Monday, November 26, 2007

Persephone's seeds...

Good to take a break. Had a truly great Thanksgiving up North - air clean, people smart and beautiful, creative juices flowing, belly permanently stretched... We slept in a "Playgarden" which is a Waldorf schoolhouse for tots. Tiny chairs, lots of wood and wool critters, and powerful good energies swirling around in there. Great!

Among the weekend's serious activities was a chance to count the seeds in a pomegranate. According to some religious texts, all pomegranates have the same number of seeds - 613. Finally, a religious tenet that could be verified...

613 corresponds to the number of Mitzvot, or commandment-blessings, found in the Torah. Also, it is said, to the number of nerves in the human body. Some of the Jewish faith believe that to eat a pomegranate is to eat human flesh... others choose to decorate the Torah coverings with one of these sacred fruits.

In Greek mythology the pomegranate is the symbol of Winter. Or Love. Or Blood. Or Death. Moving on... Persephone, the smoking hot daughter of Demeter and Zeus, was lured into the underworld by Hades. Zeus was like, "Give her back, Devil-Man!" and Hades grudgingly agreed. But before she went back he gave her a pomegranate. When she ate it, it bound her to underworld forever and she had to stay there one-third of the year. The other months she stayed with Demeter. When Persephone was in Hades, Demeter refused to let anything grow and winter began.

Anyhow, back to the experiment... Two grenade sized pomegranates (yes Virginia, the French word for pomegranate grenade was used in English to name a small round bomb-like device that was tossed into enemy trenches where it exploded sending its seeds of death, bits of schrapnel, into enemy bodies) were selected and carefully hand peeled and dismantled, seed by seed. Team A (two bright young girls) were quick to find 532 seeds, or arils, in their fruit. Team B (yours truly) eventually came up with a healthy 552 seeds. 613 was no where in sight (unless you tally the number of minutes it took me to count those damn seeds.)

Why is it that religions are always looking for sacred patterns and glitzy numerological show stoppers? Is it because we respond to these notions? Is it because we want to believe? I mean who has the time to count pomegranate seeds? The sciences are no better when it comes to spouting magic numbers. Who knows if there are really 613 nerves in a human body? Are you going to count them?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to do before Scrabble and crosswords.

10:36 AM  

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