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The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number Three

The Spiritual Meaning of Numbers
Tetragrammaton by Francisco Goya: "The Name of God", YHWH in triangle, detail from fresco Adoration of the Name of God, 1772
Tetragrammaton by Francisco Goya: “The Name of God”, YHWH in triangle, detail from fresco Adoration of the Name of God, 1772

Three is the first number to which the meaning “all” was given. It is The Triad, being the number of the whole as it contains the beginning, a middle and an end. The power of three is universal and is the tripartide nature of the world as heaven, earth, and waters. It is human as body, soul and spirit.

In the first three numbers, all of the others are synthesized. From the union of oneness and duality (which is its reflection), that is, from triad, proceed all of the other numbers, and from this primordial triangle all figures derive.

There is also, for traditional civilizations, a direct relationship between numbers and letters of the alphabet, to the point where, with many alphabets, numbers were represented by letters, and had no special signs of their own. This is not the case with the early American cultures, which knew no alphabet, but we wish to call attention to this correspondence because not only the alphabetical code, but the numerical one, as well, describe all reality: that is, everything that is numerable or namable–in the sense of “ciphers,” harmonious measures, “proportions”–in sum, the totality of the cosmos, of the knowable.

This threeness or triad, has always been considered sacred–like oneness, duality, and all numbers–by virtue of its very properties and particular attributes. These properties and attributes are manifested in its threefold nature, which of itself is the inevitable expression of a principle, an archetypal fact, that solidifies in a series, as a representation of ideas and energies that materialize in magical, mysterious fashion while obeying precise, universal laws, which the numerical codes and their geometrical correspondences symbolize.

Trinity Symbol
Trinity Symbol

This symbol a triad or trinity. It is a symbol of the unity of body, mind and spirit. The symbol is of universal significance – it is found throughout history and all over the world. It was popularized early in this century by the Russian-born artist, philosopher and scientist Nicholas Roerich. (http://www.roerich.org). It can be interpreted in many different senses: spirit/mind/body in a circle of synthesis; past/present/future enclosed in the ring of eternity; art/science/religion bound in a circle of culture.

Chintamani
Chintamani

The oldest of Indian symbols, Chintamani, the sign of happiness, is composed of this symbol and it can be found in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. It appears in the Three Treasures of Tibet; on the breast of the Christ in Memling’s famous painting; on the Madonna of Strasbourg; on the shields of the Crusaders and coat of arms of the Templars. It can be seen on the blades of the famous Caucasian swords called “Gurda” and on the swords of Japanese nobility.

It appears as a symbol in several philosophical systems. It can be discovered on the images of Gessar Khan and Rigden Djapo; on the “Tamga” of Timurlane and on the coat of arms of the Popes. It can be seen in the works of ancient Spanish painters and of Titian, and on the ancient ikon of St. Nicholas in Bari and that of St. Sergius and the Holy Trinity. It appears on the coat of arms of the city of Samarkand, on Ethiopian and Coptic antiquities, on the rocks of Mongolia, on Tibetan rings, on Buddhist banners, on the breast ornaments of all the Himalayan countries, and on the pottery of the Neolithic age.

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Goldilocks & the Three Bears Playlist

Goldilocks & the Three Bears cartoon - 1935

Origin of Goldilocks story

The story was first recorded in narrative form by British writer and poet Robert Southey, and first published anonymously as “The Story of the Three Bears” in 1837 in a volume of his writings called The Doctor. … The story of the three bears was in circulation before the publication of Southey’s tale.
 

The Goldilocks principle

From the Wikipedia: The Goldilocks principle states that something must fall within certain margins, as opposed to reaching extremes. The Goldilocks principle is derived from a children’s story “The Three Bears” in which a little girl named Goldilocks finds a house owned by three bears.

Storyline

The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks. 
She  went for a walk in the forest.  Pretty soon, she came upon a house. 
She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in.

At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. 
Goldilocks was hungry.  She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.
"This porridge is too hot!" she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.
"This porridge is too cold," she said
So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.
"Ahhh, this porridge is just right," she said happily and
she ate it all up.
After she'd eaten the three bears' breakfasts she decided
she was feeling a little tired. 
So, she walked into the living room where she saw three chairs. 
Goldilocks sat in the first
chair to rest her feet.  
"This chair is too big!" she exclaimed.
So she sat in the second chair.
"This chair is too big, too!"  she whined.
So she tried the last and smallest chair.
"Ahhh, this chair is just right," she sighed. 
But just as she settled down
into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!
Goldilocks was very tired by this time,
so she went upstairs to the bedroom. 
She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. 
Then she lay in the second bed,
but it was too soft.  Then she lay down in the third bed
and it was just right. 
Goldilocks fell asleep.

As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.
"Someone's been eating my porridge," growled the Papa bear.
"Someone's been eating my porridge," said the Mama bear.
"Someone's been eating my porridge and they ate it all up!"
cried the Baby bear.
"Someone's been sitting in my chair," growled the Papa bear.
"Someone's been sitting in my chair," said the Mama bear.
"Someone's been sitting in my chair and they've broken it all to pieces,"
cried the Baby bear.

They decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs
to the bedroom,
Papa bear growled,
"Someone's been sleeping in my bed,"
"Someone's been sleeping in my bed, too" said the Mama bear
"Someone's been sleeping in my bed and she's still there!"
exclaimed Baby bear.

Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears. 
She screamed, "Help!" 
And she jumped up and ran out of the room. 
Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door,
and ran away into the forest. 
And she never returned to the home of the three bears.
THE END

Did You Know?

Cast for Hugh Harman Production 1935

June Foray Baby Bear (voice)
Rudolf Ising Papa Bear (voice)
Martha Wentworth Mama Bear (voice)

This is one of three shorts which were created at Disney and animated at MGM’s animation department led by Harman and Ising. Only the first one, “Merbabies,” was released as a Silly Symphony. The other two were then released as Harman and Ising shorts – they were “The Little Goldfish” and this one, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” 


Soundtracks

My Grandfather’s Clock
(1876) (uncredited)
Music by Henry Clay Work
The Irish Washerwoman
(uncredited)
Traditional
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
(uncredited)
Traditional

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List-Construction as a Task and Resource

The occurrence of lists in natural conversation is examined to reveal some of the interactional relevances of such list productions.

The presence of three-part lists are first noted. Speakers and hearers orient to their three-part nature. The complete list can then constitute a turn at talk and the hearer can monitor the third component as a sign of turn completion.  List can thereby be a conversational sequential source.

By virtue of the three-part structure of some lists, members can orient to such matters as a “weak”, “absent”, or “missing” third part. Third items can be used to accomplish particular interactional work, such as topic-shifting and offense avoidance.

This report is a preliminary examination of lists occurring in natural conversation.

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Happily ever after

Happily ever after

Happily ever after
Happily ever after

The new economic realities of the 19th century then cross-pollinated with the ideas that emerged from the Enlightenment about individual rights and the pursuit of happiness, and the result was a full-blown Age of Romanticism. It was the 1800s and people’s feelings suddenly mattered. The new ideal was not only to marry for love but that that love was to live on in bliss for all of the eternity. Thus, it wasn’t until the relatively recent 150 years ago that the ever-popular “happily ever after” ideal was born.

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Christopher Walken Reads “The Three Little Pigs” and is out of this world

Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken reads Three Little Piggies

Back In 1993, he made an appearance on Channel 4’s “Saturday Zoo” in the UK. Dressed in an old-fashioned patchwork colorful sweater, Walken was supposed to read a segment from the popular fairy tale “The Three Little Pigs.” According to host Jonathan Ross, Walken was finally able to “fulfill his lifelong ambition to come on national TV and entertain children”.

Source: http://trib.al/8AG5jkw

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THE MOUSAI

The Mousia

Muse with barbiton, Paestan red-figure lekanis C4th B.C., Musée du Louvre
Muse with barbiton, Paestan red-figure lekanis C4th B.C., Musée du Louvre

THE MOUSAI (Muses) were the goddesses of music, song and dance, and the source of inspiration to poets. They were also goddesses of knowledge, who remembered all things that had come to pass. Later the Mousai were assigned specific artistic spheres: Kalliope (Calliope), epic poetry; Kleio (Clio), history; Ourania (Urania), astronomy; Thaleia (Thalia), comedy; Melpomene, tragedy; Polymnia (Polyhymnia), religious hymns; Erato, erotic poetry; Euterpe, lyric poetry; and Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), choral song and dance.

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Three Is a Magic Number: The Trinity Archetype in Harry Potter

Harry Potter
Christopher Bell
University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

Harry Potter
Harry Potter

The significance of the trinity archetype and the number three is recurrent in religions and myths around the world.

Within the trinity archetype, each element is both distinct from and symbiotic with the other elements—that is to say, each stands apart from the others, but none can truly function alone. This can be seen throughout Greek mythology, for example, The Moirae and The Musai, and of course, through the Christian Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While the archetype of the trinity appears numerous times throughout the Potter series, at its very heart, the series is centrally focused on a triad of trinities: the Trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione), the three  Unforgivable Curses, and the three Deathly Hallows. It is the intersection of this triad of trinities—this “supertrinity”—that not only drive the Potter narrative, but connect the work so readily to the psyche of readers and fans; it is how we are harmonically programmed, in terms of understanding stories.
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One for the money – Blue Suede Shoes

Elvis Presley

One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go cat go… That was Carl Perkins with Blue Suede Shoes. But where did the phrase come from?

Elvis Presley - Blue suede shoes 1956

The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes and The Phrase Finder cite a horse race poem that is likely the source of the phrase. In horse racing, the winners are termed:

  1. Win
  2. Place
  3. Show

The omission of “place” is noted in The Phrase Finder. This is likely poetic license, to make a short rhyme, used to start a race or event.
Excerpt from The Phrase Finder post:
In “The Annotated Mother Goose” p 259 the following rhyme is included:

“One to make ready

And two to prepare

good luck to the rider

And away goes the mare.”

And origins from Google Books.

 

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Silly Symphony – The Three Little Pigs

A Walt Disney classic Silly Symphony the Three Little Pigs. An amazing piece of animation!

The Story of the Three Little Pigs

England

Once upon a time when pigs spoke rhyme
And monkeys chewed tobacco,
And hens took snuff to make them tough,
And ducks went quack, quack, quack, O!

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Golden Fairy Tale Classics – The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Golden Fairy Tale Classics - The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Norway

Once upon a time there were three billy goats, who were to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was “Gruff.”

On the way up was a bridge over a cascading stream they had to cross; and under the bridge lived a great ugly troll , with eyes as big as saucers, and a nose as long as a poker.

So first of all came the youngest Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

“Trip, trap, trip, trap! ” went the bridge.

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Limerick – anapestic trimeter

anapestic

anapestic
anapestic

Limericks are short poems of five lines having rhyme structure AABBA. It is officially described as a form of ‘anapestic trimeter’. The ‘anapest’ is a foot of poetic verse consisting of three syllables, the third longer (or accentuated to a greater degree) than the first two: da-da-DA.

Definition of Anapest

Anapest is a poetic device defined as a metrical foot in a line of a poem that contains three syllables wherein the first two syllables are short and unstressed followed by a third syllable that is long and stressed as given in this line “I must finish my journey alone.” Here the anapestic foot is marked in bold.

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