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Witenberg, E.G. (1972). Horoscopes and Other Scientific Phenomena. Contemp. Psychoanal., 8(2):139-148.

(1972). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 8(2):139-148

Horoscopes and Other Scientific Phenomena

Earl G. Witenberg, M.D.

HISTORY has been called that study which tries to make sense of the past because the past did not make sense while it was happening. Predicting the future is much the same undertaking about the present; foretelling is an effort to make sense of the senselessness of the present, to make uncertainty certainty, to make complexity simple, and to motivate either through fear or hope those who would be apathetic. All this is done with the consciousness that we never know where we are until we have passed through that point. The proverb is "Truth is the Daughter of Time."

With all this limitation, there always has been an interest in the future. At times it has been taken for granted. At the present moment, dismay and concern about the future are growing. The fruits of technology and materialism—and yes, reason—are spoiling before our very eyes. Everything is speeded up beyond our ken. Everything is in flux. We have done things, accomplished much, accumulated much information and knowledge without knowing quite how or for what reason we have been of the Age of Reason; to what avail! Historically we are in the position of the late Renaissance men who did without knowing precisely why. It was only the post-Renaissance scholars, poets, and dramatists who attributed to the Renaissance doers a level of consciousness they did not have while they were doing.

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