On the Number 84

84 in Philosophy & Religion
172) Hymn 84 in Book 5 of the Rig Veda is a song of praise
to the Earth Goddess Prthivi:
1. THOU, of a truth,O Prthivi, bearest the tool that rends the hills:
Thou rich in torrents, who with might quickenest earth, O Mighty One.
2 To thee, O wanderer at will, ring out the lauds with beams of day,
Who drivest, like a neighing steed, the swelling cloud, O bright of hue.
3 Who graspest with thy might on earth. e'en the strong sovrans of the wood,
When from the lightning of thy cloud the rain-floods of the heaven descend.
Rig Veda, Book 5, 84.1-3 (circa 1500 B.C.)
173) Chapter 84 in Papyrus of Ani, Egyptian Book of the Dead:
Chapter for being transformed into a heron—
I am the mightiest of the bulls, I am the forceful one among
them, I am the twin braided locks which are on the head
of the shorn priest, whom they of the sunshine worship,
whose stroke is sharp. I am vindicated on earth, and the
terror of me is in the sky— and vice versa; it is my strength
which makes me victorious to the height of the sky,
I am held in respect to the breadth of the sky,
my strides are towards the towns of the Silent Land.
I have gone and reached Wenu; I have ejected the gods from their paths,
I have struck down those who are wakeful within their shrines.
I do not know the Primordial Water, I do not know the emerging earth,
I do not know the red ones who thrust with their horns, I do not know
the magician, but I hear his word; I am this Wild Bull who is in the writings.
    Thus said the gods when they lamented the past: 'On your faces!
He has come to you while the dawn lacks you, and there is none who will protect you.'
My faults are in my belly, and I will not declare them; O Authority, wrong-doing is
of yesterday, but righteousness is of today. Righteousness runs on my eyebrows on
the night of the festival 'The Old Woman lies down and her land is guarded.'

Egyptian Book of the Dead: Book of Going Forth by Day
Complete Papyrus of Ani, Chapter 84 (circa 1250 B.C.)
(translated by Raymond Faulkner),
Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1994, Plate 28
174) Aphorism 84 of Symbols of Pythagoras:
Neque in aquiminali intingendum, neque in balneo lavandum.
Neither bathe in a hand basin, nor wash yourself in a bath.
There is a place for every purpose under heaven,
and a place designed for one purpose should not
be converted to another use.

Pythagoras (580-500 B.C.), Symbols of Pythagoras
(translated by Sapere Aude, Collectanea Hermetica, Vol. V, 1894)
reprinted in Percy Bullock, The Dream of Scipio, Aquarian Press,
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, UK, 1983, p. 87
175) Section 84 of Plato's Phaedo— A philosopher's soul, Socrates' silence, Swan song:
A philosopher's soul will take the view which I have described... this soul secures
immunity from its desires by following reason and abiding always in her company,
and by contemplating the true and divine and unconjecturable, and drawing
inspiration from it, because such a soul believes that this is the right way
to live while life endures, and that after death it reaches a place which is
kindred and similar to its own nature, and there is rid forever of human ills...
There was silence for some time after Socrates had said this. He himself, to judge
from his appearance, was still occupied with the argument which he had just been
stating, and so were most of us, but Simmias and Cebes went on talking in a low voice...
Evidently you think that I have less insight into the future than a swan; because
when these birds feel that the time has come for them to die, they sing more loudly
and sweetly than they have sung in all their lives before, for joy that they are
going away into the presence of the god whose servants they are.

Plato (428-348 BC), Phaedo 84a, 84c, 84e (360 BC)
(trans. Hugh Tredennick), Edited by Edith Hamilton & Huntington Cairns,
Plato: The Collected Dialogues, Bollingen Series LXXI,
Princeton University Press, 1961, p. 67
176) 84th Verse of Buddha's Dhammapada: Canto VI— The Spiritually Mature
Not for one's own sake, nor for the sake of others, should one desire sons,
wealth, or territory; one should not desire success for oneself by unrighteous
means. He who behaves in such a way is virtuous, is wise, is righteous.

Buddha, Dhammapada Verse 84 (240 B.C.)
(translated by Sangharakshita, Dhammapada: The Way of Truth, 2001, p. 36)
177) 84th Verse in Chapter 18 of Astavakra Gita
(Sage Astavakra's dialogue with King Janaka):
Shining is the life of the wise man who is free from any expectation,
who is without attachment to children, wife and others, without desire
for sense-objects and without care even for his own body.

Astavakra Gita Chapter 18, Verse 84 (circa 400 B.C.)
translated by Radhakamal Mukerjee, Astavakra Gita,
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, India, 1971, p. 161.
178) 84th Aphroism Patanjali's Yoga Sutra:
When these are obstructed by improper thoughts,
the constant pondering upon the opposites is necessary.

Vyasa Commentary: Whenever any or all of the ten duties indicated under
Yama (Forbearance) and Niyama (Observance) are not fully sustained on account
of other improper thoughts, the best way to escape from these thoughts is to
think upon their opposites. For example, the way to eliminate a desire to kill
is by thinking upon its opposite, namely, the quality of love for one's beloved.
The rule briefly indicated here is of the greatest practical use to beginners.

Patanjali (circa 200 B.C.), Yoga Sutra II.33: Aphroism 84 (circa 200 B.C.)
translated by M. N. Dvivedi, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, India, 1934, p. 54
179) Text 84 of On Prayer: 153 Texts
of Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 AD)
Prayer is the energy which accords with the dignity of
the intellect; it is the intellect's true and highest activity.

The Philokalia (4th-15th century AD),
translated by F.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, & Kallistos Ware,
Faber & Faber, London, 1979, p. 65)
180) Text 84 of On the Spiritual Law: 200 Texts
of Saint Mark the Ascetic (early 5th century AD)
Do not say: 'I do not know what is right, therefore I am not
to blame when I fail to do it.' For if you did all the good about
which you do know, what you should do next would then become clear
to you, as if you were passing through a house from one room to another.
It is not helpful to know what comes later before you have done what
comes first. For knowledge without action 'puffs up', but 'love edifies',
because it 'patiently accepts all things'.

The Philokalia (4th-15th century AD),
translated by F.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, & Kallistos Ware,
Faber & Faber, London, 1979, p. 115-116)
181) Text 84 of On Watchfulness and Holiness
of Saint Hesychios the Priest (8th or 9th century AD)
It is said that those who thirst should go to the waters.
Those who thirst for God should go in purity of mind. But he
who through such purity soars aloft should also keep an eye
on the earth of his own lowliness and simplicity, for no one
is more exalted than he who is humble. Just as when light is
absent, all things are dark and gloomy, so when humility is
absent, all our efforts to please God are vain and pointless.
The Philokalia (4th-15th century AD),
translated by F.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, & Kallistos Ware,
Faber & Faber, London, 1979, p. 176)
182) Text 84 of For the Encouragement of the Monks in India who had Written to Him:
100 Texts
of Saint John of Karpathos (circa 680 AD)
Do all in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall.
But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue the contest.
Even if you fall a thousand times because of the withdrawal of God's grace,
rise up again each time, and keep on doing so until the day of your death.
For it is written, 'If a righteous man falls seven times'— that is, repeatedly
throughout his life— seven times 'shall he rise again.' So long as you
hold fast, with tears and prayer, to the weapon of the monastic habit, you
will be counted among those that stand upright, even though you fall again
and again... and God will commend you, because even when struck you refused
to surrender or run away. But if you give up the monastic life, running away
like a coward and a deserter, you will lose your freedom of communion with God.

The Philokalia (4th-15th century AD),
translated by F.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, & Kallistos Ware,
Faber & Faber, London, 1979, p. 318)
183) Text 84 of On the Character of Men: 170 Texts
of Saint Anthony of Egypt (251-356 AD)
Do not try to teach people at large about devoutness and right living.
I say this, not because I begrudge them such teaching, but because I think
that you will appear ridiculous to the stupid. for like delights in like:
few— indeed, hardly any— listen to such instruction. It is better
therefore not to speak at all about what God wills for man's salvation.
The Philokalia (4th-15th century AD),
translated by F.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, & Kallistos Ware,
Faber & Faber, London, 1979, p. 342)
184) In Section 84 of Lankavatara Sutra, Buddha answers Mahamati
the Bodhisatva-Mahasattva's questions on the five Dharmas:
Further, Mahamati, of the five Dharmas— name, appearance, discrimination,
right knowledge, and suchness— appearance is that which is seen as having
such characteristics as form, shape, distinctive features, images, colours, etc.
Out of this appearance ideas are formed such as a jar, etc., by which one can say,
this is such and such, and no other; this is "name". When names are thus pronounced,
appearances are determined and there is "discrimination", saying this is mind and
this is what belongs to it. That these names and appearances are after all unobtainable
because when intellection is put away the aspect of mutuality ceases to be perceived
and imagined— this is called the "suchness" of things. And this suchness may be
characterised as truth, reality, exact knowledge, limit, source, self-substance,
the unattainable. This has been realised by myself and the Tathagatas, truthfully
pointed out, recognied, made public, and widely shown. When, in agreement with this,
the truth is rightly understood as neither negative nor affirmative, discrimination
ceases to rise, and there is a state conformable to self-realisation by means of
noble wisdom, which is not the course of controversy pertaining to the philosophers,
Sravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas; this is "right knowledge". These are, Mahamati,
the five Dharmas, and in them are included the three Svabhavas, the eight Vijnanas,
the twofold egolessness, and all the Buddha-truthss. In this, Mahamati, reflect
well with your own wisdom and let others do the same, and do not allow yourself
to be led by another.
The Lankavatara Sutra (before 443 AD)
(translated from the Sanskrit by D. T. Suzuki, 1932, pp. 197-198)
185) 84th Verse of Sagathakam: Lankavatara Sutra:
When one seed is made pure, there is a turning into a state of no-seed;
the sameness comes from non-discrimination; from superabundance
there is birth and general confusion from which there grows
a multitude of seeds, hence the designation all-seed.
The Lankavatara Sutra (before 443 AD)
(translated from the Sanskrit by D. T. Suzuki, 1932, p. 233)
186) In the 99 Names of Allah, the 84th Name is Malik Al-Mulk:
The Eternal Owner of Sovereignty, The Lord of Absolute Ruling Power.
["Malik al-Mulk, Possessor of the Kingdom was listed as the 84th Name of Allah
in Arthur Jeffrey, Islam: Muhammad and His Religion (1958), pp. 93-98].
187) Chapter 84 of Mohammed's Holy Koran is titled "The Rending Asunder"
When the heaven bursts asunder,
And obeys its Lord and it must.
And when the earth is stretched,
And casts forth what is in it and becomes empty,
And obeys its Lord and it must.
Surely he was joyful among his followers.
Surely he thought that he would never return.
Yea! surely his Lord does ever see him.
But nay! I swear by the sunset redness,
And the night and that which it drives on,
And the moon when it grows full,
That you shall most certainly enter one state after another.
Mohammed, Holy Koran Chapter 84.1-5, 84.13-19 (7th century AD)
(translated by M. H. Shakir, Holy Koran, 1983)
188) 84th Verse of Chapter 5 in Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara:
Thus enlightened, one ought to be constantly active for
the sake of others. Even that which generally is forbidden
is allowed to the one who understands the work of compassion.
Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara: Entering the Path of Enlightenment
V.84 (Guarding of Total Awareness: Samprajanyaraksana) (circa 700 AD)
(translated by Marion L. Matics, Macmillan, London, 1970, p. 169)
189) 84th Verse of Chapter 9 in Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara:
The body does not exist, but because of delusion (moha)
there is a body-idea in its parts: because of a kind of
fabrication, like imagining a man in a stump.
Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara: Entering the Path of Enlightenment
IX.84 (Perfection of Wisdom: Prajna-paramita) (circa 700 AD)
(translated by Marion L. Matics, Macmillan, London, 1970, p. 219)
190) 84th Saying of Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu:
A monk asked, "What about it when a white cloud is independent?"
The master said, "How can you be at ease everywhere like a calm spring wind?
Chao Chou (778-897),
The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu, Sayings #84
translated by James Green, AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, CA, 1998, p. 36
191) Section 84 of Record of the Chan Master "Gate of the Clouds":
Having entered the Dharma Hall for a formal instruction, Master Yunmen said:
"I see that, in spite of my teaching on the second or third level, the lot
of you are unable to get it. So what's the purpose of vainly wearing monks' robes?
Do you understand? Let me explain this to you in plain terms: When at some later
point you go to various places and see some Venerable lift his finger or hold up
a fly-whisk and say 'this is Chan' and 'this is the Dao,' you ought to take your
staff, smash his head, and go away! Otherwise you'll end up among the followers
of Deva Mara and ruin our tradition."
    "If you really do not understand, look for the time being into some
word-creepers. I keep telling you that all the buddhas of past, present, and future
from lands innumerble as specks of dust, including the 28 Indian and the 6 Chinese
patriarchs, are all on top of this staff; they expound the Buddhist teaching, manifest
by virtue of their spiritual powers in different forms, and let their voices be heard
at will in all ten directions, without the slightest hindrance. Do you understand?
If you don't understand, do not pretend that you do. Well then: Have you closely
examined what I just said and do you really see it? But even if you'd reach that
plane, you still could not even dream of a true monk. You wouldn't even meet one
in a three-house hamlet!"
The Master abruptly seized his staff, drew a line on the ground, and said:
"All the buddhas and patriarchs are in here." He drew another line and said:
"All have gone out of here. Take care of yourselves!"
Master Yunmen (864-949),
Record of the Chan Master "Gate of the Clouds"
translated by Urs App, Kodansha International, NY & Tokyo, 1994, pp. 126-127
192) Case 84 of Hekiganroku: Yuima's "The Gate to the One and Only"
Main Subject: Yuima asked Manjusri, "What is the Bodhisattva's Gate
to the One and Only?" Manjusri answered, "To my mind, in all Dharmas,
there are no words, no preaching, no talking, no activity of consciousness.
It is beyond all questions and answers. That is entering the Gate to the
One and Only." Then Manjusri said to Yuima, "Each of us has had his say.
Now I ask you, what is the Bodhisattva's Gate to the One and Only?"
[Setcho says, "What did Yuima say?" And again he says, "I have seen through him."]

Setcho's Verse:
You foolish old Yuimakitsu,
Sorrowful for sentient beings,
You lie sick in Biyali,
Your body all withered up.

The teacher of the Seven Buddhas comes,
The room is cleared of everything.
You ask for the Gate to the One and Only;
Are you repulsed by Manju's words?

No, not repulsed; the golden-haired lion
Can find you nowhere.

Setcho (980-1052), Hekiganroku, 84 (Blue Cliff Records)
(translated by Katsuki Sekida, Two Zen Classics, 1977, pp. 363-366)
[Notes: The main subject of Case 84 is based on the Vimalakirti-nirdesa Sutra.
Yuima is another name for Vimalakirti, a semi-legendary person and a lay disciple of Buddha.
One day he failed to appear at the Buddha's gathering, and word was sent that he was sick.
He was sick because "sentient beings are sick." The Buddha sent Manjusri to inquire after him.
Manjusri was followed by 31 Bodhisattvas and 32,000 Arhats, all of whom could fit into Yuima's
room, which was ten feet square. Yuima asked the Bodhisattvas, "What is the Gate to the One
and Only [absolute oneness]?" Each of them gave his answer. When all 31 had finished, Yuima
put the same question to Manjusri, who answered as in the present case. When Manjusri asked
this question, Yuima remained silent, and had no words (His silence, properly understood,
was a thunderous roar). "Golden-haired lion" is an epithet of Manjusri. He can find Yuima
nowhere because of Yuima's golden silence.]
193) Aphroism 84 of Guigo's Meditations:
The more noble and powerful each creature is, the more willing it is subject to
the truth. In fact it is powerful and noble precisely because it is subject to it.

Guiges de Chastel (1083-1137), Meditations of Guigo, Prior of the Charterhouse
translated by John J. Jolin, Marquette University Press, Milwaukee, 1951, p. 16
194) Parzival brings mysterious gems of "vast power"
to heal his uncle Anfortas, the Fisher King
in the 84th Line of Chapter 16 in Eschenbach's Parzival:
One brought to him a cheerful mood,
And some for joy and cure were good,
As each one had the quality.
In them vast power one could see
Whose skill his wit can strengthen.
In this way they must lengthen
Anfortas' life— their heart he bore.
His fate brought on them grieving sore.
But joy is reaching him afresh,
For he has reached Terr' de Salvaesch'

Wolfram von Eschenbach (1165-1217) Parzival (1195)
Book XVI: "Parzival Becomes King of the Grail", Lines 81-90
(translated by Edwin H. Zeydel & Bayard Quincy Morgan,
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1951, p. 325)
195) Section 84 in Chapter II:
"The Essentials of Learning"
of Chu Hsi's Chin-ssu lu (1175):
Confucius was completely free from four things [Analects, IX.4]. His is the teaching
that covers both extremes, the beginning of learning and the completion of virtue.
Arbitrariness of opinion means selfish ideas. Dogmatism means desiring one's own
ends. Obstinacy means absence of flexibility. And egoism means being obstructed.
If one has any of these, he will be different from Heaven and Earth.

Chu Hsi (1130-1200), Reflections on Things at Hand (Chin-ssu lu)
translated by Wing-Tsit Chan
Columbia University Press, NY, 1967, p. 75
196) Section 84 of William of Auvergne's The Trinity, or the First Principle:
No one can possibly doubt that those whose essence is utterly one are less many
than those whose essences are diverse... Also, whenever the effect is from a cause
according to itself, there is necessarily a first and essential likeness and agreement
between the cause and effect. For from each thing according to itself there proceeds
only what is most similar. Unlikeness, however, is not from one thing according
to itself. Hence, the first source and its first emanation are similar by the first
and highest likeness, since between them no cause of unlikeness intervenes,
since the one emanates and the other is emanated according to the same thing.

William of Auvergne (1180-1249), The Trinity, or the First Principle, Ch. XIV
(translated by Roland J. Teske & Francis C. Wade,
Marquette University Press, Milwaukee, 1989, pp. 120-121)
197) Letter 84 of The Letters of Marsilio Ficino:
Reply to the letter about the sparing use of time
Lorenzo de' Medici to Marsilio Ficino, the Platonic philosopher: greetings.
I was indeed delighted with your letter which reproved me for the waste of
past time, in such a way that my idleness does not appear to have been entirely
useless. For the result of my waste of this brief time is that directions have
come from you which are not only for my benefit but for the benefit of all those
who suffer from the same disease. you have often unfolded your mind to me, but
in this letter of yours you seem repeatedly to have gone beyond every other proof
of friendship in good will toward me. Perhaps this is because you are first in love
and far exceed all others in friendship to me; perhaps it is because you are able
to bestow abundantly those gifts of friendship which others cannot. For others who
attend us with their kindness can bestow riches, honours, or pleasure. But those
gifts are all in fortune's hand, so that we have nothing surer than their uncertainty
nor more reliable than their inconstancy. This you have often taught and I have even
more often experienced. But you are such a source of instruction and you show such
friendship toward me that it is obvious you are second to none of my friends in virtue,
as you surpass them all in love; and this you do from your own natural goodness.
You do this moreover because you are aware that these virtues have been given
to men by immortal God on this condition: that they are used for as many people
as possible; and you cannot be tempted to misuse this divine generosity...
    Nothing can bring such light into my life as your joyful companionship
and advice, which is of such authority and so full of love. If these failed so would
that other part of my life, outside which everything else is nothing. By this danger
I have been reminded that I should more freely and more often make use of you;
and since our human condition is such that it is more effectively influenced
by example than by reason I mean thus to profit more from both you and time;
from time because it has no tomorrow, from you because you are a man for
whom no moment is free from the dread of death.
    Farewell and take care of your health.     10th October, 1474. Florence.
Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), Letter to Marsilio Ficino
The Letters of Marsilio Ficino, Vol. I, Shepheard-Walwyn, London, 1975, pp. 133-134
198) Section 84 of Wang Yang Ming's Instructions for Practical Living:
The Teacher said: “Nowadays, people who pursue what I call the learning of the
investigation of things still for the most part fall into mere talking and listening.
How much less can those who pursue learning and listening return to the investigation
of things? The refinement and subtlety of the Principle of Nature and selfish human
desires are such that one must make a constant effort at self-examination and self-
mastery before he can gradually see it... How can one expect to know all by merely
talking? Now if we merely talk about the Principle of Nature, leave it there and do
not follow it, and talk about selfish human desires, leave them there and do not get
rid of them, is that the learning of the investigation of things and the extension
of knowledge? Even at its best, the learning of later generations has only reached
its point of achievement through incidental acts of righteousness.”

Wang Yang Ming (1472-1529),
Instructions for Practical Living or Ch'uan-hsi lu (1518), I.84
(translated by Wing-tsit Chan, Columbia University Press, NY, 1963, pp. 54-55)
199) Verse 84 in Book I of Angelus Silesius The Cherubinic Wanderer (1657):
Wie wird man Gotte gleich?

Wer Gott wil gleiche seyn
muß allem ungleich werden.
Muß ledig seiner selbst
und loß seyn von beschwerden
How to become godlike

He who would grow like god
unlike all else must be,
Must rid him of himself,
of all complaints be free.
Angelus Silesius (1624-1677), The Cherubinic Wanderer I.84
Alexandrines of Angelus Silesius (1657), translated by Julia Bilger
The Driftwind Press, North Montpelier, VT, 1944, p. 37 (German version, I.84)
200) Section 84 of Swedenborg's Arcana Coelestia (1837):
And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had made.
The celestial man is the "seventh day", which, as the Lord has worked
during the six days, is called "His work"; and as all combat then ceases,
the Lord is said to "rest from all His work." On this account the seventh
day was sanctified, and called the Sabbath, from a Hebrew word meaning "rest".
And thus was man created, formed, and made. These things are very evident.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)
Arcana Coelestia, 84 (Swedenborg Foundation, NY, 1965, pp. 44-45)
201) 84th Section of Swedenborg's Worlds in Space (1758)
relates to the planet Jupiter and its spirits and inhabitants:
I saw a bald head, but only its upper, bony part; and I was told that those who are due
to die within a year see such a vision, and they then prepare themselves. The people
there are not afraid of dying... because they know they will go on living after death.
They know they are not leaving life, because they are going to heaven; so they do not call
it dying, but becoming heavenly. If in that world they have lived in a state of truly
conjugal love and have taken care of their children as parents should, they do not die
of disease, but peacefully as if in sleep; and so they pass from that world to heaven.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), The Worlds in Space, 84
(translated from Latin by John Chadwick, Swedenborg Society, London, 1997, p. 58)
202) Chapter 84 of Franklin Merell-Wolff's Pathways through to Space (1936)
is a poem titled "Nirvana":
Felt dimly in the soul, by world-man unconceived;
Unknown Goal of all yearning;
The Fullness that fills the inner void,
Completing the half-forms of outer life;
The Eternal Beloved, veiled in the objects of human desire;
Undying, Timeless, Everlasting;
Old as Infinity, yet ever new as upspringing youth;
Pearl beyond price, Peace all-enveloping;
Divinity spreading through all.
"Blown-out" in the grand conflagration of Eternity,
Death destroyed as a dream no longer remembered.
Life below but a living death,
Nirvana the ever-living Reality.
Divine Elixir, the Breath of all creatures;
The Bliss of full Satisfaction;
Uncreated, though ceaseless Creativeness;
Ecstasy of ecstasies, thrilling through and through,
Freed from the price of ignoble pleasure;
The Rest of immeasurable refreshment,
Sustaining the labors embodied;
The one Meaning giving worth to all effort;
Balancing the emptiness of living death,
With values beyond conceiving.
The Goal of all searching, little understood,
By few yet attained, though free to all.
Sought afar, but never found,
For closer IT lies than all possession;
Closer than home, country or race,
Closer than friend, companion, or Guide,
Closer than the body, feeling, or thought,
For closest of all IT lies,
Thine own true SELF.

Franklin Merrell-Wolff
Franklin Merrell-Wolff (1887-1985), Pathways through to Space,
Chapter LXXXIV: Nirvana (October 28, 1936)
(2nd Edition, Julian Press, NY, 1973, pp. 220-221)
203) Chapter 84 of Wei Wu Wei's Ask the Awakened (1963)
is titled "Science and Soda":
Some people see a profound significance in the fact that modern science is busy establishing, in its dualistic analysis of the universe of our living dream, a resemblance to the non-dual universe known to the totally awakened, and vaguely described by them. Since these descriptions of the awakened, in so far as they are descriptions, must necessarily be dualistic also, it is hardly surprising that the two should resemble one another— for what the awakened see, when they look objectively, are 'mountains and rivers' as before— though no doubt with a difference, which is what they seek to describe.
    But the truth, which they cannot describe— since description,
even though itself, are necessarily objective— being pure subjectivity
is of another order or dimension altogether, so that no sort of comparison could
ever be possible (compare the Buddha's 'comparison' of the virtue or 'merits'
of samsaric almsgiving and nirvanic understanding, in the Diamond Sutra).
    That which the awakened see, objectively, are again 'mountains and
rivers'; that which they see, subjectively, is voidness (an eye looking at itself);
and when they desist from 'looking'— the ARE, which has been described
as sat-chit-ananda. [Note: What is the 'difference' in what the awakened see after disidentification? 'Looking'— subject regarding object— is always the same dualistic process conditioned by space-time limitations. But they know that phenomena are unreal, whereas to the rest of us that is at most theoretical only. Moreover they know that phenomena are subjectivity, since there is nothing else. To revert to the formula which has always seemed to me the simplest: they know that there is neither see-er nor seen, but only a see-ing. Perhaps that sufficiently suggests the 'difference' in their vision of the 'mountains and rivers'? Their see-ing, of course, is 'pure perception'.]
Wei Wu Wei (1895-1986), Ask the Awakened (1963), pp. 198-199

Paul Brunton (1898-1981),
Notebooks of Paul Brunton,
XV, Paras #84
from various chapters
Volume 15:
Advanced Contemplation
& The Peace Within You
Larson Publications,
Burdett, NY, 1988,
Part I: pp. 77, 102-103,
          142-143, 226;
Part II: pp. 12, 24, 89

Para #84 from Volume 15 of Paul Brunton's
Notebooks: "Advanced Contemplation"—
It is not easy to start a daring revolt against so much that we held for truth for so many years. To desert the Long Path even when dissatisfied with it calls for courage. (4.84)
If the Long Path is based on belief in man's power to attain the Good, the Short Path is based on the contrary belief that all such efforts end in futility and failure. It is then that a higher power than his little ego must by called on. For although the ego is willing to do everything to spiritualize and improve itself, it is stubbornly unwillin to "lose its life" for God's sake. (5.84)
The position of the impersonal observer is only a tentative one, assumed because it is a practical help perhaps midway toward the goal. For when it is well-established in understanding, outlook, and practice, something happens by itself: the observer and the observed ego with its body and world become swallowed up in the undivided Mind. (6.84)
In this experience he finds himself in sheer nothingness. There is not even the comfort of having a personal identity. Yet it is a paradoxical experience, for despite the total nothingness, he is neither asleep nor dead nor unconscious. Something is, but what it is, or how, or anything else about it, stays an unravelled mystery. (8.84)
Para #84 from Volume 15 of Paul Brunton's
Notebooks: "The Peace Within You"—
Jules Renard: "I am a happy man because
I have renounced happiness."
He is to cultivate a smooth calmness under all conditions until his emotions are never taken by surprise. He is to keep self-possesed at all times so that no contingency finds him inwardly unprepared for it. (2.84)
Chinese philosopher Lieh-tse wrote: "Avoid action, and keep the silence; all the rest is commentary." (4.84)
205) "Discipline And Success" is Lesson 84
of Subramuniyaswami's Merging with Siva (1999):
It is very important to decide exactly what you are going to meditate on before beginning. Then stay with the decision throughout the meditation and make every effort to avoid the tendency to become distracted and take off in a new direction. The Shum language as a tool for guiding the meditator is very helpful, because the individual's awareness is precisely held within the chosen area. This is similar to how we must discipline ourselves to be successful in outer activities. To become distracted is unacceptable. Successful people finish what they begin. It is possible to learn to meditate extremely well but be unsuccessful in practicing it if the meditator allows himself to become sidetracked once the inside of the mind has opened. To be successful, one has to be very, very firm with oneself when beginning a meditation. Each meditation must be performed in the way it was intended to be performed when the meditation was begun.
    To be successful in meditation, we have to bring the mind into a disciplined state. Undisciplined people can never be told what to do, because they will not listen. Their awareness is wafted around by every little fancy that comes along. Those who really want to make progress in meditation and continue to do so and better themselves year after year after year have to approach this art in an extremely positive and systematic way.
    Thousands of devotees have come and gone since the beginning of my mission in 1949. Each one of them was determined to go deep within and realize the Self, but many gave up along the way. This was because at times the shakti power became very strong within them and their inner nerve system was not ready to receive the impact. Others were successful because they were more disciplined, and when their inner power came up, they enjoyed its intensity by holding it steady within the spine. They rested in the bliss of awareness aware only of itself. They then continued the meditation as planned after the power began to wane.
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001)
Merging with Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Metaphysics
Himalayan Academy, Kapaa, Hawaii, 1999, pp. 172-173
206) Chapter 84 of Zen Master Seung Sahn's
Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is titled "Big Mistake":
One Sunday evening, after a Dharma talk at the International Zen Center
of New York, a student asked Soen-sa, "Does Big I ever make a mistake?"
    Soen-sa said, "A big mistake."
    The student said, "Who sees the mistake?"
    Soen-sa said, "It has already appeared."
Seung Sahn (born 1927),
Dropping Ashes on the Buddha:
The Teaching of Zen Master Seung Sahn
Edited by Stephen Mitchell, Grove Press, New York, 1976, p. 196
207) Koan 84 of Zen Master Seung Sahn—
"Whose Song Do You Sing":
One day, Jin Jae Sunim asked his teacher, Zen Master Hyang Gok,
"Whose song do you sing? Whose lineage do you follow?"
Hyang Gok replied, "I received one word
from Zen Master Un Mun and
I have never exhausted it."
  1. Whose song do you sing?
  2. Whose lineage do you follow?
  3. Is Hyang Gok's answer correct or not?
The sky is clear: Why is there lightning?

Seung Sahn (born 1927),
The Whole World Is A Single Flower
365 Kong-ans for Everyday Life
Tuttle, Boston, 1992, p. 61
84 in Poetry & Literature
208) Calchas tells Achilles of Apollo's rage in Line 84 from Book I of Homer's Iliad
Through the prophetic power Apollo
Had given him, and he [Calchas] spoke out now:
"Achilles, beloved of Zeus, you want me to tell you
About the rage of Lord Apollo, the Arch-Destroyer.
And I will tell you. But you have to promise me and swear
You will support me and protect me in word and deed.

Homer, The Iliad, I.80-85 (circa 800 BC)
(translated by Stanley Lombardo)
Hackett Publishing Co., Indianapolis, IN, 1997, p. 3
209) "Odysseus was sitting on the shore" [Odysseus]
in Line 84 of Book 5 from Book 1 of Homer's Odyssey
Calypso knew him at sight.
The immortals have ways of recognizing each other,
Even those whose homes are in outlying districts.
But Hermes didn't find the great hero inside [the cave].
Odysseus was sitting on the shore,
As ever those days, honing his heart's sorrow,
Staring out to sea with hollow, salt-rimmed eyes.

Homer, The Odyssey, V.80-86 (circa 800 BC)
(translated by Stanley Lombardo)
Hackett Publishing Co., Indianapolis, IN, 2000, p. 72
210) Han-shan's Poem 84 of Collected Songs of Cold Mountain:
white whisk and sandalwood handle
a perfume you smell all day
soft like curling fog
light like travelling clouds
for rites it's fine in summer
raised high it flicks dust away
and time after time in a ten-foot square
it's used to direct lost men
Han-shan (fl. 627-649), Collected Songs of Cold Mountain,
Poem 84 (translated by Red Pine, 1990)
( Robert G. Henricks translation, 1990; Burton Watson translation, 1962)
211) Poem 84 of The Poetry of Wang Wei:
Written at Qi River Fields and Gardens
Life in retreat by the Qi River:
The eastern wilds are vast, no mountains in sight.
The sun is hidden beyond the mulberries,
And the river gleams between the villages.
Herdboys leave gazing afar at their hamlets;
Hunting dogs return following men.
A peaceful man— what is there to do?
The brushwood gate is closed all day long.
Wang Wei (701-761), The Poetry of Wang Wei, Poem 84
translated by Pauline Yu,
Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 1980, pp. 173-174
212) Poem 84 from The Manyoshu: On the occasion of the night-sojourn
of Prince Karus on the plain of Aki.

The travellers taking shelter
On the plain of Aki,
Can they sleep at their ease,
Remembering the days gone by?

The Manyoshu, Poem 84 (circa 750 AD)
(The Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai translation of One Thousand Poems
Foreword by Donald Keene, Columbia University Press, NY, 1965, p. 31) Japanese text
213) Poem 84 of Selected Poems of Po Chü-I is titled "Spring River":
Heat and cold, twilight and dawn succeed each other swiftly,
before I know it, already my second year in Chung-chou!
Shut up in my room, all I listen for are morning and evening drums;
climbing the tower, I gaze absently down on boats that come and go.
Enticed by oriole voices, I've come here under the blossoms;
spellbound by the color of the grasses, I sit by the water's edge.
Nothing but spring river, I never tire of watching it—
rounding sand spits, circling rocks, a rippling, murmuring green.
Po Chü-I (772-846), Selected Poems, Poem 84
translated by Burton Watson,
Columbia University Press, New York, 2000, p. 106
(translated by David Hinton)
214) Poem 84 of The Poetry of Li Shang-yin:
Expressing My Feeling
A junior official, and often ill to boot,
Following an appreciative patron, I have wandered far.
In friendly talks I am honored as a guest;
On holidays I grope in the dark.
Under the fine trees, I often move my couch;
Watching the strange clouds, I remain upstairs.
Not that there is no beautiful scenery,
Only that I am overcome with homesickness!
Li Shang-yin (813-858), Selected Poems, Poem 84
translated by James J. Y. Liu,
University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1969, p. 163
(translated by David Hinton)
215) Section 84 from The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon
is titled "Splendid Things":
Chinese brocade. A sword with a decorated scabbard. The grain of the wood in a Buddhist statue.
Long flowering branches of beautifully coloured wistaria entwined about a pine tree...
I need hardly say how splendid I find a learned Doctor of Literature. He may be of lowly
appearance, and of course he is a commoner; but the world at large regards him as an
impressive figure. As an Imperial Tutor, he is consulted about all sorts of special matters,
and he is free to approach the most eminent members of the Emperor's family. When he has
composed one of his prayers for the Emperor or the introduction to some poem, he becomes
the object of universal praise. A learned priest is also splendid. It is impressive enough
when he reads his breviary by himself, but how much more so when he is among several
Lectors officiating in the Sacred Readings at one of the fixed periods! It is getting dark.
'Why haven't they brought the oil?' says one of the Lectors. 'How late they are in lighting
the lamps!' All the Lectors stop reading, but the learned priest continues quietly reciting
the scriptures from memory... Anything purple is splendid, be it flowers, thread, or paper.
Among purple flowers, however, I do not like the iris despite its gorgeous colour. What makes
the costume of Sixth Rank Chamberlains so attractive when they are on night duty is the
purple trousers... A large garden all covered with snow.

Sei Shonagon (965-c. 1017),
The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, Section 84 (circa 994 AD)
Translated & Edited by Ivan Morris
Columbia University Press, NY, 1967, Vol. I, pp. 90-92)
216) Poem 84 of Su Tung-p'o (1036-1101)
is titled "Black Muzzle" (1100):
Black Muzzle, south sea dog,
How lucky I am to be your master!
On scraps growing plump as a gourd,
Never grumbling for fancier food.
Gentle by day, you learn to tell my friends;
Ferocious by night, you guard the gate.
When I told you I was going back north,
You wagged your tail and danced with delight,
Bounced along after the boy,
Tongue out, dripping a shower of sweat.
You wouldn't go by the long bridge
But took a short cut across the clear deep bay,
Bobbing along like a water bird,
Scrambling up the bank fiercer than a tiger,
You steal meat— a fault, though a minor one,
But I'll spare you the whip this time.
You nod your head by way of thanks,
Heaven having given you no words.
Someday I'll get you to take a letter home—
Yellow Ears was your ancestor, I'm sure.
[Notes: "Yellow Ears" was the pet dog of the poet Lu Chi (261-303)
who delivered his master's letter home in a bamboo container tied to his neck.
translated by Burton Watson,
Su Tung-P'o: Selections from a Sung Dynasty Poet,
Columbia University Press, New York, 1965, pp. 132-133
Expanded edition, Copper Canyon Press, 1994)
217) Verse 84 of Rubáiyát, of Omar Khayyam (1048-1122):
Said one among them— "Surely not in vain
My substance of the common Earth was ta'en
And to this Figure moulded, to be broke,
Or trampled back to shapeless Earth again."
(translated by Edward Fitzgerald, London, 1st Ed. 1859, 2nd Ed. 1868)
218) Verse 84 of Saigyo's Mirror for the Moon:
My dilemma:
That deep realization will
Never come to
My mind, the truth of which
My mind realizes all too well.

Saigyo (1118-1190), Mirror for the Moon,
(translated by William R. LaFleur, New Directions, NY, 1978, p. 44)
219) Verse 84 of Rumi Daylight:
Look at every animal from the gnat to the elephant:
they all are God's family
and dependent on Him for their nourishment.
What a nourisher is God!
All these griefs within our hearts
arise from the smoke and dust
of our existence and vain desires.
Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273), Mathnawi, I.2295-6
Rumi Daylight, Verse 84
(Edited by Camille & Kabir Helminski, 1994, p. 58)
220) Quatrain 84 of Rumi (Kulliyat-e-Shams
edited by B.Z. Furuzanfar, Amir Kabir Press):
Don't think.
Don't get lost in your thoughts.
Your thoughts are a veil on the face of the Moon.
That Moon is your heart,
      and those thoughts cover your heart.
So let them go.
      Just let them fall into the water.
Jelaluddin Rumi, "A Garden Beyond Paradise",
A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi
(translated by Jonathan Star), Bantam Books, NY, 1992, p. 48
221) The 84th Canto of Dante's Commedia is Canto 17 of Paradiso
where Dante is in the Fifth Heaven, the Sphere of Mars.
Dante's great-great-grandfather Cacciaguida tells
what the future awaits Dante. He prophecizes Dante's
exile and tribulations. He offers words of comfort and
urges Dante to fearlessly fulfill his poetic mission.
( Allen Mandelbaum translation, 1982)
222) Dante searches for Virgil's poetry for guidance
in the 84th line of the Inferno:
"O de li altri poeti onore e lume
vagliami 'l lungo studio e 'l grande amore
che m'ha fatto cercar lo tuo volume.
"O light and honor of all other poets,
may my long study and the intense love
that made me search your volume serve me now.
Inferno I.82-84 ( Allen Mandelbaum translation, 1984)
223) Dante is more keen than ever as he's dazzled by
the Sphere of Fire in the 84th line of Paradiso:
La novità del suono e 'l grande lume
di lor cagion m'accesero un disio
mai non sentito di cotanto acume.
The newness of the sound and the great light
incited me to learn their cause— I was
more keen than I had ever been before.
Paradiso I.82-84 ( Allen Mandelbaum translation, 1984, p. 7)
224) Poem 84 of The Zen Works of Stonehouse:
My cookstove is quiet the smoke has stopped
the spring is frozen the sky says snow
facing a wall my concentration gone
again I think about begging in town
Ch'ing-hung (1272-1352),
The Zen Works of Stonehouse, Poem 84
translated by Red Pine (Bill Porter),
Mercury House, San Francisco, p. 43 (Zen Poems)
225) Verse 84 of Hafiz: The Tongue of the Hidden:
Wait, wait, my lass! Pour out your wine again,
Two cups— or three— for each of all these men
    Who say that they abjure the merry life;—
Should they refuse, why, I will drink them then.

Hafiz (1320-1389), Hafiz: The Tongue of the Hidden, Verse 84
adaptation by Clarence K. Streit, Viking Press, NY, 1928
(Author on Time cover, March 27, 1950)
226) Verse 84 of The Divan of Hafez:
Precious time wasted. Let us make amends for the life
That in the absence of the decanter and the cup has passed.
Make me so drunk that in my ecstasy I may not know
Who came into this field of illusion and who passed.
Hoping that a draught of your cup may reach me,
In the tavern, every morn and eve in prayer to you passed.
The ascetic had arrogance, so he did not make to safety.
The rend, by way of humility, into the paradise passed.
Give no more advice to Hafez. For, did not find the road
That lost one into whose mouth no pure wine passed.

Hafiz (1320-1389), The Divan of Hafez, Verse 84
translated from the Persian by Reza Saberi,
University Press of American, Lanham, MD, 2002, p. 101
227) Line 84 from the Pearl Poet's Pearl: "Against that glorious splendour bright"
The gravayl that on grounde con grynde
Wern precious perles of oryente;
The sunnebemes bot blo and blynde
In respecte of that adubbement.
The gravel on the ground below
Was precious pearls of Orient light;
The sunlight's beams could scarely show
Against that glorious splendour bright.
Pearl (c. 1370-1400) Lines 81-84
(Edited by J.J. Anderson, Everyman, London, 1996, p. 4)
(This Pearl translation: by Bill Stanton, another by Vernon Eller)
228) Line 84 from the Pearl Poet's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight:
A knight beholds a beautiful lady:
The loveliest to behold looked
about her with grey-blue eyes;
no man might truthfully say that
he had ever seen a more beautiful lady.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (c. 1375-1400) Lines 81-84
( Edited by J.J. Anderson, Everyman, London, 1996, p. 170)
229) The beggar in Verse 84 of Songs of Kabir:
The Beggar goes a-begging, but
    I could not even catch sight of Him:
And what shall I beg of the Beggar?
    He gives without my asking.
Kabir says: "I am His own: now let
    that befall which may befall!"
Kabir (1398-1448), Songs of Kabir, Verse LXXXIV
(Translated by Rabindranath Tagore, Macmillan, NY, 1916, p. 130)
230) Chapter 84 of Wu Ch'eng-en The Journey to the West:
It's hard to destroy the priests to reach great enlightenment;
The Dharma-king perfects the right, his body's naturalized.
As he [Tripitaka T'ang] followed Pilgrim to head for the West,
it was soon again the time of summer, when warm breezes freshly
stirred, and rain of the plum season drizzled down in fine strands.
Marvelous scenery, it is:
    Lush and dense is the green shade;
    In light breeze young swallows parade.
    New lilies unfold on the ponds;
    Old bamboos spread slowly their fronds.
    The sky joins the meadows in green;
    Mountain blooms o'er the ground are seen.
    Swordlike, rushes stand by the brook;
    Pomegranates redden this sketchbook.
Wu Ch'eng-en (1500-1582),
The Journey to the West or Hsi-yu chi (1518), Volume 4, Chapter 84
(translated by Anthony C. Yu, University of Chicago Press, 1980, p. 139)
231) Warning to poets who are drunken with praise
in Sonnet 84 of William Shakespeare:
Who is it that says most, which can say more,
Than this rich praise, that you alone, are you,
In whose confine immured is the store
Which should example where your equal grew?
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell
That to his subject lends not some small glory;
But he that writes of you, if he can tell
That you are you, so dignifies his story.
Let him but copy what in you is writ,
Not making worse what nature made so clear,
And such a counterpart shall fame his wit,
Making his style admired every where.
You to your beauteous blessings add a curse,
Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616),
Sonnets LXXXIV, Commentary
232) 84th Haiku of Basho's Haiku (1678):
On the second day,
No more blunders!
The Spring of Blossoms.
Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), Basho's Haiku, Vol. 1, Haiku 84
(translated by Toshiharu Oseko, Maruzen, Tokyo, 1990, p. 84)
233) "With impulse, mystic and divine"
in Line 84 of Goethe's Faust:
Beschränkt mit diesem Bücherhauf,
den Würme nagen, Staub bedeckt,
Den bis ans hohe Gewölb hinauf
Ein angeraucht Papier umsteckt;
Mit Gläsern, Büchsen rings umstellt,
Mit Instrumenten vollgepfropft,
Urvüter Hausrat drein gestopft—
Das ist deine Welt! das heißt eine Welt!
I feel a youthful, holy, vital bliss
In every vein and fibre newly glowing.
Was it a God, who traced this sign,
With calm across my tumult stealing,
My troubled heart to joy unsealing,
With impulse, mystic and divine,
The powers of Nature here, around
    my path, revealing?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832),
Faust, Scene I: Night (Faust monologue)
Verse translation by Bayard Taylor (1870), Lines 79-85
Modern Library, New York, 1950, p. 17 (German, English)
234) Poem 84 of Goethe, the Lyrist: 100 Poems
"Sprüche #8":
Wo Anmassung mir wohlgefällt?
An Kindern; denen gehört die Welt.
Epigrams & Sayings #8:
Where does presumpuousness have merit?
In children. The world is theirs to inherit.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), "Sprühe #8"
Goethe, the Lyrist: 100 Poems, (translated by Edwin H. Zeydel
University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 1955, pp. 162-163)
235) Poem 84 of The Zen Poems of Ryokan:
It was a whim of destiny that brought me under my teacher.
After a while, I left his temple to fall into my own ways.
Free from hunger, freed from sickness, I now live content,
Contemporary of ancient sages and old leaders of my faith.
Ryokan (1758-1831), The Zen Poems of Ryokan, Poem 84
translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa,
Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 65
(Poet-Seers, Zen Poems)
236) 84th Haiku of Issa's Haiku:
Field tilling—
babe crawls
through horsetails.
Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827),
The Dumpling Field: Poems of Issa, Haiku 84
(translated by Lucien Stryk, Swallow Press, Athens, Ohio, 1991, p. 25)
237) 84th Poem of Thomas Cole:
Lines Suggested by Hearing Music
on the Boston Common at Night

Music it was I heard, and music too
Of mortal utterance; but it did sound
Unto my Fancy's ear like that of spirits;
Spirits that dwell within the vasty caves
Near the earth's center—
            Silence dwelt around.
Then came soft sounds slowly, with pauses 'twist
Like sighs of sleepers in deep distant caves
They sank and list'ning silence reign'd again.

Then rose a voice, a single voice but shrill
It rent the sable curtains of the gloom
And ev'ry spirit rais'd his sleepy head
From the cold pillow of the dripping rock—
Again the single voice, rang with a shriller tone,
Each spirit answer'd from his hidden nook—
Some voices came from distant winding cliffs
And sought the ear like angel whisperings.
From the deep arches of the rocky roof
Tones rich as those of heav'n's own trumpets burst.
From out the dark profound abyss arose
Sounds as of earthquake, thunder, or the roar
Of booming cataracts— silence again—

Hark! They have met within the giant hall:
Whose roof is pillar'd by huge mountain tops,
And voices shrill, and deep in concord loudly join.
The heaving harmony sweeps to and fro
Surge over surge and fills the ample place.
Ocean of sound sublime! The tides contend,
Augment, higher, yet higher; Earth cannot
Contain; it yields— 'tis riven— and falling rocks
And tottering pinnacles join their dread voices
In the tumultuous and astounding roar—

'Tis past. And nought now strikes the waiting ear
Save the soft echoes ling'ring on their way.
Soft! They have ceas'd to whisper, having found
The cave of silence their eternal tomb.

Thomas Cole (1801-1848), Thomas Cole's Poetry, Poem 84
(Compiled & Edited by Marshall B. Tymn, 1972, pp. 176-177)

Thomas Cole,
Self-Portrait (1836)

238) Chapter 84 of Melville's Moby-Dick (1851):
Steel and wood included, the entire spear is some ten or twelve feet in length;
the staff is much slighter than that of the harpoon, and also of a lighter material—
pine. It is furnished with a small rope called a warp, of considerable length,
by which it can be hauled back to the hand after darting... Look now at Stubb;
a man who from his humorous, deliberate coolness and equanimity in the direst
emergencies, was specially qualified to excel in pitchpoling. Look at him;
he stands upright in the tossed bow of the flying boat; wrapt in fleecy foam,
the towing whale is forty feet ahead. Handling the long lance lightly, glancing
twice or thrice along its length to see if it be exactly straight, Stubb whistlingly
gathers up the coil of the wrap in one hand, so asto secure its free end in his grasp,
leaving the rest unobstructed. Then holding the lance full before his waistband's
middle, he levels it at the whale; when, covering him with it, he steadily depresses
the butt-end in his hand, thereby elevating the point till the weapon stands fairly
balanced upon his palm, fifteen feet in the air. He minds you somewhat of a juggler,
balancing a long staff on his chin. Next moment with a rapid, nameless impulse,
in a superb arch the bright steel spans the foaming distance, and quivers in the
life spot of the whale. Instead of sparkling water, he now spouts red blood.

Herman Melville (1819-1891),
Moby-Dick, Chapter 84: Pitchpoling
239) 84th Poem of Emily Dickinson:
Her breast is fit for pearls,
But I was not a "Diver"—
Her brow is fit for thrones
But I have not a crest.
Her heart is fit for home—
I— a Sparrow— build there
Sweet of twigs and twine
My perennial nest.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, Poem 84 (circa 1859)
(edited by Thomas H. Johnson, 1955, p. 43)
240) 84th New Poem of Emily Dickinson:
Please rest the Life so many own,
for Gems abscond—

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
(Letter 438 to Samuel Bowles, about 1875)
New Poems of Emily Dickinson
(edited by William H. Shurr, University of North Carolin Press, 1993, p. 26)
241) There are 84 lines in Walt Whitman's poem Faces (1855).
Line 84 tells about "the justified mother of men":
The melodious character of the earth,
The finish beyond which philosophy cannot go, and does not wish to go,
The justified mother of men.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), Faces, Lines 82-84
A Textual Variorum of the Printed Poems, Vol. I, Poems, 1855-1856
(Edited by Sculley Bradley, Harold W. Blodgett, Arthur Golden, William White
New York University Press, 1980, p. 137)
242) Sun, moon, and stars in Line 84 of Walt Whitman's Passage to India (1871):
O, vast Rondure, swimming in space!
Cover'd all over with visible power and beauty!
Alternate light and day, and the teeming, spiritual darkness;
Unspeakable, high processions of sun and moon, and countless stars, above;
Below, the manifold grass and waters, animals, mountains, trees;
With inscrutable purpose— some hidden, prophetic intention;
Now, first, it seems, my thought begins to span thee.?

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Passage to India Section 5, Lines 81-87
A Textual Variorum of the Printed Poems, Vol. III, Poems, 1870-1891
(Edited by Sculley Bradley, Harold W. Blodgett, Arthur Golden, William White
New York University Press, 1980, p. 567)
84th Verse in Tagore's Gitanjali:
It is the pang of separation that spreads throughout the world
and gives birth to shapes innumerable in the infinite sky.
It is this sorrow of separation that gazes in silence
all nights from star to star and becomes lyric
among rustling leaves in rainy darkness of July.
It is this overspreading pain that deepens
into loves and desires, into sufferings
and joy in human homes; and this it is
that ever melts and flows in songs
through my poet's heart.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
Gitanjali: Song Offerings (1912), Verse 84

Rabindranath Tagore

244) Poem 84 of Rilke's Book of Images [1906]
is the 7th poem in "From a Stormy Night: Eight Leaves with a Title Leaf":
In solchen Nächten werden die Sterbenden klar,
greifen sich leise ins wachsende Haar,
dessen Halme aus ihres Schädels Schwäche
in diesen langen Tagen treiben,
als wollten sieuber der Oberflähe
des Todes bleiben.
Ihre Gebärde geht durch das Haus
als wenn überall Spiegel hingen;
und sie geben— mit diesem Graben
in ihren Haaren— Kräfte aus,
die sie in Jahren gesammelt haben,
      welche vergingen.
Nights like these, the dying see clearly,
reach down lightly into the growing hair
whose stalks out of their skulls' weakness
in those long hopeless days sprout,
as if they wanted to remain
above death's surface.
Their gesture goes through the house
as if mirrors hung everywhere;
and they give off— with this digging
into their hair— powers,
which they have gathered throughout years
      that are gone.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926),
Book of Images, Poem 84
(translated by Edward Snow), North Point Press, New York, 1991, pp. 228-229)
245) Line 84 of Rilke's Duino Elegies VII [1923]
on "girl in love alone at her window":
Aber ein Turm war groß, nicht wahr?
    O Engel, er war es,—
groß, auch noch neben dir?
    Chartres war groß—, und Musik
reichte noch weiter hinan und überstieg uns.
    Doch selbst nur eine Liebende—,
oh, allein am nächtlichen Fenster...
reichte sie dir nicht ans Knie—?
But a tower was great, was it not?
    O Angel, it was—
great, even compared to you?
    Chartres was great, and music
reached higher still, transcending us.
   Yet even a girl in love,
oh, alone at her window at night,
would she not reach to your knee?
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926),
Duino Elegies, VII.81-85
(translated by Patrick Bridgwater),
Menard Press, London, 1999, pp. 54-55)
(Other translations: Edward Snow; Robert Hunter)
246) 84th Page lines in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, (15 samples):
bore up wonderfully wunder all of it with a whole number of (84.10)
plumsized contusiums, plus alasalah bruised coccyx, all over him, (84.11)
reported the occurance in the best way he could, to the flabber- (84.12)
Vicar Lane, the white ground of his face all covered with diagon- (84.19)
ally redcrossed nonfatal mammalian blood as proofpositive of the (84.20)
seriousness of his character and that he was bleeding in self (84.21)
be middling along as it proved most fortunate that not one of (84.25)
the two hundred and six bones and five hundred and one muscles (84.26)
in his corso was a whit the whorse for her whacking. Herwho? (84.27)
Nowthen, leaving clashing ash, brawn and muscle and brass- (84.28)
made to oust earthernborn and rockcrystal to wreck isinglass but (84.29)
wurming along gradually for our savings backtowards mother (84.30)
waters so many miles from bank and Dublin stone (olympiading (84.31)
even till the eleventh dynasty to reach that thuddysickend Ham- (84.32)
laugh) and to the question of boney's unlawfully obtaining a (84.33)
James Joyce (1882-1941), Finnegans Wake, (1939), p. 84
247) There are 94 poems in Wallace Stevens, Opus Posthumous.
Poem 84 is titled "How Now, O, Brightener..." (1952):
Something of the trouble of the mind
Remains in the sight, and in sayings of the the sight,
Of the spring of the year,

Trouble in the spillage and first sparkle of sun,
The green-edged yellow and yellow and blue and blue edged green—
The trouble of the mind.

Is a residue, a land, a rain, a warmth,
A time, an apparition and nourishing element
And simple love,

In which the spectra have dewy favor and live
And take from this restlessly unhappy happiness
Their stunted looks.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955),
Opus Posthumous, Poem 84
Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1989, p. 124
248) Chapter 84 of Ezra Pound's Cantos (selections):
8th October...
Incense to Apollo
                                    snow on the marble
            against stone-white
on the mountain
and as who passed the gorges between sheer cliffs...
that Ho-Kien heard the old Dynasty's music
        as it might be at the Peach-blossom Fountain
where are smooth lawns with the clear stream
between them, silver, dividing,...
        Under white clouds, cielo di Pisa
out of all this beauty something must come,...
These are distinctions in clarity
ming these are distinctions
John Adams, the Brothers Adam
        there is our norm of spirit
        whereto we may pay our
If the hoar frost grip thy tent
Thou wilt give thanks when night is spent.

Ezra Pound (1885-1972), The Cantos (1-95),
New Directions, NY, 1956, pp. 115-118
249) Poem 84 of e. e. cummings's 95 Poems (1958):
how generous is that himself the sun

—arriving truly,faithfully who goes
(never a moment ceasing to begin
the mystery of day for someone's eyes)

with silver splendors past conceiving who

comforts his children,if he disappears;
till of more much than dark most nowhere no
particle is not a universe—

but if,withgoldenly his fathering

(as that himself out of all silence strolls)
nearness awakened,any bird should sing:
and our night's thousand million miracles

a million thousand hundred nothings seem
—we are himself's own self;his very him

e. e. cummings (1894-1962),
95 Poems (Norton, 1958), "Poem 84"
95 Poems
250) Page 84 in William Carlos Williams' Paterson (1958):
from the insistence of place—
                from knowledge,
from learning— the terms
foreign, conveying no immediacy, pouring down...
The dwarf lived there, close to the waterfall—
saved by his protective coloring.

Go home. Write. Compose

Be reconciled, poet, with your world, it is
the only truth!

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), Paterson (1958)
Edited by Christopher MacGowan
New Directions, NY, 1992, p. 84
(Published in Book II, Section 3, 1948)
251) Sonnet 84 in Pablo Neruda's 100 Love Sonnets (1960)
Once again, Love, the day's net extinguishes
work, wheels, fire, snores, good-byes,
and we surrender to the night the waving wheat
that noon took from the light and from the earth.

Only the moon, in the center of its white page,
supports the columns of the heaven's harbor,
the bedroom takes on the slowness of gold,
and your hands move, beginning to prepare the night.

O love, O night, O dome surrounded by a river
of impenetrable waters in the shadows of a sky
that lights and sinks its stormy grapes:

till we are only one dark space,
a chalice filling with celestial ashes,
a drop in the pulse of a long slow river.

Pablo Neruda
Love Sonnet LXXXIV, 100 Love Sonnets: Cien Sonetos de Amor, Sonnet LXXXIV
Editorial Losada, Buenos Aires, 1960 (trans. Stephen Tapscott, 1986, p. 179)
252) Allen Ginsberg's HOWL (1956) contains 112 lines.
Line 1:
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
Line 84:
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!
      Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long
      streets like endless Jehovas! Moloch whose fac-
      tories dream and choke in the fog! Moloch whose
      smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997),
Howl and Other Poems, City Lights Books, 1956, p. 21
253) There are 125 lines in Section VIII of Kenneth Rexroth's
"On Flower Wreath Hill" from The Morning Star (1979).
Line 84: "And open to probing bees." (lines 78-84):
Known prior to consciousness,
Night of ecstasy, night of
Illumination so complete
It cannot be called perceptible.
Winter, the flowers sleep on
The branches. Spring, they awake
And open to probing bees.

Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982)
The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth
"On Flower Wreath Hill" VIII.78-84
Edited by Sam Hamill & Bradford Morrow
Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, WA, 2003, p. 750
Chapter 84 in Jack Kerouac's Desolation Angels (1965):
Meanwhile Raphael has been reading the Diamondcutter of the Wise Vow (Diamond Sutra) that I paraphrased on Desolation, has it on his lap. "Do you understand it Raphael? There you'll find everything there is to know."
"I know what you mean. Yes I understand it." Finally I read sections
of it to the party to take their minds off the girl jealousies—:
"Subhuti, living ones who know, in teaching meaning to others, should first be free themselves from all the frustrating desires aroused by beautiful sights, pleasant sounds, sweet tastes, fragrance, soft tangibles, and tempting thoughts. In their practice of generosity, they should not be blindly influenced by any of these intriguing shows. And why? Because, if in their practice of generosity they are not blindly influenced by such things they will pass through a bliss and merit that is beyond calculation and beyond imagining. What think you, Subhuti? Is it possible to calculate the distance of space in the eastern skies? No, blissful awakener! It is impossible to calculate the distance of space in the eastern skies. Subhuti, is it possible to calculate the limits of space in the northern, southern, and western skies? Or to any of the four corners of the universe, or above or below or within? No, honored of the worlds! Subhuti, it is equally impossible to calculate the bliss and merit through which the living ones who know will pass, who practice generosity not blindly influenced by any of these judgments of the realness of the feeling of existence. This truth should be taught in the beginning and to everybody"...
They all listen intently... nevertheless there's something
in the room I'm not in on... pearls come in clams.
        The world will be saved by what I see
        Universal perfect courtesy—
        Orion in the fresh space of heaven
        One, two, three, four, five, six, seven—
Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)
Desolation Angel: A Novel, Coward-McCann, NY, 1965, Ch. 84, pp. 149-152
255) Poem 84 of Michael McClure's Ghost Tantras:
Ten trillion animal ancestor angels sing of thy lost tooth
and the flashing light of thy cheeks and eyes.
heaping the mounts of thy being about thee
with cub brilliance, noog grahn toor
nah ess foorgoon thah tohr-troon naie-aieooo.
what matters in the seedy vales.
And growing, sleeping, dancing.
Michael McClure (born Oct. 20, 1932),
Ghost Tantras, City Lights Books, 1967, p. 91)
256) There are 96 poems in W. S. Merwin's Writings to an Unfinished Accompaniment
Poem 84 is titled "In a Clearing":
The frost will come out under the stars
the falcons will grow thin as their voices
the fox will pretend to be old
the owl will bathe at night in the snow
the tracks of the hare will be empty shadows
I will forget

W. S. Merwin (born September 30, 1927),
Writings to an Unfinished Accompaniment, Atheneum, NY, 1973, p. 100
257) Poem 84 in Thomas Merton's Cables to the Ace (1968):
Desert and void. The Uncreated is waste and emptiness to the creature. Not even sand.
Not even stone. Not even darkness and night. A burning wilderness would at lest be
"something." It burns and is wild. But the Uncreated is no something. Waste.
Emptiness. Total poverty of the Creator: yet from this poverty springs everything.
The waste is inexhaustible. Infinite Zero. Everything comes from this desert Nothing.
Everything wants to return to it and cannot. For who can return "nowhere?" But for
each of us there is a point of nowhereness in the middle of movement, a point of
nothingness in the midst of being: the incomparable point, not to be discovered
by insight. If you seek it you do not find it. If you stop seeking, it is there.
But you must not turn to it. Once you become aware of yourself as seeker, you are
lost. But if you are content to be lost you will be found without knowing it,
precisely because you are lost, for you are, at last, nowhere.
Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
Cables to the Ace, New Directions, NY, 1968, p. 58
258) Poem 84 of The Crane's Bill:
For twenty years I've sought the Other.
Now, letting go, I fly out of the pit.
What use oneness of mind and body?
These days I only sing la-la-la.

— Keso Shogaku, 15th century
Zen Poems of China and Japan: The Crane's Bill
(translated by Lucien Stryk & Takashi Ikemoto, Anchor Books, NY, 1973, p. 53)
259) There are 95 short poems in Kenneth Koch's "On Aesthetics"
Poem 84 is titled "Aesthetics of Cannon":
Being near a cannon
When it was firing
Was as exciting
Stendhal said
As writing
What no one had ever said.
Kenneth Koch (1925-2002), "On Aesthetics"
from One Train: Poems, Random House, NY, 1994, p. 72
Interview by Anne Waldman; Interview by David Kennedy; NY Times Obituary (7-7-2002)
260) "The poem is not the world" in Line 84
of Mary Oliver's's poem "Flare" (Lines 84-91):
The poem is not the world.
It isn't even the first page of the world.

But the poem wants to flower, like a flower.
It knows that much.

It wants to open itself,
like the door of a little temple,
so that you might step inside and be cooled and refreshed,
and less yourself than part of everything.
Mary Oliver (born 1935), The Leaf and the Cloud, "Flare", Section 7
Da Capo Press, 2000, p. 5
261) There are 87 aphorisms in Charles Simic's "Assembly Required" (pp. 90-98)
from his Orphan Factory: Essays and Memoirs (1997):
Aphorism 84: I miss phrenology. It would be nice to have someone feel the bumps
on the heads of our presidential candidates while they address the nation.

Charles Simic (born May 9, 1938),
    Orphan Factory: Essays and Memoirs,
    University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, p. 98
84 in Numerology
262) Numerology: words whose letters add up to 84

(2 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 8 + 1) + (7 + 8 + 9 + 3 + 6 + 1 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 7) = 22 + 62 = 84

(7 + 6 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 5) + (9 + 5 + 6 + 3 + 5 + 3 + 2 + 9 + 6 + 5 +1) = 30 + 54 = 84

(9 + 5 + 6 + 9 + 5 + 9 + 2 + 5) + (6 + 3 + 6 + 5 + 5 + 9) = 50 + 34 = 84

(6 + 7 + 1) + (8 + 3 + 5 + 4 + 9 + 5 + 4) + (6 + 6 + 9 + 2 + 7) = 16 + 38 + 30 = 84

(6 + 7 + 1) + (8 + 3 + 5 + 4 + 9 + 5 + 4) + (6 + 9 + 6 + 2 + 7) = 16 + 38 + 30 = 84

(7 + 9 + 6 + 2 + 5 + 9 + 5) + (9 + 5 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 9 + 3 + 8) = 43 + 41 = 84

(1 + 1 + 7 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 9 + 5) + (9 + 1 + 4 + 9 + 1 + 5 + 3 + 5) = 47 + 37 = 84

These web pages "On the Number 84" are dedicated to Professor Harold A. Scheraga
on his 84th birthday (October 18, 2005). I was fortunate to do my doctorate research
in his laboratory at Cornell University on the physical chemistry of macromolecules.
He provided inspiring guidance in my research work & cultivated in me an insatiable
love of learning which continues to this day. I recall attending a Cornell symposium
in honor of Professor Peter Debye's 80th birthday who was stumping presenters with
engaging questions after their lectures. Professor Scheraga, now at 84 years of age,
is still active as ever researching on the mysteries of protein structural folding,
and sharing his prodigious knowledge at invited lectures around the world.

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