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the cube and the brick

Boy oh boy, have we got something fun for you. Well, not something, rather someone: Bobby Puleo. That's right, he's our extra special guest poster for today, because he's the only one we know with the mathematical ability to go down an intricate warren of rabbit holes and come back alive with all the numbers (and more!) still intact. So buckle up, Danny Boy, as we prepare to go deep C-diving behind the ever so puzzling door of Room 237. And now… heeeere's Bobby!


Tesla, Jack, The Matrix, The Cube, and The Brick. A few days ago I was asked to write a blog post for two StrangeLove boards that are graphically inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. I was specifically asked to comment on the last scene in the film—the infamous "Baphomet" photo—as the two graphics are available today on the 4th of July. Now if you aren't familiar with the scene, it’s the last image in the film where Jack Nicholson’s character is standing in what is known as the “Baphomet” pose with one arm pointing up and the other pointing down while centered in a group photo at the "July 4th Ball" (I’ll get back to that in a moment).

It’s been years since I’ve actually seen The Shining, but I’m fairly well-versed in some of the more esoteric and symbolic elements of the film. So I decided to take a fresh look at the film—not by watching it but by looking at some of the dates and numbers associated with the film.

The Shining was reported to have been directed by Stanley Kubrick and debuted on May 23, 1980. Now if you know anything about anything, you may have heard about the concept that Kubrick was alleged to have been hired to film the July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 moon landing on a soundstage in England. We could go into the litany of reasons why that may be the case, but this post isn't about all of the evidence suggesting the moon landing was staged or that Kubrick (or someone) put clues about the faked moon landing into The Shining. Plenty of others have written detailed exposes on all of that, or you can go and watch A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon and/or Room 237.

What I am going to address first and foremost is the Baphomet pose, and then get into the significance of the July 4th date. Then, interestingly, I’ll get into the word "Ball."

According to Wikipedia, The Baphomet is a deity allegedly worshipped by the Knights Templar—the precursor to what eventually became known as Freemasonry—that subsequently became incorporated into various occult and Western esoteric traditions. The name Baphomet appeared in trial transcripts for the Inquisition of the Knights Templar, starting in 1307, and first came into popular English usage in the 19th century during debate and speculation on the reasons for the suppression of the Templar order when it was charged that they worshiped an entity called Baphomet. The Baphomet is identified as a symbol of balance in various occult and mystical traditions, the origin of which some occultists have attempted to link with the Gnostics, as well as the Templars, although it is also purported to be a deity or a demon

Since 1856, the name Baphomet has been associated with the "Sabbatic Goat" image drawn by Éliphas Lévi, which is composed of binary elements representing the "symbolization of the equilibrium of opposites," e.g. half-human and half-animalmale and femalegood and evil, etc. Lévi's intention was to symbolize his concept of balance with Baphomet representing the goal of perfect social order. Hence the hand/arm gesturing. In a nutshell, Baphomet eventually gets associated with the concept of what Christians believe as "Satan," otherwise known as The Devil. Interestingly, Kubrick, or who or whatever made the films associated with the name "Stanley Kubrick," included another Baphomet pose in one of his most famous films, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In 2001, the main antagonist, HAL 9000, is a sentient artificial general intelligence computer that controls the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft and interacts with the ship's astronaut crew. It's interesting the computer is called "HAL," considering how phonetically close it is to "Hell." Kubrick is reported to have died exactly 666 days to 1/1/01, the first day of 2001. His death date of 3/7 is also a perversion of the number 73, an inversion of "EL," if we were to consider the E represents a 3 and the L is an inverse of 7. The word EL in Hebrew means "God."

Speaking of a 2001: A Space Odyssey, July 4th is also reported to be an "aphelion," the farthest point of an orbit around the Sun. This means that on July 4th, the Earth is reported to be at the furthest point from the Sun in a yearly orbit. Some speculate that the adepts who built the United States were very aware of the significance of this date and event and specifically chose July 4th as the "founding of the nation" because of it. The fact or idea that Earth is at its furthest point from the most important element in sustaining life also symbolizes "independence," even if the very next day we start to move back closer to the sun. We reportedly reach our closest point to the sun on 1/4 (7+7), also known as perihelion. Interestingly, the female lead in The Shining, Shelley Duval, has a reported birthdate of 7/7. 

Hence the curiosity of Jack in the Baphomet pose on July 4th in a film called "The Shining" (sun, rays, light, enlightenment). Couple of heavy themes if you know a little about a lot, but it goes one step deeper: Jack is at the "ball." Now the word ball is pretty interesting. Obviously a ball is a sphere, but ball can also be spelled as "Baal." Baal is/was a title and honorific meaning "owner" or "lord" in the Northwest Semitic languages spoken in the Levant during antiquity. From its use among people, it came to be applied to god or gods. Scholars previously associated the theonym with solar cults and with a variety of unrelated patron deities, but inscriptions have shown that the name Ba'al was particularly associated with the storm and fertility god Hadad and his local manifestations. 

Now Hadad, as the "Storm God," went on to be associated with Beelzebub. Beelzebub—pronounced Baal-el-z-bub and also spelled Beelzebul or Belzebuth—is a name derived from a Philistine god, formerly worshipped in Ekron and later adopted by some Abrahamic religions as a major demon. The name Beelzebub is associated with the Canaanite god Baal. So now, in one image, we have Jack in Baphomet pose on Aphelion and at the "Baal." One could suggest that we have a couple of heavy themes circulating in this one scene—the last scene in a seemingly innocuous film—but, then again, I’d say most people are totally unaware of the Baphomet, aphelion, and Baal symbolism in general. It’s stuff that doesn’t really get talked about too much these days.

Interestingly, Jack Nicholson grew up thinking his grandparents were his parents and his mother was his sister. Nicholson was reported to have been born in Neptune City, NJ. The borough is named for Neptune, the Roman water deity. Neptune is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. In the Greek-inspired tradition, he is a brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers preside over the realms of heaven, the earthly world, and the underworld.

Speaking of the Underworld, I mentioned that I was going to approach this post/topic with new eyes, so bear with me. Nikola Tesla once said, "If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6, and 9, then you would have a key to the universe."

A total of 3,960 days separate the date it is reported that Apollo 11 landed human beings on the moon (7/20/69) and the date of release for The Shining—3,960 days is 10 years, 10 months, and 3 days. In The Matrix (1999), Neo’s criminal record shows his birth date to be 3/11—the date that in 2020 the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus to be a global health pandemic. The Matrix also revealed that Neo’s passport has an expiration date of 9/11/01. Pretty prophetic. After the destruction of the two towers, the replacement, oNe (an anagram for Neo) World Trade Center, was completed 13 years later on 11/3. 3,960 days—or 10 years, 10 months, and 3 days—is also 130 months and 3 days. The Matrix premiered on 3/31 in 1999. 39 years and 6 months separate the birth of Neo in The Matrix to 9/11/01.

Pretty wild, if you ask me. Maybe it’s coincidence… maybe it’s not. But there’s one more interesting level to this.

Kubrick was scheduled to premiere his 7th film, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (more commonly known as simply Dr. Strangelove) on 11/22/1963. The premiere was canceled/postponed because of the report of the assassination/death of John F. Kennedy in Dealey Plaza earlier in the day. Dr. Strangelove is a satirical take on the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. Apollo 11 launched from Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969, the same date that the United States successfully detonated its first nuclear bomb 24 years earlier. July 16th is also the date that Kubrick would premier in theaters his 13th and final film, Eyes Wide Shut, 30 years after the reported launch of Apollo 11 and debuted in theaters on the same day it was reported that John F. Kennedy Jr. was presumed dead after the plane he was piloting didn’t arrive at the airport it was scheduled to arrive at. Go figure. —Bobby Puleo

For further explorations into cosmic math and the lattice of coincidence we're all inexplicably trapped within, please give Bobby a follow on Instagram: @timandvicstagram 

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  • Hassan on

    That was hilarious. The number of logical leaps and fallacies… I love conspiracy theories and numerology. It just goes to show how hardwired the human brain is for finding patterns and order.

  • Fd on

    During psychedelic dreams of reptilians on alien planets among Lunar landscapes and astral projections through the eye of the needle; I saw a vision with a message. A subspecies named Radu was tre flipping the bloodstone over a 30 step drop in Romania exclaiming, “I agree with this message it’s brilliant and strangely lovely.” At that point I was jolted out of my sleep by a dog fart that awakened my senses like running to a standstill in my sleep. Knowing another great read was on deck I climbed out of my coffin, slipped on my wino’s and poured a cup of Joe full of lions mane. Shit doesn’t get any realer than this unless it a fresh loaf laid in porcelain.

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