Monday, October 1, 2007
The 153 Fishes.
The mysterious action of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples introduces a new understanding of the Mandala, which is like the net in which the disciples cought 153 fishes. The number 153 is a sacred number for the Greek philosophers, as in the school of Pythagorus. The fish is a sign of life an fertility (it was sacred to the followers of Orpheus), and by introducing this parable of the 153 fishes, the intention of the Gospel teller, is to remind us that within the net of the Kingdom of Heaven, we can find all the fishes, that is all the souls that have been created. Later Peter has a vision of a net which comes down from heaven, in which he sees the whole of Creation, with all its animals, and he is told that everything is pure and holy in the sight of the Creator, who made everything to be good. The number 153 is a triangular number, like six, and is composed by arranging 17 rows of fishes, each row having one more fish than the one above it. The number seventeen is a "prime number", that is a number that cannot be divided, and in that way symbolizes the unity of God.