Notes to Poem: Aumnivore

Peter Y. Chou

Preface: On July 6, 2010, a friend sent me this email—
    "predator of the aum"
    just a few words for you—
    i am an aumnivore
    a predator of the aumnipotent,
    the aumnipresence, and the aumniscient...
    Happy In ter dependence Day, Nancy

Her cute photo of a stone-like Pac-Man gobbling up a triangular stone reminded me of a photo "Found Eyes"
she sent some seven years ago from Hawaii that inspired
the poem "Two Eyes in the Earth" (9-18-2003). At first, I didn't recognize the word "aumnivore", before realizing that it's a homonym & synonym for "omnivore"— one that eats both animals and plants; one who avidly takes in everything as if devouring or consuming. This aumnivore is a predator of Aum (Om)— Brahman, or Supreme Consciousness. The Eye in the grain of wood at lower right conjures up the Great Red Spot or "Eye of Jupiter". Since Jupiter or Zeus is the King of gods in Greek mythology, this aumnivore having swallowed the stone, may consume Jupiter as its next meal. The triangular stone inspired this poem Aumnivore.

Commentary to Poem "Aumnivore":

AUM— OM, the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient.
Aum or Om is a mystical or sacred syllable in Indian religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It is placed at the beginning of most Hindu texts as a sacred incantation to be intoned at the beginning and end of a reading of the Vedas or prior to any prayer or mantra. The Mandukya Upanishad is entirely devoted to its explanation. While it is the shortest of the Upanishad, it is perhaps the most profound, consisting of 12 verses expounding the mystic syllable AUM, the three states of waking, dream, and deep sleep, and the transcendental "fourth state" of illumination (turiya).

How this little rock has gotten so big?
Once I realized that this little rock Aumnivore is a predator of Aum or Om, consuming the aumnipotent, aumnipresent, and aumniscient, its awesomeness became apparent. Since Aum is synonymous with Brahman, this Aumnivore rock must be big enough to swallow up the creator god of the entire universe.

Some six weeks ago they celebrated the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man
Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco, and first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. According to the Davie-Brown Index, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among Americans, recognized by 94% of them. Pac-Man is one of the longest running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games, and one of only three video games that are on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. (along with Pong and Dragon's Lair). On May 22, 2010, the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man was celebrated with an official web site to honor this global cultural icon. Google made a special Pac-Man Doodle for this occasion on their Search Page.

Could it be the Giant Pyramid of Giza
Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis in Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largeley intact. It is believed that the pyramid was built as a tomb for 4th dynasty Egyptian Pharoah Khufu, and built over a 20-year period concluding around 2560 B.C. The mass of the pyramid is around 5.9 million tons consisting of 2.3 million blocks. Its original height was 280 Egyptian cubits tall, 146.5 meters (480.6 ft), but with erosion and absence of its pyramidion, its present height is 138.8 meters (455.4 ft). Each base side was 440 royal cubits, 230.4 meters (755.9 ft) long. The accuracy of the pyramid's workmanship is such that the four sides of the base have an average error of only 58 millimeters long. The proportion 440/280 = 11/7 equate to π/2 to an accuracy of better than 0.05% (corresponding to the well known approximation of π as 22/7). Some Egyptologists consider this to have been the result of deliberate design proportion.

Philosopher Stone of the Alchemists
Philosopher's Stone in alchemy represents the 'conjunction' of opposites, or the integration of the conscious self with the feminine or unconscious side; it is a symbol of the All. As Jung says, the alchemists approached their task obliquely— they did not seek the divine in matter but tried to 'produce' it by means of a lengthy process of purification and transmutation. According to Evola, the touchstone is symbolic of the body, since it is 'fixed', as opposed to the 'wandering' characteristic of thought, the spirits and desires. But only the resuscitated body— in which 'two will be one'— can correspond to the philosopher's stone. Evola points out that, for the alchemist, 'between eternal birth, reintegration, and the discovery of the philosopher's stone, there is no difference whatsoever.' (J. E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols, Philosophical Library, New York, 1962, p. 300). The Philosopher's Stone, Rebis, is the supreme quest, 'double being' of the Hermetic Androgyne; reconciliation of all opposites; attainment of unity; regaining the Centre; perfection; absolute reality; petra genetrix; mover at will; spiritual, mental, and moral wholeness in man; liberated unified self; spiritus mundi made visible. (J. C. Cooper, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols, Thames & Hudson, London, 1978, p. 161). The lapis represents a light-dark unity of the divine opposites. The alchemical Mercurius is considered to be a duplex: good with the virtuous and evil with sinners. He is a god-image in which the opposites are united. He is masculine & feminine, a twin (geminus), both Adam & Eve, an old man & a boy... Wolfram von Eschenbach described the Grail as the Philosopher's Stone... The alchemists describes the lapis as a treasure house "founded upon a sure rock". This rock "cannot be split unless it be smitten three times with the rod of Moses, that waters may flow forth in great abundance, that all the people drink thereof." (Emma Jung & Marie-Louise von Franz, The Grail Legend, 2nd Edition, Sigo Press, Boston, 1986, pp. 151-153). [Image: Trinity & Alchemical Flask— "In the Father is eternity, in the Son identity, and in the Holy Spirit the marriage of eternity and identity. These three are one— body, soul, and spirit; for all perfection is based on the number three." (Aurora consurgens, 15th century). The Trias in the Work is represented by the birds in the three colours of the Work. The Holy Spirit is compared in the Aurora consurgens with the mercurial water, which makes everything earthly, heavenly, in a sevenfold way, and has a cleansing, enlivening and fertilizing effect. "In every wood, stone and plant are three things. First, is the power from which a body comes; then, in the same, is a fluid that is the heart of a thing; thirdly, therein is a springing force, smell, or taste, that is the spirit of a thing, from which it grows or increases." (Jacob Boehme, Aurora, 1612). Alexander Roob, Alchemy & Mysticism, Taschen, Köln, p. 473] Alchemical images; Triangular Emerald Tablet

or Platonic Lambda, Soul of the Universe?
Platonic Lambda The Platonic Lambda, the Soul of the Universe,
is the sum of the two series (Timaeus 35b):
Sum of the double interval series (powers of 2) =
20 + 21 + 22 + 23 = 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 = 15
Sum of the triple interval series (powers of 3) =
30 + 31 + 32 + 33 = 1 + 3 + 9 + 27 = 40
Sum of the double & triple interval series (Timaeus) = 15 + 40 = 55
“Now God did not make the soul after the body, although we are speaking of them in this order; for having brought them together he would never have allowed that the elder should be ruled by the younger... First of all, he took away one part of the whole [1], and then he separated a second part which was double the first [2], and then he took away a third part which was half as much again as the second and three times as much as the first [3], and then he took a fourth part which was twice as much as the second [4], and a fifth part which was three times the third [9], and a sixth part which was eight times the first [8], and a seventh part which was twenty-seven times the first [27]. After this he filled up the double intervals [i.e. between 1, 2, 4, 8] and the triple [i.e. between 1, 3, 9, 27] cutting off yet other portions from the mixture and placing them in the intervals.” (Benjamin Jowett's translation of Plato's Timaeus, 35b), Platonic Lambda at High Peaks

like a Black Hole gobbling up galaxies
Black Hole is a region of space from which nothing, including light, can escape. It is the result of the deformation of spacetime caused by a very compact mass. Around a black hole there is an undetectable surface which marks the point of no return, called an event horizon. It is called "black" because it absorbs all the light that hits it, reflecting nothing just like a perfect black body in thermodynamics. Despite its invisible interior, a black hole can be observed through its interaction with other matter. In 1998, astronomers found compelling evidence that a supermassive black hole of more than two million solar masses is located near Sagittarius A region in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. More recent data suggests that the supermassive black hole is more than 4 million solar masses. (Does Our Universe Exist Inside a Black Hole?)

And I recall the Taittiriya Upanishad
O wonderful! O wonderful! O wonderful!
I am food! I am food! I am food!
I eat food! I eat food! I eat food!
Born before the gods, gone beyond
the universe, shining like the sun—
I recall Swami Chinmayananda's 1975 lectures on Taittiriya Upanishad (c. 500 B.C.) in his 6 am lectures at MIT in Boston. Those lines "I am food! I eat food!" still ring in my ears on the nature of Brahman, the Supreme Being. Swami Nikhilananda's translation (Taittiriya Upanishads, III.10.6, Volume IV, Harper & Brothers, NY, 1959, pp. 80-81)— I am food, I am food, I am food! I am eater of food, I am eater of food, I am eater of food! I am uniter, I am uniter, I am uniter! I am first-born of the true, prior to the gods, and navel of immortality. He who gives me away, he alone preserves me. He who eats food— I, as food, eat him. I overpower the whole world. I am radiant as the sun. Whosoever knows this attains Liberation. Such, indeed, is the Upanishad." Nikhilananda's Notes: "I am food.. eater of food"— The illumined seer proclaims his oneness with the universe of subject and object. The object is endowed with name and form superimposed by avidya (ignorance), but its essence is Brahman: Reality, Knowledge, and Infinity. This is also true of the subject. Therefore the seer who has realized his true nature as Brahman is one with both of them. The threefold repetition implies wonder or extreme regard for the knowledge. "Uniter"— the intelligence that brings about the union of food and eater of food. Or the illumined seer is a poet. "Prior to the gods"— The gods came into existence after the creation of the universe (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, I.4.11). "I am radiant as the sun"— Because Brahman, like the sun, is self-luminous. (Image: 1965 Penguin Edition of The Upanishads translated by Juan Mascarós)

I have swallowed all the light!
This line is not in the Taittiriya Upanishads that ends with "I am radiant as the sun. Whosoever knows this attains Liberation." Such a statement could be made by a Black Hole that swallows the stars of galaxies so that no light can escape. It may also refer to Nyx, primordial goddess of night. Nyx stood at the beginning of creation, and was mother of gods such as Hypnos (sleep) and Thanatos (death). Certainly when we're in deep sleep, all the daylight have been swallowed up. Or it may refer to the enlightened sage, such as Buddha (The Awakened One) who having attained Liberation, is as radiant as the sun, mind at one with Pure Consciousness. (Image: Buddha immersed in light)

Happy In ter dependence Day
Nancy's email was sent on July 6, two days after Independence Day. I didn't know what to make of "Interdependence" separated into three words— "In ter dependence". When I checked Webster for the meaning of "ter"— Etymology: Latin from ter; akin to Greek & Sanskrit tris: three times, threefold, three. Thus ternary, tertiary, tercentenary. It then dawned upon me that the meaning is "we are dependent in the three"— Body, Soul, Spirit, while living in 3 dimensions of space and 3 periods of time, and 3 states of consciousness (Survey of Trinity). That's why Pac-Man Aumnivore has swallowed a triangular stone that resembles the Pyramid of Giza, Philosopher's Stone of the Alchemists, and Platonic Lambda, Soul of the Universe. Further Note: On July 22, I cancelled my kidney stone surgery at Kaiser Hospital. My x-ray of March 26 showed a pea-size kidney stone (8mmx10mm). Dr. Yamaguchi found no stone in my x-ray of July 15. Wrote this haiku— "Did Pac-Man Aumnivore / gobble up my kidney stone / and everything else?"

                                        — Peter Y. Chou
                                             Mountain View, 7-23-2010