777, the Number of the Beast & the Meaning of Life

Readers who infer from the title of this post that silliness is to follow would do well to heed the wisdom of their own inference and get out now if silliness is not their thing. Readers hoping for economics might likewise flee to the mountains to avoid persecution of their senses. Readers reaching this particular sentence of the post’s introduction are assumed to be as ready for silliness as its author and can be under no illusions as to what follows. To those of you remaining, congratulations: you are the heart and soul of what makes Heteconomist what it is.

Attentive readers will be aware that this blog occasionally lapses into a consideration of gematria, a mode of analysis in which a numerical value is attached to each letter of the alphabet. A particular variant of English Gematria is favored:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Why, it might be wondered, do we attach numbers to letters? To this there appears to be no satisfactory answer other than that the proof, if any, is in the pudding. Why, then, do we attach the above particular numbers to letters? Again, the proof, if any, is in the pudding. Well, why is the proof in the pudding? Some say that the universe itself is what puts it in the pudding. Others, more skeptical, say it is because people in the past have chosen to employ words – or translate them from other languages – in such a way as to convey secret meaning via the above mapping to those able to understand.

A temptation may be to dismiss all this as irrelevant nonsense. Maybe so. Yet, without it, there might be no Heteconomist. It has been documented previously that the author’s full name and date of birth spelled out in words both come to the value 77. The manifesto of the blog (“MMT-TSSI Synthesis”) likewise comes to 77. Moreover, the expression:

My Blog is Heteconomist = 77

Past disclosure of these connections resulted in controversy behind the scenes. Although readers have been shielded from the full brunt of the controversy, it now seems necessary to admit the emergence of three competing schools of thought.

First, there are the true believers, who point out that:

Seventy Seven Is Real = 77

Second, there are those who suspect a practical joke of some kind:

Seventy Seven Is A Hoax = 77

Third, there are the skeptics, some of them quite indignant:

Seventy Seven Is A Lie = 77

Without necessarily taking sides, it can be observed that the skeptics’ evidence does appear to be something of an own goal. On the one hand, their evidence supports the view that 77 is a lie, which may well be the case. But, on the other hand, the strength of the evidence itself rests on the validity of gematria. The skeptics appear to be upholding gematria in order to denounce 77. In doing so, they appear to believe in gematria more than the rest of us, when, to be frank, the rest of us do have our reservations.

For all that, though, the skeptics’ position may nonetheless be the most sound.

To understand why, it will be instructive to consider Marx’s contribution to biblical interpretation. In the second chapter of Capital, volume 1, in connection with money, Marx quotes two verses from the Book of Revelation:

Rev 17:13. “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

Rev 13:17. “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

Marx was presumably being ironic in quoting these two verses. It is a matter for speculation whether he realized just how ironic he was being.

There is an obvious symmetry in the numbering of the verses, 17:13 and 13:17. Those who numbered them – the numbering came later than the original writing of the texts – were evidently signaling something to observant readers. The verse immediately following the second of the two quoted by Marx refers to the number of the beast as 666. In this connection it can be noted that:

One Seven One Three = 66
One Three One Seven = 66

Revelation, for its part, is the 66th book of the protestant Bible. The King James who authorized the King James Version was born in the sixth month of the sixty-sixth year of the sixteenth century. These latter observations have sparked controversy on YouTube over whether the Bible itself is the mark of the beast.

The repetition of 66 is striking, but meets with an obvious objection. Quite simply, if the number of the beast is meant to be 666, why are the references to 66? (An exception is arguably King James’ birth date, which could be expressed as m/y = 6/66). Why, it needs to be asked, are the other references (17:13, 13:17, 66th book) all to 66 rather than 666?

If 66 is a true pointer to the mark and number of the beast, the reference in the Book of Revelation to 666 would appear to be a deception. This becomes clear when gematria is applied to the problem:

Six Six Six = 42

As the gematria clearly shows, 66 in no way points to 666. It is in fact 42 that does that. Perhaps this is what led Douglas Adams, whether consciously or subconsciously, to identify 42 as the meaning of life.

So, to what, it may be wondered, does 66 point?

Can there be any doubt?

Seven Seven Seven = 66

The true number of the beast must be 777.

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