There is probably not one subject which is so ill-understood, which so many people pretend to know, and on which so many are prepared to express on opinion, as the subject of Astrology. The Indian proverb truly says that there is no man who is not a bit of a physician and an astrologer; and it is equally true that there is no subject which is so ill-understand as these two. The fact is that the broad medical and astrological principles are so many that everybody out of necessity learns a few of these, but experiences a difficulty in mastering all of them.
It would be interesting to note the various subjects with which astrology is confounded. Persons with well-developed intuitions are often found to make correct predictions of events. The Yogis are persons of this description. Their peculiar knowledge is certainly not the result of any study of astrological works. We also find another class of men who imitate these men and also make striking statements. Birmingham gold is often taken for sterling gold; German silver for pure gold is often taken for sterling gold; German silver for pure silver; and we have a variety of inferior stones, white, red and green that are often mistaken for diamonds, rubies and emeralds. The world is full of this dual character of things. Every department of true knowledge has its inferior counter part and so we have a number of men woman, possessing no occult powers, but securing the help of few elemental spirits, practise imposition on the ignorant public. But the world is not without a touchstone to detect the hollowness of their pretensions: these men will give you a few correct particulars regarding remote past events, a great many particulars regarding present events, one or two particulars regarding the immediate future, and no particulars at all about the distant future. We have known these men and test the truth of their statements. These men pretend to be astrologers. Some of them carry no books at all and make amazing statements touching past events in prose and verse in an extempore singsong fashion and without the least effort, even thought the questioner is a perfect stranger; while others show you some huge antique cadjan book and pretend to read from its pages. This was exactly the way in which questions were recently answered by the Brahmin astrologer who pretended to read from the pages of the works of the Great Bheemakava we are sure that his intelligent friends never had a look into the book to see whether what was read out was really written there, and if so, whether the writing was not a fresh one. IN all these cases the astrologer, if he one at all, doggedly refuses to allow others to look into his book; for, he says, he is not permitted by the book deity to do so! There are a more wonderful man in India all around. They pretend to read from the works of Bhrigunadi Nandikesware etc. Such astrologers are making vast sums of money. The statements they make are really puzzling ones. But for these and the way in which they are made, the utter want of preparation and the like. We should have been inclined to discard the element of the help of the elemental spirits. Let those who would object to this, examine the matter and then pronounce an opinion.
Nothing can be more funny than to find young men especially, taking up astrology as their first subject of attack in their public utterances. It is a subject to which they pay little or no attention except for purposes of ridicule. To all your questions how do you prove this statement and how do you prove that their one ready reply is that their common sense tells them so. They forget that common sense is a sense which changes in its nature as one advances in one's study, and it changes so much that the common sense of one age is different from the common sense of another age, the common sense of one nation or of one individual is different from the common sense of another nation or of another individual. Where proof is advanced by a few, it is equally interesting to examine it. The proof is that such and such astrologers made such and such predictions and that the predictions have failed and ergo, astrology is no science! It is evidently taken for granted that the astrologer was really learned in the science, and that there were not those numerous errors of data to mislead him.
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