## Plato and the Quran

An essay by Richard Heath on the numbers found in the book
“Plato and the Quran”, by Noor Bosra.

#### SUMMARY

Multiplication of the consecutive numbers 1 to 6 equals 720 and this, applied, to the equal perimeter model, numerically scaled it up to the cosmic size of the Earth and Moon in miles. The Quranic formula, to instead multiply the numbers 3 to 8 and generate 20160, doubled the cosmic model’s 10080 and hence the whole geometry was doubled in scale. The further addition of the consecutive numbers 3 to 8, further signaled 33 years, pointing to the equal area model of the Solar Hero and to the Moon’s nodal period because, 33 divided by 18.618 equals √𝝅 = 1.778 and the area function squares that. This equality of a circle’s perimeter and a circle’s area to the same square can then be drawn to unite the cosmic model of Earth and Moon’s size, to the relationship of the Solar Hero period of 33 years, as the square, to a circle of radius 18.618 years, as appears quite clearly in the plan of Islam’s Dome of the Rock[1].

## Chapter 23: The Seven Sleepers of the Cave

One of Noor Bosra’s key themes is that the Quran was composed out of the cultural context of the eastern Mediterranean, Arabia, the ancient Near East, and beyond. One example is the story, from different sources, of people who sleep in a cave to escape religious persecution. Waking after what appears to be a single night, they find many years have passed yet their bodies have not aged and the danger they hid from has now passed.

Noor Bosra provides comprehensive literary references, in a good order starting with the Quran’s chapter 18, the story running for 18 Suras. The situation for these verses was ironic, since they were demanded by Mohammad’s religious persecutors to demand proof that his source of knowledge was competent, or his revelations should be discredited. A further irony is that Mohammad often used to ascend to his favourite cave on Mount Hira, where many key recitations were uttered.

One previous story of the sleepers is about early Christians from Ephesus in Asia Minor. In 250 BCE the persecution was then from Rome. But a roughly similar story is found in an apocryphal Jewish text, written shortly after 110 BCE, about the prophet Jeremiah who slept in the desert alone for 66 years to escape a king. In contrast, the Christians slept for 372 years and the Quranic sleepers, 309 years.

## The numbers 300 and 9:

“they remained in the cave three hundred years plus nine more”

On page 440 Noor Bosra finds, in 309, the number of lunar months in 25 solar years of 365.25 days, which was the Egyptian Sothic year (of the helical rising of Sirius) from which the Nile flood was predicted. Four Sothic years is 1461 days and the accounting for the extra quarter day per solar year might explain that, in the Quranic version, the sleepers are found with a Dog to protect their cave, just as the Jackel god Anubis protected the dead in Egyptian tombs, Sirius being the dog star.

In the ancient world, coincidences of astronomical cycles within a whole number of time periods made these “natural” numbers sacred and to be associated with archetypes such as a dog (the constellation Canis Major). 309 lunar months is just 6 days less than 25 whole solar years but what about 365 days?

The Egyptians had two other years of 360 and 365 days that, when combined, allowed them to establish historical dates for over 1000 years. And if we divide 309 lunar months (in days) by 365 days, the result is 24.99986 years, which is within 1.3 days of 25 years of 365 days. This then has a further resonance with the Venus synod of 584 days, since the latter is 8/5[2] (1.6) of 365 days, and their common factor of 73.

Noor Bosra explains how the Apis bull, one of the deepest Egyptian traditions, was connected to this golden mean, a proportion that enables a unique division of three points as two identical proportions: of the least to the middle as of the middle to the whole – a sort of holism. We should note that Noor provides excellent resources of background information regarding astronomical numbers, numerical traditions and historical facts.

## The varied accounts of the number of sleepers

Noor tells us that in no previous versions of the sleeper story were there any strong references to the number of sleepers, while in the Quran, all the numbers are playfully doubted as between 3 to 8, as if none of the locals, who remembered them emerging from the cave, could quite remember. These varied accounts were,

• 3 [sleepers] and the 4th was their Dog and,
• 5 [sleepers] and the 6th  was their Dog and,
• 7 [sleepers] and the 8th was their Dog,

taking a form congruent with a rhyme-based puzzle on successive numbers between 3 and 8. Noor Bosra suggests these three couplets form a code when multiplied, to give 20160, or when added, to give 33.

The first clue for me was that, in multiplying successive numbers, a factorial process was indicated, similar to the factorial[3] for 6 (notated as 6!) that equals 720: an important harmonic prime which, when multiplied by the three numbers 3, 11, and 14, becomes the familiar geometry of equal perimeter of square and circle based upon π =22/7[4] , but here expanded by 720 in an ancient “cosmic” model of the relative size of the Earth and Moon (ratio 11/3), in units of miles containing 5280 feet. But first, what is the equal perimeter geometry of circle and square? Figure 1 shows that the approximation to π of 22/7 causes a radius r of 7 to lead to a circumference of 44 (2 πr) and that the square of equal perimeter then has a side length of 11 whose in circle is diameter 11.

Figure 1 The equal perimeter model of circle and square

1. When 11 is multiplied by 720, the diameter of the Earth is interpreted as being 7960 miles.
2. The circle equal in perimeter to the out square of the Earth is then to be interpreted as 14 multiplied by 720, or 10080 miles in diameter, the limits of the sub-lunary world and of sacred spaces.
3. The diameter of the Moon is then interpreted as 3 multiplied by 720 = 2160 miles.

This cosmic geometrical model[5] [John Michell 2008] is accurately the size of the mean (spherical) Earth and of the Moon, long before the scientific revolutions of the last millennium, both Islamic and European. It suggests our planet and moon conform to a numerical plan, as an accurate overall approximation.

But the Quran appears to have used the alternative way, provided by Noor Bosra on page 443, of specifying the cosmic perimeter model, using 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 x 7 x 8 = 20160 to replace 720 x 14 = 10080. This 20160 is twice the normal 10080 of the cosmic model so that, the diameter of the Earth must also be 11/14 of that: that is, 7920 doubled to 15840. The equal perimeter length must also then double from 31680 to 63360. The results (now in half miles of 2640 feet) enabled the rhyme-form puzzle to replace the factorial expansion of the simple geometry and create numbers exactly twice that of the cosmic geometry, as shown in figure 2. By doubling the numbers of the cosmic model, the traditional numbers associated with the cosmic model of the earth were hidden, while upgrading the previous versions to become the subject for the Quranic version, the seven sleepers of the cave, all sleeping through history to avoid persecution.

Figure 2 The simplest, cosmic and Quranic geometries, the Quranic differentiating itself from the cosmic using an alternative factorial form to double the cosmic numbers.

## Adding the numbers of the Sleepers

Noor then adds the numbers 3 to 8 to get 33, the number associated with the Solar Hero who are, as with Jesus and Mithras, said to die after 33 years. [6] This number has a strange relationship to the Moon’s nodal period of 18.618 years in that, the ratio between these numbers is the square root of pi as 3.141679 that is 1.77248. For this reason a square of side 33 is equal in area to the circle of radius 18.618[7] – a unique situation for a whole number as small as 33. The creation a circle and square of equal area has in fact been proven impossible to achieve by algebraic geometrical methods but 33 and 18.618 provide a practical synthesis[8].

It should be no surprise that the Quran might have referred to the nodal cycle in this way, since Mount Hira provides an approximate span, to the east, of the moon’s maximum (extreme) moonrises every 18.618 years, to the north and south, when viewed from the Kaaba, which is right angles to the lunar maximum to the north[9]. If the square side, equal to the diameter of the Earth, is reused then the required unit is one 33rd of the diameter. 15840, divided by 33, equals a unit of 480 and 18.618 x 480 equals 8936.64 as a radius, and a diameter of twice that. Figure 3 shows the radius of the circle of equal area to the square if that is 33 years and the radius 18.618 years.

Figure 3 The Quranic geometry with the nodal period added, given Noor’s clue of adding the numbers between 3 and 8 to give 33 years

This equality of a circle’s perimeter and a circle’s area, to the same square, can then be drawn to unite the cosmic model of Earth and Moon’s size, to the relationship of the Solar Hero period of 33 years, as the square, to a circle of radius 18.618 years, as appears quite clearly in the plan of Islam’s Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

Figure 4 left: The plan of the Dome of the Rock. Right: The Dome itself with Dome of the Chain before it, from Heath, 2021. This bedrock is the scene of Mohammad’s Journey called Miraj[10].

There appears to be some continuity between the built heritage of the subsequent Islamic empire, and the Quran’s subliminal reference to the cosmic model doubled using the story of the seven sleepers to provide the numbers 20160 and 33 through the multiplication and addition of the numbers [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], respectively, centuries before. Plato and the Quran therefore appears to be both an excellent introduction to the influences acting upon the Quran when composed but also to esoteric number traditions to which the Prophet was connected, deserving of further attention.

#### Bibliography

Bosra, Noor. Plato And The Quran: Number and Allegory from Ancient Mesopotamia and Greece to Islam. London: Noor Bosra Publishing. 2023.

Heath, Richard. Sacred Geometry: Language of the Angels. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2021

Michell, John. Dimensions of Paradise: Sacred Geometry, Ancient Science, and the Heavenly Order on Earth. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2008.

#### notes

[1] Heath (2021), page 201-204.

[2] The numbers 5 and 8 are early members of the Fibonacci series in which successive terms approximate the golden mean of 1.618034, in this case to 1.6.

[3] A factorial number is all the numbers up to its limit, so that factorial 3 (or 3!) equals 1 + 2 + 3 equalling 6

[4] Pronounced pi, π is the relationship between a circle’s perimeter and its diameter which if the diameter is 7 then the perimeter is accurately 22, leading to the ratio 22/7 widely adopted by early numerate cultures.

[5] See John Michell 2008, 33-35

[6] This periodicity denotes the exact location of the sun east on rising, or west on setting, since the extra quarter day is closely the fraction 32/132 which equals 0.24 days while 132 = 4 x 33.

[7] First identified by Robin Heath, personal communication.

[8] then found within astronomical time as the Solar Hero of 33 years and Nodal period of 18.618, reach into the structure of the Metonic period (19 × 19.618 × 18.618) and Saros periods (19 × 18.6182), solar year (19.618 × 18.618), and eclipse year (18.6182), all in solar days.

[9] See chapter 8: The Focal Buildings of Islam of Sacred Number: Language of the Angels, page 185

[10] The Israʾand Miʿraj( Arabic: الإسراء والمعراج, al-’Isrā’ wal-Miʿrāj) are the two parts of a Night Journey that Muslims believe the Islamic prophet Muhammad (AD 570–632) took during a single night around the year AD 621 (1 BH– 0 BH) … miʿraj means rising, or going up to a high place. – Wikipedia. To paraphrase, in the Miraj, Muhammad “ascends to heaven” whilst still alive.

## Legominism and the Three Worlds

Above: Altaic shaman’s drum depicting the cosmos

The general ordering of the cosmos throughout history was phenomenological, following the very apparent division between the sky and the earth, with the living principle between called a “middle earth”. A summation of its symbolism was placed within Dante’s trilogy The Divine Comedy; of an inferno, purgatory and paradise which were the three worlds of the geocentric experience. But how does it come about that the phenomenological was translated into ancient literature, buildings or, as Gurdjieff names these, legominisms in the literal sense of being made of meaning-making and the naming of things – a power given to Adam but not the angels.

Continue reading “Legominism and the Three Worlds”

## The Many Faces of Great Time

Figure 7.5 The widespread tradition of a God who changes the astrological Age, through the Precession of the Equinoxes: Top left, Mithras as Sol Invictus; top right, Mithras slaying the Age of Taurus; bottom left, Aion, God of Ages; and bottom right, Orphic God Phanes. Mithras slaying the Age of Taurus (photo by Tim Prevett courtesy of the Segontium Museum, 2005)

This article has been extracted from my 4th book Sacred Number and the Lords of Time as being a fairly self-contained read. The “great time” in the heading is the Precession of the Equinoxes or Great Year of Plato, in which god-like human figures are posited in ancient times as governing the Age named after the Zodiacal sign in which the sun sits at the spring equinox, today the age of Pisces is about to become the age of Aquarius, but the Current Era corresponds to the age of Pisces, inaugurated by the birth of Jesus, hence also called A.D. for “anno dominie” or “year of Our Lord”.

In this model of precession (figure 7.4), a north-south ring of ages, explains an enduring feature within at least some of the mysteries found in late antiquity. In Greco-Roman times some mystery cults presented their god within a vertical elliptical band upon which the zodiacal constellations were marked (see figure 7.5).4 these all represented a god who could command time and affect what happened upon the earth. the iconography of these gods and their associated myths reveals the many aspects of such a god’s powers and intruded upon many aspects of the religious iconography and mythology of the ancient world, as was demonstrated by the authors of Hamlet’s Mill.

The clear relationship to the zodiac, when shown in a vertical setting for such a god, suggests that the above model of precessional time had been developed and become widespread in the preceding thousand years. this precessional iconography showed an epoch-making and hence history-making godhead who could bend the everyday powers of Helios-Ra, the sun, by moving the equinoctial crossing points of the sun and affect the world by moving the ecliptic and displacing the stars relative to the framework of heaven. Perhaps the clearest presentation of such a precessional cult in late antiquity was that of mithras.5

The cult of Mithras gave the precessional god the name “of Persia”, as if from there. But he appears adapted from the Greek god Perseus, who rode the winged horse Pegasus and killed the Gorgon (of solar imagery) while rescuing Cassiopeia (held in chains as a sacrifice to a sea monster). This cult took as its main image the Tauroctony, a tableau in which a youthful Mithras, in his signature Phrygian cap and cape, is killing a bull while looking away.

In the tableau above, Mithras has two important attendants to right and left. both have their legs crossed indicating the points of crossing for the sun on the celestial equator and each carrying a torch that represents the movement of the sun at each of these equinoxes (see figure 7.6). on the right side the figure, Cautes, represents the spring equinox, with the sun torch pointing upward to how that the summer lies ahead. The light of Cautes’ torch is shown touching he mouth of the bull of Taurus, indicating the scene takes place at the spring equinox. on the left side we find Cautopates, the fall equinox, whose torch is pointing downward to the left indicating the winter to come. at the feet of Mithras is the Scorpion (the constellation of Scorpio) and serpent carrier Orpheuchus, both diametrically opposite the constellation of Perseus in the sky.

In the constellation of Perseus, we find Perseus holding the Medusa’s
head (the variable star Algol), which is iconic of the sun in Taurus at the spring equinox being cut off by the precessional god who stands above Aries, the new world age. Perseus is therefore part of the vertical colure or meridian of that age, presented upon the celestial earth of the stars. Such stellar iconography developed without sculpture or scriptural myths, since the night sky and its named constellations could illustrate the story.

The well-educated Jesus stood at the end of a dying age. Within the walls of a new temple mount, he was aware that the Jewish people were expecting a new dispensation and also that the mystery sects, popular with the Greeks, Romans, and Jews, were actually religious remnants of an astronomical fact, that the equinoctial sun had moved on before and was moving now from Aries to Pisces. Within four centuries the Roman empire would be declared Christian, but this would involve a Christianity quite unlike the early church, a Jesus quite unlike the original person, and a Christian scripture quite unlike those that circulated among early Christians. Where Mithras, aeon, Phanes, and Sol Invictus had once stood, Jesus would come to stand, as “Christ in majesty,” shown with the same precessional iconography that once accompanied the earlier precessional deities.

On later icons Jesus was depicted as Lord of the World, the Pantocrator or cosmocrator (see figure 7.8). He was shown on a majestic throne, usually with his feet on an orb representing the earth, within a vesica pisces (instead of the elliptical of mystery cult iconography) and surrounded by the evangelists, these being openly associated with the fixed signs of the zodiac: Aquarius (the man), Leo (the Lion), Taurus (the ox), and Scorpio as an eagle.* Jesus came to be known in the early church as the fish because the Greek for fish ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthys) is an acronym for Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ, (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr), which translates into English as “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.” this iconic acronym was compatible with his being the Lord of the age of Pisces and a fisher of men. his mother was represented, within the first three gospels, as the constellation opposite to Pisces, Virgo the Virgin. “the Virgin” was a common motif within Greek myths of parthenogenesis (παρθένος, parthenos, meaning “virgin,” and γένεσις, genesis, meaning “birth”), applied when a god gives birth to a hero through a mortal woman or as when Athena emerged from the head of Zeus.

There needed to be sufficient cosmological compatibility for an agreed form of Christianity to be accepted by the adherents of the other important mystery schools as the single religion of Rome. Thus Jesus came to be born on Mithras’s birthday of December 25th, three days after the winter solstice. This must have reassured the initiates of the Mithraic mysteries, many of whom were Roman legionnaires or other people of position in the Roman empire. Many other signature features of Mithras were incorporated into Jesus as well, such as the virgin birth, his death at the age of thirty-three, and so on, so as to make him recognizable as a precessional hero, something not widely recognized today.

extracted from Sacred Number and the Lords of Time, chapter 7: From Egypt to Jesus pp 182-187 by Richard Heath (Inner Traditions 2014), available worldwide – see top right sidebar.

## The Tragic Loss of the Geocentric Arts & Sciences

above: The first page of a significant article I wrote for New Dawn (3000 words, 5 illustrations). The PDF of this issue is available from New Dawn website.

## Sir Francis Bacon and Codes

from Digital Codes and Converters, the 1961 Ph.D. Thesis of F.G. Heath at the Victoria University of Manchester. Read optically for a colleague many years ago, it is provided here as interesting; touching upon the authorship of Shakespeare and other Elizabethan texts and poems. It also shows how cryptography then awaited the computer to create the modern digital world of information.

# 1.2 Sir Francis Bacon

There are reports going back to 200 B.C. (Polybius: a semaphore) for instances where combinations of symbols having only a few alternatives have been made into an alphabet. The man who undoubtedly wrote the first proper description of such a code was Sir Francis Bacon.

Bacon was primarily interested in ciphers, and in 1605 wrote “Of the Advancement of Learning” which describes vaguely a cipher termed OMNIA PER OMNIA, the best possible, and mentions that it is quintuple infolded but gives no useful details. In 1623 he described this cipher precisely in “De Augmentibus Scientiarum” written in Latin. Fortunately, a contemporary English translation exists, prepared by Gilbert Wats in 1640, and facsimiles of the important pages are shown in Figure 1.1.

Bacon claims that he invented this cipher himself, observing that if a binary property is used, then five symbols give 32 alternatives (25) which is sufficient for 24 letters of the alphabet (v and j were not separate at that time). He then constructed two slightly different type fonts, assigning to each type font one of the binary alternatives. Then, by using these two separate sets of type he made each five letters of an innocent message carry five binary digits which identified one letter of the ciphered message. It will be noticed in Fig. 1.1 that if we replace a by 0 and b by 1 that the simple binary sequence is obtained.

Figure 1.1 Code of Sir Francis Bacon. (a) above and (b) below

This might seem to be the point where Sir Francis Bacon leaves the story, having provided a binary code for the early telegraph engineers. Such is not the case. Bacon used another cipher (where a keyword indicates significant phrases) and in 1894 Dr. Orville W. Owen in the U.S.A. prepared the second volume of his book” The cipher story of Sir Francis Bacon” about this system, assisted by Elizabeth Wells Gallup. In the winter of 1895-6 Mrs. Gallup studied the binary cipher which has already been described, and found that it was incorporated in the first folio editions of Shakespeare’s plays. She naturally set about deciphering messages and a summary of the career of Sir Francis Bacon as revealed in them in Ref. 2. If the deciphered messages are true, then history books need a complete revision for the period of Elizabeth 1.

The various ciphered messages may be summed up as follows:-

Elizabeth, while imprisoned in the Tower, married Leicester secretly and gave birth to two children, the first Francis Bacon, the second Richard Deveraux, afterwards Earl of Essex.  Francis was cared for from birth by Mistress Ann Bacon, and was reared and educated as the son of Nicholas Bacon (Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England). At sixteen he found out his true parentage, and was sent to France, returning two years later. In Mrs. Gallup’s own words, “The proofs are overwhelming and irresistible that Bacon was the author of the delightful lines attributed to Spencer – the fantastic conceits of Peele and Greene – the historical romances of Marlowe – the immortal plays and poems put forth in Shakespeare’s name, as well as the Anatomy of Melancholy by Burton”.

There is no point joining the argument* as to the truth or otherwise of Mrs Gallup’s decipherment: in Vol. III her publishers give a summary of her career and show that she was not a person to promote false knowledge lightly. During one spell in the British Museum she damaged her eyesight, partly by overwork and partly by the poor lighting. Three things are worth noting however.

*However, the news is not so good, since The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined: An analysis of cryptographic systems used as evidence that some author other than William Shakespeare wrote the plays commonly attributed to him, OUP, William F. Friedman 2011 suggests (I believe) that the notion of a typographical code in print was impractical given the state of typesetting in Elizabethan England.

## CIPHERS

Bacon, from childhood, was intended for a public career. At that time all diplomatic, and much personal correspondence was committed to cipher. Among the substantial benefits incurred upon mankind by Bacon was the invention, while in France, of what is known as Baconian or Bi-lateral Cipher, which is adaptable to a multitude of means and uses. It may not be generally known that this Cipher is the basis of nearly every alphabetical code in use in telegraphy, and in the signal service of the world. It is in brief, an alphabet which requires only two unlike things for its operation. These may be two slightly differing fonts of type on a printed page, as illustrated in the example given at length in his De Augmentis, published not long before his death; or it may be a dot or a slight disfigurement in a single font, or the alternating dot and dash or short and long sound space of the Morse telegraphic code, or the alternating long and short flash of light as in the heliographic system; the “wig-wag” of a flag or signal light, or two coloured lights alternately displayed; in short any means whatever alternating two unlike or unequal signs, sounds, motions or things. Under the rules of of arithmetrical progression almost innumerable alphabets can be constructed, by these means undecipherable without its particular key. It has no limitations upon its usefulness, and has never been surpassed in security, ingenuity or simplicity. Bacon himself called this the Omnia-per-omnia, the all-in-all cipher, and the name is completely descriptive [though bi-literal in now used-ED].

(Extract from Ref. 2)

The second point of interest is a forward in volume 3 by Mrs Gallup’s publishers which contains the statement “she has either deciphered it from the labors of Francis Bacon, or it is a creation of her own. There is no middle ground”. The idea of signal/noise ratio would not be familiar in 1910, and we ought to just check that the deciphered messages have a low probability of being “noise” generated between two different type fonts used at random.

It turns out that the publishers were correct, since Mrs Gallup deciphered 500 pages, all intelligible and consistent, giving perhaps 30,000 letter (coded) or 150,000 letters in the original plays. this situation can only arise once in 2150,000 or 1050,000, and it is obvious that lopping off a few 0’s for various reasons will not make the noise hypothesis tenable.

It may seem strange that Mrs Gallup’s work has left such a small impression: her name will not be found in its alphabetical place in the Encyclopedia Britannica for instance. It appears that her work is considered erroneous by scholars because one of her decipherments was a particular translation which did not exist in Bacon’s time3. Whatever the truth of this, Mrs Gallup’s book is interesting, the fascinating part of the story (to an electrical engineer) being that all this evidence in the Bacon v. Shakespeare controversy was written down in five digit binary code.

Although direct evidence is hard to find, there seems little doubt that Gauss was the man who applied Bacon’s code to a telegraph system, date around 1833. It does not seem that Gauss deviated from his other work for long enough to describe this work in detail: reference 7 states that Gauss and Weber proposed the five-digit code for telegraphy, and 1833 is given as the date, but the only paper published by Gauss and Weber at that time was on Terrestrial Magnetism

…..

## A Yoga drawn from Celestial Metaphor

• The sun of the mind at dawn rises from the grip of not knowing.
• The sun of the mind at dusk drops into exhausted non-attachment.

This “metaphor” was all too real in the India that gave birth to Yoga, since the light of the sun illuminates the objects conceptualized by the mind. Through the illumination of objects, the mind attaches the desire to participate, own, use and identify with objects and scenarios concerning them and other persons.

Continue reading “A Yoga drawn from Celestial Metaphor”