Inspiration can come from the oddest places.
Just this morning I was in my children’s bathroom when I noticed that the lazy bastards (I love and adore them, but they’re still lazy bastards) hadn’t bothered to take the empty toilet paper rolls out to the garbage (It’s not customary to have a garbage can in the bathroom in Hungary. I don’t know why not, but I’ve learned to live with it. That’s just part of living in a foreign country. You encounter things you can’t explain, and you learn to accept them. I guess it develops tolerance, and builds character.)
But the creative little buggers made a tower out of them.
As I contemplated the tower, I imagined it with four rolls on the the bottom, which would give it three on the second row, two on the third, and one at the top. Hmmm. And then I thought of that symbol so sacred to the Pythagoreans, the tetractys.
Further, I thought of the formula it represents: 1+2+3+4=10.
The mind wandered farther, and I thought of ten obviously being the kabbalists’ “ten spheres our of nothing”, i.e. the tree of life. “How,” I wondered to myself, “does this mathematical formula manifest in the tree?”
As swift as thought the answer came to me.
1 is Kether.
2 is the duad of Chokmah and Binah.
3 is the triangle of Chesed and Geburah expressed in the the balanced sphere of Tiphareth.
4 is the astral world of Netzach and Hod expressed in the balanced sphere of Yesod and pouring into manifestation in the material world of Malkuth. It makes a wonderful sort of Pythagorean sense.
And four always expresses the elements. “How,” I asked myself, “would that work out.”
1 is fire, which is indivisible.
2 is air (think dagger) which divides things (the observer from the observed, the earth from the heavens).
3 is water. There is always fluid movement between the points of the triangle.
4 is earth, the solid foundation.
I’m not sure about any of this, but I’ll contemplate it and meditate on it. And it all came from observing the tower of toilet paper rolls my children had made in their bathroom.
The lazy bastards! Bless their hearts!