Foundation eTORUS(tm) Newsletter
Number 11 - 16 November 2001
Copyright 2001 Meru Foundation
Written by Cynthia Tenen
First, I want to thank those who emailed their comments on eTORUS(tm)
#10. We appreciate your kind words. Each person has their own
unique response to the Meru material -- from simple curiosity to profound,
life-changing interest. It is an honor and a privilege for the Meru
team to be doing this work, and your letters remind us of this by sharing
how these ideas affect your lives. Thank you for your thoughtfulness
in writing to us.
As promised in our previous newsletter, this issue includes two features
which we didn't have room for in eTORUS(tm) #10. First, there
is a poem by Stan Tenen, based on the "Model of Continuous Creation" (see
Second, we are reviving a regular feature of the printed editions of
the Meru Foundation TORUS Journal published in the early 1990's: book reviews.
From time to time, either Stan or I (or other members of our team) will
comment on books about science, consciousness, or both; we'll also include
some informal introductions to technical subjects that any reader can appreciate.
I hope you enjoy the reviews -- and read some of the books! <smile>
Thank you again for your interest in Meru Foundation's work.
ESSAY by STAN TENEN: THE POETRY OF CONTINUOUS
(c)2001 Stan Tenen
As will be immediately obvious, I'm not a poet.
Nevertheless, I thought it might be worthwhile to try to describe the
"Continuous Creation" model, and the meditative process that leads to Pardes
(Paradise) and the Garden of Eden, poetically. My purpose is to demonstrate
that it's not difficult to find literary and poetic metaphors and allegories
for the life-dynamics that the Meru thesis suggests was described more
precisely in geometric metaphor at the deepest level of the Hebrew text
of Genesis, and the other writings of the Western traditions.
This exercise is not a substitute for the search for the explicit geometric
metaphor(s) that may have been the basis for the actual writings that have
come down to us from the ancient sages. But I hope it gives a sense
of the feasibility and plausibility of the Meru thesis that there is a
precise geometric metaphor serving a true science of consciousness that
predated and inspired the "poetry" of the traditional record.
You can find the image my poem describes at <www.meru.org/contin.html>.
by Stan Tenen, October 2001
Let me tell you about paradise.
There is a garden in paradise,
and paradise is in a garden.
The garden of paradise is sheltered by towering walls of light
that reach and return from the plane of the earth to the dome of sky.
In the garden of paradise there are two trees.
One reaches high to the sky
The second reaches below
They are very similar.
Each has three trunks, and the three of the one are intertwined with
the three of the other
The roots of these trees encircle the world of all light
They reach and return from the plane of the earth to the dome of sky.
Each tree is founded on a spring in a well.
There are four rivers that flow from the spring for each of the three
trunks of the two trees. Thus there
are twelve pairs of rivers and twelve pairs of waterfalls to water
the garden in paradise.
Each tree has a single eye;
Each sees the other as each sees itself.
The tree of life sees up to the heavens,
the tree of knowledge sees into the depths.
Yet the heavens are the depths and the depths are the heavens for the
roots of their trunks encircle the world of all light
They reach and return from the plane of the earth to the dome of sky.
There are three pairs of angels,
with three pairs of wings;
they hover in the clouds of paradise;
they ascend and descend; they sail the sea of the light.
Each of the angels sits on two trees,
with one wing on knowledge and one wing on life.
The trees are unlike any known outside of paradise.
They are like apple trees and pear trees,
like wheat and like corn and like pine.
They are willows with terebinth trunks.
They grow pomegranates and figs, and acorns and nuts
They are borne on acacia, on carob, and thorn.
Among the angels there are birds of prey.
The raptors: the eagle, the raven, the crow and the hawk.
Each lofts from its tree-branch and turns in its flight;.
and it soars,
and it spies,
and it dives,
in the light.
The two trees grow on the earth within paradise.
The tree of life grows down from conception to death,
while the tree of knowledge grows up from innocence to wisdom.
The angels speed the messages of light from
conception to age, from innocence to wisdom.
In the midst of paradise, where the trees grow, where the well-spring
feeds the twelve falls and twelve rivers,
there is a center, a place.
It is the city-of-peace, the heavenly Jerusalem,
on the foundation stone of the temple,
on the top of the mountain that holds the pearl of great price.
The womb that gives birth to First-Adam is here.
There is a Sun in paradise like none other.
For this is the Infinite, Supernal, Transcendent Sun and Source-of-All.
Its light fills all of paradise.
The two trees reach for this Sun
and they live by this sun.
There is a rainbow in the paradise sky.
It sweeps an octave of color.
It is our bridge
to the light.
BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS AND REVIEWS
by Stan and Cynthia Tenen
Many of you have already sampled some, or most, of the books on the
Meru Foundation reading list at <www.meru.org/readlist.html>.
However, new books come out all the time, and many of the most recent have
not yet been added to the list. As space and time permit, we will
review and recommend some of the newer works which we have found valuable.
If you're interested in purchasing them, remember that when you order through
<www.codysbooks.com> and write
"Meru Foundation" in the comment box on the order page, Meru Foundation
receives a small percentage of your purchase price from Cody's.
Reviews by Stan Tenen
Popular Presentations of Physics and Cosmology
Here are three books that I can recommend highly. Each presents
a different aspect of current ideas in physics as to the structure, and
nature, of our universe.
The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes -- and
Its Implications, (c)1997 David Deutsch. New York: Allen
Lane-The Penguin Press.
Main text: 366 pages. ISBN 0-7139-9061-9
Deutsch delivers what the title of his book suggests. (A recent
interview of Deutsch was published in Discover magazine, and is available
The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the
Quest for the Ultimate Theory, (c)1999 Brian R. Greene. New
York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Main text: 387 pages. ISBN 0-393-04688-5
This is a readable and authoritative account of string theory, and
it also complements Deutsch and Barbour.
The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics, (c)1999
Julian Barbour. New York: Oxford University Press.
Main text: 335 pages. ISBN 0-19-511729-8.
A companion volume to Deutsch's and Greene's work. From the back
cover comments by Lee Smolin: "... [Barbour] is one of the few people
who is truly both a scientist and a philosopher. Written with rare
clarity and force, this book makes his thinking accessible to all interested
readers." Main Text: 335 pages.
Mathematics and History
The Mystery of the Aleph: Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and
the Search for Infinity, by Amir D. Aczel. (c)2000 A. Aczel.
Pocket Books, NY.
Main text: 228 pages. ISBN 0-7434-2299-6
This is a delightful and highly readable introduction to the realm of
infinity. It starts with ancient teachings and Kabbalistic traditions,
and includes fascinating vignettes of the mathematicians who did most of
the work, including Georg Cantor and Kurt Godel. The Mystery of
the Aleph is an entertaining book; it provides easy access to some
of the most profound ideas in ancient and modern mathematics.
This short quotation from a review that appeared in the Washington Post
(taken from the book jacket) is entirely accurate:
"An engaging, pellucid explanation of the mathematical understanding
of infinity, enlivened by a historical gloss of the age-old affinities
between religious and secular conceptions of the infinite." --The
Review by Cynthia Tenen
As a person who hasn't studed a math text in 35 years, I found The
Mystery of the Aleph to be so accessible that I decided to write this
additional review. Mathematician Amir Aczel's well-written work opens
with a history both of the concept of infinity, and the lives of the people
who explored it. (One common thread seems to be that from Eudoxus to Galileo,
great mathematicians are prone to getting themselves arrested for teaching
heresy.) We travel from the times of Pythagoras, through the medieval
Kabbalists, to the Enlightenment, and on to the mid-19th century.
At this point, Aczel slows down to paint a portrait of troubled mathematician
Georg Cantor, his discoveries and failures, and the ideas which so consumed
his creative life. Cantor was the first modern explorer in the mathematical
realm of multiple infinities. His struggles to map this novel and
often counter-intuitive mental landscape -- and to prove or disprove a
single, foundational hypothesis on which it rests, the "continuum hypothesis"
-- reveal a mathematician's world where Truth, while a hotly contested
goal (enmities in Cantor's academia were very bitter), is the only goal
Over his lifetime, Cantor suffered increasingly severe depressive episodes,
which Aczel links with Cantor's persistent and repeated failures to pin
down the continuum hypothesis. We now know, through the work of Kurt
Godel and more recent mathematicians, that Cantor's struggles with this
elusive proof were inevitable. His search to determine the truth
or falsehood of the continuum hypothesis was bound to fail, because the
continuum hypothesis is entirely independent of current mathematics.
Aczel states that "Whether [the continuum hypothesis is] true or not, it
would be mathematically impossible to prove the hypothesis, or disprove
it, within the current system." So, however uncomfortable or counter-intuitive
it may seem, modern explorers in the landscapes of infinity must beg this
fundamental question which consumed Georg Cantor's creative life.
The Mystery of the Aleph is not only about mathematicians, of
course; it's also about mathematics. Non-mathematical readers will
learn about the concept of multiple infinities -- and also about how mathematical
landscapes in general are explored. Aczel is an excellent teacher,
who introduces just enough about the concept at hand to allow the reader
to follow his story of discovery. I found Aczel's discussion very
easy to follow with only a slight amount of concentration. This is
an engrossing and entertaining book. If you haven't thought much
recently about math or mathematicians, when you read it, you'll both learn
something, and enjoy the ride.
I hope you enjoy this Meru Foundation eTORUS(tm) Newsletter.
We welcome your feedback; if you have questions, or suggestions, please
don't hesitate to write me at:
Cynthia Tenen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you for your interest in the work of the Meru Foundation.
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1999, 2000, 2001 Meru Foundation.
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