Sacred Geometry and St John
Posted on 23 April 2013, 12:39
Wheels within wheels… there are often hidden layers of meaning in Jesus’ teaching. I am reminded of Luke 8:10 where we read, “And [Jesus] said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others [I talk] in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.” This especially true of a strange passage at the end of the Gospel of St John at Chapter 21. It is a story churches round the world hear in the Sundays after Easter Day.
1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c]
9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. [New International Version (NIV).
Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish
Now, from the point of view of what we have learned from psychic research, it is quite possible that this story accurately describes an historical event. If we can take the story as having actually happened, then it is very impressive, and we can imagine the enormous impact on the disciples, and the deep significance of sharing a meal with the risen Lord. Whether or not it is a historical event, it evokes a deeper response in hearers of these words, at the wonder of the afterlife, and the world of Spirit.
But there may be a great deal more to this story. John Michell (below) in his book, City of Revelation [Chapter 9] The writer of the Gospel of John would thoroughly agree with the picture of God in Ephesians as being “in all, through all, and above all.” We see this in Jesus’ words, “I am the vine and you are the branches,” and in his prayer in chapter 17, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
John Michell sees the same teaching in the story of Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish. He points out that the Greeks did not have Arabic numerals but used letters of the alphabet as numerals.The letter Alpha = 1, Beta=2, Iota=10, and so on. This meant that one could add up the numerical value of each word. Playing that game in English: A=1, B=2, C=3, so the word “CAB” would be 3+1+2=6.
The ancient world also ascribed mystical meanings to numbers: 12 representing completeness: 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 months of the year, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles, 12x12x1000, 144,000 the number of people who would be saved. So also the number 1224 would represent the Everything, The Whole. “he phuteia – one of the words for “paradise” adds up to 1224, “one whole of wholes –hen holon holoon” adds up 1225. So does “God’s paradise – ho paradeison tou theou.”
Michell notes that “The Lord God – ho Kurios ho Theos” adds up to 1224; that “The creation of God – he ktisis tou Theou” also adds up to 1224. In the gospel story, “the net – to diktuon” adds up to 1224, and so does “the fishes –hoi ichthues”.
The fact that the words do add up in this way makes it very plausible that a hidden meaning of our story is that we need to become aware that we are conscious participants in God in the Cosmos, or one with Christ and with the Father. It means finding the Divine aspect of ourselves, where we understand what it means to be children of God. One would imagine that the writer of the gospel would have intended everything to be inspired by the open meaning of our story, and for the initiated to take to heart the hidden meaning.
A short blog is no place to drown in detail. But Michell is assuming that we are dealing with Sacred Geometry here, and the details of the story suggest the probability that the writer of the Gospel had some such geometrical diagram as the one below before him.
Michell pictures the fishing boat as a circular coracle, whose diameter is 1224 cubits. If we take the name Simon (Peter) the Rock, Simoon ho Petros, then we have the length of the half circle whose diameter is 1224 cubits. The six inner circles with diameters of 612 units represent the six disciples. The ancient holistic fish or diamond shape to the right, has each double side 1224 units long; if you number each of the small diamonds/fishes 1-16, and then add 1+2+3…+16, the number will be 153, the number of fishes caught, in our story. Jesus is understood to be standing at the edge of the left arc, and the distance between him and the boat would be 612 units, making just enough room for the circles representing Peter.
The catch is hauled to land. This would signify the union of the Whole of Wholes, to Earth. It would signify the Heavenly Marriage of Revelation 22, where the Heavenly City is let down from heaven as a bride for her bridegroom the Earthly Jerusalem… or the physical world.
Even today mathemeticians can see their field as providing an insight into “the mind of God”, no way dissimilar to the feelings of the ancient Greek mathematicians.
In my next blog I hope to discuss just what this “Heavenly Marriage” or Union of Opposites might imply for our spiritual development.
Michael Cocks edits the journal, Ground of Faith.
Afterlife Teaching From Stephen the Martyr by Michael Cocks is published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and other bookstores.