TEN - THE HOMUNCULUS AND HIS CRYSTAL BALLS
TEN -- THE HUMUNCULUS AND HIS CRYSTAL BALLS
The only part of what Emma had offered that seemed to me at all like a clue, was the mention of "Crystal Balls of Humunculus". So I researched that from many angles. Obviously the whole idea is some metaphor or combination of metaphors. More reverse engineering . . .
In my research I find a description of a homunculus in a German book by Paracelsus. The homunculus Paracelsus describes is a creature with a human form and characteristics, but is only several inches tall. It is supposed to be created by means of alchemy and other methods.
Then there's the crystal balls.
So I consider a few interesting ways to parse the phrase "crystal balls of Humunculus".
- a ball can be a formal dance - so perhaps this is to suggest a dance held in a place called "Crystal"? So in that case it would be a formal dance in a place decorated or associated with crystal, and somehow the Homunculus is throwing two of these formal dance events (known as "balls").
- Homunculus is tiny. His testicles (also known as "balls") must be miniscule. But if crystal balls are replaced with crystal testicles, especially really tiny ones, I can't imagine what the difference would be between either reading of "crystal balls". Not on a homunculus. But on a human? Now that would be a story. A guy with perfect, glimmering polished crystal balls instead of testicles. I'll suggest that one as an idea for Emma to write. So I'm writing off this being a euphemism for testicles.
- since this was a verbal clue, it's possible that I misheard "two Chris's bowl for Homunculus " as "two crystal balls of Homunculus ". Might have even been "two Christians fall for Homunculus ," or "to Crístobal's of Homunculus " (like a restaurant called Crístobal (Spanish for Christopher) which is owned by The Homunculus ?
- the word "ball" (noun) can have a lot of different meanings. Like a party, or a chance to dance and show off your moves, or a chance to socialize and schmooze, a chance to network and mix, also to present an opportunity to present a new idea. The word "balls" (plural of "ball") can also mean a thing that is conceived of as being solid and reliable, ("this is the balls!").
So, with that in mind, I also found that true crystals in a shape that resembled a tiny ball, as a component of a crystal set (which is an old-timey early 20th century radio). Crystal balls were used when making early radio receivers. Crystal sets were used for early wireless (radio) transmission. And I found that there is in fact a combination of two crystals in the shape of tiny little balls, called a "Poundstone".
A Poundstone is a type of quartz. And as it turns out, Poundstones, which are tumbled to sharpen tools, are also known as "Homunculus ", which means literally "little men".
So I can say that I have found, through my own research, that the clue was obvious all along; crystal balls are tiny little balls of something, and Homunculus is the nick-name for a Poundstone.
A Poundstone is a type of quartz. So, from this meaning and these clues, I think Emma is trying to lead me to Quartz crystals. That interpretation certainly lends itself radio transmission and reception. Remote communications? Maybe.
Although, it is worth noting that quartz crystals also might suggest crucibles. No joke:
"Laboratory Crucibles are the containers that are used for holding chemicals when chemical or thermal tests are performed. Quartz has a very high melting point and is chemically inert, and so, is employed into making quartz crucibles that are used in the laboratories for performing chemical reactions and tests.
The advantages quartz crucibles offer includes low expansion, thermal shock resistance, and excellent dimensional stability. Fused Quartz made from quartz granules is generally used in making such vessels."
I suppose I'll need to thoroughly consider what Quartz signifies.
On the other hand, there's another way to look at this. I am realizing at this point that I am a player in a strategic game of some kind, with Emma in charge. What's special about this kind of game is that Emma has designed this game specifically for me. This is a bespoke game. So Emma, knowing my thought patterns well, started with the clue of the crystal balls. knowing that quartz is an excellent example of the amazing technologies that 'are born from the rock' meaning the offerings of the Earth's rocky crust.
The rock or stone produces stories (in literary metaphors - this is a Zoroastrian idea that was adopted by Nietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra.
So here's this stone (mineral), quartz. Quartz is ideal for radio technology (so, communication over distance) and also crucibles (so either a reference to The Crucible, or to the fact that laboratory crucibles evolved from the tools of the alchemist's trade.
The products of stone -- including and perhaps especially, language -- are always tools.
And weapons. Same thing.
The clue was not about stones, quartz, crystal, in ball form or otherwise. This clue was about how words can be misunderstood easily by people with little balls?
Emma was luring me deftly into this game. Language is also a very potent sort of tool, requiring far more training but resulting in far more force. Many wars have been averted or resolved, using language as the primary tool, and the munitions as the backup method. If the language is well performed, not a single drop of blood need be shed. If it fails, it is no less potent, but the bloodshed can last centuries if the rhetoric is poor.
So those silent thoughtful type shy people - you know, those people? You know why they're so shy? It's because they are aware of some latent talent for eloquent language, and they are terrified that they might say the wrong thing and start a series of events that descends into an economic collapse or that they be misunderstood and end up starting a cult that they never asked for, and who won't leave them alone. That's my best guess anyway. I know nothing about their kind, and I can't relate to their lifestyle, even though I do not judge it whatsoever.
I myself, though am a 'talker' so I have no idea why shy people are so shy. It's kinda endearing actually, but that's obviously me projecting my thoughts into their heads. They might be quiet, shy, and polite, AND also judging me as less of a man than I should be. I wouldn't know; not my business.
Seriously, don't The Shy know they're not more likely than anyone else to cause trouble with poignant language, because simply knowing about the dangers?
I mean, how can knowledge itself possibly be dangerous?
January 1st, 2022