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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Old Yard’s Mastery of the Square Root of 2

The old yard was almost identical to the yard of three feet, but just one hundredth part smaller at 2.87 feet. This gives its foot value as 99/100 feet, a value belonging to a module very close to the English/Greek which defines one relative to the rational ratios of the Historical modules.

So why was this foot and its yard important, in the Scottish megalithic and in later, historical monuments?

If one forms a square with side equal to the old yard, that square can be seen as containing 9 square feet, and each of those has side length 99/100 feet. This can be multiplied by the rough approximation to 1/√ 2 of 5/7 = 0.714285, to obtain a more accurate 1/√ 2 of 99/140 = 0.70714285.

Figure 1 Forming a Square with the Old Yard. The diagonal of the foot squares is then 7/5, the simplest approximation to √ 2.
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Politics of Number part 2

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.