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The 23 Enigma & Robert Anton Wilson

 

The "23 Enigma" is the Discordian 'belief' that all events are connected to the number 23, given enough ingenuity on the part of the interpreter.  The "23 Enigma" refers to the belief that all incidents and events are directly connected to the number 23.  Just type number 23 or 23 enigma into your browser and see what people have to say about it.  The 23 enigma is just a violation of the scientific method.  Like the 9-11 phenomenon wherein coincidences of the number 911 are charted and listed, the 23 enigma may be nothing more than a particular example of the confirmation bias in cognitive theory know as apophenia the experience of finding connections or patterns in random, meaningless data.  It begins as a near-perfect, yet oddly strange, psychological mystery based around the 23 Enigma, which of course, has countless websites devoted to it.  According to wikipedia the Discordian '23 enigma' states that 'all events are connected to the number 23, given enough ingenuity on the part of the interpreter. 

In interviews, Robert Anton Wilson has acknowledged the self fulfilling nature of the 23 enigma and implied that the real value of 23 lies in the demonstration of the mind's power to perceive "truth" in nearly anything.  While in The Number 23, the filmmaker's hint at the revelations of the 23 enigma and its prophetic significance, the movie more focuses on the delusional nature of Carrey's character and never really drifts into the myth of 23.  Owing to popular culture there are also many instances where the enigma is intentionally evoked in artistic works that feature some reference to 23.  Leaving aside the fact that the "23 enigma" is a prank cooked up by Discordians to mess with the heads of the credulous, this leaden thriller is a study in missed opportunities. 

The number 23 along with numbers like 6, 13, and 11 have long been linked to unusual coincidences.  23 is the first prime number in which both digits are prime numbers and add up to another prime number.  While the enigma of 23 can be found almost anywhere since 2 and 3 are the most common prime numbers, there is a infamous story about William Borroughs. 

Even Wilson was stumped by the 23 enigma.  To many conspiracy buffs, the 23 enigma adds up to trouble.  Jim has been obsessed with the Number 23 enigma on his own.  Leaving aside the fact that the "23 enigma" is a prank cooked up by Discordians to mess with the heads of the credulous, this leaden thriller is a study in missed opportunities.