WITH DR. JEFFREY MISHLOVE
Stan Tenen, March 15, 1999
Jeffrey Mishlove: Hello, everybody out in Wisdomland. We're back again
for another week of Virtual College broadcasting live from Marin County,
California at the base of Mt. San Pedro. Many people don't know where Mt.
San Pedro is, most people have never heard of Mt. San Pedro. It's actually
a State Park here in California, which is based on that mountain, China
Camp State Park. And we're right at the base of it, it's a lovely location
right between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. And we're broadcasting
on the Internet, on the C-Band Satellite, out to the whole world.
What we're attempting to create here on Wisdom College is the kind of
experience that many of us wished we could have had in college,
and were never able to get that. And I speak as a person who spent 15 years
inside of big state universities in Wisconsin and California.
During that entire time, I found that every Professor who was really
turned on, passionate about his or her own work, either quit or got fired,
almost inevitably. And my goal, with this program, is to bring to the airwaves,
bring to our listeners around the world, those kinds of people -- people
who are so passionate about their work, they will dedicate their lives
to it. People who see deeply. People who are willing to work in between
disciplines. People who make the realm of the intellect come alive.
And with me tonight, I have Stan Tenen, who is the President(1)
of the Meru Foundation. Stan is based in Sharon, Massachusetts,
but he's here with me now in California, and Stan has explored, throughout
his professional career, the origins of sacred language, particularly the
Hebrew language. He has a background in physics and mathematics and he
has applied that background -- and also I should say, in particular, geometry,
to looking at very shape of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, to determine
in sort of a Pythagorean sense, what it is that those shapes are telling
JM: So, Stan, it's a pleasure to have you with me on Virtual College.
ST: It's a pleasure to be here, Jeffrey. Thank you for inviting me.
This is a very exciting venture, I think. Actually, I had an opportunity
to teach once. When I first started this work in California, about almost
twenty years ago now, we went down to U.C. Santa Cruz and talked to Ralph
Abraham, the mathematician, and I think he was still Chairman of the Math
Department at the time, and I asked him if maybe there was a way he could
get me a job, and he probably could have, but he dissuaded me. He said
there just was no place in the university system for this kind of research.
And as I've learned over the years, he was probably right.
JM: I think that's an unfortunate situation, but times are changing
and we hope eventually, Stan, to be able to offer academic credit to people
listening to this radio program, so that people can study cutting-edge
ideas such as your own.
ST: Well, that would be very useful, because there are many different
researches that don't fit so easily into the conventional curricula, and
that may make the faculty uneasy. That needs to be outside --
JM: Interdisciplinary research of all kinds has a hard time. I know
in your field you're applying mathematics and physics and metaphysical
geometry to the study of ancient languages,
ST: And that makes everybody unhappy, because -- Well, I might as well
start off, we're going to talk about discovery of some basic principles
in the Hebrew, and in all likelihood, in the Greek and Arabic alphabet.
But this of course relates to religious traditions and sacred texts,
so I often tell people, my Jewish friends think this work is much too Christian.
My Christian friends think it's much too Jewish, my religious friends think
there's much too much math in it, and my mathematically-inclined friends
think it's much too religious.
It doesn't fit in any one place. And the normal academic custodians
of this work, the people who do this sort of work, who've evolved to do
it, tend to be experts in History, in Languages, in English and Poetry,
in the Belles-Arts and Letters. They tend not to be interested in geometry,
and so they've missed this, in my opinion, and if I try to carry it back
to them, it only puts them in an awkward position.
As honest scholars, they don't want to evaluate something they
are not familiar with, because how are they going to know the quality of
the work when they're not really comfortable with the ideas? With geometry,
in this case.
So when you're in a niche that falls between disciplines, it's very
hard to satisfy any of them.
JM: But actually, you're in a very ancient tradition, and that's the
irony, that because you're in effect studying, in effect, Sacred Geometry.
ST: That's right.
JM: The study of Sacred Geometry goes back to Plato, it goes back to
Pythagoras, it goes back to --
ST: -- It goes back to Egypt, it goes back even earlier than that.
JM: It's not as if you've made this up out of whole cloth. You're part
of a long tradition.
ST: No, not at all. In fact, to the extent that I may be making this
up, I'm probably off target. I believe that what I found is so extraordinarily
elegant, that I don't want to add or take from it.
I think that the philosophers who worked on this in a wide range of
traditions, did an excellent job. An astonishing job. And to some extent,
what I'm trying to do is demonstrate how they could have done it. Because
part of bringing this back into public view is to make it plausible. If
what I find requires modern Projective Geometry that we know was not known
in the ancient world, then I'm probably making it up, because it's not
But if I can show that techniques and materials and tools were
available in the ancient world, and could tackle these problems,
then it's quite plausible that they were used. And so, what I'm finding
has a place, and then it can be brought into the modern world, it
can be made to be understood today and it can be true to what was understood
initially -- what was the intent.
JM: Let's talk about how you got started, Stan..
ST: Yeah, we've been dancing all around. I think we better tell the
audience what this is about!
JM: We're back. This is Jeffrey Mishlove, and with me is Stan Tenen,
President of the Meru Foundation, based in the Boston area. Stan was describing
an epiphany he had back in the 1960's when he began to look and see if
he could spot geometrical, mathematical patterns in the Hebrew letters.
Let's go right to that.
ST: Initially, I didn't know what it was. All I realized, very quickly,
when I spotted this, is, if it were already known and explained, it was
probably, that it was probably not --
JM: And what were you looking at?
ST: I was looking at the very beginning of the Hebrew text of Genesis,
and because I knew the alphabet, I was looking at the letters, and
not at the words.
JM: "Beraysheet, berah --
ST: " --Elokim et ha shemayim v'et ha-aretz." "In the Beginning, God
created the heaven and the earth." I asked, and eventually somebody told
me, it must be Kabbalah. I'd never heard of Kabbalah. I bought out the
bookstores, ultimately 2 or 3,000 volumes over ten years. I read everything
Ten years later, they're repeating the "Prisoner" show on KQED and PBS,
we're living in San Francisco, I hold up the numerical sequence equivalent
to the letters at the beginning of Genesis, on the air, tell the audience
it's like the Arecibo message for outer space, and that there's some meaning
to it, and I need help in cracking this thing.
People called in with suggestions. I tried the suggestions and it worked!
It turns out, if you count out the Hebrew letters by threes -- not in
binary but in trinary -- there's 27 letters in the full alphabet, 27 is
three-cubed -- and you can lay all the letters out in and on a little Rubik
Cube, with each letter being given its position by its base-three count
in the alphabet.
So the Aleph, even though the normal numerical count is One, in my geometric
system, it becomes Zero. The Aleph sits at the Origin, and then the Bet's
at 0-0-1, and then the Gimel, "C", would be 0-0-2, and the next letter[,
Dalet,] would be 0-1-0, cause you're counting by threes, [and so] you get
coordinates for each of the counts. And each letter has a position on this
Rubik Cube, and then an amazing thing happens. I did something trivial,
I tried everything complicated and none of that worked, and of course it
shouldn't have, because none of that would have been known in the Ancient
World. But I did something trivial.
I simply took my Rubik Cube, my Alphabet Cube, and cut away all the
letters that didn't occur in the first Verse. And what I was left with
was a symmetrical form. And that shouldn't have happened by accident.
And so then I investigated to see what this symmetrical form might mean.
And it took a number of years additionally to figure out how to make use
of this data. I ended up doing the simplest possible thing, something that
everyone has done.
You know how you make a paper model, a paper airplane, a paper doll?
It's pre-set, it's got tabs and slots. You put Tab-A in Slot-A and Tab-B
in Slot-B. And the piece of paper folds up into the intended form.
Well, I wrote the letters of the text of Genesis out, letter by letter,
one each on a bead on a bead-chain, loose on the chain but locked in order,
curled the chain up, and slid the beads around, always maintaining the
order of the text, until the same letters were paired with each other,
like Tab-A in Slot-A, or letters in symmetrical positions on my little
Rubik Cube. And when I did that, I could account for all the letters, in
a pattern that was very strong, very repetitive, so strong that if any
letter were to have been miscopied or added or subtracted over the centuries,
it would stick out like a sore thumb and you could correct for it.
That's how strong the pattern was.
Now, I knew that there was patterning in the beginning of the Hebrew
text of Genesis. But I didn't know if it was an accident! Here I was working
for ten years, you know, if you work that long, you can fool yourself.
You can find patterns in almost anything. So I had to know if this was
just a little preamble, an accident, or a coincidence, or if it went on
through the text.
And I did two basic tests and a number of other minor tests, to assure
myself that the coding continued. Even though I didn't have the computing
power to go much further than the very beginning.
I made a prediction that there would be a certain kind of fold-point
in the text and I counted the letters out manually (I didn't have a data-base,
didn't have a computer) and found the fold-point right where I predicted
it. And I said, "Wow!"
JM: What is a "fold-point"?
ST: One of teachings -- one of my methods of operation that I developed
-- I had a set of criteria, so that I wasn't just fishing. And one of the
criteria was, that I was going to take traditional teachings seriously.
As if they were true, even if they were usually throw-away lines. In other
words, Western Tradition teaches that the Western Alphabets are "sacred",
and I had to figure out what that meant.
I decided it wasn't just a vanity, they meant something by that. Well,
there's a teaching that the Torah, the Hebrew Bible, is hierarchical --
the secret's in the first Letter, the first Word, the first Verse, the
first Paragraph, the first Chapter, in increasing detail. So I felt OK
about looking at the first Letter, the first Word and the first Verse,
which is what I was examining.
There's another teaching, and that is that the Hebrew Bible is "a Tree
of Life for those who grasp it". Now I didn't know then what the "grasp
it" part meant, and that's turned out to be a very dramatic discovery.
But, the Tree of Life, if you think about it, and you're thinking mathematically,
is not an oak tree, or an apple tree, or a fruit tree, it's an archetypal
tree. It's a Decision Tree. It's something that grows hierarchically,
And if it's a living Tree, then it has to have the characteristics of
a real tree. One of the characteristics of real, living vegetable system
is phyllotaxis - it unfurls in Golden Mean spirals, Golden Mean proportions.
And so I looked for fold points in the text of Golden Mean proportions.
JM: You used the word, "phylotaxis"?
ST: That's the way the leaves unfurl on the stem of a plant, I believe,
and I'm not a plant biologist, so I don't have an exact definition.
JM: You're saying that there are --
ST: There are characteristics of living things that have been noted
to unfurl in Golden Mean proportion of the Fibonacci Series, which creates
the Golden proportions.
JM: In Nature,
ST: In Nature.
JM: You're saying, these same geometric principles that we find in Nature
also exist in --
ST: If I'm taking seriously the traditional claim that this is a Tree
of Life, then if that's true, then I should test for "tree-ness", and one
test for tree-ness is, does it have these Golden Mean proportions built
Well, it turns out it does. There is a letter that occurs once every
hundred or 150 letters, if you go through the Hebrew Bible, [the letter]
Samek, but if you count through the text, it doesn't show up until 2,207
letters in. That's the first Samek. Very anomalous. The count is wrong,
statistically. It's terrible -- it shouldn't happen!
This is just a story. Why weren't Sameks used much earlier? Three hundred
letters in, four hundred letters in? Why 2,207? 2,206.999 is the Golden
Mean to the 16th power. It's a fold point. The Samek is a circular letter
that occurs in the word that's translated "to encircle".
JM: OK. Now let's --
ST: There was an anomaly that I could grab, and say, "Yes, here's a
demonstration that something funny is going on at least 2000-odd letters
into the text. [It was] worth working on.
JM: And [Music] we're going to have to come back again, soon
enough after our break, because you're opening up a whole realm of what
the Kabbalah, the Hebrew Mystical Tradition says, that the Hebrew language
and the text, actually is, there are many, many meanings.
ST: Finding a pattern doesn't mean anything. Identifying [one] does.
That's what we'll do.
JM: Beneath the surface. So the story is beginning to unfold for our
listeners just as it unfolded for you and we'll be back after these messages.
JM: I'm Jeffrey Mishlove, host of Virtual College, and I've been discussing
with Stan Tenant, President of the Meru Foundation, his explorations into
some of the metaphysical, mathematical, geometrical codes that are embedded
in the very structure of the ancient Hebrew language, and I think before
we go too much further, it would be useful to talk about the Kabbalistic
way of thinking of the language.
Stan Tenen: The Kabbalists claim that -- well, actually, [a] traditional
Jewish teaching [is] that there are four levels to the Bible: there's the
story that we all know, that's with translations, there is something called
Hints, which are additional ways of understanding, there are Commentaries,
and then there's a Foundation Level, Yesod, the bottom level -- and that's
the Letter Level.
The teaching is, that somehow, at the Letter Level of the text, the
text of Genesis in particular, has something to do with the creation of
the universe. [It's] not just the story, "God created the heaven and the
earth," but it really is a template of creation.
That's the Kabbalists' claim. And the trouble is, if you read Kabbalistic
translation, they don't deliver on the claim. They repeat
the claim, they embroider the claim, they make all kinds of outrageous
statements, but they are reduced to mythology, to poetry, to fantasy. And
no one really takes them seriously, because they've been so abused over
So what's going to turn out here, is that by innocently and directly
examining just the sequence of letters, without reference to the other
teachings, I found a series of geometries which now make sense of the Kabbalistic
JM: Well, let me go back a little more, Stan, because it seems to me
that one of the things the Kabbalists are saying is that every letter of
the alphabet has a numerical value.
ST: More than that. Its name -- each letter has a name,
and that name represents a function. I think the numerical value stuff
is actually part of the problem. People have focused on it being a number,
and you can use Arabic or Hebrew to write numbers --
JM: And there's a lot of Numerology based on it --
ST: Right, but this is not Numerology.
JM: I understand. But I'm trying to give people an appreciation for
the complexities of Kabbalah, and one of those is that each of the letters
is a word, each of the words is made up of letters, each of those
letters is a word --
ST: And what's the first question that comes to mind when you have something
like that? The question is, It's fine to say A-B-C-D-E-F-G. But in a Sacred
Language, where each letter has a name, why should "camel", the letter
Gimel, come after Bet (the letter "house"), come after "master"? What's
the relationship? If this is a system, then there ought to be an unfurlment,
there ought to be some reason why "A" is Mastery, and "B" is a House, and
"C" is a Camel and "D" is a Door, and "E" is a Window. What does that mean?
If it's random, if it's ad hoc, then this is silliness.
But if there's a System, if there's a reason why those letters
are in that sequence, of meanings, then you can do something with this,
you can build on it, you can work with it. One of the things we found is
that there is a System. And that there's an underlying meaning to
the name of each letter. In fact, you can look at Hebrew words as if they
Because, you can take a word and read it as a sentence, letter-name
by letter-name. When you do that, you get expanded meanings for these translations,
and that's one of the Kabbalistic principles.
JM: You've gone further because what you've shown is that there is a
geometric foundation, an underlying geometric form, in fact, we're sitting
here looking at it! Here in our studio,
ST: We'd better stop talking about it, cause this is the punch-line.
JM: This is a beautiful shape, it could be many things. It could be
the core of an apple, it's a vortex, it could be like a tornado, it could
be like the flame of a candle, it's a --
ST: It's a harp --
JM: -- A hand, a harp, it's a very elegant shape. And what you've discovered
is that you could take this shape, hold it up to the light, move it in
different positions, and it will cast on a wall, its shadow can fall the
shape of all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
ST: That's true. But in and of itself, that would be meaningless. Because
one could take a coat-hanger, and bend a couple of squiggles in it and
make shadows that look like just about any letter you wanted. The point
is that this is a meaningful form that is generated by pairing off
the letters in the Hebrew text of Genesis!
And it's meaningful because of what it represents. As it turns out,
it represents a model human hand. What you said is very nice: you can hold
this shape up and you can make shadows, but what tells you how to hold
it to make this particular letter? You couldn't figure it out without a
Not only that, but I had to create a set of criteria and this had to
have a purpose. My idea was, that the meditational exercises that Jewish
and Christian and Muslim Tradition, were written out as sequences of letters
that represented different ways of viewing this same form. But you had
to turn the form over in the mind's eye. In your mind, in your head.
If you couldn't visualize this thing easily --it's a difficult thing
to see -- and you don't know how to look at it -- even that's a nice theory,
but you couldn't do it.
It wasn't until several years later, because I was told by an Orthodox
Rabbi that it was the right thing to do to say the Morning Prayers and
such, because I was doing all this work -- I was drinking the sweet water
of the Hebrew town well, and I wasn't supporting the well. --that I finally
decided, even though I was nervous about it, as a modern person, to put
on tefillin -- phylacteries -- which are little boxes you put on your arm
and on your head -- which you put on with a leather strap.
And there's a teaching that you see letters in the leather strap on
JM: This is done during prayers,
ST: During Morning Prayers. For the first time, I put on this leather
strap, and I'm putting it on my hand, and it finally dawned on me: this
little abstract vortex shape that I had derived from lining up the letters
at the beginning of Genesis, was a model human hand.
And as soon as you put it on your hand, you can see it in your mind's
eye! You could reach behind yourself and pick up a salt-shaker, an apple,
or a fork on the table. You can tell the difference. You can see what's
in your hand.
So by putting it on your hand, immediately it becomes more than just
an ordinary alphabet, it becomes a Sacred Alphabet. Not only for making
gestures, which can be read, as it turns out, you can even do that on the
radio, it's so obvious, but also for reading and writing and meditational
dance in your mind's eye. A truly sacred Alphabet capable of transmitting
an experiential Tradition based on meditational exercises, and not just
JM: What we're getting to, from a metaphysical perspective, here, I
think, is the notion of
self-reference. Because when we look
out and see our own hand pointing back at us, it's a gesture of self-reference,
and that seems to be one of the fundamental gestures behind the --
ST: You want to wake up from a dream, you look at your hand because
it gives you back your volition. Your hand is your volition, you express
your will by pointing with your hand. And that's what we're going to talk
about next. [Music]
JM: It's getting fascinating. I hope you're hanging out there with us,
everybody in Wisdomland, and that your neurons are growing little spikes
on the axons of dendrites,
ST: There's a website where you can see some of this, too, when we get
JM: So, Stan Tenen, my guest and President of the Meru Foundation, for those of you who are interested, Stan's website, if you could check while you're listening to this program, is
and you'll see some of the geometrical patterns to which we've been
referring, on that website.
What we're getting into now is fascinating because we're talking about
a mathematical basis, we're talking about a kind of code that exists in
the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, we're talking about a geometrical relationship,
and we're talking now about the human body and how gestures, hand movements,
actually like the American Indian Sign Language, but perhaps in a somewhat
different sense, that the various hand movements reflect both meaning and
form the shapes of the letters.
ST: Can I read a short quote? This was recently published in Nature
by two researchers that we have nothing to do with. This is by Jana Iverson
and Susan Goldin-Meadow, and I'm just going to read excerpts.
JM: What issue?
ST: This November, 1998. But there's also an excellent article in The
American Scientist this current month. [March-April 1999] I forget
the author's name, but it's the Sigma Xi magazine,
JM: The American Scientist.
ST: "Why People Gesture as they Speak," is the name of this little abstract.
It says that "congenitally blind speakers gesture to each other despite
their lack of a model, even when speaking to other blind people." It points
out, "We find that 12 blind speakers gestured as they spoke, despite the
fact that they'd never seen gesture. The blind group gestured at a rate
not reliably different from the sighted group, gave that same information
using the same range of gesture-forms.
"For example, speakers blind and sighted tilted a V-shaped hand in the
air, as if pouring liquid from a glass, to indicate that a liquid had been
transferred from a different container."
If people go to our website, they're going to see that the Hebrew letter
"Dalet", which literally means "to pour out", which is seen in outline
in this model hand, when the model hand makes the same gesture, as I just
This paper was written recently by two researchers who never heard of
what I'm doing. And I'm very grateful they did this. The point is, that
what's being claimed now is that before predecessors to modern humans acquired
spoken language, we had gesture language!
JM: Once again, if you're interested in contacting the Meru Foundation,
I encourage you to log onto their website, www.meru.org. There's just a
wealth of information there, beautiful geometric patterns there. The geometry
is really like the geometry of flowers, or something.
ST: It's a living system.
JM: It's just gorgeous, the incredible art-work you've created that
explains these geometrical principles. And there are many other articles.
ST: A number of essays and there's some introductory material.
JM: The other thing I certainly want to mention for those of you who've
been enjoying Virtual College here on Wisdom Radio, check out our website,
www.mishlove.com and there you will see who our upcoming guests are, and
you can check out their web-links in advance of the broadcasts, and there's
lot of other information, including past guests and other institutional
affiliations, etc. "Mishlove" is my name.
Well, Stan, we've got just about a minute or so before the top of the
hour break. Is there a concluding thought you'd like to leave our listeners
with, before we end this hour?
ST: I think the most important thing to realize is that this is in the
center of every one of our faiths, just as the organs in our body are different
projections of the same common DNA, each of the letters is a different
projection of the same hand, the "Hand of God," essentially, metaphorically
speaking. And so, what we're really looking at here is a way to understand
the relationship among the Western faiths, and a way to empower the whole
system. It's not just the alphabet. It goes much beyond that. This is
an ecological model that enables us to live together. Or at least contributes
JM: In effect, it's showing how some of the universal, metaphysical
principles are embodied, not just in the Hebrew alphabet, but in many other
Sacred Alphabets as well. [Music]
ST: Certainly the Greek and Arabic alphabets are in the same system.
And I think there's some relationship to Sanskrit, but probably not in
the shape of the letters.
JM: Stay tuned to Wisdom Radio and we'll be back at 6 and a half minutes
after the hour, with Stan Tenen. I'm Jeffrey Mishlove.
Jeffrey Mishlove: I'm back again. Stan Tenen is my guest. He
is the President of the Meru Foundation, and we've been talking about some
of the metaphysical, theoretical, geometrical, mathematical and even biological
bases to Sacred Language. We've been focusing particularly on the Hebrew
alphabet. However, the principles that Stan has uncovered are applicable
to other ancient alphabets as well -- certainly, Arabic and Greek and very
likely, some of the others.
ST: The idea is that the scientific knowledge of these various peoples
is usually the same. We all have the same technical knowledge. The
cultural embodiments are different, so Judaism and Christianity and Islam
are distinct Paths, and obviously the Apollo Mysteries in the Greek Tradition
were very different, but the underlying geometries of the Apollo System
and the underlying geometries in Egypt and in Israel and later in Christian
and the Moslem world, and later in the Hermetic Traditions, and in the
Celtic world, all turn out to be the same.
That the models we found, these model hands, which express human
volition, the projection of our conscious will, which is clearly subjective,
into the objects of the physical world where others can see it, is a fundamental
process by which we express ourselves. We use our hands to do that,
in all cultures.
JM: And from a philosophical point of view, the great Mystery of Life,
is, how in the world is it that we combine Spirit and Matter!
ST: And that's what this model expresses. The center tip of the model,
which forms around the thumb, is like the seed inside of a fruit. And the
hand itself is like a tree. And the palm and the fingers are like the whole
And so, what you're doing is expressing -- I think it's Genesis 1:11
-- you're literally building a model of a "fruit tree yielding fruit, whose
seed is in itself," mapped back onto itself. And this mapping is a natural
process, and in fact it's this natural process that gives meaning to the
Earlier I was saying, why does a camel follow a house, follow a master
-- C, B, A. Why is [that] the order of the alphabet? It's because the order
of the meaning of the letters of alphabet follows an embryonic unfurlment,
from the singularity of a seed to the wholeness of a fruit. And if you
take this very bottom-line, topologically minimum, operational set of meanings,
and project them into human experience, you get the idiomatic names of
You get the names of the letters in the Hebrew Tradition, and in the
Arabic Tradition, the letters are named after the attributes of Allah.
But they correspond one-to-one, as you go [through the alphabet]. And it
looks like particular Arabic alphabets, particular Greek
alphabets, particular Hebrew alphabets derive from this same form
and this same basic principle.
And the principle is the Principle of the projection of our will into
the world, and that is broken up, is quantized by articulations of our
hand. Our different gestures are different projections of our will, just
as the different organs in our body are different projections of the common
And so, this is a Natural System, that could be deduced anywhere.
What I'm saying is that it was used all over the world. And these
geometric models make sense of mystical texts -- Kabbalistic texts, Sufi
texts, the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismagistos -- it turns out that you're
describing the same geometry that you're finding in Genesis. Much to the
consternation of the ordinary translators, who compete on the fine meanings
of various words, but never identify the Emerald Tablet!
Well, this identifies the Emerald Tablet. It doesn't translate it. It
makes an identification.
JM: You're dealing now with the marriage of geometry and linguistics,
and that's two fields that rarely come together.
ST: That's right. Again, the actual basis of the set of meanings is
entirely geometric. There are 27 pointing directions that correspond to
co-tangents on a hypersphere, mathematically. Basic ways you can navigate
in hyperdimensional Space, which is where consciousness is and where physics
is -- and that lays out the 27 explicit meanings.
But they're expressed in human embodiment by our gestures. So, say,
if a dolphin were to use this same system, they would use the same 27 meanings,
but they don't have hands, a dolphin doesn't have hands. They'd use their
acoustic pressure-waves to express the same set, and thus would, in principle,
if I'm right, we ought to be able to communicate with any self-aware
creature whether they're extra-terrestrials, or elephants, or dolphins.
JM: You mean, the fundamental principle of a seed unfolding into a tree
that creates more seeds, or of a human being making reference to oneself
by virtue of a hand-gesture, these principles are so universal that even
conscious creatures with other body designs would understand them.
ST: And they're psychologically effective. You become aware.
You gain lucidity in your dreams when you look at your hand. It reminds
you of your volition. [The alphabet is] a full set of articulations of
our hand in our world.
I'm saying, that the sequence of letters in the Hebrew Bible brings
lucidity to this dream -- to our Waking Dream. That's why
it's part of conscious evolution. This isn't a religious teaching only.
This is a Path that we can follow and learn from, and be able to include
all of -- Look at an apple, consider the Earth-plane to be the equatorial
cut through an apple. If you were to look across from various diameters
of that Earth-plane, they'd be diametrically opposed points.
But if you spiral up around the stem, and head down toward the
seed, go up over the outside of apple and spiral down around the stem,
all of those divergent points on the diameter of the Earth-plane converge
as they come back toward the Center.
This is a model that reconciles the One and the Many -- the seed and
the fruit -- Mind and World. The four-letter Name of God, and the five-letter
Name of God.
The academic scholars tell us the Bible texts were edited, because there
are two different Names of God used all over the place. "Lord" and
"God". My work indicates that these two words were used precisely,
because their distinction was understood; and that the whole basis of the
Teaching is reconciling the One and the Many -- "Atman" and "Brahman".
Inside and Outside. Consciousness and World.
The Four-letter Name of God, which is a singularity in the mind's eye,
and the Five-letter Name of God, which is the expanse of All That Is in
the universe. And that bridge between the Singularity and Wholeness encompasses
And that's why these forms, derived in the ancient world, overlay our
modern physics. They weren't doing physics. But our physicists are taking
the Everything and trying to find the One Big Bang. And I'm saying that
in principle, that's exactly what the ancients were doing.
JM: It's a very ancient quest, it's just taken a new form, as you say.
How about the Sanskrit language, or the Chinese language?
ST: I don't know enough about it, but the basis of the Sanskrit language
is supposedly the
"sri-yantra", which is a Creation mandala of 9
interlaced triangles that unfurl from a bindu
point which is said
to be toroidal into a hypersphere. If you think about 9 triangles, that's
27 lines. Twenty-seven edges, three edges for each triangle.
I'm claiming that even though the Sanskrit letters are only determined
tonally, by this sri-yantra form, the basic idea of unfurling
from a torus into a hypersphere via 27 lines, is exactly the same geometric
model as was used to generate Hebrew, and later Greek and Arabic. It's
the same model at the meaning level even though the shapes are different
and the embodiment is different.
JM: When we talk about these geometric principles being embedded in
these languages, I'm assuming, Stan, that you're not saying that the ancients
did this consciously.
ST: Yes, I am. I think that there were two paths of development of the
alphabet. The one we all know and love, that's in the textbooks, which
is still being elaborated on today by some very great scholars: Start with
Egyptian pictogram-type hieroglyphics, simplify them into Canaanite stick-letters,
fix them up a little, and eventually you get Greek and then Latin and then
And you can see how the letter "A" starts as a picture "Alpu", the Bull
of the Taurean Age, a V-shape with a crossbar, so it looks like an ox-head
with two horns? You flip it on its side, you get the Aleph of the Canaanite
tradition, you turn it completely upside-down, and you get the "A" of Greek,
and later Latin and English.
Those are hieroglyphics that have turned into pictograms. And they
could never be used for a monotheistic Tradition because they're all pictures
of Pagan idols. "Alpu" is the Bull of the Taurean age, no Rabbi worth
his salt is going to look at that! Those pictograms were replaced.
The meaning-set was kept. But you know, you can't worship a slave. Nobody
worships their own slave unless they're an idiot. Well, our hands are our
slaves. And therefore, taking an image of a hand making a gesture with
the same meaning as the original letter replaces the Pagan image with a
non-idolatrous image, and enables you to create this meaning-system.
What I'm saying is that this was a formal system that was devised separate
from the phonetic system, and later became merged with it. And that accounts
for the historical development. That [in] the normal phonetic alphabets,
each letter points to a sound. In this system, each letter points to a
gesture that has a feeling associated with it. And the sequence of feelings
makes up a meditational dance.
JM: Is there any historical record to corroborate that a group of scribes
or Rabbis or scholars got together to create an alphabet?
ST: Yes and No. It depends on how you read the history. Obviously, conventional
reading of the history doesn't give you this. But there are many clues
that this is what's going on. I'll give you a perfect example. I have a
short quote here. It's on a slightly different topic, but it makes the
If you read these things in their simple form, you don't get this. If
you go deeper, you do. And the simple form is the obvious one that people
have defaulted to. The way you make this model is to take a circle and
a line, and pull it up into three dimensions. And that makes this hand-shape
which then makes all the letters simultaneously.
Now here's a traditional quote from a traditional source. This is from
"The Origin of Letters and Numerals According to the Sepher Yetzirah,"
by Phineas Mordell. It was written in 1914, it's still available from Sam
Weiser, and it says:
We must conclude that the so-called Arabic numerals and the alphabet
originated from 10 digits and zero, or rather, from two symbols: the "one"
and the "zero", the stroke and the circle. L. D. Nelme, in his essay on
the origin of the letters, shows us that all elementary characters or letters
derive their forms from the line and the circle. As I understand the Sepher
Yetzirah, it also holds that all written characters originated from a line
and a circle. But from a line that was originally a symbol for unity, and
a circle which was originally a symbol for zero.
Well, the common meaning of that, which everyone takes to be the meaning,
is that you could make letter-shapes from line-segments that are straight
and curved. That's what he's saying, a line and a circle. That's how everyone
I say, if you go deeper, you find that you can take a circle and a line,
a straight edge and a compass, if you will, and you square the circle philosophically
-- you can't do it geometrically -- with a straight edge and a compass,
by pulling a line and a circle into 3-D, to form a hand, and from that
hand, that ONE hand, you get ALL the letters.
Much more interesting than the trivial solution.
JM: You used a few phrases or terms that our listeners may not be familiar
with? You used the term Sepher Yetzirah.
ST: That's the name of a book. It's called "The Book of Formation".
It's a Kabbalistic text. Its title is "Book of Formation," and everyone
agrees it's all about the letters. But, you know, it never discusses the
form of the letters, in modern translations! You plug these geometries
into the text, identify these geometric models that come from lining up
the letters in Genesis [with] nouns used in the Sepher Yetzirah
and instead of getting what you get now, which skirts the issue of the
form of the letters, you get the form of the letters.
It's one test of a good model -- Does it work?
JM: And the Sepher Yetzirah was considered one of the core texts
of the Kabbalist Tradition.
ST: Jewish tradition says it was originally discovered by Abraham. It
was originally written down by Rabbi Akiba . The academic scholars believe
it was written down somewhat more recently. My work indicates that it must
be ancient, and that it must go back in time to the original understanding
of the letters because otherwise you wouldn't get this result.
There is much other evidence. For instance, we all have this picture
of Charlton Heston coming down, carrying the Tablets in each hand, these
giant Tablets, but that's not what the Torah text says. The word in Hebrew
is :"b'yah-do": "in his hand." It's ONE hand. The text, the Torah, the
Tablets, are in ONE hand. [Music] Or ON one hand. And that's what
ST: "A Tree of Life for those who grasp it."
JM: Now we're getting more into the esoteric understanding of these
things, and of course there are many Mysteries. But more shall be revealed.
ST: More shall be revealed.
JM: We'll be back with Stan Tenen, President of the Meru Foundation,
after these messages from Wisdom Radio. I'm your host, Jeffrey Mishlove.
Jeffrey Mishlove: Stan, at an earlier segment, you talked about the
mystery of the two Names of God, in Hebrew, one is Adonai, and the other
is Elohenu or Elohim.
Stan Tenen: Yes. I won't pronounce them, but that's basically [correct],
the first one Ado and then noy is the Tetragrammaton, the Name-of-Four-Letters.
JM: That's right, that's not really how it's spelled in Hebrew at all.
ST: No, it's spelled Yod-He-Vov-He, which leads to other specious
JM: Like "Jehovah". That would be the basis of --
ST: ....... the vowels ....... So that's where that comes from. Orthodox
Jews say "Hashem", the Name, when they mean that. That word is translated
"Lord". And that's going to lead us to some information.
JM: In the Jewish Tradition, it is considered a sacred Name, not to
ST: That's right.
JM: Except, as I understand it, once on Yom Kippur, by the High Priest
in the Temple,
ST: Something like that, that hasn't happened for many centuries, and
in fact, I have a theory that it wasn't really the pronunciation of the
Name that they cared about. The word "Name" ("Shem"), if you vowelize it
differently, also means "There," as in "Place." It's the place of the
meditation that was lost. Not the verbalization of the Name.
The other Name which is pronounced with an "H" -- Elo and then Him,
I'll say "Elokim" -- is the "Five-Letter-Name." It's the one that appears
in Genesis. That refers to the expanse of All-There-Is.
JM: It's a plural. It really could --
ST: Well, it's not a plural. It has a plural ending. The Yud final-Mem
ending becomes the masculine-plural later in the text. But Yud-Mem has
a meaning by itself! You can look it up in the Dictionary. That's the word
for "sea", an ocean, an expanse. Yud-Mem means "a great expanse."
The God-name "Elokim" really means the "Expansive God".
The Four-Letter Name is the extent of God. Now those are very
important. First, Judaism claims that those two are the same. I'm saying,
the Abrahamic discovery was not that there was a God, but rather that the
Singularity in Meditation, and the Expanse of All-There-Is in existence,
are the same thing. That's what the two Names imply.
JM: Sounds very much like the "key" inside of Hinduism.
ST: I think it's very close.
JM: That "Atman" is "Brahman".
ST: That's right. And I would go so far as to say that additional research
might demonstrate that the Abramic traditions and the Brahmic
traditions are really more closely related than has been previously
suspected. And that this is one way to show that.
In any event, the model that makes this hand, the geometry that makes
the hand is a geometry that's based on taking the credo of Judaism, the
so-called "Sh'ma" ("Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One!")
and making an algebraic equation out of it, setting the Lord as Radial
Extent, and God as Angular Expanse. And setting them equal to
"r = 1" is the equation for the Reciprocal or Hyperbolic spiral. It
generates a spiral that looks like the spiral under the Eye of Horus. Not
a logarithmic spiral. Not a Golden Mean spiral. They're too self-similar.
We're looking for the most asymmetrical spiral possible.
JM: I'm sorry that we can't present these on a computer screen right
now, but people can log onto your website to see this. It's like as you
say, the Eye of Horus.
ST: Yes. Under the Eye of Horus there is a spiral that starts out straight,
and then curls up. Not a log or an Archimedean or a common spiral. This
one is the most asymmetrical -- it's got a straight part like a line, a
circling part like a circle. Again, like the quote I read, a line and a
circle making all the letters. It metaphorically, philosophically squares
the circle by connecting the inner Singularity of consciousness with
the outer expanse of All-That-Is.
We are what squares the circle. The sequence of letters in the
text is the meditation that connects inside with outside, just as surely
as Pi connects a radius and a circumference, and truly squares the circle.
That's the metaphor they're reaching for.
If you look at the Names, the Four-Letter Name is translated "Lord",
based on a word in Hebrew, "adin", which means "a pedestal". The Lord sits
high up on a pedestal, radially very high and far away. The "Elokim" Name
is an Expanse -- All the surrounding.
You know where that shows up (very, very important!) Roger Penrose's
new book, "The Emperor's New Mind," has a section in it where he describes
where it is that the vegetable kingdom gets its self-organizing information
to become alive.
JM: Just let me, for benefit of our listeners, state that Roger Penrose
is a scholar in the theory of Relativity,
ST: -- A famous physicist --
JM: Physicist, based at, was it Cambridge University?
ST: Oxford, maybe, I don't know,
JM: Or Oxford, in England, and his book "The Emperor's New Mind" is
regarded as one of the classic books, approaching the physics of consciousness,
and it's one of the densest and most difficult.
ST: He's got others that follow, that are even denser. But he recapitulates
something that's well known, and if I have a moment to explain it, you'll
see why this is such a beautiful model. He points out that the only reason
that there's enough information for there to be self-organization of Life
is because the sun, a hot, bright point in the sky, puts out visible photons
which the plants swallow, and use to gather information from, and then
they radiate back out [from] the planet, infra-red photons to a dark sky.
Now if the sun weren't brighter than the sky, you couldn't do that.
If the sky were all bright like the sun, you couldn't re-radiate back the
infra-red photons. It's because of the
contrast between the bright,
hot sun, and the cold, dark sky all around, that you can gain information
from the difference in light taken in vs. the light radiated out.
I'm saying, extend that metaphor. Instead of a pretty, fairly hot, bright
sun, in a generally cold, dark sky, let's make a hyper-model, a model that
might account for our self-awareness, not just our self-organization. Let's
hypothesize an Utter Singularity in consciousness. An Infinitely hot, bright
spot against an Utterly cold, dark sky.
That's the Four-Letter Name against the Five-Letter Name.
That's why the Four-Letter Name is the attractor of consciousness, in
the mind's eye, against the background of the Earth-plane of All-That-Is.
And that's what I'm saying is the basis of the Kabbalistic Tradition,
and later the Christian and Moslem Teachings as well. And this is a fundamental,
It doesn't say that my God is the One God because it's my God,
and is a "jealous" God in the ordinary sense. This is a One God that's
jealous in the same sense that there's only one number "Pi" that's intrinsic
to the Universe.
We're making a definition of singularity, and a definition of
wholeness, and we're spanning them with a metaphoric hand.
JM: Come back to -- Are you saying that the number "Pi" is a jealous
ST: Yes! There's no other number like "Pi"! [Music] It's the
only relationship between a radius and a circumference. This is the One
God, not because Jews or Christians or Moslems say so, it's because it's
defined that way. And that definition turns out to be functional.
And that's what brings the Traditions alive!
JM: We'll be back with Stan Tenen, President of the Meru Foundation,
after these messages.
JM: Stan, right before the break, we were talking about Pi as being
a "jealous number".
ST: That's right. To mathematicians, Pi is a jealous number because
it's a definitional number. It's intrinsic. Once you investigate the relationship
between a radius and a circumference, Pi is not making some theological
claim to be special, it's a definitional claim.
The model I'm suggesting is definitional. It turns out to have relationships
to theology and religions because it's a very effective definition. But
you start with a definition. And the definition is simply to unify Singularity
and Wholeness, in every possible way. Whether it's inside the singularity
of consciousness and [outside] the wholeness of the world, whether it's
the principle of the One and the Many, whether it's, in Kabbalistic metaphor,
the Light in the Meeting Tent, the Light is the One, the Tent is the diversity
of the world.
These metaphors can also be turned around. You can also take it the
other way. There's a vestment -- I can't do this on the radio -- But the
idea [is] that we make Metaphor. And the geometry tells us what
the possibilities and relationships are.
This is all deducible. I want to read you another quote, which is an
unusual quote, but it's very important to what I'm saying, because it's
could have been done in the ancient world, that could have been the basis
for all of this.
The first letter of the Hebrew Bible is the letter "Bet". "Bet" is a
house. Except that these really aren't nouns, they're verbs. So it's what
a house does. A house distinguishes inside from outside. These are the
words of topologist, Spencer-Brown, writing in his book "The Laws of Form",
where he specifies a "mark of distinction" that archetypally distinguishes
inside from outside. And he says,
The theme of this book is the Universe comes into being when a space
is severed or taken apart. The skin of a living organism cuts off an outside
from an inside. [ST: Just like our skin incarnates us. ] So does
the circumference of a circle in a plane. By tracing the way we represent
such a severance, we can begin to reconstruct, with an accuracy and coverage
that appear almost uncanny, the basic forms underlying linguistic, mathematical,
physical and biological science, and we can begin to see how the familiar
laws of our own experience follow inexorably from the original act of severance.
Although all forms and thus all universes are possible, and any particular
form is mutable, it becomes evident that the laws relating such forms are
the same in any universe. It is this sameness, the idea that we can find
a reality independent of how the Universe actually appears, that lends
such fascination to the study of mathematics.
Looking at relationships instead of things is exactly what the religious
traditions mean when they say, Don't look at idols. God isn't a thing,
God's a process. Hebrew words aren't nouns, they're verbs. Idols are different,
they're mutable, they're changeable, you could make [them] anything. But
the relationships between things, Spencer-Brown is telling us, are always
the same. And if you start with "primary distinction," you can unfurl
formal logic, and the unfurlment is inexorable.
You start the Hebrew Bible with the letter "Bet". And you unfurl it
this way, you're going to get All-There-Is.
JM: We're talking about the Creation -- "In the beginning ..." It begins
with a "Bet". The very first aspect of a Creation is the idea that something
emerges out of nothing.
ST: It's simpler than that. A child comes from within the womb to the
outside world. Embryology proceeds by replication and invagination. Inversion.
Inside to Outside.
JM: But that's biological "creation".
ST: But all Creation is like that.
JM: -- [Even] the Creation of the Universe.
ST: Exactly. What I'm saying is that the stories in Genesis are at a
story-level, but that at a deeper level, it really is Creation. This is
the distinction between the objective and the subjective, that occurs at
the Garden of Eden.
JM: What do you mean? The Garden of Eden, the objective and the subjective?
ST: We become self-aware. We become ashamed. We have a skin, we incarnate.
And so, what was initially all objective if we were in constant contact
with the All-That-Is, we become cut off. There becomes a distinction between
the subjective and the objective, in the Garden of Eden. That's a traditional
Rabbinic teaching, by the way.
If we look at this model hand, we're told in the Bible that the Tabernacle
is made of "gold and silver and brass." If we look at this hand, we find
it has a golden center, like a seed.
JM: Hold on. You've lost me. Golden center, like a seed?
ST: If you look at it, like a natural --
JM: When you say "this hand",
ST: The hand that we've found, that makes the letters, that we pull
out of an idealized fruit,
JM: It's a geometrical shape --
ST: It's a geometrical form --
JM: -- That you and I are looking at right now,
ST: -- That's right. But if you picture a fruit, in the middle of an
apple there's a star of seeds, a golden center. If you break an apple in
half and consider it an Above and Below hemisphere, it's like Hamlet's
JM: Wait, Stan. What is "Hamlet's Mill"?
ST: Hamlet's Mill is a metaphor for the universe that was discussed
in a book by that name, by two authors whose names I don't remember right
ST: That's right. And Von Dechend?
JM: I'm not sure.
ST: Another synthesis of many teachings from the ancient world which
comes down to looking at two millstones with a grinding surface between
them, which you drop seed, grain, down the middle of, well, think of an
apple. Sliced horizontally. If you were to drop seed down the stem until
you reached the middle, you'd have the same model. It's a golden seed down
JM: Why "golden"?
ST: Because grain is associated with gold and the model is also a model
of the sun. In the sky. As I was just talking about. There's this model
the plant reaches for: the hot sun against the black sky. Same model.
JM: What you're suggesting here is that there're kind of geometrical,
metaphysical principles that are at the basis --
ST: Geometrical metaphor --
JM: -- Not only of language, but ecology.
ST: Exactly. I'm saying that all the mythology of the Western World
can be mapped onto this geometry in Genesis, and that the distinction between
Consciousness and Physics, between inside and outside, is what Genesis
is really about, and only on the simple story level does it become the
story we know.
And I'm saying that if you look at the basic components: a seed, a tree
that grows from the seed, and the fruit that grows from the tree, you're
looking at a module of the whole cycle of Life, one cycle. I'm saying --
to take this to the sociological level -- the seed is the Jewish Covenant,
the Torah, the Law, clear thinking, conceptualization, the Tree.
The cross is the Christian Covenant, work, passion, compassion, dharma,
And Islam is "the fruit of Islam". And together they form a whole system.
And when they recognize and respect each other, then the System comes to
life because the organs in the body politic form one whole organism. [Music]
JM: Stan Tenen, President of the Meru Foundation, looking deeper into
the metaphysical principles that unify diversity, and we'll be back again
after these messages.
Jeffrey Mishlove: Stan Tenen, at the beginning of the first hour of
this program, nearly two hours ago, you told a story about what motivated
you to begin your explorations into the geometrical dimensions of the Sacred
Traditions, sacred alphabets in particular, and that story had to do with
being at the wall in Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall, shortly after the six-day
war in 1967, and feeling the tension amongst the Jews and Arabs and the
Christians and wanting to do something to heal the three splits in the
Now you've come up with a metaphor of the seed, the tree, and fruit.
Stan Tenen: What I've found, and it makes sense if you think about it,
and again, based on this metaphor of the organs in our body. My heart and
my liver "believe in" different religions. They do different things. They
follow different paths. The cells don't look the same. If they got in each
others' organs, they'd either hurt the organ or they wouldn't survive.
And yet, if they go inside, if you go deep in the liver, [if] you go
within each cell, you find the same DNA. You find [the same DNA in] each
cell in the heart. If you go deep into each of these traditions, if I'm
right, you're going to find the same geometric metaphor.
Because, as one approaches the center, as one goes deep within, all
the Paths converge. And so, I'm not a Jewish person telling Christians
or Moslems what to believe. I'm saying, each of us should go within our
own Traditions, and find out what our own teachers are saying.
And I'm confident, if we do that, we're going to find that this is a
whole System, that the Jewish Path is concentrating mainly on the Law,
and Christian Path is primarily concentrated on Good Works, and the Islamic
Path is letting go, submitting to Allah, which is what a fruit does. When
it matures, it lets go of its tree. And when fruit reaches the ground,
it opens and becomes the fertile soil for the next generation to grow from.
So I'm saying, if this model is correct, and it's not a model I derive
from a faith or traditional Path, it's a model I derive from examining
the document for itself, letter by letter. Not the story. Not each individual
religious teaching. But the actual sequence of letters that all three Western
faiths appreciate, the text of Genesis.
That common Path can show Christians and Jews and Moslems what their
place is, how they can contribute, and how there can be enough spiritual
room, even if there's very little physical room. And I'm predicting flat
out, that if these ideas are understood and appreciated, maybe not in our
time, maybe at some future time, it's the Moslems who will help to rebuild
the Temple. Voluntarily.
Because the Moslem world will see itself as being the hosts, the good
custodians and the Jewish world will see itself as carrying the seed, of
not being a world power but being a mind-power. And the Christian world
will build a bridge and a relationship. And each will contribute with respect
for the others, and then the System comes to life and everyone benefits.
There's enough room for all of us.
So this is a demonstration of this set of models, in an attempt to bring
them to credibility, so they can be made use of.
JM: It almost sounds a little bit like a closed system, with these three
religions. What about the other world religions?
ST: The same holds for the relationship between East and West. I said
earlier that the Abrahamic and the Brahmic seem to be much closer than
we suspect. The Brahmic have gone within, have kept the Meditations. The
Abrahamic have gone out to the world. That's the difference between the
Eastern and the Western worlds even today: the Western World is outgoing
and conquering, conquering Nature. And the Eastern Traditions go in to
the spiritual Traditions, go deep for their faiths. Bringing those two
halves together is part of the same model. It's a Yin-Yang, and each of
the Yins and Yangs has three parts itself.
Also, the indigenous Traditions come into this. There is no people that
doesn't dance around the campfire of a tripod of sticks. The basic model
that I found in Genesis is a Light in the Meeting Tent, a tetrahedron with
a vortex. The tetrahedron is the Tai Chi opening, when you rotate your
arms across each other (which you can't see on the radio).
And the Light is this hand that invigorates the vessel, that brings
it to life. And all of the faiths make use of this same model, they all
have an "Eternal Flame" in front of the altar, the "Green Flame of Islam,"
they all go back to the same Abrahamic principles, and remember I said
earlier also, that the supposed author of the Sepher Yetzirah, the source-book
on the alphabet, is Abraham.
So how far back does this go? It goes back to Abraham, at least in principle.
It goes back to the common root. And if we go to that place, we can find
out how we fit together. If we want to find how Jews and Christians can
get along, go back to the time when there wasn't any distinction, and see
how the early Christians got along.
JM: What you've said earlier, at least in a mythological sense, go back
prior to the Tower of Babel.
ST: Yes. The most recent research indicates that gesture language preceded
spoken language. You can use these gestures today as an international alphabetic
language in everybody's alphabet, because it's [everyone's]gestures. It
doesn't matter if you're from Asia, [or if] you're from Africa, from North
America, or from Australia. If you put your hands to your mouth in a shouting
gesture, everyone knows that [means "shout"].
If you point [with] your arms [outstretched], extend them straight out
in front of you like you're sleep-walking, everyone knows that means "to
project." And if you do that, you see dangling from your hand the Hebrew
letter whose name is "spear" or "arrow" or "projectile". And the same would
be true in Aborigine faiths, in Amerindian faiths, in Eastern faiths, in
JM: So, in the field of linguistics, we have Noam Chomsky, who's from
your home town of Boston, who developed the idea of a universal grammar.
He's had an enormous impact, and of course he's looking at grammar very
differently from you --
ST: Very differently,
JM: But still the idea of a universal grammar in your case not
based on the mathematical analysis of sentence-structure, but based on
a somewhat different kind of geometrical analysis of --
ST: People who speak with hand-gestures have been shown to develop their
language in the same way as people who speak with speech, and develop very
similar grammars. And in fact people from different cultures with different
sign languages find that they can teach each other a common sign language
very quickly. Based on these innate grammars. These innate gestures.
This is natural. My work is not the same as Chomsky's, but it's certainly
not in conflict.
JM: No, it would seem to be very much in the same --
ST: I want to tell people, I'm not saying "I'm right and you're wrong!"
This is saying, "You've all been right, and on this level we can show it!"
JM: We've been talking to Stan Tenen, President of the Meru Foundation.
We're going to have some messages again, from Wisdom Network. After we
come back, we'll give out Stan's website and some other contact information,
so stay with us.
JM: And if you'd like to contact Stan Tenen and the Meru Foundation
directly, you can write to them at P. O. Box 503, Sharon, Massachusetts
02067. Their website is, once again, www.meru.org. And if you don't have
access to the Web, you can call their toll-free number, 1 (888) 422-MERU.
That's 1 (888) 422-MERU.
After giving out all that information, I'm a little hesitant to give
out my own website on top of it all, it almost seems like URL overload.
But here it is: It's MISHLOVE.COM. www.mishlove.com.
It's been a great pleasure being with you for these two hours, Stan.
I've never seen you so animated.
ST: Thank you, that was entirely due to your asking the right questions
and keeping this in line. I really appreciate the opportunity, and anyone
who wants further information can get in touch with us. It is a very beautiful,
elegant System, and it needs to be known.
JM: I know you're very passionate about this work and it has the potential
to move in many different directions. The day will come, I think, when
people will be dancing the Dance of the Letters.
ST: Absolutely. Thank you.
JM: Well, thank you and your lovely wife, Cynthia, for coming here to
California to be with us on Wisdom Radio. Tune in again, every weekday
evening, 8 PM, Pacific Time, 11 PM, Eastern Time, for Virtual College.
* Actually, Stan is Director of Research.
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