Monday, June 10, 2019

The Earth Will Shake reading group, Week Sixteen

Edmund Burke. "Everybody knows Edmund Burke's wife is a Catholic," page 328. 

This week, please read from page 317 ("Sigismundo Celine was blocked; the sonata was just not coming to the right conclusion.") to page 334 ("Sir John and Lady Babcock, he thought: We are now legally one person").

We are coming to the end of our reading group; two more episodes after today, and we will be finished. And then in a few weeks, Gregory Arnott will lead the reading group for The Widow's Son.

Page 319: Sigismundo's attempt to invent the automobile seems like an example of "steam engine time."

Mother Ursula has engaged in the sort of self-programming Robert Anton Wilson advocated:

"Mother Ursula meant the special kind of focus, the special concentration on God, which brought the healing power into her hands, for instance, and perhaps gave her other qualities that were not so spectacular but were equally unusual -- such as her unfailing good  humor and optimism in a world where most people were worried and anxious or full of anger at least half of their waking hours." Pages 321-322.

"Jesus had made a joke about that once, she explained, but theologians could not imagine that He had a sense of humor, so they took Him literally."

Is this a reference to Matthew 5:27 through 5:30? "27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

On page 324, Sir John Babcock expresses a tenet of RAW's philosophy:

"I do not know what to believe. I have read too much and traveled too far. Certitude belongs to those who have only lived in a place where everybody believes he same things."


Oz Fritz said...

I see what seems a major typo in the Hilaritas edition on page 318 at the bottom. The letter "ship" should read the letter "shin," I couldn't find a letter "ship" in any language. The icon that appears after "was like a pyramid" also confused me. It doesn't appear to me like any Hebrew character nor does it look like a pyramid. The letter shin could be seen as an upside down pyramid.

Oz Fritz said...

There appears a major typo on page 318 of the Hilaritas edition toward the bottom. The letter ship should read the letter shin. " ... 'ship' transformed YHVH ..." should read 'shin' transformed YHVH ..." I also found the icon confusing.

Giordanista Heliopoleos said...

This is indeed a typo, Oz, and goes back to the first edition. The letter shown is not Shin, but a Greek letter, the capital Psi.

This is an unforced error, IMO. Maybe Tarcher didn't have a Hebrew font to do this correctly in 1982, but Unicode eliminates this kind of problem.

Another point: Christian "Kabbalists" to the contrary, you can't get Joshua/Jesus out of YHWH by adding a Shin after the Waw, as the last consonant in Joshua is Ayn, not Heh. The Greek sound system doesn't pair well with Hebrew or other Semitic languages, as the changes that were made in the letter values of Phoenician alphabet to adapt it to Greek show, e. g., the Phoenician letter corresponding to Ayn ended up as a vowel, Omicron. As you know, Oz, Kabbalah works on words and their orthography, not on current pronunciation. But when this false etymology was concocted sombunal Christians of the time (15th-16th centuries) were interested in Kabbalah as a tool for evangelizing the Jews, not for enlightenment.

Oz Fritz said...

Apologies for the double post. I blame my "smart" phone.

Thank-you, Giordanista for the confirmation of the typo and for clarifying the random icon the original publishers inserted. I don't know much about historical kabbalah. While it might be stated elsewhere, this passage in The Earth Will Shake doesn't get Jesus out YHVH. This seems a reasonable assumption that doesn't appear in the text. The text says (p. 318): " ... shi(n) transformed YHVH into JVShVH, divinity into flesh." One can easily assume or infer that this means Jesus because it chooses to use the English J instead of Y for the first Yod in the transformed word and because divinity into flesh describes this myth, but Jesus doesn't get mentioned here. A modern interpretation of "divinity into flesh," in this context, doesn't rely upon the spelling of the new word. Divinity becomes flesh because the suit of Wands in the Tarot = Fire and corresponds to the physical body. When inserting Shin = Fire into YHVH then you get YHVH with a physical body.

Qabalah, known to take great creative liberties with traditional kabbalah, often chooses alternate spelling to suit its ends.

I have no idea what is meant by "the symbolism of the pyramid," maybe someone else does? Sigismundo has a realization about the Masonic pyramid (p. 319) and the next thing you know he draws up the plans for a Buckminster Fuller-style automobile.

Eric Wagner said...

Pg. 318 - The Hebrew letter sin differs from shin only by a diacritical mark. The reference to "sin" two lines before the end of this page makes a nice coincidence.

Pg. 321 - Mother Ursula's "unfailing good humor and optimism" reminds me of Bob's thoughts about hilaritas.

Oz Fritz said...

The Masonic pyramid symbolism (p.318) seems the deepest secret so far in this tale, the internet knows nothing about it except that the pyramid on the dollar bill didn't derive from Masonry. I'm inclined to think RAW intended a spoof on the "pyramid power" craze. Or perhaps an absurd, but plausible blind to balance letting out an important Golden Dawn formula - shin inserted into tetragrammaton. Maybe the opposite?