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Meru Foundation eTORUS(tm) Newsletter
Number 7 - 27 December 2000
Copyright 2000 Meru Foundation
Written by Stan and Cynthia Tenen

Stan and Cynthia have returned to Massachusetts, after a short but worthwhile stay in California.  While in San Francisco, we conferred with the editor of Stan's book-in-progress, met with Dr. Richard Amoroso who edits the peer-reviewed Noetic Journal, and initiated what we hope will be a productive relationship with Cody's Books in Berkeley (more on this below).  On our way back east, we drove to Tucson to meet people working on prototyping some of the Meru models, and stopped in Bloomington, Indiana to visit our colleague and graphic animator, Robert Amick.  As I read this now, and review previous newsletters, I realize it must seem that Stan and I spend most of our time on the road!  But these trips are a vital for staying in touch with our partners in this work.  Over the past several years, we have met many of our colleagues over the Internet -- which means that most of the people we work closely with every day are widely distributed throughout the US and Canada (with a few here and there in Europe and the Pacific). And handy as the email is, or even the phone, nothing replaces personal contact when you're collaborating on a creative project.  So, Stan and I use our trips from coast to coast as a way to stay in touch -- and often, to make unexpected progress in a few hours of face-to-face interaction.  We'll be in Massachusetts for another month or so, and hope to return to the warmth of the West Coast sometime in February.

In recent months, Stan and I have been in touch with Vincent Cunetto, a graphics designer and sculptor living in Oregon, who spotted our work on the Internet (see above) and offered to help.  Vincent's first productions add a new feature to the Meru website:  two full 3-D "virtual reality" graphic models, called "VRMLs", which you can manipulate yourself with an appropriate "VRML viewer".   (Links to all of our animations, including these new VRMLs and Robert Amick's gif animations, are now at <http://www.meru.org/compuimages/animations.html>.)

The models Vincent chose to start with are --

The "3-Around-1 and 1-Around-3" Double Vortex. -- A physical model of this figure has been posted to the Meru website for several years, at <http://www.meru.org/10spherot.html>.  As is clear from the name, we have long associated this double vortex with the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.  Recently, with the help of some of our mathematical colleagues, Stan has been researching very specific ways this double vortex describes and elucidates the traditional Tree of Life.  This work is preliminary, but exciting -- and this double vortex is a very important model.  To download the VRML file, go to

The 3,10 Torus Knot.  --  Those who have already viewed Robert Amick's animations of the 3,10 torus knot will immediately notice that Vincent's model looks quite different! Vincent has rendered the 3,10 knot in its "ring" form (as though there were a solid torus around which the knot was wrapped), while Robert has animated the "dimpled-sphere" form (as though the solid torus were removed, and the knot "pulled" so that all the crossings occur in the center of the figure).  For a graphic explanation of how the "ring" form can be transformed into the "dimpled-sphere" form, see the Meru poster, "The 3,10 Torus Knot, Ring, Sphere, Tetrahelix and Hand", at <http://www.meru.org/Posters/trsknotrngsphere.html>.
To view the "ring" form and download the VRML, go to <http://www.meru.org/compuimages/animations.html#3-10>.
To view the "dimpled-sphere" form animations, click any of the links at <http://www.meru.org/compuimages/animations.html#Amick>.

As mentioned above, one of our accomplishments during our recent trip to California was to initiate an associates' relationship with Cody's Books of Berkeley California.  This means that from now on, if you purchase your books online at <www.codysbooks.com>, and place "Meru Foundation" in the Comments box of your order, Cody's will contribute to Meru Foundation a small, but meaningful, percentage of your purchase price.  This contribution is invisible to you -- but very noticeable to Meru.

We are very pleased to form this relationship with Cody's.  Unlike the Internet megasellers, Cody's is an independent bookstore, not a chain, and it has a long history in the Berkeley community.  (You learn some of this history at <http://www.codysbooks.com/infodesk.html#about>.)  Cody's offers competitive prices and shipping, and, to quote their own info page:  "Cody's does not make its subscriber lists nor its customer's book purchases available to any one or any entity."

By choosing to make your online book purchases through Cody's, you not only provide real help to Meru Foundation, you also cast a vote for the survival of independent bookstores who take pride in their relationship with their customers.  Unlike the megasellers, Cody's offers personalized service by human beings who actually know books. Ira Steingroot, manager of Cody's Educational Sales and expert on Judaica, and a member of Meru's Advisory Board, has agreed to answer questions and make book recommendations in Judaica (and other subjects) for Meru Foundation customers. To contact Ira Steingroot, send email to <ira@codysbooks.com>.

We're going to be implementing this in stages. Right now, we are asking you to go directly to <www.codysbooks.com>, order your books, and before you complete your order, please be certain you enter "Meru Foundation" in the Comment box (this box is on the same screen where you choose your shipping method).  For now, during this start-up phase, I'm asking people who order from Cody's also to email me at <meru@meru.org> with your name and the date of your order (no other information is necessary), so that we can all be sure that the system for crediting Meru Foundation is working properly.

[Here is a sample email message that will tell me what I need to know:
To:  Cynthia Tenen <meru@meru.org>
From:  Your Name <your_email@your.isp>
Subject: Order from Cody's on <fill in date>
Text of  message: NONE REQUIRED]

As soon as we can, we'll automate this process so that if you enter Cody's from <www.meru.org> or <www.meetingtent.com> (Meru's own secure-server website), and proceed to order books, Cody's will automatically credit us with the order.  Unfortunately, both we and Cody's must continue to wait on the software designers to get us the appropriate code.  Fortunately, I know that for readers on this list, the "honor system" will work just as well for letting Cody's know you want part of your purchase price to be contributed to Meru Foundation.

Soon, we will offer an additional service.  Meru Foundation is greatly expanding our Recommended Reading list, with our own selection of books on Kabbalah, mathematical philosophy, geometry, archeology, and other areas of science and history. Each of these works has been an important source of ideas and information for Meru research.  Most titles will be linked to their own listings on <www.codysbooks.com>, making it easier for you to order. We will also suggest possible sources for books on our Reading List which are (sadly) out of print.  Our long-term goal in this expansion, and in our association with Cody's Books, is for Meru Foundation to become known as a primary source on the Internet of quality Kabbalistic, mathematical, scientific, and philosophical works.

So.... from now on, if you're thinking of purchasing a book online -- please, visit <www.codysbooks.com>, order your book(s), put "Meru Foundation" in the Comment box, and (for now) send me a confirming message to <meru@meru.org> -- you'll be helping us continue our work every time you do.  Thank you!

One of Stan's projects over the past month has been work on a new article, "How to Talk to an Extraterrestrial," which will be published in an upcoming issue of the peer-reviewed Noetic Journal.  Despite its title, this essay is not really focused on ETs -- rather, it discusses how, and why, the _source_ of information defines the _shape_, and _sign_ of information.  Since this essay has not yet been published, we are foregoing our usual practice of posting it to the web for readers of this newsletter to download.  Instead,  below are the Abstract, Introduction, and Premise, presenting the main theme, and hopefully prompting some of you to read the entire article in the Noetic Journal once it's been published.  (For more information about the Noetic Journal, please contact editor Dr. Richard Amoroso at <noeticj@mindspring.com>.)


HOW TO TALK TO AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL [Abstract, Introduction, and Premise]
by Stan Tenen, Director of Research, Meru Foundation

Whether or not there actually are extra-terrestrials, it is worth considering what it would take to communicate with self-aware beings from thousands of light-years away in space because this may shed light on how we can understand formal records (sometimes called "sacred,") left for us by human civilizations thousands of (earth-) years away in our own past.

For this reason, we ask if ancient, traditional, "sacred" numbers, letters, and symbols were, somehow, exactly what they meant?  This claim of intrinsic, natural, universal meaning is, after all, one of the claims generally made.  Usually, however, these claims are easily dismissed, or they are reduced to the trivial by interpretations that explain them away as vestiges of numerology, gematria, and mythological meaning.

This essay attempts to outline an alternative view.  We find that the natural geometry of the cosmological, quantum-mechanical, and personal information gradients of all information systems follows the same topology and can take the same geometric form.  At the quantum-mechanical level, we find the twice-around orbit of the Dirac String Trick gives us a pair of spiral vortices, and Arthur M. Young's 3-turn torus-hypersphere model of the photon - which he relates to the quantum of personal choice - gives us a similar set of spiral vortices. At the cosmological level, the negentropic star-plant-planet information-gradient described by Roger Penrose takes the same form. And at the personal level, our human hands, which are the form(s) we use to project our choices into the world, can also be idealized by the same spiral vortex form(s). In all three cases, cosmologically "as above," quantum-mechanically "so below," and in the middle on the "earth plane" where we live, we find the negentropic information gradient takes the same form - and this form shows up throughout ancient symbolism and at the root of the three great "sacred alphabets" in the western traditions.

One of the enigmas of ancient philosophical teachings is their persistent claim that, somehow, the symbols and symbol systems they chose to call "sacred" were natural, obvious, and self-meaningful.  The claim is that these symbols were in no way arbitrary.  These claims have been interpreted in simple ways that are not philosophically satisfying and, consequently, they have been written off as religiously or culturally motivated puffery with no meaning beyond that.  These sometimes fascinating, but limited views are consistent with our modern assumption that ancient scholars and philosophers were satisfied with primitive, non-elegant, simplistic, and informationally shallow conceptualizations.  It is usually assumed that our predecessors were not concerned with rigor, had only approximate knowledge, accepted superstitions, and had no formal mathematics or science - so how could it have been otherwise?  As I hope this essay will help to demonstrate, the limitations based on these assumptions may be gratuitous - more in the eye of the beholders (in our time) than real.  They also demean and diminish the value of the "perennial traditions" of ancient thought and the religious and spiritual traditions that continue to depend on the values and concepts originally developed in the ancient world. The modern scholarly perspective diminishes what we expect of these traditions and, ultimately their legitimacy as well.

There have been many scholarly and not-so-scholarly investigations of "pythagorean number symbolism," "gematria," and numerology.  These discussions have centered on the supposed "mystical" and mythical meaning of geometric shapes, numbers and letters, or the history of the subject, but only rarely with an eye for the possibility of an informationally deep meaning in a modern sense.  Regardless of the validity of this approach in some cases, if there really were informational depth and sophistication - in a modern sense and in the context of modern standards - in the symbol systems of traditional philosophies, than the current consensus effectively "damns [these claims] by faint praise."  The standard scholarly praise for explanations that do not meet modern standards makes these systems appear to be shallow and trivial - from a modern perspective - and this has usually been sufficient to dissuade the search for greater depth by researchers more prepared to find it.

A New Approach
I would like to suggest that we reopen the investigation of "number and letter symbolism" with an eye to a possibly deeper and more philosophically interesting - and indeed, more practical - approach.  IF there is sufficient universality and informational depth to traditional symbol systems, they might even be adapted for or provide insight on how we might communicate with other self-aware, conscious, volitional beings such as primates, cetacea, elephants, and, of course, extra-terrestrials.  Not only do self-aware earth creatures share their self-awareness with the sort of extra-terrestrials we would like to communicate with, but they also share the same physics, and - if what we are about to suggest is a valid approach - similar "star-planet-sky" environments.  And, of course, the informational physics of the biological systems that can lead to self-aware volitional consciousness is always the same.

To start, we might ask: what if claims of intrinsic natural meaning for these "sacred" numbers, letters, and other symbols are true in a philosophically deep way?

What if ancient "sacred" numbers, letters, and symbols were, somehow, exactly what they meant?

What if the natural geometry of the source of information did serve as the sign of information?

What if the natural geometry of the source of conscious volition did serve as the sign of conscious volition?

[The above is excerpted from How to Talk to an Extraterrestrial, (c)2000 Stan Tenen.  The complete article, including illustrations, will be published in an upcoming issue of the peer-reviewed Noetic Journal -- Meru will send a notification to subscribers of eTORUS(tm) when it is available.]

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 <meru@meru.org>

Thank you for your interest in the work of the Meru Foundation.


The Meru Foundation eTORUS(tm) Newsletter is copyright 1999, 2000, 2001 Meru Foundation.
Past issues of eTORUS(tm) are archived online on the Meru Foundation website at

You may duplicate and pass along this newsletter, in its entirety, as long as you include this copyright notice and the contact information below. Please send comments and questions to <meru@meru.org>.

Meru Foundation research offices:
  Research Director: Stan Tenen    Secretary-Treasurer: Cynthia Tenen
  PO Box 503
  Sharon, MA 02067 USA
  781-784-8902 Voice    781-784-2955 Fax
  Email:  <meru@meru.org>
  Website: <http://www.meru.org>

How to order Meru Foundation Videos and Products:
  Visit our secure-server website at  <http://www.meetingtent.com>  OR
  Fax your order to 1-509-696-8795   OR
  Email: <meetingtent@yahoo.com>

To order by phone:
  In the U.S., call toll-free: 1-888-422-MERU (Bill Haber, C.E.O. Meru Foundation, in California)
  Outside the U.S., call 1-925-674-8640

  To order PAL versions of Meru Videotapes:
  Email: Ron Engert in Germany at <info@syntropia.de>
  German readers may now also visit Ron Engert's Meru website:


Contents of this page are ©2000 Cynthia Tenen, and licensed to Meru Foundation, 524 San Anselmo Ave. #214, San Anselmo, CA 94960.
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Home The Meru Project:
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