7671RE: [sl] Saturn's hexagon
- Nov 18, 2013Hi, Chris
I had eye surgery when you wrote so am just getting back to you. Cataracts developed, which for some unknown psych reason I feel is a shameful situation. Guess I am not supposed to get old, sign of weakness, you know. They were small cataracts but right in the center of my vision. It got really bad, really quickly. I stopped driving since I thought I might kill myself, or my daughter, or some random stranger. The doctor operated on the left eye; using laser surgery he inserted a toric lens. The toric can compensate for any astigmatism in the eye, so I see better out of that eye than I have ever seen before. Which has been a problem. Normally the right eye is the dominant that I see out of. Now it is fuzzy and the left is clear. My brain has been going bonkers trying to adjust to the new situation; very fatigued and foggy headed. Dec 17 is the target for surgery on the right eye. I can hardly wait.
The hexagon on Saturn is wonderful. Reminds me of Chladni resonance patterns. They have some great demos of Chladni patterns on YouTube. Somehow you expect hexagons with living organisms--honeycombs, as you say. But not so much as a natural phenomenon, too complex, I guess. The only thing that comes to mind is the snowflake. I never could understand how one branch of a hexagonal snowflake could figure out what another branch was doing and mimic its structure.
I'm still working away on the Shi'ur Qoma. Here is a paragraph connecting it to the Kabbalists of sixteenth century Sefed in Palestine, nearly 1000 years later.
What were all these details about the body of God used for and how were they used? We get the beginnings of an answer to these two questions from the last lines of the text.
Rabbi Ishmael said: When I said this thing before Rabbi Aqiva, he said to me: ‘Everyone who knows the measurement of the body of his Creator and the glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, who is hidden from all mankind, it is certain for him that he is a son of the world to come and that they will lengthen his days in this world’. Rabbi Ismail said: ‘I and Aqiva are guarantors in this matter, but only if he recites this as a mishna every day’.
The Shi’ur Qomah was to be recited on a daily basis. Peter van der Horst writes, “The function of [Shi’ur Qomah] …treatises probably was that their repeated recitation induced a hallucinogenic state in the mystic…so that in the end he obtained the desired vision of God’s body.” Martin S. Cohen, the foremost scholar of Shi’ur Qomah, believed that the text is a method of meditation. “There can be no question that the text presents its information both as the result of mystic communion with the godhead, as well as a meditative technique for the aspiring mystic. …the text is very much a manual of meditative technique.” [liturgy and theurgy pp. 9-10] The Shi’ur Qomah is to be recited as a mishna every day. Further, the text presents itself as a Mishna, since lines 3-6 are a quotation from Mishna Sanhedrin 10:1 (including Is 60:21), which is, “…the standard formula used to introduce a liturgical reading of the Mishna treatise Avoth.” [Peter van der Horst, n 16]. Among the Kabbalists of sixteenth century Safed we catch a glimpse of the actual use of Mishna recitation to access mystical secrets. Joseph Karo would recite the Mishna in order to fall into a dissociative state that allowed him to converse with his Maggid, who was the angelic spirit of the Mishna itself. The Maggid would speak using Karo’s own voice. Chaim Vital, in the fourth part of his Gates of Holiness, outlines a method for using recitation of the Mishna to reach a spiritual state in which a long-dead Tannaitic Sage can speak using the reciter’s own voice. He mentions using this technique himself three times in his autobiographical Book of Visions. Could these Safed Kabbalists be using a meditation method that dates back to the time of the Shi’ur Qomah or before? Without being specific Vital attributes the methods that he gives in Gates of Holiness to traditional sources. Joseph Ashkenazi, a Kabbalist who edited texts of the Mishna and had evening sessions of reciting the Mishna from memory with Isaac Luria, believed that ‘true Kabbalah’ dates back to the Tannaim and Amoraim, probably because of the pseudepigraphic attributions in the Merkabah literature and the Zohar. He placed the Shi’ur Qomah in this category of ‘true Kabbalah.’ [Faleck, David, The Revival of Mishna Study in the Early Modern Period, U. of Pennsylvania Electronic Journal (2008). http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1101&context=curej Section II, The Kabbalists of Safed, pp. 17-35]
There is far more to connect the Safed Kabbalists with the Shi'ur Qomah. I hope to be able to convincingly reconstruct the meditation method used by the authors of the Shi'ur Qomah on the basis of later esoteric practice. Once having reconstructed it, there is a powerful circumstantial argument to be made that the Shi'ur Qomah goes back to the time of early Christianity and was the meditation method used by Jesus himself.
Wow, pretty neat stuff.
Hope you are feeling full of intellectual (and physical) zest!
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of zipper008@...
Sent: Friday, November 1, 2013 11:54 AM
Subject: [sl] Saturn's hexagon
How are you these days? Have we discussed this before? Saturn has a persisting hexagonal cloud pattern around the north pole of Saturn. The sides of the hexagon are about 13,800 km (8,600 mi) long -- longer than the Earth's diameter.
animated .gif here:
Apparently, the pole of Saturn's third largest moon also exhibits this pattern:
This interests me because it is a clear example of a hexagon appearing naturally in nature (other examples are honeycombs and snowflakes). While the circle can be seen in a myriad of natural forms�from the sun or the moon to the rings of trees, from the centers of flowers to the shape of burrow entries into the ground and bird's nests up in the rounded branches of the trees�the square nowhere occurs naturally. However, there are some instances of the cube appearing in nature (the cube being the three-dimensional expansion of the square). In dry ice the molecules of carbon dioxide group themselves into a cubical lattice, similar in structure to the steel girders of an office building; similarly, in the case of rock salt (also known as halite), sodium atoms and chlorine atoms �stack� together in a way that makes a microscopic cube. This cubic structure continues to grow until your eyes can actually see a cubic crystal of salt. Other common cubic mineral crystals include pyrite, also known as Fool�s Gold, and fluorite. As a matter of fact, the molecular structure of diamonds is cubic (which is why cubic zirconia resembles it in appearance). The unique diamond cubic lattice is precisely what gives diamonds their characteristic hardness and strength. We know this because graphite contains the same carbon composition but its molecular form is structured differently. In effect, the carbon atoms in diamonds are stacking as tightly and efficiently together as their covalent bonds will permit.
While the cube is the three-dimensional expansion of the square, when you try to draw a cube in two dimensions it appears as a hexagon. In other words, one can easily visualize a cube from a hexagon.
If Barry and other Hamlet's Mill readers are reading this, the connection between Saturn and the hexagon/compressed cube is highly intriguing!
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