What’s up with the number 23, anyway?

The number 23, also called the enigma, describes the bizarre way that the number 23 crops up in almost every significant and unexpected place. The number 23 is closely related to the Discordian Law of Fives which provides that everything in one way or another is connected to the number five.

The enigma 23 was first introduced into public scrutiny by a writer known as William S. Burroughs who, during his itinerary in Tangiers, met a captain called Clark. Captain Clark was a pilot of a ferry to Spain. He confessed to Burroughs that he had been piloting his ferry on the same route for twenty three years and had not had any accident. Unfortunately, that same day Captain Clark’s ferry sank.

That evening while Burroughs was mulling over the strange sinking of Captain Clark’s ferry, he heard from the radio that there was a crash of Flight 23 from New York to Miami. Interestingly, the pilot of the plane was also known as Captain Clark.

William Burroughs then decided to keep a scrapbook which he used to detail the odd synchronicity of the number 23. Today there is widespread belief that there is some air of mysticism that surrounds that number. Sample these:

–A 17th century biblical scholar, one Bishop Usher, after much study of the Old Testament part of the bible came to the conclusion that the earth was created on the 23rd October 4004 BC. Strangely, according to the Mayan prophecy, the world was supposed to end on exactly 23rd December 2012.

–It is a biological fact that each parent contributes 23 chromosomes to a fertilized egg.

–The blood takes 23 seconds to circulate throughout the whole body.

–The human body has 23 vertebrae.

–23 happens to be the first prime number in which both digits add up to another prime number.

–The Latin alphabet has 23 letters.

–William Shakespeare was allegedly born on a 23rd April. He also, reportedly, died on a 23rd April aged 46 years old in 1610. Now, 46 is double 23. 1610 was also the year that the King James Version of the Bible was published.

–Now, about the Bible, the most notable verse of the book of Psalms is Psalm 23.

Confirmation Bias

Robert Anton Wilson said that the 23 enigma could be an example of confirmation bias. That means that if you begin looking for something, you will eventually get it. Besides, the mind has been proven to perceive truth in virtually everything. Wilson, the author of Illuminatus! Trilogy, continues to say that a person can find numerological significance in anything so long as they have sufficient cleverness.

The number 23 has come to be deemed as an extremely unlucky number. It is often associated with death, discord and disaster. Very many people have associated it to the demise of powerful people and collapse of societies. That is why the term ’23 skidoo’ became popular in the early 1920s. The term means that it is time to leave when the getting is good.

While others believe that there really is some spiritual or mystic significance to the number 23, some other people believe that the significance in the number will be found because people search and expect to find it there.

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