by Michael Hayes.
When the full extent of the hermetic phenomenon first dawned on me, in the summer of 1984, I had no idea as to what I should do about it. I was very excited at the time, because I knew straight away that I had stumbled across something big, something of vital importance to us all, but I did not, at first, visualise a whole book on the subject, least of all one with my name on the cover.
I must admit that compiling a survey on such a far-reaching theme hasn't been easy. I have had to backtrack many times in order to make sense of it all. But in the end, after many a year spent cutting and pasting ideas in my mind, an overall picture has finally emerged.
In this picture, the evolution of human consciousness is seen as following a prescribed, scientifically determined path mapped out for us by some unknown genius of the distant past.
Indeed it is impossible to conceive of what shape, if any, modern science would be in today had the key to infinity never been cut. The classical convention of 22/7 - the Hemetic Code - is not only a workably close approximation of the true diameter-to-circumference ratio but also - and this is important - from the earliest times it has been instrumental in drawing the attention of the scientist and the mathematician toward the problem of squaring the circle, and so ultimately to the important discovery of the obvious benefits to be derived from the practical applications of the projected value of pi.
Consider also the other 'science' we call religion, all of the major ones having clearly been modelled on the Hermetic Code. I think it true to say that every major religion, without exception, contains elements of the supernatural, particularly with regard to the countless numbers of people who have been so profoundly affected by this or that particular code. Religions exist, and have existed since the dawn of recorded history, guiding man's conscience, inspiring his artistic potentialities, raising his consciousness toward the heavens. But then, if the pi symmetry - the 'signals of Thoth' - had never been so resoundingly struck in time, what other forms of religion would men and women have created for themselves over these millennia?
Without pi, therefore, would there still be such a thing as a cathedral, say, or a particle accelerator, a mosque or an electron microscope, a temple or a space shuttle?
Then there are the arts: painting, sculpture, music. We know the great Renaissance masters had knowledge of the old Egyptian 'canon of proportions' and that they applied it in much of their work. Perhaps it is precisely because of their understanding of certain of the esoteric principles of visual harmony that they were able to achieve such a high degree of artistic expression. As for the world's great composers, is it conceivable that they might have independently found some other artistic means of impressing us all to such dramatic effect had not man's life been so greatly enriched by the knowledge and application of the musical scale?
No. It seems to me, at least, that life on earth without the Hermetic Code would be overwhelmingly animal, aggressive, 'naturally selective'. You may feel that life is like that now, which indeed it is, to some extent, but eradicate every single trace of Thoth's influence from man's race-memory and you would be left with little more than the cosmic equivalent of a cartload of monkeys.
However, the human being is potentially very different from the animal. If he or she were not, then perhaps the Great Architect himself would have elected to pass this planet by. But this was not the case. The father of Revelation landed and reconnoitred here for a considerable period of time, his express intention being to present mankind with an indelible token of its 'coming of age', a metaphysical key to a completely new and infinitely richer existence.
This key, as I have pointed out, has opened countless doors over literally thousands of years. The story of our evolution, however, is far from over, and I personally believe we may, in the future, be able to use the same key to unravel many more mysteries. I mean, quite apart from its original intended purpose - that of facilitating the individual evolution of each and every one of us - the theory of transcendental evolution encoded in pi could well have practical applications in the material world, the world of science in particular.
As an outsider, I can only begin to imagine the enormous difficulties encountered by such as the nuclear physicist and the molecular biologist as they each prepare themselves for a final, electrochemical assault on the very portals of inner space. These intricate pursuits of the mind I have barely skipped over, taking snapshots as I passed. One such simple but very elegant picture which has stuck in my mind happens to be of a biomolecular nature. I will mention it here in the sincere hope that the details it embodies may positively enhance the scientist's ability to understand what is really going on when, for instance, a deadly virus enters a healthy living cell.
Viruses are actually disease-producing 'particles' which are only capable of multiplication within a host cell. The simplest kind consists of a single helical strand of RNA coated with protein molecules. The main active principle of the particle is the RNA component which, sometimes in concert with trace proteins, enters the cell in one of a variety of ways, where it subsequently disrupts the normal processes of genetic development by using the host's activated amino acids and enzymes to reproduce itself.
A typical simple virus used extensively in biological and biochemical studies is TMV - the tobacco mosaic virus. This particle consists of a single helix of RNA containing some 6400 nucleotides, coated with about 2200 molecules of a single protein. Each of the protein molecules comprises a polypeptide chain of 158 amino acids in a known sequence. Clearly the numbers of nucleotides and protein molecules is virtually an exact repetition, on a higher and more complex scale, of the sixty-four combinations of bases and the twenty-two amino acid signals of the genetic code, thus indicating that TMV itself is 'hermetically composed' from the top of its head to the tip of its tiny tail. There are, of course, legions of these 'enlightened' denizens of the microcosm which are much more complex in structure and I personally know very little about them, but, given all the facts uncovered to date, I think there is good reason for supposing that all of them follow the very same basic evolutionary pattern.
Whether such information could ever be used effectively on a practical level remains to be seen. It is something, which would need to be studied in concert by experts in many fields. One would have thought, nonetheless, that the scientific community in general would be greatly assisted in its unswerving quest for a 'theory of everything' - life's purpose included - by a conscious effort on the part of investigators first to attune themselves to the infinite harmony of creation. On a wider scale, of course, we must conclude that a basic grounding in musical theory, both exoteric and esoteric, would do us all the power of good.