Friday, May 18, 2012

The Honey Bee Paradox

Shavuot celebrates the day the nation of Israel received its Torah (The Bible) and is associated with blossoming trees, flowers, milk and honey. Honey is the only kosher bi-product to come from a non-kosher producer, so what paradox were Israel’s greatest scholars and mystical thinkers trying to convey as to uniquely regard it in Jewish law?

In a recent documentary on ‘shapes in nature’ mathematician Marcus DuSautoy discussed honeycombs hexagon shape, which he declared to be nature’s most efficient because of the number of sides a hexagon can share with a neighbor.The beehive’s symmetrical compartments differ from anything else in nature where order is usually affected by disorder or entropy resulting in the rugged irregular appearance of natural objects. For example the disorder in nature can be seen in trees and their branches, or mountains, or even snowflakes where one in a million approaches perfect symmetry, but almost all never quite make it.

The interest in symmetry and its relationship to the natural world has a long history. The Ancient Greeks became obsessed to discover nature’s underlying building blocks and Plato identified five perfect symmetrical shapes well before modern science could see molecular structures. Several thousand years earlier the great mystics had already reached their conclusions about nature and symmetry. The most sophisticated and earliest living document used by the Greeks in their quest for insight into nature was Hebrews uniquely alphanumeric Torah - The Bible. Here’s a glimpse of their discovery in the numerical values derived from the value of its 22 letters in the first 7 words of its opening verse (read from right to left);

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" =   2701, which is also the addition of numbers 1+2+3+...73 known as the "triangle" of 73 it can also be expressed as ‘73 X 37 (37 is 73's midpoint)’.

The large triangle is the 73rd drawn with 2701 blocks. It contains the inverted 37th triangle drawn with 703 blocks, and three 36th triangles each with 666 blocks.

The three sides of the 37th triangle (in the middle) intersect the 73rd’s sides at each midpoint (37th).

The edges of the 36th triangles are drawn with 216 blocks also equal to the 6x6x6 cube - the only known cube with a superficial area equal to its volume.

The 6th word = 407 + 7th word = 296 (each a multiple of 37) = 703. According to Kabbalah - Yesod (6th) and Malchut (7th) are the attributes of Foundation and Kingship - the manifestation of the upper worlds in the lower.

The hexagram of 73 'stars' above contains the inner hexagon of 37
- 18 (purple) stars representing 666 and 19 (tan) stars representing 703 - the whole number midpoints of the 36th and 37th triangles.

The words in the opening line of Torah exhibit symmetry that is not visible in nature where disorder prevails. So, why reflect perfect order in the opening verse in which the natural world is created, a seeming contradiction to natural disorder? This paradox fascinated Greek thinkers who through their observations of the material world revealed mathematic and scientific distortions that would undermine the logic of Torah’s unified spiritual proposition.

Whilst the Greeks were leading the world to adopt a more material philosophy to explain logical reasons for the Honey Bee's hexagonal hive, Israelites were focused on emphasizing their spiritual origins. Ancient Jewish spirituality drove the materialistic Greek intelligentsia crazy. They could not comprehend why Jews would follow a text promoting belief in and homage to a monotheistic God no-one could see, touch or render. Eventually the maddened Greeks capitalized on Jewish disunity conquering and defiling Israel’s holy temple in Jerusalem where their God might dwell.

In the natural world, the Torah represents God by His female attributes referred to as the Queen and the Jewish assembly is strongest when She is in their presence. This spiritual logic is reflected in the actions of worker bees that perfect natural disorder by subjecting themselves to serve the greater purpose of their queen. Indeed , this is the archetypal model for their successful existence. And so it is true with the Jewish people, for the more Jews subjugate to this principle of spiritual unity and symmetry, the more unified their nation becomes and when they embrace this psychological disposition, the nations of the world, the plants and the trees, reap benefits.

The uniquely Jewish paradox that kosher honey emerges from non-kosher bees can now be understood. In nature, where disorder is the trending characteristic, order is achieved through reverence. In the unifying principle of monotheistic deference, which Torah proposes in its opening words, disorder is ordered. The bee is a worker devoted to lifelong service of its queen and the Jew pursues the same dedication to the unending presence of Queen with King that constitutes the God of Israel. Therefore, the bee represents the model ‘state of being’, an impure vessel producing that which is pure. The vessel never becomes kosher, however through the bees unquestioning commitment and service, pure honey - the product of the bees effort is awarded its unique recognition in the Jewish laws of Torah.

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