May 28, 2013

In Plain Sight

Exploring the wilderness that is the Internet, I came across a video entitled "Secrets In Plain Sight," a nearly four hour marathon of images and icons. Anyone who has read Dan Brown will find the topics of this video familiar: Masons, Templars, Sacred Geography, and Sacred Diagrams. The idea is that certain figures, shapes, and relationships appear in many different and unexpected places, their presence no doubt due to some overarching mysterious group that oversees such things for its own purposes.

I don't find the idea behind this so crazy. I think that many of our commonplace activities as humans are expressions of inner truths that we didn't or don't quite see yet. For example, take words. Words are made up of letters. String words together and you get sentences. String sentences together and you get a book.

The meaning of a word is an emergent property, something that exists only in the whole rather than the parts. As individual letters, d or o or g mean nothing. Put them together and you get dog. Put words into a sentence and they mean something new. Put sentences together and you get a book, the meaning of which emerges out of the sentences but which cannot be found in any single sentence.

Clear as mud? Now think about DNA. It is composed of four nucleotides, commonly represented by the letters ATCG. These four nucleotides -- the letters of our genetic alphabet -- self-assemble into genes. Genes assemble together as chromosomes. The chromosomes in turn comprise the genome, which self-assembles into ... well, us. Letters to words to sentences to books.

My theory would be that we instinctively developed a system of letters and words and sentences and books as an unconscious outward expression of the genetic system inside out minds and bodies. We didn't know about DNA and genes when we created letters and words, but since we were built that way, it was perhaps natural that we would be predisposed to create replicas along those lines.

Anyway, it's a theory. To tie it back to the video, if there is some underlying principle of organization in life or the cosmos that we don't yet perceive, it would not be surprising to me to see those principles expressed in the things we make or think about. Sooner or later, we may figure it all out, but maybe there is more to this than meets the eye.

Now for the kicker. An earlier post of mine, A Frail Image, described this image I saw one day while walking along 14th Street:
Years ago, I worked in downtown D.C. right across the street from where the Holocaust Museum was being built. I would walk by the site during my lunch-time walks. Every so often, I would notice a very odd pattern of light on the north face of the building. It looked very much like script written in Hebrew, or at least what I would imagine such script to look like. I saw it maybe three times and thought to myself each time that there was something going on here and that I really ought to take a picture of it.
 So fast forward to this morning when I'm watching this video about secret symbols, and this appears:

Apologies for the quality, but this is a screen-shot from my monitor. This is called a Tetragrammaton, which literally means "four letters." The four letters are generally written as YHWH, a representation of the Hebrew name for God. Back to letters, again.

I saw this image in the video, and it just stopped me cold. Call me crazy, but what I saw on the side of the Holocaust Museum as it was being built was very similar to the above figure. You'll just have to take my word, but the moment I saw this in the video, I knew I had seen it before.

So, you tell me. What are the odds of reflected sunlight creating a pattern on a wall of a museum dedicated to commemorating the darkest hour in Jewish history, a pattern that in my mind anyway closely resembles the Hebrew letters used to name God?

Hidden in plain sight, indeed.

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