|By Clyde Lewis
What's in a number?
23 seems to be an odds and ends number filled with mystery, chaos, and new beginnings.
When Ground Zero first aired it's Divine 23 investigation the interest was overwhelming. While some laughed at it and others didn't understand it, there were others who demanded to know if there is any truth to the 23 Enigma. To be completely honest I do not know. I can tell you that my expierience in synchronicity tells me that perhaps there is something to it. There is an old saying called a Catch 22. It is a nice way of saying that you are stuck. You can't progress to 23. Why? perhaps the 23 number means something entirely mysterious. Maybe it is an evil number. Perhaps it is a number of the paranormal and complex happenings . My expierience with the number is accidental. I never would have known or paid attention to it but it all started with an informal meeting.
There was a beautiful talk show host whom I knew, that had a syndicated program about health and fitness. I had an opportunity to produce a commercial for her and after a long recording session we took a break and she started talking numbers. After figuring in my birthday she said "Oh my!" I asked her if there was a problem and she said "No not exactly." I asked her to explain. She told me that my birthday numbers 2/22 were symbolic. That three two's mean that I have power. Power to draw spiritual strength either from the light or from the darkness. She took the initials of my birth name and gave them numeric value. They added up to 23. She explained that the 23 is a mysterious number. She asked if I was familiar with synchronicity. I told her no. She said that things happen for a reason and then went on to tell me that our meeting was supposed to happen. I began to see where this was leading. dinner later, a bottle of wine and a wonderful evening. I was right. Good line. But it wasn't all that. I realized She was trying to tell me something.
I asked around about the number 23 and it's significance and no one close to me had heard of it. My program director at the time, knew about it and said he did not want to talk about it Another friend of mine who fronts a rock band told me that he lived his 23 obsession in California. He said that if you go looking for life in 23 land, the 23's will find you. They did, unfortunately. I already had a terrible fear of numbers. I remember when I was a kid a Chuck Jones cartoon about a day dreaming kid who is sent to figure a Math problem. As he stands at the blackboard the numbers break out into laughter. I always felt it was because that he couldn't do math problems on demand. I certainly can't, and was a poor Math student in school. I borrowed a book from our computer graphics expert at the radio station I worked for. It was a book by Robert Anton Wilson. Wilson wrote about Timothy Leary and William Burroughs. I met Leary in 1992 at a club in Salt Lake City, and I thought this could be interesting. I read a part of the book that was marked with blue marker called Enigma 23.
It was author Robert Anton Wilson who first introduced the modern world to the weirdness and mystery that surrounds the 23 Enigma. In His book, The Illuminatus Trilogy he claims that there are many coincidences that involve the number 23. In his autobiography, Cosmic Trigger, Wilson explains how the late William S. Burroughs first made him aware of the fact that the number 23 figures in so many coincidences and oddities of synchronicity. Burroughs, while living in Tangiers. knew a guy by the name of Captain Clark who ran a ferry from Tangiers to Spain. One day, in passing conversation, Captain Clark said to Burroughs that he had been making his ferryboat trips for 23 years without a single accident.. Burroughs was listening to the radio later in the day and heard some distressing news. The report said that the ferry sank, killing everyone on board, including Clark. The irony is that while Burroughs was listening to the news report, he heard about another accident. An Eastern Airlines jet flying from New York to Miami crashed. The pilot of the plane was another Captain Clark . This captain Clark coincidentally was the pilot of flight 23.
After this incident, Burroughs began to keep records of oddities and coincidences that somehow linked to 23. He later mentioned this to Robert Anton Wilson, who also began to record 23 coincidences. In the book Cosmic Trigger ,Wilson writes that his wife Arlen was annoyed with his obsession with the number 23 claiming what a few people who have called Ground Zero have claimed. That it's a silly study because you choose to see the number 23 while ignoring all the rest. However you learn That you can't escape the weirdness. Wilson's wife had two daughters from a previous marriage, one born on February 23 and the other on August 23.
I thought it was an interesting read. I obsessed somewhat and laughed about it. Then I left it alone. Sometimes things should be left alone. Now it won't leave me alone.
After I did the 23 skidoo show on Ground Zero there were 23's that were popping up everywhere. People would point them out. Just when I was to the point of forgetting about the numbers, the numbers would haunt me. Even my phone number added up to 23. I hosted a horror film festival in Salt Lake with Lloyd Kauffman of Troma pictures and Forrest J. Ackerman. I thought it was time to update my wardrobe and wear some interesting shirts that were bizzarre enough for the Halloween crowd. I happened to find an old Misfits shirt with the Crimson Ghost emblazened on the front and a few other shirts. I thought it would be my style to sport a black shirt with the number 23 on the breast pocket and on the back. It had to be custom made. I asked a woman to make the shirt at a mall store and she asked me what the significance was with the number 23. I explained it to her and she wasn't really paying attention. She took notice however when she rang up the price of the shirt and the iron on decals. The total with sales tax came to $23.32. To this day I carry the sales slip in my wallet.
Apart from the weirdness of Ground Zero I am also a news reporter for a news service in Salt Lake. My news director is the best news man in business. He is all news and even though he supports Ground Zero for it's entertainment value but not for it's alternative news style. Much to my surprise there was a story that he thought I would be interested in covering. Residents in a neighborhood near Buttercup Park in Sandy City which is south of Salt lake were missing their cats.
The Cats would mysteriously disappear on the 23rd and would be reported missing the next day. This was happening since September 1997. I was asked to report the story in November just before thanksgiving. I was thinking some sicko was killing cats on the 23rd because he was aware of the number, and it's mysterious nature and is carrying out some freakish act against cats. Once again the number 23 showed up in the story, Another woman claimed her cat turned up missing on Sunday November 23rd 1997.
It's like one big cosmic joke where the demonic numbers are laughing at you. What if the number 23 is the Devils covert number? Some will roll their eyes and claim that this could not be so since it is clearly written in the book of Revelation chapter 13 that the mark of the beast is 666. But there are 10 letters in the word Revelation. Add 13 and the message is delivered, 23. The book of revelation is filled with 23 hints. We read about the Great war in heaven where 2/3 of the angels decide to choose God and remain in Heaven after Lucifer and the other 1/3 fell. 2 divided by 3 is .666 .Revelations of The New Testament has 22 sections the 22nd having 21 lines; implying a progression to 23. There is no 23rd Chapter to Revelations. Chapter 23 is being written now or it will be written by the Angels at the end of the world . In the movie "The Prophecy,": the Bible belonging to the dead angel Uziel has it's bookmark on the 23rd chapter of Revelations. So perhaps the number 23 is not an evil number but a number that means an end or a new beginning. This would make sense if you are a follower of Alister Crowley. In Chapter 23 of the Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley, the chapter consists entirely of this cryptic piece signifying that 23 is a time to break away and get out.
What man is at ease in his Inn?
Wide is the world and cold.
Thou hast become an in-itiate.
But thou canst not get out by the way thou camest in. The Way out is THE WAY.
For OUT is Love and Wisdom and Power.
If thou hast T already, first get UT.
Then get O.
And so at last get OUT.
It needs to be noted that The I Ching Hexagram 23 means "Break Apart". Telegrapher's use 23 as the code for "break the line". Once again the bible uses a 23 to tell us how many days it takes to cleanse a sanctuary noting an end, a cleansing and a renewal. In the book of Daniel chapter 8:14 it reads; And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed and the 23rd Psalm tells us that the lord is our shepherd and with him we will want no more.
You see, this is a bit overwhelming and when you throw in certain rules to make it interesting, the 23's show up like a cosmic card game. The Rules I am speaking of is allowing all forms of 23 to be counted with equations and inversions such as the number 32. We will also add the chaos number, the number 5 which is 2+3 and the number 8 which is 2 to the 3rd power. We will also give numeric values to letters. An "A" will equal the number one, "B" is two and "C" is three and continuing the sequence ending with the 26th letter "Z". However we only need to care about counting to the letter "W" here is why:
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