Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Clarifications on the Idea of Secondary Intent for the Sensen Papyrus as an Abecedarium

From the beginning of this blog, I have used phrases like Secondary Intent for the Sensen Papyrus, Ancient Context, and Ancient Interpreters and so forth.  My point was never to say that something was encoded IN the papyrus.  Nobody ever intentionally created a second level of understanding IN the papyrus itself for anything, or so it seems.

I have always stated, like in my previous post, that it is the way this papyrus was used by people that employed its symbols that was the important thing, and that this was an ancient practice transmitted by Joseph Smith, knowledge from ancient times transmitted to us by him.  He and his scribes didn't make it up, and it is not a modern thing, contrary to theories like that from William Schryver and John Gee, that put all responsibility on W. W. Phelps and others.

If there was ever any Secondary Intent FOR the Papyrus, or rather another purpose the papyrus was used FOR, it may have been the idea of a custom Alphabet, to begin with (i.e. a sign list, rather than text with a "message").  Again, please read this carefully:  this is NOT built IN to the papyrus.  This is something people were using it FOR, which may be alien to the original idea the papyrus was designed for.  This is something that people started doing with it a long time after it was written.

In certain parts of this blog, I have stated how the word Sensen itself was associated with the idea of an Alphabet.  The word Sensen is the idea of two bulls coming together and becoming one.  Sensen was the day when both the Sun and the Moon were seen in the sky during the day, the two bulls in the sky.  And so, furthermore, how this applies to alphabets is this.  The oldest Alphabets/Abjads and Zodiacs started with a bull (Aleph as an Ox or Aries the Ram) and end with a bull (Tav as a mark indicating ownership of cattle, or the cross mark indicating the Ecliptic crossing the Celestial Equator at the time of the Spring Equinox in Taurus the bull in the early time period of the Earliest Zodiacs/Constellation Lists/Calendars).  Some Zodiacs were Lunar calendars, and some were Solar.  In the case of the Sensen, the god Khonsu in the text is prominent, and he was the moon.  There may have been an association with the Lunar Zodiac.  And so, Zodiacs were a series of symbols or characters in the sky going in a circle, and the two bulls meet one another, where the series of symbols begin and end.  This is why Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  The two bulls are where it begins and ends.  In Egypt, the god Khonsu was the god of the sign lists, the god of the Lunar Zodiac (Constellation-based Calendar), the god of the two bulls.  This goes back to the earliest time periods of the earliest Alphabets and Abjads having been created as Zodiacs and Calendars, and certain lists of characters being used as Abecedaria (documents where people would practice writing ancient alphabets to learn them).  And so, from its creation, it is possible, that Ancient Egyptians used the writing of a document like the Sensen as an Abecederium.  And by this, I mean that not only do its characters "say" something (the Egyptian Endowment as Nibley showed), but they are ALSO a convenient grouping or list of Egyptian characters that people would use to practice writing out their ABC's in ancient times in Egyptian, because it was a relatively short document.

And so, by calling it Sensen, it is possible that they were cluing people in on this usage of it.  It is true that it does indeed "translate" the way Hugh Nibley and other Egyptologists showed us it does.  But if it had a second type of usage, it was this:  a custom abecedarium employed in a derivative document.  And so, since it became used as a sign list (i.e. one of the "orderings" for the Egyptian Alphabet, or one of the ways that Egyptian characters are listed together, its characters became useful for other things.

If you haven't understood my reasoning for going into studies about ancient Alphabets like the Proto-Sinaitic, which was a Semitic Adaptation of Egyptian characters in a different context than the characters started out with, this is a summary of my reasoning for it.  If you have not understood previously why I was fixated on trying to demonstrate that the Proto-Sinaitic was invented as a Zodiac or Calendar originally, this was my reasoning.  Because the tradition of Alphabets is the tradition behind the Sensen.  This is why Joseph Smith called it the Egyptian Alphabet.

And so, employing these characters as symbols for use in codes was one of them that they came to be used for in the Alexandria area in Greco-Roman times.  And so, I am not saying that a code is built into the characters of this papyrus.  I'm saying that these symbols in this papyrus became useful to people to employ as symbols for use in codes that have nothing to do with the original idea for this papyrus.  In order to assign specific meanings to them, they had to create documents where special meanings were applied to these symbols that are not the general meanings of them, but were for specific usages in specific codes.  One of these codes where they applied specific meanings for these characters was in a religious context for the story of Abraham.  It was some people in Alexandria that appear to have done this, because they knew the story of Abraham somehow.

So no, this is not the original document that contained the Book of Abraham that came down from the pen of Abraham.  This is a thing that contains symbols that somebody ended up using to represent his story, and this was used this way in some missing ancient document from ancient times.  It is in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers that Joseph Smith and his scribes were demonstrating the usage of the Sensen Papyrus characters in a code for Abraham, a reconstitution of this ancient information.  It's not that they generally translate this way.  It's that some ancient person from Alexandria or someplace like that used them this way.  And through reverse engineering, we can show that these translations are actually encodings, not regular Egyptian translations.  Nevertheless, they do have associations with the regular meanings of the Egyptian characters, and they were selected for use in these encodings deliberately.

People get so disappointed that the Sensen Papyrus either doesn't translate literally to the Book of Abraham, or that they don't find a code IN the Book of Breathings FOR the Book of Abraham.  Both of those things are the wrong things to be looking for in the first place.  The Sensen Papyus merely provides the symbols that were used for codes that were external to the Sensen Papyrus in other documents to begin with, a missing, derived document or documents.  And the Kirtland Egyptian Papers is a document that manifests the definitions for one of those codes.  Nevertheless, meaningful associations can be found between the definitions in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers and the regular Egyptian meanings of the symbols.

What is the difference between proposed "missing" documents and a Missing Papyrus proposed by regular Mormon Apologists?  A big one.  I say we have in the Church all the essential papyri that Joseph Smith had in his hands.  Mormon Apologists try to invent a missing papyrus that Joseph Smith never had.  When I say there are missing documents, I mean to say that back in ancient times, some document or documentss existed that no longer exist, but that the Kirtland Egyptian Papers manifest some of the information in these, information restored into modern speech.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Some Clarifications and Vocabulary for Cryptography and Another Attempt to Communicate how the Kirtland Egyptian Papers Work

Over time, I have tried to figure out how to communicate how my theory works in various ways, because the theory is multi-faceted.  I have tried to show the various aspects to how things work with the Kirtland Egyptian Papers and describe those differing aspects.  Some people may think I am repeating myself sometimes.  Perhaps, but, if I say things enough in different ways, maybe people will understand, because this subject is a difficult one for people to comprehend

So, what I mean by multi-faceted is the same thing physicists mean when they say that light is both a wave and a particle at the same time.  The thing itself is more complex than trying to reduce it to one description.  The two things are intertwined in the whole.  You cant separate the two, yet you can only describe the two aspects separately.  And so, while I say that the usage of these characters from the Sensen papyrus in the Book of Abraham manuscripts is like section markers, from another point of view, the usage is like a code.  I even used language calling it a word or letter puzzle, and a sign list that was used pictographically, where its characters were used independently of itself in other compositions pictographically.  This means that each character was separated out from other characters, and used in other compositions.  And by that I mean, compositions external to the Sensen Papyrus, like the Kirtland Egyptian Papers and the Facsimile Explanations, but that some of these compositions were ancient, not just modern ones from Joseph Smith.  The ones from Joseph Smith represent things transmitted to us in modern times that transmit the ancient intent from ancient times.

These things are not contradictory, nor are they mutually exclusive.  They are all part of a complete understanding of this thing, and there are even other aspects to this that are not contradictory either.  Such as saying that these are like variables, or like abstract symbols with concrete meaning assignments.  All of these descriptions are true, because they all describe various aspects of the whole.

So, as I said in various blog posts previous to this, from one point of view, the characters in the Book of Abraham text are section markers.  On the other hand, from another point of view, there seems to be a "code" involved, which in modern cryptological jargon, is not the same as a "cipher."  So, it is now necessary to get technical in my usage of these terms:
Some terminology: code (a word or phrase is replaced with a word, number, or symbol, e. g. codeword),cipher (each letter in a phrase is replaced by another letter, or number, or symbol), plaintext (themessage), ciphertext (the encrypted message) . . .
(http://www.math.uci.edu/~brusso/freshman6.pdf, "THE CODE BOOK: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography," by Simon Singh, Freshman Seminar, Winter 2006, February 28, 2006, pp. 3-4)
So, what we are talking about here is not a a "cipher," in this sense, where letters or symbols are replaced by other letters or symbols.  What we are talking about here is word-based.  So, ideas in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers are described or explanations for characters are given.  And so, these symbols are given meanings with words.  Similarly:
Cryptography takes two forms: "codes" and "ciphers". The distinction between codes and ciphers is commonly misunderstood. A "code" is essentially a secret language invented to conceal the meaning of a message. 
Codewords and codenumbers are referred to collectively as "codegroups". The words they represent are referred to as "plaintext" or, more infrequently, "cleartext", "plaincode", "placode", or "plaindata".  Codes are unsurprisingly defined by "codebooks", which are dictionaries of codegroups listed with their corresponding plaintext . . . 
In contrast to a code, a "cipher" conceals a plaintext message by replacing or scrambling its letters. This process is known as "enciphering" and results in a "ciphertext" message. Converting a ciphertext message back to a plaintext message is known as "deciphering". 
(http://www.vectorsite.net/ttcodep.html, "A Codes & Ciphers Primer," v1.0.5 / 01 jun 15 / greg goebel)
So, in the case of the Kirtland Egyptain Papers, instead of codewords, symbols are used to represent groups of words.  And so, therefore, using this jargon described in these quotes, what we have is plaintext and plaindata being represented by Egyptian symbols, or assigned to them, much like a codeword is assigned to a meaning in a code.  Therefore, this is not a cipher, but is a code, so to speak.  And so, the Kirtland Egyptian Papers are a codebook, because it contains the key to the code.  And so, from one point of view, this is why characters in the KEP have associations with the meanings attributed to them, such as the reed symbol being used to represent Land of the Chaldees, which is the land of reeds.  The association between character and meaning/value assignment is clear.  But it isn't literal.  While it is true that the reed symbol has a good tie to Land of the Chaldees or Kiengi (land of reeds) by virtue of the reed as a symbol, a theme they both have in common, there is more to it.  And that is that it is a deliberate code.  Abstractions are being used for literal or concrete ideas, which are assigned to them.  And without a codebook, the symbol itself is too abstract for the thing it is meant to represent.  And by this, I mean, the codebook ties it down to precision to what it is meant to represent.  Again, the author of the Sensen Papyrus didn't hide this meaning in it.  This is a usage of these characters separate from their original intent.  And so, like a cryptographic hash, it is only one way.  Meaning, with the codebook, you know the intended meaning.  Without codebook the characters become pretty useless.   The symbols by themselves don't give you enough.  To know the intended meaning you need the key or codebook.  So, the group of documents called the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, from that point of view, could be called a "codebook."

Historically, people have also used the term "cipher" to describe a "codebook" or "dictionary."

So, what we are describing is a dictionary for the "system" or "code" used with Sensen Papyrus characters that is evident in the Kirtland Egyptian Paprs.  This is not to be confused with the regular Egyptian usage (i.e. Egyptological Egyptian) of hieroglyphic and hieratic characters.  This is a separate system defined by the evidence in the "code book" which describes their usage in this system.

And so, in some codes, other code words in a language are used as symbols to represent a "plain text" piece of data.  In this case, Egyptian characters are being used to represent them instead of code-words.

In summary, as I pointed out in other blog posts, this is similar to William Schryver's theory, with the exception that I am saying that Ancient people in Alexandria may have been doing it, not people in the nineteenth century, the way Schryver was saying.  So Joseph Smith was transmitting to us an ancient code system from Egypt that was separate from the regular Egyptian usage of characters.  Joseph Smith and his scribes did not make this system up.


This article referenced above shows how recently scholars have deciphered the documents from the Oculars, a secret society that seems to have been based off of Masonry from the 18th and 19th Centuries.  I am suggesting that cult groups or secret societies may have existed in Ancient Egypt, perhaps in the Alexandria area, that were obsessed with codes as well.  And Joseph Smith transmitted their ancient usage of Egyptian characters to us in the Kirtland Egyptian Papers.  It therefore could be called a translation of an "Ancient Cipher," or of an "Ancient Codebook."

Now, the problem with many people is that they assume that I'm saying that somehow the Sensen Papyrus is the thing that "contains" the message.  No.  The Sensen Papyrus is merely the thing that provides the list of symbols that are drawn upon for the creation of things that are external to it for the use of this code.  It's like the Papal Code used by Catholics.  They would give people a bunch of symbols for a message, and the symbols meant nothing for the receiver of the message unless he had a key or a "code book" to understand the message.  There was nothing inherent in the symbols that suggests that some symbol ought to be interpreted as "Pope" or "Priest."

In the case of the Sensen papyrus symbols used in this system, there were clever associations between assignments to the symbols and the meanings assigned in a "code book."  this is not the case in some "codes" where substitutions have been made.  Sometimes the symbols or code words people use in various codes have nothing to do with the things that they are made to represent.

It is true that the Kirtland Egyptian Papers is a collection of documents, some bound and some unbound.  Contrary to John Gee, I insist that they all belong in one whole, and are not to be separated.  And so, when I say they constitute one "code book," then I literally mean that, because they make one whole.  They describe one particular system of using the Egyptian characters for a code.  This is not to be confused with the regular Egyptian written language.

Some people may be confused that I am saying Egyptology is incomplete or that there is more to be found.  Well, in its own sphere, Egypology is complete, but this is a separate field really, that has to do with a lot of things outside Egyptology, but that also sort-of overlaps with certain portions of the Egyptology field.  And science is always self-corrective and needing to be tweaked when new information is known.  So, what I mean to say is, that it is unsurprising that Egyptology would not previously know about a code like this.  That does't make it deficient.  It make it something that is progressive like any other branch of knowledge.