Jesus the Mathematician?

We now begin to look at Jesus’ ministry in quite a unique, “unorthodox” way; as that of a mathematician. Rest assured, when one considers how often Jesus used the number “one” as a part of his teachings, one must wonder at his mathematical knowledge.

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Jesus has never been considered a mathematician. He made but few statements dealing with number. Yet, He made many statements about one, the number that is the basis of arithmetic through which all branches of mathematics become possible. If He described one’s inner structure and the principle upon which one, as measure, operates, He was a mathematical genius. How could this come from the man of Nazareth?

How indeed? At this point I am reminded of the 12 year-old Jesus amazing those present in the Jerusalem temple with his questions, answers, and understanding. From where does his wisdom come?

The realization could have arisen from His unconscious, as has been the case with other great mathematicians. Jung felt that a fruitful field for further investigation was the study of man’s basic “mathematical axiomata – which Pauli calls ‘primary mathematical intuitions,’ and among which he especially mentions the ideas of an infinite series of numbers in arithmetic, or of a continuum in geometry, etc.” Dr. von Franz writes that “William James once pointed out ‘the idea of an unconscious could itself be compared to the ‘field’ concept in physics.’” She says:

“In other words, our conscious representations are sometimes ordered (or arranged in a pattern) before they have become conscious to us. The 18th century German mathematician Karl Friedrich Gauss gives an example of an experience of such an unconscious order of ideas: he says that he found a certain rule in the theory of numbers, “not by painstaking research, but by the Grace of God, so to speak. The riddle solved itself as lightning strikes, and I myself could not tell or show the connection between what I knew before, what I last used to experiment with, and what produced the final success.”

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Keeping in mind that for Harold, the Father dwells in the unconscious, and that Jesus “can only do what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also,” and “My Father is working until this hour, and I am also working,” and one can clearly see that Jesus is receiving his mathematical revelations from his unconscious, or Father. But is this the only explanation for his mathematical genius? We will look at other possibilities in our next installment. Until then, peace.

Triad or Tetrad?

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Difference emphases on either the three or the four can be found within varying cultures, the beginnings of which are lost in the sands of time.

Although scientists move away from the quantitative view toward the qualitative view and acknowledge the validity of both positions, the dilemma of three and four is by no means resolved – its beginning is lost in antiquity and its end is not yet in sight. As to its beginning, Jung says that number helps more than anything else to bring order into “the chaos of appearances…primitive patterns of order are mostly triads or tetrads,” and he points to I Ching, Book of Changes:

“…the experimental basis of classical Chinese philosophy…one of the oldest known methods for grasping a situation as a whole and thus placing the details against a cosmic background – the interplay of Yin and Yang… there is also a Western method of very ancient origin which is based on the same general principle as the I Ching, the only difference being that in the West this principle is not triadic but, significantly enough, tetradic…”

He refers also to the alchemists’ tackling of the problem of three and four, seeing the dilemma stated in the story that serves as a setting for the Timeaus and extending all the way to the “Cabiri scene in Faust, Part II…recognized by a sixteenth-century alchemist, Gerhard Dorn, as the decision between the Christian Trinity and the serpens quadricornutus, the four-horned serpent who is the Devil.”

Of course western religion and culture has been based on the tension between the three and the four, both being primary factors in the Holy Scriptures. The four is stated outright: YHVH, even translated into English as a four-letter word, LORD. The three is implied in the three visitors to Abrahm, the Christian Trinity, etc. Returning to alchemy’s approach of the problem, Preston Harold says:

Wolfgang Pauli discusses the controversy between Johannes Kepler, discoverer of the three famous laws of planetary motion, and Robert Fludd, in his day a famous alchemist and Rosicrucian. Pauli says that Kepler’s ideas “represent a remarkable intermediary stage between the earlier, magical-symbolical and the modern, quantitive-mathematical descriptions of nature,” indicating a way of thinking that produced the natural science which today is called classical. Kepler, a devotee of Euclid’s geometry, insisted upon strict mathematical methods of proof. His premise was that “Mathematical reasoning is ‘inborn in the human soul’…” His is a trinity-concept, his symbol “contains no hint of the number four or quaternity.” Fludd, however, was a mystic with great aversion to all quantitative mensuration: “It is significant for the psychological contrast between Kepler and Fludd that for Fludd the number four has a special symbolical character, which, as we have seen, is not true of Kepler.” Fludd drew his inspiration from Moses, and he brilliantly defends his stand on the nature of the soul. Kepler, however, appears to best him in all scientific argument until one realizes that Kepler considered the quantitative relations of the parts to be essential while Fludd considered the qualitative indivisibility of the whole. Pauli says, “modern quantum physics again stresses the factor of the disturbance of phenomena through measurement,” as Fludd (and Goethe) insisted upon. He concludes that the only acceptable point of view appears to be one that recognizes both the quantitative and the qualitative, “the physical and the psychical” as compatible, embracing them simultaneously.

This attitude eases the argument, but it does not resolve the dilemma of three and four, as may be seen in a mathematician’s explanation of continua.

We will explore this mathematical explanation in our next post. Until then, peace.

Trinity or Tetragrammaton?

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At this point we are finishing up chapter 7 and getting ready to move on to chapter 8. In order to make the transition a smooth one, Preston Harold takes us from the mortal sin via blasphemy into pronouncing the name of God. I will leave the rest of this post to Harold as he transitions us so well.

That the mortal sin is nameless, that it is a derelict from the forgotten past which can be any sin a man has repressed or has been unable to forgive himself, rests upon Jesus’ contradictory words. He says any blasphemy will be forgiven – and He, Himself, blasphemed if “pronouncing the forbidden name of God” is to say, “Ani hu,” and if to say, “Ani hu,” is blasphemy.

The forbidden name of God is indeed a mystery. What is this name? The definition of blasphemy (from Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary) reads: “In Jewish law, cursing or reviling God or the king…pronouncing the forbidden name of God. See Tetragrammaton.” Tetragrammaton? “The four letters (variously written, without vowel points…) forming a Hebrew tribal name of the Supreme Being…too sacred to pronounce.” What is this mystery having to do with four “unpronounceable” letters, IHVH, or JHVH, etc.? Does the blasphemy rest in rendering the form of God in a four-dimensional concept such as consciousness can know? Could one state the forbidden name in numbers, for example:

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Could this be “blasphemy” because although the equation might bespeak a four-dimensional concept, it does not coincide with the “odd-even” division of a light wave group and thus it cannot truly and fully satisfy life’s situation? Is there anything in the realm of physics and mathematics that might explain this mystery?

The answer is yes. But to solve the riddle one must enter into an argument that engages the scientific world. The gist of the argument can be very simply told: it hangs upon what Jung calls, “the dilemma of three and four,” and one may grasp its general outline in Jung’s work and that of the physicist W. Pauli…The “dilemma of three and four” deals with a very old dispute, but it is one that is examined to this day. Trinity or Tetragrammaton? Triad or Tetrad?

Until next time, peace.

Moses and Khidr

Continuing from our last post, we now go into the psychic parallels which arise from the science of light. Preston Harold continues…

Thus, in psychic parallel, one might say that as a person comes into each life experience, the measure of good and evil he must or can expend is determined by the measure of the opposing frequencies associated in his ego-group, and there is one measure in him that can act as (+) or (-), to give or to receive, and it terminates each action, providing also the boundary to his life-experience when his capacity to exert constructive and destructive force is both fulfilled – that is, both expended and received to the precise extent premeasured for this only life experience. How he fulfills this measure is a variable, but with each move some of both forces is expended and received – the man is “salted”: he gains a measure of immunity to evil-doing because the sum of his memory-images, and thus his capacity to act and react to any stimuli or the suggestion of it, is altered and his empathy turns him out of certain paths, into others.

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Most of the time it is difficult for us to see the reason or sense in any evil. We usually equate all evil to be of the same measure; to transgress one part of the law is to transgress the whole. But the wise among us are able to see so-called evils in a larger, wider context as is illustrated in the legend of Moses and Khidr:

That a creative process is involved in much that appears on the surface to be purely evil is projected in the legend of Moses and Khidr which Dr. von Franz presents in discussing the aspect of the unconscious that Jung called the “shadow.” She says:

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The ethical difficulties that arise when one meets one’s shadow are well described in the 18th Book of the Koran. In this tale Moses meets Khidr (“the Green One” or “first angel of God”) in the desert. They wander along together, and Khidr expresses his fear that Moses will not be able to witness his deeds without indignation. If Moses cannot bear with him and trust him, Khidr will have to leave. Presently Khidr scuttles a fishing boat of some poor villagers. Then, before Moses’ eyes, he kills a handsome young man, and finally he restores the fallen wall of a city of unbelievers. Moses cannot help expressing his indignation, and so Khidr has to leave him. Before his departure, however, he explains the reasons for his actions: By scuttling the boat he actually saved it for its owners because pirates were on their way to steal it. As it is, the fishermen can salvage it. The handsome young man was on his way to commit a crime…By restoring the wall, two pious young men were saved from ruin because their treasure was buried under it. Moses, who had been so morally indignant saw now (too late) that his judgement had been too hasty….Looking at this story naively, one might assume that Khidr is the lawless, capricious, evil shadow of pious, law-abiding Moses. But this is not the case. Khidr is much more the personification of some secret creative actions of the Godhead. 

The legend would seem to say that one is short-sighted when he turns his back on humankind or God because he cannot reconcile within his concept of morality life’s apparently witless, useless evil.

XIR84999 Job (oil on canvas) by Bonnat, Leon Joseph Florentin (1833-1922) oil on canvas Musee Bonnat, Bayonne, France Lauros / Giraudon French, out of copyright

Job (oil on canvas) by Bonnat, Leon Joseph Florentin

In this sense one recalls the Book of Job, one of humanity’s oldest books asking one of humanity’s most important questions: why do we suffer? Good and evil can certainly be relative when the big picture is seen. This is why Jesus tells us not to judge. It is with this thought in mind that we continue on to our next installment. Until then, peace.

Reconciling Science and Religion, Part 3

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But as important as the second law of thermodynamics is to scientists, the study of energy, of light, is of first importance. Jesus appears to have seen that the secret of the universe must rest in light, primordial energy, and that in the creation of light rests the secret of creation itself. If He realized the nature of it, He must tell its story in large drama because prime energy, or elementary particle, cannot be identified and is not an individual. In making Himself a symbol of light in order to reveal its nature, and in being a symbol of saving grace in man, He took care to insure that someday men would realize His revelation was of universal truth. This is to say, He did not forget to enfold in the being of all humankind the primordial energy of God that He represented…for to the multitudes before Him, Jesus said:

“…you are the light of the world…”

From a scientific point of view, what is light? Is it a wave or is it a particle? It is actually both, depending on how we observe it. Notice what Preston Harold said above: “elementary particle…is not an individual.” Just this past week the first visual representation of actual light as both wave and particle has been documented. Here is a brief summary:

Please note how quantum theory, part of the “new physics” comes into play in this situation. Preston Harold says:

To evaluate Jesus’ revelation of the law upon which the universe operates and its psychic parallel, and to appreciate His dramatization of light, one must attempt to grasp, at least in some small measure, some of the basic ideas of the new physics. The relationship between science and psychology, which today largely substitutes for religion, cannot be determined by exploring only one realm or the other. To make the acquaintance, to have at least a nodding and speaking acquaintance, with the doctrine of science, psychology, and religion is incumbent upon [modern] man.

Just as light is neither particle or wave but rather both particle and wave, we as humanity can no longer approach meaning using either science or religion/psychology but rather both science and religion/psychology.

Either/Or is out the door.

Both/And is where we land.

But it takes some work on ourselves to “repent,” to change our way of thinking. Preston Harold continues…

To attempt to grasp in small measure some of the basic data of the new physics is not an easy task. And to see in the working of the physical world something of a mirror-reflection of the operation of man’s psyche might strike many as being too far-fetched to give the subject much consideration. A question must also arise – how could Jesus have known anything of physics in today’s sense of the word? His realization arose from the unconscious…. Aniela Jaffe says:

“The parallelism between nuclear physics and the psychology of the collective unconscious was often a subject of discussion between Jung and Wolfgang Pauli…The space-time continuum of physics and the collective unconscious can be seen, so to speak, as the outer and inner aspects of one and the same reality behind appearances.”

If only Hyacinth Bucket was aware of the reality from which appearances arise! Richard’s, Emmet’s, and the Vicar’s lives would have been so much simpler!

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Now that we’ve thought about light a bit we will return to the second law of thermodynamics. To prep us for chapter 6, we will listen to Preston Harold’s last words of chapter 5:

This study does not attempt to show that Jesus precisely formulated the secondary law of physics – rather that His words and drama are congruent with the physicists’ explanations of these laws… Jesus’ view of the cosmic significance of nature’s supreme law differs from the nihilistic view of many scientists, disputed in some circles, but His descriptions of its working harmonize with those given for the layman. Jesus must speak to a world wherein even among the learned there was no language or mathematics to couch His realizations if they were as advanced as their congruence with scientific data indicates. Thus, He must be a poet, or in drama show nature’s operation that He grasped – and to be congruent with today’s science, His words must be as enigmatic, contradictory, yet true, as are the secondary laws of physics versus the classical, or as is the wave theory versus the quantum theory of light.

With that we are ready to tackle chapter 6 and how Jesus’ poetic and dramatic ministry expressed truth for the listeners in His day to the same extent that science and math express truth abstractly through numbers and data for modern mankind. Until next time, peace.

Spirit and the Serpent

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The devil is associated always with the “serpent power.” Jesus’ offensive words, “your father, the devil,” indicate that a “serpent power” fathers the flesh of man and its lusts, which is to say, man is involved with a powerful material factor that is resurrected in him generation after generation. (In 1928, scientists learned that a certain “coil” could be resurrected: when a batch of dead “S” bacteria were added to living “R” bacteria, the DNA of the dead “S” type somehow took over the “R” bacteria converting them to the living “S” type.) Jung observed that the devil is seen to be lord of matter. Evil is said to be of Satan’s domain which is represented as eternally burning; in this regard evil coincides with matter’s oxidizing. Satan is somehow a discrete play of energy, and so is matter. God has cast Satan, evil, out of His realm; God, good, remains as spirit only, spirit with dominion over evil, matter.

So there it is: Spirit/God = Good; Matter/Satan = Evil. Nice and tidy, wrapped up with a pretty bow. Isn’t it nice when we can have simple, straight-ahead black and white answers? That way we don’t have to think, challenge ourselves, or wonder about God at all! But hold on. Maybe it’s not so simple. Preston Harold continues:

Although Jesus saw that life itself is spirit, He saw that spirit is wedded to material being…by definition the word good is also deeply if not completely involved in the material realm. Good and evil are so intermingled in creation they appear to be that which the Creator has joined, both necessary to life in manifestation.

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Remember the parable of the wheat and the tares?…

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” -Matt. 13:24-30

And Jesus’ words from the Gospel of John?…

“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” -John 5:28-29

Jesus says that God is love. Love does not, apparently will not or cannot, do away with evil. Evil too, is resurrected. Why?

Good question! We’ll look for an answer in our next post. Until then, peace…