Published in DuVersity Online Magazine “Views” May 2014
John G. Bennett received a very unusual teaching from G.I. Gurdjieff, his early teacher, and from an early student of these ideas, P.D. Ouspensky, who acted as mentor during Bennett’s early development of the ideas then seen in his Dramatic Universe and other books.
The classic form of Gurdjieff’s ideas (c.1916-8) were fortunately reconstructed from student notes from lectures and eventually piblished in Ouspensky’s 1950 book In Search of the Miraculous. What emerged was a vision of everything that existed and how this Whole structure we call the Universe was layered into systems of differing size and how each of these scales of structure had its own type of operation including an intelligence which enables it to do things within its own world and organise its environment.
The commonly held idea of the universe, defined by our scientists, corresponds with structures of distinctive scale, such as galaxies, stars, planets, the Earth’s biosphere and planetary moons. In contrast, human kind used to attribute intelligence and being to celestial objects yet today, there is almost no scientific tolerance for large scale structures having an innate intelligence or being.
Yet it is hard not to attribute an intelligence within large cosmic structures when confronted with the fortuitous structure of the universe in producing life, and life with a degree of intelligence such as ourselves. Also, one has to ask: Why do these structures exist if not to create the conditions within which, at least, human beings can live in such a beautiful and benign environment as our biosphere?
This paper* concerns itself with a unique fired-clay disk, found by Luigi Pernier in 1908 within the Minoan “palace” of Phaistos (aka Faistos), on the Greek island of Crete. Called the Phaistos Disk, its purpose or meaning has been interpreted many times, largely seen as either (a) a double-sided text in the repeated form of a spiral and outer circle written using an unknown pictographic language stamped in the clay or (b) as an astronomical device, record or handy reference. We provide a calendric interpretation based on the simplest lunar calendars known to apply in Minoan times, finding the Disk to be (a) an elegant solution to predicting repeated eclipses within the Saros period and (b) an observation that the Metonic is just one lunar year longer, and true to the context of the Minoan culture of that period.
Readers of my article "Megalithic application of numeric time differences" will be familiar with the finding that in 32 lunar months there are almost exactly 945 days, leading to the incredibly accurate approximation (one part in 45000!) for the lunar month of 945/32 = 29.53125 days.
In the previous article on Seascale I noticed that 36 lunar months (three solar years) divided by 32 lunar months is the Pythagorean tone of 9/8. This led me to important thoughts regarding the tuning matrix of the Moon within the periods of the three outer planets, since the synod of Jupiter divided by the lunar year of 12 lunar months is the same tone, the tone that on “holy mountains” of Ernest G. McClain’s ancient tuning theory. Such tones are only found between two tonal numbers separated by two perfect fifths of 3/2, since 3/2 x 3/2 = 2.25 which, normalised to the octave of 1 to 2, is 1.125 or 9/8.
The form of musical scale we use today is the (apparently modern) equal tempered scale. Its capabilities express well the new mind’s freedom of movement in that it allows us to change key to play compositions that move between alternative frameworks. This possibility was known to ancient tuning theory, could be approximated within Just intonation’s chromatic notes and was discussed by Plato as forming the constitution of one of his harmonic city states called Magnesia.
Our modern globes are based upon political boundaries and geographical topography yet they have geometrical predecessors, which described the world as an image, diagram or schemata. The original idea for the form of the world was summarised within a simple two dimensional geometry, like an eastern mandala or yantra.
Such a diagram was built into the Cosmati pavement at Westminster Abbey, built by Henry III and dedicated to the Saxon King and Saint Edward the Confessor. This exotic pavement became the focus for the Coronations of subsequent English then British monarchs.
My crucial entré to planetary harmony came when I noticed musical ratios in the synodic time periods of Jupiter and Saturn relative to the lunar year. This approach differs from the norms for “harmonies of the spheres” (a.k.a. Musica Universalis) which are geometrical and spatial, rather than temporally harmonic.
The planetary harmony I found within synodic periods became the subject of my new book The Harmonic Origins of the World (pub. 2018). These synodic ratios have been parts of my work from c. 2000, then expressed as “matrix diagrams” (Matrix of Creation, figure 2 below). In my new book, I show how ancient tuning theory seems to have presented the same information, in a different type of matrix (see figure 4).
Below I connect the outer planets using two additional (and useful) kinds of diagram, the right-angled triangle (figure 1) and the Pentad (figure 5), the latter developed in the 20th century within a discipline called Systematics.