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 Stan Tenen

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PostSubject: Stan Tenen   Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:25 pm

The Intuition Network, A Thinking Allowed Television Underwriter, presents the following transcript from the series Thinking Allowed, Conversations On the Leading Edge of Knowledge and Discovery, with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove.


JM: Hello and welcome. I'm Jeffrey Mishlove. Today will be exploring the origins of sacred alphabets. With me is Stan Tenen, director of research of the MERU Foundation in San Anselmo California. For the past twenty years Stan has been exploring the physical, geometric and symbolic principles behind sacred language. He's produced a number of video tapes on this subject including, Geometric Metaphors of Life, The Dance of the Hebrew Letters, and A Matrix of Meaning for Sacred Alphabets. Welcome Stan.

ST: Thank you Jeffrey. It's very nice to be here.

JM: It's good to be with you. You know the ancient traditions the Kabbalah and the various most early traditions associated with sacred languages around the world describe these languages in ways that are very different than the way we have come today to think about the languages we use.

ST: They describe the letters as sacred, and in many cases they claim that the letters are the elements of creation. And the question comes up immediately, how could an intelligent person understand how a letter, perhaps written on a page, could be an element of creation in a meaningful way? And I believe that they had an understanding that made that quite meaningful.

JM: Yes, the Hebrew Kabbalists for example suggest that in the sacred scriptures if you change one letter that you got the whole formula, the whole principle wrong.

ST: Right, that's exactly so. The teaching is that the letters existed in the order in these cannonized sacred text before the letters were divided up into words to form a story. And to change any letter would be, well in modern sense if we had change a digit in the decimal expansion for pie it would no longer be pie and it wouldn't be a transendetal mathematical function. If you would have changed a letter in one of these sacred texts, it would no longer serve its transcendental function.

JM: And I think your use of the mathematical metaphor here is not just an accident.

ST: No not at all because mathematically we understand the idea of truth as modeling something experimental that we find in the real world. If someone says they have a truth and they use a spiritual sense we tend to laugh at them. Your truth, your truth, whose truth is truth? But if these texts we cannonized based on the fact that the sequence of letters was as precise and explicit as the sequence of digits in say a universal constant like pie, they would only have a whole different understanding of what might have been meant by the various sages of these various traditions claiming they had the truth. It's not so much a spiritual claim as a technical claim based on an experiment and a rigorous definition.

JM: And each letter of course has a name in English, A B C D. But in the ancient languages the letters were just imbued with meaning.

ST: Well there are many different cultures and different was of arranging this. For example there is the Hebrew tradition, which is what I worked with the most, although we seem to find very strong parallels with Greek and Arabic. Each letter has a name, and it also has a meaning as a prefix very often. And what you find is that the meaning of the name of the letter is associated with the operational meaning in a word of the letter which is a very unusual thing. You would think that maybe there would be some arbitrariness. But in fact we know that all around the world the sound "M" stands for mother or for the sea or something like that-- a source sound. And these constants of meaning appear to be connected with our human consciousness and not entirely arbitrary. Different cultures may have embodied them slightly differently but the principle is that these letters have natural meaning. They are not just typographic symbols with which one spells out words. That was a later, more commercial, more secular use.

JM: Well I guess the trick to doing the work that you do Stan is to be able to put yourself into the same state of mind that people were in thousands of years when these alphabets-- these sacred alphabet-- were first being constructed.

ST: Well it's not so much the state of mind from my point of view, although that's necessary too, but to try to figure out what their purpose was and what tools they had. For instance, if my research was dependent on their having had to have computers, well then obviously this is not going to be a very valid form of research. We know that they didn't have computers. But if the technology needed to understand this system that we found was based on say weaving or tent making or carpentry or simple objects or some simple metallurgy, traits, qualities, abilities that they had, then it's plausible. We know for instance that our people kept records very early on by simply tying knots in a string. Tying knots in a string is something an ancient culture could very well have developed. You could take that further and develop a whole knot theory out of it which would be a much more modern concept. But we have no reason to believe or not to believe that someone speculating on how knots fit together in the ancient world couldn't also come upon at least part of a formalism for understanding how knots fit together. That's a technology that would have been available. Likewise, we have to ask ourselves what would have been important, so important, as to create a special alphabet. What we found is that the standard linguistic, archeological theories about the origins of alphabets are essentially true. But that in parallel with the development of alphabets used for secular purposes of writing words, messages, keeping records, there was the development of the so called sacred alphabets. That distinction isn't often recognized in the academic world. Although perhaps it's beginning to be. There have been a number of people doing work like this recently. We believe that the purpose of a sacred alphabet is to record something non-verbal. What is it that's important in a sacred tradition that's non-verbal? The experience itself. Sacred experiences, spiritual experiences can't be described in words. Their called ineffable, and if you try to share it with someone else-- your personal spiritual experience, another person will not know what your experience was. And they won't know to believe you or not. But if you could somehow get the other person to do the same exercise that you did, to bring yourself to that spiritual experience, then they could do what you did and learn for themselves what the feeling, what the experience was.

Full interview cont. HERE

Geometric metaphors of life- Stan Tenen
The shapes in nature.

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PostSubject: Re: Stan Tenen   Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:36 am

I love this stuff R :)
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