Authored by Velisa S Mefford in Paranormal
Published on 08-26-2009
As is often the case, popular movies inspire a great deal of interest in previously little known matters. The recent movie, “The Number 23″ starring Jim Carrey was no different. It put forth the idea that the number 23 had some mystic influence on humans and events. The Number 23 conspiracy was not new but suddenly received much attention and quest for any potential truth in the enigma.
There are several beginning points for this theory. The first semblance of credibility for the number 23 conspiracy came from an article in the “Fortean Times” written by Robert Anton Wilson. In it he related a tale mentioned by the author William S. Burroughs. It was a conversation about one Captain Clark who had boasted in 1960 of having sailed for 23 years without mishap. Later that day his ship encountered a disaster which killed him and the entire crew. Later that evening Mr. Burroughs heard of another tragedy on the news. An airplane crash in Florida, Flight 23, piloted by another Captain Clark had met with disaster.
The number 23 also has roots in the books “The Illuminati Trilogy”. Co-written by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, these penultimate conspiracy theory novels also served to mystify the number 23. According to them, 23 was both lucky and unlucky. It stated the number was sacred to the goddess Eris and in a darker influence, sacred also to the Elder Gods of the H.P. Lovecraft authored Cthulhu Mythos.
Wilson himself admitted that the strength of the number 23 lay in the human ability to perceive “truth” in just about any symbol. He quoted, “When you start looking for something you tend to find it.” Proof of this apophenia, or “confirmation bias”, can be found in Aleister Crowley’s magickal text “777″. In seeking “proof” of any number’s importance it is readily apparent that the convoluted mathematics used lend themselves to having a preconceived “answer” and then fitting whatever formula is needed to make that “answer” fit the formula.
While coincidence can be discounted as a failure to see underlying patterns in even the most seemingly chaotic process, Carl Jung’s Theory of Synchronicity demonstrates how any number, not just the number 23, can have many potential similarities. You may research and find multiple incidences of the number 7 or 5 as being either lucky or unlucky in many disparate events. Another example could be the many “similarities” evident surrounding the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
Words and “hidden” messages can be found in the also popular “Bible Codes”. Taking letters of the Torah at set intervals will uncover the occasional complete word. Using different intervals will occasionally uncover other words. It is the human tendency to seek patterns that attempts to put meanings to these random finds.
Truth can be what you make of it. Just as humans can see pictures in the clouds of a summer day, those who seek hidden meaning in numbers will inevitably find more than enough “examples” to prove whatever theory they decry.