My third book, Precessional Time and the Evolution of Consciousness is my slimmest (surely a virtue) about how we work with ideas. It has its own conjunctions and disjunctions; where conjunctions are discovered meanings and disjunctions are changes in direction. The book is dominated with the cyclic metaphors of the
Tone Circle of 1st Millennium BC tuning theory (Ernest McClain),
The narrative structure called Ring Composition, found within ancient texts (Mary Douglas) and
The Enneagram brought to the West by George Gurdjieff.
A key power of such cyclic structures is that they belong to a species of Media in which consciousness is both portrayed as a process and freed from the normalising identification with an idea often found in our World View (or paradigm about how “the world” – our environment – works.) As Gurdjieff in particular made clear, identification is part of the world process over which the human mind has to struggle, just like the hero in a mythic tale – within a ring composition – must struggle (as protagonist of the narrative) with an antagonistic force that binds his or her struggle as a demon, dragon, tyrant, etc. preventing a golden fleece, holy grail or other treasure being recovered (Joseph Campbell).
The YouTube talk below, from 2012, discusses how numbers are more significant in understanding past and present societies, through the medium of a museum reproduction I made of an object to be seen in the Heraklion Museum. It records a Saturnian calendar that must have existed in the matriarchal societies of the Minoans in Crete and might be a sort of tyranny of time which Zeus-Jupiter (son of Cronos i.e. Saturn) deposed, relegating his father to a golden cave on a smaller island.
This story of Hesiod’s Theogony exactly pollows the harmonic truth that Saturn has a synodic period 16/15 (a semitone) of the lunar year whilst Jupiter’s synod is 9/8 (a whole tone) relative to the lunar year – to very high accuracy. The politics in this is the advent of Indo-Europeans from the North whose patriarchal social structures largely displaced matriarchal structures of the eastern Mediterranean.
Whilst ancient cultures were rooted in stories where numbers were structural rather than merely descriptive, connected to the sky and time as a spiritual superstructure for life on earth, the recent material culture has lost touch with this meaning given to time and numbers as archetypal.
Below is a YouTube presentation associated with this book, made after its publication in 2012. It is part of a series of films made with Anthony Blake over a weekend, in preparation for a seminar in the United States later that year – called The Politics of Number.
I was employing an octave model for the precessional cycle of about 25,920 years which appears to have been understood in prehistory and seeped into the mythic record in many interesting ways as presented in the ground-breaking book, Hamlet’s Mill. By Classical times, Plato refers to the Great Year and the classic number for this of 25,920 is a canonical number probably assumed due to Pythagorean ideas about the primacy of the factors 2, 3 and 5 found to pre-determine ancient musical tuning theory, the subject of my fifth book: Harmonic Origins of the World.
Precessional Time saw my early attempt to give the early number sciences a developmental history up to the point where they emerged in the ancient world having measured the size of the Earth. This was the story of the fourth book, Sacred Number and the Lords of Time. The manuscript of the 6th book, Angelic Transmission through Sacred Number, now submitted, turns to the spiritual context for this developmental history, having been necessary for the development of the modern mind.