Jesus’ Mathematical Influences

Preston Harold speculates on other means by which Jesus may have acquired his mathematical knowledge.

But one does not have to look altogether to the unconscious for Jesus’ source of mathematical knowledge. Within His reach was Alexandria, the center of mathematical studies and of Neo-Pythagorianism. Here, Nicomachus of Gerasa, one of the “golden chain” of philosopher-mathematicians, is presumed to have studied, for Gerasa was a city in Palestine, primarily Greek – it is near to the place where Jesus cast demons called “Legion” into the swine – and it is probable that Nicomachus did not receive all of his education there… Nicomachus is thought to have flourished between the middle of the first and second centuries, but it is possible that he was a contemporary of Jesus, and he could have brought Alexandrian mathematics to Palestine, placing his knowledge within easy reach…

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Many of Jesus’ statements regarding one reflect Nicomachus’ thinking, which, in turn, rests upon the mathematical knowledge of his day. Nicomachus had much to say of one, which he saw as unity. Jesus’ mathematics came to rest in His concept of one, which appears to have arisen from His grasp of the operation of signed numbers and the concept of zero.

Zero, that non-number number that is both nothing and everything.  At the end of his introduction to his book, “Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea,” Charles Seife writes, “The clashes over zero were the battles that shook the foundations of philosophy, of science, of mathematics, and of religion. Underneath every revolution lay a zero – and an infinity… Yet through all its history, despite the rejection and the exile, zero has always defeated those who opposed it. Humanity could never force zero to fit its philosophies. Instead, zero shaped humanity’s view of the universe – and of God.”

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Preston Harold writes:

About the time Euclid was stating his axioms (300 B.C.) an unknown scribe jabbed into a wet clay tablet a point to make the space that zero would come to occupy about a thousand years later when Hindus brought to the court of the Caliph of Baghdad the digit 0, still used today. To the mathematician, zero – 0 – is indeed a perfect pearl for the possibilities opened through this symbol are limitless. Did the digit 0 take shape in Jesus’ mind – or was it another gift of the Magi? In speaking of the “eye” of the needle, Jesus called to mind this configuration: 0, and related it to “naught,” for the “eye” of the needle is the  “nothing” of it that makes it operable; and in this enigmatic statement, He brought God, the absent or “minus” one into correspondence with man, the present or “positive” one, and brought both one’s into correspondence with this “hole,” or whole of “nothing” that takes on a “circular” shape, through which God, “minus” one, draws man, “positive” one, into infinity. Through this correspondence, any one-thing is vested with zero’s enigmatic, unmeasurable properties. But Jesus appears to have realized that although one and zero are corresponding unities, they are not the same in action and reaction.

It is this difference between one and zero that we will look at in our next installment. Until then, peace.

Striving Towards the ONE

To see how the three and four might be transcended we begin by looking at Erwin Schrodinger’s observations of cell division.

In his work, What is Life?, Schrodinger is not concerned with investigating the ancient dilemma of three and four, but he describes cell divisions, and in his descriptions one sees that the “triadic” family structure, mother-father-child, is involved with a “tetradic” pattern – as Schrodinger discusses the hereditary “code-script” that rests in the chromosomes, he says:

…this whole four-dimensional pattern is known to be determined by the structure of that one cell, the fertilized egg.

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He points out that physical laws “rest on atomic statistics” and their “precision is based on the large number of atoms intervening,” whereas the living organism is under the control of “incredibly small groups of atoms, much too small to display exact statistical laws,” but they play a dominant role, control observable large-scale features, determine important characteristics of its functioning, and “in all this very sharp and very strict biological laws are displayed.” These laws insure that each one is always an event in himself, unto himself.

Here we can see that the three and the four both exist within the one and work together towards becoming one.

Old folk-wisdom has also acknowledged the predicament of the three and the four…

The strangest thing about the dilemma of three and four is that some time ago those on the side of three, embracing Euclidian geometry which says that the whole is equal to the sum of its parts, were contradicted in the nursery:

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

This bit of wisdom is restated by Kluckhohn, the anthropologist, “A whole is different from the sum of its parts,” and it is restated by Koestler, “A whole is defined by the pattern of relations between its parts, not by the sum of its parts…”

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It is also worth noting that the rhyme has also been interpreted as representing the second law of thermodynamics in that after his fall and shattering, the inability of the most powerful men in the world to reassemble Humpty is representative of the high unlikeliness to return him to his previous state of lower entropy as the entropy of an isolated system never decreases.

And in the nursery, those on the side of four, insisting upon the qualitative aspects of the whole, were reminded that time changes the aspects:

Hickory, dickory, dock.

The mouse ran up the clock.

The clock struck one, the mouse ran down.

Hickory, dickory, dock.

In these rhymes both the devotees of three and the devotees of four were given the clue: the whole must be described in terms of one, whole, and one must be seen as a working principle through which as time changes the arrangement of material forces within and without, one remains, itself a unity and the measure of unity.

This is to say, the answer to the dilemma of three and four rests in the answer to the mystery of one. This answer must be given in a mathematical statement that describes the composition and inner operation of one, itself. Jesus stated the Equation of One which must be seen against the briefly sketched background of the dilemma of three and four in order to appreciate the magnitude of His thought, for He transcends the dilemma, giving as the measure of one or wholeness, the number five.

We will begin to look at “Jesus the mathematician” in our next post. Until then, peace.

The Resurrection of Damnation

When one hears and thinks of the word “resurrection,” one’s mind tends to immediately think of other concepts that surround and reinforce it; eternal life, God’s victory over death, glory, celebration. All of these thoughts usually congeal around a positive attitude. But what happens if we actually view the concept resurrection not just through Easter, but through the eyes, mind, and teaching of Jesus?

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. –John 5:28-29

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From this statement of Jesus we can surmise that for some or many, resurrection may not be all it’s cut out to be. But who among us really believes that they will be part of the resurrection of “damnation?” We automatically assume that we are part of the “life” camp. Preston Harold may give us pause to question our certainties on this issue. He begins by giving us an excellent theology of inevitable sins within the context of life:

There is that in every person’s life that he knows to be damnable, knows to be corrupting… But all his sinning is not so easily bedamned, so wantonly forgot – nor can it be ceased, for there is not the will in him to have done with it at the time; even when what might be called “an episode of sin” is over, he cannot truly regret it – the experience has raised the level of his understanding and he would not possess less.  He can say of such sin only this: “I did it knowing it was wrong, but I cannot regret that I did it; I know now, however, that I could not bring myself to do this again because I know its cost to me and to others.” Such experience represents, in truth, a lesson learned.

But here is where the rubber hits the road. Harold goes deep:

But there are other deeds that even though they have brought new understanding, one must regret to the end of his life and in the very-depths of his being, saying of them, “god be merciful to me, a sinner,” as though to pray, “forgive me this terrible toll of life I have taken, toll of my own life and of another’s, for which I shall be bitterly sorry in every breath I draw now and forever.” Or he quickly represses and forgets the sin he cannot forgive himself – the sin that must await the resurrection of damnation.

…there are sins that blaspheme the preciousness of life itself – these are unforgivable because a man cannot bring himself to forgive himself: they sever his connection with his own Authority-Ego and still the voice of the ego-member in the world of selves, as Judas’ voice was stilled.

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Jesus says…in part of a statement in itself contradictory: “I tell you, therefore, men will be forgiven any sin and blasphemy, but they will not be forgiven for blaspheming the Spirit. Whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will never be forgiven, neither in this world or the world to come.”

First, Jesus says man will be forgiven any sin and blasphemy. Then, any is contradicted – man is not forgiven for blaspheming the holy Spirit. Is the holy Spirit not life itself? Who can live without in some way at some time cursing or reviling life? Is true repentance of no account? What, exactly is the mortal sin?

It is this question we explore in the next installment. Until then, peace.

The Judas Factor; Part III

Although scholars are divided on how Judas is characterized in the recently discovered Gospel of Judas, if approached from Preston Harold’s point of view the disputes may be lessened. These disputes are based upon how a few select words are interpreted.

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Take, for instance, how the Greek word paradidomi is interpreted in the canonical gospels. Does it mean “betrayed” or “handed over?” Does it mean both? How one decides to interpret that word makes all the difference in how one interprets the character and destiny of Judas. If one takes Harold’s testimony into account, it is difficult not to interpret paradidomi the way that it was used in the first century up until the gospel accounts of Judas were written, that is simply as “handing over,” with no intimations of betrayal at all. Yet when the word is translated in the gospels in connection with Judas, it is always rendered as “betray.” Maybe that’s because Judas himself accounted his deed after the fact as a betrayal, not being able to live with himself.

In the accounts of the betrayal, there is implication that Jesus had discussed Judas’ role with him. Jesus announces that He is to be betrayed and describes the fate of the betrayer. Judas asks, “Surely it is not me, rabbi?” Jesus answers, “Is it not?” This suggests that Judas had been instructed, had not fully comprehended the implication in what he was to do, faltered when it came to him, and would have faltered when Jesus handed him the sop, save for Jesus’ command: “Be quick with what you have to do.”

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This passage continues, “None of those at table understood why he said this to him; some thought that, as Judas kept the money-box, Jesus told him to buy what they needed for the festival or to give something to the poor. So Judas went out immediately after taking the bread.”

To add insult to injury to Judas, at this point in John’s gospel John tells us that “Satan entered into (Judas).” Of course this is true in the original Hebrew sense of the word “Satan,” which means not an evil entity, but rather is a title of one who initiates a trial and thus brings the protagonist to fulfill God’s calling as his true purpose. Yet Christian interpretation has heavily elucidated this phrase as a negative mark and stain upon Judas. Why this mark and stain doesn’t also pertain to Peter, whom Jesus Himself actually called Satan at one point, is beyond me. In fact, how we interpret Judas’ deed says nothing about Judas and everything about us and our acceptance of reality, for we are not really angry at Judas. He was just following instructions. We are angry at Jesus. We are angry that we need to die to ourselves. We are angry that Jesus actually did die to show us in no uncertain terms that it is truly the way. We want a king, an unquestioned ruler to confirm our biases and bless us with his undefeatable power. We want a power grab. But Jesus says “no” to this request and we hate Him for it. And so it’s so much easier just to make Judas the scapegoat for our hatred of Jesus and His way, no?

There seems no doubt that Jesus could have stopped Judas with a word, but Son of man must follow the path outlined by Scriptures….Judas appears to be the first to die in service to Jesus: Jesus outlined an action and gave Judas both the signal and the command to perform it. As Judas kissed Jesus to betray Him, Jesus called him, “Friend.” Would He have chosen this moment to be ironical, sarcastic, hypocritical?

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Truth speaks truth. Jesus called Judas friend. At the last supper Jesus said: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” Moffatt translates Jesus’ words at the moment of betrayal, “My man, do your errand.” There was still a Scripture to be fulfilled – and Judas had an errand to do before it could be fulfilled – this Judas did before he killed himself. The prophecy reads:

…and I took the thirty silver pieces, the price of him who had been priced, whom they had priced and expelled from the sons of Israel; and I gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord had bidden me.

As the Lord had bidden me. The fulfilling of this prophecy bespeaks the interaction between Jesus and Judas. The money “bought” earth – “bought” matter.

Jesus did not have to bid Judas to hang himself. He knew he would be unable to live with himself after his act. As Judas acquits his role, a boundary is provided for Light’s action.

Until next time, peace.

The Judas Factor; Part II

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To continue with our thread of thought from the last installment, we must remember that Preston Harold understands Jesus’ ministry as an enactment of the drama of light in the quantum realm. Harold tells us that

Jesus, Light, stays in consciousness long enough to determine the load upon the elect-ones, then retires into the unconscious domain. Jesus appears to have “fixed the load” upon Judas, to have cast him in the role of the one measure the system “loses” in the course of time.

The loss of this measure appears to be directly concerned with the acquisition of matter or the conversion of energy to matter, and the return of matter to the field or into a field, for Judas was involved with matter in keeping the purse, and he was handed the sop of bitter herbs or bread, “my body,” my matter, as the signal to collect his reward in silver – precious matter. Of his own volition, Judas finished himself – into matter, and the silver was returned to “purchase” a potter’s field.

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It is incredible to me how accurately the drama of Jesus and Judas represents the activity of light and the quantum field. Once the parallels are uncovered as Harold masterfully does here, one cannot help but wonder at the precision of the symbolism with which the gospel writers conveyed the story. Judas’ purse and silver as his matter and his giving himself over to it; how could it be otherwise? The inevitability, the destiny of it all is stunning. Any thinking person cannot help but be moved, not just by the accuracy of the parallel here between science and religion, but also by the emotional toll placed upon Judas. Even Jesus stated that His handing over must take place, but woe to the one who does the deed: “And The Son of Man goes just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom The Son of Man is betrayed; it would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” –Matt:26:24

The mystery of Judas touches many thinking men. (Ernest) Renan says:

“Without denying that Judas of Kerioth may have contributed to the arrest of his Master, we still believe that the curses with which he is loaded are somewhat unjust….if the foolish desire for a few pieces of silver turned the head of poor Judas, he does not seem to have lost the moral sentiment completely, since when he had seen the consequences of his fault he repented, and, it is said, killed himself.”

In our next post we will delve further into the inevitability and destiny of Judas’ deed. Until then, peace.

No Better Symbol

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We now pick up where we left off with Preston Harold and Valentin Tomberg having a meeting of the minds on the point where the vertical and horizontal planes meet: the cross. Harold continues his exposition…

Jesus could leave no better symbol than the cross to convey His realization of the opposing lines of motion, and of the two energies man is provided with that give rise to a discrete series of possible energies, just as the atom has. He said the Father knows what man has need of – surely the Father knows the perfection of His own matter, knows that man has need of his evil as well as his good if he would have matter of his own, dominion over it.

Harold goes on to show why mankind must employ these opposing forces and experience the inner conflict that besets him by quoting the psalm of David that Jesus invoked while teaching in the temple:

…(Jesus) asked, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is David’s son? David himself said, inspired by the holy Spirit,

The Lord said to my Lord,

‘Sit at my right hand,

till I make your enemies a

footstool for your feet.’

David here calls him Lord. Then how can he be his son?”

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To understand the poetry one must understand the symbolic words. Jesus defined a man’s enemies to be of his own household – thus the opposing forces are original endowment. Jesus says that earth is the footstool of God – footstool must be defined as matter. Therefore, the prophecy lies at the root of matter and man’s relationship to it: to the motions he is making within himself in sequence to the motions God made within Himself to bring forth One in material being.

The prophecy appears to say that alone in all creation God, ALL, has become His own residue: THE Lord which is One-whole, itself finished of inner conflict and therefore unequal to further divisive action on or within itself. Whereas the other, my Lord, is One equal to self-division or self-divisive action, and for this reason they are not now precisely the same. But in a corresponding position, they maintain a balance in one sphere until a new arrangement in the other sphere is completed – until the expressive force, my Lord, expends its own destructive potential and comes to express itself as identity in matter of its own…

Life to be, must express itself in matter. Therefore, a concept of crucial importance is presented in David’s poetry: man’s prime unconscious motivation is to grasp matter of his own. But Jesus taught that it is not the “stuff” itself man must seek – rather, it is understanding of it. The truth of its being is the truth of man’s being, for he is made of it. When he has dominion over it he will have dominion over himself – when my Lord becomes as The Lord, presently active in perfect matter of His own, life begins to be everlasting, expressed as matter under the dominion of full consciousness, the kingdom is come, one’s will is done in earth.

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It is only through the cross that Jesus gains dominion over His own matter, arising on the other side of death in His resurrection body; a body of perfect matter under the dominion of His full consciousness. Until next time, peace.

The Serpent, Science, and Religion

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It’s time for us to step aside and take a deeper look at the serpent and it’s role in the human story. To do so I will quote at length from Valentin Tomberg’s magnum opus, Meditations on the Tarot. This is from his meditation on the ninth major Arcanum, “The Hermit:”

…the serpent of Genesis “who was the most cunning of all living creatures” (Genesis iii, 1),…aspiration is the expansion of consciousness in the horizontal (“the fields”). The ultimate aim of the logic of cunning, that of the serpent, is not to become God but to become “like God.” “To become like” – this is the essence of cunning and is also the meaning of scientific faith, the scientific creed, which is at the same time only a paraphrase and development of the promise of the serpent: “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil”(Genesis iii, 5).

To open your eyes, to be like gods, knowing good and evil – this is the great Arcanum of empirical science. This is why it is dedicated to the cause of enlightenment (“open your eyes,” for the horizontal); this is why it aspires to absolute power for man (“be like gods”); and this is why, lastly, it is intrinsically amoral or morally neutral (“knowing good and evil”).

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Does it deceive us? No. It opens our eyes in fact, and thanks to it we see more in the horizontal; it gives us power over Nature in fact, and makes us sovereign over Nature; it is useful to us in fact, no matter whether for good or for evil. Empirical science in no way deceives us. The serpent has not lied – on the plane where its voice and promise were audible.

On the plane of horizontal expansion (“the fields” of Genesis) the serpent certainly keeps its promise…but at what price with regard to other planes, and with regard to the vertical?

What is the price of scientific enlightenment, this “opening of the eyes” in the horizontal, i.e. for the quantitative aspect of the world? It is at the price of the obscuration of its qualitative aspect…Science reduces quality to quantity…It [uses] formula[s] expressing quantitative factors…of something deprived of all quality.

But here’s a wrench in Tomberg’s spokes. Although he acknowledges the serpent’s honesty in regards to the horizontal, biological evolutionary plane, he speaks as if the serpent has always been only in league with the horizontal. Yet the Genesis story implies the serpent’s stature used to be vertical, upright. And the serpent’s promise was audible on the plane of the vertical, while Adam and Eve were still in full relationship with God. It is only after imparting it’s knowledge via the Knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil that it became the serpent that we know today, “cursed” to only existence on the horizontal plane (“eating dust”).

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The serpent wasn’t just cunning, but was wise. Even Jesus himself told his followers to be wise as serpents. Yet the serpent’s cunning/wisdom seems to be only self-referential, not being able to reach beyond it’s own needs. That’s why Jesus tempers his saying by finishing with the injunction to be innocent as doves. So a valid interpretation overlooked by Tomberg is that the serpent makes a monumental sacrifice for all of humanity. Without the serpent’s “gift,” we would never have inherited the values and ethics of the vertical plane. Yes, friends, the story is a bit more complicated than Tomberg would have us understand. It would seem for there to be an expansion of consciousness in the horizontal, it is necessary for the vertical to be imparted. It is this point that Preston Harold seems to overlook as well in his comment from our previous post where he said, “But man, the only true biped, posed himself uprightly- alone in all the world, threw himself transverse the ‘natural’ line, became a vertical being, in truth measuring more than he was and more than evil measures.” Nowhere does Harold mention how man posed himself uprightly.

Yet both Harold and Tomberg speak the truth as to our current predicament, as our journey back to the source must always begin right where we are. And so we return to Tomberg:

What should one do, confronted with the choice between science and religion?…is it necessary to choose? Does it not suffice to give each of these two aspirations its place – not that which they arrogate to themselves, but that which is their proper place?

In fact, if there is not a religious empirical science or a scientific religion, there are religious scientists and scientific believers. In order to be a religious scientist or a scientific believer honestly, i.e. without compromising one’s conscience, it is necessary to add to the definite horizontal aspiration the definite vertical aspiration, i.e. to live under the sign of the cross:

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It is at this point where “The Shining Stranger” enters the picture. Not only does “The Shining Stranger” postulate that science and religion must work in tandem, it reaches beyond and claims that scientific striving has already “crossed” over the strictly horizontal realm and found itself smack dab in the middle of exploring Jesus’ Kingdom of God, itself the very same quantum realm that science has been attempting to come to terms with since the early 20th century. In other words, the serpent of materialistic science has been crucified on the cross of matter and now must come to terms with its resurrection. The question for humanity now is will it heed the prophetic truth proclaimed by Tomberg, Harold, and those akin to them who had eyes to see and ears to hear? In other words, “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on the earth?”

Until next time, peace.