Posted in creator, gnosticism, music of the spheres, pythagoras

This is My Father’s World", Music of the Spheres, Maltbie Babcock, and Pythagoras, part 3

Part 1
Part 2
In part 1 of “This is My Father’s World”, Music of the Spheres, Maltbie Babcock, and Pythagoras, I looked at how Pythagoras intuitively understood the harmony and order of the natural world, and the cosmos. Pythagoras in effect discovered music theory, and within it, musical spacing, octaves, and vibrations. He extrapolated from his discovery that a similar harmony and order in the planetary cycles and orbits must exist, and named his astronomical theory Music of the Spheres because of the order and harmony within it. Pythagoras even thought the planets made music in their courses. When you sing Pastor Maltbie Babcock’s hymn “This Is My Father’s World, Babcock references music of the spheres and it is specifically to Pythagoras’s concept Babcock refers.

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought

In Part 2 I looked at how Pythagoras is thought to the be the progenitor of string theory, the notion in physics that everything vibrates and strings are the elements that make up the universe. Pythagoras was very smart, and his experiments were carefully done. However, he was too smart for his own good, and wound up on the other side of God, promoting knowledge as the thing to be worshiped. More on that in a moment.

We looked at Kepler, the 16th century astronomer whose brilliance pushed forward Pythagoras’s theories much further, and we ended up in the twentieth century by looking at modern string theory.

Al this to say that Romans 1:18-23 are amazing verses.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

Pythagoras, and Plato who brought Pythagoras’s concept to the people, for that matter, had incredible intellects. Yet when the truth was shown to them, they went away from it. See what Pythagoras and his followers believed:

Pythagoras conceived the universe to be an immense monochord, with its single string connected at its upper end to absolute spirit and at its lower end to absolute matter–in other words, a cord stretched between heaven and earth. Counting inward from the circumference of the heavens, Pythagoras, according to some authorities, divided the universe into nine parts; according to others, into twelve parts. The Pythagoreans believed that everything which existed had a voice and that all creatures were eternally singing the praise of the Creator. Man fails to hear these divine melodies because his soul is enmeshed in the illusion of material existence. When he liberates himself from the bondage of the lower world with its sense limitations, the music of the spheres will again be audible as it was in the Golden Age. Harmony recognizes harmony, and when the human soul regains its true estate it will not only hear the celestial choir but also join with it in an everlasting anthem of praise to that Eternal Good controlling the infinite number of parts and conditions of Being.

Pythagoras and Plato saw a creator, but not the God in creation. You see the almost in Pythagoras. he almost got it right. There is a cord which connects us to the Creator. Job 30:11 speaks of it, and Solomon speaks of our connection to eternity by God’s setting it in our heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

You see the almost in the belief that all creatures have a voice and respond to the Creator. Jesus said in Luke 19:40 that we cannot keep silent, if we did, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” And we know from Romans 8:22 that “For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” and that “all creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:19).

However, it is not true that ‘Man fails to hear these divine melodies because his soul is enmeshed in the illusion of material existence.’ We fail to connect to the ‘divine’ because of our sin, we are separated from God and in a discordant relationship with Him. We are His enemy and He is our judge. The material world isn’t the enemy, our flesh and sinful nature is.

Pythagoras was not only the first to call himself a philosopher but also a priest -initiate of a mystery religion influenced heavily by Orphism, which taught that the essence of the gods is defined by number. Numbers, indeed, expressed the essence of all created things.” (source)

Out of Pythagorean cults came Gnosticism, which teaches based on Gnosis, the knowledge of transcendence arrived at by way of interior, intuitive means. This is exactly as Pythagoras said, we escape the material world by self-empowered actions.

Pythagoras suppressed the truth about his helpless state, and instead believed he could raise himself to a satisfactory level of spiritual attainment on his own power. God had made it plain to them. Yet they suppressed the truth in unrighteousness and worshiped the creation. In Pythagoras’s case, he worshiped self, knowledge, and numbers. As far as numbers go, Pythagoras saw God’s harmony but worshiped the numbers. Out of his teachings came Sacred Numbers and Occult Mysteries:

Pythagoreans … believed that man can realise his divine nature by knowing the universal principle which governs the cosmos (a word coined by Pythagoras himself, meaning “world-order,” a world ordered in a state of mathematical harmony). This principle is Number, which is “the principle, the source and the root of all things”.

Wikipedia explains, The tetractys, or tetrad, is a triangular figure consisting of ten points arranged in four rows: one, two, three, and four points in each row, which is the geometrical representation of the fourth triangular number. As a mystical symbol, it was very important to the secret worship of the Pythagoreans.

Plato was one of the three sources from which we understand Pythagorean theories, since no writings by Pythagoras survive. Plato said, “Geometry is knowledge of the eternally existent. Numbers are the highest degree of knowledge. It is knowledge itself.”

Out of Pythagorean mysticism came Rosicrucianism, a secret society still around today and which heavily influenced the Freemasons.

is it so surprising that one man who responded to the harmony and order of the world could go so wayward with the truth? No, for the bible explains it. In Genesis 3 when the serpent spoke with Eve, a few simple sentences gave rise to the false doctrines. 1 John 2:16 says “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Johannes Kepler saw the same thing as Pythagoras yet he was a committed Christian. According to this essay from Answers in Genesis, “
During his youth, Kepler had become a committed Christian and dedicated himself to serving God. As he said shortly before he died, he believed ‘only and alone in the service of Jesus Christ. In Him is all refuge, all solace. Kepler intended to serve God as a Lutheran minister after completing his university education. However, God had other plans for this uniquely gifted young man. … Kepler strongly believed that ‘The world of nature, the world of man, the world of God—all three fit together.’ In particular, Kepler reasoned that because the universe was designed by an intelligent Creator, it should function according to some logical pattern. To him, the idea of a chaotic universe was inconsistent with God’s wisdom.”

Where Pythagoras, brilliant as he was, saw the logical pattern, he attributed it to Number, where Kepler attributed the logical pattern to God.

In the 20th century, plenty of scientists are born again but not one I mentioned who is an important contributor to understanding of string theory: Dr. Brian Greene. In answering an interview question whether he is religious, he said,

I think there’s a compatibility as long as your religious sensibility’s not literal. If you try to literally interpret teachings of the Bible you run smack into some pretty significant problems with what we’ve discovered in science. But if you’re willing to view religion more in a Spinozan or even Einsteinian way—that there is an overarching order and harmony that the laws of physics represent and reveal, and that order and harmony, if you want, ascribe it to some deeper theological origin—then I don’t think science has much to say about that.

As this writer at the University of Connecticut Physics Department stated, “Most of the founders of Quantum Mechanics started out with studying music. Strangely enough, the motion of the electron in a hydrogen atom actually does follow the Music of the Spheres, to a certain extent.”

Yet many of them went the way of Pythagoras or Greene, and not Kepler. And lest one think that Pythagorean theory is old news, it is still influencing people today with its Gnostic appeal. This article from Psychology Today attests, “Can Pythagorean Philosophy Help You to Live a Better Life?”

In keeping with these musical/mathematical aspects of the universe, a key construct of Pythagorean philosophy was maintaining personal harmony. In my book, How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life (Conari, 2011), I describe the Bios Pythagorikos (The Pythagorean Way of Life), whereby a person endeavored to “tune” themselves in order to be in harmonic alignment with the larger universal harmony via a healthy mind, body and spirit that are nurtured by rigorous physical exercise, a healthy diet, daily meditational walks, as well as deep contemplative meditations on math, music, cosmology and philosophy.”

“Once a person was well-tuned and in vibrational alignment, they could then self-actualize and become fully engaged human beings. The mystic Pythagoras even believed that such a well-tuned person could raise their level of consciousness and awareness and thus be able to “peek behind the veil” and experience what some have called “ultimate reality”.

When you hear that claptrap, of vibrations and harmony of the body and self-actualization and contemplative endeavors and alignment…now you know where it came from. Solomon, wise Solomon, said there is nothing new under the sun. All false doctrines, and all false reactions to true doctrines come from satan, who began his quest to divert us from the truth in heaven and then on earth in the garden.

Look at Maltbie Babcock’s reaction to the creation. He responded to the harmony and order of creation and the progression of the planets and included the phrase ‘music of the spheres’ rightly in his hymn. Maltbie Babcock saw the creation, the order and harmony of the advance of seasons, the planets, and the natural world itself, and worshiped the Creator. Same knowledge, different reactions.

When Maltbie Davenport Babcock lived in Lockport, he took frequent walks along the Niagara Escarpment to enjoy the overlook’s panoramic vista of upstate New York scenery and Lake Ontario, telling his wife he was “going out to see the Father’s world“. (Wikipedia)

Babcock saw beauty and harmony in his Father’s world, and praised the Creator for it. What is your reaction? Do you praise Jesus Christ, the sustainer and Redeemer of our fallen world? Our Creator who paints sunsets int he sky and twinkled the named stars for his own pleasure? Praise and worship of God is the only reaction acceptable. Not worship of numbers or intellect or the spiritual world or the body. God. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Creator, and He saw fit to create us and put us on our Father’s world.

Don’t be seduced by the Music of the Spheres, be entranced with the Maker of the heavenly harmony, which He has set in our heart.

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Part 1
Part 2

Posted in kepler, music of the spheres, mysticism, pythagoras, romans 1

This is My Father’s World", Music of the Spheres, Maltbie Babcock, and Pythagoras, part 2

In part 1 of “This is My Father’s World”, Music of the Spheres, Maltbie Babcock, and Pythagoras, I looked at how Pythagoras intuitively understood the harmony and order of the natural world, and the cosmos. Pythagoras in effect discovered music theory, and within it, musical spacing, octaves, and vibrations. He extrapolated from his discovery that a similar harmony and order in the planetary cycles and orbits must exist, and named his astronomical theory Music of the Spheres.

This theory, brought to the masses by Plato, spawned a plethora of false constructs, including a sect of philosophy whose followers were called Pythagoreans, and also the philosophies of Gnosticism, Rosicrucianism, and other “Mystery” philosophies which ended up worshiping the knowledge or the numbers rather than the God who created them.

However, Pythagoras’s notion that “everything vibrates” is a good one. Until 1970 when string theory was said to have been invented by Yoichiro Nambu, particle physics had no real, satisfactory explanation for they way things were. Why is there a numerical beauty behind everything? Why does the human soul respond to beauty the way it does? Why is there beauty? How did the cosmos come to be so orderly?

Christians know the answer to these questions, and all other questions, asked and unasked: God. He is the Creator of Life, the sustainer of life, and the judge of life. But others, like Pythagoras, brushed up against the truth which had been made plain to them, and rejected it so as to worship the creation —

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,g in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20)

As for string theory, Pythagoras was on the right track that everything vibrates, something that waited 2000 years to be more fully explained, until 1970 when Yoichiro Nambu founded string theory.

Prior to that time, elementary particles were analyzed in some cases as points — an attribute which was clearly an approximation at best, and at worst, untenable. Even the idea that elementary particles were made up of quarks, was not wholly satisfactory, in that this concept had its own stable of problems.”

“However, a perhaps equally valid viewpoint is that “string theory” actually began with Pythagoras, whose philosophy centered about the power and harmony of numbers (e.g. the Pythagorean Theorem) and that mystical tetrakyts, or foursomes, held the secret to the universe. It is, after all, strings where we most easily encounter the harmonies.”

“Pythagoras’ theories have a lot of appeal, particularly in the manner in which the beauty of numbers correspond with the melodies and harmonies so pleasant to the ear. Eugene Wigner, a theoretical physicist has noted what he calls “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics. Again and again, abstract and beautiful mathematical relationships explored for their own aesthetic sake, are later discovered to have exact correspondence with the real world — a coincidence that is quite remarkable.” The unique relationship between mathematics and Music is but one example of this “unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.” ” (source)

One of those numerical and harmonious aesthetics is seen in the orderliness of the numbers that medieval mathematician Fibonacci discovered, including the Golden Mean, the Golden Spiral, the Golden Section, and the Golden String. I’ve written about Fibonacci numbers before. Dr. Knott at the University of Surrey in the UK wrote about the relationship between the Fibonacci sequence and Pythagorean triangles.

Fibonacci spiral!

Fibonacci numbers in nature!

Creative Commons, flickr photo by Fantômette *
Wow! More Fibonacci!
Creative Commons, flickr photo by Mark Strozier

But as much as I’d love to write more about Fibonacci numbers, I must not get sidetracked, lol. You see the orderliness of nature! Pythagoras and Kepler saw the same in the universe, expressed through math. What Pythagoras was really saying, if he could say it in the 20th century, was that everything is a vibrating superstring. Continuing with Dr. Knott,

Modern Superstring theories are based on generalizing the notion of a point particle to that of a string-like object. “In an analogy to a string of piano wire, the lowest note of the string corresponds to massless or very light particles, such as the photon, graviton, or electron; the harmonics or higher modes of the string correspond to the very massive particles… ””

And of course, these strings vibrate, just as Pythagoras envisioned when he noticed the harmony in the lyre’s octaves, and in the universe’s precision of planetary orbits.

Johannes Kepler took Pythagoras’s theories and extended them much further.

Born in 1571, Johannes Kepler was a precocious and brilliant (if sickly) boy plucked from the mire of his impoverished circumstances and given a first-rate education. He discovered, among other things, the three laws of planetary motion. His constant accuracy in his experiments and maths did much to establish the truth of heliocentric astronomy, which was the theory that that planets move around the Sun rather than the Earth. Pythagoras thought the opposite.

Wikipedia sums up Kepler’s cherished work, begun in 1599, a tome called “Harmony of the World“, (Harmonices Mundi).

While medieval philosophers spoke metaphorically of the “music of the spheres”, Kepler discovered physical harmonies in planetary motion. He found that the difference between the maximum and minimum angular speeds of a planet in its orbit approximates a harmonic proportion. For instance, the maximum angular speed of the Earth as measured from the Sun varies by a semitone (a ratio of 16:15), from mi to fa, between aphelion and perihelion.

Kepler discovers that all but one of the ratios of the maximum and minimum speeds of planets on neighboring orbits approximate musical harmonies within a margin of error of less than a diesis (a 25:24 interval). The orbits of Mars and Jupiter produce the one exception to this rule, creating the unharmonic ratio of 18:19. In fact, the cause of Kepler’s dissonance might be explained by the fact that the asteroid belt separates those two planetary orbits, as discovered in 1801, 150 years after Kepler’s death.”

Pretty neat. Kepler definitely had a brain in his head.

Cut to today and we see that the physicists are still attempting to explain the harmony of the movements of the celestial bodies.

According to physicist Brian Greene, author of The Fabric of the Cosmos (2004) and considered one of the founders of string theory: “According to superstring theory, every particle is composed of a tiny filament of energy…which is shaped like a little string. And just as a violin string can vibrate in different patterns, each of which produces different musical tone, the filaments of superstring theory can also vibrate in different patterns.” (source)

Not unlike from Pythagoras’s universe being a giant lyre-like instrument, vibrating heavenly harmonics, is it? Nowadays with the ability to translate astronomical data into sound (sonification) we can listen to the music of the spheres that Pythagoras said was inaudible.

Here is a sonification of the transits of the remarkable Kepler 11 planetary system. It is developed by Alex Harrison Parker of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He explains his sonification, here

You can go to the Kepler/NASA sonification page and listen to more. They’re cool!

Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun. This includes all the science modern man has extracted from his engagement with the world (or the cosmos). Pythagoras, Kepler, Greene…no matter what the century, God has already made it plain to them, as the verse in Romans 1:18-20 says.

As man advances in technology, we can refine what God has made plain to us, such as with a Kepler telescope. But in the old bible are the ‘new’ scientific facts that the earth is a sphere, the universe is expanding, the number of stars exceeds a billion, the second law of thermodynamics indicating the universe will wear out, that the earth is suspended in space, and so on. Any person in the Spirit who reads the bible will have these facts illuminated to him, and it has been so since God revealed them.

Pythagoras’s discovery isn’t new, neither are Kepler’s or Nambu’s or Greene’s. They aren’t new because God told us and made it plain, but when man discovers these things apart from God, it makes all the eternal difference. More on that in the final part three.

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Part 1 
Part 3

Posted in "This is My Father's World", creator, Maltbie Babcock, music of the spheres, pythagoras

"This is My Father’s World", Music of the Spheres, Maltbie Babcock, and Pythagoras

Part 2 here

This is My Father’s World is a hymn written sometime in the 1800s by Maltbie Babcock, a preacher in upstate New York. It was published after his death in 1901, and set to music by Frank L. Sheppard. It references Psalm 104; Psalm 24; Acts 4:24; Acts 4.

If you ever heard the hymn “This Is My Father’s World” there is a lyric in the first stanza that mentions the “music of the spheres”. Hymnary.org explains the hymn’s lyric in context-

The text is a confession of faith and trust, a testimony that all creation around us is the handiwork of our Father, who made the creation (st. 1), charged us to take good care of it (st. 2), and continues to exercise his kingship over it … The phrase “music of the spheres” in stanza 1 refers to the ancient belief that the planets made music or harmony as they revolved in the universe.

Pythagoras, Plato, Kepler, Bohr, and Pastor Babcock all brushed up against the same order and harmony in creation in math, astronomy, and music, and each of these people throughout the centuries reacted to the divine knowledge of this creation differently, just as Romans 1 said they would. Some saw harmony and order in creation and worshiped it, while others saw harmony and order in creation and worshiped the Creator.

Musica Universalis is the Latin term for the Pythagorean philosophy called Music of the Spheres. Pythagoras initially developed the thought that the planets made music. This notion is not as far off as it sounds- Pythagoras was really on to string theory. Stay with me during this three part essay series as we look at the harmony of the order of the universe, math, and music.

Pythagoras and the Harmonious Blacksmith

“Musick has Charms to soothe a savage Breast” William Congreve, ‘The Mourning Bride’, 1697. Pythagoras was a mathematician and philosopher who lived in the 6th century BC. He is widely accepted to have founded music theory. Here is how he did it:

 He was walking past a blacksmith’s shop one day and heard the different tones of differently weighted hammers striking the anvils- in harmony. He heard the difference between discordant notes and harmonic notes, and realized after further exploration that there was an explanation- ratios.

By some divine stroke of luck he happened to walk past the forge of a blacksmith and listened to the hammers pounding iron and producing a variegated harmony of reverberations between them, except for one combination of sounds.” According to Iamblichus, [4th century scholar who wrote about the Pythagorean sect] Pythagoras immediately ran into the forge to investigate the harmony of the hammers. He noticed that most of the hammers could be struck simultaneously to generate a harmonious sound, whereas any combination containing one particular hammer always generated an unpleasant noise.

He analyzed the hammers and realized that those that were harmonious with each other had a simple mathematical relationship–their masses were simple ratios or fractions of each other. That is to say that hammers half, two- thirds, or three-quarters the weight of a particular hammer would all generate harmonious sounds. On the other hand, the hammer that was generating disharmony when struck along with any of the other hammers had a weight that bore no simple relationship to the other weights.” (source)

Listen to Handel’s “Harmonious Blacksmith” from his fifth suite for harpsichord here.Whether the blacksmith story is legend or truth is hard to say- there is so little written about Pythagoras himself, though lots about the sect he founded.

Already steeped in music for pleasure, Pythagoras was an excellent lyre player and after the blacksmith incident he began to notice ratios in stringed instruments also. Pythagoras knew what much of previous antiquity had long understood but had not known why: audible tones based on low-number relationships produce harmonious sounds that are easy on the ear and soothe the soul. Apparently at some point, blacksmith incident or not, the penny dropped for Pythagoras and he discovered octaves.

Frontispiece to Theorica Musice, Franchino Gafurio, 1492

The upper left illustration depicts Jubal, the biblical father of music, and six blacksmiths with differing size hammers striking an anvil. This relates to the story that the young Pythagoras was first moved to investigate musical intervals on hearing the notes produced by different size hammers at a blacksmith’s shop. The upper right illustration depicts Pythagoras testing the interval of an octave between bells of size 16 and 8 and between glasses filled in the proportion 16 and 8. The lower left illustration shows Pythagoras testing intervals on a stringed instrument and the lower right illustration shows Pythagoras and his pupil Philolaus testing intervals by means of flutes. (source)

Early musicians had little to no understanding of why particular notes were harmonious and had no objective system for tuning their instruments. Instead they tuned their lyres purely by ear until a harmony emerged– i.e., until it sounded good. Pythagoras used to say they were torturing the pegs. Yet Pythagoras thought intuitively that music held deeper properties. The hidden ratios were one such deeper property, and its soothing effect was another. He said the vibrations of the music went “to the brain and the blood and transmitted to the soul.” (quote from Nichomachus, a Pythagorean who wrote the “Manual of Harmonics.”).

Pythagoras and Music Therapy

Pythagoras believed that music’s harmony on earth, in the universe, and through the body was so unified and so pervasive that the soul could be calmed by certain compositions. If Pythagoras had just read the bible, he would know this to be true.

In 2 Kings 3:15 it is written, “But now bring me a minstrel.” Pulpit Commentary says, “A player on the harp seems to be intended. Music was cultivated in the schools of the prophets (1 Samuel 10:5; 1 Chronicles 25:1-3), and was employed to soothe and quiet the soul, to help it to forget things earthly and external, and bring it into that ecstatic condition in which it was most open to the reception of Divine influences.”

So, music was the precursor to prayer and petition and thanks and praise! Music was used as a vehicle to alter a physical, emotional, and biological state; and to prepare the heart and mind for close communion with God. Pythagoras however missed the point of music, which was to praise God and not to self-actualize by engaging in works that raise our vibrations so as to meld with the Good.

Mike Mora of Morart Stewdios explains the music theory Pythagoras discovered, including musical spacing and its effects:

In ancient Greece, singers would use a simple stringed instrument called the lyre. This had many “versions” with the most common being 4-string, 7 -string and 10-string.  Pythagoras, using the 7 string lyre discovered that when tuning a lyre to “standard” tuning that the invoked mood was light.  Yet when tuning another lyre a note higher … that the mood was somewhat darker. The main key here is that the same notes were played but the mood was different.” (source)

There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres. ~Pythagoras.While musical spacing is a terrific advance in music theory, using music to calm a soul devoid of Holy Spirit is a pointless endeavor. Pythagoras came so close in understanding the divine nature of music but veered so far away from it when suppressing the truth about God in pursuit of mystical musical meanings.

He applied music to healing and health rather than praise and petition. To that end, Pythagoras claimed to have cured various ailments of the the spirit, soul, and body by having specifically composed musical selections played for the one who needed curing.

The therapeutic music of Pythagoras is described by Iamblichus (ca. 245-330) Preeminent Neoplatonist of his age) thus: “And there are certain melodies devised as remedies against the passions of the soul, and also against despondency and lamentation, which Pythagoras invented as things that afford the greatest assistance in these maladies. And again, he employed other melodies against rage and anger, and against every aberration of the soul. There is also another kind of modulation invented as a remedy against desires.” (source)

In this way, Pythagoras replicated without understanding the fact of music’s effect upon the soul, as 1 Samuel below shows. He had invented a sacred music, but not the sacred music based on the God of the bible, as the Psalms are.

The only remedy against ‘desires’ is repentance, salvation, and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence to help the person resist ‘desires’ AKA sins. (Galatians 5:16, Colossians 1:29). We see the effect music has upon the soul not from Pythagoras but in 1 Samuel 16:23,

So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

Gill said, “so Saul was refreshed, and was well; became cheerful, his grief was removed, his black and gloomy apprehensions of things were dispersed, and he was cured of his melancholy disorder for the present…”

As for Pythagoras and the music of the spheres, the music of the heavenly bodies,

Pythagoras and his followers conceived of the universe as a vast lyre, in which each planet, vibrating at a specific pitch, in relationships similar to the stopping of the monochord’s string, harmonized with other heavenly bodies to create a “music of the spheres,” a concept which remained viable for centuries. Even though his theory was primitive, it serves to give us a picture which was later developed by philosophers such as Boethius, Johannes Kepler, … Robert Fludd, and, in contemporary times, by scientists working with quantum relationships.” (By Melanie Richards, M.Mus.,)

[**note: Robert Fludd was a 1600s occult philosopher]

The astronomy of the Pythagoreans marked an important advance in ancient scientific thought, for they were the first to consider the earth as a globe revolving with the other planets around a central fire. They explained the harmonious arrangement of things as that of bodies in a single, all-inclusive sphere of reality, moving according to a numerical scheme. Because the Pythagoreans thought that the heavenly bodies are separated from one another by intervals corresponding to the harmonic lengths of strings, they held that the movement of the spheres gives rise to a musical sound-the “harmony of the spheres.” (Encarta encyclopedia 2000)

In the Pythagorean concept of the music of the spheres, the interval between the earth and the sphere of the fixed stars was considered to be a diapason–the most perfect harmonic interval. ~From Stanley’s The History of Philosophy.

Pythagoras thought that the celestial bodies vibrated too, that the heavens themselves made a harmonious music in their orderly progressions around orbits. In effect, Pythagoras thought that “everything vibrates,” which isn’t far off the mark given what we now know about electromagnetic vibrations and waves.

Unfortunately, in none of these philosophies connected to Pythagoras did the Pythagoreans in the main connect to the One True God, who created that order and harmony. They went Hermetic, they went Gnostic, they went Rosicrucian. They went every which way except Christian. More on that in part 3.

In the second part let’s look at Pythagoras’s notion of string theory, from his time in 500BC to Kepler in the 1600s, to Niels Bohr and the modern quantum physics of the early 20th century. In part 3 I’ll take a look at how close but how far Pythagoras came to the truth, and how easy it is for satan to divert us when our soul intuitively responds to God in creation. I’ll finish part 3 with Preacher Babcock and My Father’s World.

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Part 2 here
Part 3 here

Posted in end time, end time. prophecy, music of the spheres, plato code, pythagoras

Cracking the Plato code leads to…God

In interesting science and religion news, with a little philosophy thrown in, a Science historian cracks “the Plato code”.

“A science historian at The University of Manchester has cracked “The Plato Code” – the long disputed secret messages hidden in the great philosopher’s writings. … Dr Jay Kennedy, whose findings are published in the leading US journal Apeiron, reveals that Plato used a regular pattern of symbols, inherited from the ancient followers of Pythagoras, to give his books a musical structure. A century earlier, Pythagoras had declared that the planets and stars made an inaudible music, a ‘harmony of the spheres’. Plato imitated this hidden music in his books. The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea – the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. The decoded messages also open up a surprising way to unite science and religion. The awe and beauty we feel in nature, Plato says, shows that it is divine; discovering the scientific order of nature is getting closer to God.”

This brings up two concepts I will explore: mathematical harmony in nature, and the music that harmony makes as expressed by Pythagoras through today’s sonification of the Large Hadron Collider’s Higgs-Boson (“God particle”). Bear with me. There’s pictures 😉

God said He is evident in nature. He said that it is so plain, on That Day no one will have any excuse for not seeing it.

since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)

I’ve often pointed to Fibonacci as one example of this. Fibonacci numbers are used in the analysis of exchange markets, in strategies such as Fibonacci retracement (in financial mathematics), and are used in computer algorithms such as the Fibonacci search technique. They also appear in biological settings, such as branching in trees, arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruitlets of a pineapple, the flowering of artichoke, an uncurling fern and the arrangement of a pine cone. The sequence is used in architecture, math, seen in nature, music is based on it.

What IS the Fibonacci sequence that is prevalent the foundation of so many disciplines? The series begins with 0 and 1. After that, use the simple rule: Add the last two numbers to get the next. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987… and so on.  The end result is mathematically structured, architecturally pleasing, biologically intelligent, it is also beautiful–

Fibonacci in nature

Fibonacci in Architecture- in a spiral of the lighthouse stairs
In the proportions of a Greek Temple

In musical scales- “Notes in the scale of western music are based on natural harmonics that are created by ratios of frequencies. Ratios found in the first seven numbers of the Fibonacci series (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8) are related to key frequencies of musical notes. Fibonacci and phi relationships are often found in the timing of musical compositions. As an example, the climax of songs is often found at roughly the phi point (61.8%) of the song, as opposed to the middle or end of the song. In a 32 bar song, this would occur in the 20th bar.” source

For laughs, Fibonacci in cartoon:

The above cartoon shows an unconventional sports application of the Fibonacci numbers (left two panels). (The right panel instead applies the Perrin sequence).

One form of divine revelation is nature through its creation which teaches us about God. Mathematicians have not been able to explain why this sequence is so ubiquitous across so many disciplines but acknowledge it occurs too frequently to call it an anomaly.

That Plato was able to see the divine in the universe and attribute it to scientific order was revolutionary in his day, when it was supposed that the many gods fighting with each other was what caused chaos in the heavens and upset for the people on earth. It was the reason he had to code his findings. It was blasphemy. His own teacher was executed for publicly discussing the concept and Plato was at risk for even thinking it. But he did think it.

Fallout for the Plato Code undoubtedly will be ongoing. The author says the impact of what Plato had coded is as big as if archaeologists opened a tomb and found Jesus diary. He also likened it to the missing link between science and religion…However, these things are not revolutionary for bible believers. (I hope). Paul wrote about in Romans thousands of years ago. The LORD’S harmonizing presence in nature is also expressed in the Psalms and in Job, among other books, that are even older than Romans. However, if this philosophy paper on the Plato Code has the impact on secular culture today in the mind of even one lost person, The Plato Code will be a treasure beyond all compare.

On to the second concept: music. Sorry this is long. I don’t like long blog entries myself. The Plato Code guy said that “Plato used a regular pattern of symbols, inherited from the ancient followers of Pythagoras, to give his books a musical structure. A century earlier, Pythagoras had declared that the planets and stars made an inaudible music, a ‘harmony of the spheres’. Plato imitated this hidden music in his books.” Wikipedia says this ‘music’ is not literally audible, but a harmonic and/or mathematical and/or religious concept.”

It was made audible this week!

Immediately I thought of the new sound library from the folks at the Large Hadron Collider. Last week they announced that they had found a way to sonify, or put to sound, the music that the Higgs-Boson subatomic particle makes when it crashes and then reverberates. Their search for the Higgs-Boson, known as the “God Particle” is supposed to be the glue that holds the universe together.

In a background news article published in 2008 explains:
“In the wake of centuries of effort to seek deep connections between music and mathematics, a team today concludes that music does have geometry. More than 2000 years ago, Pythagoras discovered that pleasing musical intervals could be described using simple ratios. And the idea of the so-called musica universalis or “music of the spheres” emerged in the Middle Ages which said that the proportions in the movements of the celestial bodies – the sun, moon and planets – could be viewed as a form of music, inaudible but perfectly harmonious.”

It IS viewed as a form of music, inaudible but perfectly harmonious as confirmed by an upload this week:

“But Richard Dobson – a composer involved with the project – says he is struck at how musical the products of the collisions sound. “We can hear clear structures in the sound, almost as if they had been composed. They seem to tell a little story all to themselves. They’re so dynamic and shifting all the time, it does sound like a lot of the music that you hear in contemporary composition,” he explained. Although the project’s aim is to provide particle physicists with a new analysis tool, Archer Endrich believes that it may also enable us to eavesdrop on the harmonious background sound of the Universe. … And Mr Endrich says that those who have been involved in the project have felt something akin to a religious experience while listening to the sounds. … “It’s so intriguing and there’s so much mystery and so much to learn. The deeper you go, the more of a pattern you find and it’s fascinating and it’s uplifting.” (It is God who made that pattern.)

You can go to the LHC sounds library (loads slow) and listen to the universe, the music of the spheres, the musica universalis, that Pythagoras proposed existed over 2500 years ago. Or click this link to an MP3 to listen to one of them and click here to read an explanation of what you are listening to.

Kepler, 20 centuries after Pythagoras, turned his attention to Pythagoras’s concept of musica universalis, in studies on chronology and “harmony,” the numerical relationships among music (Fibonacci numbers), mathematics and the physical world, and their astrological significance. He wrote in his Harmonice Munde (1619) that he wishes “to erect the magnificent edifice of the harmonic system of the musical scale . . . as God, the Creator Himself, has expressed it in harmonizing the heavenly motions.”

Proving once again, that “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)”