Recently an “early Ptolomaic” tomb was discovered similar in themes to the famous Egyptian Books of the Dead (Middle Kingdom). Normally written on papyrus, they feature multiple tableau of Osiris judging the dead and other scenes. Osiris is a long lasting and perhaps supreme god whose cult was present throughout 3000 years of Dynastic history. I have previously interpreted his throne through drawings but, in the new tomb, he is painted on the walls at least twice and the design of his throne looks like layers of “eggs”. Below is one of the press pictures taken from the Guardian, and the headline is Mummified mice found in ‘beautiful, colourful’ Egyptian tomb.
Osiris could have been seen as a/the god of Harmony and below I explain why harmony may have been thought technically significant at the dawn of our earliest texts, then found in Sumeria 900 miles to the East. The reason I believe musical ratios were significant at the dawn of history because they had naturally emerged from measuring the lunar and solar year and comparing these with the time between loops of the outer planets Jupiter and Saturn.
Gurdjieff first presented his ideas to groups in pre-revolutionary Russia. Amongst his carefully chosen students it was the habit to reconstruct talks and diagrams as much as possible, an endeavour that gave us a textbook of Gurdjieff’s ideas called In Search of the Miraculous (P.D. Ouspensky, 1950). This early form of the teaching wasradically revised and extended by Gurdjieff, now as an author, during the 1920s, producing All and Everything whose part one was Beelzebub’sTales to his Grandson (G.I. Gurdjieff, 1950). Prior to drawing this diagram just after February 1917, Gurdjieff had been presenting ideas about transformation of energies, human and cosmic, using the musical theory surrounding the octave of eight notes. The Diagram of Everything Living was “still another system of classification… in an altogether different ratio of octaves… [that] leads us beyond the limits of what we call ‘living beings’ both higher [and lower] than living beings. It deals not with individuals but with classes in a very wide sense.”
When understanding the origins of human knowledge, we tend not to look into the everyday aspects of life such as the calendar, our numbering systems and how these could have developed. However, these components of everyday life hold surprising clues to the past.
An example is the seven day week which we all slavishly follow today. It has been said that seven makes a good number of days for a week and this convenience argument often given for the existence of weeks.
Having a week allows one to know what day of the week it is for the purposes of markets and religious observances. It is an informal method of counting based on names rather than numbers. Beyond this however, a useful week length should fit well with the organisation of the year (i.e. the Sun), or the month (i.e. the Moon) or other significant celestial or seasonal cycle. But the seven day week does not fit in with the Sun and the Moon.