Thursday, March 30, 2023

Sync: Odin at the door, DD lemniscates, sideways eyeballs

An email correspondent has been sending me his ideas about the equivalents of Yahweh and Jesus in other religions and mythologies. Early this morning (Taiwan time) he sent me this:

There's this idea of Odin sacrificing himself to himself by being nailed to a tree.

From a Norse poem called Havamal:

137. "I trow [think] I hung on that windy Tree
nine whole days and nights,
stabbed with a spear, offered to Odin,
myself to mine own self given,
high on that Tree of which none hath heard
from what roots it rises to heaven."

138. "None refreshed me ever with food or drink,
I peered right down in the deep;
crying aloud I lifted the Runes
then back I fell from silence."

Pretty clear this was created after Jesus.

There's the identification of Hermes with Odin (I guess via Mercury). Maybe this Odin-sacrifice idea represents an association of Odin with Jesus specifically, rather than Odin being a stand-in for general God.

And a synchronistic image used on this Wikipedia page:

The Stranger at the Door (1908) by W. G. Collingwood

The artist, W. G. Collingwood, was born in -- where else? -- Liverpool.

I've never read the Hávamál and don't know the story behind this "stranger at the door" image, but one assumes the one knocking at the door is Odin. It's a "synchronistic image" because in "The Wizard at the green door" (August 6, 2022), I posted images of Jesus and Gandalf knocking at green doors. The figure of Gandalf was very obviously largely inspired by Odin, and in the Hávamál Odin is portrayed as a Jesus-like figure, hanging on a tree for nine days (cf. Jesus' nine hours) and being pierced with a spear.

As I read the above email, I realized that I was mentally pronouncing the name Odin as Russian: один, "one." (That happens sometimes; more than once I've made a similar mistake with the final word in Et in Arcadia ego, mentally pronouncing it as его, "him, his.") Then when I looked up my "Wizard at the green door" post so I could link it here, I found that it includes this image:

The vesica piscis (associated with Jesus) is labeled "One or two" -- один или два. Just as один suggests Odin, два suggests Sanskrit deva and the various related Indo-European words meaning "god." My correspondent mentioned "Odin being a stand-in for general God."

In my March 23 post "Aladdin's three elder brothers," I told a Chinese joke about Aladdin and noted how the Chinese transliteration of that name includes the divine name Allah. Then in the comments I mentioned the Sacha Baron Cohen character Aladeen -- obviously based on Aladdin, but stressed on the final syllable so that it sounds like al-Один. (Though spelled as Odin, the Russian word is pronounced "ah-DEEN.")


Yesterday I posted "Liverpool and the double-D lemniscate." The first appearance of the latter theme in the sync stream was a place called Cafe D&D -- stylized as D-lemniscate-D. Today, having been reminded of the place, I lunched at D&D. I noticed for the first time the synchronistic significance of the high-end car wash that is right next to it, owned by the same people and sharing the same 666 street address.

Doesn't that SJ logo also strongly suggest the double-D lemniscate?

Just after noticing this, I saw this on the road, on the back of someone's jacket:

This is conceptually similar to the SJ logo, and it features a circle inside a vesica piscis inside a circle -- like an eye, but rotated 90 degrees. My "Wizard at the green door post" included the following images:

The teardrop shape in which the whole is contained is similar to the paisley shape featured in the "Liverpool and the double-D lemniscate" post:

Sync: Arthur Koestler, scripture as fan fiction

Yesterday’s sync post, “Liverpool and the double-D lemniscate,” was about those two recent sync themes appearing together in Arthur Koestler’s book The Roots of Coincidence. This is the first book I’ve ever read by Koestler, a writer about whom I know virtually nothing. I had been pointed to this book of his by the Paul Broks essay “Are coincidences real?” which was recently featured on Arts & Letters Daily.

Meanwhile, an email discussion group to which I belong has been discussing whether the novel has a future and if not what might replace it. I’ve been sitting this one out, having nothing very insightful to say about The Novel, and I realized that this is because, while I’ve certainly read my share of novels, including some indisputably great ones (Dostoevsky, Tolkien), novels are not the central form of literature for me. The defining works of literature, and the ones I reread the most, by a very wide margin, are the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Aeneid, and the King James Bible. When I think about the future of literature, I’m not thinking about the possible Balzacs or Walter Scotts of generations to come; I’m wondering who can fill the shoes of Virgil.

Reading Homer or the Old Testament is a more participatory experience than reading a novel. The style is spare, much is left out, and much more hangs on cultural and spiritual rapport with the author. In terms of the Barfield schema current in my circle, the old literature is an Original Participation phenomenon, while the novel epitomizes the Consciousness Soul. What lies in the future is Final Participation — so perhaps the novel really will be succeeded by something that is in some ways a return to the old literature.

In the email group, fan fiction was mentioned as a possible clue to the future of literature, and I realized that there is a certain fan fiction element to the old literature as well — the characters drawn from a common stock, the core stories reworked and adapted by one writer after another. Isn’t some of Euripides’s best work pretty literally Homeric fan fiction?

But I’ve already told you I don’t have anything terribly insightful to say on this topic. Rather, this has all been a shaggy-dog lead-up to a sync note.

I just started listening to one of the more recent episodes of The Higherside Chats: “Adam Green | The Abrahamic conspiracy, prophecy programming, & creating theological controlled opposition.” It’s about how Christianity and Islam are just a big Jewish psyop, which is obviously not a point of view I have any sympathy for, but I listened anyway because, hey, why not? Green mentions that the supposedly antisemitic idea that modern Jews are not Israelites but Khazars was actually promoted by a Jew: Arthur Koestler in his book The Thirteenth Tribe. A bit later, he and Greg Carlwood agree that the scriptures and related texts like the Book of Enoch are “basically fan fiction.”

I’ve only listened to about a third of the episode so far, but those are some fairly specific syncs.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Liverpool and the double-D lemniscate

I ran across this today in Arthur Koestler's 1972 book The Roots of Coincidence:


Double-D lemniscate:

Note added: Wondering if I could find anything about the shape I have been calling the "double-D lemniscate," I ran an image search for two semicircles. Several of the results were from homework-help sites explaining how to calculate the area or perimeter of the following figure:

This is interesting because it incorporates both the double-D lemniscate (four of them!) and a paisley-type shape. If you look back up at the figure from The Roots of Coincidence, you'll see that the double-D lemniscate was Miss E's only incorrect reproduction of the figures drawn by "Liverpool notable" Malcolm Guthrie. Guthrie had actually drawn a paisley-like shape.

(By the way, I'm not the one who rotated the homework photo 90 degrees so that it would match Guthrie and Miss E's drawings; it was already oriented that way when I found it on Google.)

After writing the above note, I looked up paisley on Wikipedia and read this:

In the mid- to late 1960s, paisley became identified with psychedelic style and enjoyed mainstream popularity, partly due to the Beatles.

So there's a Liverpool connection again!

For whatever it's worth, the last time I mentioned paisley was in "Can an Indian be president?" in connection with Tarot, Time Cube, and a possible Kamala Harris presidency.

Additional note added: I never paid any attention to it until today, but this is the logo of a bank here in Taiwan which I have been to hundreds of times. It's as if the two tan paisleys from the math problem were fitted together to make a yin-yang symbol, but with a vertical line through the middle creating a double-D lemniscate:

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

The light of life (sync but not only sync)

Last night, I began working on the next installment in my notes on the Fourth Gospel, starting from John 8:12:

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

I spent quite a lot of time ruminating over this verse, noting the ambiguity of "the light of life" -- the light produced by life, or the light that illuminates life? -- and also various passages elsewhere in the Gospel where Jesus suggests that this "light of the world" will be a temporary thing -- e.g. "As long as I am in the word, I am the light of the world" (John 9:5), but "the night cometh" (v. 4).

After nearly an hour of chewing on this one verse, I put my Bible down and picked up something else I have been reading: Open That Door! (1916) by Robert Sturgis Ingersoll, a book about the meaning and value of reading. The very first sentences I read -- mere minutes after leaving John 8:12 -- were these:

Without disparaging those with whom I sit before the fire, and chat, and smoke, I must confess that I value equally with them the friends of eternal character that exist there in the book-case. They lighten the path of life; they are ready for converse when my spirit calls.

Go to the greatest books for your most enduring friends, but upon having formed their friendship do not leave them in the study, but carry them within your spirit to your business and the marts of men, and in holding their confidences burning in your heart you will find yourself a more thorough human being.

Ingersoll's "friends of eternal character" are actually mortals (Whitman, Tolstoy, Burns, Villon, Byron, Lamb, Carlyle, and Emerson), called "eternal" only because they live on in their books, but one would more naturally associate such an expression with Jesus, and "lighten the path of life" is remarkably similar to Jesus' statement about how his followers "shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." This is followed by a reference to "burning in your heart," which also suggests Jesus: "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" (Luke 24:32). The scriptures are, of course, "the greatest books."

The chapter of Open That Door! from which the above quotation comes begins with the observation that "the most potent inheritance, that books vouchsafe, is the personalities of the great authors who have inscribed their souls within them. Personal character affects our lives as does nothing else." Whitman is quoted: "This is not book; / Who touches this, touches a man." This of course suggests the Johannine "Word made flesh," but isn't it also a succinct expression of the value of the Gospels, and of scripture more generally? Isn't that what keeps us coming back to the Bible again and again and again? Not for "doctrine," but to spend time in the presence of such gigantic personalities as Moses, David, and above all Jesus Christ.

Did "the night come" when Jesus left this world? Perhaps, to a degree. But the midnight Sun of the Holy Ghost still shines for those whose hearts are open to it, and even the light of Christ's mortal life still shines as reflected moonlight, the pale fire of the Holy Bible -- dim and uncertain at times, but still invaluable to those who would not walk in darkness.

Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.

Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow (Isa. 50:10-11).

Rocky Road to -- where exactly?

My recent post "Are the Irish better at math?" alludes heavily to the song "Rocky Road to Dublin." This led me to look up the song on Wikipedia.

Quick, without looking anything up, how would you complete this sentence?

"Rocky Road to Dublin" is a 19th-century Irish song written by Irish poet D. K. Gavan about a man's experiences as he travels to ________.

If you guessed Liverpool, you're absolutely right! If you didn't see that coming, well, neither did I. Despite the title and refrain, "all the way to Dublin" is only halfway through the journey, which is from Tuam to Mullingar to Dublin to Holyhead to Liverpool. (In fairness, the road only goes as far as Dublin, after which the journey must be continued by ship.)

The Wikipedia article also cleared up something else I've occasionally wondered about. As everyone knows, the song properly begins "In the merry month of June" -- so as to assonate with Tuam -- but one occasionally hears this ineptly altered to "In the merry month of May." Here's why:

There are many variations in the lyrics depending on the singer. For instance "June" in the first line is often replaced by its Irish counterpart "Meitheamh" mistaken by some to be the English "May".

So we have an unexpected Liverpool, and the sixth month being mistaken for the fifth.

In my March 17 post "You can set your watch by the green motorcycle," I relate a dream in which it was 2:00 p.m. in Taiwan, which I thought was "Tuesday morning at five o'clock, Liverpool time" -- the time at which, wherever you are in the world, you can see a green motorcycle go by if you keep your eyes open. After waking up, I checked and found that 2:00 p.m. in Taiwan is actually six o'clock in Liverpool, not five. So we have an unexpected Liverpool (no one says "Liverpool time"; Liverpool is on Greenwich time), and the sixth hour being mistaken for the fifth.

At the time, I didn't even notice the Irish connotations of posting about a green motorcycle on St. Patrick's Day, but perhaps that would be a modern-day traveler to Dublin's preferred means of rattlin' o'er the bogs.

A ptero more to Green Lantern's liking

I went to Project Gutenberg to look something up, and this was one of the recent releases (March 26, 2023) featured on the homepage.

It's not yellow, but pterodactyls of any color grace the covers of few enough books to make it a noteworthy coincidence nonetheless.

I scrolled down to the table of contents and saw that the third chapter, about pterosaurs, is called "Pirates of the Air" -- pretty similar to "winged raiders," isn't it?

According to the rather dated science of The Monster-hunters (1916), all mass-extinction events were caused by ice ages, and the periods punctuated by these ice ages are characterized as "empires."

With this upheaving, came the First Age of Cold. The coal-forests died, the pine-trees took their places. The marshes became plains. Nearly all species of life belonging to that warm age died. The Empire of the Fishes and Amphibians ended. The Mediterranean slowly diminished in size and again became an inland sea, while in Europe to the north, Africa to the south and in America, beyond the Atlantic, the Empire of the Reptiles began. . . . Yet the slow death of cold which had awaited the Fishes and Amphibians in the Permian Revolution was awaiting the Reptiles also. The Second Age of Cold was near. After the Cretaceous Period, the land began to rise, until, when hundreds of thousands of years had elapsed, the northern part of Europe was elevated, the Mediterranean lost its opening to the ocean, and became once more an inland sea. Then came the Second Ice Age, the second cataclysm of want and death. The Pterodactyls died away completely, the huge reptile monsters fell by thousands and all the giant Saurians had to give place to the warmer-blooded mammals.

The above quote is not in the "Pirates of the Air" chapter but in the next one, "Seeing the Sea-serpent," so the fact that pterodactyls get top billing in the list of casualties of the K-T extinction event is curious. This syncs with my March 18 post "Sync: Another yellow ptero, St. Valentine's Day, Empire of the Ants."

There, too, pteros are unexpectedly highlighted (in the thumbnail) in an account of the K-T extinction. And, as the title indicates, the same post features a sync having to do with the phrase "Empire of the Ants" -- paralleling the similar "Empire" phrases in The Monster-hunters.

The "Seeing the Sea-serpent" chapter also features this illustration, captioned "The Fiercest Monster That Ever Lived."

Isn't that a familiar turn of phrase? Where have we seen that before? Oh, right.

Looking at the list of illustrations after the table of contents, I noticed that the second one on the list was called "Scylla of the Seven Heads" -- one of a small collection of images of "Monsters Thought Real by the Ancients."

This got my attention because on March 17 I had posted old (2015-16) Scylla and Charybdis syncs in "Sync: Skylark and Charybdis" and included a picture of Scylla, though with the canonical six heads rather than seven.

I Ctrl-F'ed Scylla to see if she put in any other appearances in The Monster-hunters, and lo and behold:

"No signs of Scylla and Charybdis," said a voice behind him.

"That's so, Uncle George," the boy said, turning, "this is where the old Greeks believed Scylla to be, isn't it? But I'd rather tackle that six-headed monster, in spite of all her appetite, even though each head took a man from the crew, as it did from Ulysses' ship, than I would run the gauntlet of the guns of Gibraltar let loose on us. Still, even Scylla might be uncomfortable. What do you suppose was the basis of that old story, Uncle George!”

"Personification of the peril of adventure,” was the reply. “That is why Scylla and Charybdis were first said to hold guard over the Straits of Messina, between Sicily and Italy, while afterwards the twin terrors of the ravening whirlpool and the six-headed man-eating woman monster were located at Gibraltar. As the Straits of Messina became more familiar, the terror had to be put farther away, where only the most daring would venture.

"Remember, Perry, that the Greeks believed they saw a god or a goddess or a demon in all the forces of Nature. The sea was under the rule of Poseidon, or Neptune, as the Romans called him; the dawn goddess Eos, or Aurora, was the mother of the Winds, such as Boreas, the North Wind and Zephyr, the West Wind. So, you see, the Greeks felt sure that every point of danger must be guarded by some kind of demon or monstrous form, while beautiful places were inhabited by fair maidens. After all, Perry, it's not so very long ago since people believed in mermaids. So far as that goes, some people believe in them still."

Right after the references to Scylla and Charybdis, characterized as "the twin terrors," we read of "the dawn goddess Eos, or Aurora." In my March 7 post "Fever dreams and sync: Popol Vuh twins, Spinal Pap, stone worship, and more," I discuss terrible twins in Mayan myth and The Matrix Reloaded, and I also mention this:

In my flytrap post, the key phrase was "blushing trap," which I interpreted as a description of the rosy lobes of the Venus flytrap. The expression made me think of the Homeric "young Eos with fingertips of rose." In her comment, Debbie quotes Ovid on the Roman equivalent of Eos: "Aurora, watchful in the reddening dawn, threw wide her crimson doors and rose-filled halls." These rose references link back to William John's carnivorous "Poison Rose of Poetry."

Are the Irish better at math?

Studies have shown that Irish people are significantly better than non-Irish at solving this math problem. Remarkably, many of them are able to do so in a matter of seconds, without using a calculator or even a pencil and paper. The problem is as follows:

Suppose there is a population of hares which, though every bit as prolific as lagomorphs generally are, are heavily hunted and thus increase in numbers very, very slowly. In fact, from one year to the next, the hare population only increases by an average of 0.005615%. To the casual observer, the hares' numbers appear to be static, but in fact the population is slowly but surely growing and, given enough time, will eventually double. It's a long road, but in the end they will arrive there. Assuming the rate of increase does not change, precisely how many years will it take the hare population to traverse this rocky road to doubling?

Hannah Gifford, Hare and the Blackthorn Blossom

Note: I just bought a new pair of wingtip shoes, which is what brought this problem to mind. No, really, that’s what prompted this post.

Sync: Odin at the door, DD lemniscates, sideways eyeballs

An email correspondent has been sending me his ideas about the equivalents of Yahweh and Jesus in other religions and mythologies. Early thi...