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The Twin Pillars of Hercules

Posted: October 22, 2009

After finishing my last article Eleven that described my experience (and apparent widespread phenomenon) of 'seeing elevens', I watched Avia's excellent video about this same subject. Her comments about the symbolic meaning of two ones and duality are right on target, which prompted me to further connect this phenomena with the physics and mythology of harmonic resonance.

As many of you know, the symbolism of dual pillars are found throughout history. The most recent are the twin towers, but it goes way back. From Alexander the Great finding twin golden pillars with strange inscriptions to the twin pillars in Solomon's temple to (my favorite) the Pillars of Hercules in Greek mythology.

This last story goes as follows. When Hercules was tackling his twelve labours, he came upon a great mountain. This mountain was said to have once been Atlas holding up the world. But instead of climbing the mountain, Hercules smashed through it using his mighty club, thus cleaving it into two mountains. These became the two mountains either side of the Strait of Gibraltar located on the western-most end of the Mediterranean Sea between Spain and north Africa, opening to the Atlantic. They were named the Pillars of Hercules.

Interestingly, Plato claimed that the lost realm of Atlantis was situated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, placing it in the realm of the Unknown. Much later, Francis Bacon wrote a treatise about a utopian New World entitled 'The New Atlantis,' within which he suggested the establishment of a new 'House of Solomon' for the advancement of learning. This House of Solomon actually grew out of the Masonic lodge in London into what is now the Royal Society. Furthermore, as lord high treasurer for the king of England, he funded the Virginia colony in America and, with the help of his Masonic friends, created a system of government guided by geometry and balance, now the United States. This is nothing less than Bacon's New Atlantis - guided by the House of Solomon on the far side of the twin Pillars of Hercules.

Now, I am convinced that this story of Hercules (along with many other Greek fables and parables) was intended to symbolize and teach the physics of resonance throughout Nature, exemplified in music and demonstrated in cymatic resonance patterns. I detail this in my book, but here is how I see it related to the physics of resonance and the symbolism of 11.

If you take a cross-section of the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar with a mountain on either side and water in the middle, you have the symbolism of resonance (in the dual mountains) and damping (in the water between). You will also have the symbolism of eleven and even the twin towers. Can it be a coincidence that this is exactly the physical distribution of consonance and dissonance, resonance and damping in a musical octave?

The following diagram from my book shows the two regions of maximum resonance in the musical harmonic series highlighted as golden pillars in the standing wave of a single tone and the interference pattern of two diverging tones reflected over an octave. The pillars are golden because they indicate a spiraling region of natural (Fibonacci or golden ratio) damping inside the 'pillars' that physically 'hold up' the formation of harmonics in any kind of coherent vibration (e.g., a musical tone or a laser beam). The curves themselves are in fact first-derivative Gaussian curves used extensively in statistics to model distribution of countless things in Nature from sunspot cycles to the shape of the human brain. While it is never said this way by modern physicists, this curve is Nature's one universal resonance and damping curve. It represents Einstein's curvature of space (he got the idea from music).


Now, given the importance of music and harmony in Greek mythology and harmonic geometries to the Egyptians before them, I don't think it is a stretch to say these ancient civilizations knew about this distribution of harmonic interference quite well. As acoustician John Reid and others have suggested, there is evidence the ancients were aware of cymatic patterns and could have easily plotted out this curve with a series of cymatic experiments. After all, they could have easily gotten the idea by looking at a common rounded leaf, which is actually a reflected first derivative Gaussian distribution exactly like this diagram, only in polar coordinates encircling the stem.

So, it is very likely that the Pillars of Hercules (descended from Atlas as a symbol of damping in the Underworld) are the story of the duality of resonance and damping in holding up the structure of the world and entire cosmos.

Were the twin towers this same symbol for the New Atlantis, erected in the heart of the New World's financial center only to be knocked down once again? Is all of this related to the global phenomena of people seeing the twin pillars of eleven when they glance unconsciously at the clock? Could the twin pillar symbols we use for 11 have been selected over any other symbol long ago because of this ancient knowledge? And as Avia suggests, are we now being subconsciously drawn to walk between the pillars into harmony?

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RE: The Twin Pillars of Hercules
By: sleuthold - October 22, 2009 09:24 PM MST
Nature's Divine Music shall prevail... welcoming all to the next age. I saw elevens on a clock six different times today.
Divine Music