years ago, having been with Bell some 40 years. Had it not been for him, the helicopter enterprise could not have succeeded.

He was not initially a close friend, but became so after our six years together at Bell. Our relation and its contribution to the large picture of the helicopter, involving the transformation of a major manufacturer of airplanes into a company making helicopters, was an example of fate.

At the precise time I asked him to help me in May 1931 my progressed Sun (motion of the Sun at the rate of a day for a year) had moved from 10° 20′ Scorpio to 6° 05′ Sagittarius — 25 degrees and 45 minutes. 6° 05′ Sagittarius is the position of Bart’s Sun, so the “arc” correlates exactly to my asking him to work for me. Note that the progression (day for a year) programs the event at a rate that is 365¼ times faster than clock time; in other words, 6° 05′ Sagittarius was the position of the Sun 25¾ days after my birth in Paris November 3, 1905.

If this were an isolated example it could be a coincidence. It is not an isolated example; it is typical of the major events in my life for which I have dates, and this includes most of them, since as an inventor I have made it a policy to keep records of important dates.

But we still need something other than astrology to confirm that the extra time dimensions have the precise ratio they have in astrology.

Meanwhile let me chew on this idea for a bit. Without the rotation of the earth causing day and night, and the revolution of the earth around the sun causing the seasons, we would have little notion of time. True, clocks would work and we could measure time, but we would be without the variety of experience which day and night, summer and winter, supply.

Currently my wife and I spend the winter in California, where the seasons do not differ as they do in the East, and when we go East in the spring I find myself each year surprised at the changes of the seasons. It is not just the weather; there is the garden and the variety of fresh vegetables that come, each at their appointed time, to reward our efforts — first the asparagus, then peas, then beans, corn, tomatoes, and with luck, melons and fruit. In California most of these products are available at any time, but fresh asparagus, fresh peas, fresh corn, are not to be compared with produce shipped from the antipodes, remarkable as is the preservation of flavor by freezing.

One year we stayed longer than usual, remaining East through most of November. The days grew shorter, and as the curtain of night nudged ever closer, one felt nature herself getting ready to retire as she slowly dropped her garment of foliage, now turned yellow and red, and exposed the bare trunks of trees to view. How different to see deep into the woods, and to feel the warmth of the sun as a welcome penetration of the cool autumn air. Everything was different. I could feel a difference in myself that kept time with the change in nature.

So the variety and contrast afforded by the rotation of the earth, and its revolution around the sun, supplies a content to experience that clock time alone cannot, and we are emboldened to ask whether these changes in the seasons, in experience, in the content and substance of life, dismissed by science as a mere oscillation, are not worthy of greater importance in our cosmology, our understanding of the universe.

This brings us to another aspect of this problem of different time rates. If there were but one time rate, it would not be possible to anticipate the future, and without anticipation the future, like a meal without appetite, would be meaningless. True, we may find the long-awaited letter, the long-awaited meeting, conference, or what not a disappointment, but our anticipation has enriched the long period of waiting, and we could not anticipate if we did not have access to a different time rate — and I doubt if it has occurred to anyone that such a different rate is a different time dimension.

If we think further about anticipation, we realize that not only does it require one different time, but the fact that we can envision a goal to be reached at some later time might require yet a different time dimension, or even a dimension devoid of time. I don’t know; I need testimony from nature lest I be deluded.

One such support comes from the fact that the growth time of annual plants of about 50 days has roughly the same ratio to animal motion as the year has to the day. This I admit is scarcely evidence, because “animal motion” is too vague. How do we measure it? It is not that the animal moves faster than the plant; most plants don’t move at all.

But suppose we approach the question in a different way. We have already mentioned the duration of games, plays, concerts, films as about two hours — a time rate that matches our emotional needs and is probably keyed to our own motion. It is the right tempo for human interaction, stimulus and response, cause and effect; or rather, the two-hour duration of plays, games, etc. is sufficient for a certain drama based on a scenario or choreography of stimulus and response. If it were much shorter we would want more; if it were much longer we would get bored.

It is not unreasonable to think of this as a sort of heritage of the hunter, which in turn links it to the animal’s activity of searching for and pursuing its daily meal. This is a distinctly animal trait or function; it is the pace or rate of emotion, linked to motion because under stress conditions our glands release adrenalin and other chemicals which equip up to fight or flee. We use the phrase “animated” conversation, but in a more general sense all our physical activity is “motivated” in the same way and with the same tempo as the activity of animals. It is only our mental life which is not confined by time, and thus categorically different from physical movement and emotional motivation (both of which are locked to time), which set us apart from animals.

This supports the distinction I have used between man and animal in The Reflexive Universe, where animals exemplify the mobility principle and man, while including the mobility principle, adds the seventh or dominion principle.

Both animals and man include the growth or organization principle developed by plants. Growth could be thought of as a very slow type of motion, or as distinctly different from motion; but whatever it be, it is at a different time rate than animals’ mobility and mental activity (thought).

This would indicate that the theory of process does predict the different time rates required by astrology, even though it would not necessitate the precise ratio of 365¼:1. (I say 365¼ because the accuracy of timing provided by astrology is of the order of ± two weeks in 60 years:

(60 X 50)/2 = 1500:1
— that is, accurate to less that 1/10 of 1 percent. One tenth of one percent of 365 is 0.365, so the ¼ is significant.

The challenge then of astrology, which requires that the theory of process account for the possibility that “arcs,” when translated into time intervals, program major events in the life, has forced us to an examination of the theory. What we find is that the theory does anticipate and partially explain the necessity of different time rates. These different rates correspond respectively to the growth of plants and the motion of animals.

What is perhaps more drastic, and contrary to expectation, is that certain absolutes of nature are derived from contingent or accidental atributes of the phenomenal world. (I am referring again to the fact that the time rates we have discussed depend on the number of days in the year.) To common sense there is nothing remarkable about life’s dependence on the seasons or on the number of days in the year, but evidence from astrology indicates that this physical fact carries over and is responsible for programming major events of persons’ lives.

The capacity of rotation of the earth to foreshadow events 133,408 times itself implies that what is phenomenal (the length of the day is not fixed by first principles) becomes noumenal; that is, becomes a criterion or absolute.

I will not attempt to support this further. No recital of evidence would suffice to translate fact into belief, because for such translation to occur there has to be a theory to “explain” the fact and thus make belief possible. Rather I prefer to call attention to this inversion of noumenal and phenomenal, not only as a philosophical paradigm inversion, and hence a new paradigm, but also as a possible way of recognizing the unity whose division produces noumenal and phenomenal.

From the conceptual point of view, Level III, size is relative, whereas form is invariant; i.e., a triangle is objective, can be communicated. Time could go either way. From the emotional point of view (Level II), value and size are invariant — form is symbolic, that is, a device or vehicle for emotion; viz., the bush is supposed a bear.

In the light of the discussion so far we have from astrology that the progressions program the life at a rate of a day for a year, etc. This leads to the notion of an extra time dimension “nested” within clock time.

We have from the theory of process that time is “conquered” at Stage 5 in that life begins there. (Life conquers time in that it produces seed and reverses entropy.)

It seems reasonable to invoke an extra time dimension to account for this production of seed, because besides furnishing a blueprint DNA provides a program, or programs the growth of the new plant.

In other words I see a resemblance between the chart and DNA; both program the life. In the chart this “mechanism” depends on arcs between planets which culminate at the day-for-a-year rate. Nothing of this sort is known about DNA, it being assumed that it is a chemical process, each step producing a stimulus to the next. But this doesn’t provide a rate.

The objection that plants don’t respond to the position of planets has little bearing, because plants do respond to the sun and moon, and these bodies alone could provide the program.


We began with the fact that the evidence from astrology that major events are predicted or programmed by what are called primary and secondary directions require two extra time dimensions. These, and the regular time dimension which we measure with clocks, are not, like space dimensions, in different “directions” (i.e., orthogonal to one another), but are nested or contained within one another. They are distinguished like sounds by their ratio to one another, and the value of this ratio is precisely determined by the number of days in a year, which implies a correspondence between rotation of the earth around its axis and its revolution around the sun.

The Theory of Process was faulted for its failure to predict this, but on further investigation it became apparent that the rate of growth of plants, and the faster rate of motion of animals, have a ratio to one another that is approximately the same as the ratio of the earth’s rotation to its revolution. This implies that the fifth and sixth stages require different time rates. When the theory of process was first developed it was evident that the fifth stage was only possible because it could “reverse” time; that is, be able to step aside from the flow of time and “see” that a cause produced an effect and thus use the law of cause and effect to store energy, or reverse entropy. Thus the fifth stage, no longer subject to entropy, could “conquer” time through growth and reproduction.

Similarly the sixth, which introduced the power of mobility, could conquer space. But the evidence from astrology suggests the alternative of viewing the three later stages of process as creating extra time dimensions which make it possible to program a long-term development in a much shorter time interval. Such a possibility makes it possible not only to plan a course of action, but to enjoy a play. If it required 30 years to read the life of Napoleon we’d get bored. Our emotional responses require a faster time rate than the “law’s delays” allow in actual time.

Should we not look to find a similar expression of different time rates on the left-hand side of the arc? As I now see it, no; the descent involves increasing constraint until at the fourth stage there is, except for the quantum of indeterminacy (the quantum of action) complete determinism. The last three stages see freedom regained.

Apparently the descent on the left correlates with extrinsic or space-like dimensions, and the ascent on the right with imaginary or time-like dimensions, which only became available after the space dimensions have made determinism possible.

This is a different way of viewing the arc, and possibly equivalent to what we had before. Its advantage is that it complies with the evidence from astrology and may help explain what I have referred to as the “pull from above.”

The “pull from above” was necessary to account for how evolution could continue after personality was surrendered and self-aggrandizement ceased to operate as an evolutionary push. It was also necessary to man because all seventh substages show dependence on the next stage. Both these requirements are too vague. But the evidence from astrology, while highly speculative, is not vague, it is precise. It is not only persuasive in the way I’ve described — predictive of major events — but is made plausible by the fact that the periods of the planets are of exactly the right duration to affect creatures with an expected life span of 84 years, and therefore specific to man as compared to animals.

©1998 Anodos Foundation