I read Plato's book on cosmology Timaeus around 1980. God took two ribbons of even numbers 2, 4, 8 (doubling) and odd numbers 3, 9, 27 (tripling), emerging from the One,
to create the "Soul of the Universe" (Timaeus 35b). It's interesting that these two sequences (1+2+4+8) + (1+3+9+27) = 55, out of which emerged the four elements constituting our universe. In the Chinese Book of Changes, I Ching II.9.1-2, the sum of heavenly numbers 1+3+5+7+9 = 25 and sum of earthly numbers 2+4+6+8+10 = 30, so 25 + 30 = 55. "It is this
which completes changes & transformations and sets demons and gods in movement."
Since both Greek & Chinese cosmology attribute 55 as origin of creation, I've compiled other interesting connections to the number 55.
The geometric shape of Platonic Lambda Λ remained abstract to me for
30 years. On February 3, 2010, at London Sotheby's auction, Giacometti's Walking Man I sold for $104.3 million, new record for an artwork. It inspired two poems Giacometti's Walking Man and "Every Step You Make". When I noticed the man's legs walking by Giacometti's Walking Man at Sotheby's Auction, it suddenly struck me that the soul's shape (upside down "V" or Greek letter Λ) is right before our eyes manifesting itself whenever we are walking or alive!
Irish sage Wei Wu Wei says
"an awakened sage lives & thinks vertically"
The photo at left is the backside of Old Tree, 1200 years old, at Portola Redwoods, La Honda, CA, Shaped
like the Platonic Lambda Λ, Sequoia sempervirens,
evergreen, ever-living, Coast Redwood is magnificient to
The photo at left is a Goosepen shaped like the Platonic Lambda Λ, at the base of a Redwood at Portola Redwoods, La Honda, CA, "Goosepen" is not cited in American Heritage Dictionary or Random House Unabridged Webster Dictionary. Consulted the 20 volumes Oxford English Dictionary, and in Volume VI, page 685, found "goose-pen" under "goose". Definition: (a) a pen or enclosure for geese; (b) a quill pen. Usage: Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (1601), III.ii.48: "Let there be gall enough in thy ink, though thou write with a goose-pen." Found 79 photos of Goosepens in my 2008-2012 hikes, & shared 69 of them in "Goosepens in Redwoods Shaped Like Platonic Lambda Λ".
Stephen Dobyns' first Stanford poetry class (1-18-2011) was to write a sonnet. I wrote
"Platonic Lambda Sonnet"
with Notes and
Cornford's diagram of
Plato's "Soul of the Universe". While writing this sonnet,
"Newton's Prism: From the One Flows the Many"
shows a 23-year old student at Cambridge University in 1666, Isaac Newton
experimenting in optics to understand light & colors. In a dark room, he placed a glass prism
in the sunbeam, projecting light onto a white sheet of paper.
The result was a multicolored band of light like a rainbow.
He divided the spectrum into 7 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
Newton's Prism is in the shape of Greek letter Lambda Λ, that Plato called the "Soul of the Universe"
(Timaeus 35b). Plato quotes Socrates to Parmenides
"The All is one" and Plato has an epiphany in
"From the gods a gift to the human race: thus I reckon
Great Pyramid of Giza (aka Pyramid of Khufu)
is oldest & largest of the
Geoff Martin's "Burgundian Vineyard" (2009) inspired my Notes to poem "Vanishing Point" showing roads narrowing to an apex at the horizon. I noticed the typography on page 196 of Finnegans Wake is in the Platonic Lambda shape (symbol of the World Soul). Since Joyce is well read in mystical literature, he's surely familiar with this sacred Platonic symbol (page 293). While walking down Palm Drive from Stanford to Palo Alto's Cal-Train Station, it dawned upon me that the road's vanishing point is another image of the Platonic Lambda, inspiring this poem. Mountaineers have conquered all the peaks on earth. These are metaphors for worldly achievements. However, in the spiritual realm, there is one vast peak that will elude all attempts at conquest. The vanishing point is a metaphor for such spiritual goals that will keep questers busy for a lifetime and beyond.
The Wizard's Hat is conical in shape resembling the Platonic Lambda Λ. The Pointed Hat
dates back to the Bronze Age. The Golden Hat of Schifferstadt (1400-1300 BC)
and the Avanton Gold Cone (1000-900 BC) were
Golden Hats worn by the priesthood.
We'll recall Mickey Mouse wearing a Wizard's Hat in the film
playing the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" written by
(1897) based on Goethe's
The Church Steeple is triangular in shape like the Platonic Lambda Λ.
The Ancient of Days is a painting by William Blake
published as frontispiece
An epiphany came on August 20, 2010 when
a flock of Canadian Geese flew in V-formation to Stanford's Lake Lagunita (photo at left).
Our Milky Way Galaxy will collide with its neighboring Andromeda Galaxy 3.75 billion years from now.
It is likely the sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system
are in no danger of being destroyed. The solution came through painstaking NASA Hubble Space Telescope
measurements of the motion of Andromeda, which also is known as M31. The galaxy is now 2.5 million
light-years away, but it is inexorably falling toward the Milky Way under the mutual pull of gravity
between the two galaxies and the invisible dark matter that surrounds them both. Although the galaxies
will plow into each other, stars inside each galaxy are so far apart that they will not collide with
other stars during the encounter. However, the stars will be thrown into different orbits around the
new galactic center. Simulations show that our solar system will probably be tossed much farther from
the galactic core than it is today. It is amazing that when the two galaxies come in collision, they
form the Platonic Lambda Λ shape of Plato's "World Soul". Since each soul is assigned to a star
(Plato's Timaeus 41c),
we may compare the galactical collision of Andromeda and the Milky Way as
collision between World Souls. Computer simulations from Hubble Space Telescope data show that stars
within these two galaxies will not destroy each other but merge as one huge elliptical Galaxy
with bright core dominates the nighttime sky.
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