Monday, October 19, 2009

Dreaming of the Beast . . . or . . . A Beast Dreaming

This photo was shot in Paris a few years ago, a somewhat amusing sign of our times. I'm not overly superstitious or obsessed with conspiracy theories or religious dogmatisms of any stripe, in fact I'm getting rather fed up with reading about religion in the press so much of late, the subject seems to have become a fixation for many, I wish people could be a little more discreet with their personal visions of unfathomable mysteries.
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But I have always loved mathematics, as one small realm where a little order and logic reign, as opposed to chaos and ill-logic. So I was quite pleased to find this website about what is known in some circles as The Number of the Beast. It appears that the number 666 has quite a number of fascinating mathematical properties related to it that Mike Keith, the author of the web page linked to here has gone to great lengths to demonstrate. And just from a purely mathematical point of view, his work is quite beautiful in the simplicity of these numerical truths. Here is just one example of the long list of properties related to the number 666 that Mike Keith has assembled; but I encourage you to visit his site for more . . .
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There are exactly two ways to insert '+' signs into the sequence 123456789 to make the sum 666, and exactly one way for the sequence 987654321 :
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666 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 567 + 89

666 = 123 + 456 + 78 + 9
666 = 9 + 87 + 6 + 543 + 21
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But if you want to delve deeper into the biblical reference, just turn to the last section of the Bible, the Book of Revelations", and start with chapter 13, verse 18. . .
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Oh, and just one last example from Mike Keith's excellent website :
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Finally, we close with an observation that makes a commentary on the folly of attaching a too-specific meaning to the number 666. If the letter A is defined to be equal to 36 (=6·6), B=37, C=38, and so on, then:
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The sum of the letters in the word SUPERSTITIOUS is 666

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32 comments:

Martin H. said...

Owen

Interesting post on 666. Nice to see some unequivocal maths associated with the number. Good picture too!

Steve said...

Revelations used to scare the hell out of me as a kid but as an adult I can now see that it was merely the drug induced hallucinations of one man exiled from his country and hating all things Roman - their is good evidence (that can be Googled) that the Beast of Revelation is merely the Roman Emperor Nero who was ruling at the time.

What still scares me though is the fact that so many people still take the book of Revelations as being prophetic that they'll make it a self fulfilling prophecy...

Steve said...

Apologies: "there is good evidence" that I cannot spell early in the morning...

Nathalie said...

LOL Steve - a typo could happen to all of us :-)

Owen thanks for this post but honestly I find it hard to take any interest at all in number 666. Anyone ready to twist his mind long enough could find "relevant" facts about any number he chooses. Just try 777 and apply yourself to it. I'm sure you'll find some amazing truths about that number too. I couldn't be bothered. Cheers

Nathalie said...

The Paris dog cemetary post of a couple of days ago was a fun one. Dogs must be held on leash at all times but cats roam free. What an unfair ruling! :-)))

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

very good blog, congratulations
regard from Reus Catalonia
thank you

French Fancy said...

Those numerologists who bang on about the mysticism behind numbers make me yawn - not so much the 666 malarkey but all the hidden codes in the Bible polemic - what a load of rubbush.

designslinger.com said...

The true revelatory nature of Revelations is best summed up in the graffiti image you so brilliantly included: monkey see, monkey do.

Loulou said...

Bonsoir Owen ! Pardonne mon absence, pas la tête ni le coeur au blog ces derniers temps. La vraie vie qui vous submerge...
Prends bien soin de tes princesses, elles sont 3 pas 666, et pour ma part, c'est le "merveilleux chiffre trois".... ;-)
Bises
Loulou

Jill said...

From what I understand, there is as much disagreement among mathematicians and physicists about what Math is all about, as there is disagreement among people on Religion. There are some who say that numbers in themselves don't exist unless they represent something else, and there are others who say that this world is all an illusion generated by numbers, which are the only "true" reality...and then there are theories everywhere in between.

Math makes my head hurt!- my brain gears jam up, and stay locked. I can't solve or grasp anything mathematically...though I did, long ago, have a lucid dream where an equation came to me, and it appeared to be the Explanation of Everything. In the dream, I thought: that's weird, I don't normally understand math! I woke myself up to write this Ultimate equation down, but it disappeared. And I have wondered ever since, if there was real meaning to it.

The quest for what is behind Everything, the Ultimate answer...yeah, that would be nice to know!

But some people aren't on their own quest, they just believe what they're told, and then try to force it onto others. Lazy minds.

Can the truth only come to us through logic,effort,meditation or can it wend it's way into our minds when we're in a dream state, without our even trying, the gift of Higher Consciousness?????????

La Framéricaine said...

I wish people could be a little more discreet with their group/corporate visions of unfathomable mysteries--I stop off from time to time at TBN instead of FX just to get a spooky thrill of dread--not that there's anything wrong with it.

jeff said...

Et en ce qui concerne la théorie du 999 ?... Tu n'a rien en magasin ?... Je vois que tu connais celle du scrunch scrunch scrunch... mais 999 ! ! !
En tout cas c'est passionant comme article avec à l'appui cette excellente photographie pour illustrer tes propos !
666 ! Et alors... Tu sais ce qu'on dit pour le 11.09.01 ?...
La bête est partout, elle se cache... même dans blogger !...;-)

Merci pour tes éclairages divers !
Tchin tchin owen ! T'as rien sur la théorie anglaise de la tisane ?...

Ciao amigopix666 !...:-)))
Ciao bello...
A + !

@eloh said...

"Where" was this? (Besides Paris)

It appears to be a stencil. Did you see this a lot?

Maybe the monkey is hanging upside down and it is the monkey emergency numer...(people 911) (Monkeys in trouble 999)

Alberto Oliver said...

Owen, this reminds me something that happened to me some years ago and that know makes me laugh loudly. I was(rather, we were) VERY short in money then, and I thought that lotto would be a reallistic answer ( I was 10 or 11 years old then, so don´t blame on me) I tried to make an historic register of the winning numbers, and after many bizarre and odd speculations and calculations, including to the mix my birthdate and such, i happened to get the supposed winning number, so i went and buyed a lotto billet. Of course, I won nothing and i got so frustrated. Then, one day, i had a dream in with I asked god to reveal me the winning number, and he replied laughing: "I got to tell you, that you will certainly win the lottery, but it will happen the day you no longer need it". Next day I woke up with a new conviction, and it was that I got to work very hard =).
Cheers!!

babbler said...

Owen,
I have one thing to say about all of this....

Slide, Sluggy, Slide!!!!!

Love, Mrs. Slug
PS- I wonder if Mr. Slugs "car incident" contributes to this monkey business?! I better lighten things up this week! Danger is lurking 'round the next corner on a white stucco wall! Aghghghghgh! This is like one of those low budget reality horror movies! Mommy I'm scared! That monkey is looking right through me!

In conclusion:

Nothing worse than a slug that is so worked up that it is frothing at the mouth. We will do our best to control our emotions. Have a pleasant afternoon. Mrs. S.

Catherine said...

glad to be informed about all the Mathematical philosophy behind 666...fascinating!!

louciao said...

I didn't know you like to monkey around with things numerical. I hope you're not feeling too much under the ape ball these days!

robert said...

Just upon finishing with reading your post, my son woke up, demanding to change his clothes and bed as his diaper 'went over' - if this isn't devil's work...at a quarter to four in the morning.
Nevertheless thank you for that as it proofed me again how much care he still needs.
A wonderful day for you.

The Sagittarian said...

You want to try saying that number in Australia, you'll get yourself into REAL trouble! (OK, I'll clarify...666 sounds like sex, sex, sex when said by an Aussie)....

Owen said...

Hi Martin, that's what I like about math... it's usually pretty unequivocal... thanks !

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Steve, very interesting take on this... yes, I'd also read a little about Nero being a candidate for the beast role. Supported by even some numerology... but then numbers can say just about anything one wishes them too, in some settings. And thanks for self-correcting your typo, otherwise I would no doubt have had to berate you about it... LOL... this is not a typo-free blog... I catch myself making more than my fair share when I type too fast. And yes, we may rightly fear the whackos out there who concoct whole feature length film scenarios in their heads around that last book...
Cheers !

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Hi Nathalie, well, I can understand your feeling there. Although I'm not sure I entirely agree, as if you look through Mr Keith's website, he makes a valid point that this particular number does have some fascinating qualities which belong to almost no other number out there. 777 is a great big airplane, but could not meet the wealth of phenomena which have been assembled about 666. But if one is not interested in math, then this is all meaningless anyway. For me, the superstitious aspect is worth a good tongue in cheek treatment, but the pure math aspect holds up in "court" among mathematicians anyway. But that's ok...

And yes, I had visions of those poor dogs restrained on their short leads while being assailed and harrassed by the phalanxes of free cats ! LOL ! And a mighty howling ensued !

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Te la ma Maria... many thanks for dropping in here, do come back... always something going on, well, almost always..;

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Dear FF, couldn't agree with you more, there is so much rubbish out there, and bible (or other "holy" book) thumping malarkey, it gets to be totally stultifying after a while... and all seem to want to clamor louder than then next about how they hold the only truth possible. Enough !
Cheers...

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designslinger... you slung a good one there, couldn't agree with you more... there is far too much monkey business afoot in the world these days... this graffiti sums it all up nicely...

Owen said...

Loulou, chère Loulou,
Happy to read you, et désolé si le coeur ni la tête est au blog ces jours-ci, peut-être il faudrait ralentir un peu, ou faire une petite pause... ? J'espère que tu continueras, car tu es parmi la crème de la crème des blogs, les meilleures... courage...

Et oui, je fais de mon mieux pour prendre soin de ces trois princesses... tu as raison, trois est bien un chiffre magique...

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TO ANYONE WHO MAY READ THIS :
If you haven't already, please click on the link to "Loulou" on her comment above here, and drop in to visit Indiaphragme, and if you heart compels you thus, do let her know just how beautiful her blog is by leaving a warm and friendly comment...

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Jill, what a thought provoking comment ! wow ! There is no doubt that when one starts pushing the limits a little in math and physics one very quickly finds oneself entering the realm of philosophy also... Your comment could provoke volumes in response, you went right to the heart of the matter as it were. Perhaps your dream will return again, and deliver up its message to you. Funny, I was getting ready to do a post about a message I'd heard long ago, but couldn't quite remember... had already started outlining a little piece... will post it one day soon. In any case, keep dreaming, don't get bogged down in numbers if they make your head hurt... that is a sign too from the higher consciousness...

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Dear Fram, when corporations get into the scene, then the crap really gets hot and heavy. By TBN I'm guessing you mean the Trinity Broadcasting Network ? Can't say I've ever watched anything there, and probably never will, just the name of it scares the bejeezus out of me... thanks for the warning...

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Jeff, et oui, tout ce que tu veux, 999, 777, 911, 3, tous les chiffres entre l'infini négatif et l'infini positif sont intéressant... même le humble zéro... le néant, et tous ont sans doute des qualités. Et c'est fou jusqu'à où l'esprit humain nous à mené avec ses chiffres... jusqu'au bombes nucléaires par exemple... et aux richesses monétaires qui sont à l'origine de la cupidité qui fait tant de mal à notre chère petite planète... bon, donne-moi 6 tisanes sur une table au numéro 3 de la rue bonheur, et on va boire un petit coup et oublier toutes ces betises... (la bête dans les betises...) Tchin thchin !!! Scrunch scrunch !!!

Owen said...

@elohssana (not),
First, let me thank you again here in "thank you" to the n-th power for the high honor you have bestowed me on your page today... I'm still trying to get back up off the floor, but I swear, that guy with the hatchet is STARING at me !

Umm, it was in Paris, but I honestly couldn't tell you where, the photo is from 1995 when I was still living near the Centre Pompidou, but where exactly, my mind could no longer remember. I don't recall seeing this stenciled image more than once though, although no doubt it appeared in many places. If I ever see any monkeys trying to dial 999, I'll have to remember to send help...

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Alberto Oliver, that's a great story... so I hope you are continuing to work hard... the lottery thing is a trap, leading people to believe they can have something for nothing... or next to nothing, and week after week after week the coins clink on the countertop and tickets change hands... empty...

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Dear Mrs Slug !
Oh dear, I hope the frothing at the mouth will not last long ! I trust it was not caused by ingesting table salt left out by those naughty boys next door !

Indeed... slide sluggy, slide !!! What on Earth happened to Mr Slug's car ? I hope it is not preventing him from sliding quickly to work... By all means, shut away the visions of monkeys dreaming, that way leads to rotten bananas, not even fit for a slug's consumption... my best wishes to all you slugs,
Mr Toad

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Hi Catherine, the mathematical bits are indeed fascinating, but for me it stops there...

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Hi Lynne, you made it back from Seattle ! Sure, I used to love math, took 2 and a half years of university level math through advanced calculus... and sometimes wish I gone further with it, to become a teacher or something, but life had other plans for me... whichever half of my brain that is more inclined to poetry and art and photographic images got the better of the other more numerically inclined half... but I still enjoy helping my daughters with their math when I can...

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Robert, yes, that sounds like a beastly business in the middle of the night, but then who ever said that having children was going to be easy and never messy... bon courage mon ami, and a fine week to you too...

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Dear Saj,
Now why would that get me in trouble I wonder ??? Guess it depends where and to who it is said ... I guess it wouldn't be a good idea to say that to any of those large crocodiles they have in Australia...
:-D

Owen said...

PS to all,
With all this talk about meaningful numbers, I almost forgot one of the most important :

42

42 ? you ask... Well, if not already familiar with them, the answer lies in the pages of Douglas Adams works, beginning with The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy...
:-D

Lydia said...

That's really rich, the way superstitious comes out as 666. I'll have to show this post to my husband and he'll probably visit the link. His home of origin was somewhat evangelical. My deprogramming is ongoing, but not really necessary anymore because he can think on his own again. I'm being sarcastic... but serious!
It's shocking that you are hearing/reading lots of religious talk now. I didn't think you were bothered by that kind of junk in Europe!

clo said...

hello howdy coucou Owen...
j'espere que tu vas bien...
merci du fond du coeur pour ton si gentil commentaire...
je ne suis pas tres bavarde eb ce moment...une periode de vie un peu speciale qui ne donne pas beaucoup ni temps ni entrain pour blogger...
je garde au chaud pour cet hiver mon inspiration...:o)
vade retro la morosité...:))
te lire en tout cas m'a fait plaisir...
bises Owen...si tu croise la sale bête fait attention a toi...
superstitieuse superstition...:)
a bientot...

the watercats said...

MATHS!.. NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....
Interesting local (to me) fact though... there is a road in town which is route 666.. it goes to ballyduff.. Irish name baile dubh.. or.. black town... :-) How cool is that!

Peter said...

If you look for 666 on the net, you will find other combinations like that the sum of the Roman I, V, K, L, C, D gives 666. The thing is of course that you can find similar amusing combinations with of lot of figures. I just finished Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum" and there are a lot of those combinations there, but the narrator in the book (indirectly Umberto) also confirms that most of these mystical calculations can be done with almost anything. In the meantime, I agree, it's amusing.

.:: Karine ::. said...

moi je les retourne et je fais une omelette ! cassés ils sont mes "neufs"

jeff said...

1010101 10 10101010 101 1010 10101010 11010101 110100111011010 101010101 111100101010101 10101 10101 1010 1010 10101001 1010 0101001 101010 10010101 11100010101 01101 Aïe ! Merde ! je me suis coincé les doigts !... 110010101 1010 101010 1010 010101010 11100100100 01010101 01010 1010101001 1010101 1010 1001010 1001010011111 01101 0 01011 0100 1110 100 100 0101111 0010 101001111 01010101 010 010110 01010101010 010 10101001

Ouffffff ! Quoi ? C'était pour te dire bonjour en langage binaire ! Ben quoi ! ! !...8:)

Ciao amigo...!

Roxana said...

(hahaha Jeff)


there was a huge discussion here when it came to introducing biometric passports, the representatives of the Orthodox Church protested because the security code was apparently 666 and they asked every one to refuse to new type of passport! incredible...

Owen said...

Hi Roxana, that's amazing, it's just a number. But then some folks are funny about numbers... some buildings don't have a 13th floor... some street addresses skip number 13 too, apparently.

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Jeff, 1010101010101010101010 ... that means... ha ha ha ha ha ha in binary...
:-D

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Karine, c'est terrible ça... et en plus j'ai faim et tu me parle des omelettes !

PS la musique sur ta page est merveilleuse... quelle paix... quelle inspiration...

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Hi Peter, sure, there's tons of hocus pocus out there, but I've always loved the odd side of math and strange things that numbers can do. There's a book called "Le Demon des Maths" which has all sorts of wonderful examples in it of fascinating numerical properties...

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Dear WaterCats, that is very cool, poetic justice no doubt in someone's eyes who named the town and the route number... well, I'm not superstitious or anything, so will have to go take a look when I get to Ireland... (one day soon I hope)

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Hey there Clo, a big howdy to you to... very glad to see you're back out and about. I understand about time and demands of other parts of our lives. I don't know how folks keep blogging away, it can get to be very time consuming, as it is a totally infinite thing... and our lives are very finite... mais qu'est-ce que je fais là, tu m'a écrit en français et je te répondais en anglais quand je sais que tu n'aime pas forcement traduire depuis la langue de Shakespeare... je suis un peut fatigué, j'ai zappé d'une langue à l'autre... cela m'arrive parfois. En tout cas, oui, vraiment, tes dernières photos sont MAGNIFIQUES... super-cali-fragilistique-expi-magnifique !
A bientôt Clo... et bises...
:-)
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Hi Lydia, hope your husband enjoys this. And it's not just in Europe that there has been alot (like way too much) material about various religions in the press... but that is just my personal opinion, I'm not out to offend anyone either, but imho there are two or three or four mass religions that get too much press coverage. I wish the whole world could just give all the divisive religious stuff a rest for a while. We need to be looking for common solutions to our common problems, and not constantly amplifying divisions... but who am I to say such things... a drop of water in the ocean, a grain of sand...

Gwen Buchanan said...

what a coincidence you mention 666... my husband just received a cheque in the mail today from a church that has an art sale every year to raise money for worthy causes.. yes you guessed it ... directly across the top from the church's address on the opposite corner was the cheque # of 666... I wonder if they noticed when they wrote it..... gave us a chuckle..