©1997 Stan Tenen
Director of Research, Meru Foundation
Abstract written for the Tucson III Conference on Science and Consciousness (1997).
Ours is not the first civilization to inquire into the nature of consciousness. Can we find traditional teachings that ask and attempt to answer the same questions as ourselves? The answer is yes.
We aim the spotlight of awareness in various directions in the inner theater. We aim our senses in various directions in the outer world. Even in physics, we specify the quantum state vector as a pointing direction in space.
We specify choice by direction. Our natural pointer is our hand.
Western sacred literature suggests that the human hand - in itself, as the metaphoric Hand-of-God, and in the abstract - is the pointer of conscious will that aims the spotlight in the theater of consciousness. The conceptual hand is the tool that points, designates, and carries meaning, in all domains of human endeavor.
This essay will show how the full counting set of 27- Hebrew, Greek and Arabic letters carries formal meaning that was developed in parallel, but separately from their phonetic values. We will demonstrate how the shape of each (rabbinic) Hebrew letter is the 2-dimensional view of an idealized hand, worn on the hand, while making a gesture with the same meaning as the name of the letter, and how the meaning of Hebrew words can be seen in the hand-gestures that spell the word. We will suggest that the formal meanings of the hand-gesture letters follow a natural, topologically minimal, developmental cycle that corresponds to the 27-lines that solve the general cubic equation associated with a hypersphere (Coxeter.)
In the Abrahamic traditions the metaphoric Hand-of-God represents the projection of God's Will in the world. Thus the hand-gesture letters in sacred texts represent articulations of God's Will just as our hand-gestures articulate our will.
Outside the Abrahamic traditions, we suggest that the 27-lines are expressed as the edges of the 9-triangles of the Sri Yantra, the mandala of creation, and we point out that the path of the Philippine Wine dance, the Riemann projection of the general cubic equation, and the Dirac String Trick or "double-covering" all take the form of a pair of idealized hands.
Whether in the East or in the West, whether as a General Projective Principle, a base space for quantum mechanics, a natural hand-gesture language for human communication, a tool of volition in our dreams, or in our meditation, the idea of the hand represents the will that aims the spotlight that illuminates the world.
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