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Essays by
Stan Tenen
Essay Index
Learning by Copying vs. Learning by Reading 1997
Scientists and Wordsmiths 2003
A Few Notes on Literalism 1994
A Purloined Letter: The Evidence is Not Hidden 1999
Damning By Faint Praise 2003
Man Bites Dog 1996
The Purpose of Prayer 1997
Foundations of Jewish Survival 1997
Determinism vs. Freewill 2003
The Dirac String Trick - First Hand 1997
The Most Assymetrical Spiral 1997
Dini's Surface, Mt. Sinai, & the Human in the Gorilla Suit 1997
Who Wrote the Bible 1994
Squaring the Circle: A Philosophical Solution

The Three Abrahamic Covenants and The Car Passing Trick

Making Peace With Geometry - Index
Spirals as Metaphors:
Some Notes on the Logarithmic and Golden Mean Spirals 1997

Notes on Golden Mean Addendum September 1997

Bible Codes
Index of Collected Articles
Alternatives to Biblical Scholarship 1999
When is the Textual Approach Not Appropriate? 2000
On Immortality 2000
Which Way Up? 2000
The Three Pillars of Love 2001
Eating Our Words: A Purim Drash 2002
HOQ 2002
Shabbos & Resonance 2001

    A Science of Consciousness must be tested:

– An Experiment in Reality –

The Three Abrahamic Covenants and the Car Passing Trick
©1996 Stan Tenen

All whole cycles naturally come in three parts. This is because it takes 3-points (anywhere in two or higher dimensional space) to uniquely define a circle. In the sense that a point is like a seed, a circle is like its surrounding fruit. Any finite circle viewed from infinitely far away can appear to be a point, and any point examined infinitesimally (from within itself) can appear to be a circle. If we make use of a point to model Unity, we could make use of a circle to model a corresponding Wholeness. Thus it is more than coincidence that Whole and hole are pronounced the same. There is always a hole inside of a Whole circle.

Since the volume of a 2-torus in 3-dimensions has the same measure as the surface of a sphere (with appropriate radius) in 4-dimensions (a hypersphere)1, the discussion of circles as models of Wholeness, above, also holds for spheres and tori - even though it takes 4-points to determine a sphere in 3-dimensions and 5-points to determine a hypersphere in 4-dimensions. The simplest, lowest order Whole of this sort is an ordinary 2-dimensional circle.

In the Babylonian Talmud (an essential part of the Hebrew "Oral Torah" later committed to writing), in Mishneh (section) Ain Dorshin ("Do not discuss"), in Tractate (book) Hagigah, there are specific instructions regarding the discussion of kabbalistic matters. When understood in its simple literal meaning, the Mishneh opens by stating that it is forbidden to discuss (or expound on) issues of "nakedness" (below, translated politely as "forbidden relations") with more than three.

From Tractate Hagigah, Mishneh Ain Dorshin, Soncino Press translation:
"The [subject of] forbidden relations may not be expounded in the presence of three,....."

The Talmud’s word for "nakedness," or-i-oth, is usually interpreted to refer to physical nakedness and sexual matters ("forbidden relations") and three is generally thought to refer to three persons. However, when "nakedness" is understood in an abstract, mathematical sense, the opening verse of Mishneh Ain Dorshin can also be interpreted to read (loosely translated): "Nothingness generates naked distinctions in threes." (A full translation, based on this reading, will eventually be linked here. Naked, in this non-bodily, abstract sense is also what we mean when we call our FIRST HAND™ Flame Letter sculpture Naked Recursion. We mean naked in the sense of "having no other properties" - nothing but Recursion.)

This three-in-one, Unity-in-Wholeness, seed-in-fruit model is one reason why we chose to investigate the properties of torus knots (torus knots model mathematical singularities) that have three loops, layers, windings, or lobes. (In mathematical notation, our torus knot models are all 3,X Torus knots. For example, the Meru model of Continuous Creation is a 3,10 Torus knot: It has 3-layers in its standard "wreath" form and 10-nodes and 3-coils or lobes in its inverted form.) The 3,X series of torus knots are most suited to our purposes because they all allow for elegant 7-color maps (which define the surface of a 2-torus) to be drawn between the windings of the torus the knot is wound on. This allows us to assign meanings to the Hebrew letters based on an extension of the stages and levels of universal self-organizing process presented in Arthur M. Young’s Geometry of Meaning (also available from Rob’t Briggs Associates, Lake Oswego, Oregon.)

The low order 3,X torus knots have another extraordinary property. They are related to the 5-platonic solids and the basic mathematical symmetry groups.

The 3,4 torus knot 
is related to----------the tetrahedron and the E6 symmetry group;
the 3,2 torus knot (with linked ring)
is related to----------the cube, the octahedron and the E7 symmetry group;
the 3,5 torus knot
is related to the icosahedron, the dodecahedron and the E8 symmetry group.

Not only are there many important technical implications to the triple nature of all circles, as is demonstrated by the Meru Torus Knot models, but there are social and personal implications also. After all, Meru Foundation is presenting models that we believe to be part of a true science of consciousness carried in the letter patterns (and narratives) of canonized texts and by means of the sacred alphabets of the Abrahamic faiths. The idea of a science of consciousness implies a linkage between the internal (personal consciousness) and the external (consensus sciences). If this is actually so, we should expect to also find insights into the human condition with practical as well as abstract applications.


A covenant, for purposes of this discussion, is taken to be an "agreement with G-d"; a SELF-FULFILLING path and a self-referential PROMISE. In the west, there are three strands of faith: the Hebraic, the Christian, and the Islamic, and each has its particular covenant which gives it its continuity and sustenance. It should be remembered that the examples given below are stereotypes and they are stated in the extreme for clarity. These descriptions are far from complete. We are in no way suggesting that many or all the members of each of these strands of western faith are limited to the single stereotypical covenant here associated with that faith. In the ideal, so-called Jewish learning, Christian love, and Moslem surrender are admired, expressed (albeit in different words), and essential in each faith.

  1. The JEWISH covenant is based on adherence to and understanding of the law (The Torah). The Oral Torah, the Talmud, literally means, the learning from the Hebrew root Lamed-Mem-Dalet, to learn or teach. This has led to a desire for LEARNING, and ethical behavior derived from learning, as the primary modes of relation to the world. We sometimes think of Jews as using their minds more than their hands because, without land and sovereignty that was all that was permitted. The (persecuted and) wandering Jew can take his Torah-learning, but not his land and not always his tools, with him.
  1. The CHRISTIAN covenant is based on LOVE and empathy and therefore emphasizes the nurturing and nourishing emotions that lead to faith. Here conception is physical, and understanding of the Law (the Hebrew Bible) is less important. One can be transformed, healed, and even resurrected, by God’s love.

  2. The MOSLEM covenant is SURRENDER. The word Islam means surrender, submission or "letting go" to the will of Allah. In Islam the goal is to surrender to God’s will.

In our world today these three covenants cannot work separately. Each is a necessary step in the harmonic living unfoldment of any manifestation. When we compare these covenants to the stages in the growth of a child, it becomes obvious that all three are necessary. First the new life must be CONCEIVED (the Hebraic covenant), then the fetus must be nurtured and carried in the womb of its mother, with its parent's emotional and bodily LOVE (the Christian covenant), and finally the child must be birthed – SURRENDERED to independent life (the covenant of Islam) in the outside world.

To manifest anything in our reality it is necessary to Think, to Feel, and to Surrender. If any one of these three is missing or out of balance with the rest, there will be no child.


When Its Real, You Do Not Need To Believe In It, You Only Need To Try It.

If the reader would like to test this model to see for him- or herself that it functions in the real world, consider the following:

It is possible to relate an experience to other people who have had a similar experience, even when it is difficult or impossible to convey the experience by description in words. That is the key to understanding why experience is so essential. If you have not had experiences common to the experiences of another person, then often the other person cannot learn from your experiences and you cannot learn from theirs. That is also why true understanding comes only after doing, and why apprenticeship is often the best way to really learn a new skill. Hands-on learning-by-doing rises above the description and makes the words real.

You can read a manual that will tell you how to operate the gas and brake pedals of a car, but you cannot "educate" your foot until you actually attempt to use the gas and brake pedals.

This is true of deep spiritual experiences. In part, the Talmudic commentaries on Mishneh Ain Dorshin discuss Rabbi Akiva’s and his three companion’s (circa 100 C.E.) experiences in PaRDeS (Paradise) in their meditations. Rabbi Akiva, also known as a master kabbalist and a master of the Hebrew alphabet, is traditionally considered to be the person who first wrote down the teachings about creation and the Hebrew alphabet in the most basic kabbalistic text, the Sefer Yetzirah (the Book of Formation). Rabbi Akiva's spiritual experiences cannot be properly or fully appreciated by anyone who has not had similar experiences for themselves. Intense prayer and strict adherence to religious obligations certainly can provide a touch of a similar experience, but they cannot really prepare a person for the actual PaRDeS experience to any extent beyond that which the person has already experienced. Only Rabbi Akiva is said to have returned from this experience whole and intact. One leaves PaRDeS (or Chapel Perilous) as one enters. Rabbi Akiva entered "b’shalom" – whole and at peace – so he returned that way. One of his companions died in PaRDeS and did not return. Another returned but was no longer well, and the third returned with his intellect intact, but he was no longer spiritually sound.

There is no royal road to the insights available in PaRDeS, and the experience(s) cannot be obtained second-hand. It is not possible to know these spiritual truths without experiencing them for yourself, and it is not possible to communicate what you know – with its full integrity and depth of meaning – with someone who has not had a similar experiences. ...And, just as it would be impossible for a child to evaluate sexual experiences, it would be foolhardy for someone to judge the importance of spiritual experiences when they themselves have not had similar experiences.

This is from chapter two of Pirke Avot (the teachings of the rabbinic sages), Artscroll prayerbook translation, p. 551: "He used to say: Treat His will as if it were your own will, so that He will treat your will as if it were His will. Nullify your will before His will, so that He will nullify the will of others before your will."

Usually such religious teachings are taken to be admonitions. They are assumed to be a means to teach people how to behave well. But if we are really being taught a science of consciousness, we should expect that statements such as this might be more than admonitions. They might have real, practical meaning. This is very interesting because it suggests a real experiment in faith that could be tested and proven. In fact, it is an experiment that I designed (although I am far from the originator of the general technique) over a decade ago to demonstrate the reality of a science of consciousness to skeptics on a computer conference. Anyone who is able to actually follow the directions will find that the teachings of the Jewish sages (and the comparable teachings of Christian and Moslem sages), as quoted above, are exactly – and demonstrably – correct.



It is essential, if this experiment going to work, that you NOT take it seriously at first. It must be ONLY for amusement (at least at first). This is the "bitul" aspect (bitul is the Hebrew term for self-abnegation of will, will-less-ness, and humility). Think of it as a "controlled folly" (as Carlos Castenada put it in his works on Yaqui Indian "sorcery".)

  • So, do not believe the following, just try it. If you do believe it, you are disqualified.

The reason what you are about to do, and especially its outcome, MUST be a "folly" is because if there is any desired outcome whatsoever, your ego will be involved and you will not have nullified your will. That is not bitul. (It is interesting to speculate that this might be because, physically speaking, conscious ego involvement collapses the "wave equation" prematurely and prevents the experiment from working.)

The necessity of nullifying your will provides some additional guidelines for the experiment. You must either be completely alone, or the people you are with must never know what you are doing. (You can do this without telling your companions.)

If you tell anyone before you try the experiment, your reputation and the credibility of the experiment will be riding on whether or not you are "successful." This is not bitul. This is ego involvement and it engages rather than nullifies your will, so the experiment will not work.

If you intend to tell anyone after the experiment – either bragging about success, or mocking the foolish-superstitious experiment if you fail – your ego will be involved and the experiment will not work.

Now, if you are already a person who can nullify their will, like a tzaddik (saint), these precautions are not necessary. But, it is best to start out without presuming you are a tzaddik. <smile> (Presumptiveness is willfulness.) Willful ego-consciousness is inextricably tied to our 3-D bodies. The experience of "hyper"-reality is not consistent with 3-D reality, because 3-D reality is causal and deterministic. Although this is a repeatable experiment with consistent effects, it is definitely NOT physically causal in the usually understood sense. What other sense is possible, you ask? Read on.

If the experiment is going to have meaning for you, you must be prepared to keep it entirely to yourself. You may, however, repeat the experiment to your heart's content. You will find that IF and WHEN you are able to meet all the conditions, the experiment will become reliable – from your point of view. Of course, there won't be any other point of view, because you are never going to tell anyone about any particular experiment at any time when it could be externally checked on. Without humility, the experiment will fail. You cannot objectively demonstrate this experiment to anyone else. You can only encourage them to try it, and, if they succeed, to discuss their and your common experiences.

This experiment is exclusively repeatable and subjective. It only works in consensus reality IF you are a genuine prophet. Since it is unlikely that anyone reading this is a prophet, we can neglect this case.

  • You may wonder how it is that I am going to be able to tell you what I can without ruining the experiment for myself. You will never know WHEN the experiment has worked for me, so, in any given instance, you will not know that anything has occurred. Likewise for everyone else.

Okay, here is an example of what to do. Remember it is only an example. You will have to interpret it and try something equivalent to it in your own particular circumstances.

The situation: I am driving down a narrow country highway with only one lane in each direction. Passing is not allowed and/or it is too dangerous because the road is too winding to see far enough ahead.

I am in a hurry to get to my destination and am zipping along merrily down this country lane when I come up behind farmer Brown who is driving his model T at 20-miles per hour. I was happily going along at 45-miles per hour, and could safely continue to do so IF farmer Brown weren't in the way.

What to do?

I could risk the chance of an accident or a ticket and cross the double yellow line to pass farmer Brown. But, it's not that much of an emergency. (If it were a real emergency, I would have a real stake in getting to my destination in a hurry and I would have a very difficult time trying to remain bitul. See more on this, below.)

I could pull up behind farmer Brown, flash my headlights, honk and make an angry gesture. But, alas, we already know that farmer Brown has declining eyesight and doesn't hear so well anymore – else I wouldn't have evoked the stereotype of "farmer Brown in a model T", and he wouldn't be driving so slowly in the first place. <smile>

So, I decide to try the experiment:

The first condition is that I actually desire to pass farmer Brown. This is my will. I will later have to give up on my desires and nullify my personal will.

  1. I pull up behind farmer Brown, but not so close that he would feel pressured by me. Just so he sees I'm present.

  2. Actually or in my mind's eye, I smile at him. I imagine that I can look into his eyes through his rear view mirror and I, in my imagination - or for real, if possible - greet him with my eyes.

    I form the thought: "Top of the morning to you, sir. Do you mind if I pass you? I would be pleased if I could." This is my statement of my will.

    Another thought that works is tied to the casual/friendly feeling connection you make with a person as you are trying to get by them in a crowded hallway. You sort of tap the person on the shoulder and they quite naturally and unconsciously make way a bit as you squeeze by.

  3. I drop back a bit more from behind farmer Brown, and I COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY GIVE UP on EVER passing him. I submit my will to God’s will. This step is vital and it CANNOT BE FAKED. I must nullify my will or nothing will happen. Unless I actually give up all hope and expectation of passing, and resign myself to God's will by following farmer Brown to the ends of the earth or to my destination – whichever comes first – nothing will happen. If I get uptight that nothing is happening, then nothing will continue to (not) happen. Often it is not possible to actually give up. When this is the case for you, you will know this is true, and you will observe that the experiment doesn't work.

1. When all the conditions are met, When I clearly form the thought that I would like to see manifest

2. AND when I feel my need and lovingly share my feelings about it

3. AND when I completely let go of my wish by nullifying my will to God's will,

.....then and only then IT happens.

At the very instant when I have actually nullified my will to God's will (just as in the biblical story of the sacrifice of Isaac) and given up on anything happening, and I am completely resigned to follow farmer Brown forever, Farmer Brown will inexplicably pull over or turn off the road and let me pass. Or some other means will open up that allows me to pass. (In essence, just as with Abraham and Isaac, God provides the alternative for the sacrifice.)

Sometimes all that is required for me to actually give up and let go of my will to pass farmer Brown is for me to turn on the radio and get lost in some discussion or music. At the instant that the radio catches my attention, the instant that I drop my will – and not a moment before – the obstacle will disappear.

This "car passing trick" is especially useful when you find yourself behind a police officer traveling at the speed limit on an otherwise completely open road. No one is foolish enough to speed by a police officer when the officer doesn’t have some other problem to occupy his or her attention. (It is always safe to speed past a police car after a fire-engine red sports car speeds by first. <smile> )

You may have to experiment for a very long time before you will get the hang of it. It may work for you the first time and then it won't work again until you get out of the habit of counting on it. (Counting on things is not consistent with a state of bitul.) In fact, it won't work at all at first for some people, because, try as they might, they can't turn off their ego expectations. This will even be true for very pious persons who observe all their religious obligations.

You have to keep running variations on this experiment UNTIL JUST AFTER YOU CAN GIVE UP ON IT so that it will REALLY be a controlled folly and you really will be in a state of self-abnegating bitul. After a large number of attempts, you will naturally stop expecting anything to happen. Then, when your will is dropped, you will be caught by surprise. After the first breakthrough, if you are not ego pushy, it will become easier and easier to the point where this just works naturally whenever you can actually afford to give up on getting what you want. It will stop working entirely the first time you are tempted to demonstrate "your" ability for someone else. That turns on ego. Ergo, no effect.

You can also make an experiment of preventing the effect this way from time to time. You will find that the willful ego-switch turns the effect on and off with absolute precision.

  • This is not magic. It is the opposite of magic. Magic is based on power-tripping one's own will. The "car passing trick" is based on nullifying your will to God's will. It is a example of how a kabbalistic perspective on our traditional teachings can be instructive and helpful in real life.
  • This is a science of consciousness. It should be tested, not believed.

Whatever you do, do not attempt this in any way that is inconsistent with your understanding of what is right. Improperly understood this experiment can lead to "siddhi-tripping" and idolatry. Be careful, but if you are up to it, I think you will find a startling experiential proof of the reality of the teaching in Pirke Avot.

...And if you know someone else who has had the same experience, you will have someone with whom you can share this subjective demonstration – in objective discussion.

Have a happy folly.

Note: An earlier version of The Car Passing Trick appeared as an essay in The Zen of Close Encounters (Edited by Paul David Pursglove, © ‘95, The New Being Project, POB 3070, Berkeley, CA 94703).

1See The Reflexive Universe  by Arthur M. Young, available from Meru Foundation at See also the Arthur Young home page:

Contents of this page are ©1996 Stan Tenen, and licensed to Meru Foundation, 524 San Anselmo Ave. #214, San Anselmo, CA 94960.
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