The Blank Slate
The whole theory of the personality being a blank slate emphasized by the philosopher John Locke when he proposed the mind obtains knowledge and is itself a passive recipient or “Tabula rasa “ (blank slate). Apart from this being a somewhat soulless interpretation of the human being entering into life, he said the mind is like a white piece of paper void of all characters, without any ideas. How it comes to be furnished? The whole environment paints upon the individual and it gains a personality through experience. Futhermore the English philosophy major, said that “The mind is a blank tablet of which expereinces writes. “In other words, the mind is empty of all content before birth.
Astrologers would mostly agree that we are not born a blank slate ready to be written on by our environment, and we are not static. We already have definite characteristics before any influence succeeds from the outer world. Our horoscope influences our personality and it affects how we view life, but we do possess the ability to adapt and to evolve.
Jungian astrology, holds the view that we have apriori (prior experience disposition). Most of us into psychology astrology feel that both the birth chart and early experiences form our innate characters. We are not a blank slate waiting to written upon, a cup ready to be filled. We are subject towards experiencing life in a certain way, and we are born with a particular self-image, as well as an innate disposition. We are already coloured and the environment does not wholly dictate or paint upon the canvas of our personality.
We are at birth, already predisposed to feeling and responding in a set way, usually dependent upon the signs, aspects and astrological houses. Still, we are also like sponges, especially when young, and soak up everything in the environment. Whether we with John Locke and believe certain we are bank slates, or canvases ready to be painted upon by our environment is besides the point, there is still always so much to be learned about our inner world, psyche and soul. All input into human psychology is always immensely interesting, and spurs on fascinating discussions.
We all like to think we have some measure of free-will and indeed we have, should we choose to exercise it, but much of the time we are motivate d by a whole spectrum of different influences of which we are bit dimly aware. Without doubt many of these ‘influences ‘can be linked to early childhood and relationships….The future always has to be built on the past and our adult life is based on the foundation of our very earliest years….This is not to say childhood cause the experiences of later years. As astrologers we know that the earlier and the later experience is, as astrologer Eve Jackson put it ‘embraced in a symbolism mapped before either occurrence’. In other words we come into the world predisposed to react in a certain way and this disposed to hook certain life experiences. Aspects in Astrology: A Guide to Understanding Planetary Relationships in the Horoscope
Another argument put forth is reincarnation, a poor one (not that I am not a believer). Only that we cannot prove we have lived lives before this one. However, it is still something many people strongly believe, and hold the view that we have lived lives before and therefore already possess a firm set of characteristics:
The Laws of reincarnation tell us the soul is a collector of experiences. It synthesises the growth achieved, lessons learned, and lessons to be learned from past lives. These lives take form in both sexes, in all races, and many national groups. Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology: The Classic Guide to Modern Astrology
What is it that actually determines the choice of the outer personality to be worn by the individual in any one incarnation is another question, and can hardly be discussed at length here. As has already been indicated, the author leans to the opinion of many thinkers that it is probably man’s own free-will. It seems only reasonable and just that the secret ambitions we nurse, the aspirations and ideals we cherish in one earthly life, should forge the chains which will draw us steadily along some specific line of development in the next. Signs of the Zodiac Analysed
Furthermore, as pointed out by Eve Jackson – the psyche of an individual is much more difficult to chart:
Psychology is literally the study of the psych, but what do we mean by psyche? When we talk about the human body we feel we know what we are dealing with; it can be apprehended by the senses and measured, we can point to different parts of it and name them, confident that others will understand what we mean by “head” or “heart” as anatomical items…when we try to describe the non-physical aspects of the human being…we are getting into territory much more difficult to chart…the invisible psychic operations. But what do we mean by mind, spirit, soul, self, to say nothing of instincts, feelings and intuitions. ASTROLOGY (COMPASS OF MIND)