Monday, 13 March 2000

(2060) Chiron, self-organization of psychological defenses

(2060) Chiron is a centaur discovered in November of 1977 and named in 1979. There are prediscovery images back to October and January of 1977, December-October of 1976, October of 1975, September of 1973, November-October of 1972, June of 1971, September of 1969, August of 1952, August of 1948, April of 1945, March of 1943, January of 1941 and April of 1895.

The orbit is between Saturn and Uranus, but goes a bit beyond Saturn, getting in to the Jupiter's influence. It has a perihelion of 8.5 AU and an aphelion of 18.9 AU. It has an inclination of 6.9º. It has a diameter of about 230 km. A cometary coma was detected in April of 1989. It reached the perihelion in February of 1996.

Greek mythology

Chiron was a wise centaur and had an extensive knowledge of astrology, music and medicine, and tutored many heros as Jason or Achilles.

Heracles unintentionally wounded Chiron in the knee, during his battle with the centaurs with a blood of Hydra poisoned arrow. Because Chiron was immortal, the wound could not cause his death, but it was incurable, so he was permanently confronted with a terrible pain, although in a approachable way, like 5th mutable line of the hexagram 16th of I-Ching: "Persistently ill, and still does not die". Chiron followed creative ways to heal his wound, learning good techniques that applied to others as a healer. Finally, when Prometheus was ready to be responsible with humanity after Zeus punishment, Chiron renounced to his inmortality and took the place of Prometheus in Tartaros, where he died at last and become inmortalized in Sagitarius constellation.

Self-organization of psychological defences

During the first prediscovery of (2060) Chiron appeared "The Jungle Book" (1884, 1907), in wich three of the stories revolve around the adventures of an abandoned "man cub" Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle (where also lived tigers). The same theme returns in the movie "Tess" (1979).

During the discovey of
(2060) Chiron, Mary Ainsworth, a Canadian developemental psichologist, conducted her experiments about early emotional attachment in 1978. [Wikipedia]: In this procedure of the strange situation the child is observed playing for 20 minutes while caregivers and strangers enter and leave the room, recreating the flow of the familiar and unfamiliar presence in most children's lives. The situation varies in stressfulness and the child's responses are observed.

Orbit between Saturn and Uranus

According to dynamical systems theory, all centaurs are chaotic, but (2060) Chiron (and his group, like Bienor or Chariklo), has one of the highest Lyapunov exponent, because of the high contrast between the total chaos of Uranus and fixed structures of Saturn.

Saturn creates boundaries to protect personality, while Uranus fragments structures and limitations leaving the personality free, but also unprotected. The psychological defenses of Saturn work by blocking emotions. But all emotions --even the negative ones-- have adaptative functions (information about the situation and physiological activation). This means that the emotions should be inhibited only the strictness necessary level, like ABS brakes in cars (resonance 7:12 with Saturn).

"From a self-organization standpoint, this reevaluation begins with the observation that the best defense is, if not a good offense, then a self-perpetuating interpretation that cristallizes though coupling with ongoing emotion. [...] Like other stable interpretations, the resilience of a defense depends on ongoing emotional disequilibrium. Thus, contrary to our intuitions, a stable, recurrent defense must be at least partially unsuccessful, because it must maintain some of the negative emotion it is intended to stem. On the other hand, in order to cohere at all, a defensive interpretation must achieve a degree of regularity or orderliness in the face of the most turbulent emotions. Thus, a self-organization defense interpretation might be expected to consolidate near --but not too near-- the most intense emotional states on the personality landscape." ("The Psychological Meaning of Chaos", Masterpascua & Perna, 1997)

When (2060) Chiron is activated there is an opportunity to overcome fears, open to new life style and consolidate it, but in a safety way (integration of Uranus and Saturn; going a bit beyond Saturns orbit towards Jupiter). Also, (2060) Chiron has the ability to recover easily from sudden and traumatic events, like in the movie "Running" (1979), and can behave with normality even in stressful and dangerous environments, without getting paralysed by fear (Saturn) or getting out of control by anxiety (Uranus), like in the movie "Alien" (1979).

In Greek mythology, Heracles killed several centaurs with his poisoned arrows. Chiron --protected by self-organizated psychological defences-- was the only one that survived.