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Arthur C. Clarke 1984

The Poetry of Space .

Page 175 

Here are the skies, the planets seven,

And all the starry train:

Content you with the mimic heaven,

And on the earth remain.

Additional Poems V

"...The planets seven? Of course, the only planets known to the ancients, were Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - a mere five. The extra two were presumably the Sun and Moon, which we would no longer include - though we would add the Earth, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto to make a grand total of nine."



Alexandra David - Neel .1967

Page 43

"...One evening, the gomchen of Lachen appeared with all the trapping of a magician: a five-sided crown, a rosary-necklace made of 108 round pieces, cut out of so many skulls, an apron of human bones bored and carved, and in his belt the ritualistic dagger (phurba).

"...a rosary-necklace made of 108 round pieces,"

Page 53

"According to Tibetans, 108 chortens and 108 springs exist round about Chorten Nyima. All of them are not visible. A large number can only be seen by those whose mind is panicularly pure." 


9 BABYLONIA 81 36 9
7 BABYLON 71 26 8




Martin Rees


Limits to Prediction

Page 99

In August 1999, a total solar eclipse was visible from southwest England. I viewed it from Cornwall through intermittent clouds.  For me it was simply an environmental experience, shared with thousands of New Age cuItists, astrology devotees, and the like.  But the spectacle triggered some simple- minded thoughts

It reminded me, first, that astronomy is by far the oldest quantitative science. Eclipses could be predicted, at least approximately, in the first millennium B.C. For several centuries, / Page 100 / the Babylonians recorded celestial events on cuneiform tablets, and thousands of these records can now be seen in the British Museum.  They stretched over a long enough timespan to reveal subtle patterns-particularly an eighteen-year repet-itive cycle-which could be extrapolated forward to predict when future eclipses were likely to occur. Such predictions were feasible for lunar eclipses, which are observable from half the Earth's surface, in contrast to solar eclipses, where "totality" occurs only along a narrow strip.  Such predictions required no insight into how the Sun and Moon actually moved-only a faith in the regularity of nature.

It was not until the seventeenth century that substantial advances were made.  By that time, astronomers such as Edmund Halley understood the layout of the solar system, and the eighteen-year cycle was realized to be due to a wobble in the plane of the Moon's orbit.  Halley is famous for his insight that the comet he saw in 1682 was the same one that others had also seen in 1531 and 1607.  He did not live to see its predicted return on schedule in 1758, though he had the good luck to see two total eclipses of the Sun in England during his lifetime, and he had predicted them both.  His predictions of the "totality strip" were better than the ancients could have made.  But more important was a qualitative advance: Halley, unlike the Babylonians, based his predictions on the kind of insight that we could properly call a scientific explanation.

Such an explanation, of course, removes any mystery and irrational dread.  For example, a few weeks after Europe experienced the August 1999 eclipse, major earthquakes occurred in Turkey and Greece; in earlier centuries it would have been natural to treat these as causally linked, whereas we now understand eclipses and earthquakes well enough to realize that a causal link is unlikely."

18 x 360 = 6480




36 9 9


18 9 9


72 27 9



54 9 9


52 25 7


57 21 3





103 40 4



81 18 9



51 15 6



99 36 9



93 21 3



54 9 9



57 21 3



52 25 7



94 22 4



95 32 5



84 21 3



863 260 62



8+6+3 2+6+0




17 8 8




8 8 8





Martin Rees 1999

Page 26

We know that there are planets orbiting other stars, just as the Earth orbits our own star, the Sun. We may wonder what habitats they offer. Is their gravity too weak to retain an atmosphere? Are they too hot, too cold, or too dry to harbour life? Probably only a few offer an environment conducive for life. So, on a much grander scale, there may be innumerable other universes that we cannot observe because light from them can never reach us. Would they be propitious for the kind of evolution that has happened on at least one planet around at least one star in our 'home' universe? In most of them, the six numbers could be different: only a few universes would then be 'well tuned' for life. We should not be surprised that, in our universe, the numbers seem providentially tuned, any more than we should be surprised to find ourselves on a rather special planet whose gravity can retain an atmosphere, where the temperature allows water to exist, and that is orbiting a stable long-lived star.


"Any remote beings who could communicate with us would have some concepts of mathematics and logic that paralleled our own. And they would also share a knowledge of the basic particles and forces that govern our universe. Their habitat may be very different (and the biosphere even more different) from ours here on Earth; but they, and their planet, would be made of atoms just like those on Earth. For them, as for us, the most important particles would be protons and electrons: one electron orbiting a proton makes a hydrogen atom, and electric currents and radio transmitters involve streams of electrons. A proton is 1,836 times heavier than an electron, and the number 1,836 would have the same connotations to any 'intelligence' able and motivated to transmit radio signals.

"A proton is


times heavier than an electron, and the number


would have the same connotations to any 'intelligence' "





103 40 4


81 18 9


51 15 6


99 36 9


93 21 3


54 9 9


57 21 3


52 25 7


94 22 4


95 32 5


84 21 3

863 260 62



" would have the same connotations to any 'intelligence' "


1 8 3 6


8 6 3






54 9 9


52 25 7


57 21 3





54 9 9


52 25 7


57 21 3


163 55 19

1+6+3 5+5 1+9

10 10 10





1 1 1


8 3 6 54 = 34











6 ORACLE 54 27 9
6 DELPHI 54 36 9
7 EPSILON 90 36 9






Maurice Cotterell 1999

Page 193

" The centre of Solomon's courtyard contained a perfect cube, the 'holy of holies', the solid gold 'Oracle' encrusted in jewels. The inner / Page 194 / temple was a marvel of courtyards and balconies, adorned with 1,453 magnificently sculpted Parisian-marble columns, 2,906 decorated pilasters and statues of stone and metal. The buildings and courtyards could hold an estimated gathering of 300,000.

Anderson's Constitutions of the Freemasons (1723) comments:

. . . the finest structures of Tyre and Sidon could not be compared with the Eternal God's Temple at Jerusalem. . . there were employed 3,600 Princes, or 'Master Masons', to conduct the work according to Solomon's directions, with 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains ('Fellow Craftsmen'), and 70,000 labourers, in all 153,600, besides the levy under Adoniram to work in the mountains of Lebanon by turns with the Sidonians, viz 30,000 being in all 183,600..."


"...According to the Biblical account, Chiram returned home following completion of the temple, although according to A. E. Waite (New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry);

The legend of the Master Builder is the greatest allegory of Masonry. It happens that this figurative story is grounded on the fact of a personality mentioned in Holy Scripture, but this historical background is of the accident and not of the essence; the significance is in the allegory and not in any point of history which may lie behind it."




Martin Rees 1999

"A proton is 1,836 times heavier than an electron, and the number 1,836 would have the same connotations to any 'intelligence' "




Bruce Cathie 1977

"(144 is the harmonic of the speed of light) and 6942 is the harmonic reciprocal."


 "The value that I calculated for length was extremely close to that.of the one published in Davidson and Aldersmith's book, their value being 1836 inches, and my theoretical value 1833,46 geodetic inches."

"A search of my physics books revealed that 1836 was the closest approximation the scientists have calculated to the mass / Page 96 (Diagram 15 omitted) Page 97 / ratio of the positive hydrogen ion, i.e. the proton, to the electron..."  

1 x 8 x 3 x 6 = 144




Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince


Page 311

"The mortar that binds Strieber's agenda together lies in his emphasis on the importance of the number nine. As he writes:
The nine lessons of my ninth summer were structured in three groups of three - a fact that has explained to me one meaning of the mysterious nine knocks that played such an important role in my encounter experience.
(This parallels the nine knocks that woke Jack Parsons during a lengthy magickal working on 10 January 1946.9)
Surely Strieber is virtually inviting us to make connections with the Council of Nine?
The Secret School described the nine lessons he was given from childhood in three triads, but he added a tenth, a new lesson given to him by the 'visitors' on 12 November 1995: a vision of the future in 2036 (in which the United States has become a mil-itary dictatorship after terrorists have destroyed Washington with an atomic bomb). It is, by now, a familiar pattern: there are ten significant numbers, but the tenth is only there to complete and make sense of the other nine, and also to provide continuity to the next sequence."


4 NINE 42 24 6
5 NINTH 65 29 2
5 THREE 56 29 2
5 TRIAD 52 25 7
3 TEN 39 12 3
5 TENTH 67 22 4
6 NETERS 81 27 9
4 ZERO 64 28 1




Graham Hancock 1995

Part VII

    City of the Sun, Chamber of the Jackal

Page 381

Heliopolis (City of the Sun) was referred to in the Bible as On but was originally known in the Egyptian language as Innu, or Innu Mehret - meaning 'the pillar' or 'the northern pillar'.3 It was a district of immense sanctity, associated with a strange group of nine solar and stellar deities, and was old beyond reckoning when Senuseret chose it as the site for his obelisk. Indeed, together with Giza (and the distant southern city of Abydos) Innu / Heliopolis was believed to have been part of the first land that emerged from the primeval waters at the / Page 382 / moment of creation, the land of the 'First Time', where the gods had commenced their rule on earth..
Heliopolitan theology rested on a creation-myth distinguished by a . number of unique and curious features. It taught that in the beginning the universe had been filled with a dark, watery nothingness, called the Nun. Out of this inert cosmic ocean (described as 'shapeless, black with the blackness of the blackest night') rose a mound of dry land on which Ra, the Sun God, materialized in his self-created form as Atum (sometimes depicted as an old bearded man leaning on a staff:

The sky had not been created, the earth had not been created, the children of the earth and the reptiles had not been fashioned in that place. . . I, Atum, was one by myself. . . There existed no other who worked with me .'. .6

Conscious of being alone, this blessed and immortal being contrived to create two divine offspring, Shu, god of the air and dryness, and Tefnut the goddess of moisture:

'I thrust my phallus into my closed hand. I made my seed to enter my hand. I poured it into my own mouth. I evacuated under the form of Shu, I passed water under the form of Tefnut.,7

Despite such apparently inauspicious beginnings, Shu and Tefnut (who were always described as 'Twins' and frequently depicted as lions) grew to maturity, copulated and produced offspring of their own: Geb the god of the earth and Nut, the goddess of the sky. These two also mated, creating Osiris and Isis, Set and Nepthys, and so completed the Ennead, the full company of the Nine Gods of Heliopolis. Of the nine, Ra, Shu, Geb and Osiris were said to have ruled in Egypt as kings, followed by Horus, and lastly - for 3226 years - by the Ibis-headed wisdom god Thoth.8
Who were these people - or creatures, or beings, or gods? Were they figments of the priestly imagination, or symbols, or ciphers? Were the stories told about them vivid myth memories of real events which had taken place thousands of years previously? Or were they, perhaps, part of a coded message from the ancients that had been transmitting itself over and over again down the epochs - a message only now beginning to be unravelled and understood?
Such notions seemed fanciful. Nevertheless I could hardly forget / Page 383 / that out of this very same Heliopolitan tradition the great myth of Isis and Osiris had flowed, covertly transmitting an accurate calculus for the rate of precessional motion. Moreover the priests of Innu, whose responsibility ,it had been to guard and nurture such traditions, had been renowned throughout Egypt for their high wisdom and their proficiency in prophecy, astronomy, mathematics, architecture and the magic arts. They were also famous for their possession of a powerful and sacred object known as the Benben.
The Egyptians called Heliopolis Innu, the pillar, because tradition had it that the Benben had been kept here in remote pre-dynastic times, when it had balanced on top of a pillar of rough-hewn stone.
The Benben was believed to have fallen from the skies. Unfortu-nately, it had been lost so long before that its appearance was no longer remembered by the time Senuseret took the throne in 1971 BC. In that period (the Twelfth Dynasty) all that was clearly recalled was that the Benben had been pyramidal in form, thus providing (together with the pillar on which it stood) a prototype for the shape of all future obelisks. The name Benben was likewise applied to the pyramidion, or apex stone, usually placed on top of pyramids.
10 In a symbolic sense, it was also associated closely and directly with Ra-Atum, of whom the ancient texts said, 'You became high on the height; you rose up as the Benben stone in the Mansion of the Phoenix. . . ,11
Mansion of the Phoenix described the original temple at Heliopolis where the Benben had been housed. It reflected the fact that the mysterious object had also served as an enduring symbol for the mythical Phoenix, the divine Bennu bird whose appearances and disappearances were believed to be linked to Violent cosmic cycles and to the destruction and rebirth of world ages.

Page 382

"I, Atum, was one by myself. . . There existed no other who worked with me .'"




9 9 NINE 9
5 I A T U M
9 1 20 21 13 +


64 6+4 1 ONE 1
9 1 2 3 4 + = 19 1+9 1 ONE 1
1 2 3 4 + = 10 1+0 1 ONE 1


= 9 9 NINE 9


= 18 1+8 9 NINE 9


I=9, Atum=1, was one=7 by myself=8. . . There existed no other who worked with me=9 .'. .6

Conscious= of being=1 alone=2, this blessed=3 and immortal=2 being=1 contrived to create two divine=9 offspring=2, Shu=, god=8 of the air=1 and dryness=5, and Tefnut=5 the goddess1 of=3 moisture=3: 'I=9 thrust my=2 phallus=8 into my=2 closed hand. I=9 made my=2 seed=6 to enter my=2 hand=9. I=9 poured it into my=2 own=7 mouth=5. I=9evacuated under the form=7 of Shu=3, I=9 passed water=4 under the=6 form=7 of Tefnut=5'7

Despite such apparently inauspicious beginnings, Shu=3 and Tefnut=5 (who were always described as 'Twins=4' and frequently depicted as lions=6) grew to maturity, copulated and produced offspring=2 of their=6 own=7: Geb=5 the god=8 of the earth=7 and Nut=1, the goddess=1 of the sky=1=1. These two also mated, creating= Osiris=8 and Isis=2, Set=8 and Nepthys, and so completed the Ennead=7, the full company of the Nine=6 Gods=9 of Heliopolis=3. Of the nine=6, Ra=1, Shu=3, Geb=5 and Osiris=8 were said to have ruled in Egypt=1 as kings=6, followed by Horus=9, and lastly - for 3226 years - by the Ibis=3-headed=9 wisdom=2 god=8 Thoth=8.8


GOD 26 17 8
GODDESS 73 28 1
NAMES OF GOD 99 45 9


3 x 2 x 2 x 6 = 72

3 + 2 + 2 + 6 = 13




Vera Stanley Alder 1938

Page 127






Alexandra David-Neel 1965

Page x

 "By a strange shuffle of fate, Magic and Mystery in Tibet turned out to be
our thirteenth book. I find it interesting, but not meaningful, that the numbers 7, 11, and 13 recur quite frequently in my life. Claude Kendall, for example, had 13 letters in his name, as did Tiffany Thayer. Our office was at 70 Fifth Avenue, at the comer of 13th Street. Our room number was 706, which added up to 13, and was of course on the seventh floor."




May/June 2004


Page 60 /61 6+0+6+1=13



"The number 13 is'nt all bad...It always seems to get a bad press and is in need of some good PR! The number 13 fills many of us with fear - who enjoys working on Friday the 13th? (Or any other day, for that matter!) This silly superstition has even got its own name - triskaidekaphobia!
And it's not just us paranoid Brits, either - 13 gets a bad press wherever it goes. It's even removed from hotels and street addresses all around the world.
It could have something to do with Judas being the 13th disciple at the Last Supper, or there being 13 Full Moons a year,
the time when witches venture out! But the bad-mouthing's relatively recent. Earlier societies sang the number's praises.
So it's time to hear it for 13. Here's why it's a remarkable number...

Extra day!
On average, the moon covers 13 degrees per day. Although there are 12 months in a year, based on the movements of the sun, there are 13 moons a year - one every 28 days, plus a day left over: Hence the expression 'a year and a day'.
When the 13th Full Moon occurs -two in one month - it's called a 'blue moon' (cue for a song?).
Many ancient cultures used a calendar based on these 13 lunar cycles. The first civilisation known to man (around 3000BC), was an advanced society of people known as the Sumerians, who possessed extraordinary Astronomical knowledge (even better than Patrick Moore). They lived in Mesopotamia, an ancient land located where Iran and Iraq are today. They followed a solar-
lunar calendar alternating between 12 and 13 months. Handy if you want an extra holiday!
Calendar girl
The first calendar that the North American Indians used was on the shell of the turtle (hopefully when the poor beast wasn't still in it!).
The outer shape is circular, to symbolise a 'sacred hoop'. And within the shell are 13 segments, used to mark the passing of each Full

These 13 moon cycles gave birth to the legends of the 13 Original Clan Mothers (that's girl power!), who represented the talents and abilities that we all can develop during our lives - if we try! Traditionally, 13 was considered a powerful number with strong connections to women and fertility, as the female menstrual cycle follows the phases of the moon. We bleed approximately 13 times per year, roughly every 28 days (and don't we know it!)
Freya - the Norse goddess of love and fertility - was associated with the number 13 because of this, and she's specifically linked to Friday the 13th. Back then, it was a sacred day, but for us, it's just an excuse to tell your boss you're ill...
Even the origin of our existence is related to the number 13. One sperm (13 chromosomes) + one ovum (13 chromosomes) = a human life. Blimey - science, eh?
Number crunch
That brainy Greek philosopher Pythagoras said, 'The world is built upon the power of numbers,' and believed they possessed individual qualities. He created the system of divination - known now as numerology - where all words, names and numbers are reduced to single digits.
Using this system, the number 13 is the higher vibration of 4 (as 1 + 3 = 4), 4 being the root of all numbers associated with the
Earth and the four elements.
Also, 13 symbolises love for hte world and is associated with genius. People born on this date are said to be innovators and explorers, successful in scientific research.
Sexy boffin types.
Word up
The Gematria is an ancient Hebrew system for discovering the hidden meanings behind words,
using numerical values for letters of the alphabet (a bit like an ancient Morse code, then!). It was used to search for the secret holy names of God, which were believed to carry incredible power.
The Greeks used Gematria to interpret dreams. Kabbalists - those studying Jewish mysticism - developed the system further. Thirteen is considered to be directly connected to God. It means 'love of unity'; as the Hebrew words for 'love' and 'one'
both total 13. Wow, that number certainly packs a powerful punch!
Cool gang
Unlike today, where only a brave sportsman will wear the number 13 on his shirt, many, many moons ago, anything consisting of 13 was considered very lucky!
Jesus had 12 disciples, and he said his group represented 'the13 veins of humanity'.
There were 13 knights of the Round Table, including King Arthur. (If it was an oblong table, some might have felt a bit left out!)
Robin Hood had12 merry  men to help him rob the rich!
Romulus, / Page 61/ god Osiris.
There are 12 Namshans (advisors) around the spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama.
A witches' coven tradi-tionally had 13 mem-bers.
The number 13 is said by some to be ded-icated to the Virgin Mary, as she's believed to have died on 13 August.
In Judaism, there are 13 examples of God's divine mercy. Maimonides - the 12th-century Jewish physician, rabbi and philosopher - had 13 principles of faith that he considered the minimum requirements of Jewish belief. The Hebrew bible has 39 books, which is 3 x 13. (That's enough maths for now!)
In Indian temples, there are 13 Buddhas. There are said to be 13 stages a man must pass through to achieve Buddhahood. (Ha,
 that's a tough task - most of them don't progress past infancy!) 
In the Tibetan faith, 13 is the most favourable number of them all. It represents the Goddess Penden Lhamo - who's protector
that's a tough task - most of them don't progress past infancy!) In the Tibetan faith, 13 is the most favourable number of them
all. It represents the Goddess Penden Lhamo - who's protector of the Dalai Llama and the Tibetan nation.
Convinced yet?
Double power
The ancient Aztec and Mayan, people of South America thought. the number 13 was so powerful, they used two calendars - one
based on 365 days and another on cycles of 13. (They certainly liked making life complicated for themselves!) It was thought to be
the most astronomically precise calendar ever created and is still used for magical purposes by some remote Mayan tribes.
 The Mayans believed the entire span of time would last for 13 Baktun cycles (one Baktun = 144,000 days). The cycle of time we're in now is said to have begun on 13 August 3114 BC, and is to end on 22 December 2012. So, don't forget to put that date in your diary, girls.
The Aztec calendar also had a week consisting of 13 days, which was ruled by
Tlazolteotl - she was associated with witchcraft and purification of sin. She was the power behind all forms of bad behaviour, and her special weapon was sex.
(Must have been fun having her as your goddess!)
The 13th day was dedicated to Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec god of the night and material things (we're with him on that!) He carried a magic mirror which gave off smoke and killed enemies. Maybe that's why he was known as the Smoking Mirror...
Praise be!
Various faiths in years gone by made 13 a part of their religious ceremonies. In ancient Babylon, 13 people were chosen to represent the gods. For the Egyptians, 13 was associated with immortality, as they believed there were 12 rungs on the ladder to eternal life and knowledge. To take that all- important 13th step represented the transition through death into beyond.
Those canny Druids had a few things up their sleeve, too. The ancient Celtic Oghamalphabet, used by them as a secret language and when worshipping, was also known as the 'sacred tree alphabet' and was based on 13 trees native to Britain.
New zodiac
We all know our star sign, but did you know there have been 13 zodiac signs? The sun appears to pass through 13 constellations on the ecliptic (the path it takes through the stars).
The missing constellation, which lies between Libra and Sagittarius,
is called Ophiuchus - the Serpent Bearer: He's associated with Aesclepius, the Greek God of healing, whose symbol (snakes coiled around a staff or rod -ooer!), is used to represent places of healing and medicine.
The Greek philosopher Plato insisted it be included in the zodiac, but his cries for the case of Ophiuchus were ignored. This has divided astronomers and astrologers for thousands of years.
So, all you autumn girls, you may have an extra star sign!


1. Jazz legend Miles Davis got a trumpet for his 13th birthday(then he practised!)

2. Rugby League is played with teams of 13 players.

3. in Japan Friday the 13th is considered lucky.

4. During the Blitz in London the number 13 buses somehow escaped being bombed.

5. The average cost of a wedding is 1300.

6. The13th card of the tarot deck is Death, which signifies change 

7. There are 13 loaves in a baker's dozen.

8. Neil Young recorded an album of 13 songs called Lucky Thirteen.

9. The element associated with the atomic number 13 is the metal aluminium.

10. There are 13 petals in corn marigolds. ragworts and black-eyed Susans.

11. In Italy, a gold 13 charm is given to infants to ensure prosperity in life.

12. Wales has 13 counties (thats nearly an empire)

13. There are 13 bumps in the anti-clockwise spirals of a pineapple! (Go on check!)


6 FRIDAY 63 36 9
8 THIRTEEN 99 45 9




"The Devil's Number?
Many features of Bible numerics are calculated by adding the numerical values of individual words together. This is possible because the letters of the Greek alphabet had a numerical meaning as well as being used in writing words. For example. the Greek word for "dragon" is "drakon:' and we can add its numeric value as follows:

D 4
R 100
A 1
K 20
O 800
N 50

975 = 13 x 75.

Thus we see that this numeric value is a multiple of 13. but let us examine some other names by which the Bible refers to the devil:

The Adversary

364 = 13 x 28

The Antichrist

1,911 = 13 x 147

Belial  78 = 13 x 61
Serpent  780= 13 x 60
The Demon 975 = 13 x 75
Tempter  1,053 = 13 x 81

There are innumerable instances where the num-ber 13 is woven into the Bible pattern. Here is another remarkable instance:
In Genesis 10 the names of Canaan and his, descendants are given. They have a numeric value, of 3.211. or 13 x 13 x 19. In the 13th genera-tion from Shem were two brothers, Peleg and Joktan. and We are told that the later rebelled. The numeric value of Joktan is 169, or 13 x 13. He had 13 sons, and the numeric value of their names total 2.756. or 13 x 212, The verses recording  their history have a numeric value of 13 x 13 x 63."





Arthur C. Clarke 1972

"Sorry to interrupt the festivitie but we have a problem."
(HAL 9000, during Frank Poole's birthday .party)
"Houston, we've had a problem." (Jack Swigert, shortly after play- ing the Zarathustra theme to his TV audience, aboard

Apollo 13 Command Module Odyssey)



Arthur C. Clarke

Introduction to1989 Edition

"I see the number 9000 I've no idea why I selected it again for HAL's serial number, twenty years later..."



Arthur C. Clarke

Into the Comet

Page 67

"Sometime after the Second World War, there was a con-test between an American with an electric desk calculator and a Japanese using an abacus like this. The abacus won / Page / 68 / 'Then it must have been a poor desk machine, or an incom-petent operator.'
'They used the best in the U.S. Army. But let's stop argu-ing. Give me a test - say a couple of three-figure numbers to multiply.'
'Oh - 856 times 437"
Pickett's fingers danced over the beads, sliding them up and down the wires with lightning speed. There were twelve wires in all, so that the abacus could handle numbers up to 999,999,999,999 - or could be divided into separate sections
where several independent calculations could be carried out simultaneously.
'374072,' said Pickett, after an incredibly brief interval of time. 'Now see how long you take to do it, with pencil and paper.'
There was a much longer delay before Martens, who like most mathematicians was poor at arithmetic, called out '375072'. A hasty check soon confirmed that Martens had taken at least three times as long as Pickett to arrive at the wrong answer.
The atronomer's face was a study in mingled chagrin, astonishment, and curiosity.
'Where did you learn that trick?' he asked. 'I thought those things could only add and subtract.'
'Well - multiplication's only repeated addition, isn't it?
All I did was to add 856 seven times in the unit column, three times in the tens column, and four times in the hundreds column. You do the same thing when you use pencil and paper. Of course, there are some short cuts, but if you think I'm fast, you should have seen my granduncle. He used to work in a Yokohama bank, and you couldn't see his fingers..."


A 1 1 1
BACU 27 9 9
S 19 10 1
ABACUS 47 20 2



Caitlin Matthews 1989


"This ennead of aspects is endlessly adaptable for it is made up of nine, the most adjustable and yet essentially unchanging number. However one chooses to add up multiples of nine, for example 54, 72, 108, they always add up to nine"


1 I 9 9 9
5 PLATO 64 19 1
4 PLAY 54 18 9
5 CHESS 54 18 9



Saturday May 8th

Jonathan Cainer



John Michell

Page 57

"WE'VE been following the tradi- tional story of how the world was made by the Great Geometer.

First he located his centre, and from it he drew a circle. This circle depicts the perfect sphere that contains the whole universe. It is a living and self-sufficient. Outside it there is nothing-or nothing within our comprehension.

Last week we drew the outline of the "heavenly city diagram" that represents the sphere of earth below the moon.

Its main feature is a circle of radius 5,040, the sum of the earth's mean radius, 3,960 miles, and that of the moon, 1080 miles.

These numbers are all multiples of 12, and 12 represents structure and order. The Creator is said to have framed the universe in twelves. But to give it life and spirit, he had to include the numbers 5 and 7.
It is easy with compass and ruler to draw a 12-sided figure, but a 7-sided figure is impossible. But you can draw it near enough, and one way is to use the framework of the heavenly city. In this diagram the circle accommodates a 28-sided figure. Twelve of its arms go to the
centres of the 12 moon circles, and the others touch their sides. Twenty-eight is 4 times 7. It is the number of lunar mansions in astrology, and the number of days in a lunar month.
Seven is the mystical number, symbol of the world-soul that inspires visions and prophecy. Like 7 or 5,040, it is the number of the virgin goddess who existed before the creation .of the world. She is indefinable, and so is her geometric symbol, the heptagon.

Five represents the last stages in creation, when life and humanity appeared. Its shape, the pentagon, occurs throughout nature.
The ratio between the side of a pentagon and its diagonal is 1 to 1.618.
This is the famous "golden section"ratio. Scientists have recog-nised in it the key to natural form and growth.
It is displayed in the dimensions of the Great Pyramid.
With the appearance of plants and animals, the geometer's creation myth ends. It  is a good story and provides a gateway
into the mysteries of geometry."



Vol. 62, No. 851

Page 372

To the Editor,
It is instructive to observe that there is a common theme running through- out Montague Keen's reply (Keen, 1997) to my comments (Coleman, 1997) on his original article, namely that no specialised knowledge or experience is required to reach a conclusion on topics concerned with the paranormal. Thus of my comment on the absence of any statistical assessment of the Cross- Correspondences he writes:-

The evidential value cannot be assessed by any statistical method but only by common sense.

Here he is missing the point I was making that the published material represents a selection from a larger mass, chosen to illustrate correlations claimed to be significant. One does not need to be a statistician to realise that given sufficiently large amounts of material from similar sources, and an open-ended brief to identify any correlations, then correlations will be found; but these correlations will not necessarily be evidence of the paranormal transmission of information, as Keen claims. Keen's suggestion that results could be subject to a correction calculated by simple proportion from the assessment of a small sample indicates that he does not understand statistical methodology .
Keen now tacitly acknowledges that Mrs Piper's trance communications contain a good deal of bogus information, but he will not admit that this constitutes a problem. Instead he reiterates those examples that have been repeatedly cited as evidence of her paranormal abilities by a succession of commentators from Dr Hodgson onwards. But a recent reassessment of the 'George Pelham' material (Munves, 1997) illustrates, for anyone prepared to consider the material objectively, how much of Mrs Piper's information could have been obtained from purely mundane sources. Thus it should be remembered that it was not until Professor Hyslop took over the investigation that conversational exchanges taking place in Mrs Piper's presence were recorded; and even these records did not include significant pauses, changes in facial expression, etc., which convey a good deal of information in normal social intercourse. When these sources are supplemented by subconscious cues provided by her sitters, it is not surprising that she could provide them with personal information, most of it probably obtained by her acknowledged 'fishing'.
Keen does not appear to understand the nature of subconscious cues, since he claims that they were obviated by employing private detectives, opening the medium's mail, introducing the sitters anonymously, etc. But even wearing masks and disguises cannot eliminate cues in the form of slight articulations, breathing changes, changes in muscle tension, etc. It should be remembered that Mrs Piper commonly made physical contact with her sitters, and several of them (e.g. Lund, Barkworth) actually referred to muscle-reading as the source of her successes at their sittings. There were a number of 'mind readers' who preceded Mrs Piper, such as the American, Washington Irving Bishop, and the Englishman, Stuart Cumberland, who obtained their information
/ Page 373 /  
by physical contact; whilst others, such as Maud Lancaster, or the 12-year- old Eva McCoy, could operate without contact (Jay, 1987) . The American entertainer, Fanny Brice, taught herself 'mind-reading', as perhaps Mrs Piper had done before her. It is instructive in this context to recall Soal' s experiments with 'Marion', who could locate a hidden target, so long as some part of the body of a subject who knew the location was exposed, even if it were only the subject's feet (Soal, 1937).
Keen now concedes that much of Mrs Piper's information concerning Dean Bridgman Conner's death, quoted in Philpott's book (Philpott, 1915), was bogus as I stated. But again he merely reiterates a number of items which happen to be correct, although it would be difficult to get everything wrong, even for someone possessing no paranormal ability. In the light of the discussion of subconscious cues given above, it is pertinent to quote Philpott on the subject of Mrs Piper's sources (p.243):-
But every bit of information given by Mrs Piper can be traced to actual knowledge of someone present at the 'sittings' or to suspicions based on this knowledge, or both jumbled together.
Keen claims that Philpott endorses his conclusion that Mrs Piper obtained her information "by clairvoyance or by telepathy". What Philpott actually states is that her successes were the result of 'mind-reading', and from the discussion of this topic given above, this does not constitute evidence of a paranormal element. If anyone were to propose conducting a telepathy experiment in which the agent and percipient sat holding hands throughout, I think most SPR members would regard the conditions as less than conclusive, even if the percipient promised to keep her eyes shut. I think most people having read Philpott's book would agree with his overall conclusion, which Keen does not quote (p. 249):-
The whole thing was a fabric of nonsense erected on a dream.
Of the mediumship of Jack Webber, I did not say that Harry Edwards's account (Edwards, 1940) was "untrustworthy", I said it was difficult to regard it as disinterested. Edwards organized more than 200 of Webber's seances, for which the medium was paid up to 20 per sitting (Branch, 1982). As this was some one hundred times the rate of earning of the average weekly paid employee of this period, Webber clearly had a strong financial interest in pursuing his mediumistic activities. Since the sittings were typically held in complete darkness, there was no contemporaneous note-taking, so Edwards's book is essentially anecdotal, written from memory, often long after the events described. Thus we do not know where, when or for how long the individual sittings were held. We do not know how many sitters were present at each sitting, and we know the names of very few of these. But most importantly, we do not have those detailed sequences of events, with timings, that are necessary to arrive at a realistic assessment of any supposedly paranormal occurrences. Most of Edwards's account is unsupported by any independent witnesses.
Keen claims that the account was supported by the testimonies of "several hard-nosed Fleet Street journalists" and "Fleet Street photographers were invited to take infra-red flashlight photographs, some thirty of which are reproduced". In fact only two tabloid journalists are quoted, neither of whom / Page 374 / had any direct control over the medium, nor any specialized knowledge of mediumistic trickery. These journalists were sitting in circles of 15 or 20 sitters, many of whom were friends or relations of the medium. Of a sitting at Walton House one sitter wrote "there seemed to be several accomplices". Of the 33 photographs showing 'phenomena', only 4 were taken by a Daily Mirror photographer, 14 were taken by sitters (including 8 by Edwards himself) and 15 were taken by a professional photographer, Leon Isaacs. Photographs were only taken when permission was granted by the medium or his spirit guides. Leon Isaacs admitted to Abdy Collins (Collins, 1940) that he could not guarantee that the phenomena were not produced by the medium or the uncontrolled sitters. Of two photographs which Isaacs mentions, one (Plate 22) has a floating trumpet inked in, whilst the other (Plate 23) shows a 'floating' table which appears to be supported on the arm of the medium's chair. Plates 29 and 29A would seem to undermine Keen's claim that Webber's ectoplasm defied gravity, since it is clearly suspended from a picture-hook.
Keen asserts that the examples I cited to illustrate mediumistic evasion of rope-tying do not explain Webber's feats, as described by Edwards. But this assertion depends on the accuracy of Edwards's description, which there is reason to question. The reason for differences between examples cited and Webber's practice must be obvious to any impartial reader. I cited the Davenports as'' the originators of this activity, and naturally Maskelyne reproduced their act which involved two performers. But there were magicians contemporary with the Davenports who could achieve their effects working alone (A., F. S., 1864). At a sitting in a private house, Mr Evans, Webber's father-in-law, switched on a light by mistake, and Webber was seen standing up, his legs still tied to his chair, but with his hands free, holding a trumpet to his lips. This is a revealing observation because this is exactly the posture which Joseph Dunninger recommends in his book (Dunninger, 1936) on how a fake medium can produce trumpet phenomena, etc., when supposedly controlled by being tied to his chair. Keen suggests that it would not be possible for a simple man such as Webber to have deceived such eminent employees of the BBC as John Snagge, Michael Standing or S. J. de Lotbinere. But there is no reason to suppose that the two radio commentators, or even the Director of Outside Broadcasting, had any specialized knowledge of mediumistic trickery. And it is clear from his comments that Keen does not understand the point Dr Dingwall was making (Dingwall, 1940), that the longer the rope used for tying, the greater opportunity there is for gaining sufficient slack to escape from being tied, since he emphasizes that Webber's rope was five times longer than that of the Davenports, as if this made his escape more difficult. Keen implies that Webber's hands were routinely held: they were not. Of the 27 photographs illustrating this point in Edwards's book, 26 show Webber's hands unheld, and only one (Plate 6) shows them held.
If Montague Keen wishes to convince even the pragmatic sceptics of whom Alan Gauld has written so informatively (Gauld, 1997), I suggest he will need to produce more convincing material than that which he has adduced to date."
3 The Ridgeway, M. H. COLEMAN Putnoe, Bedford MK41 BET




Orbis 39 1981

Page 778

"What were the mysterious lights that accompanied Mary Jones's1905 Welsh ministry? KEVIN McCLURE continues the bizarre tale of religious fervour and its'UFO' connection - and considers contemporary allegations that the lights were hoaxes MOST OF THE EYEWITNESS REPORTS we have of Mary Jones of Egryn, the' Merionethshire Seeress' as she became known, come from local and national newspapers, and articles in the Occult Review. The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) produced a long and detailed report in i'ts,froceedings for 1905, but con-ducted its investigation by postal question-naire. However, it is hard to see what the most experienced psychical researcher, more accustomed to seances and hauntings, would have made of the following account, from the correspondent of the Daily Mirror. He tells of the journey back from a revival meeting:
In the first carriage were Mrs. Jones and three ladies; in my own with me, the 'Daily Mirror' photographer, a keen-witted, hard-headed Londoner. The weirdness of that drive in semi- darkness at breakneck speed by river and mountain "round deadly corners and down precipitous hills, I shall never forget. For three miles [5 kilo- metres] we had driven in silence, and I had given up hope. It was close on midnight, and we were nearing Bar-mouth when suddenly, without the faintest warning, a soft shimmering radiance flooded the road at our feet. Immediately it spread around us, and every stick and stone within twenty yards [18 metres] was visible, as if under the influence of the softest lime- light. It seemed as though some large body between earth and sky had sud- denly opened and emitted a flood of light from within itself. It was a little suggestive of the bursting of a firework bomb - and yet wonderfully different.
Quickly as I looked up, the light was even then fading away from the sky overhead. I seemed to see an oval mass of grey, half-open, disclosing within a kernel of white light. As I looked it closed, and everything was once again in darkness.
Who knew anything about UFOS in 1905?
The same team also witnessed another form of the phenomenon - one also described by Beriah Evans, and the Dyffryn police- constable. It seems that each night in the early part of 1905 there was a regular gather- ing of intrigued observers a)ong the road by the chapel, all hoping for the lights to appear. The Daily Mirror reporter saw:
A bar of light quite four feet [1metre] wide, and of the most brilliant blue. It blazed out at me from the: roadway, a few yards from...the chapel. "For half a moment it lay across the road; and then extended itself up-,the wall on either side. It did not rise above the walls. As I stared, fascinated, a kind of quivering radiance flashed with lightning speed from one end of the bar to the other, and the whole thing disappeared.

The 'soft, shimmering radiance' that illuminated the countryside as described by the Daily Mirror reporter who had gone to investigate Mrs Jones and her lights. It was on the way back from a prayer meeting that the mysterious light suddenly flooded the road around them. Although it was nearly midnight the strange light picked out the detail of 'every stick and stone' within 20 yards (18 metres). The reporter and his colleague had just time to notice an oval mass of greyish light with a brilliant white kernel overhead when they were all suddenly plunged back into darkness"



Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince



"Physicists today believe that the universe encompasses far more dimensions than just the four (three of space, one of time)
we know about and perceive with our senses. The only way we can begin to visualise the concept of a multidimensional uni-verse is by analogy. One of the best is that of an imaginary world called Flatland, a two-dimensional place inhabited by two-dimensional beings, where there is only length and breadth, no up or down - something like a sheet of paper.
49 Imagine how Flatlanders would perceive a three-dimensional object that interacted with their world. For example, if a sphere passed through, the Flatlanders would only see it in cross-section; first a dot would appear, which would then become a circle that grows until the middle of the sphere passes through, and then it would decrease in size to become a dot again, and vanish. (No doubt such a 'paranorma' phenomenon would cause much consterna-tion among Flatlanders and probably be hotly debated by learned Flatland societies as well as dismissed as a delusion by their 'Skeptics'.) This analogy with the hypothetical Flatland enables us to understand that events taking place in the higher dimensions now acknowledged by theoretical physicists would have visible effects in our three-dimensional world, although the cause would remain beyond both our senses and even our most sophisticated instruments.
Physicists deal in such 'extra' dimensions because of certain phenomena associated with nuclear physics, although there is some debate about how many dimensions make up the universe. These hyperdimensions cannot be observed directly, since we and all our measuring devices are stuck in the three-dimensional universe, but they can be understood mathematically."



Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince



Page 182
"As you know, I am the spokesman for the Nine. But I also have another position, which I have with you in the project. I will try to give you names so you can then understand in what you work and who we are. I may not pronounce who I am in a manner which you would understand because of the problem in the Being's [his name for Schlemmer] brain, but I will explain so that the Doctor [Puharich] perhaps will understand. I am Tom, but I am also Harmarkus [Harmarchis], I am also Harenkur, I am also known as Tum and I am known as Atum.
The next day, following up the name Harmarchis, Puharich asked: ','How did the Egyptians come to build and name the Sphinx after you?' Tom replied:

You have found the secret. [A pause for 'consultation'.] The true knowledge of that will be related to you another time. But I will say briefly to you concerning the Sphinx: I am the beginning. I am the end. I am the emissary. But the original time that I was on the Planet Earth was 34,000 of your years ago. I am the balance. And when I say 'I' - I mean because I am an emissary for the Nine. It is not I, but it is the group. . . We are nine; principles of the Universe, yet together we are one.50

'Tom' claims to be Atum,the ancient Egyptian creator god of whom the Sphinx was created as a living image (Sheshep-ankh Atum), the head of the Great Ennead of-Nine gods, which the ancient Egyptians regarded as 'Nine that are One'. Tom has also said: 'We are the Universe', which again accurately reflects the old Heliopolitan belief. Interestingly, the entity whom Carla Rueckert channelled claimed to be Ra, the ancient Egyptian sun god, who is another form of Atum. (The major clue was in the Nine's name from the start: the English word Ennead - group of nine - is used as a translation of the ancient Egyptian psit, which literally means the number 'nine'. The Egyptians themselves actually referred to / Page 183 / the Heliopolitan gods as the nine'.) The Nine also claim to be the Elohim - the gods - of the Old Testament, and the Aeons of Gnosticism."



The Journal of The Royal Institute of Philosophy


January 1962 Vol xxxvii No 39

Dorothy Emmet

Page 23

"...The tautology arises when a categorical term used to organise a way of talking about the world is used as though it were the name of a special sort of existent within the world. If we ask whether 'persons' like Uncle Tom are 'things', and still more, whether e.g. the American Constitution is a 'thing', this is a matter of deciding how widely or how restrictively we are going to use the word 'thing' in talking about different kinds of units in a particular context; it is not an answer to a general question 'What are things really?' put as though it were a question of fact.
A similar tautology might arise if we asked 'What is Nature really?' We should have to say in the end 'Nature is Nature'. Of course there are restricted meanings in particular contexts, as when we distinguished 'nature' and 'nurture', but I am concerned with the general categorical term, as in the phrase 'the nature of things', of which we might just have to say 'It is what it is', or once again quote Bishop Butler 'Things are what they are, and their con-sequences will be what they will be'. Possibly the most famous of all tautologies, God's reply to Moses, 'I am that I am', may indicate that we are here dealing with a categorical word, rather than the name of a particular existent; or it may be an invocation of the Ideosyncrasy Platitude, saying that God is just God. Probably in its original context it was the latter, used as a 'Shut up' tautology: 'You mind your own business: I am that I am'.

Page 187


Sirius is also prevalent, although obliquely. Harry Stone talks about the god Sept, whom Puharich identifies with Sirius. Most significant of all is the fact that the historical Rahotep was high priest of Heliopolis, with its Great Ennead of Nine gods. Stone's communications led Puharich to do further research about the Heliopolitan religion, and he wrote:

Heliopolis was the center of a religion which had for its pantheon nine great gods called the Ennead, which means the Nine. The Nine of Heliopolis are Atum, Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Osiris and Isis, and Set and Nepthys.57

Puharich referred to the high priest of Heliopolis as the 'chief spokesman' of the Ennead. He was using the term 'the Nine' way back in 1959: the communications themselves took place between his first contact with the 'Nine Principles' in 1952-3 and his renewed acquaintance with them through his meeting with the Laugheads in Mexico in 1956. Surely Puharich must have made the connection, realising that these were not separate stories, but one, centring on contact with the Nine entities who claimed to be nothing less than the ancient gods of Heliopolis?"  



Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince




The Nine Gods

"In the beginning were the Nine gods of ancient Egypt, the Great Ennead, in whom all beauty, magic and power were personified. But although many, they were only ever truly One - each an aspect of the great creator god, Atum. The Pyramid Texts, hiero-glyphic inscriptions found on the inside walls of seven pyramids of the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties, implore them both as Nine and as One:

O you, Great Ennead which is at On [Heliopolis] (namely) Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osris, Isis, Set, and Nepthys; O you children of Atum extend his goodwill to his child. . .1

The mysteries of the Great Ennead were celebrated by genera-tions of initiate priests at Heliopolis. Their worship was a central part of the lives of thousands of ordinary men and women, to whom their discrete identities made them as accessible as the saints are to modern Catholics, while their mysterious Oneness kept in place the divine veil of ineffability. / Page 2 / The Nine - in one form or another - reigned for many cen-turies, until the Egyptian world changed forever with the influx of conquering races including the Greeks and, later, the Romans. The change seemed complete with the coming of the new religion of the sacrificial man-god, Yeshua (Jesus). But even then it was believed that the Nine merely withdrew to a heavenly realm - or, as many would have it today, to another dimension. The Ennead had departed, perhaps one day to return in glory.
However, the Nine are no longer a mere curiosity of some long past religion, nor are the works of their priests as ephemeral as sand blowing across the face of time. Their sacred city of Heliopolis hid many jealously guarded secrets, incredible knowledge that is only now being rediscovered. From the wisdom of antiquity, these high initiates built the pyramids, feats of con-struction that are still unparalleled and whose mysteries continue to challenge and enthral. The Nine taught their priests well- and their strange and secret knowledge is coming back to haunt us.

Buried beneath a suburb of Cairo - the most populous city in Africa, with 16 million inhabitants and their mad cacophony of traffic - the wonders of ancient Heliopolis are now marked only by a single obelisk. Once it was one of the unofficial wonders of the ancient world, glorying in its name - derived from the Greek for 'city of the sun god' because it was the centre of worship of Ra, whose daily journey blazed across the heavens. Its Egyptian name of Ounu, which appears in the Old Testament as On, may mean 'the pillared city', although no one knows for certain. Sometimes it was known as the 'House of Ra', while the Arabs called it Ain- Shams, meaning 'Sun eye' or 'Sun spring'.
It is unknown how long the centre at Heliopolis had been established before its first mention in the records, but it was cer- ainly - already the supreme religious centre of Egypt 'when records begin' - at least the beginning of the Old Kingdom (c.2700 BCE).
3 Although several other rival cult centres later rose in power and political influence, Heliopolis always retained its / Page 3 / status and due reverence was paid tl;) its antiquity throughout the history of Egypt.
Heliopolis was the principal religious centre of the Pyramid Age, and its theology - the first organised system of religion and
cosmology known in Egypt - inspired and motivated the building of the great monuments at Giza. To people of that time and place, theology represented the sum total of all knowledge. All that existed was God: everything was a manifestation of Him / Her, and everything was imbued with the divine spark. Therefore the study of anything was in itself a glorious religious act. To learn was to worship and at the same time to progress along one's own path to godhood. Heliopolis is indelibly linked with Giza, which lies some 12 miles to its south-west. Indeed, the three pyramids are arranged so they point to Heliopolis.
As 'the chosen seats of the gods' and 'the birthplace of the gods', Heliopolis was the most sacred site of Egypt. It contained
temples to the creator god Atum, to Ra - the sun god himself - and to Horus, as well as to Isis, Thoth and the Nile god Hapi. One of the city's most renowned buildings was the hwt-psdt, the Mansion of the Great Ennead. Another structure was the House of the Phoenix; which may have contained the sacred ben-ben stone, Egypt's most holy 'relic', which was possibly meteoritic in origin.
The priesthood of Heliopolis was famed for its learning and wisdom. Two of its greatest achievements were in the fields of
medicine and astronomy - its high priests held the title 'Greatest of Seers', generally understood to mean 'Chief Astronomer'.
5 Its priests were still regarded as the wisest and most learned in Egypt at the time of Herodotus (fifth century BCE) and even
remembered in Strabo's day, as late as the first century CE. The
priesthood was even famed among the Greeks, and it is said that, among others, Pythagoras, Plato, Eudoxus and Thales went to Heliopolis to study. And although we know few of the names of the great Egyptians who were its graduates, we do know that
Imhotep, the genius who designed the first pyramid - the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara - and was venerated as a god for his medical knowledge, was a High Priest there.6

Page 4

Significantly, the priesthood probably included women. An inscription of the Fourth Dynasty, roughly contemporary with the Giza pyramids, refers to a woman in the Temple of Thoth holding the title 'Mistress of the House of Books'.7
It is possible to piece together the main elements of the Heliopolitan religious beliefs from the Pyramid Texts. The earli-est text, in the pyramid of Unas, dates from around 2350 BCE, some 200 years after the Great Pyramid of Khufu at 'Giza is believed to have been built. In fact most Egyptologists agree that the Pyramid Texts are much older than the earliest surviving inscriptions, and that they - and the religious and cosmological ideas - existed at the beginning of the First Dynasty, the 'official' birth of Egyptian civilisation, around 3100 BCE.
8 The pyramid Texts are the oldest surviving religious writings in the world.9 , Customarily divided into short 'chapters' called 'utterances' by Egyptologists, these ancient texts form descriptions of the funeral rites and afterlife journey of the king (strictly speaking, 'pharaoh' is a much later term). There is every reason to believe that the Pyramid Texts are not, in fact, merely funeral texts, nor is the wisdom embedded in them relevant solely to the kings of a long- dead civilisation.
The central theme of the texts is the afterlife, or astral, journey in which the king, identified with Osiris, ascends to the heavens where he is transformed into a star. He also encounters various gods and other entities, and is finally accepted into their ranks. He is then reincarnated as his own successor, in the form of Osiris's son, Horus, thus ensuring the literal divinity of the royal line and maintaining the continuity of. Egyptian culture.
The Pyramid Texts are undoubtedly the product of the Heliopolitan priesthood,
10 and represent the only surviving unadulterated expression of their religion, and probably the only writings of the religion ever inscribed outside of Heliopolis itself at that time. The same ideas underpin later funeral inscriptions, such as the Coffin Texts (written inside sarcophagi of the Middle Kingdom, 2055-1650 BCE) and the so-called Book of the Dead, though these were also influenced by other, rival / Page 5 / religious systems. The Pyramid Texts hold the key to recon-structing the beliefs of ancient Heliopolis.
A further problem arises as the Pyramid Texts were intended for a specific purpose, not as a general dissertation on theology. One analogy is with a Christian funeral service today. Obviously it would feature references to Christian beliefs, such as Jesus dying on the cross to save us, which Christians understand, while anyone unfamiliar with the religion would feel completely lost. The Pyramid Texts, in much the same way, are not the equivalent of a Heliopolitan Bible, but more like a prayer book.
A study of the underlying beliefs of the Pyramid Texts reveals an extraordinarily sophisticated yet economical theology and cos- mology that can be read on many levels. Several complex concepts are expressed simultaneously in its imagery. There are many academic reconstructions of Heliopolitan thought, but the one we believe to make most sense of the data is that of the American professor of religious history, Karl W. Luckert, as described in his seminal book Egyptian Light and Hebrew Fire (1991). According to this, the system is one of deceptive sim-plicity, hiding a rich and awesome complexity. We came to realise that Heliopolitan beliefs concerning the nature of the universe, consciousness, life and what happens after death are both mysti-cal and practical, yet also incorporate knowledge that rivals that of the most cutting-edge modem science. .
It has long been recognised that the Pyramid Texts contain astronomical material. Recent books have argued that these ideas are neither primitive nor superstitious - as many academics still believe - but reveal a detailed and sophisticated understanding of the movement of heavenly bodies. They even take into account the phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes, a heav- enly cycle of nearly 26,000 years that was deemed to have been discovered as late as the second century BCE by the Greeks (who even then got it wrong).
11 This civilisation existed at least five mil-lennia ago. On such a timeline our own superstitious Dark Ages, when the world was believed to be flat, seem like yesterday.
The most fundamental revelation of the Pyramid Texts is that, / Page 6 / despite our preconceptions, the Heliopolitan religion was essen-tially monotheistic. Its many gods, often animal-headed, were understood to represent the manifold aspects of the one creator god, Atum.
The Heliopolitan religion incorporated the concept of a-mysti-cal union with the 'higher' god forms, and even with the source of all creation, Atum himself. This union was the true objective of the process described in the Pyramid Texts, the destination of the soul's ultimate journey. According to the standard view, this was relevant only to the king in his afterlife state, but we believe it was
not a journey reserved,only for royalty - nor even for the dead. The Pyramid Texts in fact describe a secret technique for enabling a man or woman to encounter God and - dead or merely out of the body to discover some of his knowledge for themselves.
Atum stood at the apex of the Great Ennead, or the nine pri-mary gods of Egypt. However, exemplifying the concept of 'one god, many god forms', the nine themselves were considered as One, the other eight representing different aspects of Atum.
12 This is a similar idea to that of the Christian Trinity. As Professor Luckert says: 'The entire theological system can be visualised as a flow of creative vitality, emanating outward from the godhead, thinning out as it flows further from its source.'13
Before Atum's act of creation, the universe was a formless, watery void, called Nun. Out of this void emerged a phallic-shaped hill, the sacred Hill of Atum. Although a metaphor, it was also believed that this landmark was a physical place, the real site of the.. beginning of all things. Atum's temple in Heliopolis was probably built on this hill, although some Egyptologists have recently argued it was actually the rising ground of the Giza plateau. Others suggest that the pyramids themselves were intended to represent the Primeval Mound.
The writings of Victorian - and even more recent - Egyptologists have been notably coy or tight-lipped about the story of Atum's act of creation. In fact, he ejaculated the universe as a result of masturbating himself to an explosive orgasm. Though this inevitably invites jokes about the 'Big Bang', it is / Page 7 / actually rather an accurate image. Atum's life-giving burst of energy seeded."the void of Nun, pushing back its boundaries to give way to the expans.ion of material creation. In the original story, Atum was considered to be androgynous: his phallus rep- resented the male principle, while his hand represented the female principle. This defines one of the fundamental tenets of the Heliopolitan system and all Egyptian thinking, namely that of the eternal and quintessential balance of male and female, the yin-yang polarity without which, they believed, chaos would rule.
From Atum's arching semen the universe proceeded to unfold, gradually becoming manifest in the physical, material world that we inhabit, but only after passing through several other stages. From the creative act, two beings, Shu and Tefnut, emerged in the dividing of the first principle. Shu is male, representing the cre- ative power, and Tefnut is female, representing a principle of order that limits, controls and shapes Shu's power. Tefnut is also represented as the goddess Ma'at, ruler of eternal justice.
15 Together, Shu and Tefnut are sometimes jointly called the Ruti, represented in physical form as two)ions (or rather, a lion and a
lioness). '
From the union of Shu and Tefnut were born Geb (the earth god) and Nut (the sky goddess), representing the elements of the visible cosmos, more manifest forms of their 'parents'. Geb and Nut, in turn, gave birth to two pairs of brother sister twins: the famous quartet of Isis and Osiris and Nepthys and her brother- consort, Set. They express the principle of duality in two ways: male and female, and positive-negative/light-dark. Nepthys is the 'dark sister' of the beneficent Isis, while Set is the destructive, obstructive force opposing Osiris's civilising and creative char-acter. These four deities were considered to be closer to us and the material world, than their forebears, although still inhabiting the world of spirit beings 'behind the veil'. Luckert says that they 'exist low enough to participate more intimately in the human experience of life and death' and that they operate 'on a smaller and more visible scale than their parent(s)'.
Collectively, these nine gods make up the Great Ennead, but / Page 8 / they remain only expressions of Atum, reaching through the
levels of creation from the first emergence from the void to the world of matter we inhabit. In a sense, Osiris is Geb and Shu and Atum, just as Isis is Nut and TefnutfMa'at and Atum. Even Set was perceived as more complex than a simple embodied, arche- typal evil, such as the Devil of Christianity.
The system continues. The Great Ennead itself leads on to another series of gods, the Lesser Ennead. The link - or 'go- between' - is Horus, the magical child of Isis and Osiris. He is regarded as the god of the material world, his role here echoing that of Atum in the universe. The foremost of the Lesser Ennead, who are believed to exert a direct influence over humankind, are the wisdom god Thoth - scribe to the Great Ennead - and Anubis, the jackal-headed god who guards the gateway between the worlds of the living and the dead.
This level is the province of many other deities, each dealing with a specific aspect of human life. It is probable that it incor- porated local gods and goddesses worshipped in Egypt before the Heliopolitan religion was established. Luckert calls this the 'Turnaround Realm', the meeting point of the world of matter and the 'other dimensions' of the gods, where the reverse process can be experienced by an individual- either at death, or by mystical experiences in life - as an 'inner journey', back t4;) union with the creator. This is the process that is the main theme of the Pyramid
Texts, which - far from being 'primitive' - exceeds newer reli-gions in both authority and sublimity, besides being strikingly similar to the traditions of shamanism.
Further significance can be derived from this elegant system. In an association of imagery, the emergence of Atum's Primeval Mound from Nun was equated with the rising of the sun, the source of all life in the material world. This is why Atum is asso-ciated with Ra, the sun god, sometimes referred to as Ra-Atum. This is also why Horus, as lord of this world, is also associated with, and sometimes personified as, the sun. The daily 'birth' of the sun is a 'microcosm' of the original creative explosion that gave birth to the universe, so it can be associated with both Atum / Page 9 / and Horus. Like so much of the Pyramid Texts, the imagery works on several levels at once.
An objective reading of the Pyramid Texts involves much more than poetic symbolism. For example, its system of creation is a remarkable parallel to modem physicists' conception of the cre-ation and evolution of the Universe. It literally describes the 'Big Bang', in which all matter explodes from a point of singularity and then expands and unfolds, becoming more complex as funda- mental forces come into being and interact, finally reaching the level of elemental matter. (Significantly, the leading American Egyptologist Mark Lehner, in his 1997 book The Complete Pyramids, uses the term 'singularity' when referring to Atum's .
place in the myth.
17) The system also includes the concept of a multidimensional universe, represented by the different levels of creation as embodied in the god forms. In the Pyramid Texts, the higher gods, such as Shu and Tefnut, still exist, but remain essen- tially unreachable by humankind without going through the intermediaries of the-lower gods.
Yet another level of imagery lies within the creation story. While discussing the sophistication of the ideas in the Pyramid Texts with our friend, the Belgian writer-researcher Philip Coppens, he pointed out that certain very new discoveries of modem science are an implicit part of the story. As we have seen, Atum emerged from a formless void, imaged in the form of the primordial watery chaos called Nun. This is often regarded as being based on the way land emerges from the Nile flood as the annual inundation recedes, but this is not really the concept expressed in the Heliopolitan image. As Egyptologist R. T. Rundle Clark says:
It was not like a sea, for that has a surface, whereas the orig-inal waters extended above as well as below. . . The present cosmos is a vast cavity, rather like an air-bubble, amid the limitless expanse.
This is an elegantly clever way of expressing the complex concept / Page 10 / of a sea that represents, on the one hand, the void - nothing - yet at the same time stands for unlimited potential - infinity. There may be another reason for choosing this image, though. Scientists have only recently announced the discovery that water can be found in interstellar space in far greater quantities than has ever been expected. Atum represents not just the 'Big Bang' of cre-ation, but also the Sun: and scientists are only now realising that
the enormous clouds of water throughout the universe playa vital role in the creation of stars such as our sun. In fact, they are now beginning to believe that stars are actually created from such clouds of water. . .
19 It has also been pointed out that, on a ter-restrial level, the myth expresses the idea that life originated in the seas.20 All this suggests the possession of exceptionally sophisticated knowledge by the Heliopolitans.
Significantly, on 12 September 1998, the leading British sci-entific magazine New Scientist published the ground-breaking research of a NASA. team led by Lou Allamandola into the ori-gins - and requirements - of life in the universe. Previously scientists had found it impossible to assemble the right 'ingredi-ents' out of which to create even the most basic form of life, but this team had succeeded in creating some of the complex mole-cules necessary by recreating in the laboratory conditions similar to those found inside clouds of gas in interstellar space. They dis-covered that creating those complex molecules in those circumstances is extremely easy - in fact, virtually inevitable - whereas trying to do so in strictly terrestrial circumstances is impossible. The most striking example is that of molecules called lipids which make up the walls of individual cells, without which the cell, the basic building block of living things, could not exist. Now that scientists know that this can be done so easily in these conditions, the implications are enormous. It looks increasingly as if life originated in deep space and was then 'seeded' on to planets, probably by comets, and that, even in its most primitive form, it is probably found everywhere throughout the universe. As Lou Allamandola says, 'I begin to really believe that life is a cosmic imperative. Page 11 / This, however, is only part of the story, as Philip Coppens pointed out to us. It may be that Allamandola's team are by no means the first 'to comprehend the requirements for the creation of life. He cites the ancient Egyptian myth of Atum's explosive orgasm that created the universe: his ejaculation can be seen to symbolise, with astonishing accuracy, the idea that all the basic ingredients for life existed from the very first and that the uni-verse, as it continues to expand, carries them within it. The imagery of the Atum myth also encompasses perfectly the con-cept of 'seeding' the universe with life. Did the Heliopolitan priests really know how life originates and spreads throughout the universe?
This, then, was the 'primitive' religion of ancient Egypt, which was governed by the Great Ennead, the Nine who represented all life and all wisdom. The ancient Egyptian civilisation, so often underestimated even by our most learned scholars, continues to fascinate with mysteries that call to us from antiquity. But we were to discover that something new is afoot, a sudden, unex-plained interest in the lost secrets of the Egyptians and a flurry of mysterious activity among their most venerable ruins. Something intriguing is going on at Giza, something that is intimately con-nected with the preparation for the Millennium and the start of the twenty-first century. People and organisations are searching for the lost knowledge of the worshippers of the Nine for their own purposes. They are about to undertake a momentous, - perhaps even a catastrophic venture: to hijack the mysteries for their own ends, even daring to attempt the unthinkable - to exploit the ancient gods themselves."


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