Precessional Time: Working with Ideas

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

  1. Tone Circle of 1st Millennium BC tuning theory (Ernest McClain),
  2. The narrative structure called Ring Composition, found within ancient texts (Mary Douglas) and
  3. 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).

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Precessional Time and the Evolution of Consciousness

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.

Iceland’s Model of the Earth’s Meridian

Einar Palsson [1, at end] saw that the myths of foundation for Iceland’s settlement in 930 had Pythagorean roots. Since then Petur Halldorsson has identified patterns that could not have been influenced by Pythagoras (c. 600 BC) and Pythagoras was known to have adapted the existing number sciences found (according to his myth) from Egypt to China.

Such patterns, called Cosmic Images by Halldorsson [3], seek to establish a geometric connection between places on the landscape and on the horizon, here in the south-western region near Reykjavik, the only Icelandic city. The spirit of a region or island was integrated through organising space in this way, according to centers (Things) of circles and their radius and diameter as numbers of paces, circles punctuated with places and alignments to other places, horizon events or cardinal directions. John Michell provided a guide to some of the techniques in his books [2, at end].


Figure 1 The Cosmic Image east of Reykjavik proposed by Palsson
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