John Emerson Roberts

John Emerson Roberts, subject of my biography

September 28, 2013 is the 160th anniversary of John Emerson Roberts’s birth.  This makes ‘Kansas City’s Up-to-date Freethought Preacher” a Libra according to astrology.  My father and my son, Dr. Roberts’s grandson and great-great-grandson, were also born in this sign.  Libra is the Latin word for balance.  I am not sure in what sense all Libras should exhibit balance, but equilibrium has not been characteristic of any of these three men.

It would make more sense if “Libra” were connected “liber,” the Latin work that means free, as in liberation, and book, as in library.  All of these men have been freethinkers according to their times.  None of them has believed in a conventional god, and they have embraced the new, each in his own way.  John Emerson Roberts explored new ideas of all kinds: science, theology and humanism.  My father was an exponent of new ways of looking at language (as developed by Noam Chomsky).  My son has made his career in computer software development.

Paul McHenry Roberts

My father, Paul McHenry Roberts

One tradition in astrology focuses on the elements (earth, air, fire, water) associated with each astrological sign.  Libra is an “air” sign.  This connects it with the mind, with ideas.  The sign is associated with intellectual creativity and intensity.  This fits my three men well.

But I, a deep water Scorpio, also focus on intellect.  Where does my freethinking, intellectual approach to “life, the universe and everything” come from?  How does inheritance relate to astrology?

I like to explore astrological theories, because it seems reasonable to me that there are resonances at multiple levels throughout the cosmos.  However, no interpretation I’ve come across yet has been able to capture the subtleties of such possible influences.