Friday, September 5, 2008

Jake Kotze and Mystical Numbers

A direct link to this video can be found at:

In Moving Dimensions and Synchromysticism, I wrote about the creative explorations of Jake Kotze, who writes about the connections between popular culture and our reality. Jake published his own blog entry about my project, click here to read about his thoughts on how my way of visualizing the ten dimensions might be tied into the mythos he's been mapping.

One of the connections he makes note of is the importance of the number ten in the system of Jewish Mysticism known as Kabbalah, and its Tree of Life. The graphic below is from the wikipedia article on the subject, but if you search in google for "tree of life" you will find many similar diagrams.

Jake's proposal is that artists and writers, as they create new storylines and visual imagery, might be plugging into hidden patterns that reveal more about the underlying connections behind our reality than they might realize. For instance, he has mapped out the many images of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers that began appearing in popular entertainment in the years prior to 9/11. Coincidence? Or an example of resonances that connect across space and time? You really have to spend some time reading through Jake's blogs to appreciate that this is much more than an idle diversion for him: he has created a huge body of work that boggles the mind.

Since my project is not just about dimensions, but a way of understanding the relationship between consciousness and the patterns within the information that becomes our reality, there are some obvious connections between our two projects. The idea of combining synchronicity with mysticism is really not that big a stretch - anyone who has experienced a moment of surprising synchronicity has already had a taste of a mystical experience. A bit of synchronicity happened to me not long after my book was published, when people began asking about the strong visual similarity between the Kabbalistic Tree of Life and the helix I had created as an icon for my project:

I had to admit that I knew nothing about Kabbalah, but the connection did seem fascinating. Another surprise happened earlier this year when I heard from a fan about the notion of "triads" within the Kabbalah. "Triads" is also the word I chose to refer to the groups of three dimensions that are created by the line/branch/fold metaphor I use in my visualization of the dimensions.

In my book, chapter four is about what I call the "binary viewpoint": this is the tendency for us to try to categorize things into "this is what it is" and "this is what it isn't". By the end of that chapter I discuss an idea that comes from both quantum physics and ancient mysticism: there is always a third state to consider along with that binary yes/no or on/off: both states simultaneously (which, in a kind of a zen flip, is essentially the same as no choice being made). Thinking about the third dimension, then, is really thinking about the first three dimensions simultaneously, as a triad. The fourth through sixth and seventh through ninth also have a certain self-contained quality within my way of visualizing, so we end up with three triads, and in my project those three triads then become one in the tenth dimension.

An online document called "An Introduction to the Kabbalah for Beginners" is where someone first pointed me to, to show me that system's use of the term "triads". Here's what it says:

The Tree of Life contains three Triads. The first triad has been called the Intellectual World or Olahm Mevshekal, the second is called the Moral World or Olahm Morgash, and the third is called the Material World or Olahm Ha-Mevetbau.
Starting from the top of my helix logo, it's easy to superimpose these words onto my triads. The Intellectual triad is the seventh through ninth dimensions - readers familiar with my project will recognize how many times I have said this is where "Information equals reality", and this is where the "big-pictures memes that prefer one kind of reality over another" reside. The second triad, the fourth through sixth, can very easily be referred to as the Moral triad, since this is where the different parallel universes resulting from "choice, chance, and the actions of others" (another phrase I've used so often with this project) would be found. And the Material triad, obviously, would be dimensions 1 through 3, where we find the actual physical atoms and molecules that make up our universe.

What can I say? I knew nothing about Kabbalah when I created this project: this is synchronicity at work. Memes that connect across time and space, providing simultaneous inspiration, communicating meaning through shared experiences which may not even be our own. As I said in David Jay Brown and Psychedelics, I am continually humbled by the people from around the world who say they see connections between my way of visualizing reality and their own impressions of how things really work.

Here, to finish is one of my 26 songs attached to this project, another one of the simpler productions with me sitting at my old piano. This song is about the quandary you always end up with when you're trying to explain where it all comes from: whether you call it God, Indeterminacy, the Tenth Dimension, or something else, you have to end up following the cause and effect, the chickens and eggs and eggs and chickens, back and back through the links of the chain until finally, you arrive at something that has always just "been".

My song about this idea is called "Blind Faith".

A direct link to this video can be found at:

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: We're Already Dead (But That's Okay)

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