Tetragrammaton Explained in Terms of Learning

Allow me to make my point upfront to justify the required philosophical dance coming shortly after:

Learning is the Inertialization of Action

This means that learning is turning change-causing effort into permanent effortlessness

Understanding Everything

One of the toughest lessons here on Earth comes in the form of a realisation – That we may never learn everything that there’s to learn. We often hear “the more you learn, the less you know”, and the apparent truth in these words is magnified when one’s passion for truth dares to span multiple fields of study and humanity.

Then there comes a time, perhaps due to one’s wishful thinking, that despite these signals of overwhelm and existential irrelevance, it’s perhaps possible to understand everything, just by the means of following a universal framework to its conclusion, and applying it to everything.

This article gives hint to exactly such an idea: a framework which encapsulate everything and allows one to understand everything, although we’ll be sparing the details by focusing on the contours first.

In the title presented we read the word “Tetragrammaton”. It’s Greek for “four-letter word” and it unanimously points towards the Biblical god named JEHOVAH, or YHVH. The word “God” is a three-letter word, which is the linguistic equivalent of the infinity sign in mathematics ∞. The word points towards the infinite potential which humans can easily imagine, yet can never truly realise. When religions, books, or teachings speak of things like a “Name of God”, they simply provide us with a description of imagined human infinitude, in epic proportions.

The Tetragrammaton, or YHVH, is such a Name of God and it points us towards a description of infinity. Since this writing’s purpose is to explain this, let’s consider the principle of existence, which is change.

Our universe is in a constant mode of change. When things never change or we never measure a difference between “now” and the “next now”, we simply can’t say anything about our world. In fact, naturalism (the backbone of science) would argue that we wouldn’t know that we exist if it wouldn’t be for change, and our ability to measure it.

To understand this, let’s consider an everyday example.

The simple act of writing

Writing as we experience it, concerns itself fundamentally with the act of blocking light from an otherwise ‘white’ background. Here, imagine taking a blank piece of paper and writing your name on it.

Writing on a piece of paper, some parts reflecting light back

What you just did is filter out some of the light which was reflecting from the paper into your eye. By writing your name on the paper you shaped that filter into something which you learned to represent your name.

Next, this filtered light enters your eye, goes through a few lenses, and then finally falls onto your retina. Well perhaps not finally, since your retina hosts this huge network of photon-sensitive cells, which produces a chemical signal to the brain. Consider this chemical signal not to be like one wire, but more like the internet cable between Europe and North America, allowing for millions of parallel TikTok videos to be sent through. This eye-brain cable is called the optic-nerve and hosts about 1 million parallel signals, sending data from in from the eye, into the brain [1].

Cross-section of an undersea internet cable
Optical nerve connecting the eyes to the brain

Understand now that the letters which you write, which filter light bouncing of the page, are being captured in your eye, and your brain translates this sequence of letters, of which there are only 26, into a single concept, a world, perhaps an animal, or in this case your name.

Notice now that in the example of writing your name, four broad steps had to take place:

  1. The blank piece of paper gives freedom of writing
  2. You decide to drop ink in the shape letters forming your name
  3. You spent time smearing the ink throughout the curves of the letters.
  4. You’re left with your name on the piece of paper
Four-step process of basic writing

In the last step, we’re left with a piece of paper with our name written on it, that’s the result of our writing, and it doesn’t change, nor will it change that easily, unless we add more words to it, or scribble it all through, or perhaps destroy the blank page by taking away her ability to reflect the light of her surface. In each case, another change had to occur, meaning that we’d have to go through another 4-step process to get to a certain result.

Now comes the most important part of writing, which is reading. We wrote our name on the piece of paper, yet we only know that we wrote our name on it, because we’ve read it!

Reading concerns itself with the recognition of patterns, which are learned. To continue building on the example from above here’s what happens: sequences of letters enter the eye, and stimulate the brain. Our brain goes through a slight chemical ‘shift’, clicking and arranging concepts through a complicated circuitry, leaving you with a sense of “my name is written on the page”.

To broaden the example, imagine reading a short paragraph on social media (Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, IG). The app on your phone shows you a sequence of words and sentences, which when read make you smile, or agitated, or stressed, or cheerful! After reading, you understand what someone wrote, perhaps you can even feel the intention of the writer. Depending on what’s happening in the background of your life, the words on the social media platform are chemically woven with your current state and are ever so slightly shifting and changing your perspective on some topic.

In the case of reading, here too we find a four-step process taking place:

  1. A lot of possible things to read are made available through social media.
  2. You decide to read a post, or a comment.
  3. You’re spending time shifting your gaze and focus through-out the length of the sentences, building up the emotional context of the post or comment.
  4. You’re left with an impression, conveyed through the letters of a post or a comment.
Four step process of content consumption (reading)

This broad four-step process seems to be present in anything which requires change over time.

In my attempt to understand everything, as in the introduction of this post, here’s my generalised description of the four steps:

  1. Possibilities: The universe provides for a range of motion.
  2. Decisions: the act of filtering of possibilities, focus on one thing.
  3. Work: Time spent under tension, or progressively ‘working out’ the decision.
  4. Results: The result of going through the above three steps.
The generalised four-steps process, using four ancient symbols

What’s interesting to note is that each ‘step’ requires all steps to be set in place, and each step ‘influences’ each other step. We’ll be covering when we’ll fit the Tetragrammaton into this picture.

Up to this point we’ve covered writing and reading.

The third most crucial component is the act of learning: one needs to learn how to read, or how to write, in order to do so. In the rest of the article we’ll be describing the act of learning in terms of these four steps, shining some light on the mechanics of our world.

Learning as the “Inertialization of Action”

Stepping away from the example of writing, lets describe the process of learning in a more primitive sense, as reading and writing are profoundly infused with cultural baggage requiring lots of unpacking.

Instead, let’s focus on how a baby learns to call his mother ‘mama’. Let’s have our go by asking an appropriate question:

How does a child learn or associate the physical bundle of external phenomenon called “mother” onto the the sound /mama/?

First we set up the 4-step process template to describe the general process:

  1. Possibilities: Have a range of stimuli which can be had in an environment.
  2. Decisions: Something (or someone?) imposes a set of limitations onto its possibilities.
  3. Work: The set of limitations (or acts of filtering) produce “imprint over time”. The decision is being worked over time.
  4. Results: The decision-work dance leaves a permanent ‘afterglow’, or more broadly: results.
The four steps represent four phases or parts of a cycle

So now, let’s apply this template onto a baby’s learning:

  1. Possibilities: A baby’s brain, fresh and unconditioned by culture, can learn anything in a short notice. Its brain receives stimuli from its five senses, and like an all-goes electric super network, it keeps absorbing and re-enacting the myriad of exquisite stimuli.
  2. Decisions: The mother makes a decision to put her face in front of her baby’s eyes, to then repeatedly say the word “MAMA”, in all her variations and intonations.

    Notice how the mother essentially filters out the infinite possible “things to see and hear” into something rather limited: her face and the sound “mama”. This is similar to how ink filters light when it bounces of a piece of paper.
  3. Work: The baby’s brain cannot help but receive the signals through its senses, over time, and make its internal chemical makeup spin and swindle. Its brain repeatedly works through the impulses received by its mother’s decision.
  4. Results: At some point in time, the mom will stop repeating the word “mama” whilst occupying most of the field of vision of the baby, and go away. So thus stops the “work” aspect too.

    The baby is now left with a faint afterglow of her mother’s voice and looks. This afterglow is like a groove, the result of her mom deciding to act as she did in the previous three steps.
The four steps in this example, visualized

Step 4, the result-step, is probably the most important to understand, as it’s because of absence of previous stimuli that a certain sense of ‘change’ can be captured, and a meaningful groove, or echo, can be left behind. If the mom decides to repeatedly go through her decision to say mama for a while, the associative groove in the baby’s brain will get deeper and deeper, until it has effectively learned the sound of mama, and how she looks like.

Take a step back now, and notice what’s happening here: the mother’s decision to associate how she looks with a certain sound-pattern, is now learned, nested or made unmovable (inert) in the baby’s brain.

What the mom did was, she turned her repeated action into an “inertialized action”. Henceforth, the baby shall associate the sound /mama/ with the phenomenon which it observed through its five senses: its mother.

I must admit that I made an abstraction of the incredibly intricate process of our brain’s ability to elastically shape shift its neural networks to allow for learning, but for now it’s suffices to categorize this process under the third step called Work.

Each instance of learning is about creating a habit out of some collection of reduced input stimuli, so that they can be used later as “one thing”, a habit, or a result. And why? So that these new habits can inform new possibilities, so that new decisions can be made, and new work can be done, and new results can be enjoyed!

Such is the nature of learning!

TEGRAGRAMMATON and the Four Steps

Right, so four steps, cool?! What’s up?

Well, it seems that the the four-step process as I’ve re-discovered it, seems to not only apply to learning, but to any changing aspect in our physical reality, as it goes through cycles of change.

I feel that there’s this incredible theory waiting to be given shape, which could apply to the most fundamental aspects of our physical reality. Instead of going full-crank mode on this one, allow me to obtain my graduate degree in physics first, to get the sanity and notation right. 🙂

But on the TETRAGRAMMATON a lot can be said, and I must provide my sources when reading and discovering new aspects of reality. Let’s continue where we’ve left of in the introduction!

The TETRAGRAMMATON is a greek word meaning “composed of four letters”, and it refers to the 4-letter hebrew word made of vowels. The English-letter version it’s YHVH, in Hebrew יהוה. It’s commonly attributed to the name of god know as JEHOVAH, in the Bible and more generally the Western Culture.

YHVH in Hebrew, spelled from right to left

YHVH is said to be the unpronouncable Name of God, and traditionally speaking it’s because it’s too holy to be spoken, and that the one who can pronounce it won’t do so because it’s a secret, and will only do so when alone in the temple once a year. Now alright, we’re deep into the initiatory age of aquarius, so let’s cut this useless mysticicity short as the explanation is pretty simple.

Each of the letters in the name represents one of the four steps in the four-step process, BUT the four steps actually occur at the same time, and since we can’t pronounce four letters at the same time, we’re stuck with the wonderful riddle.

To give an example of this, look back at our first application of the four-step process to writing. For each ‘writing-decision’ which causes ‘writing-work’, the ‘writing-results’ change immediately, which immediately inform the ‘writing-possibilities’: the potential locations for putting ink next.

What’s cool is that in the Hebrew language, each letter holds meaning, thus also the four letters in YHVH each hold meaning. Here’s a short break-down without getting too detail (see other posts if you’re interested, particularly check out my Instagram):

EnglishHebrew LetterLiteral MeaningMeaning
Y, YudיHandHands give people a range of possibilities to do things with
H, HehהWindow (Wind Door)A window only shows part of the landscape and thus ‘blocks the range of view’. Here it means the mind’s eye.
V, VavוNailA nail requires work to pierce through many layers of wood to hold them together. The act of work and ‘holding together’
H, HehהWindowHere again a window, but it’s the physical window of our body, the physical eye.
Breakdown of the TETRAGRAMMATON meaning

The four letters of the Tetragrammaton together mean something like this:

“Given a range of possibilities, that which is seen in the mind’s eye, shall be worked upon, and made manifest in front of the physical eye”

The Tetragrammaton

Perhaps worth noting, that the last H is usually written with a dot below it, signifying it’s ‘final’ state.

The meanings and descriptions in the table above are mainly derived from a text by a rather mystical writer named Ophiel [2], and shortly after I discovered that another New Thought writer named Neville Goddard [3] had been talking about the same concepts. I’m including references to both sources if you’d like to check the background on this information.

When you take a closer look at the above table, you’ll see the four-step process revealed, although less refined, and quite obscure. It takes time to absorb, and as such I suggest you do your own research in these manners.

In conclusion

Habits and learning are the result of inertialized action.

Taking an example in a baby learning to associate his mother by the sound /mama/, an overarching meta-process seems to be taking place, summarising:

To go through a process of meaningful physical reconfiguration, one turns a set of possibilities into inert pattern-producing matter.

References

[1] Jonas, J. B., Schmidt, A. M., Muller-Bergh, J. A., Schlotzer-Schrehardt, U. M., & Naumann, G. O. H. (1992). Human optic nerve fiber count and optic disc size. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 33(6), 2012–2018.

[2] Edward C. Peach (Ophiel), Art and Practice of the Occult (June 1, 1976)

[3] Neville Goddard (Edited by Mitch Horowitz), Infinite Potential (2019)


Also published on Medium.

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