Joseph Campbell and Precession of the Equinoxes
…The number of the years it takes called “the precession of the equinoxes”.
It takes about 25,920 years to complete the cycle of the zodiac. Divide 25,920 years by 60 and you get 432.
Some years ago a friend gave me a book, Cooper’s Aerobics that told how many laps a day a man would
have to swim in order to stay healthy.
A footnote read: “A man in perfect physical shape, at rest, has a heartbeat of about one beat per second.”
At sixty seconds to a minute, and sixty minutes to an hour, in one day of twenty-four hours the heart beats 86,400 times.
Divided by two it is 43,200.
The heartbeat matches the beat of the universe; they are the same.
That coincidence of rhythm was the point of the old cosmic mythologies.
The later envisioned this microcosm, or little cosmos, and the macrocosm, or the big cosmos, as resonating to the same beat.
When a person tells the doctor “I’ve got a fever, “the doctor takes his pulse to find out if it registers in harmony with the 43,200 beats–that is, to find out if the person is in tune with nature.
These numbers, anchored in the Sumerian discovery that the order of the universe can be discovered mathematically, are almost everywhere.
In the Hindu sacred epics, the number of years calculated to the present cycle of time, the Kali Yuga as it is known, is 432,000,the number of the “great cycle” [mahayuga] being 4,320,000.
In the Icelandic Eddas, one reads of the 540 doors in Odin’s [Wotan’s] hall, through which at the current cycle of time,800 divine warriors would pass to battle the anti-gods in the “Day of the Wolf” to mutual annihilation.
Multiplying 540 by 80 equals 432,000. An early Babylonian account, translated into Greek by a Babylonian priest named Berossos in 280 B.C., tells us that 432,000 years passed between the time of the of the rise of the city Kish and the mythological flood [the biblical story derives from this earlier
source].In a famous paper on “Dates in Genesis”, the Jewish Assyriologist Julius Oppert, in 1877,showed that the in the 1,656 years from the creation to the Flood,86,400 weeks had passed. Divided by two, that again produces 43,200.
It is also noteworthy that the Hindu scriptures refer to 8,640,000 [divided by 2 becomes 4,320,000] forms of life. ~Joseph Campbell, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion.