h Phoenix Qi: The numbers 63 and 64, the I Ching, and fractions of the Eye of Horus.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The numbers 63 and 64, the I Ching, and fractions of the Eye of Horus.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Eye of Horus (originally, The Eye of Ra) is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and power, from the deity Horus or Ra. In the Egyptian language the word for this symbol was "wadjet" (according to M. Stokstad "Art History").

The Eye of Horus, originally the Eye of Ra, symbolized royal power. The ancients believed this symbol of indestructibility would assist in rebirth. The Eye of Horus was found under the 12th layer of bandages on Tutankhamun's mummy. Horus was an ancient Egyptian sky god; one of his eyes was the sun and the other the moon. The eye represents a peregrine falcon's eye and the markings around it, including the "teardrop" marking sometimes found below the eye.

In arithmetic

In the Ancient Egyptian measurement system, the Eye Of Horus defined an Old Kingdom rounded off number limited by: one(1)= 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/32 + 1/64. The Eye of Horus statements created 6-term rounded off numbers. The Old Kingdom definition had dropped a 7th term, a remainder 1/64, that was needed to report exact series. During the Middle Kingdom exact series definitions and applications were written by creating 7-terms, or more, written as Egyptian fraction series, often scaled to 1/320 hekat. For example, the Akhmim Wooden Tablet wrote quotients in the Eye of Horus 6-terms, while writing 7th term remainders as Egyptian fractions, scaled to 1/320 of a hekat. The metaphorical side of this information linked the Old Kingdom six fractions, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64 to separate parts of the eye, as noted by:

· 1/2 was represented by smell, symbolized by the right side of the eye in a form of the nose. The pyramid text says: "Behold [the fire] rises in Abydos and it comes; I cause it to come, the Eye of Horus. It is set in order upon thy brow, O Osiris Khenti-Amenti; it is set in the shrine and rises on thy brow."

· 1/4 was represented by sight or the sensation of light, symbolized by the pupil. The pyramid text says: "Perfect is the Eye of Horus. I have delivered the Eye of Horus, the shining one, the ornament of the Eye of Ra, the Father of the Gods."

· 1/8 was represented by thought, symbolized by the eyebrow. The pyramid text says: "...the Eye of Horus hath made me holy...I will hide myself among you, O ye stars which are imperishable. My brow is the brow of Ra."

· 1/16 was represented by hearing, symbolized by the left side of the eye in the form of an arrow pointing towards the ear. The pyramid text says: "That which has been shut fast/dead hath been opened by the command of the Eye of Horus, which hath delivered me. Established are the beauties on the forehead of Ra."

Headline text

· 1/32 was represented by taste, by the sprouting of wheat or grain from the planted stalk, symbolized by a curved tail. The pyramid text says: "Come, the Eye of Horus hath delivered for me my soul, my ornaments are established on the brow of Ra. Light is on the faces of those who are in the members of Osiris."

· 1/64 was represented by touch, symbolized by a leg touching the ground, or what can also be thought of as a strong plant growing into the surface of the earth. The pyramid text says: "I shall see the Gods and the Eye of Horus burning with fire before my eyes!"

In the Middle Kingdom the 1/64 symbol denoted 'rest' and 'healing' as connected to the hekat, with the word dja being attached.

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What I find so amazing about this is that the numbers 63 and 64 have a very special significance in the Yijing (I Ching) also.

Hexagram 63 is called "After Completion." This is the only hexagram in the I Ching in which all six lines are in their proper places. There is an energetic law in the I Ching that favors the "weak" yin/broken lines resting on the "strong" yang/whole lines, so it is usually favorable that when comparing pairs of lines, the lower line be yang, the upper line be yin.

In observance of this energetic law or rule, yang lines in places (counting from the bottom to the top) 1, 3, and 5; yin lines in places 2, 4, and 6 constitute energetic perfection and balance. The pairs of lines are all in complete harmony: the yang and yin pairs of lines are 1/2, 3/4, and 5/6. They also are compared in pairs of lines 1/4, 2/5, 3/6.

So, in the I Ching as in the Eye of Horus, the number 63 appears to be the end. After all everything has been completed, all the lines of the hexagram are in harmony and in the right places. The trigram for water is above the trigram for fire, indicating that the energetic movement of each is toward the other….water moves down to combine with fire, and fire moves upward to combine with water. With its parts that add up to 63, the Eye of Horus appears to be whole and complete as well

So, what is the next step? Why is the Eye not a complete 64/64? Why does the final hexagram, hexagram 64, contain all the line comparison harmonies of hexagram 63, but have all the lines are in the wrong places, all the yang lines are "resting" on yin lines? That just won't do!

The next step after completing something is starting something else. A new life perhaps?

The final hexagram is named "Before Completion." The Image (referring to the upper and lower trigrams of three lines each) says: "Fire over water. The image of the condition before transition." Perhaps it means before the transition to immortality!

In Daoist philosophy, there is the concept of immortality. Each person is born with multiple souls. Some of these are heavenly souls (fire) and some are earthly (water). Through a practice called the Kan and Li Qigong (Water and Fire Energy Practice), a person can attain immortality by melding together his heavenly and earthly energies, his water and fire energies.

Some believe the I Ching is a map of how a person should work with their energies and souls to attain immortality. If they manage to complete the process, they reach the perfection of hexagram 63. If not, their energies move apart as they do in hexagram 64, the energies of fire rising skyward, and the energies of water flowing earthward, and immortality is not attained.

Some believe the Eye of Ra is a symbol of immortality also, especially the immortality of Ra of course, but there is something missing, here, too. The eye has everything it needs except a pupil….that part of the eye through which a person can see. An eye without a pupil is as good as no eye at all, for one cannot see with it. Is it possible that the missing 1/64 of the eye is the pupil, that part of the eye that would grant Vision, perhaps of an immortal or enlightened type?

Possibly this is so. The number 64 is the square of 8, and squares of numbers tend to have special significance, such as 3X3, and especially 7X7 (which we see in the saying "the seventh son of a seventh son").

The number 8 can represent two different ideas of wholeness or completeness. First, on a two-dimensional level, it can represent the eight directions; in time, it can represent the eight special days of the year, the two solstices and equinoxes as well as the cross-quarter days, the days that fall between the solstices and equinoxes. Second, on a three-dimensional level, the number 8 can represent the corners that form the earth (shades of the ancient "square earth" theory), and the four corners that hold up the sky! Without four heavenly corners, the sky would just fall and there would be no earth.

So, it seems very reasonable that the number 63 would symbolize a life well lived and well spent, and that 64 would be an indication of a life just starting over again!

In hexagram 64 we have balance and harmony, just in the wrong order, and if you give the Eye a pupil, that last little 1/64 of its weight, it will surely see it's way clear to return from the Otherworld of Osiris and make a new life here on Earth again.

Whether that new life is a rebirth or a resurrection is a topic for another post. :-)

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