“Tetraphobia: a practice to avoid instances of the number 4. It is a superstition most common in East Asian and Southeast Asian regions. n Cantonese-speaking regions in China, 14 and 24 are considered more unlucky than the individual 4, since 14 sounds like “will certainly die” (實死) and 24 like “easy to die” (易死). Where East Asian and Western cultures blend, such as in Hong Kong and Singapore, it is possible in some buildings that both 13 and 14 are skipped as floor numbers along with all the other 4’s.
This is the building I work at. The main elevators show every floor on the buttons but you cannot access them. Here I have found the service elevator to prove there are no such floors.”
Loved this cultural curiosity from my friend’s travels abroad. In numerology, 13 reduces down to 4 (1+3). For this reason, many feng shui consultants advise against these numbers when buildings are being outfitted. It is not uncommon to see these numbers skipped on addresses as well.
Zodiac Man: Man as Microcosm
Part of the Medieval worldview was the idea that man was a microcosm (“a little world”) which reflected the macrocosm of the Ptolemaic universe. As the Earth was divided into regions influenced by the planets, similarly the body of man was divided into “regions” governed by signs of the Zodiac. Astrological signs were thought to influence the body and its health, and sketches of the “Zodiac Man” are common in medical treatises of the Middle Ages.
The concept of man as microcosm is thought to originate with the ancient Babylonians. The Egyptians and the Mayans had analogues, and ancient Mithraic, Hebrew, Chinese, and Vedic traditions also contain similar concepts. Microcosmic ideas are fleshed out in the works of Plato (4th-c. BCE), but the first use of the term “microcosmos” in Western philosophy appears later, briefly, in Aristotle’s Physics. The first modern use of the terms macrocosmos and microcosmos, shortened to macrocosm/microcosm, was by Pico della Mirandola in his Heptaplus in 1490.
There were several subsequent variations and expansions, of course. The idea of man as microcosm was popular long after the Middle Ages and was often used as a poetical conceit. Some hermetic and occult traditions embrace the idea of the microcosmic man still today.
You can sometimes ‘pull’ consciousness into the dream state by attempting to hold your forearm and hand up as you are falling asleep.
Interesting… I will have to give that a try.
Restless and unable to take advantage of a little nap time recently, I resorted to dozing on my stomach. I rarely slumber in this position, but this time it did work — with the strange side effect of lucid dreaming. I was flying through the air while observing streets below me. I had surprisingly good control of the dream sequence and could easily change my elevation and movement. I sensed I could go deeper into the extent of this control, but was intimately aware of my sleeping form being paralyzed. So I “willed” myself out of the dream and back into physical autonomy.
I tossed and turned back on my stomach at least a couple more times with the same result, flying in the dream world yet trapped somewhere between waking and sleeping. I intentionally avoid this position because of the tendency to wake up with sleep paralysis. This experience, however, makes me wonder if body position can encourage certain dream themes or lucidity. My history of sleep paralysis with the added condition of insomnia undoubtedly contributed to this occurrence. I believe the dream took on a flying adventure as we envision soaring entities high above with their backs to the sky, limbs outstretched in a posture quite like the one I was laying in. Perhaps some related credence for embodied cognition?
Hang on tight while we grab the next page