Friday, September 16, 2011

Ninety-Three and Sixty-Eight

This is a continuation of the Talking Heads post right before this one.

Timothy Leary publicly declared (it's on YouTube) that his work was a continuation of Aleister Crowley's. This work is known as the 93 Current:

A few other oddities about the Book of the Law and the Stele of Revealing are worth noting. Crowley was an avid Cabalist and spent years examining the Cabalistic numbers for key words in the text. This is based on the traditional assumption that Cabalistic numerology is a code worked out millenia ago for communication between humans and Higher Intelligence. Be as cynical about that as you will, but consider the data: All the important words, Crowley gradually realized, had the value of 93 in Greek Cabala. ( He thereafter referred to his magick work as "the 93 current," and Crowleans to this day speak of their work as carrying on the 93 current.)

- Robert Anton Wilson from Cosmic Trigger Volume I p. 110

Wilson goes on to mention that Thelema, the Greek word for Will adds up to 93. So does Agape (Love) hence "love under will" indicates an essential characteristic of the 93 current.

Timothy Leary was also an avid fan of James Joyce particularly his most experimental works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Robert Anton Wilson has suggested that Joyce was able to tap into what he called a non-local circuit of consciousness which allowed the reception of information outside the purview of ordinary knowledge or intellectual sources. For instance, forecasting future events.

Crowley called Joyce a genius. All of the events in Ulysses occur on one day in Spring of 1904 about 2 months after Crowley received the Book of the Law. I consider Finnegans Wake one of the great grimoires of modern times and very connected to the 93 current. So I thought it might be fun to see what was on page 93 in that book:

from Fillthepot Curran his scotchlove
machreether, from hymn Op. 2 Phil Adolphos the weary O, the leery,
O, from Samyouwill Leaver or Damyouwell Lover thatjolly
old molly bit or that bored saunter by, from Timm Finn again's
weak tribes,

Perhaps it's only mildly coincidental that "Timm" and "leery" appear in the same sentence on page 93 but there it is.

I also looked at page 186 - 2 x 93 which in musical terms would be considered the octave, the simplest harmonic, of 93. The page starts with a passage very related to the 93 current but more technical/alchemical than I wish to get into at the moment. That page also has some lines that maybe addresses resistance to this current which seems to inevitably spring up in predictably pavlovian fashion.

p. 279 (93 x3) also has some interesting related passages.

I was led to this line of inquiry by the implication that the 93 current is dead. Hardly! Bob Dylan, linked to this conspiracy by name (see The White Goddess by Robert Graves or the Dylan Thomas, Victor Neuberg connection) and by works, wrote a great line to his wife on the album Planet Waves: I love you more than ever and I haven't yet begun.

I recently discovered another telling correspondence with 93. The book called Psalms (songs) from the Bible ranks as a practical favorite amongst magicians of various stripes. The etymology of "psalm" shows the musical nature of this book:

The word psalms is derived from the Greek Ψαλμοί (Psalmoi), perhaps originally meaning "music of the lyre" or "songs sung to a harp" and then to any piece of music. From psallein "play upon a stringed instrument" and then to "make music in any fashion".

The last two definitions, in particular, relate quite well to what I've been getting at with all this qabalah.

In the last verse from psalm 93 we see the line "holiness becometh thine house..." which suggests the song, and the separate album Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin, led by Jimmy Page, are well-documented, powerful musical conductors of the 93 current. They did alright for themselves too despite getting besieged by uncomprehending music critics at first. Not surprisingly, the lyrics to the song Houses of the Holy contain obvious Thelemic references as well as allusions to some of the difficulties and challenges involved should one dare to enter this Magic Theater.



Also thought it might prove interesting to look up 68 in Finnegans Wake. 68, you'll recall as the number Robert Anton Wilson highlighted at the top of the Illuminatus! Trilogy.
As previously mentioned, I see 68 simply as the combination of the key numbers 6 and 8. 6 = Tiphareth, the sephiroth I suggest studying first as an entryway into the transformational use of Qabalah. 8 = Hod = communication. 68 = communicating Tiphareth.

The combination of 6 and 8 only appears twice in the Wake as dates. From p. 150:

Why am I not born like a Gentileman and why am I now so
speakable about my own eatables (Feigenbaumblatt and Father,
Judapest, 5688, A.M.) whole-heartedly takes off his gabbercoat and
wig, honest draughty fellow, in his public interest, to make us
see how though, as he says: 'by Allswill' the inception and the
descent and the endswell of Man is temporarily wrapped in
obscenity, looking through at these accidents with the faroscope of
television, (this nightlife instrument needs still some
subtractional betterment in the readjustment of the more refrangible
angles to the squeals of his hypothesis on the outer tin sides)

Perhaps just coincidence or the non-local circuit poking through but "speakable about my own eatables" does recall both ch.68 called Manna from the Crowley's Book of Lies and Wilson's "keep the lasgna flying."

Looking at "5688 A.M.) whole-heartedly takes off his gabbercoat and wig", we'll leave aside speculation on what the end numbers could represent. A.M. explicitly describes technique to tarot initiates: A = the Fool, M = the Hanged Man. The next sentence seems extremely explicit about 68 when viewed from that angle.

In 1985, some years before I knew about this ideogram, I formed a company, High Velocity Sound Engineering and wrote a manifesto to describe, and market, my approach to recording or mixing live sound. The first sentence reads:

The essential aim of High Velocity Sound Engineering is clear aesthetic communication.


aesthetic = beauty = 6; communication = 8.

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