Avances en Psicología Latinoamericana
Print version ISSN 1794-4724
HUBBARD, Timothy L.. The inner meaning of outer space: Human nature and the celestial realm. Av. Psicol. Latinoam. [online]. 2008, vol.26, n.1, pp. 52-65. ISSN 1794-4724.
Kant argued that humans possess a priori knowledge of space; although his argument focused on a physics of bodies, it also has implications for a psychology of beings. Many human cultures organize stars in the night sky into constellations (i.e., impose structure); attribute properties, behaviors, and abilities to objects in the celestial realm (i.e., impose meaning); and use perceived regularity in the celestial realms in development of calendars, long-range navigation, agriculture, and astrology (i.e., seek predictability and control). The physical inaccessibility of the celestial realm allows a potent source of metaphor, and also allows projection of myths regarding origin and ascension, places of power, and dwelling places of gods, immortals, and other souls. Developments in astronomy and cosmology influenced views of human nature and the place of humanity in the universe, and these changes parallel declines in egocentrism with human development. Views regarding alleged beings (e.g., angels, extraterrestrials) from the celestial realm (and to how communicate with such beings) are anthropocentric and ignore evolutionary factors in physical and cognitive development. It is suggested that in considering views and uses of the celestial realm, we learn not just about the universe, but also about ourselves.
Keywords : constellations; origin and ascension myths; cosmic anthropic principle; Kant; extraterrestrials.